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The Best Speakeasies Near Houston

Sometimes, the harder it is the get something, the more you want it! Implicit in the speakeasy experience is a little bit of work and no small amount of luck. How else are you supposed to find Houston’s best-hidden bars? Well, if you weren’t in on the secret before, allow us to enlighten you. Who are you calling a snitch?!

Let’s bullet-point some of H-Town’s best speakeasies.   



Yelper Em K. asks, “What more is there to say about the cool dark little place behind the blue door in the River Oaks Shopping Mall?”
Marfreless is among Houston’s oldest and most iconic speakeasies. It’s had a loyal cult following since their distinctive blue door swung open for business in 1972. It’s certainly kept Em K. coming back for more:
“I came all the way back from the SF Bay Area to visit and make sure the planet was still in balance. It was!”  


A good bar like Mongoose Versus Cobra can be like a beautiful woman—they both inspire love-struck bards to write poetry. Here’s a sampling of the verse:
“Through the windows a century breathes / Sit and feel how history feels / Here inside the Auditorium Grocery / This place is the only bar for me.”
More than a place for a top-shelf cocktail, MVSC hosts the Mongoose Versus Cobra Reading Series showcasing area writers and poets belting it out live on stage every second Monday. Yelpsters recommend the Bloody Mary and the pumpkin seed pretzel.



Capt. Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge scores two points right off the bat for its cheeky name (a name that invariably brings a smile to bloggers paid by the word). And here’s the good news—Capt. Foxheart pours some of the best cocktails in Houston. Its unmarked entrance might be upstaged by the law offices of Tucker Graves, Esq. next door, but this lovable watering hole is already on the map for its’ Old Fashioned, which are discounted at happy hour.

It takes some looking, but if speakeasies were so easy to find, they wouldn’t be so cool. Good thing Houston’s best speakeasies are a guaranteed good time. Cheers!

The Best Juice Bars Near Houston

Minute Maid Park isn’t the only juice Mecca in Houston. It’s true, a trip to the ol’ “Juice Box” to see the world champion Astros play will have you over the moon for an evening, but a healthy, plant-based diet comprised of living, vital ingredients will give you a glow that lasts. And you don’t have to be a World Series athlete to appreciate the benefits of juicing.

Prepare yourself, Houstonians! Here are the best juice bars in town.

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Island Grill’s Mediterranean menu is a perfect complement to the smoothies on deck. One look at their blog vindicates our suspicion that Island Grill is committed to keeping Houston healthy. They proudly proclaim, “Island Grill has a wide selection of options packed with fruit and veggie power.”

Google Local Guide BD loves the food, too. He reviews, “Love this place!  The food is always fresh, cooked to order, and portion sizes are good.”



Daily Juice is a Texas original. Born in 2003, the juice is fresh every day and made from real foods—no sugar or ice added. Their raw juices are prepared onsite and sold directly to the public. “Raw Juices,” says Daily Juice, “contain the live enzymes your body craves. RAW juices have the vitality your body will celebrate!”

Google Local Guide (and Houston gal) Miranda Queen will be heading back. She beams, “Houston has a lot of juice bars but this is the best one so far for me. I was able to sample 6 juices. I learned a lot about juicing.”



713-Juice-Bar has the 411 on all things healthy! H-Town’s juice dispensary provides fresh and healthy ingredients to keep you feeling great. The Yelp community raves about this place. Christine K. says, “They certainly use the best quality ingredients (whole delicious foods) – each smoothie is incredibly filling almost like a meal.”

We know juice in Houston. Just ask the boys in orange at Minute Maid Park. You’ll be an MVP with more freshly squeezed juice in your daily diet!

The Best Doggie Daycare in Houston

Our dogs are like our children, meaning that leaving them home alone every day with just the TV on to keep them company isn’t what one might call “top quality caregiving.” Like people, our dogs need to be engaged mentally, physically and socially to lead a happy, healthy and fulfilling life.

Here are our picks for the best doggie daycare services in Houston.



River Oaks Doggie Daycare is Houston’s premier cage-free boarding facility. They cultivate an environment that promotes stimulation and socialization, creating a “home away from home” for your pooch. This will reduce separation anxiety which leads to many of the negative behaviors we see in our dogs.

Their customer testimonials speak for themselves: “Just started placing my puppy at Doggie Daycare! Tillie loves it! And most important too, Gabie and her staff are the greatest.”



