The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Neighborhood Bars

CheersTV.jpg
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows you have a drinking problem and doesn't constantly tell you that you need to go to therapy and/or church.
For the next 20 weeks, we'll be rounding up the runners-up to our 2011 Best of Houston® winners. In many categories, picking each year's winner is no easy task. We'll be spotlighting 20 of those categories, in which the winner had hefty competition from other Houston bars and restaurants.

Here it is, the day after Christmas. Hope you got everything you wanted.

If you didn't, though, don't fret. You can always get yourself the present of a nice pint of beer down t' pub. If you need to escape the family for a little while to catch up with friends in town for the holidays or you just want to drink something other than eggnog, we're here for you with our list of the Top 10 neighborhood bars.

They may not be Cheers, but they're all pretty damn close.

6492958.131.jpg
Photo by Abrahan Garza
10. Boondoggle's Pub

Clear Lake and Seabrook have dozens of great seaside bars, but it's Boondoggle's Pub we find ourselves frequenting most often down south. It may not offer the great views of some Clear Lake pubs, but this one has the advantage of looking and feeling like an authentic English pub in its own, odd way. It also has the advantage of offering some truly tasty food, like its pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven -- a damn sight better than the Totino's pizza rolls offered by most bars.

5460091.131.jpg
9. The Shakespeare Pub

There is nothing Shakespearean about the pub itself, save for the scattered murals and posters left over from the days when it was owned by a local high school English teacher. These days, Shakespeare is more about live blues and zydeco music in the evenings and football games during the day. (Yes, Glen, people do bring slow cookers up here and share the food with each other. That's what makes it a neighborhood bar.)

7484782.131.jpg
8. Marquis II

This classic West University joint would have been higher on the list were it not for the fact that it recently cleaned itself up and is now attempting to look semi-respectable. And although the City of West University has not banned smoking in bars like Houston has, the Marquis has. That's right -- after decades of smoke-saturated carpets and overturned ashtrays at the bar, there is now no smoking allowed inside the Marquis. Oh well; at least the Long Island Iced Teas are still good there.

4154614.131.jpg
7. Cecil's

If the Marquis II is "old" West University, then Cecil's is old Montrose all the way (even if it was founded in not-yet-that-old-maybe 1985). The interior has likely never seen the light of day in the 25 years it's been open, and the dimly lit bar only further encourages you to get lost in Cecil's warm, dark, hazy confines. Monday nights (that's tonight, folks) offer $1 well drinks and often draw huge neighborhood crowds as a result, when area residents walk over and stumble home much later.

poopdeck.JPG
Photo by Brittanie Shey
Scooters and bikes outside The Poop Deck.
6. The Poop Deck

The Poop Deck is the neighborhood bar for all of Galveston Island, with a bawdy and laid-back atmosphere that mimics the island itself. Whereas Cecil's jukebox, for example, is stocked with punk rock and blues, the jukebox here is filled with classic rock hits for the Hawaiian shirt-clad baby boomers that pack the patios.


Location Info

Venue

Map

Shakespeare Pub

14129 Memorial, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Marquis II

2631 Bissonnet, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Cecil's

600 W. Gray, Houston, TX

Category: Music

The Poop Deck

2928 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX

Category: Music

Crazy Frogs Saloon

17776 Tomball Parkway, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Sunny's Bar

902 Capitol, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Shiloh Club

1321 Studewood, Houston, TX

Category: Music

The Cozy Corner

11530 Burdine St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Rose Garden

2621 Link, Houston, TX

Category: Music

My Voice Nation Help
25 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

I, Fatty. am always willing to do any challenge.  I'm a native Houstonian, and I hope I get to do this until I'm 60!

Doodles121960
Doodles121960

Marquis II....tiddy bar, turned, main stream, local cheers type neighborhood bar....really?????  Surprise this place is still around!!  My ex use to manage it when the strippers were climbing the pole, or anything else they could ride up, for a buck or two, back in the day....lol.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

So you are how old?  Because it hasn't been like that in decades.  No problem here, but if you are being truthful, we'd love to hear truthful stories.  Truthful being key...

