Best Bar: Anvil Bar & Refuge
Go Sherlock when you visit Anvil Bar & Refuge. The best way to sample the bar’s libations, which spurred the city’s ongoing enthusiasm for craft cocktails, is by unraveling just how unique and mysterious they are. You’ll be handed a beverage menu as soon as you enter but if you truly want to be one with the drink, we suggest not poring over the spellbinding ingredients in this selection or that. Choose on its name alone and let your palate solve the cocktail’s secrets like Columbo chasing clues. Is that honeysuckle, you’ll wonder? That’s cucumber and mint, for sure — book ‘em, Danno. Once your glass is drained — and trust us, it won’t be long — you can return to the menu to see if you guessed right.
Of course, you can play drink detective at any bar, but only Anvil and its inspired concoctions allow you to do your sleuthing in a perennial James Beard Award nominated establishment. Eight straight years of those honors makes Anvil a destination bar for drinkers from all over. With so many bars shuttering at least temporarily through the lockdown, including Anvil, it seems like a good year to celebrate the classics. Because it's stirred a booming craft cocktail scene here since it opened in 2009, there’s no mystery to Anvil’s significance to the Houston bar community.