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Oldest Bars in Houston You Should Visit

Houston has a knack for setting up youthful, livelier bars for the upcoming young generation.

However, old geezers can still find some good old bars full of life, character, traditional architecture, and quaint features. Old bars in Houston are great for people who want to learn about the city’s rich history.

I set out to find out the oldest bars in Houston, and these nine stood out.

West Alabama Ice House

1919 W Alabama St, Houston, TX 77098
Phone: (713) 528-6874
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If there’s one bar that has remained true to its roots is the West Alabama Ice House. The bar dates back to the late 1920s when it had blocks of ice before it started selling beer.

Since then, it has become a favorite hangout spot for the Houston community. It still serves some of the oldest beers and limits its offerings to beer, cider, and wine.

However, if you want non-alcoholic drinks, you may order soft drinks and bottled water.

La Carafe

813 Congress St, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 229-9399
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Located on a two-story building, La Carafe is the epitome of Houston’s history. This wine bar has stood the test of time as it opened in the mid-1950s.

One striking feature about this bar is that it still conducts business using its old register and only accepts cash. The spot attracts an eclectic crowd, albeit the building’s jaded appearance.


3416 Roseland St, Houston, TX 77006
Phone: (713) 528-9912
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If you’re a sports fanatic looking for an old bar with an Irish flair, head to Griff’s Bar. It’s the oldest sports bar in Houston and is known for hosting the annual St. Patrick’s festival.

Although it has changed hands over time, Griff’s Bar has maintained the characteristic party and sports scene. 

The army of old and young professional players and sports fanatics keep the bar lively, especially during live games. If you’re visiting with family, you can always choose something from the menu.

Leon’s Lounge

1006 McGowen St, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 650-1006
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Want to sip on a mojito while listening to the blues from the 70s and 80s? Head to Leon’s Lounge. It’s Houston’s oldest bar and is conveniently tucked away in the hip Midtown area.

The bar features a lounge-style decor with lots of sitting areas and boasts a large wine list. In fact, the bar has a rotating drink menu consisting of cocktails like the Whiskey Smash, the Green on Red, and rum garnished with basil and red pepper, to mention a few.

Char Bar

305 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 222-8177
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This bar is unique because it shares the space with an in-house tailor. Well, there’s an interesting history behind this arrangement.

The owner, Michael Shapiro, initially set up a men’s tailor shop to design suits and sell vintage clothing. 

However, the decline of the booming tailor’s row saw the owner add a bar to keep the business afloat. The tailor shop is still part of the bar even today. A walk inside the bar, and you’ll see artifacts reminiscent of Michael and his grandfather’s stay there.

Warren’s Inn

307 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 247-9207
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Warren’s Inn is another great old bar in Houston. It’s La Carafe’s sister bar, except it’s in a different area.

It boasts a nice vintage decor featuring old mirrors and chandeliers, which trickle down to the beer served here. Most people come here to soak into its aesthetic appeal.

You also enjoy some great stiff pours while listening to some old 80s blues from the jukebox.

D&T Drive Inn

1307 Enid St, Houston, TX 77009
Phone: (832) 409-5709
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This bar isn’t just old but boasts a wide variety of beers, as you can choose from over 50 beers.

The atmosphere is pretty icy with rolled-up doors and large front and back patios, but the Southern-inspired cuisine gives the place a warm flair.

You can share plates or order sandwiches from its special menu. Overall, D&T Drive Inn is a great place to hang out with friends while sipping some cold beer and soaking in the strong Houston community spirit.

Marquis II

2631 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005
Phone: (713) 522-2090
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Marquis II is another old bar that has been kept abuzz since 1939. Its central location (in the middle of Houston) makes it a great place for young Houstonians, e.g., those from the City of West University, to be part of the city’s rich history while enjoying good old cheap beers and stiff Texas teas.

Initially, the bar was located on Shepherd and West Gray but later moved to its current location (at Bissonnet) in the 1950s.

Sheffield’s Ice House

5118 Telephone Rd, Houston, TX 77087
Phone: (713) 847-8552
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If you want to enjoy some good old cold beer, head to Sheffield’s Ice House. This old bar is known for serving cold, dirt-cheap beer and is a favorite hangout place for old geezers.

This bar gives off an old appeal because it hasn’t experienced as much urbanization as most old bars in Houston.

Although it replaced the old jukebox with a modern device, it still has an aura of an old Houston bar.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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