When the Houston Astros’ season began six months ago, the team was certainly expected to contend among the league’s elite. In the ensuing months, the team has done just that. At one point considered the best team in baseball, the Astros enter the American League Division Series as the No. 2 seed in the league (Cleveland is the top seed) and will face the third-seeded Boston Red Sox in a best-of-five series with a spot in the American League Championship Series on the line.
The series gets going on Thursday when the Astros host the Red Sox at Minute Maid Thursday and Friday, and tickets are so hot that they sold out in about two minutes. Not among those lucky enough to score tickets to the games? Or looking for a cool place to watch when the series shifts back to Boston? Look no further – Houston features plenty of sports bars for your viewing entertainment.
May as well start with a bar that is not only located within blocks of Minute Maid Park, but takes its name from Astros Hall of Famer Craig Biggio. Located inside the new Marriott Marquis, Biggio’s is upscale as sports bars go and features menu items like steak skewers and wild boar mac and cheese. However, in perfect sports-bar fashion, Biggio’s doesn’t lack for TV and drink options, making it a place to catch the games while in close proximity to where those games are actually taking place. (1777 Walker, biggioshouston.com)
9. GEORGE’S COUNTRY SPORTS BAR
Not only is George’s one of Houston’s most storied gay bars, it's also one of the best sports bars in and around the Montrose. Sidle up to the bar and order a cold beer; for those looking to take in Game 1 of the Astros/Red Sox series, Thursday also happens to be steak night at George’s. (617 Fairview, 713-528-8102)
Griff’s bills itself as Houston’s oldest sports bar, but whether that is actually true is somewhat inconsequential, considering it's without question one of Houston’s best sports bars. With 22 televisions locked and loaded for your viewing pleasure, finding a good vantage point for the Astros’ game won’t be an issue. While doing so, grab any one of Griff's 25 beers on tap while sampling bar food like fried cheese sticks, chicken wings and stuffed jalapenos. (3416 Roseland, griffshouston.net)
7. CLUTCH BAR
Look, Washington Avenue isn’t for everyone, but considering the Astros kick off their series against the Red Sox on Thursday, that’ll make a perfect time for the party crowd to get out and cheer on the home team. For those in the mood to turn it up a notch, Clutch – which has really come into its own since opening late last year – is the place to be. In addition to serving up local craft beer on tap, Clutch offers food options like burgers and flatbreads, not to mention TVs at every turn and a nice, albeit small, outdoor patio scene. (5334 Washington, clutch-bar.com)
6. LITTLE WOODROW’S
For purposes of the Astros’ playoff run, your best bet is probably to check out the Woodrow’s locations in either Midtown, EaDo or on Shepherd. First off, the Shepherd location serves food; food trucks post up outside the Midtown branch. Secondly, all three are best equipped from a TV perspective, so catching the games will be a bit easier. Finally, for those looking to turn it up a bit, Thursday night is also home to the famous turtle races at Woodrow’s Midtown, making it the place to be as the Astros kick off their series against Boston. (7 Houston-area locations, littlewoodrows.com)
5. LUCKY’S PUB DOWNTOWN
If you’re lucky enough to have tickets to the Games 1 or 2 of the Astros-Red Sox series, Lucky’s makes for a nice, walkable pregame spot within close proximity to Minute Maid Park. No tickets? No problem, as Lucky’s offers food and drink specials every day of the week. That includes $3 Karbach beers on Thursday, 1/2 beer and shot of the day on Friday, and steak and pint night on Tuesdays. (801 St. Emanuel, luckyspub.com)
4. NICK’S PLACE
You might have a hard time finding Nick’s, considering it’s tucked away inside a tiny strip center on Rockyridge. But once you find it, you’ll be glad you did. Nick’s, a Houston institution for nearly 25 years, features more than 40 TV screens and a kitchen that stays open until 1 a.m. That provides ample time to get down on some of the best bar food in town, in particular Italian options like lasagna and baked ziti. (2713 Rockyridge, nicksplacehouston.com)
McIntyre’s has made quite a splash since opening last year, becoming arguably the go-to spot for sports viewing in the greater Heights area. With TVs at every turn, a full-service bar and a rotating array of food trucks on-site daily, McIntyre’s caters to party types and the laid-back crowd alike. Order up a bucket of beers from any number of servers (who offer some of the best service in town, btw) and enjoy the game on any number of televisions. Hell, do so while chilling on one of McIntyre’s popular patio swings. (1230 W. 20th, mcintyreshouston.com)
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2. PUB FICTION
Pub Fiction just sorta ran together with its fellow Midtown bars for the better part of its run, until a 2016 full-scale renovation changed everything. The renovation, which wrapped up last fall, expanded the bar’s patio and changed its interior to a more open floor plan. Pub Fiction is now easily the best sports-viewing bar in Midtown, whether it be NFL, college football or, for our purposes, the Astros’ playoff run. Grab a seat on the patio as the weather cools down and enjoy the hometown nine as they make a push for the World Series. (2303 Smith, pubfiction.com)
1. CHRISTIAN’S TAILGATE
The standard by which all other local sports bars are measured, Christian’s Tailgate – no matter the location – is the area’s premier bar in which to check out the Astros’ playoff push. For starters, any local sports bar can serve up a burger, but good luck matching the burgers at Christian’s, which rank among the finest in the city. And with a number of local beers on tap, not to mention TVs galore, Christian’s will be the viewing spot of choice for thousands of locals as they support the Astros in their quest for a championship. (4 Houston-area locations, christianstailgate.com)