Best Bars 2016

The 5 Best Bars in the West and Northwest

Including the best bar for Mom to unwind with her friends.

By Jeff Balke February 1, 2016 Published in the February 2016 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Shakespeare Pub

Image: Scott Doyle

Best Bar for Zydeco and 16th-Century Literature

Shakespeare Pub

You might not expect to find a blues/zydeco bar among Memorial’s million-dollar homes and O&G headquarters, but this sprawling pub has been going strong for two decades. Unpretentious and cool, it’s one of the last of the great live-music haunts in the city, with shows seven nights a week by some of the best local and regional blues, zydeco and folk artists around.

Best Bar for an Old-Fashioned with your Crème Brûlée

Brixology Crafted Cocktails

Located in the busy Vintage Park shopping center, this sleek little bar is a popular destination for a pre- or post-dinner (or movie) beverage and snack. Classic cocktails like the Tom Collins and Rye Old Fashioned pair nicely with brisket taquitos or crème brûlée. Careful: you may find yourself lingering well into dinner, or putting off that movie.

Best Bar for Singing Along to Movies

Alamo Drafthouse

Gone are the day when movies were popcorn-and-soda affairs. These days, filmgoers expect more, and this theater delivers with an impressive drink (and food) menu. The expansive bar offers specialty cocktails like the Flux Incapacitator (two of which really will send you Back to the Future), wine selected by master sommelier and local legend Guy Stout, and plenty of craft beer on draft and in bottles.

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Best Bar for Enjoying a Bacon PBJ with Your IPA

The Farm Drinkery

With a huge, ever-changing chalkboard of craft beer options and a wonderfully creative menu, this self-described “hippie dive bar,” tucked into a small strip center off of Louetta Road, is a hidden gem. Offering everything from the fan-favorite bacon PBJ with hand-cut potato chips to a seemingly endless supply of beers served in growlers, mason jars and even special birthday goblets, the place is serious about being both an eatery and a drinkery.

Best Bar for Mom to Unwind with Her Friends

Nextdoor Bar & Lounge

This surprisingly sleek ice house has a decidedly feminine vibe—the lone exception being the giant TVs tuned to sports, making this the best gals’ sports bar in Houston. Standout cocktails include the Lemon Berry Blast and the Muddled Berry Margarita, and there’s a solid wine list to boot. On nice evenings, the garage door goes up—we did call this an ice house—and guests hang out on the low-slung sofas lining the patio.


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