When life’s a drag, there’s one sure thing that will save you from the tedium: watching a drag queen read a room to shreds. Fortunately, there are plenty of drag shows in Houston where the queens come ready to throw the shadiest of shade, to lip-synch harder than a former Disney child star right after their first stint in rehab, and to don wigs so bouffant and meticulously coiffed they would put a Tammy Wynette hairpiece to shame.
We’re here to spill the tea on the best drag shows in Houston. Whether you’re in the mood for an old-school show at Michael’s Outpost or you’re itching for a lively drag brunch at Boheme, we’re here to make sure your drag-watching plans are always the most fabulous. Read on for our picks.
The Drag Show Brunch at Boheme
Montrose mainstay Boheme has long been a favorite drinking spot for Houston’s LGBTQ+ community, and it’s even more so now due to its weekly Drag Show Brunch, which throws down every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tickets for the lively shows, which showcase some of the city’s most talented drag performers, cost $35 per person. But don’t fret: food is included. Attending drag-show connoisseurs can have their pick from Boheme’s expansive brunch buffet, which includes treats like Filipino biscuits and gravy, ham and cheese croissants, and french toast. For an extra $30, you can also get yourself a carafe of mimosas—required libations for any drag show!
Super Sunday Drag Show at JR’s Bar & Grill
Houston LGBTQ+ bar staple JR’s recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, and its longevity is due in no small part to its welcoming atmosphere and its position as a bedrock in the city’s queer community. Although much has changed in the gayborhood through the years, the drag shows at JR’s are just as lively as ever. One of the best ways to experience a drag show at JR’s is to come out for its Super Sunday Drag Show, which kicks off every Sunday at 11 p.m. If you come early, you’ll be able to enjoy the bar’s Sunday Funday Karaoke, a riotously entertaining event that throws down every Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m.
Rebarlesque at ReBar
Start your Saturday night out with the classic dinner and a show at the LGBTQ+ venue staple ReBar. The show, Rebarlesque, has a mix of risqué choreographed burlesque performances, a full dinner menu and craft cocktails, and comedy—all under a glorious spiked disco ball. Doors open at 8 p.m., with the show going from 8:30 to 10 p.m. While there is no cover, patrons are encouraged to secure a seat by making a reservation on OpenTable. Come early for the show, and stay late for the DJs at the main stage.
Houston’s Best Drag Show at BUDDY’S
Any list of this kind would be incomplete without the mention of Houston’s Best Drag Show at BUDDY’S. With talented queens from Houston and ever-changing regional and national talent, this Saturday night extravaganza combines creative choreography and classic icon impersonations in a revue that never disappoints. The late-night show goes from 10 p.m. to midnight with no cover, but as always, tipping your queens and kings is encouraged!
F-Rated Fridays at Hamburger Mary’s
In 1972, the same year Liza Minnelli won her Oscar for her performance in Cabaret—a role that has been flawlessly reinterpreted by countless drag queens through the years—the first Hamburger Mary’s opened in San Francisco. The chain, beloved for its diner-esque food and its lively drag performances, now has locations throughout the country, including one in Houston. One of the best ways to get to know the kitschy dinner theater is to come out for its F-Rated Fridays, which has showtimes every Friday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Hosted by Houston drag icon Blackberri, the show features a rotating cast of some of the city’s biggest divas. Oh, and there’s a dinner buffet, too, for those looking to also be serenaded by their plate.
The Broad’s Way, Laugh Track, and Eye Cons at Michael's Outpost
Michael’s Outpost may be more on the laid-back side of a night out, but the drag entertainment throughout the week is nothing short of spectacular. Think Off Broadway–level vocal talent from local leading ladies, snazzy bartenders, and of course show tunes from every era. Grab a nightcap on Monday night and watch The Broad’s Way show hosted by Regina Thorne-Dubois, also known as “the Broadway Beard of Houston,” or catch the comedy showcase Laugh Track on Tuesday at 9 p.m. for some not-so-clean jokes and a hearty chortle. If you’re waiting for the weekend, you can’t go wrong with Eye Cons, the city’s longest-running celebrity impersonation revue.
The Diamantés at Papi’s
Diamantés are forever, and this long-running Saturday night show at Houston’s LGBTQ+ Latin bar Papi’s is no exception. Grab one of Papi’s famous frozen margaritas while watching this rotating cast of queens dance to top 40 Latin and pop music hits. The lineup includes drag stars like Kalani Ross, Lindsey LaRue Crawford, Adriana LaRue, Reign LaRue, and Lady B—the energy level stays at an all-time high. The show kicks off at 11 p.m., and be sure to grab a bite at one of their weekly rotating Latin food vendors on-site. Check their full lineup for the week on Instagram or Facebook, and message Papi’s directly for table reservations.
Kings of Houston at Pearl Bar
Every drag queen needs her king, and Pearl Bar has them aplenty. The women-focused bar, one of only two lesbian bars in the entire state of Texas, has regular drag king shows that are among the city’s most unique drag offerings. The hyper-masculine performances are 21 and up and come with a $5 cover. The shows, which sometimes come with themes like Star Wars or classic rock, are hosted by Kings of Houston, a drag group composed of “kings, queens, and in-betweens,” according to the group’s social media pages.