As our sister blog Eating... Our Words does, from time to time Rocks Off will be giving your our picks for the top taverns in various Houston-area neighborhoods. Of course, the lines can be porous, but here anything with a TABC license that cannot reasonably be considered either a restaurant, coffeehouse or live-music venue is fair game.
10. ALLEGRIA WINE BAR At first glance, there's not much to see at Allegria Wine Bar. It's tucked away into a little shopping center off Highway 3, and seems like your typical wine bar. Luckily, a dark, ambient spot with an ample selection and a knowledgeable staff. The owner can often be found hanging out with the patrons, giving suggestions to the novices, and chatting about everything from the weather to various wine regions.
And even if you're staunchly anti-grape, you'll be welcome to hang out at this cozy little place. Allegria specializes in not only wines but also martinis, and boy, do they have a selection of both. But their signature martini, the Allegria 365, is our favorite, if you must steer clear of the vino. Although that would just be absurd.
15210 Hwy. 3, 281-218-8585
9. CARLOS'S BEER GARDEN Never heard of Carlos's Beer Garden? Well, you're not alone; good luck finding this hidden gen by Google alone. Carlos's has left little imprint on the Internet, but it sure has on its happy customers. The beer is cheap, and the crowd has a kicked-back, old-sailor kind of vibe, which makes it a chill place to hang out any day. But when Carlos's really gets going is during crawfish season -- which is right now, fools.
18018 Hwy. 3, 281-332-4550
8. THE DAVENPORT This hip, modern little lounge sister to the hallowed Richmond lounge is always packed with the water-lovin' folks out that way, and for good reason. The Dav boasts 30 to 40 signature martinis, which always seem to come in glasses that are three times bigger than normal. Even if you're not from the area, it's still well worth the drive down 45. But call Uber or something, since we're only half-joking about those giant martini glasses. For real.
1235 Clear Lake City Blvd., 281-461-3283, thedavenportlounge.com
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7. MOLLY'S PUB It's no secret that dive bars tend to hold a special place in our hearts, so we love hanging out at Molly's. It's the epitome of a dive: no frills or gimmicks, just a bunch of really laid-back folks hanging around and drinkin' some adult beverages. Sure, there are times when the $10 pitchers are a draw, too, but at the end of the day, it's got to be "Big Ass Beer Night."
902 Ramada, 281-486-0971
6. CELLAR BAR If you life in the Clear Lake area and want to drink a ton of $2 wells because you're broke, you're in freakin' luck because Cellar Bar has you covered. That means $2.50 you-call-its on Thursday nights, and a laundry list of specials any other night. Right across the street from Molly's, the Cellar is as divey as a bar can get, with a few mismatched sofas and pool tables, but it gives the place character. and the patio out in that salty air more than makes up for it.
16611 Sea Lark, 281-218-6197
5. UNION TAVERN Looking for some sweet tunes to with those beers you're looking for? Look no further than Union Tavern. (Well, if you're in Clear Lake, anyway.) Here you'll find acts ranging from Austin reggae heads the Raspas, to Houston Irish rockers Blaggards and local punks Dykes On Bikes. You can almost guarantee a rowdy, fun-loving crowd here.
But even if you stumble in on a day with no tuneage, you'll probably still find yourself in the midst of some sports-related chaos, since Union is the area's go-to bar for game day too. Just please make sure you go home at some point. You're probably not welcome to live there, although we're sure you wish you could.
435 El Dorado Blvd., 281-486-6644, facebook.com/UnionTavern
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4. DEMPSEY'S SPORTS PUB Listen, if you haven't stepped foot into Dempsey's, you're doing this drinking thing all wrong. We'd list the drink specials to prove it, but there are just too many to count. But Thursday night is "Steak and Live Music Night," with $3.50 Corona drafts and $12 pitchers, and there's the Tuesday crawfish deal with $2 liquors. Those are just for starters perhaps it would be wiser if you head on out to see for yourself. Just make sure you pick up a get-well card for your liver before you do.
20801 Gulf Fwy., 281-332-1404, facebook.com/dempseyssportspub
3. BIG SHOTS Big Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots!, everybody? Well...no. This is not that kind of place, no matter what its name may indicate. Big Shots is actually classier than that, and thank the drinking gods for that. Part of Cullen's Live, the bar features happy hour from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. They'll sell ya $2 drafts, $2.50 bottles, and $4 you-call-its, because who needs to go to work in the morning anyway? They'll even throw in some $4 Fireballs for good measure. Layer that awesome drink menu on top of the sports blaring from the big screens, and you are in Clear Lake heaven, my friends.
11500 Space Center Blvd., 832-808-0977, cullenshouston.com/bigshots
2. BOONDOGGLES Boondoggle's is the go-to place for the locals out in Clear Lake, always with a decent drink special going on, and killer food to boot. It's a tiny place, basically a super-long bar, a fireplace and a few dartboards to chunk things at, but the beer selection is pro
Boondoggles serves have everything from your typical domestic beers to Left Hand Milk Stout, and Wednesday is Big Dog Beer Night. (You know what that means, right?) Said beers come in 20 ounces for the price of a pint. Pass this place up whenever in Clear Lake and you'll be skipping beertopia.
4106 Nasa Pkwy., El Lago, 281-326-2739, boondogglespub.com
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1. OUTRIGGERS Listen, the No. 1 spot in Clear Lake was begging to be given to be a spot on the water, and luckily, we just had to look in Seabrook. So what better way to enjoy living near the water than by sitting at Outriggers drinking Bloody Marys, slurping down oysters, and watching the boats float by?
Everything about that seems amazing from inside the cement jungle of the loop. So if you need a break from the city to toss one back, look toward Outriggers. The view doesn't get any better than from here.
101 Bath Ave., Seabrook, 281-474-3474, outriggersbythebay.com
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