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Miss Carousel’s gin & tonic with gin mare, Suze, Tempus Fugit Kina, coconut lime cordial, tonic, and herbs
Julie Soefer Photography

Houston’s 15 Hottest Cocktail Destinations

Where to sip Space City’s best libations

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Miss Carousel’s gin & tonic with gin mare, Suze, Tempus Fugit Kina, coconut lime cordial, tonic, and herbs
| Photo by Julie Soefer Photography

Welcome to the newly-revamped Eater Houston Cocktail Heatmap. While established drinking institutions like Anvil Bar & Refuge and Lei Low are well-known for their top-notch cocktails, this map is intended to showcase newer spots, restaurants with great drinks, and watering holes with exciting (and boozy) new offerings.

This month’s update brings a ton of exciting new bars to the Heatmap, including the arrival of several Downtown watering holes that are redefining the cocktail game, a tropical Midtown rooftop bar, and a chef pop-up with interesting libations to match. The city’s bar scene is as strong as ever, and these 15 establishments are proof.

Is your favorite new cocktail bar missing from this map? Shout it out in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. La Vista 101

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1805 W 18th St
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 787-9899
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Divided into “dark liquor” and “white liquor” sections, the cocktail menu at La Vista 101 offers quality libations for any drinker. Fans of creatively-named (and well-balanced) cocktails will enjoy the Greg’s Gin-Lemon Thing, a mix of gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime.

La Vista 101/Facebook

2. The Ready Room

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2626 White Oak Dr
Houston, TX 77009
(832) 582-5323
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This vintage-inspired jazz bar is bringing a dose of old-school nostalgia to the Heights with classic cocktails and a killer vibe.

3. Better Luck Tomorrow

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544 Yale St
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 802-0845
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BLT, as the regulars call it, has earned national attention while becoming one of the Heights’ best neighborhood bars. The food is excellent, and cocktails like the Long Story Short (gin, Americano, passionfruit) are consistently innovative.

4. HandleBar Houston

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5219 Washington Ave
Houston, TX 77007
(832) 831-1630
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Cocktails named after Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, and Doc Holliday await at this Austin export on Washington Avenue. It’s the perfect destination for a crowd, especially when the weather is nice enough for patio hangs.

5. Decatur Bar and Pop-Up Factory

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2310 Decatur St
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 389-5008
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This chef incubator serves up an interesting assortment of rotating cocktails to go along with its standout eats. Diners will find options like the Take Out Tonic with white rum, almond syrup, plum sauce, and sparkling lemon to go along with Chef Evelyn Garcia’s four-course menu, which features dishes like Thai-inspired fried chicken, grilled curry prawns, and rose water milk cake.

6. The Cottonmouth Club

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108 Main St
Houston, TX 77002

A details-obsessed cocktail bar arrived in Downtown last year that sought to curate an entire experience from the moment patrons walk into the bar. Drinkers will find intricately named cocktails like the “Hate The Sinner, But Love The Sin” with Tanqueray Malacca, lemon, honey, and mint, with a Branca Menta rinse.

7. One Armed Scissor

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208 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002
(832) 491-1660
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Barman Michael Molina brought some serious cocktails to Downtown with the arrival of One Armed Scissor. The new watering hole serves an abbreviated list of interestingly-named cocktails like the Thai Dollar Sign, a mix of Citadelle gin, lemon juice, creme de cassis, and Thai basil. It opens at 3 p.m. daily for those Downtown workers who need an afternoon pick-me-up before heading back to the office.

8. Kanaloa

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311 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002
(832) 582-6764
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Traditional tiki beverages abound in Downtown in both single-serve and shareable punch bowl-sized portions. Sip mai tais, hurricanes, pain killers, zombies, and classic punch recipes including a scorpion bowl in throwback tiki vessels that were sourced from as far away as London.

Courtesy Kanaloa

9. High & Dry

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306 S Main St Ste 200
Houston, TX 77002
(832) 386-5053
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This Downtown watering hole is totally obsessed with rum — more than 50 bottles of the sugarcane-based spirit are on offer. A dozen offbeat, tiki-inspired cocktails are on the menu, like the “Ginger Flame” a fiery mixture of Overproof rum, reposado tequila, Campari, and mango with fresh ginger and a habanero Thai chili pepper tincture.

