The Best Bars in and Around the Museum District

Looking for a place to unwind or let off some steam? The Museum District might have a reputation for being a quiet tourist alcove, but it's growing popularity among Houston's younger downtown and Texas Medical Center workers has resulted in the neighborhood gaining some great after-work hot spots.  Here are five great bars in and around Houston's Museum District. 

  • 01 of 04
    Axelrad
    Jamaal Vince Photography

    More of a beer garden than a bar, Axelrad is a great spot for beer-lovers just looking to sit back and relax. The space has a sizable outdoor patio with long benches and hammocks for lounging, and a large selection of local craft beers on tap run for around $7. A rotating selection of food trucks and Luigi's Pizzeria next door make it easy to grab a quick bite. 

    In addition to the laid-back environment and excellent beer selection, Axelrad also hosts a wide variety of entertainment throughout the week, including live musicians, DJs, outdoor movies — even guest speakers. Check out the venue's calendar for a list of upcoming events and scheduled food trucks. 

    Details
    1517 Alabama
    Houston, Texas 77004
    713-597-8800

    Hours
    Sunday - Wednesday  |  12 p.m.  - 1 a.m.
    Thursday - Saturday  |  12 p.m. - 2 a.m. 

  • 02 of 04

    The Grand Prize Bar is a bit of a dive, but in a chill, hipster kind of way. Creative cocktails go for around $10 and feature names like the "Weekend at Bernie Sanders," "Uncomfortably numb" and "Watership Down." Food options are just as quirky — a local favorite is the plate of Cool Ranch Doritos Fried Green Tomatoes that comes with a side of pimento cheese. 

    The building itself has the look and feel of an old renovated house, which makes sense considering the largely residential area that surrounds it. The dimly lit downstairs area is complete with a jukebox and pool table, while the second floor has both an indoor space and an outdoor patio. 

    While the bar can get a little packed on Friday and Saturday nights, weekdays are fairly low-key, making it a great place for a Thursday evening happy hour spot.  

    Details
    1010 Banks Street
    Houston, Texas 77006
    713-526-4565

    Hours
    Daily | 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. 

  • 03 of 04

    For something a little more upscale, check out Pax Americana. This restaurant has a full bar and a tapas menu for those interested in just drinks and some light eats, as well as a family-style supper menu and dining area if you're looking to make a meal of it. While the food is rather pricey, the drinks are reasonable considering the sophisticated atmosphere. Beers go for around $7, while wine and craft cocktails are priced at about $10-15. 

    Details
    4319 Montrose Boulevard 
    Houston, Texas 77006
    713-239-0228

    Hours
    Tuesday - Thursday | 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
    Friday - Saturday | 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
    Sunday | 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Brunch); 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

  • 04 of 04

    Come on busy nights, and Bar 5015 gets lively. The loud music and dancing are a stark contrast to the otherwise tranquil Museum District and Hermann Park area. Swing by on Tuesday nights from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. for Bar 5015's insanely popular Steak Night. There's also live music every Saturday night and brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

    Like with most places inside the 610 Loop, parking can be a bit of a challenge. Come early on weekend nights or during off hours to snag a spot in the small parking lot or on the street. 

    Details
    5015 Almeda Rd
    Houston, Tx 77004
    713-522-5015

    Hours
    Monday | Closed
    Tuesday | 4 p.m. - 12 a.m.
    Wednesday | Closed
    Thursday | 4 p.m. - 12 a.m.
    Friday | 6 p.m. - 2 a.m.
    Saturday | 4 p.m. - 2 a.m.
    Sunday | 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.