Houston’s hottest entertainment entertainment districts - hands down and pints up -- is the area known as the Washington Corridor. The fact that the geographical designation crosses expansive I-10 and into the Heights attests that new bars and clubs are eager to be associated with H-Town party central.
Your options are nearly limitless, but here are 10 you should consider:
Absolve Wine Lounge: We love this little wine bar for its dramatic decor and friendly service. It can be a romantic spot for a night cap or place to sit and sip the night away. Reasonable price on wines by the glass and good food, too. 920 Studemont, 281-501-1788.
Blue Moose Lodge: This comfortable spot, in spite of the name, is all about taking pride in the Lone Star State. For visitors that means boot-scootin’ music, live regional acts and specials on Texas beers every day. Parking can be a bear, but that can be said of nearly every Washington Avenue bar. 5306 Washington, 713-861-5525
Cahill's on Durham: There’s no pretense at this neighborhood sports bar. And while it looks a little worse for the wear on the outside, it’s also well-maintained, rustic and altogether inviting. Outdoor seating is limited but there’s plenty of room indoors and longtime staff is mighty friendly. 903 Durham, 713-864-9400.
Canyon Creek Cafe: One of four Austin-influenced “Creeks,” this is the newest and sits just a few steps outside popular Memorial Park. Like its sibs, locally brewed craft beers are available and encouraged. You order drinks and food at the bar and lines can be slow at busy times. Just remember this is supposed to be mini-Austin (hence the murals), so just grab a seat on the patio and relax. It’s all good. Especially the burgers. 6603 Westcott, 713-864-5885.
Distillery 2520: Fun is the most appropriate word to describe the Distillery. This sprawling sports bar offers two floors (including a second-story open-air deck) of flatscreens, along with good prices and attentive servers. It sits on a pretty spot just outside downtown and is surrounded by green space. 2520 Houston, 713-862-0200.
Liberty Station: We love this laid-back newcomer to the Washington scene. It’s got ice house sensibilities (wide open spaces and a bean bag toss) with full bar. And as they like to advertise: no crap on tap. Some of the city’s best mobile kitchens often are parked out front. 2101 Washington, 713-409-4888.
Pearl Bar: Strong drinks, a chill-inspiring patio, a relaxed dress code and friendly bartenders make this a favorite spots for those who just want a place to sip a cold beer. There’s generally a food truck nearby to sell you a taco before you join a beer pong battle out back. 4216 Washington, 713-868-5337.
Porch Swing Pub: Another one of the more relaxed spots on Washington. At times it can be loved nearly to death. Try finding a spot at this dog-friendly pub on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It’s the crowd-accommodating picnic tables and (good for Washington) prices at happy hour ($14 buckets and $4.25 wells) that keep luring us back.
Sawyer Park: The upstairs outdoor patio at this upscale sports bar/nightspot offers outstanding views of H-Town’s skyline. During the day, it’s a real sports bar with plenty of flatscreens, burgers and cold beer, as the evening wears on it becomes more serious about being a club. Dress code ratchets up, too, as night falls. 2412 Washington, 713-398-8442.
Taps House of Beer: Brew snobs, here’s your best bet on Washington Avenue. You’ll find more than 90 on tap here. Service can be slow, but we blame that on its popularity and the beer-drinking public’s indecision when it has too many choices. 5120 Washington, 713-864-0650.
Find our guide to Washington Avenue restaurants here.