10. Truck Yard

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2118 Lamar St Suite 150
Houston, TX 77003
(713) 855-9666
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Cocktails are frozen, barrel aged, and served on tap at this Houston newcomer. Try the classic frozen trash can punch, or consider a canned strawberry spritz, mixed with strawberry-infused Aperol and champagne.

11. Miss Carousel

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1201 St Emanuel St
Houston, TX 77003
(832) 582-7330
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Taking its name from a classic Townes Van Zandt song, Miss Carousel serves up a list of two dozen classic cocktails and “experimental” libations, along with a selection of non-alcoholic drinks. A tight food menu features dishes like chicken & shrimp meatballs, Yemen flatbread, or dishes from nearby Indianola or Vinny’s Pizza, which share the same roof.

Caroline Fontenot

12. 77 Degrees

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2416 Brazos St suite 200
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 882-1221
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Soak up tropical vibes at this new Midtown rooftop bar with its list of island-inspired drinks, alongside tacos and tapas like red snapper ceviche. Rum cocktails are plentiful including the “Norman’s Cay” with Bacardi Coconut, Bacardi Mango Fusion, Bacardi Pineapple Fusion, coconut water, and lime.

13. Present Company

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1318 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006
(281) 974-4752
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This kitschy and fun cocktail bar is one of Houston’s best new patio destinations. Sip La Croix-based cocktails like the Stranger Danger, mixed with watermelon vodka and honeysuckle liqueur, or cool off with a frozen Irish coffee.

14. Goodnight Charlie's

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2531 Kuester St
Houston, TX 77006
(832) 986-5151
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Dust off the cowboy boots for Master Sommelier David Keck’s modern honky tonk. In addition to the extensive selection of agave-based spirits, beer, and whiskeys, find well-priced libations like the Ranch Water, a classic Texas cocktail mixed with Espolon Blanco and Topo Chico.

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

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823 Dumble St
Houston, TX 77023

It may be the city’s most ridiculously named bar, but Li’l Danny Speedo’s Go Fly A Kite Lounge is a solid destination for tacos, beer, and shots of tequila rimmed with Tajin. If the frozen rum punch, a mix of gold and demerara rums, Angostura, pineapple, and orange juice, is on the menu, it’s a must-order.

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1. La Vista 101

1805 W 18th St, Houston, TX 77008
La Vista 101/Facebook

Divided into “dark liquor” and “white liquor” sections, the cocktail menu at La Vista 101 offers quality libations for any drinker. Fans of creatively-named (and well-balanced) cocktails will enjoy the Greg’s Gin-Lemon Thing, a mix of gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime.

1805 W 18th St
Houston, TX 77008

2. The Ready Room

2626 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77009

This vintage-inspired jazz bar is bringing a dose of old-school nostalgia to the Heights with classic cocktails and a killer vibe.

2626 White Oak Dr
Houston, TX 77009

3. Better Luck Tomorrow

544 Yale St, Houston, TX 77007

BLT, as the regulars call it, has earned national attention while becoming one of the Heights’ best neighborhood bars. The food is excellent, and cocktails like the Long Story Short (gin, Americano, passionfruit) are consistently innovative.

544 Yale St
Houston, TX 77007

4. HandleBar Houston

5219 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007

Cocktails named after Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, and Doc Holliday await at this Austin export on Washington Avenue. It’s the perfect destination for a crowd, especially when the weather is nice enough for patio hangs.

5219 Washington Ave
Houston, TX 77007

5. Decatur Bar and Pop-Up Factory

2310 Decatur St, Houston, TX 77007

This chef incubator serves up an interesting assortment of rotating cocktails to go along with its standout eats. Diners will find options like the Take Out Tonic with white rum, almond syrup, plum sauce, and sparkling lemon to go along with Chef Evelyn Garcia’s four-course menu, which features dishes like Thai-inspired fried chicken, grilled curry prawns, and rose water milk cake.

