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Enjoy truffle-topped pasta at Potente
Enjoy truffle-topped pasta at Potente
Potente/Facebook

Where to Dine and Drink In Downtown Houston

Barbecue, pizza, and excellent cocktails await

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Enjoy truffle-topped pasta at Potente
| Potente/Facebook

Home to the city's most prominent politicians and executive juggernauts, pro-athletes and professionals alike, Downtown Houston is practically bursting at the seams with drinking, dining, and nightlife options. Even if you don't really fit into any of those categories, there's still plenty to love about this neighborhood.

Use the map below as a guide to Downtown’s best dining and drinking establishments, serving up everything from quick coffee and pastries to chic cocktails, pastas, and so much more.

Is your favorite Downtown restaurant missing from this map? Make a case in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Public Services Wine & Whisky

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202 Travis St Ste 100
Houston, TX 77002

With its dizzying selection of sherries, wines, whiskeys and more, Public Services is a lush's dream. The bar bites, like fancy tinned fish and cured meats served with mustard and pickles, are from the mind of Theodore Rex chef Justin Yu.

Public Services/Facebook

2. Hearsay

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218 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 225-8079
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A perfect date night destination, Hearsay serves up comfort food made with fancy ingredients. Share plates like lobster tempura, cheesesteak egg rolls, and deviled eggs, then try one of the heartier options, like fried chicken or seared, crab-topped salmon.

Hearsay/Facebook

3. Niko Niko's

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301 Milam St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 224-6198
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Gyros, spanakopita and falafel, oh my! The Market Square’s open-air version of the city's favorite Greek restaurant is an essential lunch destination. Enjoy a prepared boxed lunch complete with hummus, pita, gyro meat and dessert, or in the mornings, stop by the stand for iced coffee, a pastry and a creamy Greek yogurt parfait.

4. Char Bar

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305 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 222-8177
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Since 1930, Char Bar has been operating as one of Houston’s only bars with an in-house tailor. The bar’s friendly bartenders will patently listen to even the worst personal problems while serving up some seriously stiff classic cocktails.

Char Bar/Facebook

5. Warren's Inn

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307 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 247-9207

Next door to Char Bar, Warren’s Inn is also a historic Downtown bar worth making the rounds to. Enjoy a jukebox with a selection covering everyone from Willie Nelson to Wiz Khalifa. Bask in the ambience of the dimly lit bar while enjoying a deliciously strong martini prepared by a bow-tied bartender as patrons have done for decades.

Warren's/Facebook

6. Treebeards

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315 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 228-2622
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Comfort comes in the form of Cajun fare at this Downtown institution that first opened in 1978. Warm cornbread, shrimp étouffée, seafood-laden gumbo, red beans and rice, and meaty jambalaya, among other classic Cajun options, await.. Be sure to polish off dinner with a slice of Italian cream cake and glass of iced tea.

7. The Pastry War

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310 Main St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 226-7770
Visit Website

This mezcaleria from Alba Huerta and Bobby Heugel, two powerhouse Houston mixologists, serves up some of the city's best agave, all sourced from family-run distilleries in Mexico. Definitely try one of the house margaritas, infused with ingredients like chamoy syrup and habanero chiles, and order up a few pours of mezcal served alongside The Pastry War's michelada.

Julie Soefer

8. Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirits Lodge

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308 1/2 Main St
Houston, TX 77002

Follow a narrow staircase in a nondescript downtown building to a bar that runs the entire length of Bad News’s small dark space. The old-fashioned speakeasy vibe notwithstanding, the bartenders here know exactly how to mix up the perfect martini or Old Fashioned.

9. Irma's Southwest Grill

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1314 Texas St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 247-9651
Visit Website

A hub for the downtown hustle and bustle, Irma's has been a lunchtime hotspot for over 17 years. Definitely try the carne guisada and chile relleno, both staple dishes.

Irma's/Facebook

10. Potente

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1515 Texas St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 237-1515
Visit Website

In need of pasta? Get thee to Potente immediately. Go for the cacio e pepe spaghetti that's showered with truffles at the table, or enjoy the excellent diver scallop served with crushed corn risotto.

Potente/Facebook

11. Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse

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1510 Texas St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 228-1111
Visit Website

Practically synonymous with Texas, steak is the star of the show at Vic & Anthony’s. Alongside steakhouse staples like a dry-aged strip, porterhouses and rib-eyes, kick off dinner with chic starters Kobe beef carpaccio, Petrossian caviar, or oysters Rockefeller.

12. Xochi

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1777 Walker St Ste A
Houston, TX 77010
(713) 521-2239
Visit Website

James Beard Award winning chef Hugo Ortega has cooked up one of Houston's finest new restaurants in Xochi, an ode to Oaxaca. Start dinner with a crudo — perhaps oysters in a tomatillo mignonette? — then move on to heartier dishes like the infladita de conejo, a puffed tortilla filled with tender rabbit.

Bill Addison

13. Phoenicia Specialty Foods

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1001 Austin St
Houston, TX 77010
(832) 360-2222
Visit Website

Hours can be spent perusing the aisles of the downtown location of Phoenicia Specialty Foods comes from the dream of Lebanese immigrants Bob and Arpi Tcholakian. The massive deli, shop, and cafe houses 15,000 products hailing from over 50 countries. This is the place to find a delicious shawarma sandwich with fresh baked pita, slow roasted lamb, follow it up with a French pastry, and wash it down with a boutique wine or imported beer.

Phoenicia Specialty Foods/Facebook

14. 8th Wonder Brewery

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2202 Dallas St
Houston, TX 77003
(713) 229-0868
Visit Website

Spend an afternoon sipping brews in a laid-back atmosphere. If the weather’s nice, park on the patio with a Rocket Fuel, a porter infused with Vietnamese iced coffee. In addition to the beer, the Eatsie Boys food truck is always right outside slinging elotes-topped fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, and more.

