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a plate with a loaded baked potato and a steak, with a lone star beer behind it, in a dark dive bar
Lone Star and steak nights, staples of Houston dive bars
Griff’s/Facebook

The 12 Finest Dive Bars in Houston

Whether in search of a dimly-lit drinking destination or a cozy spot with lots of camaraderie, these 12 Houston bars can’t be beat

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Lone Star and steak nights, staples of Houston dive bars
| Griff’s/Facebook

Dive bars occupy a special place in the world. They can be as cozy as a living room, or provide a cool, dimly-lit place to quietly unwind after a long day at work. Never fussy or pretentious, these establishments provide a welcoming spot to sip a beer or drown your sorrows in a strong cocktail.

Despite a tough 2020, which felled some of the city’s most beloved bars, many of Houston’s dives soldier on. Buoyed by a charming cast of regulars and visitors alike, these 12 dive bars are Houston’s finest. At these essential watering holes, the Lone Star is always cold, the whiskey cheap, and the vibe always laid-back.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. La Granja Disco Y Cantina

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5505 Pinemont Dr
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 518-6753
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Far away from the nightlife of Montrose, this humble cantina, one of the few gay bars outside the loop, stands alone. In addition to the dance hall, La Granja is known for its drag shows and karaoke.

a mural on the outside of a building depicting two horses in a fenced pasture and a rooster on the fence
Gay-friendly cantina La Granja.
La Granja Disco y Cantina/Facebook

2. Catty Corner Ice House

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895 Wakefield Dr
Houston, TX 77018
(713) 691-9197
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This old-school ice house offers free pool, and often has food specials like barbecue or crawfish. It’s beer only, but they sell set-ups and allow patrons to bring their own liquor.

3. TA's Cargo Club

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3604 Mangum Rd B
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 957-2720

The most charming aspect of TA’s Cargo Club is the sunken bar, giving the place the feel of a faded low-budget casino — in the best possible way. In addition to the booze, the bar occasionally serves food — check Facebook for specials, and also host karaoke.

4. Rose Garden

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2621 Link Rd
Houston, TX 77009
(713) 863-8027

Rose, the proprietress of this cozy house-turned-dive, loves Elvis, and pictures of the the singer hang everywhere in the bar. The jukebox is filled with old country classics, and you’ll often see people two-stepping on the small dance floor. If you miss Alice’s Tall Texan, this is the place.

5. re:HAB Bar on the Bayou

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1658 Enid St
Houston, TX 77009
(713) 225-1668

This bar, tucked away in a Heights neighborhood, has a large outdoor space that backs up to Little White Oak Bayou. The interior is small, but the massive yard, with its gnarled oaks trees and fairy lights, is perfect for an evening hang. Revelers might even spot a great blue in the water.

a large yard facing a neon-lit, low-sling dive bar
The massive back yard at Re:HAB Bar on the Bayou
Re:HAB/Facebook

6. Eighteen Ten Ojeman

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1810 Ojeman Rd
Houston, TX 77080

This quirky venue hosts local bands most nights of the week, and also serves as a showcase for local artists — art supplies like colored pencils and paint tubes are laid out on the bar for anyone to use. Did we mention there’s also arcade games, like pinball and video bowling?

7. The Shiloh Club

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1321 Studewood St
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 880-2401
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Open since 1971, Shiloh remains a dimly-lit, no frills, laid-back hangout even as the Heights continues to grow. The beer mostly consists of domestics — there aren’t any taps — but it does have a liquor license and and an ice cold Jagermeister machine.

8. Blue Lagoon Club

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1248 Witte Rd
Houston, TX 77055
(713) 827-7085

In addition to happy hour regulars, this spot is popular with post-shift restaurant workers. Somewhat surprisingly for a dive bar, the bartenders here make a mean martini.

9. Sunny's

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902 Capitol St
Houston, TX 77002

This no-frills Downtown spot is a welcome respite from the city’s fancier, cocktail-focused bars. With several TVs, it’s also a great place to watch sports, Try the $5 frozens or booze-soaked pineapple.

10. Lola's Depot

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2327 Grant St
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 528-8342

Lola’s has fancied itself up in recent years — it used to be cash-only, but now accepts credit cards — but the drinks are still blindingly strong and the juke box is still, well, diverse. It’s the perfect place for a nightcap after dinner in the Montrose.

11. D & W Lounge

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911 Milby St
Houston, TX 77023
(713) 226-8777

This East End bar is known for its early hours — it used to open at 7 a.m. to cater to the third-shift workers of the nearby coffee pant, which is now closed. Now D&W opens at the much more reasonable hour of 10 a.m., and during football season, it’s a popular pre-tailgate spot for University of Houston fans. The eclectic decor — a little bit of everything from mannequins inside to toilets-as-planters on the patio — only enhances the atmosphere.

