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FALL 2016 VOL. 9, NO. 1
More and more, Downtown is being seen as a preferred residential choice. Whether your taste runs to a modern high-rise like One Park Place or the historic bones found in The Rice, you can likely find a way to make a home in the center of it all.
A NEW KIND OF FOOD PYRAMID Managing Editor/Creative Director Angie Bertinot, Downtown District Copy Editor Barbara Linkin Mendel, Mendel Creative Solutions Design CORE Design Studio Photography Katya Horner, Slight Clutter Photography Contributing Writers Amber Ambrose, Holly Beretto, Nicole Marin, Valonia Walker Advertising Information Angie Bertinot, 713.650.3022 email@example.com
Questions or comments? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s all about the pita. OK, not just the pita, but there’s no denying that Phoenicia Specialty Foods in Downtown has brought the definitive Middle Eastern bread to a whole new level for Downtown foodies. Add in their luscious gourmet items, gooey bakery treats, house-mixed seasonings and fresh meats and produce, and you can see why there’s always a crowd. We take you through every level of a whole new kind of food pyramid, courtesy of the Tcholakian family.
Millenials—there’s no escaping their influence. And why would we want to? This generation is making Downtown their preferred address, and their willingness to think outside the box, their embrace of new ideas and their desire to make a difference in the world means they are creating an exciting, dynamic neighborhood in our city’s center. BY HOLLY BERETTO
Block 334 embraces Houston’s past while giving residents all the amenities they could ask for from a Downtown address. In addition to its proximity to dining, entertainment and sports venues, the midrise revival also offers designer touches and spectacular views from every unit.
Fall brings more than temperate weather to Downtown Houston. It also brings the excitement of a new theater season for the city’s resident companies. Shakespeare, Smokey Robinson and Broadway darling Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first hit are all on tap.
Downtown magazine is published quarterly and is free of charge. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Downtown District, 909 Fannin, Suite 1650, Houston, Texas 77010.
With support from:
BY AMBER AMBROSE
THE DOWNTOWN GENERATION
BY VALONIA WALKER
Theater, concerts, tours, festivals, special events and much more.
Our comprehensive listing of everything delicious in Downtown and a more detailed look at Oxheart, Justin Yu’s award-winning gem in the heart of the Warehouse District.
DESTINATION DOWNTOWN MAP
d. In the ’hood
The fundamental work of the Downtown District revolves around creating a dynamic neighborhood in which people want to live, work and play. And we have made tremendous strides in that work. When you spend any time Downtown you can see it—buzzy new restaurants on almost every corner; transportation options that include light rail; green spaces like Discovery Green and Market Square Park; and public art that speaks to the soul. Most important in the alchemy of creating a neighborhood, however, are the residents. Without a variety of living options, we wouldn’t have the vibrancy we are now starting to see. We wanted to introduce you to some of the Houstonians who make Downtown their own and hear why they’ve chosen the city’s center as their home. Meet them starting on page 22 and get a rundown of projects on page 3. One of the most important components WITHOUT A VARIET Y of a livable Downtown is the easy OF LIVING OPTIONS, availability of life’s basics—milk, produce, WE WOULDN’T HAVE meats, bread. Phoenicia Specialty Foods THE VIBRANCY WE ARE fills that need and then some. In addition to the basics, shoppers can choose from exotic NOW STARTING TO SEE spices, a selection of beautifully curated wines and beers, delicious prepared foods and much more. And if you’d rather have someone else do all the work, their adjoining MKT Bar bills itself as a global gastropub with something for everyone, including live music, local art exhibits and family friendly events. Learn more starting on page 14. As always, you’ll find our extensive calendar of events and activities in datebook on page 34 and our comprehensive listing of eateries in Plate on page 49. Of course, be sure to visit us online at downtownhouston.org, where we always keep you up to date on the latest when it comes to our city’s center. And let us know what you think about downtown. We’re more than happy to take your comments and suggestions.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
ON THE COVER
Jacklyn Ochoa-Mendez and Marcos Mendez make the most of their proximity to Downtown’s Historic District. photo by Morris Malakoff
NEWS + Notes
DOWNTOWN HOUSTON’S NEW TAGLINE IS “SOMETHING BIG IS UP” BUT BOY, IS THAT AN UNDERSTATEMENT.
For the most up-to-date list of developments, visit downtownhouston.org
Whether you’re a long-time resident or visiting the Bayou City for the first time, there’s no questioning Houston is experiencing an incredible burst of development, particularly within its Downtown core. Looking across the Downtown landscape these days, there’s an endless state of activity—from construction fencing going up around projects to pyramid steel frames, scaffolding and building crews stretching across the Houston skyline. At last count, 21 projects are under construction and that doesn’t include the multitude of small businesses such as restaurants, bars and shops that are also moving or expanding into Downtown. Although, all are great projects, we are most excited about residential development. Ten properties totaling more than 2,700 units are under construction. The hospitality market is also booming with four projects rising out of the ground including the much anticipated Marriott Marquis next to the George R. Brown Convention Center and Hotel Alessandra at GreenStreet. Several projects have opened in the last few months, including residential properties 500 Crawford and Block 334; a new Holiday Inn, Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn; and Hilcorp’s corporate HQ at 1111 Travis; and many, many more will be opening later this year and in 2017.
