Bar Beat

The 100 Best Bars in America: None For You!

The venerated Esquire has released its list of the Best Bars in America, compiled after what we imagine was some serious and excessive binge-drinking that had either mind-erasing or mind-altering effects on the editors, because guess what: Not a single Houston bar made the list.

The list dutifully covers all 50 states -- and even made it to Puerto Rico (one pities the poor person who had to travel there and to Hawaii) -- but when it comes to Texas, the wheels just fall right off.

It's insulting enough for our neighbors to the north that the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area only produced two bars that passed muster -- coming in far, far, far behind such gems as Birmingham and Des Moines -- or that San Antonio only got one bar on the list, but the entire state seems to have been ignored except for that mecca of modsters, Austin. With five bars on the list, Austin appears to be the only city in Texas that has any bars at all. At least any that Esquire was able to locate.

Houston, sadly, doesn't merit a single appearance on the list. Cities that have at least two bars, however, include Indianapolis, Lawrence (yes, in Kansas, with three bars), Portland, Tacoma, Madison (we think that's somewhere in Wisconsin) and Little Rock. Thriving metropolii, all of them.

This isn't the first time that Houston's been ignored by the national media, nor will it be the last. We simply aren't the kind of city that will ever receive love -- the love of a haughty magazine pretending it knows what real dive bars are or otherwise -- from the outside world. We can rage against it, or we can show them what they're missing.

Personally, we're still in a state of shock that the glorious old La Carafe didn't make the list, followed closely by Warren's and the West Alabama Ice House. It's as if they didn't even visit Houston at all...or know anyone who has. What bars would you like to have seen on the list? Sound off in the comments section below.

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Katharine Shilcutt