In our Where to Happy Hour series, we search Houston’s vast array of neighborhoods for the very best happy hour food and drink deals.
Though River Oaks is truly a 1,100-acre residential community, most locals consider its boundaries to expand beyond the homes. The classy neighborhood is home to a wealth of restaurants and shopping destinations (including the new River Oaks District), beautiful gardens and a classic theater. So it’s no surprise the bustling ‘hood is a great place to be during happy hour.
Note: For the purposes of this list, River Oaks is bound by Memorial to the north, Westheimer to the south, Dunlavy to the east, and 610 to the west.
Where to Happy Hour in River Oaks
- Américas – Hit the bar, lounge or patio to enjoy daily happy hour featuring select vinos by the glass ($5.95) and bottle ($29) alongside Américas’ Latin American classics. Small plates will run you $5.95 to $7.95, with offerings including ahi tuna ceviche, carnival-style lobster corndogs with lemon chardonnay aioli, chicken and beef empanadas, pork cubanos, and ethereally light chicken wings with brown butter, habanero-papaya sauce and bleu cheese. Daily 4pm to 7pm; Thursday all day. Click here for directions.
- Backstreet Cafe – At happy hour, this charming Houston institution offers discounted drinks and a menu of bar bites. Relish a bottle of half-off rosé or $6 select wines and $24 select bottles, sip $5 sangria and wild berry mimosas or $5 to $6 classic cocktails, and quench your thirst with $5.50 to $6 Texas craft brews. Or you can go for the gold with the Burger and Bottle special—that’s Hugo’s avocado and chipotle aioli-packed Chihuahua cheeseburger with a half-bottle of Shiraz for $30. Also on the menu? Mini lobster rolls, chicken satay, and grilled salmon tacos. Monday through Friday 3pm to 7pm. Click here for directions.
- Blu at Brenner’s on the Bayou – While enjoying a steak dinner at the charming lodge restaurant is always a great idea, so is happy hour at Blu Bar, the chic patio bar set right on the lush Buffalo Bayou. Get picturesque views and take in the fresh air while you sip on $4 craft beers and $7 cocktails, martinis, and wines by the glass. The bar bites menu features dishes like duck confit empanadas, parmesan frites, roasted oysters, tuna tartar tacos, and angus beef sliders. Monday through Thursday 5pm to 7pm. Click here for directions.
- Eloise Nichols Grill & Liquors – You’ll feel the easy-going, neighborhood vibe and living room feel of this cool newcomer at first sip. Daily happy hour means you can get $1 off all beers and wines by the glass and $7 house cocktails alongside $1 oysters and $4 to $7 small plates. Nosh on hummus with peanut dukka, feta and crispy pita, hot chicken with house pickles, caramelized brussels sprouts finished with cane syrup fish sauce, and a sweet sourdough cheddar burger. Daily 3pm to 6pm. Click here for directions.
- The Kitchen at the Dunlavy – Set right in Buffalo Bayou Park, this eye-catching glass treehouse in the sky hosts pop-up happy hours when it isn’t closed for private events. Wash down cheeseboards and prosciutto and pate plates with $8 cocktails like the spiked agua fresca, spicy paloma, and house whiskey sour. The $12 Dunlavy basil smash is another hit, with tequila, muddled basil, ginger, and lemon. Follow Facebook for hours. Click here for directions.
- Other great options – Linger over “le bar bites” like crispy stuffed chicken wings and summer rolls at Vietnamese hotspot, Le Colonial; slurp $1 oysters in the oyster room at State of Grace; get $5 drink specials, Cicchetti and pizzette in the bar and lounge at the see-and-be-seen vibe Taverna; and look out for a happy hour launch from California-import Bosscat Kitchen & Libations.