This Downtown lounge is a popular hangout for happy hour as well as evenings. It is very well decorated, a very elegant and older feel to it, and the dark wood and brass handrails add to that ambiance. At night, the dim lighting and well illuminated bar give State Bar an even classier atmosphere. The bar is situated just to left as you come up the stairs and into the lounge area, with tables and booths all along the perimeter. They have a nice little outside patio area for a views of the goings-on in downtown on the streets below. They offer a wide variety of beers, wines, spirits, and even a very small menu of foods, generally sandwiches and a few appetizers. The crowd can be very mixed, all ages, and for the most part a type that frequents upscale places as this. Nice bar, nice atmosphere, good location.
Dress Code: As it is a little upscale, decent attire is the norm. Normal night-on-the town dress, jeans are acceptable
Slainte Irish Pub, located in the heart of downtown right on Main St., is a popular nightspot for the trendy young crowd of Houston. The Pub is actually 2 stories, the 1st floor being more of what a typical Irish pub consists of. Big long bar area, lots of tables, and the decor is close to, but a little more modern, of what a pub an Irish Pub generally is like. But walk up the stairs, and it seems you have entered a totally different establishment altogether. This is more like a nightclub, with a small bar, and a decent size dance floor. There is also a patio area with tables just outside overlooking Main St. and the Metrorail train. They serve a large selection of Irish & English beers, and any sort of spirit for a mixed drink or shot you could possibly want. Great lively atmosphere here!
Dress Code: Decent nightlife attire is usual, but generally no dress code
This former clothing store that was in business from the early 1940's until the 1970's has been transformed into a happening nightspot, but it still retains it's former glory as a retail shop. Dean's Credit Clothing is often mistaken as simply a clothing store, quite easily because it's apperance has remained just that. There are mannequins in the windows displaying vintage clothing, just as it did 50 years ago when it was a popular place to buy clothes. But walk in to Dean's and see the huge bar to your right, the loud lounge music playing overhead, and the many people dancing, and you will quickly realize this it not a place to buy a pair of trousers! :) But even inside the some of the decor is still that of a retail shop, with sitting benches being placed right in the middle of clothing racks with various articles of clothing hanging, just as you would see in a typical department store. The crowds here are typically of the trendy sort, mostly people in their 20's and 30's. Quite the unusal theme to this place, but this provides a great atmosphere and makes it very unique. I'm not exactly sure if the clothes here are for sale, but if you DO see something that you like, I'm sure you could work out something with the owners! :)
Dress Code: Being a little more upscale, decent nightlife attire is the norm here.
Having been to Sambuca many times in the past, but only once to actually dine at, I am writing this under the Nightlife category, although recently Sambuca has been moving toward marketing themselves as more of a restaurant than just a "jazz cafe". Located downtown, it is an upscale establishment with live jazz music every night of the week. The ambiance is very nice, dim lighting and nice decor with wonderful modern woodworking and furniture. They have expanded the dining area recently and therefore have made the bar area quite smaller, evidence to their marketing Sambuca as a restaurant. But it is still a great place to have a few drinks a listen to some soulful jazz music. They also have a humidor full of many fine cigars, and an extremely long wine list. The food menu is extensive, but quite pricey, another reason why I prefer just to come listen to the great tunes! The crowd is very mixed, but generally an upscale, trendy scene with people of all ages. In the downtown area, this is THE place for jazz!
Dress Code: Upscale location, so nice eveningwear is typical. No jeans or sneakers.
Sambuca is a stylish spot, a place to be seen in. Its big, its noisy, with a really cool vibe. Its decor is quite unique. I love the cigar bar! There are some booths that you can semi-privately enjoy your date. Good jazz too!
This bar is the oldest in the city, in a building over 130 year old. Over the decades it has been an Indian trading post, a steam bakery and a Pony Express stop The walls there have not been festooned with art as much as they have simply accreted tangible history. The jukebox is one of the best in town, and the beer is always ice-cold. Wine & beer only.
Dress Code: Casual
Crome is a Friday, Satruday and Sunday place. Friday and Saturdays they play Hip Hop and top 40's. The crowd is always good and the decor is really nice. Very hip and happening. Sundays Crome is open early. Sundays are cool at Crome! Whether you like to go with friends and hang out in one spot all night, or meet new people and wander around, you'll find both on Sundays! I recommend arriving around or before 6 and enjoying the beautiful patio.
Good street to get something to eat, drink, dance, listen to music. Slainte is an irish bar that has a dance club on the second floor called the Ruby Room which was playing top 40, hip hop, and 80's when I went by.
Dress Code: Main street you can go casual but not wearing shorts and sandals will allow you to go more places. Slainte is casual.
Venue is the the most "upscale" club....downtown,
I went there with my sister and thank goodness we dressed up!
It's also pretty big! Which was nice because on a Friday night its crowded! Usually a high populated club is hard to walk trough. What was difficult was getting to the bar, but that's usual for a popular place. My sister and I were so excited because Friday night is Latin night! We took a salsa dancing class when we were in college together and got to show off our rusty moves on the dance floor all night!
There were some very willing dance partners too! I think I lost 5 lbs.
BUT you have your downtown flaws: parking, expensive drinks, fight to get to the bar, and the downtown crowd. A little overbearing at times.
Dress Code: Girls- Dresses or a nice outfit and heals!
Guys- Dress slacks and collared shirt.
What most people probably don't know is that Houston's downtown nightlife scene is fairly good -- and unlike a college town such as Austin or a tourist town such as New Orleans, the scene is sophisticated yet grounded.
This is a more recent development resulting from a large and still ongoing downtown revitalization plan. Most of the bars and clubs of interest are situated on or around Main Street in downtown, not very far from the downtown theater district.
Some of the notable bars/clubs include Sambuca, Bossa, Slainte Irish Pub, Mercury Room, Tonic, Spy. Many more are also on Main St. or in the surrounding area.
Although there are a few other areas of Houston (such as Richmond Ave. and Montrose) known for nightlife, downtown is my favorite and my recommendation for visitors.
Dress Code: Business casual or dressy. Many places will not accept worn jeans, tennis shoes, etc. At the same time, very few places are jacket and tie.
There are a lot of places to go downtown. It is expensive. The club 'Prague' is probably the best club, but it is a little overated. They try to be a New York club and charge a similar amount, but it is far from it.
Toc is ghetto, the Mercury is very expensive and full of gold diggers. Sabo is fairly nice. If you like different beers, try Flying Saucer or Slainte's.
Dress Code: If you go downtown, dress to impress.
There is a whole string of lounges, bars, and dance clubs mostly on Main street and the surrounding streets. To name a few: Twelve Spot, Dean's, Clarks, the Hub, Flying Saucer, Six Degrees, Mango's, M Bar
Do yourself a favor and visit downtown Houston on a weekend night. I think they may have finally gotten their sh** together. Tons of places to visit, bar hopping, dancing. Good times and great people watching.
La Carafe is in one of the oldest buildings in Houston. The place looks like it's from the 18th century, and they limit the number of people who can go upstairs for fear that the place will fall over if there's too much weight. It's supposedly haunted, which shouldn't surprise anyone given the looks of this place. It's very charming and worth a visit. They only serve wine and beer. A very cool downtown destination.