Best Downtown Bar Houston 2005 - La Carafe
Housed in Houston's oldest commercial building (it used to be a freaking Pony Express station), La Carafe is a barroom-lover's bar. We're not talking a Bud Light-clock, gigantic-TV, supermodel-poster barroom, but a grown-up, no-bullshit place to sit down with a close group of friends and do some serious drinking. The candles that appear to give the bar its only light seem to have been burning for more than 100 years, perched as they are upon mountains of congealed wax. Nestled in the corner by the rustic, shutter-doored restrooms is a jukebox boasting Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, Billie Holiday and Patsy Cline. The wine selection is great, the bartenders are among the best in Houston, and there's a big moose head mounted on the wall. And on days when the balcony is open, you can walk up the world's narrowest stairs, sit outside and take in Market Square. This is living history.