Best Bar for Cheap Thrills
Located along the Westheimer curve in Montrose is this Hill Country–inspired beer house outfitted in hubcaps and neon signs. Crowds—heavy on North Face–clad A&M alums, boot-scooting beauties and basketball fans—descend here for the 15 high-def plasma screens, dog-friendly patio and cheap and hearty food, especially the gigantic burgers, which are half off on Mondays.
Best Bar for Blowing All Your Laundry Change
This narrow little space is a neighborhood favorite not only for its cheap beer and cocktails, but also for its solo live-music sets and eclectic décor (Instagram pics of the patio’s giant Kool-Aid Man are a must). Shimmy past the bar, and you’ll find a row of old-school pinball machines that blink and ring and bonk with the siren song of an evening—the perfect place to lose a pocketful of quarters to the gods of the silver ball.
Best Bar for Pretending the “New” Montrose Never Happened
This slightly leaning brick mess of a sports bar pays no mind to hip Newstonians buying up plots of land in the surrounding neighborhood. Not only are the walls here festooned with sports memorabilia from the ’90s, blinking twinkle lights and old college pennants, but they’re stacked with 24-packs of Bud Light. At the bar, Patrick "PJ" Mastro himself (see left) stands at the ready, prepared to pull you a beer and chat about the game (any game) and the girl who got away. No handlebar mustaches or cool dads allowed.
Best Bar to Visit with Out-of-Towners
West Alabama Ice House
Operating since the 1920s, this used to be a place where locals picked up hunks of ice to help them stay cool during Houston’s torturous summers. Along the way, someone added a few picnic tables to the open-air spot, and it became a place to stop in for a beer. Today the dog-friendly ice house also offers wraparound patio seating, Ring-on-a-String, an endless supply of long-necks, and the Tacos Tierra Caliente food truck, making it the perfect Houston hangout.
Best Bar for Guaranteed Entertainment
If the collection of dartboards, pool tables, pub grub and beer at Rudz, home to the long-running Montrose Beer & Gun Club, isn’t enough to keep you amused for an evening, just head upstairs. The second floor hosts nightly entertainment, with everything from open-mic comedy to poetry readings, local bands and Grown Up Story Time’s BooTown reading series.