Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Bars of 2013

This is a picture from Houston's best bar. But where is it?
Houston has dozens of bars that are not also something else (restaurants, coffeehouses, etc.), just places designed for people to who want to shirk their responsibilities while someone else plots to take over the world at the next stool, and the couple at the table in the back is on their first date of a lifelong love affair. Or something like that.

As the year draws to a close, Rocks Off grew curious about which of this city's multitude of watering holes could really be called the best, so recently we asked our regular contributors (some 15 people in all) to give us the handful of places they most enjoyed spending a night out drinking. They didn't even have to tell us why, but these are the ten places whose names came up most often.

Deep in the heart of Second Ward, Moon Tower Inn serves as a reminder that some of the best ideas are the simplest: What if someone served grade-A hotdogs alongside craft beer in a nonsense-free, unpretentious environment? And voila! You're welcome, Houston. Have a duck sausage in a pretzel bun drizzled in black-pepper ketchup, pair it with a local brew and enjoy the perfect come-down after a long day.

Or, since the patio seating is ample, bring a bunch friends and have yourself a lively evening. Either way, come hungry and thirsty, and you'll leave happy.

3004 Canal, 832-266-0105,

What's not to like about Darkhorse Tavern? I guarantee it's only ten minutes away from anywhere you are in the loop, with ample parking off the street. The staff is the perfect combination of friendly and cool, service is quick and drink pours are fair. The patrons are low-key and nonconfrontational, and don't look as though they all belong to the same club. The jukebox is stacked and eclectic, the patio out back is intimate and never overcrowded, and the dartboards are legit. Darkhorse is a great bar for meeting up or making a night of it.

2207 Washington, 713-426-2442,

With not one but two patios, which are perfect for downing the justly famous basil margaritas or frozen screwdrivers, Volcano also features a killer jukebox and live music Wednesday nights with some of the most compelling Gulf Coast talent going. (The reasonable cover charge is totally worth it.) And if for some reason you're indifferent to all that, Volcano also has a pretty legit steak night (Mondays) and unique Day of the Dead-inspired décor that's definitely worth a look or three.

2349 Bissonnet, 713-526-5282,

List continues on the next page.

Location Info


Moon Tower Inn

3004 Canal, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Darkhorse Tavern

2207 Washington, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Under The Volcano

2349 Bissonnet, Houston, TX

Category: Music


314 Main, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Leon's Lounge

1006 McGowen, Houston, TX

Category: Music

West Alabama Ice House

1919 W. Alabama, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Poison Girl

1641 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Big Top Lounge

3714 Main, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Mongoose Versus Cobra

1011 McGowen St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

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You do realise that the majority of the establishments on this list are, in fact, "something else" other than just a bar? Music venue, restaurant, etc? If you're going to publish a list of bars that are JUST bars, don't include other shit like hot dog stands and sub-par music venues. e.g. Poison Girl- Just a bar, Moon Tower- bar & hot dog stand.


And Big Top's beer selection totally sucks. Seriously, in the Mongoose write up it says a nice selection of craft beers is a must, but you just made a bar with no craft beer the no. 2 pick?


If Mongoose/Cobra is the best bar, we have truly, truly lost the way. 


That's a weak comment if you don't offer your choice of best bar @whitelightning and @lopez.shaun.

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