Houston’s Best Dive Bars

Houston, that sun-drenched, humidity-steamed subtropical megapolis, might not be the first place you think of when you rattle off great American drinking towns. When most outsiders think of the city at all, images of cowboys, astronauts and oilmen come to mind. And truth be told, many natives wrestle with the concept of a dive bar, thinking that any gin mill that lacks a velvet rope, bottle service and a valet parking service is a dive.

In Houston’s Best Dive Bars, award-winning journalist (and third-generation Houstonian) John Nova Lomax sets the record straight on what exactly a dive is (and isn’t) in the Bayou City. From Korean houses of ill repute on Telephone Road to bluesy Third Ward juke joints, from Galveston County bayside gang haunts to Spring Branch redneck redoubts, from famous old Inner Loop standbys like the Lone Star Saloon and the West Alabama Ice House to obscure gems like the D&W Inn and the Sundown Saloon, Lomax drank, and with this book as evidence, lived to tell the dive-y tales. The result is the first of its kind and the only guidebook to drinking and diving in Houston you will ever need.

John Nova Lomax is currently a staff writer at the Houston Press, the city paper of Houston. He is the great nephew of Alan Lomax, the American music folklorist and musicologist.