The Definitive Guide to Houston

Brunches, Bars & Snappy Hours: Fall + Holiday Edition

in Dining & Nightlife by

Every issue we round up the best brunches, bars and happy hours from around the city! If you haven’t had a chance to flip through our fall + holiday issue, we highly suggest it and hope you get to check out all of these amazing spots this season!

13 Celsius

At 13 Celsius, you’ll find the authentic taste of small-town Europe right in downtown Houston. They offer an extensive, expertly-curated list of fine wines, unique beers and perfectly-paired bites, such as artisan cheeses, salami and cured hams. The wine list includes many exotic wines from Grüner Veltliner to Blaufränkisch, ensuring an extraordinary experience rarely found on this side of the world. In fact, 13 Celsius is proud to be Houston’s first wine bar with a temperature-controlled cellar that perfectly preserves its unique wines from all over the planet. It’s also worth noting the building’s unique architecture–it was once a dry cleaner in the 1920s. With an ambiance that’s bound to captivate you immediately, 13 Celsius creates an atmosphere that invites conversation among friends and encourages new connections.  

Loch Bar

Photo Courtesy of Kirsten Gilliam

Loch Bar mixes East Coast charm and American speakeasy vibes to create a modern seafood tavern. The Cape Cod style is beautifully represented by antique mirrors, marble-and-penny tile floors with rich cherry trim and shipwrecked, white-washed wood accents with contrasting brass fixtures. On the speakeasy side, you’ll find deep-tufted red-leather banquettes and an impressive beverage program. Not to be forgotten, Loch Bar’s menu is full of classic yet re-imagined East Coast dishes like the New England Lobster Roll, Maryland-style Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Grilled East Coast Oysters and more. With more than 400 whiskeys and signature cocktails to try, there is something for everyone. Visit Loch Bar for both brunch and latenight drinks.  

Emmaline

Photo Courtesy of Emmaline

Named after founder Sam Governale’s grandmother, the restaurant reflects aspects of the original Emmaline’s personality. She had a passion for bringing people together, a sense of timelessness and a love of style and bold flavors. With Emmaline as their muse, the team worked to ensure the menu was full of items that are unique without being intimidating and, of course, shareable. The laid back yet luxurious space is picturesque, thanks to the charming curated décor, making it perfect for brunch. Highlights from the menu include E’s Cinnamon Roll (orange bourbon caramel and candied pecans), Deviled Eggs (with black truffle and prosciutto), Lobster Benedict, Skillet French Toast (thick-cut challah, lemon pastry cream, macerated berries and warm syrup) and much more.  

Tony Mandola’s

Laurenzo’s Restaurant Group

Tony Mandola’s has been a Houston institution since the Mandola family opened the restaurant in 1982. Helping to shape the city’s restaurant scene since 1913, the family continues to use delicious southern seafood recipes that have been passed down for generations. They’re dedicated to the mantra that “sharing a meal is about bringing people together.” Today, you will find some of Houston’s most delicious and authentic gulf-coast food at Tony Mandola’s. Think Gulf Coast Shrimp Remoulade, Fried Crawfish Ravioli and Mama Ninfa’s Jalapeños (fried jalapeños stuffed with shrimp and Muenster cheese), all of which happen to be part of their happy hour Monday to Sunday 3  6:30 pm. 

MAD

Photo Courtesy of Julie Soeffer

MAD is named after the Madrid airport code, and it’s the latest talk-of-the-town. The avant-garde concept in River Oaks District will transport you out of Houston and straight into Spain. The menu highlights the vibrant flavors that Spain is known for, from intriguing small plates to ingredient-driven paella. Whether you seek whole fish presentations or handcrafted Spanish cocktails, your taste buds will never be bored. The drink menu has multiple sections, the most noteworthy being the “Gin Revolution,” which includes the signature and Insta-worthy, Green Tea Gin & Tonic (Roku Gin infused with Matcha, Ginger and Lime, Bergamot and Fever Tree Mediterranean). Enjoy the late-night menu Thursday through Saturday from 11 pm – 1 am. 


Feature Photo Courtesy of Emmaline

Local Houstonian and Editor of Houston Hotel Magazine. Follow her on Instagram for her latest adventures around the city, @emilylunstroth.

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