The prohibition era was meant to restrict alcohol and increase the moral standing of Americans, but instead it led to the wonderful inventions of moonshine and secret bars. Although now we can grab a drink whenever we like, it's still fun to experience the air of mystery and exclusivity that a good speakeasy bar offers. What could be more fun than opening the door of a refrigerator to find yourself in a cocktail lounge? Here are 9 of the best speakeasy bars in Texas to take you right back to prohibition.
1. Here Nor There
This Austin speakeasy has a membership that allows for priority reservations or private tastings. However, if you're just hoping to pop into a secret bar for the night, it's also welcome to non-members. To get in, get the app Here Nor There, which will tell you the door code. To enjoy the secrecy of Prohibition without actually hanging with bootleggers or drinking bathtub gin, this speakeasy-style watering hole the place to start.
2. Midnight Cowboy
Another Austin bar, Midnight Cowboy is in a location that previously advertised modeling and massages. These days it's known for serving some of Austin's best cocktails. To get in, check out the cocktail bar's website and make a reservation, or if the red light bulb outside is on, you can simply walk in. Ring the buzzer that says "Harry Craddock," and enjoy some booze and bitters.
3. Milonga Room
Milonga Room is another Austin hidden bar with lots of personality. Get tarot readings done while you enjoy live music and partake in delicious cocktails, because Milonga Room has it all. This bar on East Sixth is in a basement bar under Buenos Aires Cafe, and you can enjoy tapas and wine along with Argentinian cocktails. To get in, walk to the back of the cafe and knock on the blue door. Make sure to get a reservation first.
4. Red Headed Stepchild
This Downtown Austin secret bar is meant to be a true word-of-mouth secret, so the password is constantly changing. Red Headed Stepchild has a slightly more relaxed atmosphere than some speakeasies, and it's known as a "bro-friendly" destination. This whimsical and lighthearted bar is full of quirks like giant swings and silly neon signs to facilitate a unique and fun-filled night.
5. Atwater Alley
When it comes to hidden entrances, Atwater Alley fully commits to the theme of secrecy. Find this Dallas bar between the dumpsters, behind a door with two small letter A's, in the alleyway behind Henry's Majestic. If you can find it, you'll be met by hanging lamps and candlelight, along with a selection of delectable classic cocktails. Happy hour is until 8 pm, so get there early to enjoy the best cocktail you've had!
If you're stopping through Edinburg, it's worth it to find this secret and historic bar full of prohibition-style craft cocktails. This unique and fancy bar in the Rio Grande Valley has major New York City-prohibition vibes, and the mixologist is knowledgeable and talented. Sidebar is in a historic 20's era building that used to house the Edinburg Daily Review, one of the oldest newsprint publications. You'll even see a few copies and printers when you walk in
7. Scat Jazz Club
To spice up your nightlife in Fort Worth, head to the Scat Jazz Club. Go to Sundance Square, find the red neon sign, get in the elevator, and go down. The secret entrance makes this a true prohibition bar, and the bartenders' bow ties and suspenders only add to the feeling. Head to the club for a comedy or jazz show, and drink your delicious libations as you soak up the ambiance.
This Downtown Houston gem is right in Market Square Park, and you can only access it from two unmarked elevators. This one has a slightly different vibe than most speakeasy-style bars, as it's more of a night club than a bar. Enjoy bottle service, fun lights and DJ's as you sip on your fancy old fashioned or martini and experience an atmosphere of mystery and debauchery.
9. Char Bar
For those looking to experience a hidden speakeasy in Houston, the Char Bar is hard to beat. This used to be a tailor shop in the 1930's, and the owner eventually added a bar to keep customers coming in. It still remains today, and is one of the best bars to enjoy a classy cocktail and pretend like it's the Roaring '20's. Head to Market Square Park and walk into the bar at 305 Travis, then go upstairs to find the balcony.