Huddle up inside these local watering holes.
Houston doesn’t get cold often, but when it does…*shudders*. While the cold winter air might compel you to stay inside and bundle up in a blanket next to your smart TV, you could keep yourself in warm in good company in some of our favorite bars. Consult our list below to see where to find ample shelter, and ample whiskey to keep you warm through the winter in Houston. [Featured image: @anvilhouston]
When looking for a cozy place to warm up with a whiskey, seek refuge at Anvil bar. Billed as Houston’s first bar devoted to classic cocktails, Anvil Bar and Refuge on Westheimer has plenty of holiday spirits to go around – precisely 100, in fact. Plus, with enough holiday decor to bring a twinkle to an elf’s eye, Anvil makes a perfect place to warm up this holiday season.
2. Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lounge
The Main Street speakeasy is the definition of a hidden gem. Unmarked and deviously tucked away behind a deceptive, nondescript “Attorney at Law” door, a dark and mysterious stairwell leads visitors up to a dim-lit cocktail haven. Here, the bartenders know what they’re doing and will set you up right with your drink of choice. As for their second story patio, you could definitely do worse.
3. Grand Prize
Grand Prize is tucked in the east edge of Montrose north of Museum Park. Driving by, the bar first gives off the vibe of a low-key house party – what with the front porch, music, and the colorful array of lights twinkling in the front window and all. Yes, the celestial network of festive lights sparkle on both floors of the endearingly crust punk palace. It’s a solid hang any way you cut it – you don’t even need friend.
Formerly a shelter for LGBTQ youth, the over 100-year-old house in Montrose retains its homeyness down to the last nook and cranny. Fit with a brick fireplace, wooden tables, vintage furniture, and a spacious lawn, Bacco Wine Garden is a hidden gem and choice local to wind down at the end of the day.
Nothing warms you up like a glass full of whiskey. Located in the Omni Hotel, La Reserve Whiskey Lounge is an intimate space furnished with leather seating and wooden accents, offering a cozy interior in which to sip on a variety of whiskey blends, premium and local.
6. Poison Girl
As with its moody interior, deep red walls, scant lighting, and shrine of spirits, so does the Westheimer haunt offer an idyllic atmosphere for various drinking moods. Whether you want to take the edge off after a day at work, straight drown your sorrows, smooth over first date jitters, or catch up with friends – all forms are doable at Poison Girl. The bar is stocked with a proper whiskey selection with bartenders that know how to mix a cocktail. Plus there’s pinball machines and a spacious back patio.
7. La Carafe
While not a speakeasy, La Carafe Wine Bar on Congress St. largely flies under the radar of Houston’s bar scene. Housed in a building built in 1847, the historic – and probably haunted – dive is believed to be the oldest bar in Houston. La Carafe offers an intimate and ambient atmosphere, fit with a chandelier, wax-crystallizing candles, antique relics of times past, and one damn good jukebox. Take the stairs up to their second-story balcony for an enchanting view of downtown.
While not a bar by definition, Agora on Westheimer offers a splendid variety of beer by the bottle, as well as red, white, and Greek wines. Furnished with antiques, complete with ornamental replica art pieces, the cozy wooded anterior makes for the perfect atmosphere to sit by a window and watch the world go by.
The Sweet bakery on Washington Avenue is unassuming enough. A quaint little bakery one might think. Sure, they’re 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.
10. How to Survive on Land and Sea
How To Survive On Land And Sea is a wine bar on the corner of Sampson and Harrisburg. With over 200 varieties of wine from across the globe, an enviable vinyl collection, and charcuterie boards par excellence, it makes for an ideal place to wine down in Second Ward.