Camp Run-A-Mutt’s “muttcams” let you see the fun your dog is having all day. They have over 8,500 square feet of play space for your dog to just enjoy being a dog. And Camp Run-A-Mutt offers obedience training and grooming services on-site!

Google Local Guide Andrew Long raves, “We love this place. Sammie always comes home happy and tired.”



Dogtopia echoes a sentiment I know we can all agree upon: “Dogs fill our lives with so much joy. It’s time to repay the favor.”

They offer award-winning dog daycare, overnight, weekend and holiday boarding and spa services. They know that being a part of the pack a deeply instinctual need for dogs. So they integrate open play into the daily routine. K-9 obesity is also a widespread epidemic affecting 54% of US dogs. Dogtopia makes sure regular exercise is part of your pooch’s personal program.

We want the best for our furry family. They rely on us for everything, after all. The best doggie daycare in Houston.

How to Spend a Long Weekend in Houston

Sure, we may only be a few weeks through the New Year, but we’re already ready for a long weekend… and we’ve got one coming up. Well, some of us do… maybe the rest of us may just need to play hooky on a Friday or a Monday and spend a 3-day weekend exploring and loving life outside of the office. For our blog this week, we at Alta City West want to throw a few suggestions out there. “How do you spend a long weekend in Houston?” you ask… well, we’ve got the answer for you. Behold, a long weekend schedule to make the most of all Houston’s got to offer!
  • Day One: Buy some Texas-themed treats! We recommend visiting Pinto Ranch Houston or The Hat Store (yes, it’s called that) for some western gear to show your Texas pride and remind you of why you love the place you call home. After that, it’s time for BBQ, of course! The Brisket House is known for… well, we’ll let you guess. And Roegels Barbecue Co. was ranked in Texas Monthly’s top 50 places, but we’ll let you be the judge of that. Both are neighborhood staples, and you’ll end Day 1 of your long weekend remembering why you love it here in Houston!
  • Day Two: Get out of the city! Ok, you’ve had your Texas-themed fun in the local neighborhood, but now it’s time to get out and explore. We recommend an outdoorsy day, first with a hike through the Sam Houston National Forest, and then with a watery trip to Trinity River. Both are just an easy few minutes from each other, and less than a two-hour drive from us here at Alta City West. Trust us, you’ll want a break from the city on a long weekend, and you’ll be glad you explored nature at these spots. Bring friends, and pack a picnic… and don’t forget to hydrate!
  • Day Three: Relax, and wind down in style! Of course, when Alta City West is our home, how can we leave for long? For us, getting a workout in is a great way to let off some steam and release some tension… the post-workout feeling is one that can’t be recreated, and it makes us feel on top of the world. Then order takeout from Chuy’s or Nick’s Place (depending on what you’re in the mood for). Crack open a cold one, take in the view of the Houston skyline, and call your long weekend a success. What a way to rest up before another work week!
Did we miss one of your favorite things to do around Houston? How about an attraction that you love in our neighborhood or the surrounding areas? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll check it out ourselves. We never want to miss anything Houston has to offer!

Photo Blog: Community + Recovery Efforts

It was quite a year in 2017 for all of us in Houston. We here at Alta City West sure loved seeing our community grow and shift last year, and we’re also so proud of our neighborhood and the surrounding Houston community for banding together last year in the wake of a disaster. We rallied as a city, and the recovery efforts we saw were unprecedented. In honor of celebrating new beginnings and a New Year (it is the fantastic start to a new year, now that it’s 2018, after all), we’re focusing this week’s photo blog on celebrating the recovery efforts of our community after last year’s storm. Send in your pics that show how proud you are, and we’ll feature them. From all of us at Alta City West, Happy New Year!

Our technicians are preparing for a Monday full of serving our wonderful customers!

