Houston’s 10 Best Bars in Montrose

Montrose is one of the most popular – and, arguably, the most eclectic – neighborhoods in Houston, and its bar and nightclub scene is one of the city's busiest. The area due southwest of downtown is home to sports bars, dance clubs, gay bars, upscale joints, dive bars and everything in between. Montrose literally offers something for everyone looking for a nice place to kick back – or turn up – with cold drinks and good friends. But, like any other part of town, the neighborhood has its highlights. These ten bars are essential Montrose nightlife.

The Hay Merchant
The Hay Merchant
Photo by HP Staff

10. THE HAY MERCHANT
Few, if any, bars in Montrose do craft beer quite like The Hay Merchant, which stores and serves a staggering number of national and local brews. The bartenders are some of the best in the city, so if the beer list overwhelms you, just give them an idea what you want and they’ll take care of the rest. And while many bars in town serve food, The Hay Merchant doesn’t just serve standard bar fare; it offers up quality options like blackened catfish, Korean fried chicken and sweet and spicy pig ears (they’re good, promise). An aside: The Hay Merchant also features one of the more interesting weekly specials you’ll find – TV Dinner Monday – which includes old-school TV shows on the screen and TV dinners made from scratch. 1100 Westheimer, haymerchant.com

HP StaffEXPAND
HP Staff
Photo Courtesy of Doc's Motorworks Bar & Grill

9. DOC’S MOTORWORKS BAR & GRILL
It’s springtime in Houston, which means 80-degree days meant for day drinking. And if there’s a bar in Montrose tailor-made for day drinking, it’s Doc’s. With its gorgeous Westheimer-facing patio and open-air indoor area that embraces the natural light, Doc’s is the perfect place to post up, have some food (the Frito Pie Grande is a particular favorite) and drinks and enjoy the game. Plus, for those looking to get out with the family, Doc’s is kid-friendly and features a dog-friendly patio. 1303 Westheimer, eatdrinkdocs.com

Etro Lounge
Etro Lounge
Photo by HP Staff

8. ETRO LOUNGE
The beauty of Montrose is that it features bars like Hay Merchant and Doc’s — light, airy, laid-back — alongside joints like Etro, which is decidedly none of those things. Instead, this shrine to '80s music is packed, loud and, to be frank, a great place for those looking to hook up. The drinks are strong, the people are pretty and, most important, there's a free Pac-Man arcade game upstairs for those looking for a break from the dance floor. 1424 Westheimer, #A, etrolounge.com

Anvil
Anvil
Photo by HP Staff

7. ANVIL BAR & REFUGE
Since opening in 2009, Anvil has made it a mission to become the go-to spot in Montrose for classic cocktails, and has done so by crafting a list of more than 100 for patrons to enjoy. The bar is upscale in feel but casual in vibe; if that doesn’t make sense, basically, Anvil feels like a fancy, sophisticated bar, but one fairly lenient on the dress code. One thing it's not lenient on, however, is derogatory language. Bar bites like bratwurst, olives and Scotch eggs make for nice accompaniments to whichever craft cocktail suits your fancy. 1424 Westheimer, anvilhouston.com

Poison Girl
Poison Girl
Photo by Clint Hale

6. POISON GIRL
The contrasts between Anvil and Poison Girl – two awesome bars that could not be more different – are a textbook example of Montrose's diversity. Poison Girl doesn’t do upscale or trendy; it’s a place to visit after a long week, when it’s time to forget your troubles and tie one on with various regulars and well-wishers. The drinks are strong, the staff is charming in its own way, and the bar features a row of pinball machines that keep folks bumping well into the night. Part of Poison Girl’s charm lies in its representation of what Montrose once was and, to an extent, still is: one of the weirdest, most eclectic neighborhoods in the U.S. 1641 Westheimer, #B, 713-527-9929



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