Destination: Downtown

Where to Drink Downtown Right Now

Nine of our favorite, can't-lose bars, for whatever mood you're in.

By Gwendolyn Knapp June 25, 2019 Published in the July 2019 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Warren's is a must-visit bar.

Image: Visit Houston

Under the Radar

Only at beloved dive Sunny’s can you escape all pretension with $1 Jell-O shots, buckets of beer, popcorn, and foosball, but also leave a much-cooler person, in possession of a coveted koozie that reads “Stolen from Sunny’s.” 


Saddle up to the dazzling bar at OKRA Charity Saloon, housed in a refurbished pre-Prohibition casino saloon, and enjoy your classic cocktail knowing that a portion of proceeds will go to a local nonprofit, adding to the $1.2 million that’s been donated since 2012.


You don’t have to sit in the gazebo inside Warren’s Inn—regulars never do—but we do recommend it at least once in your life, along with a good perusal of the incredible jukebox.


With its palpable history, complete with dripping candles and old-timey register, an evening at La Carafe is a romantic step back in time.


The charming Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge offers well-crafted  concoctions both whimsical and classic—either way, perfect for sipping on the balcony. 

Hidden Gem

At the top of the stairs in the back of bustling tequila purveyors The Pastry War, a door opens up to the ultra-swanky, intimate Tongue-Cut Sparrow, offering expertly crafted cocktails, exquisite glassware, and impeccable service. 

For the Dancers

Crimp that hair, put on your dancing shoes, and get down to all the ’80s jams you can stand at spacious, clubby Etro, the decade-old icon that relocated from Montrose to larger downtown digs last year.

Sleeper Hit

Housed in a once-prominent watch store inside the Southern Pacific Railroad Building, this low-key spot pays homage to its past with decor including safes and watch gadgetry, an impressive whiskey list, and even its name: Houston Watch Co. 

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