Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Band Name

    The Dimes(Now Called) Young Mammals

    The group had such a great name that some band from Oregon threatened to sue the pants off these youngsters for using it. Well, the Oregon band apparently did have the name first, unbeknownst to Houston's The Dimes, now called Young Mammals. The indie group collected 2007's Best New Band and a slew of other Houston Press awards last year… More >>
  • Best Alternative Club

    JavaJazz Coffeehouse - CLOSED

    Curious who might be on the Warped Tour next year? Chances are they'll play this nearly 4,000-square-foot, all-ages room way up in Spring first — or that they already have. Since JavaJazz relocated from Old Town Spring to its much more spacious FM 1960 quarters in 2006, several of the fastest-rising names in emo and punk-pop — Paramore, Plain White T's,… More >>
  • Best Bar Bathroom

    Rudyard's (downstairs men's room)

    We have no idea who a certain local character we'll charitably refer to as "T.B." may be, and that puts us in the definite minority among those who use Rudyard's downstairs men's room — or at least write on its walls. There we learned T.B. (allegedly) "licks ass (...and does your laundry)," "has Brad's whiskey dick," "is a blood donor"… More >>
  • Best Blues Club

    Mr. Gino's

    Along with the blues themselves, the old-fashioned juke joints that acted as hothouses incubating the music have been on the endangered species list for a while now, but they're not quite gone completely. Located in the Foster Place subdivision about as far south as you can get and still be inside the Loop, the ramshackle converted icehouse is one of… More >>
  • Best CD by a Local Artist

    Free Gold, ­Indian Jewelry­

    There's something inherently oceanic about Indian Jewelry's Free Gold, the densely layered second disc from the (mostly) Houston-based musical collective headed up by ex-Japanic/Swarm of Angels provocateur Tex Kerschen and wife Erika Thrasher. The rolling, tribal rhythms of several songs create an effect similar to being tossed to and fro on what old salts of yore called the "bounding main."… More >>
  • Best New Club


    When Boondocks celebrated its first anniversary in July, it was kind of a shock. Somehow, it seemed that the split-level bar had been around a lot longer. But in that short time, Boondocks has evolved into an impressive cross-section of the Houston music scene. Its DJ nights feature everything from '60s rock (Reverberations) and hard rock (Hell's Bells) to deep… More >>
  • Best Strip Club


    Most people think strip clubs are all the same: parasitic businesses featuring emotionally damaged young women with fake boobs and daddy issues, clinically gyrating for the prurient pleasure of sad, gold-chain-wearing chodes whose frigid wives and fears of intimacy are enough to make them buy shockingly overpriced watered-down booze and pretend that the vacant-eyed vixens are actually interested in what… More >>
  • Best Club for Local Acts

    Continental Club

    Houston has an oddly schizophrenic relationship with its local bands, showering attention and affection on a select few and all but ignoring others until they give up and move on to greener pastures. Luckily, the Continental Club is one of the few rooms in town that is not only unafraid to book Houston bands into its critical weekend-night slots, but… More >>
  • Best Club for Out-of-Town Acts

    Warehouse Live

    Very tough category to call this year — if you hadn't noticed, Houston has been getting some grade-A road shows lately — but Warehouse Live gets the nod for its versatility (i.e., the 300-capacity studio and 1,500-capacity ballroom), world-class sound system and the fact that more often than not its shows sell out, no matter if the evening's entertainment is… More >>
  • Best Lighting

    Meridian - CLOSED

    Any one of Houston's major music venues has a million-dollar lighting array to beat the band. That's why we chose Meridian, because for the sprawling Chartres Street club, less is more. At June's Peter Murphy show, for instance, the most striking moments — like his a cappella cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" — came when the former Bauhaus frontman… More >>
  • Best Performance Space

    The Backroom at the Mink - CLOSED

    "Performance space" feels a little highfalutin to describe the Mink's Backroom — it's a venue, plain and simple — except for a couple of points. First of all, there's no stage per se; bands just set up at one end of the rectangular upstairs room. Second, no other place in town programs such an even mixture of DJs and live… More >>
  • Best Band to Break Up in the Last Year


