In our Where to Happy Hour series, we search Houston’s vast array of neighborhoods for the very best libations.
A mix of gorgeous Victorian buildings and modern mid-to-high-rises, the original founding point of the city is lined by soaring business centers, luxurious hotels, renovated and new housing, a plethora of bars and restaurants, a fantastic theater district, urban parks, art galleries and installations, sporting arenas, and even an entire underground tunnel system. Obviously, there’s plenty to do in Downtown, including some pretty excellent happy hours.
Where to Happy Hour in Downtown
- Batanga – On nice days, there’s no better spot to unwind than on the charming patio at this vibrant tapas bar and restaurant. Especially during happy hour, when you can grub on $2 tacos, two for $6 beef and poblano sliders, $6 flatbreads, and $5 to $8 nachos topped with things like chipotle queso, smoked jalapeño, adobo chicken, and carne asada. Wash it all down with $5 mojitos, sangria, and house wines or $3 select beers. Monday through Friday 3pm to 7pm. Click here for directions.
- Bovine & Barley – Head to this cool kids’ beer bar to enjoy $3 craft pints, $4 house wines, and $5 well cocktails alongside a lineup of $5 bar bites, including crispy chicken cracklings, buffalo wings with wasabi aioli, sesame ribeye rolls, and truffle poutine with rosemary, beef, and cheese. Daily 4pm to 7pm. Click here for directions.
- Brasserie du Parc – This classic French brasserie boasts an enclosed terrace (complete with a walk-up crêperie window) that overlooks Discovery Green. There, you’ll find Parisian-inspired eats and the fantastic “Green Hour,” a happy hour featuring $5 house wines and $6 cocktails kissed with bubbly, ginger beer, housemade liqueur, and absinthe. Sip them alongside a selection of $5 to $13 plates, from mussels marinières and ham crêpes to short rib sliders and frites au poivre. Sunday though Friday 4:30pm to 6:30pm. Click here for directions.
- Conservatory – Happy hour is offered every day of the week at this popular underground food hall and beer garden. That means you can get all draft pours for just $4, plus a smorgasbord of food specials from its food vendors, from personal pizzas at Arte Pizzeria to build your own poke bowls at Moku Bar. Daily 3pm to 7pm. Click here for directions.
- OKRA Charity Saloon – Not only can you imbibe on the cheap at one of Houston’s coolest watering holes, you can imbibe on the cheap one of Houston’s coolest watering holes for a cause. This charitable spot donates all of its proceeds to a different local non-profit each month, voted on by you as you enjoy $3 draft beers, $4 wells, and half-price wines by the glass. Tack on Cajun waffle fries, beer jerkey, and fried pickled okra, while you’re at it. Monday through Friday 4pm to 6:30pm. Click here for directions.
- MKT Bar – Adjoining Phoenicia Specialty Foods Downtown, this neighborhood café and bar offers a globally-inspired happy hour. Unwind with $5 wines, $3 to $4 beers, and a $6 cocktail of the day; and dig in to $5 shareables like za’atar-spiced shoestring fries and queso made with melted Beemster, sharp white cheddar, Gruyère, and kefalograviera cheeses. Monday through Friday 4pm to 6pm. Click here for directions.
- Xochi – Xochi is the latest concept from restaurateurs Tracy Vaught and Hugo Ortega (the minds behind spots like Backstreet Cafe, Hugo’s, and Caracol); and just like its predecessors, it makes a fantastic stop for libations. At happy hour, slurp wood-grilled oysters and oysters on the half shell for a reduced price alongside $6 cocktails (think margaritas, palomas, mojitos, and sangria), $6 glasses (or $22 bottles) of wine, and $3.50 to $4 beers. Monday through Friday 3pm to 6:30pm. Click here for directions.
- Other great options – Hit the chandelier-lit Hearsay Gastro Lounge for excellent happy hour cocktails and a cool, sexy vibe; grab an old fashioned or a local brew at Dean’s or a Moscow mule and sazerac at The Honeymoon Café & Bar; go for a big, bad, margarita-fueled happy hour at El Big Bad; enjoy tuna tartar tacos, truffle fries and rosé at Discovery Green’s The Grove; sip half-off tequilas and mezcals at Downtown’s coolest mezcaleria, The Pastry War; get fresh drinks alongside an enormous collection of vinyl at The Nightingale Room; and check out the whiskey-fueled happy hour at Reserve 101, or the beer-fueled one at Flying Saucer.