Houston's 10 Best Bars to Beat the Heat

Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's 'Islands In the Stream,' MVSC's Green Isaac's Special features gin, coconut water, lime juice and Green Chartreuse. Refreshing!
Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's 'Islands In the Stream,' MVSC's Green Isaac's Special features gin, coconut water, lime juice and Green Chartreuse. Refreshing!
Photo courtesy of Mongoose Vs. Cobra

For the majority of the next few months, Houston – with its searing heat and soup-like humidity – is going to be pretty unbearable. That said, it’s summer, and summer is prime drinking time for those in and around the area. Many will simply brave the soaring temperatures and continue their patio season through the summer. Others, meanwhile, are looking to have a few drinks in temperature-controlled conditions. Fortunately, Houston doesn’t lack for options in either regard, least of all at these ten spots we think are the best.

The Maple Leaf's drinks are as frosty as the Great White North.
The Maple Leaf's drinks are as frosty as the Great White North.

10. THE MAPLE LEAF PUB
Maple Leaf Pub boasts one of Houston's better indoor spaces, with plenty of room to escape the heat, knock down a few drinks and take in some bar games or sports on TV. Ironically enough, the National Hockey League — a league played on ice and one whose roots are based up north — finishes up its season just as the temperature is turning up in Houston, making Maple Leaf Pub (the best hockey bar in town) an ideal spot to escape the heat and watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (514 Elgin, themapleleafpub.com)

A tasty Japanese martini at Anvil will cool you down every time.
A tasty Japanese martini at Anvil will cool you down every time.
Chuck Cook Photography

9. ANVIL BAR & REFUGE
Refuge indeed, as Anvil ranks among the best bars in town for getting indoors and enjoying a classic cocktail. Routinely regarded among the best bars in the country by publications such as Esquire, Anvil serves up an array of craft cocktails, including summertime favorites such as the Backslide and the Roamin Holiday. The drinks are upscale, but the vibe is laid-back. (1424 Westheimer Ste. B, anvilhouston.com)

The Pastry War's lively Day of the Dead-themed decor
The Pastry War's lively Day of the Dead-themed decor

8. THE PASTRY WAR
The Pastry War, which fuses the drinking culture of Mexico with French décor, was made for summer. That holds particularly true at happy hour, which runs weekdays from 4-6:30 p.m. and features specials on margaritas and Mexican beers. Plus, free pool! Those looking to dial it up a notch can indulge in summertime drinks like the Puma in Paradise, the Gringo Star or a house-made Michelada. (310 Main, thepastrywar.com)

Petrol Station
Petrol Station
HP Staff

7. PETROL STATION
The indoor space at this Garden Oaks gem isn’t particularly spacious, but the vast patio is pretty much covered by shade, which makes for a cooler time outdoors. The beer selection ranks among the best in Houston, as do the burgers. Petrol Station makes for a perfect summer evening on the patio. (985 Wakefield, twitter.com/Petrol_Station)

Houston's 10 Best Bars to Beat the HeatEXPAND
HP Staff

6. THE NIGHTINGALE ROOM
Speaking of Anvil, Nightingale Room owner Mike Criss has partnered with the team at Anvil in assembling its drink menu. Those drinks go down even better at this intimate indoor space, which ranks among the best spots in downtown Houston. Selections from the Nightingale's ample vinyl collection are played on weekdays, while house music rules the roost on weekends. It also features live and local music pretty much every day of the week it's open...which it's not on Sunday and Monday. (308 Main, nightingaleroom.com)

Next time in Midtown, treat yourself to MVSC's 'Brand New Daiquiri'
Next time in Midtown, treat yourself to MVSC's 'Brand New Daiquiri'
Photo courtesy of Mongoose vs. Cobra

5. MONGOOSE VERSUS COBRA
The beer selection at MvsC ranks among the best in Midtown. The bratwurst and cold-cuts sandwiches served up from the deli are on point. And best of all, the indoor seating is ample. Mongoose Versus Cobra, one of the more unique bars in town, is tailor-made for grabbing dinner and drinks with friends, and doing so in a comfortably temperature-controlled environment. (1011 McGowen, mongooseversuscobra.com)



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