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Just another reason why @atxmafia is AWESOME!!!❤️ For anyone that wants to purchase one of these shirts LET ME KNOW! I can order for you or you can order directly from them!! Message from #atxmafia 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼 A $20 TEE THAT GIVES BACK!!!! HOUSTON, we have your back!!! After seeing all the terrible flooding in Houston and ALL the surrounding cities we want to help!!! 100% of the net profits from your purchase of this tee of ours will be donated to HOUSTON RECOVERS. As soon as we wrap up this donation drive – we will post on Facebook, Instagram and on our website ( how much was raised and donated to this organization on your behalf. For more information on “Houston Recovers,” please feel free to visit their website: . We appreciate your generosity. TAG &/or SHARE with your family & friends! #atxmafia #familyfirst

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Our help has no barriers…the two women holding the dogs are deaf and they were so sweet and appreciative of us reaching out to them. They actually lost their home and belongings when one of the levees was released. They are staying with friends in a house with 7 people and 3 dogs. We were able to provide them with hot meals for the entire home, water, toiletries, cleaning supplies, dog food, dog toys, etc. we also provided them with names of contractors and churches to help in the fixing of their homes. The smiles on their faces were priceless. We have adopted this family and will assist them throughout this difficult time. If you’re looking to donate please reach out or visit our page Cle2Hou Love to see other families stories! #cle2houlove #payitforward #grassrootsgaragewarriors #houstonrecovers

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New Year’s Resolutions: Places in Houston

It’s a new dawn, a new day, and a new year… now that you’ve rung in New Year’s Eve in Houston with us, it’s time to make your list of New Year’s resolutions. And boy, are we glad you’ve visited the blog today because we’ve got some additions to that list for you.

  • In this week’s blog, the first of 2018, we’re listing out a few of our top places that you absolutely MUST put on your New Year resolutions list – places that you have to resolve to visit here in Houston this year.
  • Rienzi Museum of Fine Arts. This converted mansion from the 1950s has been renovated into a museum, and the tours, creativity, and inspiration on hand will have you positively inspired for the rest of 2018. We recommend going ASAP!
  • Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park. With a stunning 64-foot-tall fountain at its center, not to mention 11,000 gallons of water circulating every minute, this attraction is the perfect park to take pictures of for the Instagram highlight reel.  
  • Big Bubble. You’ve heard about this classic not-so-secret Houston anomaly. Visiting the Preston Street Bridge (not to mention its stunning architecture) will have you excited to find the little red button and watch the results in the river below. The treasure hunt is on!
  • The Cockrell Butterfly Center. Who doesn’t love butterflies? These pleasant creatures inhabit a wondrous park that transports you into another environment entirely. Spot your favorite colors and species here, and take some pics to share with us!
  • Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. Speaking of nature, this tranquil spot has acres of trails and plenty of beautiful sites for you to relax. Explored it before? Well maybe try it again differently this year – after all, it’s a new year, and a perfect time to meet up with a new friend… or better yet plan a date day here with that special someone!
  • The Health Museum. Fascinating science exhibits make a visit to this museum not just intriguing and fun, but you’ll feel as if you spent your time productively, educating yourself on things about biology and life science that you never knew before. What’s not to love?!

Did we miss one of your favorite spots in Houston? Let us know, and we’ll be sure to feature it in a later spotlight on our blog or social media. Cheers to 2018!

The Best Houston Christmas Shopping

It’s getting down to the wire…. You know what we’re talking about! The Christmas shopping rush is far from over, though the days are getting shorter and the time is closing in on us all. When it comes to holiday shopping, it always seems that there’s obligation attached to the season – and that makes visiting the shops and malls and stores around Houston no fun at all. However, we here at Alta City West have a bit of a different perspective. We think holiday shopping should be a joy – especially when shopping at local spots here in Houston. Boutiques, local businesses, neighborhood vendors, and places all over our city are celebrating the season, so let’s get in on that. Here are some of our favorite places on our shopping list this Christmas season. Check that list twice before checking out!
  • The Galleria. With local vendors and large shopping outlets alike, this is your one-stop-shop in our area for completing your holiday shopping list. Whether you’re looking for cool style, quirky fashion, health and beauty products, or even gift cards, you’ve got somewhere to shop for someone you love.
  • French Cuff Boutique and Karma Couture Boutique, two of our favorite clothing boutiques have many options for the fashion icons in your life. From accessories to main eye-catchers, you’ll find something “fitting” for the season. See what we did there?
  • The Monogram Shop is one of the premier places in this area to get personalized gifts with a local touch. Engravings, thoughtful gifts, and individual, personalized knick-knacks for friends and family in your life have never looked this good. And this holiday season, the people you’re buying for are sure to feel loved. Isn’t it great what you find when you shop local?!
Did we miss a spot you love? Let us know, and we’ll be sure to stop by before the holiday rush is completely over… and then we’ll post about it, too! Happy holidays, family and friends!

