Houston Nightlife: The Best Bars Near the Texas Medical Center

Photo courtesy of Little Woodrow's Rice Village

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.

Just south of the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center is the largest medical complex in the world, hosting over 60 medical institutions and home to some of the brightest minds in medicine. The roughly two-square-mile district also rocks a prime location, with proximity to parks, restaurants, a college campus, and plenty of places to grab a drink.

The Best Bars Near the Texas Medical Center

  • The Ginger Man – Craft beer enthusiasts can cozy up with a pint in this laidback pub. On nice nights, the tree-shaded patio is the perfect place to take your pick of specialty beers from around the world, including featured beers of the month. Fun times include trivia on Mondays and live music on Thursdays. Click here for directions.
  • Grand Prize Bar – One of Houston’s coolest dives sits off Banks in the Museum District. But don’t be fooled by the laidback atmosphere—this two-story bar is known to make some serious craft cocktails. Shoot a game of pool, hit the jukebox, and sip great drinks. Click here for directions.
  • Little Woodrow’s – The Rice Village Little Woody’s is known for its fun-loving patio bar vibe and a lineup of weekly drink specials, from $4 Draft Mania Sunday Nights to Tuesday Trivia and Giant Mug Nights. Join the “Big 50 Club” to leisurely work your way through 50 beers and earn a spot on the Wall of Fame. Click here for directions.
  • Under the Volcano – A tour of Houston’s dive bar scene isn’t complete without a trip to this kitschy watering hole off Bissonnet, which has been keeping locals quenched since 1989. Hit the Day of the Dead-themed bar to sip Latin American-inspired drinks from Strawberry Basil Margaritas and Palomas to an Añejo Old Fashioned; pair them with tacos, made-to-order guac’, and carne guisada; and look out for fun events like Steak Night, live music, and Vinyl Nights. Click here for directions.
  • Upstairs Bar & Lounge Perched above Hungry’s in Rice Village, this second-story terrace and bar is nestled among the neighborhood’s beautiful live oaks. Snag a booth or couch and unwind with a glass of wine, or try the roster of cocktails featuring fresh juices made in-house—from blackberry and ginger-infused margaritas to classic Old Fashioneds with orange peel and a barspoon of simple syrup. And when you’re hungry, there’s bar bites like Gulf shrimp tacos, sriracha wings, and a lineup of pizzas. Late-night hours include Friday and Saturday ‘til 1am and Wednesday and Thursday ’til midnight. Click here for directions.

More Great Bar Options Near the Texas Medical Center

Check out the lineup of fun watering holes near Rice University, Rice Village/West University, the Museum District, and NRG Park.

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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 .