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slkinsey

ISO: Houston Cocktail Spots

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I am in Houston until November 20 doing some performances. Pretty soon the rehearsal schedule will lighten up, and I thought I might like to try a few places in town with real cocktails. I'm primarily looking for quieter places with adult drinks and an upscale atmosphere. No loud college beer and frozen margarita places or pickup joints. I'd like to taste the best Houston has to offer in mixology.

Suggestions are welcomed. :smile:


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Two places instantly come to mind:

1- T'afia

2- Noe

Noe, might be the better place if you really want "quieter" and "upscale" :smile:. On the other hand, they do not make their own fortified wines like T'afia does. Decisions, decisions....


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I second t'afia for its ratafias though both of those places are restaurants. For a more of just strictly cocktails, A+ which is the lounge at the Alden Hotel (formerly the sam houston hotel) which also has 17, the restaurant there. The lounge at NOE is also nice, though a little small and not very secluded.

I was reading Houston Magazine earlier and some choices you might like that I've never tried from there are Red Door in midtown, Deco Lounge on Gray St., and The Whiskey Bar at The Icon Hotel (JG Vongrichten's Bank restaurant is also there, though I'm sure you have better access to the real thing up where you live.)

For a nice selection of wines, Cova Hand-Selected Wines is a nice choice on Kirby. They have tapas-style plates there too, and a good atmosphere.

I personally only turned of age recently, so I haven't had a chance to check out a whole bunch of places.

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Do T'afia and Noe have distinct bar areas that people go to, or is it more of a tiny little place where people wait for tables at the restaurant?


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Noë definitely has a bar seperate from the restaurant (Note: amazing food. I need to write a post about our dinner there last week). I don't think the same is true of T'afia.

You may want to try the Whiskey Bar at the Hotel Icon, the Lobby Lounge at the Four Seasons or the bar at the Remington.

I have heard a few good things about the Twelve Spot, but have never been there myself. Another place I have heard good things about is Six Degrees Lounge.

Where are you performing?


"As far as I'm concerned, bacon comes from a magical, happy place" Frank, John Doe

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Yeap, T'afia's bar fits this bill "more of a tiny little place where people wait for tables at the restaurant".

Edit: However, they do have nice seating outside. Right now the weather is ideal for it.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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My information is a little outdated, but you might look into the following:

If you can stand cigar smoke, Downing Street (confusingly located on Kirby Drive) is an okay choice, heavy on Scotch. Across Kirby is the River Oaks Grill which I believe still has a piano bar (it changed hands about a year ago and might have changed). John L, the old bartender at the late, lamented Confederate House was named to the Bartender's Hall of Fame in New York. The restaurant is now called the State Grill on Weslayan at West Alabama and still served a decent Old Fashioned the last time I was in. The bar at Brennan's has a nice outdoor area and good New Orleans brunch cocktails.

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The drinks at t'Afia are worth the inconvenient lounge and lack of bar. Sit outside there, I agree.

Zimms (on Montrose) has a good scene, not very creative drinks but it's a nice layout and full huge bar.

Hugos has a pretty big area, excellent margritas and some great menu for snacks.

The bar in the Sam Houston hotel (which has a new name I don't know) is a great location and great service.

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I just noticed this review in the Houston Press for the Red Hog Saloon.

The atmosphere sounds a little different from that of the Pegu Club, but if local color is what you want it sounds promising. Just be sure and take a taxi home.

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Marfreless. No sign, but it's the blue door under the fire escape at McDuffie and West Gray, across from Sherlock's and around the corner from the River Oaks Theatre. Classical music, black-and-white framed photos, couches upstairs. Very little beer in evidence: mostly cocktails, and they pour them heavily. Very diverse clientele, but definitely not a loud frat-boy place.


Edited by Deacon (log)

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