Houston may not be a famous tourist destination, but as one of the top five largest cities in the U.S, it has as much to offer as Los Angeles or New York City. From world-renowned museums, shopping malls, and universities, Houston is a true Texas treasure.
Touted as the most culturally diverse city in the U.S., Houston has an eclectic and authentic culinary and nightlife scene. Houston’s warm weather also makes it the ideal destination for rooftop venues.
308 Main St, Houston, TX 77002
A hidden gem with a speakeasy vibe, Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge is a favorite for locals in the know.
Located in the heart of downtown Houston, Captain Foxheart’s has epic views of the surrounding downtown buildings from the plant-lined patio off its old-school, dimly lit interior.
Head over for pre-dinner drinks or late-night fun in their quirky atmosphere, serving a robust well drink and beer menu. They make a killer Negroni.
2119 Dallas St 3rd Floor, Houston, TX 77003
Located downtown, blocks from Discovery Green and the PNC Stadium, Sunset Rooftop Lounge is a friendly yet refined cocktail bar, pub, and music lounge.
They have an eclectic music lineup every week with everything from live Jazz to DJ sets, each performance paired with a drink and food special.
Their cocktail list draws from flavors across the globe, naming each drink after sunsets in some foreign land.
I was in a tropical mood and tried the Chapala Sunset, a Mexican Paloma cocktail with tequila, lime juice, pomegranate, and grapefruit soda.
1121 Walker St, Houston, TX 77002
Short for Zutro, Z on 23 is found on the 23rd floor of Hotel Le Meriden in downtown Houston and is officially Houston’s highest rooftop bar. You’ll therefore get unparalleled views of the downtown skyline.
They have daily Happy Hours from 4:30 to 6:30 with super cheap well cocktails, wines, and draft beers, plus half-off appetizers.
I decided to have the dinner and drinks in the same dish with their red wine braised short ribs, served with mashed potatoes and grilled veggies.
2101 Summer St, Houston, TX 77007
Located a quick drive from its namesake waterway in the Rice Military neighborhood, Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. is a brewery, taproom, and gastropub with a casual, family-friendly atmosphere.
They offer a whopping 70+ beers on tap and in bottles and cans to accompany a decadent menu of your favorite pub food.
I had a citrusy and creamy Dreamsicle Ale to accompany a plate of the most flavorful fried cauliflower masala I’ve ever had, garnished with jalapenos and cilantro then drizzled with tahini-ranch dressing.
1010 Banks St, Houston, TX 77006
Grand Prize Bar is a funky and cute dive bar with a romantic and festive rooftop patio located a few blocks north of the Museum District and the Houston Medical Center.
They have the best prices in town and a massive beer, seltzer, and cocktail list. Their four-hour-long daily happy hour has its own cocktail menu plus cheap beer and shot combos.
I lived dangerously and ordered the famous NOLA treat, the Hurricane, with two rums, mixed berries, passionfruit liqueur, orange, and lime. Delicious!
909 Texas Ave #2a, Houston, TX 77002
Lawless Spirits and Kitchen is a classy cocktail bar and gastropub in a gorgeous industrial-chic warehouse space with a great rooftop patio to take in the downtown Houston surroundings.
Its delicious drinks, quality service, and stunning décor make it a favorite venue for holiday parties and wedding receptions.
They put Texas twists on beloved bar food with menu items like Brisket Nachos, Chipotle Deviled eggs, and my personal favorite, a charcuterie board atop a Texas-shaped cutting board.
2403 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77006
Teetering between Midtown and the Fourth Ward, The Dogwood is a casual and friendly neighborhood bar with multiple patios, indoor dining spaces, and a rooftop bar with stellar views of the downtown Houston skyline.
Each space has a different vibe, from sports bar to Southern juke joint.
They serve refined takes on Southern and Southwestern comfort food to accompany a robust list of spirits, cocktails, wine, and beer. I recommend their chicken and waffle sliders for a true taste of the south, bar fare-style.
1611 Lamar St, Houston, TX 77010
The Grove is an elegant fine dining restaurant in a three-story building with outdoor balcony seating and a rooftop garden and patio.
The gorgeous rooftop garden is as colorful as the surrounding Discovery Green Park and provides the kitchen with key ingredients for their seasonal plates.
The Grove has a full cocktail and wine bar to accompany a high/-end multicourse meal. I loved their blackened redfish with Cajun spices, sauteed corn, and bacon with a lemon butter drizzle.
