If you are coming to Houston for the Super Bowl, there is no shortage of bars, restaurants and events to enjoy while you are here.
This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list; you can find that elsewhere. This is a list of bars, breweries and restaurants that I enjoy and have experienced personally more than once. There are no clubs on this list (I am not a club person). There are also some cool things to do listed at the bottom. Many of these places will be having private events, so you might check that before you go. Most will simply be doing business as usual. I will update this throughout the week if I missed anyone. Punch in the names on your GPS for actual addresses. We will break this down into four key areas: Downtown, Midtown, Eado and Montrose. If you are hitting up NFL Experience or any of the events at the George R. Brown, downtown and Eado will be walking distance. Midtown is a train ride to McGowen Station or Ensemble/HCC. Montrose will likely require Get Me, Uber or a cab, so most of our focus is on the other areas. We try to give you a wide variety, depending on what mood you are in after the events. Also, please check out our “what to watch out for Super Bowl week” post before you go out and about. (There are also tips on parking). We will start with bars. Restaurants are at the bottom:
Most of the best bars will be in a corridor around the train line on Main. The stops are Central Station Main and Preston Station. There are a few cool ones that you will have to go looking for, but they are within two-three blocks of this area. There are a lot of new ones that have just opened up for Super Bowl, but I have not been to any of them and can’t recommend them.
Christian’s Tailgate: One of the better sports bars in the city, there is also a Midtown location. This one has plenty of room, decent beer selection and a nice patio. Check ahead because they have several events scheduled.
Bovine and Barley: Fantastic beer selection and solid food, this is right off the train line on Main. Chances are it will be packed in peak hours, but late night might be OK.
Warren’s Inn: A Houston classic. In my Chronicle days it was our go-to bar because there were not any others downtown. Small, will likely be crowded, but the atmosphere is eclectic and worth trying out at some point in your life.
La Carafe: Another Houston Classic. This one is beer and wine only, and it is part of the ghost tour. Has a nice, old, creepy vibe to it.
Live Sports Bar: This is a classier sports bar, and while it has gone downhill a little since it opened, it is still a very nice place and a great place to catch sports. Food is OK and the beer selection is solid.
Pastry War: No, no pastries. Just badass margaritas, among the best in the city. Limited food but this is a place you go to get your margarita on.
Chupacabra: This is a higher end bar with great mixed drinks and a nice, cozy atmosphere. A really well run place that is nice for a change of pace.
Sunny’s: An absolute dive bar, and about as good as a dive bar as you will find. Right off the train line and across the street from Flying Saucer, jello shots abound and Sunny is always there. The walk to find the bathrooms is just part of the adventure.
Flying Saucer: An original, they have fantastic beer selections. The only negative is the place tends to be packed on a normal night and Super Bowl week will not be normal.
Molly’s: Another solid bar, right in the middle of everything. Food is meh but a great atmosphere.
Shay McIlroy’s: An Irish Pub, right across the street from Molly’s. Another that will likely be very crowded Super Bowl week.
Moonshiner’s: Maybe more restaurant than bar, but has a nice beer selection, good drink selection and really good food. Another that is often crowded on an average night.
Moving Sidewalk: Another high-end place with amazing drink combinations. Not cheap, but worth it if you feel like a high quality mixed drink.
Houston Watch Company: Another high end, cool, out of the way place that has great drink selections and a terrific atmosphere.
Okra Charity Bar: A really nice place with a nice concept. A lot of the Midtown Trust Fund Douche Bags have made their way here, so the clientele does not always match the atmosphere, but it is worth checking out.
Market Street Bar: This place is next to Warrens, and it is never packed. GREAT food, solid drinks, nice people behind the bar. A good go to when everything else is packed and you are hungry. Nice patio.
Brewery Tap: An old staple under new management. It’s not as sexy as it once was with the craft brewery explosion, but still a nice, old school pub. It’s a couple blocks from the main drag, so it might be a good place to get away from the crowds.
Dirt Bar: An eclectic place across the street from House of Blues. Have not been there in a while because the original people running it moved on, but still a nice weird place. Often a late-night hangout for musicians from across the street.
There are a lot of other cool places downtown that I simply have not tried yet so I did not list them. Conservatory and Boots N Shoots among them. I hear great things.
There are a lot of young people “party bars” in Midtown, so if you are a 20-something, this is your scene. Unfortunately many real cool places are inhabited by the Trust Fund Douche Bags, so I did not list them here. Only cool places where you can go and have a good time without being hassled by self-important, pretentious bros. Parking in Midtown is a nightmare on a normal day, so taking the train is a better option.
The Maple Leaf: Another one of my go-tos. The one Canadian/hockey bar in the city. Awesome place that recently opened a kitchen. They have the best poutine in the city. Sean and Olivia run the place and they are awesome.
Front Porch: This is slightly off the path, but a really cool place with a nice patio. The pizza is outstanding. Good beer choice as well.
Christian’s Midtown: Like all Christian’s, this is a solid place. I prefer the downtown one, but this one is really good too. Also away from Midtown proper.
Coaches Midtown: This is a terrific sports bar with excellent food. It is one of my go-to places. It is a bridge between Midtown and Downtown, and lots of cool regulars. Unlike a lot of places in Midtown, it actually has parking. Note: if you are going to park here and go somewhere else, go in and buy a drink first, or you will be towed. A cool place run by cool people.
