Best of Houston

Best Of Houston® 2020: Best Cocktail Bar

The Golden Gun by Alejandro Medina.
Photo by Tommy Ho
The Golden Gun by Alejandro Medina.
Best Cocktail Bar: Anvil Bar & Refuge

Ten years later and Anvil Bar & Refuge is still the best place in Houston to grab a cocktail—if only one can arrive at a choice—there are so many rabbit holes to travel down. Where to begin, where to begin.

Seasonal offerings created by each bartender are a good place as the 100 list of classic cocktails rarely budges. That list, made easier to narrow down thanks to its division into seven categories, is grouped into themes like herbal & spirituous, bitter & bold, and so on. Perhaps not a cocktail, perhaps a half-pour journey through Scotland, Japan, or Kentucky is in order. The captain's list, page after page, covers the world of spirits— and for the curious, be sure to ask about the break-even bottle, which is a special bottling offered at cost prices.

Ah, there are so many, but the Prairie Oyster—mezcal, savory house spice blend with a fresh cracked egg yolk— is gone in an instant and forever memorable, and there is something incredible about how the sharp and proficient staff have the ability to explain the history of Rhum Agricole while on minute four of shaking a Ramos Gin Fizz. Anvil Bar & Refuge not only makes Houston proud, it churns out a higher echelon of bartenders, effectively rising the tide of talent in this town and beyond.

1424 Westheimer, Houston

Readers' Choice: Anvil Bar & Refuge