Houston's Hidden Speakeasies
Houston's Hidden Speakeasies

Houston's Hidden Speakeasies

Finding the hidden heart (and doors) of Houston.


Ever wonder why the clothing store off Main Street seems to be packed with people every time you pass by? Or why some guests are asking the hostess of the restaurant for a password and not a table? Intrigued with mystery, you follow the crowds into the underground, hidden world of speakeasies. With endless drink menus and tucked away doors, these hidden hot spots are sure to give ‘a night on the town’ a whole new meaning. 

Tongue-Cut Sparrow 

 
 
 
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Feel like royalty as you relax in style at the hottest upscale after-hours bar in Houston. Draped with deep oak walls, comfy leather couches and a warm fireplace, Tongue-Cut Sparrow is the hidden home you never knew you needed. The intimate 25 seat venue is decked out with not only top-notch service, but also an elite Japanese inspired drink menu. Enjoy the exclusive experience amongst your new best friends as you settle into the rustic 120-year-old building in the heart of Houston. Order us a Japanese Highball, we’ll see you in a few. 

How to Get In: Enter through the front of The Pastry War, head to the back to find the unmarked door and follow the staircase upstairs.  
Where: 310 Main St. Houston, TX 77002

For more information.

Dean’s Downtown 

 
 
 
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Don’t let the neon lights fool you – this spot is anything but a department store. Named and remodeled after the popular 1940s department store, Dean’s Credit Clothing, the historic bar is giving us all the rustic vibes. It even houses the third oldest electric elevator in the country. With local Houston songwriters and a killer selection of velvet sofas, you do not want to miss out on this chill, downtown secret lounge. 

How to Get In: You’ll find this hidden hotspot next to Clark’s and underneath “The Home of Easy Credit” neon sign. 
Where: 316 Main St. Houston, TX 77002

For more information.

Notsouh 

 
 
 
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Discrete with a name spelling Houston backwards (pronounced Not-So-Uh), the low-lit venue contains much more than what’s on the surface. Calling all hipsters, this one's for you. Notsouh’s quirky collection of cocktails and chatty bartenders is one unlike anything else in the city. Meet your new favorite dive bar with live poetry readings, an overflow of chess boards and strong drinks that will ensure a good time. 

How to Get In: Next door to Dean’s Credit Clothing, look for the neon sign “Clark’s” and head in.
Where: 314 Main St. Houston, TX 77002

For more information.

Base 

 
 
 
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Let’s move this party underground. Welcome to the billionaire’s basement. Sneak your way past the velvet red ropes into a world filled with neon lights and classic cocktails. Experience electric silent raves (Yes. Silent raves.) and color changing dance floors to start the night off. Cozy up to the bookcase lined walls for the full VIP treatment with top-notch bottle service and private dance floors. Easy to say, there is nothing basic about Base. 

How to Get In: Head through the lobby, hop in the elevator and Press B. Push on the wall beneath the neon “Shhh” sign to open the door. 
Where: 801 Congress Ave. Houston, TX 77002 

For more information.

Marfreless 

 
 
 
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If there was ever an authentic speakeasy to exist, it’s this one. Decked out with leather couches, red rooms and lighting so dark you almost need night vision goggles, Marfreless has been a speakeasy staple since the early 1970s. The River Oaks lounge shows off their prohibition decor alongside its grand oak bar. Follow the staircase for a bird’s eye view of the chandelier lit crowds below as you enjoy one of their snazzy signature cocktails. 

How to Get In: Find the unmarked blue door underneath a white staircase on the side of the building.  
Where: 2006 Peden St. Houston, TX 77019

For more information.

Capt. Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirits Lodge 

 
 
 
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Among the other Main Street secret spots, the upstairs Bad News Bar joins the list. Hidden above a string of law offices, Capt. Foxheart offers a new definition to the all American style bar. Not only does the double decker bar have a killer drink menu (for all my whiskey lovers, try ‘A View To Kill’), it also has a rooftop with a view. Impress your date by following the wooden walls upstairs at night to get a stunning overlook of the city lights. 

How to Get In: Go through the Law Offices of Tucker Graves, climb the staircase and open the wooden door on your left. 
Where: 308 Main St. Houston, TX 77002

For more information.

Mongoose Versus Cobra 

 
 
 
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Beer, beer and more beer please. Oh, did we mention beer? This ivy hidden beer house shows no sign out front, but inside offers over 40+ craft beers. Enjoy not only every kind of beer to exist in Houston, but also their oh-so-savory snacks. Ask for the pretzel and make it a midnight special. You won’t regret it. Where the sleek industrial vibes meet modern live music, this happy hour house is sure to get anybody in a good mood. 

How to Get In: Look for the ivy covered building off McGowen. 
Where: 1011 McGowen St. Houston, TX 77002 

For more information.

The Noble Experiment 

 
 
 
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Imagine you’re waiting for a table at your favorite Italian restaurant when you overhear someone ask the hostess for the secret password. That’s right. In the heart of South Houston, you can find a secret speakeasy behind the kitchen doors of Grazia Italian Kitchen. From smoking champagne glasses to world class bartenders, for one night you can transport yourself back to the era of Gatsby. 

How to Get In: Call ahead and get the secret, changing password from the hostess stand. Find the restaurant behind the Emergency Room. Tell the hostess the password at the front and follow. (Extra brownie points if you find the red phone booth) 
Where: 9415 Broadway St #103, Pearland, TX 77584

For more information.

Lei Low 


(Photo Courtesy of Lei Low)

Let’s take a quick trip to the tropics. Enjoy a drink and Lei Low at one of the Heights most secret tiki bars. Whether you’re a straight shooter or a Mai Thai lover, there is something for everyone in this hidden paradise. With every kind of fruit topping their knockout cocktails, it's easy to say “keep ‘em coming”. So throw on the hawaiin shirt from college and grab your 5 o’clock mentality because this tropical hotspot will have you begging for more. 

How to Get in: Find Joe’s Food Store and look for a sign saying “Rum” next to a graffiti Aloha. 
Where: 6412 N. Main St. Houston, TX 77009

For more information.

Last Concert Cafe


(Photo Courtesy of Last Concert Cafe)

What happens when a tex-mex restaurant turns into a secret concert venue at night? Behind two double red doors is Houston’s oldest live concert venue, Last Concert Cafe. From the flaming fajitas to a music filled atmosphere, this outdoor secret spot gives you the feeling of being in your own backyard. Enjoy music throughout the classic courtyard, the colorful covered patio or even to Dawn’s Margarita Garden. So grab some friends and check it out because this place is worth the trip.  

How to Get In: Find the double red doors and knock twice. 
Where: 1403 Nance St. Houston, TX 77002

For more information.

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