Houston Nightlife: The Best Bars in The Heights

Photo courtesy of Lei Low Rum & Tiki Bar

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.

Dating back to the 1890s, this right and vibrant neighborhood is filled with historic architecture, thrifts, and mom and pop shops, and of course, a mosaic of excellent spots at which to drink.

Note: For the purposes of this list, the Heights is bound by Katy Freeway to the south, I-610 to the north, I-45 to the east, and north Shepherd to the west.

The Best Bars in the Heights

  • Better Luck TomorrowFrom the cocktail king Bobby Heugel (Anvil), culinary mastermind Justin Yu (Theodore Rex), and seasoned bar vet Steve Flippo, this cool kid’s hangout is a place to gather, drink, and eat from a menu of elevated pub grub. Linger over expertly fashioned cocktails, like the gin and grapefruit-kissed Salty Cat and whiskey-fueled Japanese Highball, and pair the drinks with schmaltz and brown butter fried chicken, Persian flatbread with carrot spread, and your new favorite burger, The Party Melt. Click here for directions.
  • Eight Row FlintNamed after the variety of corn that is believed to be the first that used to make American whiskey, this new school icehouse is known for its extensive selection of whiskey and killer housemade tacos. We can’t think of a better combination. Hit the spot to taste from proprietary barrels, sip cocktails from the Appalachian Peach Brandy Old Fashioned to the Eight Row Frosé, chill out with beers and wines, and nosh on eats like Berkshire pork and 44 Farms beef cheek tacos, Sonora dogs, and street corn hushpuppies. Click here for directions.
  • Heights Bier Garten and Worcester’s Annex From minds behind Midtown’s Wooster’s Garden, this Heights drink and food garden offers the perfect mix of ample outdoor space—packed with swing seats, hammocks, and umbrella-shaded picnic tables—and casual feel. Flanked by two bars, the Worcester’s Annex side offers craft cocktails; and on the other, Heights Bier Garten, boasts an excellent selection of wine and beer (94 taps of them, to be exact). Click here for directions.
  • Johnny’s Gold Brick Get a Heights’ vintage feel and throwback cocktails at this hip drinkery off Yale. The flawless roster of classics ranges from Manhattans and Moscow Mules to the Boiler Maker, a miniature Old Fashioned with a Lone Star chaser. Each can be had for $8 a pop. Click here for directions.
  • Lei Low Don’t be fooled by Lei Low’s unassuming exterior; inside you’ll find a tropical paradise that rocks some serious tiki spirit. Here, the cheeky libations come adorned with hula girls, umbrellas, tropical twists, and rum, of course. Get everything from classic Painkillers to contemporary tiki creations like the Chai Diver. Click here for directions.
  • The White Oak BarsWith a lineup of fun-loving bars just a hop, skip and a jump away from one another, this popular nightlife strip deserves a mention of its own. Start off near Studewood and crawl your way westward along White Oak. On the route, you’ll hit craft cocktail bar The Ready Room, the beer-fueled sports bar Little Woodrow’s, casually-cool icehouse Bobcat Teddy’s, locally tapped Public House, rowdy burger and beer sports pub Christian’s Tailgate, and cozy indoor/outdoor spot Onion Creek. After your crawl, finish up with queso and gravy-smothered fries and po’boys at BB’s Café. Click here for directions.

More Great Bar Options in the Heights

Sip local suds and chill out in the yard at D&T Drive Inn; hit the taproom at Harold’s Restaurant, Bar and Terrace; get the old school Texas dive feel at Alice’s Tall Texan; unwind at Sonoma Wine Bar; and check out the Shady Acres bars on the westside of the Heights.

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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 .