Hughie’s Tavern and Vietnamese Grille
I go to quite a few beer bars around town, but the original Hughie’s located at W. 18th St. is my home base beer bar. Their location on North Main is solid too, but I‘m focusing on the original location this time around. I’m usually there at least once a week to try whatever new brew they have tapped. They seem to always be one of the first places in town to have new local releases. Hughie’s 24 taps may not compare in sheer number to many of the other quality bars in town, but the quality of their selection is always right on.
During my most recent visit, the selection ranged from Texas and local classics: Yellow Rose, Fireman’s #4, Live Oak’s Hefezeizen, More Cowbell, Art Car and Hop Gusher, to popular newer picks: Heavy Hands and Wheez The Shake, to really recent releases like Shower Tears and Tayne‘s Pale. In total, 16 taps featured Texan beers and all taps were dedicated to craft beer and cider.
Hughie’s is located in a former Dairy Queen, but you wouldn’t be able to tell if it weren’t for the remnants of a drive-through window and the iconic shape of their sign that should be familiar to all who are hip to DQ. Unlike DQ, the inside is furnished with inviting wood and has an atmosphere conducive to a leisurely meal with a couple of pints. In addition to booth and table seating, there’s also a bar and a patio that quickly fills up when the weather is nice. Hughie’s is also a solid place to catch a game as they have quite a few flat screens throughout the restaurant. Some of the TVs serve to show their beer menu from UnTappd as well.
The food is solid and affordably priced. Nothing beats a $5 Bahn Mi, but their other Vietnamese dishes such as fried rice, shaking beef, spring rolls, dumplings and pho, which is only a winter seasonal, also hit the spot. If you’re craving soup, the spicy egg noodle wonton that’s available as a Tuesday night special is quite good. Monday through Friday Hughie’s features a daily soup during lunch hours. The chicken curry that’s available on Thursday is a personal favorite.
The American food is also worth ordering. Their burgers are solid – try their banh mi burger which features a beef patty but is topped with the same items as you would find in a banh mi. I’m also a fan on their chicken tenders and country fried steak, which comes with a thick, creamy sausage gravy that’s artery hardening goodness. Hughie’s has quite a few tofu options for vegetarians as well. A testament to the popularity of the food can not only be seen in the amount of customers in the restaurant, but in an almost constant amount of people picking up take-out orders as well.
Hughie’s has some of the best beer specials in town. On Tuesday nights all beer brewed in Texas is $3, which means usually half of their menu, or more. Spending only $3 for a beer like Cortado or a Mysterium Verum series brew is about as good as it gets. Hughie’s also has a solid reverse happy hour on Friday and Saturday nights from 9:00 to 11:00, during which select drafts are $3. Hughie’s uses the term “select drafts”, but in practice means any beer on the menu that’s $6 or less will be $3. Again, this ends up being half or more of the beers on their menu. In addition to their weekly specials, Hughie’s often has tap takeovers, pint nights and other special beer-related events.
This is one of my “can’t miss” beer spots in town. Hughie’s has a great combination of quality food and beer that can be had about as affordably as you can find in Houston. Add in an atmosphere that ranges from chill local spot to bustling during busy hours, it’s always a choice place to enjoy a pint and a delicious banh mi.
Address: 1802 W 18th St, Houston, TX 77008
Hours: Mon-Thurs – 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM, Fri – 11:00 AM – Mid, Sat – 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM, Sun – Closed
Monday – (3pm-10pm) – Half off wine glasses, (5pm-10pm) – $9 Spicy Crawfish Fried Rice w/Beer +$3
Tuesday – (3pm-10pm) – $3 Texas beers, (5pm-10pm) – $8 Spicy Egg noodle Wonton Soup
Wednesday – (3pm-10pm) – $2 Fire Sales, (5pm-10pm) – $10 Steak Burger
Thursday – (3pm-10pm) – 50% off on wine bottles, (5pm-10pm) – $8 Spicy Curry Soup
Friday & Saturday – (9pm-11pm) – Reverse Happy Hour $3 on selected drafts *Usually all beers $6 or below will be $3