Best Restaurants 2018

The Best Bar Food in Houston

These five bars pay equal attention to both bites and refreshments.

By Brooke Viggiano August 17, 2018 Published in the September 2018 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Image: Jenn Duncan

In 2018, bars aren’t just for drinks, and restaurants aren’t just for food. Whatever you call them, these hybrids pay equal attention to both bites and refreshments.

Better Luck Tomorrow

Cocktail kingpin Bobby Heugel and culinary whiz Justin Yu are behind this funky Heights bar, the hottest hangout in the city. The signature “party melt” burger is a crispy-edged must, though you’ll want to bring friends and get the Taiwanese-style Hot-Star chicken and Persian flatbread, too. (Get everything on the short-ish menu for $99). Cocktails like the Cold-Fashioned—with bourbon, brandy, and rum—and the Seasonal Pimm’s Cup are crowd-pleasers. 

Goodnight Charlie’s

Bourbon is king—and the Texas two-step is in full swing—at this next-level Montrose honky-tonk. Get into the spirit with an Elijah Craig barrel-selection bourbon splashed with house-made ginger beer, or try an on-tap Boulevardier cocktail. Eats come in the form of cotija-studded elote, hot chicken and lamb barbacoa tacos, and the oh-so-addicting five-leches funnel cake. 

Image: Jenn Duncan

Night Heron

Locals park themselves inside on comfy couches or outside on the shaded patio at this casually cool spot from the Coltivare team—named after the birds that nest in Montrose’s century-old oaks—and order up crispy curry-spiced potatoes, jerk chicken sandwiches, natural wines by the glass, and riffs on classic cocktails. Our go-to is the Salty Dog, a bright honeysuckle vodka number kissed with grapefruit, black pepper, vanilla, and pink salt—perfect on a sunny day.

Holman Draft Hall

This striking indoor-outdoor Midtown beer hall (in the old VrSi Nightclub building) features a soaring pavilion and massive bar, where you’ll find 100 taps of beer, wine, cider, and mead, each properly temped thanks to a three-zone cooler, plus frozen cocktails including our favorite, the coconut-jalapeño-and-gin-infused Staycation. Enjoy the spectacular bar grub—tandoori chicken wings, shishito peppers, and bulgogi beef nachos—with a friend, on a swing.   

King’s BierHaus

Say prost! to good times at this bustling beer garden, a Shady Acres offshoot of Pearland favorite King’s Biergarten. The menu of German biers, wines on tap, and cocktails—think dill gimlets and ginger mules—is as expansive as the food menu. We especially like the smothered jaegerschnitzel, a two-and-a-half-pound crispy pork shank, and, at brunch, the restorative Hangover Sandwich packed with schnitzel, bacon, eggs, and cheese—best washed down with a biermosa.

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