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four of Patterson Park’s signature cocktails.
Cool down this summer by chilling at some of Houston’s hottest bars.
Alex Montoya

9 of Houston’s Hottest Cocktail Bars, June 2022

Charitable tequila, CBD-infused elixirs, a spin on the classics, and so much more

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Cool down this summer by chilling at some of Houston’s hottest bars.
| Alex Montoya

As a cosmopolitan city in a Southern state, Houstonians know how to imbibe. While established drinking institutions like Anvil Bar & Refuge and Lei Low are considered essential for their top-notch cocktails, newer bars, restaurants with great drinks, and watering holes with exciting (and boozy) new offerings are popping up all over.

So, here’s Eater Houston’s newly-revamped cocktail heatmap — a place where curious drinkers will find cheeky bubblegum martinis, late-night bites, CBD- (or THC) infused beverages, and masterfully-made cocktails.

We’ve removed Space Cowboy, Kanpai Club, Diversion Cocktails, ReikiNa, Georgia James Tavern, Night Shift, White Rhino, Shoot the Moon, and Bar No. 3, and have added newer bars like Lees Den, Patterson Park, Refuge, Angel Share HTX, and Heights & Co.

Cheers.

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

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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.

Wild | Coffee | Bar | Dispensary

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From the owners behind Grinder’s Coffee Bar, this coffee bar and hangout spot offers a buzz in more ways than one with creative and quirky cocktails, coffee concoctions, and alcohol-free elixirs that can be spiked with your choice of liquor, CBD, or Delta 8, a hemp-based THC. Pick your poison at its full bar, with knowledgable bartenders who are willing to dream up a drink on the spot, or choose from the extensive cocktail list, crafted by Ladies of Libation, which features a smoked Old Fashioned lit up before your eyes. The picturesque Pink Loco, made with or without CBD, offers sweet and tart sips, while the gin-based Hinoi High Five, garnished with a hemp leaf, offers a refreshing vibe. Going for a virgin drink? Try the frozen coffee. It’s that good.

A bright pink and purple cocktail in a pineapple-shaped class, topped with mint, a pink flower, and  circular orange peels hanging on a pineapple toothpick for a garnish.
Wild’s edgy drinks are all named after a strain of hemp or cannibis.
Wild Concepts

Trash Panda Drinking Club

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Opened last July, Lindale Park’s drinking destination is still buzzing with creative bar bites, like “trashy” quesabirria, pasta “noodz,” and “supa thicc” pizza slices, plus a firmly tongue-in-cheek cocktail menu, including the Bubblegum Martini, made with gin, hibiscus, lime, and “bubblegum broth,” and the cognac-based Cereal Killer, made with cereal milk, pineapple amaro, vanilla, and egg.

Heights & Co.

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This new patio bar has already become a fun neighborhood hangout spot, with a pagoda with mood-setting string lights, covered patio tables, and a cocktail list that captures the lighthearted essence of the summer. Try the Mini Hulk Smash, a refreshing combination of bourbon, basil, ginger, lemongrass, and Topo Chico, or the gin-based Hipstrict, made with strawberry, lemon, and coconut. The bar food here also features filling appetizers and dishes like the cheesy spinach and artichoke dip and the steak frites, with sage-oil fries, all covered in a creamy herb-loaded au poivre sauce.

Patterson Park Patio Bar

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Nested on White Oak Bayou Trail, Patterson Park operates like a snazzy and stylish adult playground. There are breathtaking views of Downtown, a living room-like parlor area, and indoor-outdoor bars outfitted with TVs, perfect for cheering on your favorite sports team. The impressive menu of craft beers and cocktails is also a draw, with Ranch Water on tap, lip-tingling Fantasma cocktails mixed with Ghost tequila, cooking frozen picklebacks, Thai chili margaritas, and innovative takes on cocktail classics.

Though Julep is certainly not new, this bar has yet to go out of style. The recent recipient of the city’s first national James Beard Award, this bar makes a mean Mint Julep, a refreshing gimlet, a classic Old Fashioned, and dozens of cocktails to choose from. Try more inventive or Southern-style renditions of your favorites, like the Tepache Julep, made with sous vide pineapple, white wine, mezcal, maraschino, raspberry, and tamarindo, or the Jungle Bird — a combination of aged and Blackstrap rums, Campari, pineapple, and lime juice. Take advantage of the Monday through Friday happy hour. From 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., house cocktails and house wines are half-off.