2310 Decatur St
Houston, TX 77007

6. The Cottonmouth Club

108 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

A details-obsessed cocktail bar arrived in Downtown last year that sought to curate an entire experience from the moment patrons walk into the bar. Drinkers will find intricately named cocktails like the “Hate The Sinner, But Love The Sin” with Tanqueray Malacca, lemon, honey, and mint, with a Branca Menta rinse.

108 Main St
Houston, TX 77002

7. One Armed Scissor

208 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002

Barman Michael Molina brought some serious cocktails to Downtown with the arrival of One Armed Scissor. The new watering hole serves an abbreviated list of interestingly-named cocktails like the Thai Dollar Sign, a mix of Citadelle gin, lemon juice, creme de cassis, and Thai basil. It opens at 3 p.m. daily for those Downtown workers who need an afternoon pick-me-up before heading back to the office.

208 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002

8. Kanaloa

311 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002
Courtesy Kanaloa

Traditional tiki beverages abound in Downtown in both single-serve and shareable punch bowl-sized portions. Sip mai tais, hurricanes, pain killers, zombies, and classic punch recipes including a scorpion bowl in throwback tiki vessels that were sourced from as far away as London.

311 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002

9. High & Dry

306 S Main St Ste 200, Houston, TX 77002

This Downtown watering hole is totally obsessed with rum — more than 50 bottles of the sugarcane-based spirit are on offer. A dozen offbeat, tiki-inspired cocktails are on the menu, like the “Ginger Flame” a fiery mixture of Overproof rum, reposado tequila, Campari, and mango with fresh ginger and a habanero Thai chili pepper tincture.

306 S Main St Ste 200
Houston, TX 77002

10. Truck Yard

2118 Lamar St Suite 150, Houston, TX 77003

Cocktails are frozen, barrel aged, and served on tap at this Houston newcomer. Try the classic frozen trash can punch, or consider a canned strawberry spritz, mixed with strawberry-infused Aperol and champagne.

2118 Lamar St Suite 150
Houston, TX 77003

11. Miss Carousel

1201 St Emanuel St, Houston, TX 77003
Caroline Fontenot

Taking its name from a classic Townes Van Zandt song, Miss Carousel serves up a list of two dozen classic cocktails and “experimental” libations, along with a selection of non-alcoholic drinks. A tight food menu features dishes like chicken & shrimp meatballs, Yemen flatbread, or dishes from nearby Indianola or Vinny’s Pizza, which share the same roof.

1201 St Emanuel St
Houston, TX 77003

12. 77 Degrees

2416 Brazos St suite 200, Houston, TX 77006

Soak up tropical vibes at this new Midtown rooftop bar with its list of island-inspired drinks, alongside tacos and tapas like red snapper ceviche. Rum cocktails are plentiful including the “Norman’s Cay” with Bacardi Coconut, Bacardi Mango Fusion, Bacardi Pineapple Fusion, coconut water, and lime.

2416 Brazos St suite 200
Houston, TX 77006

13. Present Company

1318 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006

This kitschy and fun cocktail bar is one of Houston’s best new patio destinations. Sip La Croix-based cocktails like the Stranger Danger, mixed with watermelon vodka and honeysuckle liqueur, or cool off with a frozen Irish coffee.

1318 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006

14. Goodnight Charlie's

2531 Kuester St, Houston, TX 77006

Dust off the cowboy boots for Master Sommelier David Keck’s modern honky tonk. In addition to the extensive selection of agave-based spirits, beer, and whiskeys, find well-priced libations like the Ranch Water, a classic Texas cocktail mixed with Espolon Blanco and Topo Chico.

2531 Kuester St
Houston, TX 77006

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

823 Dumble St, Houston, TX 77023

It may be the city’s most ridiculously named bar, but Li’l Danny Speedo’s Go Fly A Kite Lounge is a solid destination for tacos, beer, and shots of tequila rimmed with Tajin. If the frozen rum punch, a mix of gold and demerara rums, Angostura, pineapple, and orange juice, is on the menu, it’s a must-order.

823 Dumble St
Houston, TX 77023

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