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Juliet’s entrance, which looks like a movie theater with bright lights.
A steakhouse-speakeasy, Juliet is one of Houston’s most exciting dining destinations.
In-House Social

12 Essential Houston Speakeasies to Spice Up Your Night

Spill your secrets — not your cocktails — at some of Houston’s most alluring and hidden hotspots

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A steakhouse-speakeasy, Juliet is one of Houston’s most exciting dining destinations.
| In-House Social

A throwback to the Prohibition era when bars had to be hidden, speakeasies have found a new light in today’s drinking landscape, adding a heavy dose of mystique and intrigue to what may be an otherwise average night out.

Luckily, Houston is home to many exciting new and tried-and-true watering holes that offer a whole lot more behind their doors than what the eye originally sees. There’s a steakhouse disguised as a movie theater, cocktail bars that look like candy stores, and unassuming doors that will lead you to some of the best bartenders, and thus, drinks in town. Here are some of the best speakeasies Clutch City has to offer.

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Lei Low

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Much like their name, this unassuming Heights bar may be somewhat hard to find, but the hunt is worth it. Look for a simple “Aloha” adorned door outside of Joe’s Food Store, and hop into one of the coolest tiki bars in Houston. Expect pirate-themed tropical creations such as the “Blackbeard’s Booty” — a knockout punch of gold rum, Madeira, banana brandy, pineapple, and grapefruit. All drinks are served in one-of-a-kind glassware shaped in esoteric, island-themed shapes, such as treasure chests and hula girls.

Patton's

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Look to your left and you may imagine that you’re dining with the Rat Pack at this buzzy Heights newcomer. Nestled inside the Heights dining destination, Savoir, Patton’s is a 38-seat homage to vintage old-world American steakhouses of yesteryear. This speakeasy-style hideaway plays all the classics from rib-eyes and New York strips to shrimp cocktails, all while offering tableside cocktail service alongside jazz performances.

Patton’s dark and moody dining area, illuminated by small lamps and chandeliers.
Patton’s moody dining area will make your experience feel like the best-kept secret.
Barrett Doke

Kanpai Club

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If you know, you know. Located adjacent to Hando in a secret alleyway, this 10-seat speakeasy bar serves up some of the most innovative cocktails which change each season. Expect mixologist-approved drinks with an Asian twist from yuzu white negronis to shochu highballs, and order small bites from next door, including its crispy chicken kara-age or wagyu kushiyaki skewers.

an array of tropical cocktails sitting on a bar, including a drink served in a coconut-shaped mug with a tiny umbrella
Cheeky drinks and delicious bits. What more could you want?
Kanpai Club

Sugar Room

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Walk into this bar, and you might mistake it for a dessert shop. A few steps in, though, and you’ll be transported to a vibrant, Prohibition-style bar complete with a spacious patio. The cocktails here are seasonally rotating, and like their “Hef” — a Hennessy XO, pear, honeycomb, and flamed apple-vanilla bitter concoction, the drinks are always mindfully crafted.

HandleBar

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This retro-themed watering hole is already one of the most popular bars in Houston, but its secret Tom Selleck mustache-themed room gives it the speakeasy nod. The secret “Magnum Room” is an homage to Selleck’s iconic 80’s series Magnum P.I. and is over the top in a tongue-in-cheek way, complete with tiki-themed cocktails such as the Kudu Buck — a mind-melter of a drink featuring two types of rum, Spanish Licor 43, Campari and passionfruit.

Houston Watch Company

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Located in the historic Southern Pacific Railroad building Downtown, this former watch shop and low-key speakeasy is a great place to get an Old Fashioned and pretend you’re an extra in Boardwalk Empire. From bourbon and rye to Japanese whiskey, brown liquor is plentiful here, and the cocktails are straightforward and spirit-heavy.

Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge

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This downtown cocktail bar is hidden atop a law office sign and accessed through a creepy staircase, but past these haunts lies one of the best bars in Houston, period. Armed with a large spirits and wine list, the bartenders at Bad News Bar thoughtfully mix together unique ingredients into mind-numbingly innovative cocktails that change seasonally, all of which can be enjoyed on their large patio.

Notsuoh

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Next door to fellow speakeasy Dean’s Downtown, this acid trip of a bar may be one of the most eccentrically designed spaces in town. From stained glass mosaics to mannequins to spiral staircases, Notsuoh — or “Houston” backward — might have you in a tailspin, either from the ambiance or their craft cocktails and strong pours. Either way, there’s never a dull moment here.

Dean's Downtown

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Blink and you might miss this clandestine downtown drinking hotspot. Named and modeled after a 1940s-era department store of the same name, the bar is decorated with old-time wood furniture and houses the oldest electric elevator in all of Texas. Dean’s is the complete embodiment of a true speakeasy with classic drinks and their own specialties such as their house shot, made with Ole Smoky Apple moonshine, orange, and house-made vanilla cinnamon bitters. Plainly put — a drink here is a blast into Houston’s past.

Bandista

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One of the ritziest and most exclusive cocktail experiences in the city is quietly tucked away in a bookcase at the Four Seasons Hotel. You read that right — and if that’s not mysterious enough, you need a code to enter. But once in, prepare to be wowed with innovative cocktails and hefty pours of the rarest premium spirits, all served up in vintage glassware. The lounge only houses 20 seats so reservations are a must. Bonus: Score one of the best views of the Downtown skyline here.

Marfreless

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No list of essential dive bars or speakeasies can go without a mention of Marfreless. This River Oaks establishment has been a staple of the Houston nightlife scene for over 40 years. While they might have moved locations and changed ownership, the trademark blue door is still there, and the bar, home to one of the city’s most eclectic crowds, is still churning out stiff drinks.

Experience vibe dining at its fullest with the Old Hollywood glitz and glam of this speakeasy-steakhouse off of Westheimer. Complete with a mock movie theater entrance with a ticket counter and a concession stand, Juliet offers lavishly ornate dishes like the Golden Star — a tomahawk rib-eye wrapped in 24-karat gold. Cocktails here are equally as show-stopping, such as the Godfather, plus its red-carpet-worthy dulce de leche chocolate dessert with bourbon caramel formed into a spherical ball that will make you feel like you won an Oscar.

The bar area of Juliet Restaurant.
Juliet is the perfect place to enjoy a steak or a cocktail with an Old Hollywood feel.
In-House Social

Lei Low

Much like their name, this unassuming Heights bar may be somewhat hard to find, but the hunt is worth it. Look for a simple “Aloha” adorned door outside of Joe’s Food Store, and hop into one of the coolest tiki bars in Houston. Expect pirate-themed tropical creations such as the “Blackbeard’s Booty” — a knockout punch of gold rum, Madeira, banana brandy, pineapple, and grapefruit. All drinks are served in one-of-a-kind glassware shaped in esoteric, island-themed shapes, such as treasure chests and hula girls.

Patton's

Look to your left and you may imagine that you’re dining with the Rat Pack at this buzzy Heights newcomer. Nestled inside the Heights dining destination, Savoir, Patton’s is a 38-seat homage to vintage old-world American steakhouses of yesteryear. This speakeasy-style hideaway plays all the classics from rib-eyes and New York strips to shrimp cocktails, all while offering tableside cocktail service alongside jazz performances.

Patton’s dark and moody dining area, illuminated by small lamps and chandeliers.
Patton’s moody dining area will make your experience feel like the best-kept secret.
Barrett Doke

Kanpai Club

If you know, you know. Located adjacent to Hando in a secret alleyway, this 10-seat speakeasy bar serves up some of the most innovative cocktails which change each season. Expect mixologist-approved drinks with an Asian twist from yuzu white negronis to shochu highballs, and order small bites from next door, including its crispy chicken kara-age or wagyu kushiyaki skewers.

an array of tropical cocktails sitting on a bar, including a drink served in a coconut-shaped mug with a tiny umbrella
Cheeky drinks and delicious bits. What more could you want?
Kanpai Club

Sugar Room

Walk into this bar, and you might mistake it for a dessert shop. A few steps in, though, and you’ll be transported to a vibrant, Prohibition-style bar complete with a spacious patio. The cocktails here are seasonally rotating, and like their “Hef” — a Hennessy XO, pear, honeycomb, and flamed apple-vanilla bitter concoction, the drinks are always mindfully crafted.

