Houston Nightlife: The Best Bars in Chinatown

Photo courtesy of Vertigo Houston

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.

With the second-largest Indochinese population in the country (outside of LA), it’s no surprise that Houston’s Chinatown is impressive. Though the neighborhood was first established on the east side of Downtown, the cultural epicenter made its way to Southwest Houston in the 1980s and ‘90s. This expansive ‘hood, also referred to as Asiatown, is home to a thriving community, filled with a density of shops, local businesses, and awesome eats, though you may want to check out it’s nightlife options, too.

Note: For the purposes of this list, Chinatown is bounded by Hillcroft to the east, Dairy Ashford to the west, the Westpark Tollway to the north and Beechnut to the south. It includes the neighboring areas covering Greater Sharpstown as well as Alief.

The Best Bars in Chinatown

  • GiAu Bar n’ Bites – This Asiatown hotspot is known for mixing a traditional cocktail selection alongside creative drinks like the Asian Matcha-cha, Watermelon Soju, and Smokey Old Fashioned. You’ll also find a lineup of sake, wine, beer, and eats from char-grilled manila clams and spicy tuna tartar to fish sauce wings and pork belly tacos. The bar is open daily ‘til 2am. Click here for directions.
  • Neway Restaurant & Lounge – Late-night food, drinks, and karaoke are on the menu at this funky Chinatown restaurant and lounge. Nosh on pan-fried dumplings and duck wings, sip cocktails or share bottles, and rent out rooms for karaoke. Click here for directions.
  • Freestyle Milk Tea & KTV – With a dark, loungey vibe and menu of beer, wine, cocktails, milke tea, sushi, and poke, this karaoke bar makes for a fun night on the town. Click here for directions.
  • Cafe 101 – This local hangout makes killer drinks, from the Lychee Dream to a Mango Martini, and it offers a late-night reverse happy hour menu of eats on Monday to Thursday from 10pm to 2am. Be sure to also check out daily specials, from Hot Sake Tuesday to Wine-Down Wednesday with 50-percent off bottles. Click here for directions.
  • Napa Udon House and Wine Bar – If your idea of a good late-night includes wine and noodz, you’ll want to hit this udon house and wine bar. It offers fun stuff like live music, Japanese street food, wine, beer, sake and more. Click here for directions.
  • Yes KTV – Not only does this upscale karaoke bar have private rooms that you can rent for parties and over 10,000 songs in English in addition to songs in Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai – it’s also a BYOB karaoke club. The biggest room can fit up to 24 people, with smaller rooms available for groups of eight or less. Yes KTV also rocks non-alcoholic beverages and Chinese food for sale at the bar. Click here for directions.

More Great Bar Options in Chinatown

Dance the night away to Latin music at Azteca Bar Nightclub and Vertigo Club, check out “Afro-Centric” after-hours spot New Ice, or hit the dancefloor at Cloud 9 on Harwin; check out live music and shows at the Diamond Club; and shoot pool at M.J. Pool House.

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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 .