HERE’S AN ABBREVIATED LIST OF NOTABLE PROJECTS UNDERWAY RIGHT NOW:
RESIDENTIAL 10 projects, 2,753 units Alexan Downtown Aris Market Square Catalyst Eighteen25 The Hamilton Market Square Tower Marlowe Block 365 SkyHouse Main The Star HOTEL 4 projects, 1,652 rooms Aloft Hotel Hotel Alessandra Le Meridien Marriott Marquis Houston OFFICE AND OTHER 1,120,000 sf 609 Main at Texas Partnership Tower High School for the Performing & Visual Arts Sunset Coffee Building Avenida Houston FALL 2016
FIVE OF DOWNTOWN’S
BEST BEST SECRETS
Everyone loves a secret. It’s human nature to love knowing something no one else does, realizing that you have the inside edge of the coolest bar, the newest up-and-coming talent, the best new restaurant. And when it comes to Downtown, secrets abound—great spots to try innovative food, fun places to learn about the city core’s history, and unique excursions that challenge the imagination.
You won’t find anywhere more original for your next party than this massive, 10,000-square-foot warehouse selling new and refurbished video games, pinball machines, air hockey and foosball, and all manner of amusements for you to include in your home or office. Joystix happily rents out its showroom space to private groups wanting to play PacMan, pool and any of hundreds of other games. It’s about the perfect place to relive your gaming youth—or continue your gaming adulthood. Bonus: the Eighteen Twenty Lounge has two million songs on the jukebox, flat-screen TVs and video games. 1820 Franklin
1717 W. WEBSTER ST. #J | PARKER LOFTS
THE BIG BUBBLE
3 Beds | 3 Baths | 1 Half | 2,841 SQ FT | $589,000
TERRY STANFIELD DOWNTOWN’S #1 REALTOR 713.227.5406 email@example.com 214 Travis, Houston, TX 77002 heritagetexas.com
You’d miss it if you weren’t looking for it, which is part of what makes Dean Ruck’s installation so much fun. Crossing over the Preston Street Bridge, you’ll find a big, red button. Press it and you can watch Buffalo Bayou “burp” below you, spewing bubbliness and garnering grins. Sometimes, it’s the simplest of joys that bring the biggest smiles.
PUBLIC SERVICES WINE & WHISKEY
ESCAPE FROM A ZOMBIE
202 Travis publicservicesbar.com
Chef Justin Yu and sommelier Justin Vann of Oxheart fame opened this killer spot, specializing in a dizzying array of unique, international wines and whiskies. The bar is housed in the historic Cotton Exchange building, which dates to 1884 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by architect Eugene Heiner, the red-brick Victorian building with its wide windows and natural light is a favorite Downtown edifice. Let all that history sink in as you’re sipping one of the curated sherries, wines, scotches, bourbons or rums.
Think you have what it takes to outwit zombies who want to eat your brains? Then make a reservation to Escape the Mobile Lab. Your team of two to five members will take a tour of this lab space, only to discover an experiment has gone awry, and you’ll have to rely on each other to get out of there! Great for team building, bachelor/ bachelorette parties and group outings. Escaping has never been so fun. 917 Franklin roomescapetime.com
HARDY NANCE STUDIOS
902 Hardy hardynancestudios.com
With open studios every third Saturday of the month, Hardy Nance Studios is a place to see some of Houston’s most exciting artists working today. Painters, sculptors, jewelry designers, videographers and other artisans rent space here, making for a creative atmosphere that shows Bayou City at its best. The open studios allow you to see their work, and each one is a different experience. Support local artists and check out this unknown Downtown gem.
RESIDENTIAL PROFILE: BLOCK 334
BLOCK 334 A HISTORICAL REVIVAL IN DOWNTOWN HOUSTON
Centrally located at 1515 Main Street, Block 334 shines a light on Downtown’s past while embracing the neighborhood’s future. At its roots, the luxury Downtown Houston apartments are about community. With a social lounge, club room and outdoor lounge, Block 334 brings residents together while providing easy access to some of the best amenities in this urban neighborhood, many of which are just outside their door. Block 334 offers residents one of the highest walkability scores in the city thanks to its close proximity to restaurants and bars, entertainment and sports venues and the offices of many prominent companies.
In the social lounge, guests and residents alike can journey through time thanks to a colorful, historic display of the neighborhood. See how “The Block” started, the VIPs who once lived here, and artifacts discovered during Block 334’s excavation process, including historical postcards and photos, building materials, horseshoes, glassware and more. The social lounge uses pieces of Block 334’s notable history to spark conversation. Some of the items on display include an iconic and rare 1940 Chevrolet special deluxe “Flying Lady” hood ornament, an 1877 glass snap cap for canning, and a clay-fired Butler brick made in Elgin, Texas at Butler Brick Co. The Butler bricks were used in the Texas State Capitol, as well as several brick buildings at the University of Texas. Another object found during the excavation, and a significant piece of the neighborhood’s storied past, is a large brick beam that supported
the arched windows at Central Christian Church. The church, with its Greek classical architecture, was a cornerstone of the community. It was built for just $65,000 in the early 1900s. In its day, the church had a slew of famous visitors including James A. Garfield, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Janis Joplin and actress Frances McDormand. Today it is Bethany Christian Church, located at 3223 Westheimer Road. As Houston began to grow outward from Main and Commerce, large and prosperous neighborhoods developed to the south, filled with upscale Victorian houses for the city’s most elite residents. Some of the area’s VIPs are highlighted in Block 334’s social lounge. Perhaps the most notable resident within the neighborhood was Frank Andrews, the founder of law firm Andrews Kurth. Andrews also served as Texas’ assistant attorney general, playing a pivotal role in developing the Houston Ship Channel.