12. Griff's

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3416 Roseland St
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 528-9912
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This Irish-themed bar is known for its jello shots, which are free to the entire room any time the Astros hit a home run or the Texans score a touchdown. Don’t sleep on the food either — juicy burgers, tater tots and piled-high nachos round out the bar menu.

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1. La Granja Disco Y Cantina

5505 Pinemont Dr, Houston, TX 77092
a mural on the outside of a building depicting two horses in a fenced pasture and a rooster on the fence
Gay-friendly cantina La Granja.
La Granja Disco y Cantina/Facebook

Far away from the nightlife of Montrose, this humble cantina, one of the few gay bars outside the loop, stands alone. In addition to the dance hall, La Granja is known for its drag shows and karaoke.

5505 Pinemont Dr
Houston, TX 77092

2. Catty Corner Ice House

895 Wakefield Dr, Houston, TX 77018

This old-school ice house offers free pool, and often has food specials like barbecue or crawfish. It’s beer only, but they sell set-ups and allow patrons to bring their own liquor.

895 Wakefield Dr
Houston, TX 77018

3. TA's Cargo Club

3604 Mangum Rd B, Houston, TX 77092

The most charming aspect of TA’s Cargo Club is the sunken bar, giving the place the feel of a faded low-budget casino — in the best possible way. In addition to the booze, the bar occasionally serves food — check Facebook for specials, and also host karaoke.

3604 Mangum Rd B
Houston, TX 77092

4. Rose Garden

2621 Link Rd, Houston, TX 77009

Rose, the proprietress of this cozy house-turned-dive, loves Elvis, and pictures of the the singer hang everywhere in the bar. The jukebox is filled with old country classics, and you’ll often see people two-stepping on the small dance floor. If you miss Alice’s Tall Texan, this is the place.

2621 Link Rd
Houston, TX 77009

5. re:HAB Bar on the Bayou

1658 Enid St, Houston, TX 77009
a large yard facing a neon-lit, low-sling dive bar
The massive back yard at Re:HAB Bar on the Bayou
Re:HAB/Facebook

This bar, tucked away in a Heights neighborhood, has a large outdoor space that backs up to Little White Oak Bayou. The interior is small, but the massive yard, with its gnarled oaks trees and fairy lights, is perfect for an evening hang. Revelers might even spot a great blue in the water.

1658 Enid St
Houston, TX 77009

6. Eighteen Ten Ojeman

1810 Ojeman Rd, Houston, TX 77080

This quirky venue hosts local bands most nights of the week, and also serves as a showcase for local artists — art supplies like colored pencils and paint tubes are laid out on the bar for anyone to use. Did we mention there’s also arcade games, like pinball and video bowling?

1810 Ojeman Rd
Houston, TX 77080

7. The Shiloh Club

1321 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77008

Open since 1971, Shiloh remains a dimly-lit, no frills, laid-back hangout even as the Heights continues to grow. The beer mostly consists of domestics — there aren’t any taps — but it does have a liquor license and and an ice cold Jagermeister machine.

1321 Studewood St
Houston, TX 77008

8. Blue Lagoon Club

1248 Witte Rd, Houston, TX 77055

In addition to happy hour regulars, this spot is popular with post-shift restaurant workers. Somewhat surprisingly for a dive bar, the bartenders here make a mean martini.

1248 Witte Rd
Houston, TX 77055

9. Sunny's

902 Capitol St, Houston, TX 77002

This no-frills Downtown spot is a welcome respite from the city’s fancier, cocktail-focused bars. With several TVs, it’s also a great place to watch sports, Try the $5 frozens or booze-soaked pineapple.

902 Capitol St
Houston, TX 77002

10. Lola's Depot

2327 Grant St, Houston, TX 77006

Lola’s has fancied itself up in recent years — it used to be cash-only, but now accepts credit cards — but the drinks are still blindingly strong and the juke box is still, well, diverse. It’s the perfect place for a nightcap after dinner in the Montrose.

2327 Grant St
Houston, TX 77006

11. D & W Lounge

911 Milby St, Houston, TX 77023

This East End bar is known for its early hours — it used to open at 7 a.m. to cater to the third-shift workers of the nearby coffee pant, which is now closed. Now D&W opens at the much more reasonable hour of 10 a.m., and during football season, it’s a popular pre-tailgate spot for University of Houston fans. The eclectic decor — a little bit of everything from mannequins inside to toilets-as-planters on the patio — only enhances the atmosphere.

911 Milby St
Houston, TX 77023

12. Griff's

3416 Roseland St, Houston, TX 77006

This Irish-themed bar is known for its jello shots, which are free to the entire room any time the Astros hit a home run or the Texans score a touchdown. Don’t sleep on the food either — juicy burgers, tater tots and piled-high nachos round out the bar menu.

3416 Roseland St
Houston, TX 77006

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