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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

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.

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.

This list has been updated to rotate out Catty Corner Ice House, the Blue Lagoon Club, and TA’s Cargo Club, and to include The Cellar Bar, Poison Girl, and Warren’s Inn.

Is your favorite dive bar missing from this list? Shout it out in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Sassafras

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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.

La Granja Disco Y Cantina

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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.

Rose Garden

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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.

re:HAB Bar on the Bayou

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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.

Eighteen Ten Ojeman

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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.

La Carafe

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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.

Warren's Inn

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If looking for a low-key, no-frills bar Downtown, this is it. Stop in for a quick drink, or stay awhile and play something good on the jukebox.

Sunny's

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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.

Neil's Bahr

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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.

Lola's Depot

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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.

D & W Lounge

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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.

Poison Girl

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At this Montrose bar, you can pick your poison, including a variety of whiskeys and tequilas, but just know that bourbon — despite the big Koolaid man on the back patio — is the drink of choice. Enjoy the laidback atmosphere, or test your skills at one of the pinball machines.

Griff's

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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.

Lil' Danny Speedo's Go Fly a Kite Lounge

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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.

The Cellar Bar

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Here, you’ll find a slew of craft beers, ciders, cocktails, seltzers, and wine, plus fruity and refreshing mocktails, energy drinks, and CBD oil to spike a beverage if alcohol isn’t your thing. Work up an appetite? Order one of their signature pizzas, and then head for the arcade games or pool or foosball tables for some extra fun. Score a deal during happy hour, which is held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

The Spot

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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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Sassafras

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.

La Granja Disco Y Cantina

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.

Rose Garden

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.

re:HAB Bar on the Bayou

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.

Eighteen Ten Ojeman

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.

La Carafe

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.

Warren's Inn

If looking for a low-key, no-frills bar Downtown, this is it. Stop in for a quick drink, or stay awhile and play something good on the jukebox.

Sunny's

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.

Neil's Bahr

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.

Lola's Depot

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.

D & W Lounge

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.

Poison Girl

At this Montrose bar, you can pick your poison, including a variety of whiskeys and tequilas, but just know that bourbon — despite the big Koolaid man on the back patio — is the drink of choice. Enjoy the laidback atmosphere, or test your skills at one of the pinball machines.

Griff's

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.

Lil' Danny Speedo's Go Fly a Kite Lounge

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.

The Cellar Bar

Here, you’ll find a slew of craft beers, ciders, cocktails, seltzers, and wine, plus fruity and refreshing mocktails, energy drinks, and CBD oil to spike a beverage if alcohol isn’t your thing. Work up an appetite? Order one of their signature pizzas, and then head for the arcade games or pool or foosball tables for some extra fun. Score a deal during happy hour, which is held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Related Maps

The Spot

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.

Related Maps