Edward Peden, who lived on Bell Avenue, served as director of the Federal Reserve Bank as well as federal food administrator for Texas during World War I. Peden also served as president of the Houston Chamber of Commerce. In 1924, the Houston Rotary Club awarded him a medal for distinguished service to the community. Another local, Henry H. Dickson, served as a charter member on the Houston Museum and Scientific Society, which is now the Houston Museum of Natural Science. He also founded Dickson Car Wheel Works, which today is one of the largest and most profitable establishments in the South. The most well-known resident on the block in the early 1900s was Capt. James A Baker. Capt. Baker lived in what is now known as the Baker House on Main Street while he was CEO of Baker Botts, the international law firm that got its start and is still headquartered in Houston. He also served as the founding chairman of the Rice University Board of Trustees. Today, Baker Botts and Rice University play an integral role in Houstonâ€™s business scene, contributing immensely to the areaâ€™s economic growth by investing in the community and its inhabitants. Block 334 is proud of the historical past of their neighborhood and is excited to establish its own roots. Available in one- and two-bedroom apartments, Block 334 offers residents an urban lifestyle blended with quality and amenities. Features include soaring 10-foot ceilings, custom hardwoods, designer carpeting in bedroom suites, a spacious en-suite master bath and walk-in closets. To bring out the inner chef in its residents, the kitchens have stainless steel appliances, inviting residents to put their culinary skills to work with a food prep island and built-in beverage cooler. Every unit at Block 334 offers residents gorgeous views of the city and select apartments even come with private balconies or patios. Outside of their individual homes, Block 334 residents have a 24/7 athletic center with a superior cardio theater, numerous lounge spaces for business or social gatherings and a game room. Block 334 is a revival midrise apartment community currently available for immediate move-in and professionally managed by Alliance Residential Company.
block334.com PHOTOS BY KATYA HORNER
5 REASONS TO GET KelseyConnected in SM
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Visit our multispecialty care center in 4 Houston Center – just above the Food Court where you’ll Downtown at The Shops have easy access to: Same-day and next-day appointments available in primary care – call our 24/7 Contact Center at 713-442-0000. Our physicians specialize in Dermatology, Family Medicine, OB/GYN, Occupational Medicine, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Podiatry and Rheumatology. Onsite Kelsey Pharmacy and onsite lab and diagnostics including mammography and ultrasound. Easy online scheduling through the MyKelseyOnline Patient Portal and AppointmentsNOW. Advanced Wellness Exam for busy professionals. With everything you need under one roof and close to work, why go anywhere else? Make an appointment to get KelseyConnected today!
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B AC K S TAG E
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
BY VALONIA WALKER
B AC K S TAG E
After a quiet summer, the Theater District performing arts organizations will kick off a new season. Seats will be filled, curtains will open and performers will grace the stage night after night. A L L E Y T H E AT R E In Robert Askins’ dark comedy Hand to God, the devil is hiding out in a church basement in Cypress, Texas. All hell breaks loose when the devil infiltrates the angst-ridden church youth group and takes possession of Jason’s arm. A church sock puppet show turns bad when the foul-mouthed and scandalous sock puppet exposes some of the congregation’s darkest secrets while teaching them what it means to be human. You still have time to see this Texas playwright’s comedy now through Sept. 18 at the Alley Theatre. The Alley Theatre kicks off their 2016–2017 season with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare with Shakespeare@400. In one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, complications arise when young lovers and an acting troupe find themselves in the middle of a dispute between the King and Queen of the fairies, Oct. 7–Nov. 5.
Robert Askins—Hand to God
Houston Ballet—Madame Butterfly
Amy Fote and Artists of Houston Ballet. Photo by Amitava Sarkar
B AC K S TAG E
Photo by Joan Marcus
Houston Grand Opera—The Elixir of Love
HOBBY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS Mamma Mia!, here we go again one last time. Broadway at the Hobby Center presented by Bank of America brings Mamma Mia! back to the Hobby Center for their farewell tour. On the evening of her wedding day, a young woman’s quest to find the identity of her father will bring laughter, friendship and new memories. The timeless music of ABBA will be stuck in your head for weeks. Last chance to see this amazing production in Houston, Oct. 6–9. Jersey Boys is the true story of how four blue-collar kids paved a way for success in pop music. Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi become Rock & Roll Hall of Famers after creating their own sound and selling 175 million records worldwide. Jersey Boys will feature the Four Seasons legendary hits, Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and more Nov. 11–15. Before Hamilton: An American Musical, there was In The Heights! Theatre Under The Stars is opening their season with the first offering from Lin-Manuel Miranda. In The Heights tells the universal story of the vibrant New York community, Washington Heights. Characters find hope despite changes and challenges, as they discover new things about themselves in a place they call home. Audiences can see the 2008 winner of five Tony awards including, Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations Sept. 13–25. Theatre Under The Stars also presents, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Oct. 25–Nov. 6. With a little help from a how-to book, J. Pierrepont Finch has no trouble climbing the big business corporate ladder. This former window washer uses schemes and charm to work his way up to a high-powered executive. But will he be able to stay there? W O R T H A M T H E AT E R C E N T E R Join Da Camera of Houston on Sept. 30 for Josephine Baker: A Personal Portrait. Soprano Julia Bullock will honor the brilliant, daring iconic trail blazer Josephine Baker. Following this performance, Houston native Jason Moran returns to his roots for In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959. Influenced by Monk, the pianist and composer will perform a personal tribute to Monk Oct. 7.
Celebrating their 50th season all year long, Society for the Performing Arts kicks off their season with contemporary dance group, David Parsons Dance on Sept. 23. Houston Ballet kicks off its new season Sept. 8–18 with a mixed repertory program, Director’s Choice: American Ingenuity. The program features George Balanchine’s tribute to imperial Russian ballet, Theme and Variations and premieres Jerome Robbins’, Other Dances and William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite. Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly returns to the Brown stage, Sept. 22–Oct. 2 with the story of a Japanese geisha who abandons her faith and family to marry an American lieutenant. Whether you’re in the mood for an Italian love story gone wrong or a Frenchman dancing with the devil, Houston Grand Opera has something for you. In The Elixir of Love, Oct. 21–Nov. 4, a love-struck peasant enlists the help of a traveling doctor to win the affection of the village beauty. In the French opera, Faust, the aging philosopher sells his soul to the devil in exchange for youth and another chance at love, Oct. 28–Nov. 11.
