Houston Neighborhood Guide For A Quick Trip
Being the 4th largest city in the US, it is quite common for it to be made up of many different neighborhoods. We have put together a guide of where to eat, where to drink, and what to do for each one, as they all encompass their own charm and appeal.
Located in northwest- central Houston.
A small town charm, that also continues to evolve with the city. The Heights was one of the city’s earliest neighborhoods with bungalows dating back to the 1900s to million dollar townhomes. It is quieter than other neighborhoods but still offers plenty to do along with plenty of trendy eateries with lots of parks and bike trails.
Where To Eat in The Heights
Squabble – This euro-style bistro offers made from scratch breads and pastas. Let me tell you, no dish disappoints.
Coltivare – If you like fresh-from-the-garden, this is your place. Sip on a drink in the garden while you wait for your Italian shareables.
Cedar Creek – The most laid back atmosphere with some pretty great American and Tex-Mex classics.
Where To Drink in The Heights
Better Luck Tomorrow – Trendy local hangout, known for their inventive cocktails.
Heights Bier Garten – Two bars on each side with a perfect casual outdoor space in between loaded with swings, hammocks, and picnic tables.
White Oak Street – This street offers up quite a lineup of fun-loving bars to keep you entertained with friendly neighborhood folk. Here you’ll find anything from craft cocktail bar, to sports bars, to a casual icehouse, to a cozy spot.
What To Do In The Heights
Historic 19th Street – Take a stroll through this historic street with plenty of 19th century architecture and shops.
The Heights Theatre – One of the oldest theaters in Houston, an electric revitalized concert venue offering shows throughout the week.
Hike and Bike Trail – Outdoor lovers, dog parents, and bikers, this is the spot for you with many lanes and trails to keep you occupied for hours.
Downtown is home to the majority of Houston Skyscrapers. This is the best location to stay for business and to travel on foot. Known for its performing arts, sporting events, and enticing clubs. Downtown houses the underground tunnels connecting Downtown buildings and offices with plenty of eating and shopping throughout the day.
Where To Eat Downtown
Bravery Chef Hall – A modern food hall with 5 open kitchen concepts where chefs are the star of the show.
Xochi – From award winning chef Hugo Ortega comes Houston’s #1 restaurant. The taste of Oaxacan, Mexico brings you endless moles as well as a revolving brunch on Sundays!
Frank’s Pizza – Really, the best late night pizza awaits you!
Where To Drink Downtown
Market Square – Sip on your favorite cocktails from local favorites like Pastry War, OKRA, and Tongue – Cut Sparrow.
Mainstreet – Enjoy a vibrant nightlife with bars like Bovine and Barley, Cottonmouth Club, and Boots and Shoots, that line the street.
What To Do Downtown
The Theater District – The city’s vast performing arts scene. The city offers some of the country’s top professional companies — The Houston Symphony, The Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, along with dazzling performances at Alley Theater, the Hobby Center, Wortham Theater, and Jones Hall.
Sports Stadiums – Catch a game or two at the The Toyota Center, Home to the Houston Rockets or Minute Maid Park, home to the Houston Astros.
The Houston Downtown Aquarium – Bring the kiddos to see the many aquatic animals, white tigers, and shark tunnels that call the aquarium home. Finish the day with a ride in the gigantic ferris wheel and other rides.
Located southwest of Downton.
Houston’s most eclectic neighborhood. Known for its award winning restaurants, dives, and trendy nightlife. There is something for everyone in this neighborhood and everything is within walking distance. Colorful and creative corridor with the best food in the city.
Where To Eat in Montrose
Penny Quarter – All-day coffee and wine bar with paired food for your ever growing taste buds.
The Hay Merchant – One of the best beer bars in the country but don’t let that fool you, their food is outstanding.
Blacksmith – Head here for coffee and breakfast for the best sausage biscuit in town.
Where To Drink in Montrose
JR’s Bar and Grill – Longtime Montrose Mainstay that is one of the most fun places to be in the city after dark or for Sunday Funday.
The Toasted Coconut – Get into your vacation feels at this tiki bar that has its own tiki waterfall.
Anvil – This urban creative cocktail bar has more than 100 specialty cocktails.Their 100 List takes you through all the iconic classics with their own personal twist.
What To Do in Montrose
Westheimer – Home to many shops, thrift stores, and the iconic rainbow flags to get your Instagram buzzing with likes.
Rothko Chapel – A place for all to come meditate and reflect among 14 different murals.
The Menil Collection – One of the city’s most prized possessions for art. It was founded on the idea that art should be accessible to all… So it’s free!
Centrally located in Uptown Houston, just west of Downtown.
Surrounded by shopping, restaurants, great hotel accommodations, and bustling nightlife. This area is a posh neighborhood home to local aesthetics, classy hotels, and restaurants. The second largest business area in Houston.
Where To Eat in the Galleria/Uptown
Caracol – Mexican seafood hotspot is the go to for oysters in the city. Also, named one of the top restaurants in Houston.
