Houston Hall

Bars, Beer bars West Village
 (Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson)
Photo: Caroline Voagen NelsonHouston Hall
 (Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson)
Photo: Caroline Voagen NelsonHouston Hall
 (Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson)
Photo: Caroline Voagen NelsonHouston Hall
 (Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson)
Photo: Caroline Voagen NelsonHouston Hall
 (Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson)
Photo: Caroline Voagen NelsonHouston Hall

There’s such a fine line between a boisterous beer hall and a loutish beer barn. At the former, raucous groups of friends swig big, frosty brews at festive communal tables. And at the latter? You’re crammed in like cattle with loud drunks splashing their warm pints everywhere. Fortunately, Houston Hall stays true to its name. Inside an artistically gritty former parking garage, the high, wood-raftered ceilings and 8,000-square-foot room keep personal space intact and conversations are surprisingly audible. It’s less barnyard incivility, more free-range drinking.

DRINK THIS: Huge, sudsy mugs of beer. The dude-heavy crowd hoists comically large one-liter steins ($13–$17), all delivered by waitresses in low-cut red tanks and eyebrow-raising short black skirts. More manageable are the 12-ounce and half-liter mugs, affording a greater range of sampling from the ten rotating taps of Greenpoint Beer Works. On a recent visit, the Black IPA (half liter $8.50) was an inspired dark-beer choice for the warm weather, balancing rich, sweet malt with grassy hops and a crisp finish. For something lighter, tilt back the easy-drinking R&D Pale Ale (half liter $8.50), with mellow tropical notes, or the American Wheat (half liter $8), which offers hints of lemon and honey. To sop it all up, the kitchen turns out carby bites—fancy grilled cheeses ($8.50–$10) courtesy of Milk Truck, and mammoth salty pretzels ($9.50), served soft and warm with a mildly spicy mustard for dunking.

GOOD FOR: Weekday drinks with the crew. There’s a DJ spinning Top 40 tracks on Saturday nights, but that comes with a $5 cover, long waits and the point at which that line between hall and barn starts to blur. This kind of format is better enjoyed earlier in the week, when a group can commandeer entire tables to clink glasses, share a meal and take in a game on the massive drop-down projection screens.

THE CLINCHER: A giant brick room packed with bodies may sound like a special level of hell on a hot summer’s day, but Houston Hall stays mild as a breezy October afternoon. With six large skylights covering much of the roof and a huge window on the far wall, it offers a beer-garden-like experience, without the threat of sunburn and sweaty pits. Perhaps a beer hall at its very best is one that barely feels like a hall at all.

By: Ruth Brown


Venue name: Houston Hall
Address: 222 W Houston St
New York
Cross street: between Bedford and Varick Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Wed, Sun noon–midnight; Thu, Fri, Sat noon–2am
Transport: Subway: 1 to Houston St
Price: Average beer: $8. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Overall a good, fun bar! The venue is cool inside and has large long tables with benches. On a Saturday night it can get very crowded though. I'd recommend going for a happy hour instead, as it's not as packed. The beer list is extensive and the food is pretty good too. The mustard sauce with the pretzels are great, and the fried pickles are amazing! For work happy hours, you can also rent out the back area and they will supply balls and cups for beer pong.


Are you looking to bro out on your weekend? If so, this is literally a match made in heaven. However, if you're like most people and you don't want to be squeezed into an area with hundreds of frat boys you avoided in college, you might not love it. 

I'll give it this: it's great for big groups, especially during the winter and they've hosted some good events in the space too. The food is perfect for this setting as well. It's just not where you would catch me spending a weekend. 

Great craft brews and food. Mac and Cheese is terrific and you can't go wrong with a pretzel. Excellent joint for big groups. Negative, on Saturday nights there is a cover for DUDES only. Come on now.


I've been to Houston Hall several times, most recently for Time Out's Mac & Cheese Smackdown. This is the perfect venue for a tasting venue. Even with a large crowd and the room at capacity, there are plenty of areas to post up and enjoy a beer and in this case, some delicious mac & cheese. Houston Hall is the perfect German biergarten-style spot for a casual day out with friends.


Everytime I'm here I'm drunk and for good reason. They give you large glasses with lots of alcohol. It's super loud, very warm and a little bro-ey? but it's a great place for wintertime day drinking and despite me not liking it a whole lot, I will totally be back here again. The bar is large, the bartenders are quick - and I guess that's whats really important. 

This is the ideal spot for the beer and sports enthusiast who travels in groups! I've taken relatives, coworkers, and friends here. It's laid back but fun at the same time. If you find yourself working up an appetite from all the drinking, make sure to order the soft pretzel, it's ridiculously tasty!


This was such a fun venue! I went to the Meatball & Beer chowdown and had an amazing time in this space. The hall was a lot bigger than expected and I would absolutely come back.  It's the perfect place to bring a group of friends and to actively hang out in - LOVED the fact that there were yard games in the back of the space! The only downside is that there are too few coat hangers/seats, which makes it difficult to casually stop in for a drink.


This is the place to go if you have a big group of friends and want to have a fun day-drinking experience. By 3 PM this place gets rowdy with the best music and delicious beer. Make sure to get there early so you can get a seat, otherwise you'll be standing and bumping into people non-stop. It's definitely worth spending $17 to get a massive beer, you'll feel like you're at Oktoberfest in Germany! Houston Hall also has some fun events - they host an Oktoberfest event each year which includes a cover, 1 drink, and a pretzel necklace. They also hosted its first Meatball & Beer Chowdown and your ticket includes tasting numerous meatballs from different NYC restaurants and 2 drinks.

Don't go here for an intimate conversation, but definitely do if you need a place for you and group of friends to relax and unwind after a stressful day of work. Order beers all around, and it makes for a fun time. 

Houston Hall feels like a getaway barn in the middle of NYC, and it is spread wide with a nice picnic set up. Honestly, during the hustle and bustle of happy hour, service takes forever to get to, which can kinda suck since you can only sit down at the tables if you order directly from the wait staff there.

Grilled cheese is service-able and beer prices aren't too bad in terms of city living.