TUTS—How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Goodspeed Production, 2010. Photo by Diane Sobolewski
B AC K S TAG E SPA—Smokey Robinson
JONES HALL Society for the Performing Arts welcomes legendary singersongwriter, Smokey Robinson, to the Jones Hall stage Oct. 7. Smokey’s career has given the world over four decades of chart-topping hits. Christmas is coming early this year! A brand new show, Cirque Dreams HOLIDAZE, is a Broadway musical and family Christmas show all in one. Extravagant costumes, soaring acrobatics and gravity-defying feats are just a few of the reasons you should bring your family out to this show. Catch this holiday spectacular, Nov. 18–20. Sept. 4 marks the Houston Symphony debut of Seth MacFarlane! The Family Guy creator lends the orchestra his baritone voice for selections from the 40s and 50s swing era and the Great American Songbook. Let’s give thanks for an All-Mozart Thanksgiving Weekend, Nov. 25–27. Veteran soloist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane will lead Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24, Symphony No. 38, Prague and Piano Concerto No. 21.
Photo by Wilson Parish
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: PROFILE By Valonia Walker
Houston is one of only five cities in the nation to have permanent resident companies across all the performing arts—ballet, grand opera, symphony orchestra and theater.
A CULTURAL ARTS DISTRICT
Houston is the fourth largest city in the nation, but we have always been first in our support of the arts. As the Center for Houston’s Future Arts & Cultural Heritage noted, Houston had a newspaper in its first month and a theater in its first year. Houston is one of only five cities in the nation to have permanent resident companies across all the performing arts—ballet, grand opera, symphony orchestra and theater. Visitors come to Houston’s Theater District to enjoy more than 1,000 performances a year. Out of the 26 cultural districts statewide, Houston is home to five—the Theater District, Museum District, Midtown, Greater East End and Washington Avenue. A Cultural Arts District is a special zone that uses cultural resources to stimulate economic development and breathe new life into the community. In most cases the districts are dedicated to the creation, preservation or presentation of the arts. They can also be home to visual and performing arts and both nonprofit and for-profit creative businesses. These particular districts can be a focal point for generating business, attracting tourism, cultivating cultural development and civic pride. T H E AT E R D I S T R I C T Theater District Houston is the cultural district that works with the resident performing arts organizations, venues and business owners throughout the determined district. The district represents the interest of the organizations and business at both the city and state level and serves as their advocates. Located Downtown, the one-block Theater District is an impressive cultural and entertainment district, home to nine world-renowned performing arts organizations and several others that are often in the theaters. Over 1.3 million visitors annually enjoy live music, dance and theater. You can find more information on activities and buildings that make up the Theater District at downtownhouston.org.
YUMiverse PHOENICIA SPECIALTY FOODS DOWNTOWN CELEBRATES FIVE YEARS OF BEING COMPLETELY AWESOME
BY AMBER AMBROSE
Haig Tcholakian, left, and Ann-Marie Tcholakian
The Tcholakian family name has been intertwined with Phoenicia Specialty Foods for over 30 years, but only in the last five has their international empire directly reached a Downtown audience.
“There’s definitely a lot of pressure to make sure it evolves in a way that is aligned with the family vision,” says Ann-Marie Tcholakian, one of the family members in charge of day-to-day operations at the Downtown location. “But you also have a lot of family members, so you have to figure out what that vision is.” According to Ann-Marie, aligning the family’s vision with being Downtown meant the creation of a “more urban space for people to get together, to appreciate food, music, art, each other and to celebrate.” That translated into 38,000 square feet of groceries, prepared foods, a grill, a deli, a pita conveyor, beer, wine, hookahs, cigars, cookbooks (many written by locals), a bakery, coffee bar, restaurant and bar, performance space, art installations, rotating photography exhibits and so much more.
“I’m very much in the creative energy aspect of the business,” says Ann-Marie. “I’m more of the retail and marketing side of things. [My brother] Haig is the ‘brother of brews,’ being into the wines and beers and making that part of the business very boutique, interesting and gathering an eclectic collection. But he and I both do a lot of creative and marketing together.” While most of the operations fall upon Ann-Marie and Haig, the initial efforts were family-wide. “My dad has an architectural engineering background and has always been the one drawing and planning,” says Ann-Marie. “We presented him with this space Downtown and he got his red pencil out and started drawing. What he drew didn’t really change much once the architects got the plans. They took it and ran with it.” Ann-Marie says that between the two locations, everyone in the family is so busy it’s hard to find time to get together. But their bond remains as strong as ever. “Growing up, my parents always instilled in us how important family is, and that’s always been a part of me,” she says. “It’s something that defines us. My parents came here many years ago and built something. To be able to build on top of that is something we’re proud of.”
Phoeniciaâ€™s P Y ) E R I ( A M D O ID O F PITA MKT BAR PREPARED FOODS, DELI & GRILL
COFFEE BAR & BAKERY
BEER & WINE
It may not be the kind of majestic monument found amidst the hot desert sands of Egypt, but itâ€™s equally as impressive. (Not to mention the complimentary parking located in the garage above the store!) Phoenicia Specialty Foods Downtown is a foodie wonderland, stocked with treasures. Its location at 1001 Austin on the ground level of One Park Place adjacent to Discovery Green lends it status as a prime picnic supply stop, and its hierarchy of offerings is so layered only a pictorial pyramid can fully express the majesty within. 16
LOCALLY MADE, GOURMET AND INTERNATIONAL ITEMS Cheeballsy’s, alfajors, Dillapeno, MeSauce, shanklish. Confused yet? Don’t be. It’s just a handful of specialty products you’ll find in the freezers, shelves and corners of Phoenicia.
