Bayou City

Houston's 10 Best Bars in Midtown

Axelrad Photo by Marco Torres

Midtown gets sort of a reputation for being the place where frat-tastic types and early twentysomethings flock for continuous nights of debauchery and decadence. To some extent, this is true. Hell, that’s what you’re supposed to do in your early twenties anyway!

So, yes, Midtown features plenty of places designed for the party crowd, and these places certainly serve their purpose. Of course, the neighborhood has also evolved a bit in recent years and now features bars that also cater to those in search of a slightly more subdued good time, or perhaps even a quality bite to eat. Fortunately, it's a walkable part of Houston, so those in the area have options and can easily navigate them. Looking to cut loose? Wanna get out but keep it relatively chill? Wanna do the latter before getting into the former? Not a problem.

Saint Dane's - PHOTO BY HP STAFF
Saint Dane's
Photo by HP Staff
One founder had a Saint Bernard, the other a Great Dane. You see where we’re going with this. Point being, Saint Dane’s is a low-key place where both you and your dog can unwind in Midtown. Sports are always on TV, and karaoke nights are always a hit. Plus, while some local bars try to class up the menu a bit, Saint Dane’s gives regulars what they want on the menu: textbook bar food. Get down on anything from fried pickles to chicken strips to wings to nachos, then wash it down with any number of local beers on tap. 502 Elgin,

Glitter Karaoke - PHOTO BY CHRIS GRAY
Glitter Karaoke
Photo by Chris Gray
A number of area bars routinely host karaoke nights, and there’s nothing wrong with this; after all, karaoke is awesome. But Glitter is not a bar that happens to host karaoke; instead, it’s a bar that devotes itself to karaoke. Get on the list and belt out a tune; even if you suck, the crowd is always nice enough to encourage you anyway. Nightly drink specials are on display as well. 2621 Milam,

Wooster's Garden
Photo by David Rozycki
This spot will always hold a personal meaning, if only because it had an open-mike night during a friend’s birthday party, and someone did an acoustic cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.” That’s how you win friends right there. Wooster’s is a relatively new addition to Midtown, and it’s looking to class up the joint a little bit. The bar features a seasonal craft-cocktail menu, so expect some nice, refreshing drinks come summertime. Craft beer aplenty spews from the taps, and the club even serves Boilermakers (a beer-and-half-shot combo). The drinks aren’t the only thing that rises a cut above; Wooster’s features one of the best food menus in Midtown. Like its craft cocktail, Wooster’s serves up season offerings, so expect tacos, citrus-infused dishes and lighter options that best accompany the Texas summer heat. 3315 Milam,

Irish Cowboy
Photo by Yuri Pena
It was a bummer when Celtic Gardens closed last year, mostly because Celtic Gardens was one of the best places to get down on a little Sunday Funday in Midtown. However, what rose from the ashes of Celtic Gardens has been a revelation in Irish Cowboy. The owners expanded the patio, added a sweet outdoor bar and live-music stage, and even rolled out a new menu. Irish Cowboy bills itself as a backyard patio and bar, and that’s about right. It’s also a welcome tagline, as nothing says summer in Houston like fried food, cold beer, live music and good times on the patio. Plus, Irish Cowboy – like its predecessor – still makes for one fine place to watch football once fall rolls around. 2300 Louisiana,

Mongoose Versus Cobra - PHOTO BY HP STAFF
Mongoose Versus Cobra
Photo by HP Staff
Speaking of food, Mongoose Versus Cobra serves up some of the finest in Midtown. And if you’re curious why the bar/restaurant refers to its food as “groceries,” learn your Houston history – the building that inhabits Mongoose Versus Cobra opened in 1915 as Auditorium Grocery. Try the bratwurst or cold-cuts sandwich; you won’t be disappointed. On the booze front, Mongoose Versus Cobra is renowned for its beer selection. The bar currently serves up more than 40 beers on tap, from popular national brands like Lagunitas to local favorites like 8th Wonder and Brash. This is the place to come for dinner just before a night on the town; the joint is hopping, but not to the point where conversation is out of the question. 1011 McGowen,
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Clint Hale enjoys music and writing, so that kinda works out. He likes small dogs and the Dallas Cowboys, as you can probably tell. Clint has been writing for the Houston Press since April 2016.
Contact: Clint Hale