Cottonwood is relatively new to the Garden Oaks area, but it’s already making waves among those who love craft beer and great patio seating. It’s also a great venue to hear live music, and it has some of the best burgers you will find in the Houston area. All of this comes with a casual setting with a huge patio that feels more like a neighborhood hangout than a trendy bar.

About Cottonwood

Cottonwood – which is English for Alamo – is a collaborative effort by Sara and Rob Cromie, Charles Bishop, developer Harres Exezidis and chef Daniel Ajtai. The founders are all well-known within the bar and restaurant industry and own and manage restuarants such as the Raven Grill, Picnic on Bissonnet and the Liberty Station bar. Their number one priority with Cottonwood is the surrounding neighborhood, and they have succeeded in turning their new bar and restaurant into a place where people can gather and relax in a casual atmosphere. Giant Jenga and bocce balls, and lots of friendly dogs can be found all over the gigantic patio and the surrounding area.

Food and Drinks

Aside from a laid-back atmosphere, Cottonwood has become well-known as a place to enjoy local craft beer. There are no less than 33 beers on tap, more than enough to satisfy the most discriminating beer snob. Of course, there is also a great selection of wine, wiskey and cocktails if beer isn’t your thing, although some have said that the bar is a little limited if you aren’t looking for a craft beer.

Like any good bar and restaurant, Cottonwood has an excellent selection of pub dishes, each of which was designed to be complemented by at least one of the many craft beers on tap. The selection is eclectic, so you’re bound to find something that suits your taste while broadening your horizons and proving just how good bar food can be.

The star of Cottonwood’s menu is the Squirrel Master Burger, a poblano-stuffed burger served with a jalapeno fried egg, pepper jack cheese and bacon. It was named one of 2013’s top ten burgers by the Houston Press, and it will delight not only those who love gourmet burgers, but those who think a well-cooked meat patty should still stand out amongst the toppings and fixings.


Cottonwood was renovated in 2012 to make use of natural light and includes large sliding garage doors that open up into the large patio. The whole bar and restaurant has a laid-back, casual atmosphere that feels like your favorite neighborhood bar. There are games everywhere, and the venue even hosts some great local bands occasionally. It feels like a family-friendly atmosphere, even if the menu showcases its alcoholic drinks over more kid-friendly fare.

If you’re a fan of patio bars that feel like a neighborhood party, Cottonwood will have exactly what you’re looking for. Even if you would rather sit at a quiet indoor bar, the 33 craft beers and excellent pub food will still give you a reason to stop by and have a drink.

And now, since Cottonwood is host to some great live music, here’s Grady Skelton performing on the venue’s stage.