2356 Rice Boulevard fl 2, Houston, TX 77005
Upstairs lies along the most picturesque street in Houston in the Rice University area, lined by ancient oak trees that create a beautiful and lush canopy.
Upstairs is a bar and small bites locale with a minimalist modern setting that emphasizes its green surroundings.
They make craft cocktails and an eclectic menu of shareable bar fare including authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas. They have one of my favorite weekend brunches with a bloody mary that’s a meal in and of itself.
1 Birdsall St, Houston, TX 77007
Overlooking Houston’s famous Buffalo Bayou and its surrounding manicured grounds, Brenner’s is a fine-dining steakhouse inside an old 1930s home.
It’s a picturesque restaurant for weddings and romantic dinners. They’ve also added a rooftop patio to enjoy cocktails before the formal dinner.
They offer a classic steakhouse menu with the finest seafood and cuts of steak in town. I recommend their extravagant seafood tower with Maine lobster, tuna tartare, oysters, jumbo shrimp, and King Crab.
1814 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007
B&B Butchers and Restaurant is a high-end Texas-chic steakhouse with an onsite aging room and butcher shop.
Located in a massive warehouse in Rice Military, there’s a glorious rooftop patio to savor a glass of wine or craft cocktail while watching the sunset behind the downtown skyline.
They use the finest cuts of Wagyu beef from Texas and Japan dry-aged and cut by expert butchers. I like going for Sunday Brunch for a mimosa flight and Wagyu Steak and Eggs.
2416 Brazos St STE 200, Houston, TX 77006
Located in the heart of midtown, 77 Degrees is a hip multistory cocktail and tapas bar with a tropical beach feel.
The different levels are all half indoor, half outdoor with plush couch swings and wicker Papasan swivel chairs. Their cocktails and small plates draw inspiration from Mexico, the Caribbean, and summer fruits.
I felt like I was lounging on a white sandy beach with one sip of their Norman’s Cay cocktail, a mixture of coconut and mango rum with pineapple, coconut water, and lime.
419 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002
El Big Bad is a Mexican food restaurant and tequila bar in a colorful and kitschy setting full of Mexican nick-knacks Diego Rivera-esque murals.
They offer hundreds of tequilas and mezcals and have their own brand of infused tequilas that you can both order and purchase for your next house party.
They have all your authentic Mexican favorites from creamy queso and guacamole to sizzling fajita plates with house-made corn tortillas. Their margaritas are my favorite, using freshly squeezed lime and orange juice with each pour.
350 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008
Harold’s Restaurant, Bar and Rooftop Terrace is a quirky, casual, and fun Southern comfort food restaurant and cocktail bar in Houston’s hippest neighborhood, The Heights.
Its large dining space features a taproom, cocktail bar, various dining rooms, and a tee-light-strewn rooftop terrace.
The food is Southern comfort at its best with everything from fried chicken and collard greens to fried shrimp po’boys.
My favorite meal at Harold’s is their brunch. Try their fried chicken and cheddar biscuit sandwich.
813 Congress St, Houston, TX 77002
Overlooking Downtown Houston’s Market Square Park, the Carafe is inside a historic landmark building that is the oldest continuously functioning bar in the city.
The Carafe is a wine bar with Victorian-era décor, paintings, and vintage pieces crowding its dimly lit space.
An old jukebox constantly blasting oldies from every genre creates completes the vintage feel of this historic downtown bar. They have a robust wine list with specials daily, but you’ll have to go there to find out what they are.
401 Franklin St, Houston, TX 77201
Self-described as a rooftop park and urban farm, Skylawn is an integral centerpiece in the middle of Buffalo Bayou Park.
It has seven different gardens with distinct ecologies, a giant stage for live performances, and multiple food vendors to create your own little picnic in the sky.
There are countless options for dining, from Neapolitan pizzas to smoothie and juice bars, to authentic Thai food. On a hot day, I recommend grabbing an Italian Ice from Gelu.
1777 Walker St, Houston, TX 77010
Overlooking Discovery Green in Downtown Houston, the Marriott Marquise is more like a waterpark than a rooftop bar.
It has a lazy river in the shape of Texas, a long pool with lounge areas, and a rooftop bar and snack bar. The rooftop bar and kitchen is called High Dive, serving colorful summery cocktails and American bar fare in a casual setting.
I went for the most refreshing taste of summer to enjoy poolside, ordering the Deep Eddy Vodka spiked sweet tea with Peach vodka, black tea, lemon, and soda.