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Best Houston Nightlife

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When it comes to finding the best Houston nightlife, keep in mind that the scene is quite varied, and you can find good spots for drinks in every part of the city. We've narrowed down the best Houston night life, including the best live music, which will be found in varied locales, such as the Continental Club in Midtown or the House of Blues downtown. Montrose is famous for being one of the diverse Houston nightlife scenes, which runs the gamut from gay bars to big box nightclubs to swanky cocktail bars. South Beach on the edge of Montrose and Midtown is for those who want to party late, and it has a sexually mixed crowd. Midtown is where the pretty people hang out, at hip spots like the Nouveau Antique Art Bar with its collection of Tiffany lamps, Big Top, and 13 celsius. And Rice Village, walking distance from Rice University, has several great Houston bars including Ginger Man and Baker Street with a fun older college crowd (Rice has as many graduate students as undergraduates). After watching a show in the Theater District, grab a late night cocktail at Bistro Lancaster or coffee and wine at Minuti Coffee.

Marfreless Bar

Neighborhood: River Oaks
An unmarked pub, recognizable only by its blue door, the Marfreless bar has reportedly remade itself since its heyday when people knew it as the upscale dive where the rich took their mistresses. Quite simply one of the best Houston bars, it’s famous for being the subject of several magazine articles and to this day it’s popular for couples sharing an after-dinner drink. The soft classical music is perfect for talking and canoodling.

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Marfreless Bar  

Anvil

Neighborhood: Montrose
Owned by self-proclaimed “cocktail freaks,” Anvil is located inside a renovated Bridgestone-Firestone tire building. The owners gutted it and found brick walls and industrial ductwork, which they left in order to give the place a vintage feel. The unique artsy lamps are made from reclaimed wood. They developed their own 100 “try in your lifetime” cocktail list, from the Absinthe Drip to the Coffee Cocktail with cognac, ruby port and a raw egg. Drinks are a bit pricey, but the bartenders meticulously prepare each drink. While at Anvil, you may as well hop on over to a couple of the other best Houston bars on the same corner of Westheimer: Etro—an 1980s retro club—and Boondock’s which has good DJs on Friday nights.

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Anvil  

Washington Avenue Drinkery

Neighborhood: West End
Washington Avenue stretches from West downtown to Memorial Park, and in addition to the Midtown spots, it is one of the hippest places to hang out for drinks. The Washington Avenue Drinkery is one of the best of the best in this up-and-coming locale—especially beloved for their $1 beers on Thursday nights, and their lovely outdoor patio. They serve a scrumptious pizza, but their menu options are somewhat limited.

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Washington Avenue Drinkery  

Warehouse Live

Neighborhood: EaDo
Not far from downtown’s skyscrapers, neon lights set off Warehouse Live in the downtown’s “warehouse” region just three blocks from Minute Maid Park. It’s often listed as one of the best Houston nightlife scenes to listen to live music and shows, everything from Cracker to Monster Metal. Most live shows are standing room only, so don’t expect a seat, although there are a handful of couches around the venue.

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Warehouse Live  

Ginger Man

Neighborhood: Rice Village
This funky little dive just celebrated their 25th anniversary. Set in a standalone building in Rice Village, the first thing you’ll notice about Ginger Man are the over 68 beers on tap behind the bar—they have another 155 varieties in bottles. Play darts for free (ask the bartender), or hang out on the large shaded courtyard out back. The crowd ranges from college students to slightly older pub crawling regulars, and because this is college-central bring your ID if you look under, say, 50. They card everyone. While there, try the Lindeman’s Framboise—it’s a sweet, distinctive Belgian beer that’s seasoned with raspberries. No matter how old you are, Ginger Man is one of our favorite stops, as well as one of the best Houston bars.

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Ginger Man  
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