Houston Nightlife: The Best Bars in Montrose

Photo courtesy of Anvil Bar & Refuge

Houston comes alive at night, with dives, cocktail bars, and nightclubs dotting the city. In our Houston Nightlife: Best Bars series, we’ll cover the best watering holes for night owls in neighborhoods and communities around Greater Houston.

Originally imagined as a planned community and streetcar hub, this largely residential neighborhood has morphed into the heart of Houston. Today, Montrose‘s eccentricity shines through a mosaic of century-old bungalows and sky-scraping townhomes, awe-inspiring art galleries and theaters, funky shops and local businesses, stellar restaurants and cafes, and plenty of offbeat bars, music dives, and places to get an evening drink.

Note: For the purposes of this list, Montrose is defined by this map.

The Best Bars in Montrose

  • Anvil Bar & Refuge One of the first craft cocktail bars on the scene back in 2009, this stunner was the first in a series of winning spots from drink kingpin Bobby Heugel and partner Steve Flippo. Take refuge with its list of original cocktails and 100 classics complete with bitters, brandy, vermouth, and even flames; or stop by to indulge in the break-even bottle program, which gets you access to exquisite and rare top-shelf spirits at cost. Click here for directions.
  • Bar Victor Off Montrose Boulevard, this sultry lounge has a French touch, offering plush velvet seating, a sexy ambiance, and a variety of French delicacies and cocktails. Enjoy a classic Spritz Royal and Vesper Martini alongside gooey brie, duck foie gras, and croque monsieur; and jam along to the resident DJ. Click here for directions.
  • Goodnight Charlie’s Have a honky-tonkin’ good time at this watering hole and two-steppin’ dancehall. Lookout for a lineup of live music from country and bluegrass to mariachi while you sip the goodstuff—mainly whiskey, bourbon, and cocktails made with whiskey and bourbon. There’s also craft beer, wine, frozen drinks, and eats like fried taquitos, queso fundido, crispy pork belly tacos, and five leches funnel cake. Click here for directions.
  • Present Company Transport yourself to Palm Springs at this bright and funky bar, which rocks a sprawling patio, neon signs, lush garden walls, and a laidback vibe. Sip stellar signature cocktails, including the “Stranger Danger,” kissed with watermelon vodka, lime, honeysuckle liqueur, watermelon-kiwi sparkling water, and Prosecco and served out of a La Croix can; and lookout for late-night specials. Click here for directions.

More Great Bars in Montrose

Sip wine at Bacco Wine Garden and Boheme and food and craft beers at The Hay Merchant and Rudyard’s; hit the rooftop at Rosemont or the patio at La Grange; head to lively gay bars like South Beach and JR’s Bar and Grill; and get the sports bar vibe at Beer Market and Revelry on Richmond. Love dives? Check out cult favorite spots like the whiskey-fueled Poison Girl, Lola’s Depot, Griff’s, Cecil’s PubCatbirds, and PJ’s Sports Bar, which hosts an epic Friday night karaoke party.

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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .