7. Big Star Bar From "Best Smoking Patio" to "Best Atmosphere/Decor," Big Star is a well-known staple of the Heights, twice decorated with Best of Houston honors. It's just off the beaten path, but easy enough to find if you have a general idea of where you're going.
Like many local ice houses, Big Star doesn't try to put up any front for its customers and, instead, offers a friendly pour, cheap drinks and such old-school, thrift shop-style furniture that you're almost afraid to sit down anywhere. The sprawling back patio is dog-friendly, plays host to crawfish boils and, for some reason, has a camouflage, military-style net in the back corner.
1005 W. 19th, 713-501-9560, bigstarbar.com
6. Petrol Station The best and most vast collection of beers on tap besides The Flying Saucer, and it's never so absurdly packed that you can't find somewhere to lean, sit or, for that matter, stand around with a few friends.
The beer options, as many as there may be, are not the only draw of Petrol Station, whose burgers, fries and other food items are almost as much of an attraction as the beer. They even offer Vegan options these days and, while I haven't tried them myself, I've heard and read that even those foodstuffs are pretty damn good.
Sure, it may take a few more minutes to get your food than a lot of places, but Petrol isn't just dropping pickles into a fryer. It's worth the wait, so just slow up a minute.
985 Wakefield, 713-957-2875, facebook.com/PetrolStation
5. Shiloh Club Be it Lone Star, Guinness in a can, craft beer or hard liquor, the crowd and friendly staff at Shiloh's are a pleasure night after night. An eclectic mix of music keep the patrons going as they kick back a few. Inside, there's a good choice of seating -- a long bar, a few tables and couches, and then there's always the outdoor seating on the patio off Studemont.
Visit once, and you may become a regular. Or, if nothing else, it will offer you an alternative drinkery on those nights when you don't want to put up with all the hustle and bustle of The Heights without having to ever leave.
1321 Studewood, 713-880-2401