Escape the heat and rain at icy Houston watering holes


We love the sunshine and don’t mind a little rain. But when that sunshine is accompanied by so much heat and humidity or when the rain comes down in sheets, sometimes you just have to duck inside to one of Houston’s dark and frostily air-conditioned bars for a cold one.

So we pulled together some of our favorite spots around Houston serve cold drinks that that offer cold air-conditioning in a cool, and typically dark environment. That doesn’t mean that they blotted out the sun necessarily, just stopped its downsides at the door.

  • Canyon Creek Café by Memorial Park – Situated on the quieter side of Westcott, just south of I-10, is the inviting, Austin-inspired Canyon Creek. It’s got a popular patio in the temperate months but shade-craving Houstonians know they can relax cool, crisp, and collected within its doors. The full bar and tasty menu make Canyon Creek a popular casual stop.
  • Local Pour Gastropub in River Oaks Once you get past the doors of this new gastropub in the River Oaks Shopping Center on West Gray, you’ll be enveloped by cold air and tasty smells. The bar features 48 taps, a robust wine list, and a menu of artisan cocktails.
  • Okra Charity Saloon in Downtown – Even with the natural light coming in through the greenhouse-like skylight in the back of the bar, Okra’s dark woods, brick walls, and convivial staff seem to keep the heat at bay. Oh, and the air-conditioning helps quite a bit too. Bonus: your drink purchase helps support Houston charities.
  • The Hay Merchant in Montrose – The warm rays of the sun seem powerless against the dark, cool interior of this craft beer bar on Westheimer. It has 80 beers on tap, and 30 of them are available for $3 each from 3pm to 6:30pm every day.
  • Yard House at CityCentre – Located overlooking the green at CityCentre, opt for a booth or a table in the back of the dark-wooded interior. You’ll feel cool and refreshed inside and out in no time.
  • Watson’s House of Ales in the Energy Corridor – Though possibly best known for its large and inviting beer garden impossibly tucked away along the Energy Corridor, Watson’s interior offers a crisp respite from the clammy Houston heat. High ceilings and stain-glassed windows help keep patrons cool as they choose from 20 beers on tap and a full service bar.
  • Baker Street Pub in Rice Village – Tucked alongside the large parking garage in Rice Village, you can park your car and walk directly into the bar without ever braving the direct heat and sunlight. The dark, British-themed pub can validate for up to three hours of free parking.


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