Bar Beat

Houston's 10 Best British Pubs: Close Your Eyes and Think of England

You'll notice several things upon entering a British pub for the first time, especially if your only pub experiences to date have been in the States: The pubs are clean, bright and welcoming. The food is usually quite good. And pubs are family-friendly places -- for the most part -- which makes sense, as "pub" is short for "public house." The whole village should feel welcome at a pub.

Pubs are places where anyone can go, grab a chair and possibly a pint and feel right at home. You can watch TV, catch up with friends, eat a filling meal and come in from the dreary weather like we're experiencing this week. While it's not quite as cold as an English winter (I'll tell you some time about vacationing in northern England in early February), the drizzly weather this week has made me think fondly of the British pubs I enjoyed across the pond.

Not all pubs are created equal, however. Most Texas pubs are more "bars" than "public houses," but the ones on this list are as close as you'll get to the real thing.

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Katharine Shilcutt