Regardless of what kind of music you like to drink to, there’s a venue in Houston, Texas to find what your ears and mouth are craving. Whether it be hip-hop and amaretto sours, indie-rock with a sex on the beach, country and Long Island ice teas, or something in between, you’re sure to find it at one of these venues.
Located in the Greenway/Upper Kirby area just north of US 59, McGonigel's Mucky Duck is an Irish pub with an eclectic lineup of musicians in the evenings. While the bar isn't fully stocked with liquor, it has a variety of beers and wines, as well as a full food menu with items like shepherd's pie and fish and chips.
Tip: It's a smaller venue, so it's best to get your tickets ahead of time.
The (free) open mic night at Boheme on Wednesdays has grown into a mostly polished showing of some of Houston’s finer musicians. You’ll receive a mix of sounds, but you can expect the majority of the music to center around acoustic singer/songwriters. If nothing else, Boheme’s pomegranate mojito will help get you through any less-than-great acts. Expect an artsy, bohemian crowd.
One of the more storied venues in Houston, LCC is home to hippies, a folkloric history, and a menu of Mexican food. Wander towards the back of the venue to find a surprising mini-amphitheater-esque set-up that can be found hosting everything from folk rock to R&B. Beers, margaritas, and the occasional mixed drink rule here. Expect an earthy crowd.
Owner Emman LeGrand has been a staple in Houston’s burgeoning African party population for some time now, so when he was signed on as GM at Club Kalahari, the venue gained instant credibility. This place is a night club, sports bar, and more. Of course, booking authentic Soukous performers from Africa has helped a bit, too. Kalahari punch seems to be the drink of choice here — though their $3 beers are popular as well. Fridays are typically the busiest nights. Expect a decidedly African crowd.
If you're looking for a low-key, neighborhood bar in Houston, Rudyard's British Pub in Montrose is a great bet. The venue features a mix of punk, rock and metal artists and bands throughout the week and most weekends, as well as an open mic comedy night on Monday evenings. The beer selection is impressive, and the venue offers a wide variety of food to choose from.
Tip: Only those who are aged 21 and older are allowed inside for shows.
One of the best bars in the Museum District, Axelrad is a great place to kick back — literally. Hammocks fill up the site's outdoor patio, giving "chilling out" a whole new meaning. In addition to live musical performances scheduled throughout the week, movies are also projected on the screen outside on Mondays. Occasionally, guest speakers, such as elected officials or candidates running for office will also come to give a talk or Q&A.
While Axelrad is known for its beer selection, it also has cocktails available. If you're hungry, Luigi's Pizzeria is right next door, and food trucks often set up shop outside of the main gate.