Angel Share

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At this charity bar, you’ll find a welcoming setup, an impressive selection of whiskeys, agave-based spirits, and rums, and all-day happy hours on Monday. The best part? You can drink with a feel-good purpose. Choose items from the charity menu, like the smokey, mezcal-based Naked and Famous, made with Aperol, yellow chartreuse and lime, or the Raspberry Gingersnap, a combination of gin, raspberry syrup and ginger beer. Then cast your vote for one of four local charities. At the end of each month, Angel Share gives the winning charity with the most votes 100 percent of the proceeds from its menu. Now, who says drinking can’t make the world a better place?

Clarkwood

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Trendy but vintage, this Old Hollywood-esque bar in the Allen Parkway corridor offers the perfect backdrop while indulging in classic cocktails. Try Clarkwood’s gin and tonic, made with peppercorn and sage, or take things up a notch with a house shot like the “Persian Cowboy,” made with vodka, orange liqueur, and Persian key lime.

A rounded white bar is lit up in the center of a room, surrounded by chair, and topped with bottles.
Houston’s Clarkwood bar offers a trendy but vintage setting for a spin on classic cocktails.
Cameron Jones

Located just upstairs of the iconic cocktail bar Anvil & Refuge, Bobby Yeugel has created a delightfully moody “cocktail apartment,” boasting more than 200 spirits, including lesser-known liqueurs, gins, European brandies, and a variety of Japanese distilled spirits — and a selective cocktail list of just 20 drinks. Go for an “originals” cocktail like the Pacific Rim, made with shochu, kiwi, and lime, or opt for a cocktail from the “classics and riffs” section, which features a rendition of an Old Fashioned, a sazerac, and Yeugel’s signature martini — made with two gins, vermouth, and accouterments.

Lees Den

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Billed as an urban treehouse, the paradise vibes are a major draw at this quaint wine bar. But the cocktails aren’t too shabby either. The “Spring Thyme Spritz,” made with a peach and thyme vermouth, or the champagne cocktail, made with a brown sugar cube and house bitters, are a perfect choice for enjoying the patio views. If you’re skipping alcohol for the night, try their zero-proof “Golden Hour” cocktail, made with green tea, maca root, and lemongrass, and don’t miss out on their happy hour, held 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Lees Den cocktail with a side of chips.
Lees Den offers cocktails made with fresh juices and a variety of wines by the glass or bottle.
Jenn Duncan

Wild | Coffee | Bar | Dispensary

A bright pink and purple cocktail in a pineapple-shaped class, topped with mint, a pink flower, and  circular orange peels hanging on a pineapple toothpick for a garnish.
Wild’s edgy drinks are all named after a strain of hemp or cannibis.
Wild Concepts

From the owners behind Grinder’s Coffee Bar, this coffee bar and hangout spot offers a buzz in more ways than one with creative and quirky cocktails, coffee concoctions, and alcohol-free elixirs that can be spiked with your choice of liquor, CBD, or Delta 8, a hemp-based THC. Pick your poison at its full bar, with knowledgable bartenders who are willing to dream up a drink on the spot, or choose from the extensive cocktail list, crafted by Ladies of Libation, which features a smoked Old Fashioned lit up before your eyes. The picturesque Pink Loco, made with or without CBD, offers sweet and tart sips, while the gin-based Hinoi High Five, garnished with a hemp leaf, offers a refreshing vibe. Going for a virgin drink? Try the frozen coffee. It’s that good.

A bright pink and purple cocktail in a pineapple-shaped class, topped with mint, a pink flower, and  circular orange peels hanging on a pineapple toothpick for a garnish.
Wild’s edgy drinks are all named after a strain of hemp or cannibis.
Wild Concepts

Trash Panda Drinking Club

Opened last July, Lindale Park’s drinking destination is still buzzing with creative bar bites, like “trashy” quesabirria, pasta “noodz,” and “supa thicc” pizza slices, plus a firmly tongue-in-cheek cocktail menu, including the Bubblegum Martini, made with gin, hibiscus, lime, and “bubblegum broth,” and the cognac-based Cereal Killer, made with cereal milk, pineapple amaro, vanilla, and egg.

Heights & Co.