HandleBar

This retro-themed watering hole is already one of the most popular bars in Houston, but its secret Tom Selleck mustache-themed room gives it the speakeasy nod. The secret “Magnum Room” is an homage to Selleck’s iconic 80’s series Magnum P.I. and is over the top in a tongue-in-cheek way, complete with tiki-themed cocktails such as the Kudu Buck — a mind-melter of a drink featuring two types of rum, Spanish Licor 43, Campari and passionfruit.

Houston Watch Company

Located in the historic Southern Pacific Railroad building Downtown, this former watch shop and low-key speakeasy is a great place to get an Old Fashioned and pretend you’re an extra in Boardwalk Empire. From bourbon and rye to Japanese whiskey, brown liquor is plentiful here, and the cocktails are straightforward and spirit-heavy.

Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge

This downtown cocktail bar is hidden atop a law office sign and accessed through a creepy staircase, but past these haunts lies one of the best bars in Houston, period. Armed with a large spirits and wine list, the bartenders at Bad News Bar thoughtfully mix together unique ingredients into mind-numbingly innovative cocktails that change seasonally, all of which can be enjoyed on their large patio.

Notsuoh

Next door to fellow speakeasy Dean’s Downtown, this acid trip of a bar may be one of the most eccentrically designed spaces in town. From stained glass mosaics to mannequins to spiral staircases, Notsuoh — or “Houston” backward — might have you in a tailspin, either from the ambiance or their craft cocktails and strong pours. Either way, there’s never a dull moment here.

Dean's Downtown

Blink and you might miss this clandestine downtown drinking hotspot. Named and modeled after a 1940s-era department store of the same name, the bar is decorated with old-time wood furniture and houses the oldest electric elevator in all of Texas. Dean’s is the complete embodiment of a true speakeasy with classic drinks and their own specialties such as their house shot, made with Ole Smoky Apple moonshine, orange, and house-made vanilla cinnamon bitters. Plainly put — a drink here is a blast into Houston’s past.

Bandista

One of the ritziest and most exclusive cocktail experiences in the city is quietly tucked away in a bookcase at the Four Seasons Hotel. You read that right — and if that’s not mysterious enough, you need a code to enter. But once in, prepare to be wowed with innovative cocktails and hefty pours of the rarest premium spirits, all served up in vintage glassware. The lounge only houses 20 seats so reservations are a must. Bonus: Score one of the best views of the Downtown skyline here.

Marfreless

No list of essential dive bars or speakeasies can go without a mention of Marfreless. This River Oaks establishment has been a staple of the Houston nightlife scene for over 40 years. While they might have moved locations and changed ownership, the trademark blue door is still there, and the bar, home to one of the city’s most eclectic crowds, is still churning out stiff drinks.

Juliet

Experience vibe dining at its fullest with the Old Hollywood glitz and glam of this speakeasy-steakhouse off of Westheimer. Complete with a mock movie theater entrance with a ticket counter and a concession stand, Juliet offers lavishly ornate dishes like the Golden Star — a tomahawk rib-eye wrapped in 24-karat gold. Cocktails here are equally as show-stopping, such as the Godfather, plus its red-carpet-worthy dulce de leche chocolate dessert with bourbon caramel formed into a spherical ball that will make you feel like you won an Oscar.

The bar area of Juliet Restaurant.
Juliet is the perfect place to enjoy a steak or a cocktail with an Old Hollywood feel.
In-House Social

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