Best of Houston® 2021

Best Of Houston® 2021: Best Bar - Downtown

The view from Little Dipper's seating area on Main Street
Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
The view from Little Dipper's seating area on Main Street
Best Bar - Downtown: Little Dipper Bar

Little Dipper Bar took Houston City Council up on its offer to ply its essential trade on Main Street — as in literally out in the roadway — when a measure was enacted last fall to allow area restaurants and bars more space for outdoor patios during the pandemic. The quaint seating area now abutting Metro’s Red Line was meant to provide a safer drinking haven via open, harder to contaminate air. This addition is cozy and used by newbs and the diehard drinkers who’ve favored the resilient little bar over the years. Nice to see familiar and fresh faces imbibing in and outside of one of the city’s least pretentious drinkeries.

Indeed, one of the nicest things about the bar is how hard it’s not working for your affections. That’s not to say the barkeeps aren’t attentive or friendly. Many are attached to the city’s music community and if there’s anything a musician knows it’s how to manage an audience. They’re not overbearing or cloying, but will pop the tops on your beers of choice before you can order them if you’re a regular. They’ll chat, if that’s what you choose, or let you absorb the always interesting, volume-appropriate music curated for the evening (thanks be to the bar gods – no TouchTunes here). If you need space, you’ve got it, outdoors now but also inside, in booths and at tables to the fore and a funky living room of sorts to the rear. The dim lighting and solid drink specials might encourage later use of the condoms set in bowls and offered for free along the antique wooden bar.

Whether it's doing what is does reliably day after day or giving you new space to enjoy its offerings, Little Dipper does the little things that prove its undying devotion. It doesn't need to win your heart because Little Dipper loves you.

304 Main, Houston