Bayou City

Houston’s 10 Best Bars on Washington Avenue

Liberty Station is one of many bars on Washington Avenue that offer a lively feel.
Liberty Station is one of many bars on Washington Avenue that offer a lively feel. Photo by Doogie Roux
Some people are going to read the title of this article, scoff at the notion of frequenting any bar on Washington Avenue, then move on. This is fair to a point; Washington certainly features its share of joints with overly aggressive bouncers and ridiculous dress codes.

Yes, like any other part of town, Washington has its misses. It also has plenty of hits as far as nightlife goes. In fact, Washington boasts a vast array of bars, many of which rank among the best the city has to offer.

Max's Wine Dive - HP STAFF
Max's Wine Dive
HP Staff
And since we’re on the topic of bars that don’t exactly fit the Washington stereotype, Max’s Wine Dive is a fine place to start. As opposed to cheap liquor shots and ear-rattling music, Max’s is a lively-yet-quaint joint that also happens to feature one of the best wine lists in the city. It also opens at 10 a.m. on weekends for one of the finest brunches inside the Loop. That includes must-have dishes like chicken and waffles, steak and eggs and green eggs and ham. Easily one of the best date-night spots on Washington. 4720 Washington,

Clutch Bar
Photo by Clint Hale
Oddly enough, in an area with bars for days, Washington is somewhat lacking when it comes to sports bars. Not so much bars that feature sports on TV in the background, but rather bars with TVs at every turn and a variety of sports, from football to MMA. Clutch fills that void and does it well. It also serves up local-only beers on tap, which is never a bad thing. The place can get a bit cramped, and the bottle service seems a bit much for a sports bar, but that notwithstanding, Clutch – which opened in late 2016 – has made for a welcome and much-needed addition on Washington. 5334 Washington,

Photo by Clint Hale
Yes, Houston is one of the most diverse, metropolitan cities in the country. But even so, it’s still Texas, which means you don’t have to look too far to get your country dancing fix. Fortunately, Rebels fits that bill for those looking for a little something different on Washington. Plus, it features a mechanical bull, which always makes for a nice drunken excursion. And it also offers up one of those punching bag machines, a nice and constructive way of blowing off steam if you just so happened to wander out of one of Washington’s lesser bars. 5002 Washington,

click to enlarge Lincoln Bar - PHOTO COURTESY OF LINCOLN BAR
Lincoln Bar
Photo courtesy of Lincoln Bar
Of all the bars on Washington, Lincoln Bar really seems to have it figured out. On one hand, it isn’t going to let patrons in who aren’t dressed for a night on the town. On the other, particularly during these summer months, fellas can get in with a decent pair of shorts and a shirt. Not only that, but Lincoln doesn’t even charge cover for the UFC fights it routinely showcases, and hell, it even sells individual cigarettes in the bathroom for those who want a little fix after a couple of drinks but aren’t looking to catch a case of black lung. 5110 Washington,

Benjy's on Washington - HP STAFF
Benjy's on Washington
HP Staff
Looking to cut loose on Washington? Look elsewhere. Looking to shake off the previous night’s festivities with a boozy Sunday afternoon, or in the mood for a nice date night with that special someone? You’ve come to the right place. In addition to one of the best weekend brunches in the city, Benjy’s offers up happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, along with dinner fare like steaks, seafood and pasta. Simply put, Benjy’s keeps it classy on Washington. 5922 Washington,

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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