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a multi-colored bar area with stools, illuminated by vibrant lights.
Offering a selection of craft beers, frozen drinks, and a dog-friendly patio, Lil’ Danny Speedo’s Go Fly a Kite Lounge is one of Houston’s most intriguing dive bars.
Lil’ Danny Speedo’s Go Fly a Kite Lounge

Houston’s 16 Most Enjoyable Dive Bars

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

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Offering a selection of craft beers, frozen drinks, and a dog-friendly patio, Lil’ Danny Speedo’s Go Fly a Kite Lounge is one of Houston’s most intriguing dive bars.
| Lil’ Danny Speedo’s Go Fly a Kite Lounge

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 watering holes provide a welcoming spot to sip a beer or drown out sorrows in a strong cocktail.

Despite a tough pandemic, which felled some of the city’s most beloved bars, many of Houston’s dives soldier on with an updated the list, removing Shiloh Club, but adding storied bar La Carafe, Third Ward’s the Spot, Sassafras, Lil’ Danny Speedo’s Go Fly a Kite Lounge, and Neil’s Bahr — a place where comic book lovers and gamers unite.

Buoyed by a charming cast of regulars and visitors alike, here are 16 of Houston’s most interesting dive bars that promise cold beers, cheap whiskey, and an always laid-back vibe.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sassafras

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5022 Pinemont Dr
Houston, TX 77091
(832) 804-9079
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Noting its fancy and cheap beer selection and “above average” wine, this Oak Forest bar acknowledges that sometimes, the most important aspects of a successful hangout include good company, a cool space, and decent drinks. With a lit-up outdoor patio, a welcoming indoor area with a pool table and a full bar, and a rotation of food vendors, it’s safe to say it’s got that covered. Now, you bring the company. Ask about their steak nights, typically held on Wednesdays.

2. 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.

3. Catty Corner Ice House

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895 Wakefield Dr
Houston, TX 77018
(713) 691-9197
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This old-school neighborhood ice house offers cheap drinks and food specials in a friendly, laidback space to convene with familiar faces. Pick a soundtrack for the night on the jukebox. Keep yourself occupied with horseshoes in the outside patio area, or challenge your buddy to a game of pool or darts.

4. TA's Cargo Club

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3604 Mangum Rd B
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 957-2720
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The most charming aspect of TA’s Cargo Club is the sunken bar, giving the place the feel of a faded low-budget casino, but in the best possible way. In addition to the booze, the bar hosts karaoke every second and fourth Thursday of the month from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. On weekdays, lunch specials begin at 11:30 a.m. until sell out, Wednesdays are for free pool, and Thursday is burger night.

5. 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, so don’t be surprised to see pictures of the singer hanging everywhere. 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.

6. re:HAB Bar on the Bayou

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1658 Enid St
Houston, TX 77009
(713) 225-1668
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Tucked away in a Heights neighborhood, re:HAB has a large outdoor space that backs up to Little White Oak Bayou. The interior is small, but the massive yard, with its gnarled oak trees and fairy lights, is perfect for an evening hang. Check their website for upcoming events and live music.

7. 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 artists. Art supplies like colored pencils and paint tubes are laid out on the bar for anyone to use, and arcade games, like pinball and video bowling, are bound to keep bargoers entertained.

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 among post-shift restaurant workers or those looking for a cold beer and a place to wind down. But don’t let the term “dive bar” fool you — the bartenders here make a mean martini.

9. La Carafe

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813 Congress St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 229-9399
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Enter La Carafe, and you’re bound to feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Housed in the oldest commercial building in Houston, this old brick pub-style haunt is decorated with conversation-starting art and antiques, and offers a rotating selection of wines. Jukebox tunes, spanning from Etta James’ “At Last” to Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” offer the perfect theme music.

