Inflation, rent prices, a monthly Microsoft charge bound by blood, and other confounding economical forces are all seemingly conspiring against us these days. While it’s true that a little scratch can unlock many excellent experiences in Houston, there’re still plenty of ways to enjoy the city on a budget. As such, we’ve compiled a list of our 10 favorite BYOB establishments in Houston from axe-throwing to restaurants, bingo, and more!
1. Miller Outdoor Theatre
The Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park is one of Houston’s most beloved institutions. From classical music, to theatre, ballet, and film screenings – the theatre also hosts a vibrant variety of live performances for the whole family to enjoy. See their upcoming schedule here. The free entertainment venue also allows visitors to bring their own food and drinks. Glass containers and bottles are prohibited.
2. Revival Market
Revival Market is a craft butcher and locally-sourced grocer in The Heights. Charmingly rustic, the market specialized in breakfast and lunch, using thoughtfully cultivated ingredients – from their housemade bacon to their coffee beans. Patio seating is also available. Closed on Mondays.
Despite being well stocked with a fantastic selection of wines — sold at reasonable prices — Porta’Vino allows customers to bring their own just in case. Porta’Vino is part restaurant, part wine barr, and part wine store. Its culinary menu features light Italian dishes — or Texas Tuscan as their Instagram profile states — with such options as Italian Mac & Cheese, Wild Boar Bolognese, 10-Hour Braised Shortrib, and Coconut Cream Pie.
The highly-regarded restaurant in Sharpstown offers some of the finest, as well as unique, Indo-Pak cuisine in the area. Headed by James Beard-nominated, Chef Kaiser Lashkari, Himalaya‘s menu features beloved dishes such as the Hunter’s Beef Plate, Boneless Chicken Curry, Lamb Masala, and more. Enjoy generous portions of flavorful meals, complementary naan, and BYOB sans corkage fee in a casual dining atmosphere at Himalaya.
For something a little more upscale, Lucio’s is a fine-dining (“without being uptight”) and BYOB establishment in Downtown, Houston. Their versatile menu changes seasonally. As such, their New American cuisine is always made with fresh, quality ingredients. Staples include hand-selected prime-cut meats, seafood, and game. Lucio’s also offers a Chef’s Tasting menu and multi-course meal that which can be tailored to the patron’s tastes if need be.
6. Mala Sichuan Bistro
Mala Sichuan Bistro will always have a place on our top 10 Houston bucket list restaurants. The premier Chinese dining destination specializes in Sichuan regional cuisine. Incorporating Sichuan-native spices — in fact, “ma” and “la” refers to two different gustatory sensations in reaction to spices — their menu comprises of a wonderful variety of dishes best when eaten in traditional family style. Editor’s recommendations include Eggplants in Spicy Garlic Sauce, Funky Stick Chicken, Three Pepper Beaten Duck, and House Special Cold Noodles.
7. The Ratchet Hatchet
Darts, shuffleboard, and cornhole are mere child’s play compared to axe throwing. Unleash your inner badass at this BYOB axe-throwing house in Houston. The axe-throwing house is a great, albeit slightly unnerving, place for corporate events, birthday parties, bachelor, and bachelorette parties.
8. SPSJT Lodge 88
Billed as “not your grannie’s bingo” the Czech-founded bingo night in The Heights has been raising the stakes since 1897. On Friday nights, the SPSJT Lodge 88 holds bingo nights with bingo cards priced at $15 each. While the lodge bar is presently open, carrying beers, spirits, mixers, and more, visitors are allowed to bring their own wine and liquor with a corking fee of $4 per bottle.
9. Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine
Montrose-favorite, and now with a location in Garden Oaks, Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine offers exceptional Mediterranean Cuisine at affordable prices. The restaurant encourages patrons to dine family style, opting in for their large-portioned shareable meals. Individual items — kebabs, gyros, shawarma, etc. — are also available.
10. Hans Crawfish
Houston is blessed with a plentitude of patio bars across the city. The only downside, if you had to draw a downside, would be that most if not all prohibit outside food and beverages. In Tomball, you can enjoy the pleasant outdoor patio at Hans Crawfish. Befit with tables, yard games, and a stage for live music, you can enjoy your own beverages of choice in an open door atmosphere while eating your weight in crawfish, which we strongly encourage.
See also: 10 Essential Spring Bucket List Experiences In Houston