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Beckrew Wine House

Image: Lauren Marek

Best Bar for an Artisanal Honey Pairing

Beckrew Wine House

Also a winner in the Best Bar That Looks Like a Crate & Barrel Catalog category, this elegant spot offers a respite from the crazed singles scene that can take over other wine bars. (Really need to pick up a date? Head to the Whole Foods across the street.) It offers an interesting menu, too. Try the artisanal honeys, served with fruit and bread for dipping, with one of the smartly curated wine flights or something from the extensive by-the-glass selection. Our favorite? The wild lavender honey with a beautiful Bandol from Provence.

Best Bar for Potentially Drinking Next to the Bush Family

Armando’s

When you’re neighbors with the Kinders, McNairs and Sarofims, where do you go for a drink? To this upscale Mexican restaurant/bar, which since 1978 has been the go-to for the River Oaks set, who belly up to the bar on Thursday nights for the type of ritzy, El Millonario Margarita–fueled evening that feels like it should be invite-only, but never is—because, above all, this is Houston.

Best Bar for a Lamar High School Reunion

Lizzard’s Pub

You didn’t go to Lamar? Congrats, you’re now a virtual alum, just by virtue of entering this old house and its many rooms (fireplace room, Skee-Ball room, darts room). The pleasantly divey place has managed to maintain an air of a just-cleaned frat house despite years of gentrification in the surrounding area.

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Best Bar for a St. John’s School Reunion

The Owl

Do you prefer the smell of fresh paint to that of old beer? Your call, buddy. This is the newer, shinier alternative to Lizzard’s, which is to say that what it lacks in soul it makes up for by allowing patrons to host out-of-town friends and well-heeled fiancées without having to explain how to jiggle the toilet handle just right. The well-stocked jukebox here is appropriately old-school, by the way, putting the wall-mounted Internet unit at Lizzard’s to shame.

Best Bar for People-Watching

The V Lounge at Eddie V’s

Post up to the oval-shaped bar at this swanky West Ave seafood palace, and enjoy a live show just as entertaining as the swinging sounds from nightly bands like the Blue Monks or the Mark Goodwin Trio. Sit back, order champagne and oysters, and watch the parade of over-the-top outfits, fancy footwear, carefully coiffed hair, fabulous furs and May-December romances go by.

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