JB
JB

Griff's?

illegal1
illegal1

Big Star Bar, Mezzanine Lounge, McElroy's Pub, Stag's Head.

illegal1
illegal1

Shady Tavern, Jimmie's Place, Alice's Tall Texan.

KK
KK

El Gran MaloPetrol StationAnvilBohemePorch SwingAbsintheLuckysGrand Prize

Mosey On Inn
Mosey On Inn

Under The Volcano - South HamptonBlanco's - edge of River OaksLeon's - Midtown

All three have great live music on select nights, superb jukebox/vinyl, friendly regulars, good drinks and bartenders.  NB:  Blanco's does not have bottled water but does serve up some great boot scootin'.

James
James

You also left out the Lone Star Saloon ...

april5k
april5k

Do you remember the old joke? "How did Cecil's burn down? - Fire." (I didn't say it was a good joke) Anyhow, I they pretty much redid everything in there after that, didn't they?

Adambclaybills
Adambclaybills

 You forgot to add that this is republished from Sunset Magazine, the monthly periodical of the AARP. Some of these places are great, but most are populated by old alcoholics and dirty old men.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

That explains my recent affinity for Popov vodka, Sansabelt pants and Marlboro Reds...

Guest
Guest

No Worther's Originals?

John Cobarruvias
John Cobarruvias

You missed one! Carlos Beer Garden on Hwy 3 in Webster. It has been there since 1978 and has a sign that says "If you must fight, we must call the police. The police is next door." And the police station really was next door! (It moved across the street a few years ago.) Great beer joint. Been doing there for decades! (not every day....)

Jessica
Jessica

I am a 26 years old girl, down to earth and cute but still single ... I  wanna find my lover who can give me a real love,so I joined in the seekcasual.COM,it's the best club for  man and woman finding their intimate encounters. Well, you do not have to be lonely , you  can meet the Mr. or Miss. Right there.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

Last I checked, Cheers was never a run-down place with toilets you would prefer not to come close to.  In fact, it had an adjoining steak house upstairs.  Yet, Marquis finally gets a much needed upgrade and goes down on this list?  If you long for trashy bathrooms, the Velvet Melvin is only a mile east of it. 

Call this list what you meant:  Best rundown dive bars.  I prefer my bars to at least be presentable to folks I take.

Wyatt
Wyatt

A couple of these are dives. That's it. They're neighborhood places, not bars you bring people you're trying to impress for some fucking reason. Jesus, you sound like a load of fun.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

A few of these entries are dive bars, yes. But not all, as Bruce R. pointed out. And even of the "dive bars" on the list, none are what I would call rundown. Notice that I left Lone Star off, for example...

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

While Cozy Corner might be a quaint little bar near Westbury, it is certainly rundown, as is Cecil's for the most part.  I have been going to the Marquis since the early 90's (it was our go-to place for Rocket's playoffs games back then) so we'd swing by from time to time for nostalgia, only to be disgusted by the lack of upkeep the place had.  I applaud the owners for doing a much-needed renovation, and I don't feel they deserve to be knocked down a few notches for doing so.  If smoking is important, Palace Lanes still has smoking.  (and I say this as a non-apologetic smoker of 21 years.)

Bruce R
Bruce R

Boondoggle's is far from being a run-down dive bar.  It's actually quite nice; it's a proper restaurant with good food and a lot of good beer.  And a full bar.  I spend a lot of money there.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

I've never been to Boondoggles, or several of the others on the list.  I had to go by what I saw on the list, and the pics and videos from the places I hadn't been.  (and I can't tell much about the place with only a neon sign.)

kill city
kill city

TK Bitterman's

Benjamin
Benjamin

my buddy's step-sister makes $85 every hour on the internet. last month her pay was $7783 just working on the internet for a few hours.Follow the instructions at Online Income Solution and set up your account.. MakeCash1.comONLY

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...