Ciao Bello – Here you’ll find some of the best Italian food you’ll have without stepping foot in Italy.
Nobu – Roll on in to Nobu to have what is known to be the highest grade sushi on the planet.
Where To Drink in the Galleria/Uptown
Muldoon’s the Patio – Tree shaded patio has a friendly neighborhood vibe and the stiffest drinks.
The Tasting Room – Calling all wine-os. Over 150 wines to choose from. Need I say more?
What To Do in the Galleria/Uptown
Gerald D. Hines Waterwall – The Waterwall is 64 foot tall dome shaped multi story fountain. If you are lucky, you might find yourself crying from the proposal you just witnessed.
The Galleria – The largest shopping mall in Texas and eighth largest in the country. While you’re there, try not to bust it in the centrally located ice skating rink.
Rooftop Cinema Club – This outdoor movie theater plays classics with a bird’s eye view of the city.
Located near the Texas Medical Center and Rice University, south of Houston.
One of the best known cultural districts in the US with 19 cultural institutions. This is one of the best neighborhoods to visit for its more tranquil and historic environment.
Where To Eat in the Museum District
Lucille’s – This spot is what you are looking for if you want home cooked comfort food with a fine dining twist.
Barnaby’s Cafe – A local favorite for diner style breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus side, the spacious patio is dog friendly!
Where To Drink in the Museum District
Grand Prize Bar – Serious cocktails in a laid back environment brings one of the coolest, quirkiest dives in Houston.
Monarch – Housed in the super luxurious Hotel ZaZa, is here to serve you on their beautiful terrace all the cocktails your heart desires.
What To Do in the Museum District
The Houston Zoo & Hermann Park – Feed the animals or stroll the gardens of this picturesque park. With over 6,000 animals and two very fine garden parks, you can also pedal your way through the lake taking in all the views of the park.
Museums: Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Natural Science, Holocaust Museum, National Museum of Funeral History.
Or FREE Museums: Contemporary Arts Museum, Lawndale Art Center, The Jung Center.
Located east of Downtown.
This is an emerging area with an industrial edge that houses many of the city’s young professionals. Eado is full of character and has loads of local bars, restaurants, and public art.
Where To Eat in EaDo/East End
Leeland House – Pet friendly home to a very delicious, outdoor brunch.
Vinny’s – Voted some of the best pizza in HTown serving up crowd favorites from lunch to late night.
The Original Ninfa’s – A Tex-Mex institution is all that makes everything right in the world.
Where To Drink in EaDo/East End
8th Wonder Brewery – inspired by the “8th Wonder of the World”, the Houston Astrodome, 8th Wonder brews up in their dome-like warehouse which is now home to the famous “We Love Houston” sign.
Truckyard – This adult playground offer up fun times for everyone in their very spacious outdoor area for your social needs but also rotates with many different food trucks each night. A ferris wheel ride might be what’s in your future.
Neil’s Bahr – Tap into your inner child with this game themed bar and selection of comic books.
What To Do in EaDo/East End
BBVA Compass Stadium – Home to the Houston Dynamo and the Houston Dash, this exciting venue is one of the funnest places to be to watch a great soccer game, rugby match, or even catch a show.
Warehouse Live – Catch a concert of any type here at one of the best concert venues in Houston. You might find your favorite big named artist or underground band here on any night of the week.
Centrally located neighborhood, south of Downtown.
Easily accessible to Montrose, Downtown, and Eado and offers something of the three all in one. Known for its artistic complexes and lively nightlife, this is where you can work, live, and play.
Where To Eat in Midtown
The Breakfast Klub – This is one of Houston’s most famous brunch places that is more than worth the hype.
Ibiza Food and Wine Bar – Come for the romance, stay for the fresh flavors.
Where To Drink in Midtown
Howl at the Moon – Belt out your favorite tunes at Houston’s trendiest dueling piano bar.
Axelrad – This trendy beer garden invites you in with lots of hammocks, swings, and live music almost every night.
What To Do in Midtown
Midtown Park – There is always something happening here whether its live music, yoga in the park, or food truck festivals. They offer something almost every weekend.
The Continental Club – If you are looking for live music, this is it. Located in a 1920s built drugstore, this is now home for local bands and even bigger names like U2.
River Oaks/Upper Kirby
Located in the center of Houston between Downtown and Uptown.
The Beverly Hills of Houston some might say. Known for its very large homes, upscale restaurants, and of course more shopping.
Where To Eat in River Oaks/Upper Kirby
Pondicheri’s – One of the best Indian-fusion spots in town. Not only are most of their dishes vegan but they also have a cool upstairs Bake Lab on the second floor.
Backstreet Cafe – This cafe has made the list of one of the best places to eat in Houston on so many levels. The cozy environment is a great pair with their comfort fare.
Where To Drink in River Oaks/Upper Kirby
The Phoenix on Westheimer – Laidback sports bar with an intense beer, wine, and cocktail list. Also, known for their many soccer watch parties.
Red Lion British Pub – Cozy up in the big red booths or next to an indoor fireplaces to go along with their intense stellar pub feel.