8th Wonder Brewery/Facebook

1. Public Services Wine & Whisky

202 Travis St Ste 100, Houston, TX 77002
Public Services/Facebook

With its dizzying selection of sherries, wines, whiskeys and more, Public Services is a lush's dream. The bar bites, like fancy tinned fish and cured meats served with mustard and pickles, are from the mind of Theodore Rex chef Justin Yu.

202 Travis St Ste 100
Houston, TX 77002

2. Hearsay

218 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002
Hearsay/Facebook

A perfect date night destination, Hearsay serves up comfort food made with fancy ingredients. Share plates like lobster tempura, cheesesteak egg rolls, and deviled eggs, then try one of the heartier options, like fried chicken or seared, crab-topped salmon.

218 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002

3. Niko Niko's

301 Milam St, Houston, TX 77002

Gyros, spanakopita and falafel, oh my! The Market Square’s open-air version of the city's favorite Greek restaurant is an essential lunch destination. Enjoy a prepared boxed lunch complete with hummus, pita, gyro meat and dessert, or in the mornings, stop by the stand for iced coffee, a pastry and a creamy Greek yogurt parfait.

301 Milam St
Houston, TX 77002

4. Char Bar

305 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002
Char Bar/Facebook

Since 1930, Char Bar has been operating as one of Houston’s only bars with an in-house tailor. The bar’s friendly bartenders will patently listen to even the worst personal problems while serving up some seriously stiff classic cocktails.

305 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002

5. Warren's Inn

307 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002
Warren's/Facebook

Next door to Char Bar, Warren’s Inn is also a historic Downtown bar worth making the rounds to. Enjoy a jukebox with a selection covering everyone from Willie Nelson to Wiz Khalifa. Bask in the ambience of the dimly lit bar while enjoying a deliciously strong martini prepared by a bow-tied bartender as patrons have done for decades.

307 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002

6. Treebeards

315 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002

Comfort comes in the form of Cajun fare at this Downtown institution that first opened in 1978. Warm cornbread, shrimp étouffée, seafood-laden gumbo, red beans and rice, and meaty jambalaya, among other classic Cajun options, await.. Be sure to polish off dinner with a slice of Italian cream cake and glass of iced tea.

315 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002

7. The Pastry War

310 Main St, Houston, TX 77002
Julie Soefer

This mezcaleria from Alba Huerta and Bobby Heugel, two powerhouse Houston mixologists, serves up some of the city's best agave, all sourced from family-run distilleries in Mexico. Definitely try one of the house margaritas, infused with ingredients like chamoy syrup and habanero chiles, and order up a few pours of mezcal served alongside The Pastry War's michelada.

310 Main St
Houston, TX 77002

8. Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirits Lodge

308 1/2 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

Follow a narrow staircase in a nondescript downtown building to a bar that runs the entire length of Bad News’s small dark space. The old-fashioned speakeasy vibe notwithstanding, the bartenders here know exactly how to mix up the perfect martini or Old Fashioned.

308 1/2 Main St
Houston, TX 77002

9. Irma's Southwest Grill

1314 Texas St, Houston, TX 77002
Irma's/Facebook

A hub for the downtown hustle and bustle, Irma's has been a lunchtime hotspot for over 17 years. Definitely try the carne guisada and chile relleno, both staple dishes.

1314 Texas St
Houston, TX 77002

10. Potente

1515 Texas St, Houston, TX 77002
Potente/Facebook

In need of pasta? Get thee to Potente immediately. Go for the cacio e pepe spaghetti that's showered with truffles at the table, or enjoy the excellent diver scallop served with crushed corn risotto.

1515 Texas St
Houston, TX 77002

11. Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse

1510 Texas St, Houston, TX 77002

Practically synonymous with Texas, steak is the star of the show at Vic & Anthony’s. Alongside steakhouse staples like a dry-aged strip, porterhouses and rib-eyes, kick off dinner with chic starters Kobe beef carpaccio, Petrossian caviar, or oysters Rockefeller.

1510 Texas St
Houston, TX 77002

12. Xochi

1777 Walker St Ste A, Houston, TX 77010
Bill Addison

James Beard Award winning chef Hugo Ortega has cooked up one of Houston's finest new restaurants in Xochi, an ode to Oaxaca. Start dinner with a crudo — perhaps oysters in a tomatillo mignonette? — then move on to heartier dishes like the infladita de conejo, a puffed tortilla filled with tender rabbit.

1777 Walker St Ste A
Houston, TX 77010

13. Phoenicia Specialty Foods

1001 Austin St, Houston, TX 77010
Phoenicia Specialty Foods/Facebook

Hours can be spent perusing the aisles of the downtown location of Phoenicia Specialty Foods comes from the dream of Lebanese immigrants Bob and Arpi Tcholakian. The massive deli, shop, and cafe houses 15,000 products hailing from over 50 countries. This is the place to find a delicious shawarma sandwich with fresh baked pita, slow roasted lamb, follow it up with a French pastry, and wash it down with a boutique wine or imported beer.

1001 Austin St
Houston, TX 77010

14. 8th Wonder Brewery

2202 Dallas St, Houston, TX 77003
8th Wonder Brewery/Facebook

Spend an afternoon sipping brews in a laid-back atmosphere. If the weather’s nice, park on the patio with a Rocket Fuel, a porter infused with Vietnamese iced coffee. In addition to the beer, the Eatsie Boys food truck is always right outside slinging elotes-topped fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, and more.

2202 Dallas St
Houston, TX 77003

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