10. Sunny's

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902 Capitol St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 224-3200

A straightforward Downtown spot with an indoor sign made from bottle caps, Sunny’s is a welcome respite from the city’s fancier, cocktail-focused bars. There are multiple TVs — perfect for watching the latest sports game, an outdoor patio, and a game room in the back. Try the $5 frozens or booze-soaked pineapple chunks.

11. Neil's Bahr

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2006 Walker St
Houston, TX 77003
(713) 237-0644
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Local gamers and comic book enthusiasts can nerd out at this East Downtown bar, which features what feels like endless entertainment. Choose between vintage console video games, free-play arcades, board games, and ping pong, or opt to kick back with a beer while browsing through its massive collection of comic books and manga. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for special events, which include gamer tournaments, pop-up sales, and themed parties.

12. 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 jukebox is still diverse. It’s the perfect place for a nightcap after dinner in the Montrose area.

13. 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 former coffee plant that was nearby. Now, D&W opens at the much more reasonable hour of 10 a.m. and serves as a popular pre-tailgate spot for University of Houston fans during football season. The eclectic decor, including everything from mannequins to toilet patio planters, only enhances the atmosphere.

14. 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 any time the Astros hit a home run or the Texans score a touchdown, and its daily specials, including $15 buckets of beer on Saturdays, $3.50 “You Call Its” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays, and $1 hot dogs during Astros games. Don’t sleep on the food either — juicy burgers, tater tots, wings, and piled-high nachos round out the bar menu.

15. Lil' Danny Speedo's Go Fly a Kite Lounge

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823 Dumble St
Houston, TX 77023

Housed in a former alien-themed icehouse, this East End self-proclaimed “bar-ass bar” offers a place to sit back and enjoy a brew or two in neon lighting from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. The neighborhood bar prides itself on its creative drinks and offerings, which include a rotation of craft beers, frozen drinks, and hot toddies — plus a dog-friendly patio for people and pets to convene outside. If you work up an appetite, save it for the many food trucks and pop-ups that pull up to Lil Danny’s during the week.

16. The Spot

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4709 Emancipation Ave
Houston, TX 77004

Living up to its name, this Third Ward mainstay offers reasonably priced drinks from talented bartenders and jams seven days a week. Bites offered from local food vendors up the ante — making the Spot an easy choice on a weeknight.

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1. Sassafras

5022 Pinemont Dr, Houston, TX 77091

Noting its fancy and cheap beer selection and “above average” wine, this Oak Forest bar acknowledges that sometimes, the most important aspects of a successful hangout include good company, a cool space, and decent drinks. With a lit-up outdoor patio, a welcoming indoor area with a pool table and a full bar, and a rotation of food vendors, it’s safe to say it’s got that covered. Now, you bring the company. Ask about their steak nights, typically held on Wednesdays.

5022 Pinemont Dr
Houston, TX 77091

2. La Granja Disco Y Cantina

5505 Pinemont Dr, Houston, TX 77092

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

3. Catty Corner Ice House

895 Wakefield Dr, Houston, TX 77018

This old-school neighborhood ice house offers cheap drinks and food specials in a friendly, laidback space to convene with familiar faces. Pick a soundtrack for the night on the jukebox. Keep yourself occupied with horseshoes in the outside patio area, or challenge your buddy to a game of pool or darts.

895 Wakefield Dr
Houston, TX 77018

4. 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, but in the best possible way. In addition to the booze, the bar hosts karaoke every second and fourth Thursday of the month from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. On weekdays, lunch specials begin at 11:30 a.m. until sell out, Wednesdays are for free pool, and Thursday is burger night.

3604 Mangum Rd B
Houston, TX 77092

5. Rose Garden

2621 Link Rd, Houston, TX 77009

Rose, the proprietress of this cozy house-turned-dive, loves Elvis, so don’t be surprised to see pictures of the singer hanging everywhere. 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

6. re:HAB Bar on the Bayou

1658 Enid St, Houston, TX 77009

Tucked away in a Heights neighborhood, re:HAB has a large outdoor space that backs up to Little White Oak Bayou. The interior is small, but the massive yard, with its gnarled oak trees and fairy lights, is perfect for an evening hang. Check their website for upcoming events and live music.