This new patio bar has already become a fun neighborhood hangout spot, with a pagoda with mood-setting string lights, covered patio tables, and a cocktail list that captures the lighthearted essence of the summer. Try the Mini Hulk Smash, a refreshing combination of bourbon, basil, ginger, lemongrass, and Topo Chico, or the gin-based Hipstrict, made with strawberry, lemon, and coconut. The bar food here also features filling appetizers and dishes like the cheesy spinach and artichoke dip and the steak frites, with sage-oil fries, all covered in a creamy herb-loaded au poivre sauce.

Patterson Park Patio Bar

Nested on White Oak Bayou Trail, Patterson Park operates like a snazzy and stylish adult playground. There are breathtaking views of Downtown, a living room-like parlor area, and indoor-outdoor bars outfitted with TVs, perfect for cheering on your favorite sports team. The impressive menu of craft beers and cocktails is also a draw, with Ranch Water on tap, lip-tingling Fantasma cocktails mixed with Ghost tequila, cooking frozen picklebacks, Thai chili margaritas, and innovative takes on cocktail classics.

Julep

Though Julep is certainly not new, this bar has yet to go out of style. The recent recipient of the city’s first national James Beard Award, this bar makes a mean Mint Julep, a refreshing gimlet, a classic Old Fashioned, and dozens of cocktails to choose from. Try more inventive or Southern-style renditions of your favorites, like the Tepache Julep, made with sous vide pineapple, white wine, mezcal, maraschino, raspberry, and tamarindo, or the Jungle Bird — a combination of aged and Blackstrap rums, Campari, pineapple, and lime juice. Take advantage of the Monday through Friday happy hour. From 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., house cocktails and house wines are half-off.

Angel Share

At this charity bar, you’ll find a welcoming setup, an impressive selection of whiskeys, agave-based spirits, and rums, and all-day happy hours on Monday. The best part? You can drink with a feel-good purpose. Choose items from the charity menu, like the smokey, mezcal-based Naked and Famous, made with Aperol, yellow chartreuse and lime, or the Raspberry Gingersnap, a combination of gin, raspberry syrup and ginger beer. Then cast your vote for one of four local charities. At the end of each month, Angel Share gives the winning charity with the most votes 100 percent of the proceeds from its menu. Now, who says drinking can’t make the world a better place?

Clarkwood

A rounded white bar is lit up in the center of a room, surrounded by chair, and topped with bottles.
Houston’s Clarkwood bar offers a trendy but vintage setting for a spin on classic cocktails.
Cameron Jones

Trendy but vintage, this Old Hollywood-esque bar in the Allen Parkway corridor offers the perfect backdrop while indulging in classic cocktails. Try Clarkwood’s gin and tonic, made with peppercorn and sage, or take things up a notch with a house shot like the “Persian Cowboy,” made with vodka, orange liqueur, and Persian key lime.

A rounded white bar is lit up in the center of a room, surrounded by chair, and topped with bottles.
Houston’s Clarkwood bar offers a trendy but vintage setting for a spin on classic cocktails.
Cameron Jones

Refuge

Located just upstairs of the iconic cocktail bar Anvil & Refuge, Bobby Yeugel has created a delightfully moody “cocktail apartment,” boasting more than 200 spirits, including lesser-known liqueurs, gins, European brandies, and a variety of Japanese distilled spirits — and a selective cocktail list of just 20 drinks. Go for an “originals” cocktail like the Pacific Rim, made with shochu, kiwi, and lime, or opt for a cocktail from the “classics and riffs” section, which features a rendition of an Old Fashioned, a sazerac, and Yeugel’s signature martini — made with two gins, vermouth, and accouterments.

Lees Den

Lees Den cocktail with a side of chips.
Lees Den offers cocktails made with fresh juices and a variety of wines by the glass or bottle.
Jenn Duncan

Billed as an urban treehouse, the paradise vibes are a major draw at this quaint wine bar. But the cocktails aren’t too shabby either. The “Spring Thyme Spritz,” made with a peach and thyme vermouth, or the champagne cocktail, made with a brown sugar cube and house bitters, are a perfect choice for enjoying the patio views. If you’re skipping alcohol for the night, try their zero-proof “Golden Hour” cocktail, made with green tea, maca root, and lemongrass, and don’t miss out on their happy hour, held 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Lees Den cocktail with a side of chips.
Lees Den offers cocktails made with fresh juices and a variety of wines by the glass or bottle.
Jenn Duncan

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