While Houston is home to many speakeasies, sports bars, Irish pubs, and Southern-inspired establishments, the real fun is in the nuance of a themed bar–from Tolkienesque cafes, to hair glam ’80s diners, and many more. Get a look at our list of our 9 favorite Houston themed bars and restaurants to plan your next cosplay night out.
1. Hobbit Cafe
You don’t have to journey all the way out to Mordor to enliven your Tolkien-esque fantasies. Here in Houston, just southwest of Montrose is The Hobbit Café. Since 1972, the café has served all the hobbits, elves, wizards, and dwarves the best food Middle Earth has to offer. Dine down here for first or second breakfast, stay til nightfall to indulge in some Shire-fresh mead.
📍 2243 Richmond Ave., Houston
2. Cherry Bar
Having just opened, Cherry Bar in Houston is part ’80s/’90s nightclub, part re-imagination of the best arthouse drama series known to humankind: Twin Peaks. It’s dreamy interior is a re-interpretation of the Red Room, a fictional extra-dimensional space as pictured in David Lynch’s cult-favorite series. Featuring a dramatic interplay of deep red lighting, jet black furnishings, and serrated zebra patterned-floor, visitors are welcome to dance their way through the void.
📍 308 Main St, Houston
From the Rubix Cube discoball, to MTV-inspired walls, John Hughes-movie lockers, year book photo cutout collage, vibrant artwork honoring ’80 heroes, wall of throwback album cover art, zany carpeting, and their retro collection of throwback gaming consoles, Hungry Like The Wolf is decked out head-to-toe in nostalgia. Embrace the return of all things ’80s at Hungry Like The Wolf, which has just opened at 920 Studemont St #900.
📍 920 Studemont St #900, Houston
4. The Maple Leaf
Traditional American sports might dominate the zillion broadcasting TVs at any given sports bar in Houston, but at The Maple Leaf – it’s all about hockey. The Montrose pub goes bar down on all things Canada and hockey, from their 24/7 game coverage, to the Canadian beer selection, bubble hockey set-up, and actual penalty box courtesy of the Aerodrome inside the bar, here is where Houston hockey fans can light the lamp.
📍 514 Elgin St, Houston
5. Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Houston’s oldest brewery honors Saint Arnold, the patron saint of brewers. From it’s (still relatively) new cathedral-inspired beer garden to its church-like restaurant (temporarily closed), the brewery is most devout in its fanatical-like commitment to crafting spirits. Come Sunday, come any day to pay homage to the gospel of good beer.
📍 2000 Lyons Ave, Houston
The Sweet bakery on Washington Avenue is unassuming enough. A quaint little bakery one might think. Sure, their location on Washington Avenue surrounded by some of the most action-packed weekend bars in the city is a little suspect, but otherwise the colorful selection of macaroons, cupcakes, and cookies would convince you that this bake shop has got nothing to hide. Which may make the existence of a high-end speakeasy all the more surprising.
A little detour past the pantry room leads you to a secret door that opens up to the Sugar Room. The high-class cocktail lounge has a retro-chic vibe: low-lit, somewhat posh with exposed brick walls, halo chandeliers, gold-trimmed drink trolleys, furnished with leather-bound couches and vintage, indigo-splashed wing chairs.
📍 5120 Washington Ave, Houston
7. Lei Low
The best Tiki bars are those that over-the-top. Tucked inside a strip center lies a hidden oasis that offers a tropical respite from city life. At Lei Low, Hawaiian shirts are encouraged, and rewarded come happy hour, with a menu that covers all rum-based surfside favorites.
📍 6412 N Main St C, Houston
8. Shoeshine Charlie’s Big Top Lounge
The Big Top Lounge is the colorful extension of The Continental Club. Befit with vintage circus paintings, kaleidoscopic lighting, and a hodgepodge of festive memorabilia, Big Top offers a carnival-like atmosphere to enjoy a live band, cheap beer, and good people.
📍 3714 Main St, Houston
Vigilance is required when visiting Wolfsmiths Coffee, less it be passed by and mistaken for an auto-body shop. On the one hand, however, this assumption would be correct. Wolfsmiths is in fact a fully operating motorcycle repair shop – one that happens to wheel out top notch burgers and coffee. Whether you got a motorcycle, leather jacket, or just a need for caffeine, you’ll want to peel in to Wolfsmiths Coffee.
📍 636 W 26th St, Houston