Photo Blog: Holiday Lights in Houston

2017 has been quite a year for our city of Houston. We’ve seen highs and lows, and we’ve persevered through it all together. As the year begins to come to a close, we’re reminiscing on all we love about living in Houston, and we thought it would be a good time to spotlight our city from a few different angles for our next blog here at Alta City West. This week, our photo blog is showcasing ten of our favorite shots of the gorgeous Houston skyline. What a beautiful city we live in… so let’s take a moment to reflect on its beauty amidst the hustle and bustle of this busy holiday season. Have your own pic or two of our photogenic skyline of Houston? We here want to see it, so share it with us! Snap!  

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Our Favorite Cocktails in West Houston

Ah, the almighty cocktail: the class, the flavor, the style, and the fun time out that it marks. We love a good cocktail on a night out, and West Houston is the perfect spot to find a cocktail (or three) that hits the spot just right! So, we here at Alta City West thought, why not write about a few of our favorites? For this week’s blog, we’re counting up five of our favorite cocktails around this part of Houston! Of course, our neighborhood is chock-full of drink options, so whatever your style or flavor of cocktail preferred, there’s something for everyone. That means, if you think we’re missing a great one on our list, you’ll just have to let us know!
  • Pumpkin Pie from Brixology Crafted Cocktails. Craving a festive taste of the holiday season? Then everyone’s favorite pie mixed into the yummiest cocktail will have you wanting seconds, thirds, and maybe even fourths!
  • The Professional from 51Fifteen. Stoli Vodka and blue cheese olives? You had us at hello. Have it dry, strong, straight up, shaken, stirred… whatever you fancy! James Bond will be proud.
  • Tiny Bubbles from Caracol Mexican Coastal Kitchen. This sparkling wine cocktail has ginger liqueur with guava and pomegranate. Your taste buds will be having the ultimate party, and you’ll be joining that party in no time with just a few refreshing sips.  
  • A Margarita from Vibe Sports Bar Lounge. A tried-and-true favorite, but the key here is to get it in bulk: $20 for a pitcher every Tuesday. Perfect to wash down those 50-cent hot wings!
  • Arnold Palmer Texas Tea from Marquis II. A Texas classic, a Southern favorite, just like Grandma used to make… However you slice it (or pour it, as it were), this favorite is the perfect reminder you’re not on Long Island anymore. You’ve never had tea this hard, twisted, and delicious!
What do you think? Are these the best cocktails in Houston? However you like your drink, you’re sure to find something to enjoy that’s right for you. Let us at Alta City West just remind you, though – it’s important to drink responsibly and have a driver! After all, coming home to us is the best part. Cheers! 🙂

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Houston

Ah, Thanksgiving is upon us, and we couldn’t be any more excited about it. There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned, family-style dinner – Texas-sized, of course! Watching the parade together in the morning, smelling that turkey cooking throughout the day, and celebrating with family and friends over the afternoon… and don’t forget the pie, either! Here are just a few ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in Houston with your loved ones this year. Try not to eat too much!
  • Watch the H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade… in person! The largest Thanksgiving event in Houston takes place downtown, and the weather is slated to be perfect. So grab a few friends and family members, and be sure to arrive early to get a good spot. Bonus for sticking around to spot Santa!
  • Host a “friends-giving” feast! Who doesn’t love a good potluck turkey dinner?! Assign a few of your loved ones to bring the stuffing, the pumpkin pie, and the cranberry sauce, and host your Thanksgiving dinner feast comfortably at home in Alta City West.
  • Volunteer to feed others. Houston’s own Annual Thanksgiving Big Super Feast is one of the best events of the year to spread the joy and thankfulness to those who may not be feeling it this time of year. Tis the season to get involved with a charity.
  • Dine out with friends… When all else fails, West Houston’s got plenty of restaurants around our neighborhood here that are featuring dinner deals. Never fear! If you’ve burned that turkey, you can still have the chance to stuff your face!
How are you spending your Thanksgiving this year? Share photos of your plans and celebrations with us, and we may highlight them on a future blog or social media post. After all, we in Houston are famous for a community that feels like family… and that’s you, too! There’s no place like home on Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble!