Best Houston Happy Hours In The Heights
As one of Houston’s hottest culinary destinations, The Heights brims with restaurants and bars pouring deals on local brews, craft cocktails and wines by the glass, plus assorted snacks and bites. This list of happy hour havens covers the growing mecca of breezy patios and dog-friendly spaces with unique themes. As with Upper Kirby and Greenway Plaza, River Oaks and the Galleria, there simply isn’t room to list every place. Did we miss an essential spot? Let us know in the comments.
Sonoma in the Heights, 801 Studewood: There’s also an Upper Kirby location, but the one in The Heights is two stories, has plenty of patio space, a rooftop deck and a full kitchen for both lunch and dinner. The extensive wine list focuses on family-owned and boutique wineries. Sonoma hosts happy hour daily from opening until 6:30 p.m., even on weekends. Guests can sip on sangria for $6 by the glass or $24 by the carafe. Other specials include $1 off wines by the glass, $1 off all beer and a selection of five house wines ranging in price from $6 to $8 per glass or $24 to $28 per bottle. On the snack side, executive chef Matt Tahaney’s happy hour menu offers $3 organic Parmesan popcorn, deviled eggs with prosciutto for $5 and heirloom tomato bruschetta for $5. In addition to happy hour, Sonoma also offers half off gourmet pizzas on Thursdays and weekly featured wine flight specials on Fridays.
Better Luck Tomorrow, 544 Yale: Brought to us by Theodore Rex’s famed Chef Justin Yu and Houston cocktail pioneer Bobby Heugel, Better Luck Tomorrow (affectionately called BLT), has been getting high praise since it opened in May of this year. With its curated cocktail list, kitchen open until midnight, and decent-sized patio BLT tends to be jam-packed on most nights. Arrive early for the “Happy Hour and a Half” available weekdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. when all cocktails are half price. Selections include the Salty Cat with grapefruit, gin, and salted fruit or the Against All Odds made from Scotch, sherry, amaro, and cacao nibs. Guests can also indulge in 25-percent off bottles of wine and “chicken surprises” (fried bites of chicken). In addition to happy hour, BLT offers weather specials including half off highballs when Houston’s temperature surpasses 95 degrees, half off Hurricanes when it’s raining, and half off hot toddies when the temperature drops below 40 degrees. On top of all this, BLT recently launched craft cocktail pitchers of martinis, negronis, Manhattans, French 75s and mojitos for $38 each served with small snacks and garnishes.
Presidio, 911 West 11th: The joint venture between Charles Bishop (Liberty Station, Cottonwood and Southern Goods) and executive chef Adam Dorris gives off a casually eclectic, bohemian vibe. The inside has an open but warm atmosphere, communal banquet seating, rustic wooden tables with worn metal, and concrete flooring. It all blends together and creates an inviting place to chill with friends. Presidio’s dog-friendly outdoor space is just as welcoming and features live music. Happy hour runs Tuesdays through Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m and features $2 off any cocktail. Selections include the seasonal Lavender Lean, Strawberry Feels Forever (made with mezcal, strawberry-fennel pollen jam, Cynar, lemon and basil) and the group-sized Garden Party Cocktail. There are also four wines by the glass for $6. On the food side, the menu includes $7 Taco Fries topped with grassfed beef, sour cream and pepper jack cheese, as well as pastured chicken wings and sweet potato beignets.
Edison & Patton, 4203 Edison: Despite references to the famous inventor Thomas Edison, this north Heights bar is named for the street it calls home and welcomes guests with their slogan, “Drink More, Love More, Live Longer.” In keeping with the first third of that slogan, the bar offers two happy hours. The first one is from 4 to 7 p.m. and includes a selection of seasonal cocktails (favorites like the old fashioned and margarita almost always make the cut) for $6 each, house red and white wine for $5 per glass and a rotation of local brews for $3. Latecomers are in luck, too, with a reverse happy hour Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m until close. Guests can soak up the booze with creative pub grub like Duck & Pancakes made with duck confit, Frank’s RedHot-infused syrup and five-spice butter or Edison Fries with feta, green onions, herb aioli and optional fried egg. Dogs are welcome on the cozy patio complete with fire pits and TVs.
Helen in the Heights, 1111 Studewood: The sister location of the original Helen Greek Food and Wine in Rice Village differs in that it offers more familiar Greek fare by having a full bar. The exposed brick decor and wide-open space also creates a more roomy atmosphere. Happy hour runs Tuesdays through Fridays from 3 to 6:30 p.m. with half off all cocktails and beer plus eight wines by the glass for $9 each. Selected small bites include the $4 daily selection of Greek dips, $7 Feta-brined Chicken Wings, $8 poutine and $5 Bourbon Baklava Soft Serve. Yes, Helen in the Heights has its very own boozy soft serve ice cream machine.
Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale: The team behind Agricole Hospitality knows Houstonians love a good cocktail and a good deal. Their relaxed, whiskey-focused bar on the corner of Yale and 11th delivers both. A dog-friendly patio flanks two sides of the converted gas station and inside, guests can order from a large selection of craft beers, bourbons in casks and craft cocktails on tap. Happy hour runs Mondays through Fridays from 2 to 6 p.m. and all day on Wednesday. Deals include $3 tacos, $3 beers such as Eureka Heights Wicket Awesome ESB, Buffalo Bayou Sam’s Daily, and Live Oak Hefeweizen. There are also $5 cocktails like old fashioneds, margaritas, and the crisp and refreshing Eight Row Mule made with Barton Bourbon, Deep Eddy peach vodka, clarified lime and Goya ginger beer.
Johnny’s Gold Brick, 2518 Yale: This bar has become a favorite local watering hole in the Heights. General manager Justin Ware highlights both classic and inventive cocktails. There’s also a selection of local craft beer. The bargains are $2 off the 12 classic house cocktails that are normally $8 as well as the monthly rotating cocktails. The current list has five options ranging in price from $9 to $12 each. Beers are $1 off. Happy hour runs from open to close on Mondays and Tuesdays through Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. This unassuming but inviting bar space is accented with dark woods, soft lighting and seating in the form of both swivel bar stools and booths. For those looking to relax outside, the extensive outdoor space is framed with string lights, picnic tables and awnings. While there is no kitchen on-site, there are usually food trucks.
Good Dog Houston, 903 Studewood: At this gourmet hot dog restaurant happy hour deals differ by the day. Texas Tuesday is half-off select draft beers all day, Wine Wednesday is half-off select wine all day and bottled and canned beers are half-off Thursdays and Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m. Good Dog also runs an off-menu mini dog special during all happy hours. Toss in a dog-friendly patio, over 15 bottled and canned beers, a local craft draft beer wall and eight wines by the glass for a win-win situation for any diner and their dog.
BCK: Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures, 933 Studewood: The Heights branch of California-based whiskey-driven eatery Bosscat Kitchen & Libations emphasizes nostalgic fare and a concise menu of creative cocktails. Take the Pasghetti-O’s, which are a modern twist on Chef Boyardee Spaghetti-O’s upgraded with 44 Farms beef sausage. Drinks include the decidedly not kid-friendly Berry Crunch Milk Punch that evokes Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries and Strawberry Nesquik except spiked with Buffalo Trace whiskey. There’s also the “Dr. Feel Good”, a riff on Dr Pepper made from Jack Daniels rye whiskey, Dr Pepper orgeat, citrus and bitters. Happy hour is Mondays through Fridays from 3 to 5 p.m. and features $7 select cocktails like old fashioneds and negronis, half-priced select bottles of wine, $3 Lone Star, $2.50 Miller High Life, $5 appetizers and $2.50 duck tacos. Indulge indoors for now but a patio is in the works.
The Barking Pig, 2307 Ella: This self-described “neighborhood patio bar,” founded by chef and sommelier Kristen Powell, is bordered by two dog-friendly patios with an indoor bar and alcove area. Happy hour at The Barking Pig runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. It includes$4 wells, $5 house wines by the glass, $5 sangria, $6 frozen cocktails, $15 wine bottles $18 house wine carafes and .50 cents off all beer. On the weekends, there are $1 frozen mimosas till 2 p.m. or until they sell out. In addition, there are nightly specials like $10 build-your-own burger Tuesdays, $10 fried chicken Wednesdays and steak night Thursdays.
Harold’s Restaurant & Tap Room, 350 West 19th: This two-story, 100-year-old building on historic 19th street houses a restaurant upstairs and tap room downstairs. Please note the restaurant happy hour specials differ from the tap room specials. Although the kitchen has gone through significant changes recently, Harold’s retains a solid footing in the food and bar scene. At the restaurant, the Tuesdays through Fridays happy hour includes drink specials from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and food deals from 4 to 7 p.m. Choose from $5 craft beer, $6 cocktails and five bites for under $12 including Chicken Fried Cauliflower and Creole Meatballs made with 44 Farms beef. In the downstairs tap room, Harold’s is one of the few Houston establishments offering a leading wine-on-tap program that offers the same quality wine as in bottles but for less thanks to the reduced packaging needs. The selection on any given day includes around 10 choices of sparkling, rosé, reds and white. Happy hour runs Tuesdays through Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m. with $5 wines by the glass, beer and cocktail specials and five snacks for $8 or under. The second-floor open deck offers seating with a view of the bustling street below.
Heights Bier Garten, 1433 North Shepherd: Why visit one bar when you can visit two? Thanks to thoughtful planning by management, happy hour revelers can start with craft beer and wines on tap at Heights Bier Garten before walking across the open patio for craft cocktails at the adjacent Worcester’s Annex. Happy hour is offered at both bars weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and the majority of the extensive beer menu is $3 wines and house cocktails are half-off from 4 to 6 p.m. While there are no food specials during happy hour, most of the menu is under $14 except for the larger-sized plates. The dog-friendly patio nestled in between both locations is spacious and full of shaded picnic tables and hammocks.
About the author: Beth Levine writes about food, drinks, lifestyle and travel for local and national publications including My Red Glasses, Houstonia, Local Houston Magazine, Charlotte’s Book and Houston Food Finder. An executive assistant by day and freelance writer by night, Beth is originally from both New Jersey and California, but currently calls Houston home. You can follow her on IG @Yogaspots.