Downtown Houston is a vibrant area that is buzzing day and night with restaurants, bars, clubs, cinemas and theatres. Washington Avenue is a particularly happening place now. Smart dress is expected in most of the clubs and bars, although venues that are more like pubs are fairly casual.
Houston also has an impressive 17-block theatre district (www.houstontheaterdistrict.org) and Houston is one of the few US cities with permanent ballet, opera, symphony orchestra and theatre companies.
You can buy tickets for concerts and theatre from Ticket Stop (tel: (713) 526 8889; www.ticket-stop.com) or the Ticket Center (tel: 1 800 828 8959; www.ticket-center.com). Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com) is another good source for tickets to cultural events around the city.
The Houston Press (www.houstonpress.com) published on Thursdays has an extensive list of which bars and clubs to go to and what's on where, including cultural performances. The Entertainment section of the Thursday Houston Chronicle (www.houstonchronicle.com) is also full of listings information.
Bars in Houston
Kenneally's Irish Pub
Every city has an Irish bar and Houston is no exception. This is a regular, no-frills, friendly pub with a mix of regulars, visitors, hippies and yuppies. Pop in to enjoy a quiet drink on the small terrace, play a game of darts or try something from the small selection of snacks available, including thin-crust pizzas.Address: , 2111 S Shepherd Dr, Houston, 77019
Telephone: (713) 630 0486.
A recent arrival on the Washington Strip scene, this is a laidback bar serving a great selection of draft and bottled beers. Housed in a converted filling station, with an open-air terrace, it has a big screen in the main bar for sporting events. If you get peckish then grab a snack from the food truck that's parked outside most nights.Address: , 2101 Washington Ave, Houston, 77007
Telephone: (713) 640 5220.
Nouveau Antique Art Bar
Lit by a room full of Tiffany lamps, the Nouveau Antique Art Bar in Midtown is a great place to catch the cool scene. Relax with friends in the sophisticated art nouveau-styled bar which is perfect for pre- or post-dinner drinks in its very inviting atmosphere. Take your drinks out to the large terrace. Happy Hour, Monday to Friday, lasts until 2100.Address: , 2913 Main St, Houston, 77002
Telephone: (713) 526 2220.
Pete's Duelling Piano Bar
This bar is not for the shy and retiring. Come here for a fun night out and join in the singalong and clap along. The two piano players perform high energy favourites from Elvis to Sinatra and Abba to ZZ Top. Even the waiting and bar staff get in on the act. The entertainers are happy to take requests and a small cash tip helps things along.Address: , 1201 Fannin St, Houston, 77002
Telephone: (713) 337 7383.
Clubs in Houston
Numbers seems to have been around forever and is still going strong. A vast progressive video dance club, it also features international live bands. Huge video screens project dance videos throughout the club. Fridays is 80s night with draft beer just 50c. If it all gets too much, go upstairs to the small seating area overlooking the dance floor. Open Friday and Saturday, but check website for other nights.Address: , Westheimer Rd, Houston, 77006
Telephone: (713) 526 6551.
The Drake is a popular spot on the super-hot Washington stretch of nightspots, catering to an eclectic mix of club goers, with a posh speakeasy vibe, sexy banquettes, groovy dance music, and bottle service. Located in a former warehouse space with exposed brick, lots of mirrors, warm candlelight and elegant chandeliers this multi-room club, boasting three bars, caters to the urban and hip hop crowd.Address: , 1902 Washington Ave, Houston, 77007
Telephone: (832) 566 5776.
Live music in Houston
McGonigel's Mucky Duck
This is one of the best venues for acoustic music and features a variety of local and national folk, blues and country acts with Irish music sessions every Wednesday night. Occasionally a big-time artist puts on a show. There is a fun open-mic night on Mondays for lesser-known singers with the odd appearance from would-be comedians and poets.Address: , Shepherd Dr, Houston,
Telephone: (713) 528 5999.
The Continental Club
This is the place to catch alternative rock, blues, rockabilly and country music acts. The club has a retro feel with vintage neon lights and a red velvet-curtained stage. It is a small, cosy venue with a back-room bar, an outdoor patio and pool tables. Check their website for upcoming bands as occasionally there are big-name acts appearing.Address: , 3700 Main St, Houston, 77002
Telephone: (713) 529 9899.
Classical music in Houston
Dance in Houston
The Houston Ballet puts on lavish dance productions at the Wortham Theater Center. It is the fourth largest dance company in the USA, with international acclaim following several overseas tours. The company performs classics, as well as cutting edge works by some of the world's exciting young dance makers.Address: , 501 Texas Ave, Houston, 77002
Telephone: (713) 227 2787.
Theatres in Houston
This is one of the oldest resident professional theatre companies in the country. It began its life literally in an alley in 1947. It puts on performances of new plays, classics, the rediscovered and the rarely performed with an emphasis on new American works. A small, intimate venue, with two theatres, with all seats having good views and where the audience almost feels it is part of the performance.Address: , 615 Texas Ave, Houston, 77002
Telephone: (713) 220 5700.
Music and Dance in Houston
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
A state-of-the-art complex which is home to the Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS), a company which performs musicals here as well as a free series in the Miller Outdoor Theatre. There are two performing spaces, the larger Serafim Hall and the small Zilkha Hall which is home to the Uniquely Houston programme which showcases small Houston performing arts organisations.
Telephone: (713) 315 2525.
Culture in Houston
The Miller Outdoor Theatre
The Miller is an outdoor amphitheatre which presents free performances - including ballet, Shakespeare, musicals, jazz, classic films and the Houston Symphony Orchestra from March until October. The audience is encouraged to make an evening of it and bring a picnic to enjoy on the hillside. There is some undercover seating available and tickets for this area are free, but are given out at the box office in person on the day of the performance between 1030 and 1300.Address: , , ,
Telephone: (218) 373 3386.