The Best Sports Bar in Houston
photo credit: Richard Casteel
In a place lovingly nicknamed, “Clutch City,” at some point during the year every bar wil inevitably transform into a sports bar. But one piddly little TV doesn’t always cut it. Certain games require multiple screens, hundreds of pixels per square inch, and crystal-clear projection so you have enough visual evidence to argue with the ref as though they can hear you.
Montrose’s sprawling patio bar has everything a sports fan needs: cheap beer, Tacos Tierra Caliente nearby, and multiple large screens almost exclusively showing sports. Open since the late 1920s, the open-air bar is filled with folks meeting up for Happy Hour, celebrating a birthday, or just playing a couple rounds of horseshoes. Yes, even during the peak of Houston’s relentless summer.
If you desire to celebrate Canada Day everyday, check out Maple Leaf Pub in Midtown. Unapologetically Canadian, this spot serves many different Canadian beers, and displays more hockey paraphernalia than likely exists in the entirety of Texas. Naturally they serve poutine (and it’s pretty solid). But they also have standard bar food and Indian-inspired dishes like loaded queso with masala and butter chicken to eat while catching up on Leafs game.
For mid-day games it’s hard to beat Drift Bar in Shady Acres. When the weather’s nice, Drift rolls up the giant garage doors and the entire bar becomes an open-air party deck. Plus the number of TVs and massive screens could blind you. A lot of the cocktails are just various alcohols dumped directly into a Topo Chico bottle, which makes it easier to mosey around the bar or rustle up a game of cornhole.
This Lazybrook neighborhood spot strikes a perfect balance between a seedy dive and a neighborhood sports bar with pretty decent food. They have Happy Hour, a great burger, and even Coors Banquet—a special find for Houston. Take in neighborhood gossip between rounds of pool and shuffleboard, or pop back and forth between the cigarette machine and the foosball table while keeping track of the game on a multitude of TVs.
Converted from a massive warehouse in EaDo, Pitch 25 has over 100 beers on tap, tons of games, and a mini indoor soccer field. No matter the time of year, this place is crammed with folks wearing jerseys from whatever sport happens to be at its peak, transfixed by multiple large screens both inside and out. If you have a large group, need to set up an office Happy Hour, or want to play soccer in one of those round inflatable suits, Pitch 25 is for you.
The Kirby Ice House location near Upper Kirby claims to be the biggest bar in Texas. And while we haven’t sent our surveyor out for accurate measurements, we can confirm this place is massive, especially the Astroturfed outdoor space. Unlike a traditional ice house this bar offers liquor, but there’s still plenty of draft beer, plus TVsand rotating food trucks to keep the people happy on game day.
Every now and then, a bar where no one knows your name is a necessity. If you like to watch sports games in complete silence, either because you’re a Cowboys fan or you need to contemplate the consequences of a risky bet, pull up to Jake’s Sports Bar. Everything at the unremarkable space feels outside the space-time continuum—there’s a working landline phone behind the bar, for example. Yeah, there’s decent beers on tap, a few bar games, and the opportunity for a hostile takeover of a TouchTunes jukebox, but not much else. Food exists here, but tastes questionable. But there’s enough TVs and intriguing people-watching to keep anyone satisfied.
EZ’s Liquor Lounge serves as a multifunctional, gussied up dive bar with great food and even better booze. The Heights spot combines the country digs of a dive bar, the number of TVs required to be a sports bar, and enough top-shelf bourbon to keep any mid-tier oil and gas supply chain manager satisfied and racking up a continuous tab. Plus, who doesn’t love a spot where you can get a couple of chili dogs on a game day?
Any soccer hooligan or general enjoyer of beer will feel at home at Phoenix in Montrose. The British-leaning pub caters to soccer—sorry, football—fans, and people who want a dark pub to drink in. Alongside burgers and plates of fish and chips, Phoenix also serves a surprisingly long list of vegan and vegetarian food. And even though the food isn’t anything to rave about, being able to swing in for an international game of footie makes Phoenix a solid sports spot.