It’s five o’clock and you haven’t made plans for drinks yet? Not to fear. We’ve got you. Downtown offers everything from a cheap, cold beer in a great dive to a view 23 stories high. Whether you’re looking for a low-key lounge or prefer a place where you can dance like nobody’s watching, these seven spots come highly recommended–and the best part? They’ve got some serious drink specials, y’all. If you ditch work a few minutes early, we won’t tell. Promise.
1. FLYING SAUCER
705 Main St.
Like beer? Who doesn’t? Flying Saucer has you covered. Their weekly trivia nights on Tuesdays bring out serious crowds and some of the best trivia teams in the city. Guests can participate in the 7:30 pm or 9:30 pm rounds, or, if you’re a serious diehard, you’ll stay for both. You can always count on a dollar off one of the 200+ beers on draft any day of the week between 4–7 pm. There are no losers here. Only winners.
One of the best-kept secrets in the city, Le Meridian's 23rd floor is home to an outdoor bar, Z on 23 Rooftop Lounge, at a height that will take your breath away. (In the best possible way.) During happy hour, house martinis and old-fashioned cocktails start at $8, daily punch is $5 and house wines are $4 a glass. Bring a date or just come dressed for the seriously stylish crowd that hangs around at sunset. The view is great either way.
Happy Hour: Daily, 4–7 pm
CREDIT: BLU VELVET PHOTOGRAPHY
3. BAYOU & BOTTLE
1300 Lamar St.
Dubbed “Bayou Hour,” this stunning, intimate bar inside the Four Seasons Hotel is also home to the world’s first Top Golf Simulator. In addition to offering 130+ brands of international bourbons and whiskeys as well as delectable menu items, Bayou & Bottle gives guests the opportunity to practice their swing while bourbon stewards top you off with $8 Moscow mules, $8 select well spirits and house wines or a $5 draft beer of your choosing. Really, darling, you’re too kind.
Urban pub MKT Bar creates the perfect ambiance during happy hour with gourmet appetizers, select wines and local draught beer. Pop in on Wednesdays during their weekly vinyl nights and you’ll find live music and DJs with sounds as diverse as Houston. For an even happier hour, try Fun & Games Night every Monday. Bonus points for holding your sazerac AND a ping-pong paddle.
The Rustic is Downtown’s must-hit new restaurant. Boot-n-scoot your way over during happy hour to enjoy beer and house wine for $3 at 3 p.m., $4 at 4 p.m. and $5 at 5 p.m., plus live music seven days a week. Pick a spot on their expansive backyard patio, play a round of corn hole or just sit back and enjoy the show. There’s no bad seat in the house.
Experience an island of paradise without the plane fare at Tiki bar, Kanaloa. The drinks are equally as exotic, especially during Tiki Tuesdays, when happy hour runs all day long and you can sip on $6 Mai Tais and daiquiris and $8 piña coladas. Head back to the rum bar on Shareable Thursdays to enjoy cocktails served in huge conch shells (yes, really) on the cheap.
Sip local beer and classic cocktails while giving back to the community at The Original OKRA Charity Saloon. This laid-back pub in the Historic District donates 100% of its proceeds to a different Houston-based organization or social cause each month. Did we mention they have a shuffleboard and chocolate chip cookies? We’ll give you a minute to gather your things…