What To Do in River Oaks/Upper Kirby
River Oaks Theater – A landmark in this neighborhood for viewing classic favorites, indie or foreign films in this historic theater built in 1939 that is one of Houston’s last true movie palaces.
River Oaks District – Your Rodeo Drive in Houston. The hottest new thing to hit the neighborhood with luxury boutiques, dining, and hanging.
Urban Harvest Farmers Market – Grab farm fresh produce, listen to acoustics, and people watch every Saturday from 8am-12pm.
Located southwest of Downtown and half a mile from Rice University’s center.
Known as as one of Houston’s best shopping districts and housing some of the wealthiest in the city. This neighborhood is home to various collections of shops, restaurants, and pubs near Rice University’s campus. This area offers up quaint spaces of ivy-covered buildings along with fine shopping.
Where To Eat in Rice Village
Istanbul Grill & Deli – Coins itself Houston’s “first and most authentic” Turkish restaurant, and local Houstonians agree, with their laundry list of fantastic options.
Local Foods – Hits as a local lunch, brunch, and dinner hotspot in the area known for their health and fresh fare.
Where To Drink in Rice Village
The Ginger Man – This old school pub is great for those who are (or think they are) craft beer enthusiasts. Pick your brew from around the world and enjoy the tree shaded patio.
Under the Volcano – This watering hole completes Houston’s dive bar scene with its Day of the Dead Theme.
What To Do in Rice Village
Rice University – Take a stroll through the campus deemed the Ivy League of the South, and to be fair is one of the most beautiful campuses in the south!
Rice Village Shopping Center – A great option if you aren’t interested in a busy mall, as it is set in the open air so you can shop til you drop while admiring the beautiful tree lined sights. Offers many chain favorites as well as hometown favorites like Chloe Dao.
Located just west of Downtown.
This neighborhood stretches from east to west with Washington Ave as its main route. Bars and restaurants run along one end of the neighborhood to the other. The neighborhood had a recent revamp and is now home to many local favorites.
Where To Eat at Washington Corridor
Truth BBQ – A Texas Hill Country favorite recently opened their doors on Washington Ave serving some of the best BBQ in town.
Poitin – Southern with a hint of flavors from around the world. Poitin has one of the best views of the city.
Where To Drink at Washington Corridor
Julep – A gem in this neighborhood known as one of the best cocktail bars in the country for their Southern charm take on classic cocktails.
Nettbar – Head here for a chill vibe in a repurposed 1900s bungalow known for their yard games and train shots.
What To Do at Washington Corridor
Beer Can House – This attraction is estimated to have over 50,000 recycled cans. What was originally done to save money on electricity, is now a shining neighborhood star.
Houston Arboretum and Nature Center – Escape the noise of city life at this 155 acre green space with trails, exhibits, and workshops to keep you centered in this bustling city.
Memorial City/Energy Corridor
Located west of the city center.
Memorial city is known for its forested neighborhoods that surround Buffalo Bayou. This area houses the majority of the city’s population and is almost like a satellite downtown. Many oil and gas companies are located here along with the Memorial Mall. Suburban feeling with urban flare. Shopping, dining, chains, and more are housed in this area.
Where To Eat at Memorial City/Energy Corridor
State Fare – Think Trendy Cracker Barrel but everything is Texas-sized. Everything on the menu is delicious and their drink flights are AMAZING.
Pizaro’s – Mastering the Napoletano pizza and the best part is that it’s BYOB!
Where To Drink at Memorial City/Energy Corridor
Monalisa Bar – The starlit ceiling is out of this world, not to mention the infinity pool, draped cabanas, and high class cocktails.
By Popular Demand – Tucked away neighborhood spot that is this cozy, relaxing lounge with top shelf whiskey, bourbon, and cocktails.
What To Do at Memorial City/Energy Corridor
iFly – Feel the freefall rush of skydiving without jumping out of a plane at Houston’s first indoor skydiving facility.
CityCentre – A large shopping area with a mix of upscale and easy going dining and shopping.
Located in west Houston.
This neighborhood is more like Asiatown with some of the best food in the city. Houston’s underrated diversity is home to one of the largest Indochinese populations in the country which is showcased in this neighborhood.
Where To Eat at Chinatown/Bellaire
Pho Binh – One of Houston’s best spots in town for pho, the ultimate hangover cure.
Crawfish and Noodles – Slinging a Houston staple and some of the best Viet-Cajun crawfish you’ll find in the city.
Where To Drink at Chinatown/Bellaire
Yes KTV – This is an upscale Karaoke bar where you can rent private rooms to belt it out with all your favorite people and is also BYOB!
Napa Udon House and Wine Bar – This Houston hidden gem offers sake, wine, and live music.
What To Do at Chinatown/Bellaire
Hong Kong City Mall – the main attraction in this area, is home to plenty of retail stores, a wide variety of cafes and restaurants, and many cultural festivities and activities.
Harwin Drive – Impressive bargains line this road with discount shops of jewelry, accessories, electronics, and anything you never knew you needed.