BASICS YO U’ RE COV E RE D
TRY THE ZA’ATAR OR THE GREEK SPICES—THEY BRIGHTEN UP JUST ABOUT ANY SAVORY DISH AND MAKE COOKING AN ADVENTURE
Phoenicia is anything but basic, however, if you are in need of the basics, it’s a good place to start. Picking up a gallon of milk for your morning cereal? You’re covered. Throwing together a salad for dinner? The produce section is fully stocked. A recent trip revealed fresh, ripe Texas peaches, green almonds (look them up, they’re an extremely rare find in Houston), ruby red tomatoes and more. Craving pork chops? There’s an impressive meat and seafood section for any kind of dinner you’d dream up, with many of the items already marinated and ready to throw in the oven or on the grill. While you’re perusing the aisles for ketchup, mayonnaise, bread and other essentials, dash upstairs. Completing your “basic” run here can mean grabbing a toothbrush, an apron or two, shampoo boasting beer as an ingredient (AnnMarie, swears by it), hand and body soaps or a healthy amount of their house-mixed seasoning blends. Try the za’atar or the Greek spices—they brighten up just about any savory dish and make cooking an adventure. Loaves of bread, lunch meat, eggs (including duck), juice, cereal, grains, dried beans, canned goods and more make it easy to stock your pantry and refrigerator. A sample haul from a visit could also include any number of exotic items like tiny tins of pâté, jars of red pepper spread, exotic olives, boxes of Turkish delight, multiple varieties of halva, Lebanese cheeses, wild rice, pickled ginger and German chocolates made with malted wheat.
Cheeballsy’s Frozen cheese puffs modeled after the glutenfree Brazilian snacks known as pão de queijo and made right here in Houston. Just heat up the oven, throw them on a cookie sheet and they’re ready in no time.
Alfajors from Sweets by Belen Delicate sandwich cookies squished together with rich dulce de leche (caramel) and hand crafted by local baker and Peruvian native, Belen Bailey.
Smither Family Dillapeño A spicy dill relish made by a local family. They have multiple varieties, and Phoenicia is a great place to stock up.
MeSauce Rosenberg-produced line of dressings, dips and spreads that range from adventurous (sweet corn sauce) to savory (chimichurri) to classic (real Peruvian mayonnaise).
Shanklish While it may sound like a tool prisoners secretly fashion inside a penitentiary, it’s really a delicious ball of cheese seasoned with a special blend of spices. Phoenicia customers started asking for it, and when the Tcholakian family couldn’t find a suitable import, they decided to make their own version.
CAR EFU L LY CU RAT ED
BEER & WINE Carefully curated by Tcholakian sibling Haig, it’s the quality and variety of Phoenicia’s beer and wine selection, not necessarily the quantity, that’s intriguing. “When curating the beer and wine selection of Phoenicia and MKT BAR,” says Haig, “my intent is to marry the international flavors of our cuisine to those breweries and vineyards from regions that carry the same distinctive characteristics. I focus my search on finding quality, affordable, boutique wines from smaller producers to stock year-round.” The wine section upstairs is always a quiet refuge to the hustle and bustle of the bottom floor, and a labyrinth of international offerings. Armenia, South Africa, Greece, Bulgaria, Morocco, Lebanon, Georgia (the country, not the Southern state), Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Australia all have a presence alongside more traditionally
popular varietals and countries. And this list is not comprehensive. Luckily, passports are not required to purchase any bottles, though a valid ID proving you are of drinking age certainly is. Over 200 beers and ciders from around the world can also be found—think Argentina, Russia, New Zealand, Turkey, Canada and of course, the U.S.—in store. Haig estimates the selection is approximately 25 percent local and Texas-based, 15 percent American craft brews, with the remaining 60 percent being of international origin. Haig’s recent favorites: “The sweet and spiced La Socarrada Rosemary Ale from Spain, refreshing Moa Breakfast Ale from New Zealand and the Moody Tongue Sliced Nectarine IPA brewed in Chicago by Jared Rouben, who seeks input from innovative, noteworthy chefs while emphasizing the use of locally sourced ingredients in the brewing process.”
“MY INTENT IS TO MARRY THE INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS OF OUR CUISINE TO THOSE BREWERIES AND VINEYARDS FROM REGIONS THAT CARRY THE SAME DISTINCTIVE CHARACTERISTICS.”
FU EL YOU R WOR KDAY
COFFEE BAR & BAKERY It fuels your workday, it lights up your life. It’s the morning’s yin to the night before’s yang. It’s coffee and it’s fresh and it’s plentiful at Phoenicia. Baristas create specialty drinks like cappuccino and espresso with extra special ingredients from the market like halva (a Middle Eastern sweet made with sesame flour and honey) for days when you need something more than just a cup of Joe. But there’s more. You can take any number of loose-leaf teas home with you or a package of the house-blended Zorab’s chai. Whole-bean coffee is at the ready to throw in your basket as well.
Of course, you can’t pick up any of these wonderful vehicles of caffeinated goodness without crossing into Phoenicia’s extensive bakery and confections area, and you can’t cross into Phoenicia’s bakery without taking home at least four pastries, because it is impossible to choose any fewer than four. But it’s ok, because #YOLO. Also, because their baklava is the bee’s knees. And so are those cinnamon rolls. And maybe a few of those chocolate chip cookies. And—ok, ok!—maybe a package of the locally made Lady Lavender marshmallows and some vibrantly hued macarons in a perfect little box. Take a few deep breaths and count to five. It’s time to walk away now. Just. Walk. Away.
