The Best Dive Bars in Houston

Houston has perfected the dive bar, and though spread out (like the rest of Houston) you know one when you see one. Broken down, crusted and caked, tucked into strip malls, embedded in neighborhoods and always—always—serving Lone Star, Houston’s dives are vestiges of the city’s stubborn will to remain stuck in time. The trick is finding the ones where the dive is worth the fall. —Nicholas Hall

  • 1

    Alice’s Tall Texan Drive Inn

    There’s really only one thing you need to know here, and that’s whether you’re drinking Shiner or Lone Star. Alice's Tall Texan is a dive at its most elemental, with a jukebox that could launch an entire post-collegiate identity and a clientele whose response to your arrival might be best described as detached amusement. Don’t take it personally.

    MORE INFO →

    KNOWN FOR

    • cheap beer
    • jukebox
    • day drinking
  • 2

  • 3

    Lola's Depot

    No sign. No windows. No glassware. No bullshit. Lola’s is the premiere Montrose dive bar (if a dive bar can be described in such terms), though some might call its dive status into question given the recent additions of a credit card machine and craft beer. But when you trip over the exposed sedimentary flooring on your way to a crusty bathroom, you’ll beg to differ. The cheap beer and practiced nonchalance make it worth any stubbed toes.

    MORE INFO →

    KNOWN FOR

    • cheap beer
    • jukebox
    • games
  • 4

    Poison Girl

    Arguably the whiskey-soaked heart of Montrose, Poison Girl is like a grown-up bar with a dive bar for a spirit animal. Behind the roll-up door is one of the city’s finest collections of whisky and characters, and on any given night, you might find a poetry reading out back. The patio is anchored by a life size, rainbow hued Kool-Aid Man statue. Inside, there’s a row of vintage pinball machines and chalkboard tables to indulge your inner vandal.

    MORE INFO →

    KNOWN FOR

    • craft cocktails
    • lots of whiskey
    • games
    • outdoors / patio
  • 5

    Shiloh Club

    The Shiloh Club is no passing fancy. This is a place for dedicated drinkers, many who have been at their task and in their stools for longer than you’ve been able to drink. The whole place feels a little like a VFW hall—TVs, couches and lots of shitty beer—which is a crucial part of the charm.

    MORE INFO →

    KNOWN FOR

    • games
    • outdoor / patio
    • day drinking
  • 6

    Sunny's

    Sunny’s is like a portal into an alternate universe nestled into a small downtown storefront. Don’t let the harsh lighting fool you; Sunny’s is serious about having a good time—sort of like the night you figured out your aunt Donna really knows how to throw a party. A beach theme worked into a space that could pass for an airport bar at the end of the world makes Sunny's enjoyably disjointed.

    MORE INFO →

    KNOWN FOR

    • games
    • jukebox
FROM AROUND THE WEB