Walking Westheimer Might be Better than Walking Washington

El Real Tex-Mex

Washington really took off in the last few years as the most popular nighttime destination in Houston. Some say the bloom is off the flower when it comes to the Washington scene and seek out smaller pockets of culture to enjoy after the sun goes down. One of these pockets is on Westheimer just west of Montrose, where several bars and restaurants are well within walking distance, making it easy to commit the whole evening to just a few blocks:

Royal Oak is a pub with a bit of a twist. It’s a little bit rustic, a little bit glitzy, but it definitely isn’t trying too hard. With $7 mimosa pitchers on Sundays and their famed Whiskey Wednesdays, Royal Oak knows how to draw a crowd. There are patios in the front and back, perfect for lingering.

Anvil Bar & Refuge is the place to go if you like unique, precision-measured cocktails and chatty bar staff who know how to make bar-tending into an art. Anvil has great food, industrial, laid-back decor with roomy booths and a huge counter. It’s one of Houston’s most celebrated bars and it’s even attracting national attention.

Underbelly + Hay Merchant are bound to win your heart if you have a soft spot for Anvil. These establishments are fast becoming the triumvirate of Montrose and their owner has proved he knows a thing or two about the restaurant business. Underbelly is one of the most talked-about new restaurants in town and the Hay Merchant, situated in the very same building, is a beer enthusiast’s paradise.

El Real is right across the street and a sure thing for great margaritas, even better queso and delicious Tex-Mex. The best thing about El Real might be the space, the former Tower Theater, where they still project old westerns in the main dining area. This is not your average Mexican restaurant and is already getting nods of recognition, including a “Best Tex-Mex” award from Houston Press. If you live in a Montrose zip code, you can even eat for half-price on their Montrose Mondays!

Just park and walk to them all!

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