DEL ICIOU S , QU I CK & EFFI CI EN T
PREPARED FOODS, DELI & GRILL Breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s all ready for the taking. A large portion of the downstairs area at Phoenicia is dedicated to getting you delicious food as quickly and efficiently as possible. It all starts at the grill with breakfast, from 7 to 10:30 a.m. on weekdays and 9 to 11 a.m. on weekends. Breakfast meetings are a hit with choices like the chicken shawarma wrap with scrambled eggs, slow-roasted chicken, spinach, tomatoes and onions or the kielbasa wrap stuffed with sausage, eggs, roasted peppers, cheddar and hash browns. Everything is customizable in case you’re a spinach-phobe or allergic to tomatoes. And coffee? Just look one level down this pyramid. Lunch can be a little cramped, but lines move quickly and you can always grab some prepared salads without having to stand in line at the grill. There are plenty of pre-packaged versions (check out the garbanzo bean salad, or the cool, refreshing cucumber salad) or choose from behind the glass case. The baby octopus salad is tasty, the pesto chicken salad is sublime, and no one should ever leave without some type of freshly made hummus in their bag. Pair it with some of the just-packaged pitas for best results. There’s also a plethora of pre-made—though still fresh as a spring daisy—sandwiches crafted with their house-baked breads. The salad bar is an easy way to pile on crisp vegetables and pair it with a cup of hot soup.
If you have a little more patience and appreciate an affordable, hot meal in the middle of the day (or for dinner), step up to the grill and watch the giant spits of roasting meats rotating slowly behind the steam tables. It’s just like a blue plate special, with varying vegetables, proteins and starches each day, only with a little more international flair. Step up to the line and choose your culinary destiny. Dinner is usually a little more chill, with similar choices in both the deli and grill areas. If you’re in the mood to linger, make a visit to MKT Bar.
TUESDAY AND THURSDAY ARE POPULAR FOR STEAK NIGHT, WITH A CHEF’S CHOICE OF BEEF SERVED WITH CHIMICHURRI SAUCE, A CHOICE OF ZA’ATARSPICED FRIES OR TWICE-BAKED POTATO AND A SALAD
MKT BAR ECLECT I C D I NI NG
It’s a luxury to be able to drink wine before or after—or before and after—grocery shopping. Phoenicia’s MKT Bar is the place for local, regional and national beers on tap, plus an eclectic but approachable menu of wines by the glass or bottle. Though a popular drinking destination for weekday happy hours and weekend unwinding, MKT Bar stands alone in its food menu. Tuesday and Thursday are popular for steak night, with a chef’s choice of beef served with chimichurri sauce, a choice of za’atar-spiced fries or twice-baked potato and a salad. Roasted chicken, lamb tacos, fish and chips, a curried vegetable pot pie, pizzas, chicken wings, salads, queso, chili and more mean a trip for “just appetizers and a drink” could turn into, “Oh my word, did we really just eat all that for dinner?” Important side note: MKT Bar has its very own gelato case.
Art and photography exhibits rotate frequently, featuring the works of local and regional artists, with a recent facelift to the space by award-winning designer, Gin Braverman. DJs spin weekly, with live musicians and bands performing on a regular basis. It’s been a stage for many local acts, including The Suffers, whose lead singer, Kam Franklin, inspired a namesake sandwich on the menu. Events are as much a part of MKT Bar as is Rockets pre-gaming (it’s only a 6-minute walk to the Toyota Center), with a well-attended brunch available both weekend days. Saturdays are lighthearted with retro cartoons, free cereal for kids from 9-11 AM and pajama attire encouraged, while Sundays are a time to chill with jazz bands often booked for the brunch hours. MKTBar.com
PITA TOP OF T HE PYRA MI D
“OUR DAD IMAGINED THE IDEA TO ADD A PITA CONVEYOR TO OUR OPERATIONS. WE THOUGHT HE HAD FINALLY LOST HIS MIND.”
Reaching the highest level of hierarchy is the Lebanese staple, the pita. Phoenicia is famous for their pita bread conveyor belt that serves up piping hot loaves daily. Like manna from heaven, there are more than 29,000 pitas that emerge from a massive conveyer at Phoenicia’s Westheimer store (aka the mother ship), baked in an oven that ranges from 800–1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. High heat is necessary for obtaining the perfect amount of pita “puff.” The bread is then packaged and transported to the Downtown store so customers can load up on the fresh, pillowy-soft pitas.
“Our dad imagined the idea to add a pita conveyer to our operations,” says Ann-Marie. “We thought he had finally lost his mind, but soon it became apparent to the family, and to customers young and old alike that this provided something very whimsical and special—and of course it is also still practical because it does act as a cooling mechanism.” Their daily production level of pita, Mediterranean flat breads and pies cannot be found anywhere else in Houston–or in the country for that matter. They also offer a wide variety of artisan European-style breads every day to make the perfect sandwich or to accompany any meal.
A New Generâ€” â€” by Holly Beretto
photography by Morris Malakoff
Millennials, those born roughly between 1982 and 2004, have been derided as a generation marked by an “everyone gets a trophy” upbringing, their need for immediate and positive reinforcement, and their entitlement. Like most stereotypes, it doesn’t apply to all millennials, who are also rightly lauded as a generation that’s accepting of diversity, embraces technology and believes strongly in being able to change the world.
Downtown has evolved into a place millennials crave
Eighty-million strong, this is a generation that will no doubt have a lasting effect on the society at large. Their work habits are more fluid than the typical 9-to-5, they are consumers of the sharing economy for everything from catching rides with Uber or eschewing hotels for Airbnb. They are, it seems, endlessly on the move in some way. If ever a generation seemed born for Downtown living, this one might be the poster child. Downtown taps into their need for experiences, their love of being at the heart of the action, whether that’s courtside at a Rockets game or taking in a Broadway show. Their endless appetite for exploring new flavors is stoked by Downtown’s dizzying array of restaurants and bars, with cuisine from all over the globe. As the city center has grown, and more residential properties come online, bringing with them more and more independent shops and businesses, life in Downtown has evolved to a place where people live, work and play—exactly the kind of work-life balance Millennials crave. We asked six of them to share their experiences about why the city center is the place to be. Their stories are as diverse as the city core they inhabit and the generation they are. But there’s one thing they have in common—and that’s an unbridled enthusiasm for Downtown life.
