Houston Nightlife: The Best Bars in River Oaks

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Photo courtesy of Red Lion British Pub

Houston comes alive at night, with dives, cocktail bars, and nightclubs dotting the city. In our Houston Nightlife: Best Bars, we’ll cover the best night owl watering holes in each neighborhood.

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 for bars and nightlife, as well.

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.

The Best Bars in River Oaks

  • Camerata at Paulie’sAlso part of the Montrose neighborhood, this Westheimer wine bar boasts a knowledgeable, friendly staff to help you make your way through its cherry-picked wine selections, offered by the glass and bottle and organized by weight and structure, plus a selection of cider, beer, and miscellaneous fun (like sherry). Sip away and tack on snack plates from charcuterie and cheese to mezze and chocolates. Click here for directions.
  • Kenneally’s Irish PubIrish whiskeys, perfectly poured pints, and thin-crust bar pies are the name of the game at this convivial Irish pub. Pop inside for a quiet drink, hit the outside patio on nice days, and be sure to check out events from happy hour to St. Patty’s Day celebrations. Click here for directions.
  • Marfreless This sultry River Oaks bar and lounge has been a nightlife staple since 1972. After briefly closing, the popular “make-out bar” reopened and renovated under new ownership, with its iconic blue door hidden in plain sight at 2006 Peden. Click here for directions.
  • The Phoenix on Westheimer This neighborhood sports pub is as laidback as it gets, offering a jovial atmosphere for the game day alongside a laundry list of bottled and draught beers, wines and cocktails. Unwind with a game of darts or billiards, fill up on burgers, wraps, and fish and chips, and look out for events and specials like Thursday Steak Night and more. Click here for directions.
  • The Railyard Over on San Felipe, you’ll find this relaxed watering hole, complete with skeeball, a vintage photo booth, and screens for watching the games. Stop by to hit the rotating tap and check out weekly specials including Whiskey Wednesdays and Fireball Fridays. Click here for directions.
  • Red Lion British PubRocking an indoor fireplace and big red booths, you’ll want to cozy up with a pint or three at this friendly British pub. On nice days, you’ll also want to hit the patio, where you’ll find patio tables with private ice chests. Whatever you do, come hungry for its stellar lineup of pub fare, from lamb keema and shepherd’s pie to burgers and tandoori quesadillas. Click here for directions.
  • Other great options – Check out the pop-up happy hours at The Kitchen at the Dunlavy; get pre or post-dinner drinks at Blu at Brenner’s on the Bayou; visit The Tuck Room at iPic; and pull up a seat at White Star Bar at Frank’s Americana Revival.