The Definitive Guide to Houston

French Toast, Etoile Cuisine et Bar

Houston’s Best Brunches, Bars, & Snappy Hours

in Dining & Nightlife by

Each season, we bring you hand-picked selection of some of our favorite Houston hotspots for after-dinner drinks and scrumptious brunches. Enjoy this collection, as seen in our Holiday/Winter 2018 print issue!

Reserve 101 - photo by Amanda Calderon
Photo by Amanda Calderon

1. Whiskey + Cocktails at Reserve 101 (Downtown)

This is where celebrities go to sip and be seen. Recognized as one of America’s top whiskey bars, Reserve 101 should top the must-try list of the whiskey enthusiast and travel-savvy alike. The downtown hotspot features more than 340 whiskeys from 14 countries, not to mention private barrels and rare selections. They also offer whiskey tastings, so be sure to check their online calendar for opportunities during your stay. If whiskey isn’t your drink of choice, no matter—their inclusive menu offers a slew of classic cocktails, a variety of beers, and wine by the glass or bottle. Visit Reserve 101 Monday through Saturday from 2 p.m.-2 a.m. and Sunday from 5 p.m.-2 a.m.

1201 Caroline Street  |  |


Eggs Benedict, Étoile Cuisine et Bar
Image courtesy of Étoile Cuisine et Bar

2. French Brunch at Étoile Cuisine et Bar (River Oaks)

Classic French cuisine at its finest—and without a trace of pretention. Chef Philippe Verpiand and co-owner Monica Bui have created a dazzling menu that embraces the flavors and spirit of France. Our favorite Étoile meal is brunch, where diners can enjoy everything from a humble croissant to a 10 oz. ribeye steak. All the classics are here—escargots à la Bourguignonne, gruyère omelette, coq au vin—as well as a few lesser-known and equally-tempting creations. For our money, you can’t beat the mussels, which are available in a variety of succulent styles. Like many things that are close to divinity, brunch at Étoile is a Sundays-only affair.

1101-11 Uptown Park Boulevard  |  (832) 668-5808  |


Charcuterie, Underbelly
Image courtesy of Underbelly

3. Wine Bar Happy Hour at Underbelly (Montrose)

Underbelly is one of the finest restaurants in the city, and it’s home to some of the best wine, too. Of particular note is the Monday through Saturday happy hour, which runs from 3-6:30 p.m. and picks up again from 10 p.m. ‘til midnight. Reds, whites, and bubbles are half-price by the glass, and all of the wine is sourced from family-owned and operated wineries. Be sure to try a plate or two from the Wine Bar Menu, where James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd pays homage to some of his influences with his “covers” menu. It’s a rollicking tour of some of Shepherd’s favorite dishes from restaurants across the country, all with a unique Houston twist.

1100 Westheimer Road  |  (713) 528-9800  |


Bosscat Kitchen & Libations
Image courtesy of Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

4. Sunday Brunch at Bosscat Kitchen & Libations (River Oaks)

This California implant has been making waves with their tasty menu of elevated comfort food, enviable whiskey program, and great location. Their Sunday Brunch offerings shine with clever plates featuring reimagined favorites—the Fruity Pebbles French Toast is a notable pick, as are the Pork Belly Breakfast Tacos and Sticky Bun Breakfast Burger. Pair your meal with one of their drink specials, or opt for a classic mimosa or Bloody Mary. Be sure to inquire after their whiskey, too—these folks know their barrels and are primed to introduce you to your new signature sip. Make your reservations now; brunch is served Sundays only from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

4310 Westheimer Road, Suite 150  |  (281) 501-1187  |


Peli Peli - private wine label
Image courtesy of Peli Peli

5. South African Happy Hour at Peli Peli (Galleria)

With their unbeatable location and happy hour specials, Peli Peli is a can’t-miss spot. Enjoy half-off cocktails, like the Cape Town Cucumber Martini, plus $10 light bites—the award-winning bobotie is delicious, and the flavorful seafood options are tops, too. Chances are, you’ve never had South African wine, and Peli Peli’s Happy Hour Menu makes each glass a steal at half-off. With rich wine regions that have been likened to those of France, you’re guaranteed to find a new and noteworthy favorite among the South African offerings. Peli Peli’s superb happy hour is served Monday to Friday from 2-7 p.m.

5085 Westheimer Road, Suite B2515  |  (281) 257-9500  |

Cover photo courtesy of Étoile Cuisine et Bar

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