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The Pastry War
The Pastry War
Eric Sauseda/Groovehouse

10 Houston Bars With Games for Holiday Guests

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The Pastry War
| Eric Sauseda/Groovehouse

Since we've already assembled a list of local bartenders' top picks for underrated bars, we figure there's another void to fill: the best bars with games. And around this time, you'll likely need a few places to take guests visiting for the holidays if you've been cooped up inside all day. While there are tons of bars with darts, pool tables and board games, we also considered the cocktails, beer or booze selections. So, here we've compiled a list of the best spots that meet our criteria: good liquid and a fun & laid-back crowd. We whittled our list down to ten, but let us know if we missed a good spot.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cottonwood

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3422 N Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77018
(713) 802-0410
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For bags, bocce and foosball in Garden Oaks, there's no other place. Two cask engines and 33 taps of beer, plus a creative menu of cocktails are a great addition to the inventive menu of bites like smoked salmon deviled eggs, wings and stuffed patty burgers. Plus, the live music on weekends and TVs showing the game make it a good option for someone of any age.

2. Hans' Bier Haus

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2523 Quenby St
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 520-7474
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For good draft beer, serious bocce and a fun crowd of beer-loving bartenders and customers who are often regulars, head to this Rice Village bar. They offer brews from most--if not all--local breweries.

3. Poison Girl

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1641 Westheimer Rd, Ste B
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 527-9929
This whiskey mecca has several pinball machines lined up in the back, just before the patio. It's a Montrose classic, kind of dive-y and rough around the edges, and that's just why we like it. (Just don't order an Appletini like one unfortunate soul did on a recent night.)

4. Voodoo Queen

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322 Milby St
Houston, TX 77003
This bar from Moon Tower Inn owners Brandon Young and Evan Shannon has a pool table, killer jukebox and dart boards. The black light-illuminated bar sees bartenders serve up boat drinks, a newly added hot toddy and Tiki cocktails.

5. The Original OKRA Charity Saloon

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924 Congress St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 237-8828
This downtown bar in a historic building isn't just beautiful in its stripped-down, rustic interior, they also have a fun--and very photogenic--shuffleboard table at the front. The back of the bar boasts a pool table. It's definitely not a place to take older relatives looking for a quiet whiskey lounge on the weekend. OKRA [Photo: Julie Soefer]

6. The Hay Merchant

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1100 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 523-9805
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The beer bar dedicated to serving beer as it would taste at its source--or better, even-- is also a fun place. Recently added pinball machines plus a menu from Erin Smith and Chris Shepherd ensure that your guests will find something good to eat; even if they don't like beer. Although owner Kevin Floyd won't leave a bad keg on the line, so you're safe to take your pick. Hay Merchant [Photo: Facebook]

7. Brooklyn Athletic Club

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601 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 527-8328
While it's mostly a restaurant, the outdoor BACyard bar serves up basic cocktails. Head inside for a selection of craft beer and fancy concoctions. Our suggestion: Go here for brunch with family and stay for games that include croquet, bocce ball or badminton.

8. The Pastry War

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310 Main St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 226-7770
Dubbed the bar with the best margaritas in town, this recently opened downtown spot is surrounded by other high-energy places, so it's a good place to take holiday guests. The pool tables in the back--next to the retro car façade--seem to free up pretty often, even on a night when the bar is slammed with customers.

9. Liberty Station

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2101 Washington Ave
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 640-5220
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The smaller sibling to Cottonwood, this Washington Corridor bar offers bags, foosball and arcade games. The beer selection is carefully chosen, and the vibe here is laid-back and fun.

10. Lucky Strike

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1201 San Jacinto St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 343-3300
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While the drinks here are on the pricier side, it's still a fun place to take guests visiting for the holidays. Plus, this Pavilions bowling alley-meets-bar isn't too far from downtown's Main Street block of new bars and restaurants.

1. Cottonwood

3422 N Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77018
For bags, bocce and foosball in Garden Oaks, there's no other place. Two cask engines and 33 taps of beer, plus a creative menu of cocktails are a great addition to the inventive menu of bites like smoked salmon deviled eggs, wings and stuffed patty burgers. Plus, the live music on weekends and TVs showing the game make it a good option for someone of any age.
3422 N Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77018

2. Hans' Bier Haus

2523 Quenby St, Houston, TX 77005
For good draft beer, serious bocce and a fun crowd of beer-loving bartenders and customers who are often regulars, head to this Rice Village bar. They offer brews from most--if not all--local breweries.
2523 Quenby St
Houston, TX 77005

3. Poison Girl

1641 Westheimer Rd, Ste B, Houston, TX 77006
This whiskey mecca has several pinball machines lined up in the back, just before the patio. It's a Montrose classic, kind of dive-y and rough around the edges, and that's just why we like it. (Just don't order an Appletini like one unfortunate soul did on a recent night.)
1641 Westheimer Rd, Ste B
Houston, TX 77006

4. Voodoo Queen

322 Milby St, Houston, TX 77003
This bar from Moon Tower Inn owners Brandon Young and Evan Shannon has a pool table, killer jukebox and dart boards. The black light-illuminated bar sees bartenders serve up boat drinks, a newly added hot toddy and Tiki cocktails.
322 Milby St
Houston, TX 77003

5. The Original OKRA Charity Saloon

924 Congress St, Houston, TX 77002
This downtown bar in a historic building isn't just beautiful in its stripped-down, rustic interior, they also have a fun--and very photogenic--shuffleboard table at the front. The back of the bar boasts a pool table. It's definitely not a place to take older relatives looking for a quiet whiskey lounge on the weekend. OKRA [Photo: Julie Soefer]
924 Congress St
Houston, TX 77002

6. The Hay Merchant

1100 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006
The beer bar dedicated to serving beer as it would taste at its source--or better, even-- is also a fun place. Recently added pinball machines plus a menu from Erin Smith and Chris Shepherd ensure that your guests will find something good to eat; even if they don't like beer. Although owner Kevin Floyd won't leave a bad keg on the line, so you're safe to take your pick. Hay Merchant [Photo: Facebook]
1100 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006

7. Brooklyn Athletic Club

601 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77006
While it's mostly a restaurant, the outdoor BACyard bar serves up basic cocktails. Head inside for a selection of craft beer and fancy concoctions. Our suggestion: Go here for brunch with family and stay for games that include croquet, bocce ball or badminton.
601 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77006

8. The Pastry War

310 Main St, Houston, TX 77002
Dubbed the bar with the best margaritas in town, this recently opened downtown spot is surrounded by other high-energy places, so it's a good place to take holiday guests. The pool tables in the back--next to the retro car façade--seem to free up pretty often, even on a night when the bar is slammed with customers.
310 Main St
Houston, TX 77002

9. Liberty Station

2101 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007
The smaller sibling to Cottonwood, this Washington Corridor bar offers bags, foosball and arcade games. The beer selection is carefully chosen, and the vibe here is laid-back and fun.
2101 Washington Ave
Houston, TX 77007

10. Lucky Strike

1201 San Jacinto St, Houston, TX 77002
While the drinks here are on the pricier side, it's still a fun place to take guests visiting for the holidays. Plus, this Pavilions bowling alley-meets-bar isn't too far from downtown's Main Street block of new bars and restaurants.
1201 San Jacinto St
Houston, TX 77002

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