Whiskey business: The 5 best whiskey bars in Houston

Anvil Bar & Refuge. | Photo: Chris S./Yelp

Looking to try the top whiskey bars around?

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top whiskey bars in Houston, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to satisfy your cravings.

1. Anvil Bar & Refuge

Photo: Daniel N./Yelp

Topping the list is Anvil Bar & Refuge. Located at 1424 Westheimer Road, Suite B, in Montrose, the cocktail and whiskey bar is the highest rated place for whiskey in Houston, boasting four stars out of 867 reviews on Yelp.

As far as whiskey goes, you've got options from Europe, America, Canada and Japan. (See the extensive spirits list here.)

While you're there, you can grab a snack, including a cheese and meat plate, pickled quail eggs and bratwurst. Cocktails include the 1838 Julep (Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon, Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao, yellow chartreuse, mint, vanilla and angostura bitters) and the Southern Charm (Beefeater London Dry Gin, watermelon, lime and Bittermens Orange Cream Citrate). (See the food and cocktail list here.)

Yelper Michele H., who reviewed it on Sept. 2, wrote, "I love this bar. The drinks are either solid standards or creative originals. The bartenders are skilled and usually really fun. They've subtly remodeled and it looks classy and elegant. Love the cheese plate too."

2. Nobie's

Photo: Gloria J./Yelp

Next up is Montrose's Nobie's, situated at 2048 Colquitt St. With 4.5 stars out of 214 reviews on Yelp, the whiskey bar and farm-to-table, locally sourced eatery has proven to be a favorite in Houston.

When it comes to whiskey, the restaurant offers several options, including Buffalo Trace, Rittenhouse Rye, Monkey Shoulder, Westward Single Barrel, Eagle Rare and more. It hosts Whiskey Wednesdays, which makes all whiskeys half price.

The menu changes daily depending on available ingredients, but may include dishes like the Crispy Octopus (with tomatoes, romesco, fennel agridolce and almonds) and the Duroc n' Roll Meatballs (duroc pork, chicken jus, fig and manchego).

Yelper Jenni L. said, "We sat at a table behind the bar and were promptly greeted by our fabulous server who gave us the lowdown on Whiskey Wednesday. Both of us had a Gold Rush (whiskey-based cocktail) and, on our server's recommendation, we also had the sweet potato tots."

3. Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

Photo: Bosscat Kitchen & LIbations/Yelp

Highland Village's Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, located at 4310 Westheimer Road, Suite 150, is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the whiskey bar, New American and Southern spot four stars out of 461 reviews.

The restaurant features a special whiskey room, which you may privately occupy during a tour. It houses over 300 select bottles of whiskey, bourbon and Scotch, which you can sample while a specialist teaches you about the various bottles. (See its whiskey collection here.)

On the food menu, you'll see dishes like the Shaved Pork Chop Sandwich (dry-rubbed, slow-roasted pork loin and belly with cabbage and slaw on a potato bun) and the Sugar Barrel Steak (chef's cut with sweet potato mash, stout and caramelized onion gravy). (See the dinner menu here.)

Yelper Eric I., who visited on Aug. 23, said, "Fantastic service, conversation and laughs. Food was superb -- my wife had the tomato soup and grilled cheese, and I had the green chili soup and quesadilla, both to die for. Craft cocktails were amazing as well. To top it off, they have an extensive whiskey/bourbon/Scotch selection."

4. Whiskey Cake

Photo: Whiskey Cake/Yelp

Over in Clear Lake, check out Whiskey Cake, which has earned four stars out of 390 reviews on Yelp. You can find the whiskey bar, which serves New American, breakfast and brunch fare, at 18840 Gulf Freeway near Baybrook Mall.

It offers whiskey cocktails, such as the Little Rye Lies (Old Overholt rye whiskey, turbinado black tea syrup, orange bitters and angostura bitters) and the Winchester (Old Forester bourbon, local honey, lemon and sparkling rose). There are also whiskey flights if you'd like to sample whiskeys by region, such as Texas, Ireland or Scotland. Make sure to try the eponymous Whiskey Cake dessert (toffee torte, bourbon anglaise, spice pecans and whipped cream). (See the full menu, including food and cocktails, here.)

Yelp reviewer Devin K. wrote, "One of our favorite places to go! Must try the whiskey cake for dessert! Their drink selection is terrific and the waitstaff was incredibly helpful for suggestions of what to eat and drink."

5. Public Services Wine & Whisky

Photo: Elliott B./Yelp

And then there's Public Services Wine & Whisky, a downtown favorite with 4.5 stars out of 109 reviews. Stop by 202 Travis St., Suite 100, to hit up the wine and whiskey bar next time the urge strikes.

Located in the historic 1884 Houston Cotton Exchange Building, the bar offers both American whiskeys and Scotch whiskys, plus a selection of international whiskeys. Whiskey cocktails include the Old Fashioned (bonded bourbon, angostura bitters and turbinado) and the Sazerac (bonded rye, Peychaud bitters, absinthe and turbinado). It also offers a light menu of bar snacks. (See the full menu here.)

Yelper Preston I., who reviewed it on Aug. 13, wrote, "I love how this spacious venue is decorated. It definitely exudes cool and classy, but chill at the same time. There are nice sofas to go along with the standard bar stools and chairs. They use top shelf liquor, and you can taste the difference."
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