Wooster’s: This place is deeper into Midtown, off Milam and closer to South Alabama. Extremely cool place with a GREAT patio. They also have high-end cocktails that are frankly art work, and an amazing beer selection.
Capitol Bar: Another a little off the beaten path, this one is on Main and has a great outdoor area. I will be there 4-6 p.m. with Quentin Demps this Saturday.
Bar Munich: A very cool soccer bar. Good German beer. The food is not great but a cool place to hang out.
Under the Radar Brewery: I reviewed these guys a couple weeks ago. Just a fantastic place. A must visit while in town.
EADO (EAST DOWNTOWN)
Lucky’s: You want a great sports bar, Lucky’s is it. They have other locations, but this one is the best. Assuming it will be packed, but an easy walk from GRB.
Little Woodrow’s: The Eado version is very cool. (The Midtown one is awesome, too, but this one is better). Just a couple blocks behind GRB, a terrific place to hang out.
Neil’s Bahr: One of the coolest, most eclectic bars in the city. Want to play Mario Kart? They have you covered. Great food as well. A fun place.
Around The Corner: Reluctant to share this one, because it is my new home bar. A few blocks away from the busy area, it is in an old house. Their steak night on Thursday is bleeping awesome and the atmosphere is excellent. You will probably see me there during the week.
8th Wonder Brewery: A staple in Midtown, they have a nice setup to just hand out and their beers taste so good out of the tap. A must.
Calhoun’s Rooftop: This is technically not in Eado, but on the UH campus. But it is an easy train ride. Just a cool place run by terrific people. Worth checking out.
There are tons of cool bars down here, but it requires someone driving you. Don’t bother driving yourself because the parking sucks. But still, a nice area.
Griff’s: One of Houston’s legendary sports bars, you will need a GetMe or Uber or cab to get there. Our own Disco Biscuit reviewed it a couple months ago. The steak night on Tuesday is the best in the city.
PJ’s: Technically a bridge between Montrose and Midtown, PJ’s is an awsome, out of the way bar in a house on Gray Street. PJ himself — a former UH track athlete — is almost always there. Great place.
Revelry: Awesome beer selections, good food, nice patio. Everything you could want in a cool bar.
If you get into the touristy area, there is a Hard Rock and the Aquarium, which is a cool place to go if you have a family. But these are the places I enjoy the most:
China Garden: Simply the best Chinese food in the city. Near Toyota Center, you are missing out if you don’t try this place. Get the lemon chicken. And the egg rolls are the best anywhere. You are welcome.
Your Pie: A terrific little make your own pizza place off Main. The ladies who run it are always there. Fantastic beer selection.
El Big Bad: Mexican place down near everything else, it is solid if a little overpriced. First couple trips there were unimpressive but they have upped their game.
Niko Niko’s: Located in Market Square, very solid Greek Food.
Frank’s Pizza: A perfect late night order pizza place, Franks is solid, affordable, and does the trick. Located right next to El Big Bad.
Dizzy Kactus: A terrific taco place. The margaritas are garbage, so avoid them, but the food is very good.
Jackson Street BBQ: A really nice place near Minute Maid Park. The brisket stacks up with anybody. The sides not so much. But a very good place.
Last Concert: A hidden gem on the fringes of downtown. Great Mexican food, terrific atmosphere, awesome margaritas.
Natachees: An awesome breakfast, lunch and dinner place off the train line at the Ensemble Station. The chicken fried steaks and eggs breakfast is gold. And the punches on the menu are the perfect hair of the dog.
Midtown BBQ: On the fringes of Midtown, the BBQ here is terrific. The chopped beef sandwich, the brisket mac and cheese…creative people doing awesome BBQ. Oh, and they have
Cyclone Anaya’s: A solid Mexican place that is hit and miss. When on, their food is terrific. When not? Very much overpriced. Assuming they nail it Super Bowl week.
Lankford’s: Awesome hamburgers, and their breakfast menu is terrific as well. Cash only, so be prepared.
Tacos a Go Go: Near Natachees, you won’t find better tacos in the Midtown area. Affordable, quaint, cool place.
Luna Y Sol: You want traditional Mexican Food? This is your place. Really great food, nice atmosphere.
Pappa Charlie’s BBQ. Oh man, this is seriously good stuff. Right behind GRB, an easy walk for some great BBQ.
El Tiempo: One of the best Mexican restaurants in the city. There is also one in Montrose off Westheimer.
Ninfa’s: The original on Navigation is right next to El Tiempo. I prefer El Tiempo, but you can’t go wrong here, either.
Brother’s Tacos: I have never been here, but every time I drive by the lines are sick. So they must be doing something right.
Sparkles: Some of the best burgers you will ever find. This is basically a non-mobile food truck. Also has an awesome breakfast. Takes some time, but worth it.
Pit Room: Yet another outstanding BBQ place. A few years ago, Houston sucked at BBQ. No more.
The NFL Experience is kind of like an NFL Dave N Busters; plenty for the kids to do but also there are things adults will enjoy. This is a one-time opportunity as it travels with the Super Bowl. Also, try the Hall of Fame exhibit at TSU this week. They will have all kinds of incredible artifacts. Also, the Buffalo Soldiers Museum is well worth your time.
There will be plenty concerts and events downtown, too, which you can find elsewhere.
Enjoy Super Bowl week. Hopefully this helps.