    UGK, short for Underground Kingz, were at the pinnacle of their craft, the highest point of their career. They had made songs with the biggest of rap stars and gained an international following unparalleled by other Houston MCs. But it all came crashing down in December when Pimp C suddenly died. The 2007 double CD Underground Kingz received raves and… More >>
  • Best Place to See Naked People


    Based on all the hookups-in-progress on a typical Friday '80s night at Numbers, maybe we should have called this category Place to See About-to-Be Naked People. And the stories we've heard about the people who couldn't wait until they got home and get it on in the lower Westheimer synth-pop/goth redoubt's bathroom stalls...So, although full-on nudity is rare — unless… More >>
  • Best Steak Night

    Under the Volcano

    Sometimes it seems like there are as many steak nights around Houston as potholes, and they'll all fill your belly up real good. But Under the Volcano gets the nod, because the Bissonnet shrine to Malcolm Lowry's novel (and all things tropicalia) has the good sense to have its steak night on Mondays, and it's always a good idea to… More >>
  • Best Hotel Bar

    The Black Swan

    Modern and warm, chic and cozy, The Black Swan is the perfect oasis whether you're a guest at the Omni Hotel or a fashionable urbanite looking for a great night out. Just steps away from the highly praised restaurant Noe inside the hotel, marble black swans greet patrons as they enter. Inside, there's a granite bar backlit with soft blue… More >>
  • Best Cigar Bar

    Downing Street Pub - CLOSED

    This one's a natural. It has the dark wood, the leather sofas and chairs, the black-clad ­waitresses — all the class, none of the ­snobbishness. Here's what you do: Walk in and head to the 400-square-foot humidor. If you don't have a favorite, or if the last cigar you had was ten years ago, the gentleman behind the counter will… More >>
  • Best Patio

    El Pueblito Place

    Gotta be honest: Last time we went to El Pueblito, they only had one credit-card machine, which meant we had to wait a fortnight for them to run the cards for a large party who closed out ahead of us. Essentially, we were hostages. But what a damn fine patio to be a hostage on! When you're on that patio, you… More >>
  • Best New Gallery

    Artstorm - CLOSED

    Artstorm took the city by, well, storm. Houston was hit with a wealth of paintings, sculpture, photography and more from some of the city's and the country's most exciting up-and-coming artists. This is thanks to the brainchildren behind the gallery — a mix of young artists and art enthusiasts who are quickly steering Artstorm toward the epicenter of all-things-hip in… More >>
  • Best Bachelorette Party ­Entertainment


    Houston's self-proclaimed "Misfit of R&B" is equal parts sex, soul and hilarity. You(genious) is known on the local music scene for his ability to lay down sultry vocals while busting plenty of moves with his well-dressed, more-to-love torso. For him, every show is a chance to woo unsuspecting female audience members with tunes like "3 Minute Romance," "Is Your Mind… More >>
  • Best Bar

    Poison Girl

    Poison Girl (PG if you're texting) gets a nod from us for its diverse clientele, entertaining decor and alcohol-heavy drinks. You're as likely to see a local musician enjoying a cheap drink on the patio with a one-legged Cabbage Patch Kid as you are a lawyer playing vintage pinball and drinking high-quality whiskey. (Did somebody say "Scavenger Hunt?") But the… More >>
  • Best Bar Atmosphere/Decor

    Lone Star Saloon

    On the outskirts of Midtown is a time warp to a Vietnam-era dive bar. Okay, so it's actually the Lone Star Saloon, but anyone who has moseyed (purposely or accidentally) into this shotgun-style drunken haven might believe the aforementioned scenario. The clientele ranges from talkative veterans to homeless crazies to two-steppin' transvestites. The bartenders — who prefer that you pay… More >>
  • Best Bartender

