By Kate Donnelly
Updated December 01, 2015
Credit: © Julie Soefer Photography

From historic venues to groundbreaking, creative cocktails, Houston is becoming a must-visit city for its beverage scene. Here are 9 of the best bars in Houston.

1. Julep

Grab a booth at Washington Avenue’s lively, grownup cocktail bar, Julep. Once a 1880’s uniform factory, you will now find a industrial-chic space serving seafood-focussed dishes like oysters, lobster rolls and smoked fish deviled eggs. To pair, the cocktail menu ranges from classics like the Southern Style Julep made with Pierre Errand, 1840 Cognac, Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum, Turbinado with plenty of mint garnish to more modern drinks like the Snanebit Sprout with Chamomile gin, lime, pineapple and apple cider.

2. Anvil Bar & Refuge

A Houston mainstay, this slim, sparse railroad space slings Prohibition-era cocktails in a mod-industrial setting. Expect a thirsty, discerning crowd and procure a seat early for coveted sips on something cool and refreshing a la First Growth (est. 2009) – made with Citadelle Dry Gin, pineapple, St. Germain and sage.

3. Wooster’s Garden

In Midtown, handcrafted cocktails and craft beers –49 on tap— cohabitate in unison. Once an old warehouse, this bustling industrial space is dressed in natural wood and concrete and a large outdoor garden. The seriously extensive list of cocktails range from "Sour & Tart" to "Tropical & Tiki". Check the chalkboards for happy hour bearing cheap beer taps, half-off wines and cocktails.

4. Stone’s Throw

This handsome bi-level space in Montrose is beloved for its soaring ceilings and second floor private, dimly lit area that grants you views of the action downstairs. In a group? Share a large boozy punch bowl made with bourbon, St. Germain, simple syrup, grapefruit juice, orange bitters, sparkling water and Sprite.

5. Under the Volcano

Open 365 days a year and named after Malcolm Lowry’s 1947 novel of the same name, this chill, tiki-style dive bar serves frozen drinks and a highly touted jukebox. To note, Monday nights feature a “steak night” with sweet deals on a 16 ounce rib eye paired with your favorite drink.

6. The GingerMan

Since 1985, this small, no-frills cabinesque pub nestled in Rice Village serves regulars and visitors alike. Find your favorite beer on draft (68 taps) or one of the 150 specialty bottled beers and later, enjoy a friendly game of darts as the jukebox plays on and your pint rests nearby.

7. Beckrew Wine House

Raise your glass to the cozy, warm interior of this white-bricked wine bar opened by two childhood friends who love the art of the grape. Sip from a wide selection of varietals (and 3 ounce pours of high end wines) that match well with salty snacks like cheese and charcuterie.

8. Pastry War

Focusing on handcrafted drinks, the Pastry War (titled after a little-known1838 Mexico-France conflict) is a warm space with banquettes and a large Mexican mural wall. The bar, an on-trend mezcaleria, churns out a deeply boozy and smoky, “Caravel” with 12 Fig & Cacao-infused Mezcal and Tawny port stirred with Pedro Ximex Sherry.

9. Public Services Wine & Whisky

Inside the 1884 Cotton Exchange building, once a Victorian salon, a stunning remodeled space is with peppered with wood arches and gold details. Try kitchy snacks like a homemade baloney plate paired with smoked cheese and Ritz crackers and wash down with an eclectic mix of whiskeys.