THE GLOBAL CITIZEN
Amir Mansouri “When you live here, you really feel that you are connected to what is happening in the world.” “When I lived in Houston 10 years ago, Downtown was very commercial,” says Mansouri. “Not a lot of people were living here. In my job with Shell, I’ve lived in Dubai, London and Paris—I love the vibe of places like that. In Paris, I lived in SaintGermain. It was very buzzy, close to the Seine and the Luxembourg Gardens. The same thing in London, where I lived near Hyde Park, close to Knightsbridge and Harrod’s.” He enjoyed the energy of those cities, the streets crowded with shops and restaurants and people hurrying to appointments or out for leisurely strolls. For Mansouri, that way of life was an important component of how he saw himself, as a young professional living an international life. When he came back to Houston, he knew he wanted to capture that same kind of vibe. And this time, Downtown had it. “I’ve been living here just over three years,” he says about his Downtown address. “And the progress and evolution that’s happened here— it’s been amazing.”
age 36 occupation Development Manager, Shell residence One Park Place
Mansouri rents a two-bedroom apartment in One Park Place, a spot he picked for its central location, with the added bonus of having world food retailer Phoenicia on the ground floor. He refers to the market and restaurant, which specializes in house-made Mediterranean dishes ready for guests to take out, as well as a mind-blowing variety of imported goods, as his “extended kitchen.” More than finding Phoenicia convenient, however, Mansouri recognizes that the city core has grown up in terms of being a 24-7 place, making it easier for people to make the choice to live there. “The development of the green spaces, the social environments, have been amazing,” he says, noting that he’s always lived near parks and that having Discovery Green within a stone’s throw was a big selling point for him. “These kinds of places attract people. And with more people come things like the development of more restaurants and bars. Downtown is really a case of success breeding success.” For Mansouri, one component of that success has been his neighbors. One Park Place is a swanky address, rated No. 1 last year for 5-star resident reviews in Texas. Its meandering pool is super luxe, on par with virtually any luxury resort on Earth, it boasts 24-hour concierge service, balconies with expansive city views and plenty of conference and party space, making it a natural location for residents who want to socialize. The residence has a cache unlike many others in the city. Rockets players live at One Park Place; Mansouri says he even ran into Beyonce’s dad in the elevator. “Everyone here has an interesting story,” says Mansouri. “And so many people who live in this building are here on international assignments, so it’s fantastic to be able to see people from around the world experience Houston like this and see it’s got a really cosmopolitan feel.” He loves seeing people recognize Houston as a truly international city.
MY DOWNTOWN LIFE
On a Saturday morning, you’ll find me along Buffalo Bayou going for a run, the stretch from Downtown to Memorial Park. It has been laid out immaculately with running and biking trails, and you get incredible views of Downtown from inside the park. My favorite Downtown hangout is Discovery Green because there is always an interesting event—from concerts to sports and cultural activities. The best-kept secret in Downtown are the bike rental stations (BCycle) and the bike lanes. I love it because you can really explore Downtown and nearby areas such the Museum District, Hermann Park or Montrose on a bike. If you’re looking for something great to do after work in Downtown, I highly recommend going to a Rockets game because of the energetic atmosphere (especially when we are winning!). If I could only describe Downtown living in one word, it would be: vibrant.
For Mansouri, One Park Place in particular, and Downtown in general give him everything he needs for his lifestyle. He’s a runner, so most days he’s jogging through Discovery Green. When he wants a longer workout, he’ll start at Discovery Green and run along Buffalo Bayou to Memorial Park and back. “I’m always so inspired when I go there, along the Bayou,” he says. “So much thought has gone into how they laid it out [in the renovations]; it’s really beautiful.” Mansouri walks to concerts at Toyota Center, enjoys One Park Place’s resident socials and believes that his residence in Downtown offers an experience similar to those he loved in Paris and London. “There is such a buzz here,” he says. “When the Final Four was in town, I could hear Pitbull from my balcony. It was fantastic! When you live here, you really feel that you are connected to what is happening in the world.”
THE COSMOPOLITAN COUPLE
Jacklyn Ochoa-Mendez and Marcos Mendez “We have access to all the best parts of the city.” When Marcos Mendez and his wife, Jacklyn Ochoa-Mendez, lived in Montrose, they found themselves hanging out more and more in Historic Market Square. They loved the events there, from the movie nights to block parties. Having lived in New York City, they knew what an urban life was like. When it came time to re-examine their living space, moving Downtown made sense. They moved last October. “The transition was easy,” says Jacklyn. “Being Downtown has been such a great experience, especially with all the new development. It’s even better than we could have expected.” Marcos, who usually works from home (his company is at Richmond Avenue and the Beltway), says Downtown feels distinctly Houston. “You can see the tipping point happening here in terms of residents and residential options. There’s a great diversity in who lives Downtown, and in what you can do. New residential buildings are coming into the mix, and they’re bringing in more people. We’re excited. Downtown is going to be the next big neighborhood in Houston.” “We feel like Downtown pioneers!” laughs Jacklyn. “We’ve seen Downtown’s struggles and growth.” The couple also has an appreciation for the city core’s history. One of the things they love most about living at The Rice is that it’s on the National Register of Historic Places, and Marcos says that while the building is obviously one of the oldest in Downtown, with a rich heritage as a hotel, it still feels modern, nearly brand-new. “This is a building with a lot of lives,” he says. “That’s pretty cool.”
