Downtown and Midtown are linked by the Houston's light rail line, which provides a comfortable means for bar-hopping. Here are not-to-miss bars on the rail line:
Warren's Inn: It’s no secret that this is our favorite dive bar. The drinks are cheap and notoriously strong and the bartenders are a colorful lot. So is the clientele. And the jukebox? Well, it’s arguably the best in town. From the light rail: One block west of the northbound Preston station at 307 Travis, 713-247-1812.
Continental Club: In a part of town where nightlife often takes itself too seriously, the club’s goofy charm offers welcome relief. Vintage concert posters line the wall behind the bar, a goldfish circles its fluorescent tank and cool neon lights buzz overhead -- but all eyes are drawn to the red velvet stage. The music can go from folk to blues to rock in the blink of an eye. No matter what you’re wearing or what you like, you are bound to enjoy yourself. There’s also pool tables, shuffleboard, a backroom bar and large patio should you require a quieter place to nurse your beer. One block south of the Ensemble/HCC station at 3700 Main, 713-529-9899.
Dean's Credit Clothing: Like your bars a little quirky? Then you’ll like Dean’s, which is located in a former clothing store. The place still looks like a clothing store, albeit one with bars. You can catch a band here occasionally, as well films, fashion shows and other artistic ventures. 316 Main, 713-227-3326.
La Carafe: The city’s oldest bar is said to be haunted. Customers drink under natural light and candles, so its atmospheric without even trying. The charmingly worn space draws a loyal clienetele that appreciates the wine selection and eclectic jukebox. From the light rail: Two blocks west of the northbound Preston station at 813 Congress, 713-229-9399.
The Flying Saucer: The bar features more beer than you can count on the toes of a squid. In fact, the bar’s pride and joy is its club that challenges you to drink 200 beers at the place in order to get your own saucer hung on the wall. The space itself is nice with plenty of seating and an interesting menu of nibbles. But the real secret to popularity: the cutest waitstaff in town. From the light rail: Two blocks south of the southbound Preston station at 705 Main, 713-228-7468.
Leon's Lounge: This faux dive is a cozy place to kick back and have a well-made cocktail. We say faux because hip new management recently spruced the place up (love the chandeliers!). It’s been serving Midtown patrons for more than 40 years. From the light rail: A half block east of the McGowen station at 1006 McGowen, 713-659-3052.
State Bar: This handsome bar on the second floor of the historical Rice Hotel attracts a well-heeled and mature clientele. So if things are getting a little too rowdy for you, slip into the manly, sophisticated State Bar. From the light rail: One block south and one block west of the southbound Preston station at 909 Texas, 713-229-8888.
Little Woodrow's: Part of a small, local chain of ice houses, this sports bar has a stellar sellection of beer, a sprawling patio and friendly low-key regulars. If you haven’t tried a Michelada, a beer-based Bloody Mary beloved in these parts, this is your chance. Don’t blow it. From the light rail: Five blocks west and three blocks north of the McGowen station at 2306 Brazos, 713-522-1041.
Nouveau Antique Art Bar: Wherever you’re from, we bet you can’t find an equal to this gorgeous bar. With its scores of Tiffany-replica fixtures, the ceiling is an impressionist painting of light. It’s very simply the most romantic spot in Houston. From the light rail: Three blocks south of the McGowen station at 2913 Main, 713-526-2220.