Houston Dive Bar Guide

Glimpses of Houston's Everyday Past

Like every city, Houston embodies the endless struggle between “progress” and the preservation of some of the city’s long-standing, everyday icons. Dive bars fall squarely within that conflict, a phenomenon clearly seen in the dwindling number of traditional Texas ice houses across the city while legit, pre-Prohibition ice house West Alabama Ice House forges ahead.

Houston is full of dive bar gems, though, resisting gentrification in neighborhoods progressively overrun by upscale bars and restaurants. Lola’s Depot in Montrose is a purple shack covered in Christmas lights and the occasional inflatable on the roof, a dive bar beacon in a part of town that sorely needs one. D&W Lounge anchors east side Second Ward, open at 7 AM thanks to a now closed but longtime Maxwell House plant nearby supplying thirsty third-shifters through the years.

And then there’s Rose Garden in The Heights, a dive bar pleasantly difficult to find and fittingly nestled underneath a freeway. The building is tiny, the parking is difficult and the owner lives across the street, all of which is hard to beat as dive bars go.

These selections and more offer a glimpse of authentic Houston in a part of the country that has grown almost relentlessly for decades. A cold beer in a dimly lit former ice house may be one of the best ways to experience Houston’s everyday past.

Houston Dive Bars Not Yet Reviewed

Must Visit Recommendations

Unfortunately, we have not yet been to every single dive bar in the city, but there probably a few more punch cards on our livers, so we’ll make it there soon. In the meantime, the curated list of dives below comes highly recommended by a variety of friends, online sources and drunks.

East Downtown

D&W Lounge

911 Milby St
Houston, TX 77023
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Fourth Ward

Lola's Depot

2327 Grant St
Houston, TX 77006
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Fourth Ward

PJ's Sports Bar

614 W Gray St
Houston, TX 77019
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Midtown

Shoeshine Charley's Big Top

3714 Main St
Houston, TX 77002
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Montrose

Griff's

3416 Roseland St
Houston, TX 77006
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Montrose

West Alabama Ice House

1919 W Alabama St
Houston, TX 77098
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Shady Acres

Big Star Bar

1005 W 19th St
Houston, TX 77008
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Shady Acres

Shady Acres Saloon

1115 W 19th St
Houston, TX 77008
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Shepherd Forest

Catty Corner Ice House

895 Wakefield Dr
Houston, TX 77018
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The Heights

Dan Electro's Guitar Bar

1031 E 24th St
Houston, TX 77009
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The Heights

Rose Garden

2621 Link Rd
Houston, TX 77009
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West University

Big Easy Social

5731 Kirby Dr
Houston, TX 77005
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Other Dive Bar Options

Blue Lagoon Club

1248 Witte Rd
Houston, TX 77055
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Boondocks

1417 Westheimer Rd Unit B
Houston, TX 77006
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Catbirds

1336 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006
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Cozy Corner

11530 Burdine St Unit A
Houston, TX 77035
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Eighteen Ten Ojeman

1810 Ojeman Rd
Houston, TX 77080
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Grand Prize Bar

1010 Banks St
Houston, TX 77006
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Hunters Pub

10549 S Post Oak Rd
Houston, TX 77035
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Irish Pub Kenneally's

2111 S Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77019
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Komodo's Pub

2004 Baldwin St
Houston, TX 77002
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Lil Danny Speedo's Go Fly A Kite Lounge

823 Dumble St
Houston, TX 77023
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Mad Bull Club

14114 Hempstead Rd
Houston, TX 77040
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Neil's Bahr

2006 Walker St
Houston, TX 77003
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NJ's

3815 Mangum Rd
Houston, TX 77092
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Ray Ray's Sports Bar

1101 Collingsworth St
Houston, TX 77009
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Shorty's Sports Bar

7433 Navigation Blvd
Houston, TX 77011
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Sunny's

902 Capitol St
Houston, TX 77002
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T A's Cargo Club

3604 Mangum Rd B
Houston, TX 77092
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The Dirt Bar

1209 Caroline St
Houston, TX 77002
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The Farm Drinkery

16646 Champion Forest Dr
Spring, TX 77379
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The Shiloh Club

1321 Studewood St
Houston, TX 77008
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Three Sheets Bar & Grill

1900 S Kirkwood Rd # G
Houston, TX 77077
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Voodoo Queen Daiquiri Dive

322 Milby St
Houston, TX 77003
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Warren's Inn

307 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002
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What Did We Miss?

7 + 2 =

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