Bars and music go together like, well, bars and music. It’s always interesting to see what patrons choose to play on the jukebox after a few drinks. It’s even better to be the one doing the choosing, especially when you find a music box with everything from obscure songs you remember from your childhood to screaming rock gods and on to bluesy greats. With Houston’s vast range of nightlife, here are a few local gems that boast the best music selections in the city.

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Warren’s Inn
307 Travis St.
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 247-9207 ‎

Hours:  Mon to Fri – 11 a.m. – 2 a.m., Sat – 12 p.m. – 2 a.m., Sun – 2 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Located on Travis Street, Warren’s Inn is a jukebox fan’s dream. The place is quite unassuming, outfitted in maroon paisley wallpaper straight out of the 70s with an interior follows suit; you wouldn’t expect much. In spite of the fact that the drinks are poured strong and you’re treated like you’ve been coming here for years, the vintage jukebox is filled with a mix of music so unique that you won’t find a place like this anywhere else in Houston. It includes everything from Ella Fitzgerald and Al Greene to The Beatles and even a bit of Cajun zydeco. If classic rock, Motown and Hank Williams is your thing, Warren’s is the place to be.

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Next Door Bar
2020 Waugh Drive
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 520-1712

Happy Hour: Mon to Fri – 5p.m. – 10 p.m.
Hours:  Mon to Fri – 11 a.m. – 2 a.m., Sat – 12 p.m. – 2 a.m., Sun – 2 p.m. – 2 a.m.

One of Houston’s best dive bars is Next Door. With graffiti on the walls, cheap drinks, loud music and Houston’s best punk and 80s New Wave jukebox, it’s the place to go, especially for last call. The digital jukebox is packed with Iggy Pop & The Stooges, The Ramones and Beastie Boys, with a little Michael Jackson, NWA and even Johnny Cash thrown in for good measure. Next Door is situated right next door to Rudyard’s British Pub, where the crowd, and sometimes the band, filters in about 1 a.m.

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Darkhorse Tavern
2207 Washington Ave.
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 426-2442

Happy Hour: Sun to Thrus – 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Hours: Daily – 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.

A smallish tavern off Washington, the Darkhorse is housed in a building from the 20s. The laidback bar has great happy hour specials Sunday through Thursday that you would be hard-pressed to beat and, you guessed it, one amazing jukebox. For hard rock fans, Darkhorse’s musicmaker is a digital jukebox that’s filled with all your rock favorites.

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La Carafe
813 Congress St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 229-9399

Happy Hour: Daily 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Hours:  Mon – Fri 12 p.m. – 2 a.m., Sat to Sun 1 p.m. – 2 a.m.

La Carafe is Houston’s oldest bar and oldest commercial building still in use today. Built in 1847, the two story building is one of Houston’s most unique bars and a local favorite. The dim interior and intimate surroundings set a perfect stage for La Carafe’s standout jukebox, where everything from Bob Marley to Peggy Lee and Etta James to George Harrison comes pouring out of the sound system.

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Under the Volcano
2349 Bissonnet St
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 526-5282

Happy Hour: Mon – Thurs – 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Hours: Mon – Thurs – 2 p.m. – 2 a.m., Fri – Sun – 1 p.m. – 2 a.m.

A place famed for its frozen screwdrivers (or frozen anything, for that matter), Under the Volcano is another of Houston’s gems. From the tiki-ish atmosphere to the skulls and oversized masks hanging on the wall, this place stands out. As does the juke. The songs are handpicked by the owner of the bar, Pete Mitchell, whose personal collection boasts Little Joe Washington, a Tribe Called Quest and even alternative country.

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