    Jon King of The Harp

    Jon King has mastered the most important skill in bartending — attitude. He's not all smiles or cheery salutations; rather, he possesses that charming, old-man sass (even though he's barely 40) that's no doubt born of years of serving drunks. You want to earn King's respect, but first you'll have to prove you're not just another Saturday-night Sam or Sally.… More >>
  • Best DJ

    Squincy Jones

    Way too few DJs manage to do anything original; many just seem to play the same records and never dare to venture outside the box. There's no room for mediocrity in a good DJ, and we're glad Squincy Jones figured this one out. As co-founder of the genre-splitting night Speakerboxx at The Backroom with his partner Dayta, he's pushed as… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse

    Catalina Coffee

    Catalina owner Max Gonzalez has a know-how you can taste. His passion for all things foamy and bean-born translates into his staff's cups of joe. It doesn't matter which of his always-friendly employees is preparing your latte, coffee or doppio, you're guaranteed a killer caffeine boost. But don't let all the expertise and high-quality ingredients fool you — Catalina caters… More >>
  • Best Local Comedian

    Sarah Tollemache

    We're giving Sarah Tollemache top honors this year despite her recent move to New York. The comedian spent a better part of the year here and was even featured on the Houston edition of Last Comic Standing's season six. Tollemache amassed more laughs around town in less than a year than most joke-slingers would in two. Whether she's flying solo… More >>
  • Best FotoFest Show

    Michael Somoroff: "The Absence of the Subject" at Deborah Colton Gallery

    Michael Somoroff (the mastermind behind the Rothko Chapel installation Illumination I) took more than two dozen photographs from legendary German photographer August Sander's collection "People of the Twentieth Century" and removed the people. His meticulous touch-ups made it look as if they were never there: In Pharmacist, all that was left was a tall bush next to a brick wall; in… More >>
  • Best Graffiti Artist

    Give Up

    If you noticed a lack of Give Up wheat-paste posters around town earlier this year, it's because the Give Up guy/gal had gone fishin'. Well, actually he (or she) was taking a vacation in the Pacific Northwest, collecting inspiration for his (or her) latest works. His (or her) return prompted plenty of eerie treasures picturing trees, spooky figures in the… More >>
  • Best Local Reading Series

    Poison Pen Reading ­Series

    Good writers? Check. Alcohol? Oh, check! The folks behind the Poison Pen Reading Series took their cue from greats like Dylan Thomas and Hunter S. Thompson and set up literary shop in a bar. Normally, the idea of poetry and bars sounds like a surefire way to get stuck at an open-mike listening to some guy describe how his first… More >>
  • Best New Bar

    Pearl Bar

    Yes, we know we gave them this award last year. But Pearl Bar has undergone major renovations since 2007, and you might say, well, it's like a whole new bar. The place that started as an open-every-now-and-then patio bar is now up and running both indoors and out. The inside makes it hard to believe the building once hosted some… More >>
  • Best Piercing Shop

    Taurian Body Piercing - CLOSED

    Taurian's employees don't poke around with any other body matters — they stick to piercing. This means customers can have their ears, eyebrows, nipples, bellybuttons and anything below the belt holed in an establishment where safety and knowledge of the procedure come first. (The place looks and smells like it's sanitized every hour.) The piercers are helpful before and after… More >>
  • Best Unsigned Band

    News on the March

    The members of News on the March didn't rush into the spotlight, but instead took the time to hone their craft. The result was a standout offering of first-time performances, featuring the most perfect three-part harmonies ever heard live from a start-up act. News on the March plays Nashville-style pop that's more country than most country these days. The group… More >>
  • Best Wine Bar

    13 Celsius

    Tucked away in a corner of Midtown, 13 Celsius is housed in a cozy, window-filled, 1930s Spanish-style building. This sets the stage for a laid-back atmosphere complemented by a staff ready to give you as much or as little attention as you need. Want to know what the folks behind the bar recommend? The wine list always includes a detailed… More >>
  • Best Concert Series

    Secret Saturdays at the Shady Tavern

    These shows are all about hidden treasures. First, there's the venue: Shady Tavern is a 69-year-old icehouse that's every bit as nice as the Alabama Ice House, if one-tenth as popular or overcrowded. Then there are the bills at the Secret Saturday shows: Since the talent is never announced beforehand, you never know if you're gonna hear rap, folk, blues… More >>
  • Best Hip-Hop Producer

    Mike Dean

    When it comes to music, there's seldom the chance to correctly use the word pioneer in describing an artist. However, when it comes to Mike Dean, nobody would argue the validity of those two words being used in one sentence. He's singlehandedly shaped Houston's hip-hop sound for some time, and the roster of rappers he's worked with is longer than… More >>
  • Best Dive

    Crowe Bar - CLOSED

    The drinks are cold and cheap, the jukebox will make you weep, and the shuffleboard is slick and true at this strip-mall tavern just off South Post Oak. The owner — Ms. Crowe herself—is a former Chronicle printer and has a lifetime of stories to tell, and occasional stragglers from the African-American strip club across the street enliven the clientele.… More >>
  • Best Hidden Bar

    Carolyn's - CLOSED

    We really mean what we say when we call this place hidden — it's on the side of a crumbling strip mall on an obscure side street off Willowbend Boulevard, which is never one of the first streets you think of when you think Houston nightlife. And then there are the train tracks nearby. Still, this little beer joint has… More >>
  • Best Local Rapper


    There's nothing fake about K-Rino — all of this Southside rapper's street tales positively peal with hard-earned authenticity. Although he has been in the game longer than almost everybody else in Houston, K-Rino has never seen fit to coast or ride on his own coattails. His lyrical ability and flow are matched by few, not just in Houston or the… More >>
  • Best Place to Drink on Your Way to Work

    The Red Hog Saloon

    Outside of Katz's Deli, taquerias with breakfast menus and Mary's, spots to get your a.m. drink on are few and far between. Those who want or need to get primed before that 10 o'clock sales meeting without the distraction of families eating migas or perhaps overly amorous patrons are S.O.L., unless they're fortunate enough to live near the Red Hog. Whether… More >>
  • Best Place to Lie Around Drinking Beer


    If there is a more serene pleasure to be had in this hustling, bustling megalopolis than lolling around on a blanket outside this Rice grad students' bar, watching the clouds rearrange into more and more fantastic shapes high overhead, a cup of some of the cheapest and coldest beer close at hand, we don't know of it. Listen to the… More >>
  • Best Place to Relive the '90s

    The Richmond Strip

    Despite the best efforts of VH-1, '90s nostalgia has yet to take hold of the national consciousness with the same force of '80s mania. In Houston, however, there is one hotbed of Clinton-era memories: the Richmond Strip, our forlorn "entertainment district of the future." What few nightspots remain from the Strip's glory days ply their patrons with a steady diet… More >>
  • Best Places to Score an Eight-Ball

    Jeez, there are so many, and while we don't wanna just spell this one out for you, we will give it to you tabloid blind item style. So here we go — four of the best places to find bat food inside the Loop: 1. Puff Daddy would like to shepherd his buddies to this 24-7 joint. 2. Ray Davies just might… More >>
  • Best Place to Smoke and Drink

    Tables in Front of La Carafe

    Since the nicotine-loving set has been literally kicked to the curb, those who also enjoy a tipple with their tobacco have been on the lookout for prime public spots in which to indulge their twin vices. While many bars have simply roped off a couple of cheap picnic tables in their parking lot, venerable La Carafe fully cashes in on… More >>
  • Best Redneck Bar

    Robbie's Lounge - CLOSED

    Contrary to our image in the national mind's eye, the redneck seems to be something of an endangered species in inside-the-Beltway Houston. But they didn't get that memo at Robbie's Lounge. At this Spring Branch-area strip mall bar, a Confederate flag hangs in one window, while a sign nailed to one wall reads, "Sexual harassment is tolerated here. However, it… More >>
  • Best Song About Houston

    "Montrose Boulevard Blues," by Craig Kinsey

    "See the Chinese meditatin' / smell the Dietrich's coffee percolatin' / hear the train whistle blow down at Main Street Station / when it's springtime / down in the 'Trose." So runs our favorite verse of this lovely little Dixieland ditty. Too often, songs that mention Houston do so only in passing, and the city comes across as generic as… More >>
  • Best Jukebox

    Warren's Inn

    Those digital jukeboxes where a patron can download anything they want to listen to are the scourge of the Houston bar scene and a sign you should question the quality of an establishment. Imagine, letting some douche with appalling musical taste play whatever he can dream up. Nobody should ever hear Don Johnson or Shaq at a bar. Ever. Thankfully,… More >>
  • Best Art Show

    "The Old Weird America" at the Contemporary Arts ­Museum Houston

    With works including everything from square-dance dresses to Pilgrim mannequins to shadow puppets committing antebellum sodomy, "The Old Weird America" presented a weirdly insightful take on America. CAMH senior curator Toby Kamps honed in on bizarre strains of American folk culture in contemporary art and came up with a provocative collection of works that made viewers take a long, hard… More >>
  • Best Art Space

    The Station Museum of ­Contemporary Art

    There are no better artistic agents provocateurs than Jim and Ann Harithas and the Station Museum of Contemporary Art. The Station is privately funded and directed by the Harithases, which allows them to essentially do whatever the hell they want. A former director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston as well as the Corcoran Museum of Art, Jim Harithas has… More >>
  • Best Curator

    Franklin Sirmans, ­Curator of Modern and Contemporary art at The Menil Collection

    Franklin Sirmans left New York for Houston, and NY's loss is Houston's gain. With his exhibition, "NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith," Sirmans, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Menil Collection, has brought the de Menils' legacy of spirituality in art into the 21st century. No staid, meditative Rothko Chapel experience, "NeoHooDoo" was diverse, funky and polytheistic. It… More >>
  • Best Local Artist

    Tom Jones

    In the early morning hours of May 11, Houston lost a dear friend. Fifty-one-year-old Tom Jones, curator and spokesperson for the Art Car Museum, was basking in the glow of ­another successful Art Car Parade, chatting with friends outside the museum after the traditional Illuminated Cruise, when a drunk driver hit a parked car, which in turn hit Jones and… More >>
  • Best Local Actor

    Justin Doran

    Justin Doran has been so busy performing around the city this year that it's hard to pin down just one role that makes his work so outstanding. He was hilarious as a long-limbed Little League dad in Rounding Third at Stages and disturbing as the scary fantasy man of a lonely little girl's dreams in Mr. Marmalade, also at Stages.… More >>
  • Best Local Actress

    Mikelle Johnson

    She's only just arrived in Houston, but Mikelle Johnson is already making a name for herself. The Yale graduate first starred as a disenfranchised teenager in Big Death, Little Death, Catastrophic Theatre's opening show. Then she moved on to darker subject matter in Stages's Mr. Marmalade, the cautionary tale about raising kids in America. And Johnson was brilliant as the… More >>
  • Best Director

    Mark Adams for The Best Man

    Mark Adams is not one of the glittering directors who amazes his audiences with flash-in-the-pan pyrotechnics. His work is most striking for the fact that it is quiet, strong and practically invisible. All the work and rehearsals disappear in his shows and allow the actors and the script to take center stage, which is exactly where they should be. That… More >>
  • Best Musical

    Love, Janis atThe Alley Theatre

    Okay, we admit it, one of the best things about Love, Janis was that the show about the life and times of Janis Joplin, the Texas queen of rock, was so, well, unmusical-like. The setup was simple: Two actors played Joplin. One sang the great singer's amazing songs while the other told her story in simple epistolary monologues. Tunes like… More >>
  • Best Ensemble Production

    The Scene at The Alley ­Theatre

    The Alley Theatre's production of Theresa Rebeck's The Scene was one of the most deliciously disturbing productions of the season. Focusing on an out-of-work actor who spirals out of control, the story managed to make many wonderfully wry observations about the current human condition. Everything from television to overeating to vapid sex got a moment to shine in all its… More >>
  • Best Original Show

    The Splasher by Troy Schulze

    Created by Catastrophic Theatre company member (and Houston Press contributor) Troy Schulze, The Splasher focuses on a real-life guy who ran around New York City vandalizing graffiti as a political statement against art. The Splasher hated the fact that when the artists moved into any neighborhood and made their presence known with upscale graffiti that would cost thousands hanging in… More >>
  • Best Midtown Club

    Shoeshine Charlie's Big Top Lounge

    Let Midtown get as gentrified as it can, certainly not a problem these days, but walking into the Big Top ("No phone, no pool, no pets") will always feel like being transported back to 1976. A toy store once upon a time — supposedly the place that provided the inspiration for Toys "R" Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe, no less… More >>
  • Best Theater on a Shoestring Budget

    Mildred's Umbrella ­Theater Company

    Give a theater $100,000 and you expect something great, but the real test of a group of artists is what they can do with a next-to-nothing budget. We could all take a lesson from Mildred's Umbrella, a company dedicated to the strangeness of theater that manages to keep its artistic integrity on a shoestring budget. Many of their provocative productions… More >>
  • Best Ballet

    Sleeping Beauty

    Poor little Aurora. In Dominic Walsh Dance Theater's version of Sleeping Beauty, she was a rebellious teen suffering from narcolepsy, drug abuse and, well, general sluttiness. Walsh turned the fairy tale on its head and created a splendid fast-footed, semi-comical, quasi-tragic tail of love, lust, teen angst and fantasy. The princess was a pain and the prince a geek, but… More >>
  • Best Choreographer

    Stanton Welch

    It's not easy running a major ballet company — you have to deal with daily headaches, budgets and dancer dilemmas, not to ­mention create groundbreaking choreography. ­Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch handles it and still manages to create dances that ­dazzle. Whether he's restaging classics and creating his own full-length ballets, like the 2006 Swan Lake, or doing cutting-edge… More >>
  • Best Dancer

    Domenico Luciano

    This Italian hunk with smoldering matinee looks is one tall drink of water. We knew he had great form and a brooding presence and that he could pull off princely ballet moves and blend seamlessly into contemporary choreography. But in Dominic Walsh Dance Theater's Sleeping Beauty, he showed great comedic talent too. As the geeky, modern-day prince, he was an… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    River Oaks Theatre

    The River Oaks Theatre is one of a kind in Houston. Built in 1939 in ornate Art Deco style, it's the only movie palace left in the city. Of course, the films shown now are slightly racier than the theater's inaugural screening, Bachelor Mother with David Niven and Ginger Rogers. Today there are regular showings of The Rocky Horror Picture… More >>
  • Best Festival

    Bayou City Art Festival

    The Bayou City Art Festival isn't just the best in Houston — it's among the best events of its kind in the country, frequently ranking among the top five festivals in Sunshine Artist magazine, the result of a vote by participating artists. BCAF is actually two festivals, or rather one festival that happens twice a year, once downtown and once… More >>
  • Best Houston Book

    The Memoirs of a ­Beautiful Boy by ­Robert Leleux

    Robert Leleux's grandmother told him, "Sad lives make funny people." If that's true, Leleux must have had a very, very sad life. His book, The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy, is a giddy, sometimes hysterical (in both the funny and the not-funny way) coming-of-age story. The young Leleux didn't know he was gay; thankfully, his mother did, hence the frequent… More >>
  • Best Music Festival

    International Festival

    The mega-size International Festival is held annually over two weekends in April. From mariachis to Hugh Masekela, if it's music, it's there. Ten stages feature music from around the world — and some from around the neighborhood — and include Latin music, world music, pop, blues, country and jazz. The festival draws names big and small. This year's nationally known… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar

    Jonny's Sports Bar

    We'll tell you right here off the bat, this isn't some giant spot with 10,000 TVs where you can watch the Romanian Curling Championships. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a locally owned neighborhood sports bar. Chain sports bars are like McDonalds for sports fans. Jonny's is the spot with the kick-ass chicken-fried steak you wouldn't know about unless some local… More >>
  • Best Place to See Good Jazz

    Tommy's Seafood ­Steakhouse - CLOSED

    At Tommy's Seafood, some of the best local musicians perform four nights a week. Pianist Matt Lemmler, originally from New Orleans (sorry, Big Easy, he's ours now), anchors what is a stellar lineup of live music. Trumpet player Dennis Dotson, saxophonist Warren Sneed, drummers Joel Fulgham and Sebastian Whittaker, guitarist Mike Wheeler and vocalist Pamela York all regularly perform at… More >>
  • Best Gambling Room

    Maxwell's Carwash

    There may be some high-dollar underground poker rooms in the city, but Maxwell's Carwash ain't one of them. Located on the far north side of Houston, in a bright blue, wood-paneled building, the car wash isn't a large-scale operation, but there's an open lot and cleaning supplies out front. And there are some serious bones being thrown here. The domino… More >>
  • Best Drag Queen


    Kofi is a perennial favorite, and winner, of Best of Houston®. In fact, you might think there's not another drag queen in town, but Tuesday nights at JR's Bar & Grill prove differently. The show starts at 11 p.m. as Kofi dances and lip-synchs to songs from the diva collection. Beforehand, at 9 p.m., the bar hosts Drag Queen Bingo,… More >>
  • Best Lotto Ticket

    Texas Hold 'Em Poker Scratch-off

    Scratch-off lottery tickets can be a great gambling fix. There's something about the physical act of furiously scratching that makes you feel like you're gambling real hard. Taking that to the next level is the Texas Hold 'Em Poker scratch-off, which allows a double fix: poker and lotto. For $5, you can "play" five hands, then scratch off the community… More >>
  • Best Pool Hall

    Cue & Cushion

    Cue & Cushion is a laid-back place to shoot some pool and have a drink, or watch some serious players shoot. Finding an open table usually isn't a problem, and word is, the tables are the best in town. Cue & Cushion also caters heavily to the "industry" crowd, so the place fills up later in the night. If you're… More >>
  • Best Stripper

    Angelic at The Colorado Bar & Grill

    Angelic is the best stripper in Houston because she's smoking hot. She dances at The Colorado Bar & Grill, but she doesn't blow fire or do back flips or twist her body into crazy stripper positions. Simply. Smoking. Hot. Brutha. "When I first started, I would just shake my ass like I was at the club," Angelic says. "Now I… More >>
  • Best Tattoo Artist

    Antoine at Texas Tattoo

    What do you get when a Vietnamese kid is raised and steeped in all things Texas while growing up in Pearland? An Asian tattoo artist with a serious Southern drawl who has an interest in tat'in kick-ass skulls and naked chicks onto your skin — and who can do it better than most. Antoine has patiently honed his skills with… More >>
  • Best Unofficial Private Club

    The Next Door Bar

    No, the Next Door is not an after-hours club per se; no secret knock or any of that Al Capone-type stuff. However, if you're reasonably well acquainted with the staff and don't piss them off (which is not exactly easy to do, but it does happen), they're not always in a hurry to chase you home at the stroke of… More >>
  • Best Theater Company

    Stages Repertory ­Theatre

    Producing Artistic Director Kenn McLaughlin proved himself over and over at Stages Repertory Theatre last season. The season of powerful scripts moved easily from money-making musicals like Altar Boyz to thoughtful social commentaries such as The Unseen and Black Pearl Sings. Rich with political heft, hilarious jokes and emotional power, the season was most impressive for its commitment to exploring… More >>
  • Best Dance Company

    Hope Stone

    Most Houston arts companies would say that they want people of every color, size, age, gender, ethnicity and ability in their audience. Hope Stone goes one better and puts people of every color, size, age, gender, ethnicity and ability onstage, too. Choreographer/artistic director/resident janitor Jane Weiner (hey, that's her joke, not ours) is the driving force behind the dance company… More >>