Thirsty AND Hungry? Here Are Five Houston Bars That Serve Great Food
People usually go to bars with the intent to just have a few drinks, but what happens when the munchies strike? If the bar doesn’t have a full-fledged food menu, hungry imbibers may be stuck with a small bowl of snack mix comprised of undisclosed ingredients.
This is a real problem, so here’s a list of solid bars —not restaurants— that also serve good meals. It’s hard to beat great bar atmosphere with a food selection that goes beyond a ho-hum cheese plate or generic chips and salsa.
Bar Boheme, 307 Fairview: This Montrose hang-spot known for its vast back patio, great cocktails and extended happy hours offers a menu of sharable dishes and pizza sure to tame hunger. Start with Boheme’s Vietnamese Fries topped with hoisin, siracha, garlic mayo and cilantro. Move on to the pizza selection, which includes well-done basics like Margherita and Crispy Pepperoni, plus unusual creations, such as a duck and crispy sage pizza called The Frenchman, and an all-vegan pizza.
Rudyard’s British Pub, 2010 Waugh: Opened in 1978, Rudyard’s is a Montrose neighborhood treasure. (Literature fans will appreciate that the bar was originally located on Kipling Street.) Long before craft beer fever hit town, Rudyard’s was known as a casual bar where you could get really good beer on tap and some actual food—when other bars only served bagged chips or nuts. The highlights of chef Joe Apa’s extensive menu include The Rudz Burger, the corn dog (for just $3.50) and weekly specials, such as Tuesday night curries (different each week) and Wednesday night Shepherd’s Pie. Rudyard’s also hosts live music, comedy and spoken word events in its upstairs venue.
Doc’s Motorworks, 1303 Westheimer: At Doc’s you’ll find neither a doctor nor auto repair services, but this casual sports bar with Austin roots exudes a dude vibe that’s also clean and tidy enough for the ladies. On nice weather days, go for the patio seating, which is flanked by plenty of bike parking. To drink, choose from a good selection of beer, plus wine and cocktail options. To eat, start with some green stuff, like the fajita steak salad, or the Cobb-inspired Capital Salad, served with apple cider vinaigrette. The menu also includes a variety of tacos, burgers, sandwiches and more.
Down the Street, 5746 Larkin: Surrounded by a forest of townhomes in Cottage Grove, Down the Street’s curb appeal naturally draws area residents seeking a laid-back patio hangout, while the indoor spaces deliver designerly décor for a touch of class. The menu compliments the beverage options with snacks— such as the nicely composed Larkin Picnic Plate—to heartier fare. That includes BLT Panini and a variety of pizzas, including the meaty Man Pizza and the Tuscan Fig, made with rosemary ham, house made bacon jam, caramelized onions, blue cheese and arugula.
The Barking Pig, 2307 Ella: Proprietor Kristen Powell’s neighborhood patio bar boasts an atmosphere that’s an easygoing combo of pretty and unpretentious. Located in Shady Acres, The Barking Pig offers full-bar service, indoor and outdoor seating, and just enough TVs to catch the occasional game score. The Barking Pig’s menu features snacks, such as truffle popcorn or chicharón with ranch and sriracha aioli. There are also classic salads, such as the Wedge and a solid Greek salad. Powell’s 16-inch, hand-tossed pizzas are quite popular, with the mushroom-topped Into the Forest and meatless Original as standout options. Weekly specials include fried chicken Wednesdays and Thursday steak night, plus a free pizza with a full-price bottle of wine on Sunday nights.
Next time you’re happy hour-ing, try one of these comfortable bars, where you can spend an evening and not feel tempted to swing by Whataburger or Taco Cabana on the way home. Cheers!