1658 Enid St
Houston, TX 77009

7. 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 artists. Art supplies like colored pencils and paint tubes are laid out on the bar for anyone to use, and arcade games, like pinball and video bowling, are bound to keep bargoers entertained.

1810 Ojeman Rd
Houston, TX 77080

8. Blue Lagoon Club

1248 Witte Rd, Houston, TX 77055

In addition to happy hour regulars, this spot is popular among post-shift restaurant workers or those looking for a cold beer and a place to wind down. But don’t let the term “dive bar” fool you — the bartenders here make a mean martini.

1248 Witte Rd
Houston, TX 77055

9. La Carafe

813 Congress St, Houston, TX 77002

Enter La Carafe, and you’re bound to feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Housed in the oldest commercial building in Houston, this old brick pub-style haunt is decorated with conversation-starting art and antiques, and offers a rotating selection of wines. Jukebox tunes, spanning from Etta James’ “At Last” to Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” offer the perfect theme music.

813 Congress St
Houston, TX 77002

10. Sunny's

902 Capitol St, Houston, TX 77002

A straightforward Downtown spot with an indoor sign made from bottle caps, Sunny’s is a welcome respite from the city’s fancier, cocktail-focused bars. There are multiple TVs — perfect for watching the latest sports game, an outdoor patio, and a game room in the back. Try the $5 frozens or booze-soaked pineapple chunks.

902 Capitol St
Houston, TX 77002

11. Neil's Bahr

2006 Walker St, Houston, TX 77003

Local gamers and comic book enthusiasts can nerd out at this East Downtown bar, which features what feels like endless entertainment. Choose between vintage console video games, free-play arcades, board games, and ping pong, or opt to kick back with a beer while browsing through its massive collection of comic books and manga. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for special events, which include gamer tournaments, pop-up sales, and themed parties.

2006 Walker St
Houston, TX 77003

12. 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 jukebox is still diverse. It’s the perfect place for a nightcap after dinner in the Montrose area.

2327 Grant St
Houston, TX 77006

13. 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 former coffee plant that was nearby. Now, D&W opens at the much more reasonable hour of 10 a.m. and serves as a popular pre-tailgate spot for University of Houston fans during football season. The eclectic decor, including everything from mannequins to toilet patio planters, only enhances the atmosphere.

911 Milby St
Houston, TX 77023

14. Griff's

3416 Roseland St, Houston, TX 77006

This Irish-themed bar is known for its jello shots, which are free any time the Astros hit a home run or the Texans score a touchdown, and its daily specials, including $15 buckets of beer on Saturdays, $3.50 “You Call Its” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays, and $1 hot dogs during Astros games. Don’t sleep on the food either — juicy burgers, tater tots, wings, and piled-high nachos round out the bar menu.

3416 Roseland St
Houston, TX 77006

15. Lil' Danny Speedo's Go Fly a Kite Lounge

823 Dumble St, Houston, TX 77023

Housed in a former alien-themed icehouse, this East End self-proclaimed “bar-ass bar” offers a place to sit back and enjoy a brew or two in neon lighting from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. The neighborhood bar prides itself on its creative drinks and offerings, which include a rotation of craft beers, frozen drinks, and hot toddies — plus a dog-friendly patio for people and pets to convene outside. If you work up an appetite, save it for the many food trucks and pop-ups that pull up to Lil Danny’s during the week.

823 Dumble St
Houston, TX 77023

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16. The Spot

4709 Emancipation Ave, Houston, TX 77004

Living up to its name, this Third Ward mainstay offers reasonably priced drinks from talented bartenders and jams seven days a week. Bites offered from local food vendors up the ante — making the Spot an easy choice on a weeknight.

4709 Emancipation Ave
Houston, TX 77004

Related Maps