He and Jacklyn also love the ability to walk anywhere they want to go. They routinely take in Astros games at Minute Maid Park and cheer on the Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. They are regulars at many of the restaurants in Historic Market Square and other parts of the neighborhood, and they know that living in the city center is a unique experience amid Houston’s vastness and sprawl. “We have access to all the best parts of the city,” says Marcos. Jacklyn agrees. In addition to lifestyle amenities of walking to concerts, restaurants, bars and events, Jacklyn has built up her personal training client base since moving into the neighborhood. She typically conducts personal training sessions 10 times each week, and her clientele are a combination of fellow Downtown dwellers and those who commute in. “It’s so convenient for the clients,” she says. “I can see them on their lunch hours, or right after work. I’m able to see them in their homes, and I can walk there. It’s great.” The couple sees many similarities between their life in New York City and Downtown Houston, pointing out the ability to be in the heart of the action. “If you’re active and you like being able to walk and take part in events at Discovery Green or supporting the arts, like we do, Downtown living is very similar to New York.” “Our location is perfect,” agrees Jacklyn. “I can see Minute Maid Park from my window. Living Downtown gives us this wonderful urban lifestyle that really works for us. And, I get all my steps in every day!”
ages 32 occupations Management Consultant Technician (Marcos) Trainer/Fitness Instructor (Jacklyn) residence The Rice
OUR DOWNTOWN LIFE
On Saturday morning, you’ll find us at The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar having brunch. We usually go with smoked salmon and eggs, and the breakfast BLT. And we love their Irish coffee. Our favorite Downtown hangout is Okra Charity Saloon because it’s involvement in the community is its best feature even with a great staff, food and drinks. Jacklyn loves their chocolate-chip cookies, which she drinks with bubbly. The best-kept secret in Downtown is The Houston Watch Company, and we love it because of its history and craft cocktails. They have a great selection of takes on the Old Fashioned. If you’re looking for something great to do after work in Downtown, we recommend Tuesday or Thursday Steak Night at MKT Bar next to Phoenicia. If we could only describe Downtown living in one word, it would be: booming!
MY DOWNTOWN LIFE
On Saturday morning, you’ll find me at the Market Square Park dog run playing with my dog Rye. My favorite Downtown hangout is The Nightingale Room because it’s turned into a great place to see live music most nights of the week. The best-kept secret in Downtown is Roma’s Pizza and I love it because everyone swears by Frank’s, but Roma’s has the best slice. My favorite is the pepperoni and sausage! If you’re looking for something great to do after work, I recommend grabbing a beer and something to eat at one of the food stalls at Conservatory. If I could only describe Downtown living in one word, it would be: flavor.
THE HOUSTON TRANSPLANT
Andrew Appleton Originally from Arkansas, Andrew Appleton went to college in Missouri and wound up, like so many before him, in Houston for a job. Not knowing much about the Bayou City, or anyone here, he rented a nice apartment in Post Oak, and looked up the best bars in the city, then proceeded to visit them, to help him get his bearings. While Appleton found many places he loved, he discovered two things fairly early on: he hated fighting Interstate 59 every day to get to work, and Houston really isn’t very walkable. “I wound up just exploring Downtown while I was learning the city,” says Appleton, and he quickly came to see it as a vibrant neighborhood, not just a sprawl of skyscrapers and offices. One of his favorite haunts became Hearsay, and as he found himself spending more time in Downtown, it became apparent that he really needed to move there. At first, he looked in EaDo, and he liked the area, but there was just something about the Franklin Lofts that captured his attention. The eight-story building was the tallest building west of the Mississippi when it was completed in 1904, and it’s touted as Houston’s first skyscraper. Home to the mortgage and investment firm Lomas and Nettleton, 201 Main Street got an addition in 1925, and was converted to a residential loft property in 1999. Sixty-two luxury loft condominiums now grace the building’s eight floors, offering sweeping vistas of Downtown from original 10-foot windows. Exposed brick walls enhance the building’s historic character and, with its location right on METRO’s Main Street Red Line, it’s in the center of everything.
“Nightlife has picked up, there’s so much to do. It’s so convenient. I love how walkable it is. And it really feels like a neighborhood.”
age 29 occupation Sales, John Lawrie, Inc residence Franklin Lofts
“It feels authentic,” says Appleton about the Franklin Lofts and his 1,900-square-foot space. “There’s something that feels incredibly Southern about it, that this was a commerce center and the tallest building at the time. I love the history of it.” Appleton loves New Orleans, and he says the Franklin Lofts reminds him of the buildings in the French Quarter. Aside from aesthetics, Appleton also enjoys the convenience that being Downtown affords. He loves walking to the places he wants to go, instead of hopping in the car and driving and hunting for parking. His commute, he says, is about 19 minutes, no matter which direction he chooses to take to get to his office, which is near the Houston Ship Channel. And more than all that, he says, there’s just a certain feeling he gets from living Downtown. “It really feels alive here,” he says. “You know, when I lived near the Galleria, it was like, you come home from work, you park your car in the garage, you go into your apartment. Here, you get to be out on the streets and you feel so much a part of all that’s happening.” One of his favorite spots is Market Square Park, where he lets his dog run around the dog park. He also says that since the city and Buffalo Bayou Partnership completed the renovations to Buffalo Bayou Park, he and Rye have enjoyed long rambles along the waters that gave birth to Houston not too far from his front door. “Downtown has just grown so much over the last year and a half,” he said. “Nightlife has picked up, there’s so much to do. It’s so convenient. I love how walkable it is. And it really feels like a neighborhood. That’s such a benefit to me.”
THE DOWNTOWN BOOSTER
age 29 occupation Attorney, BakerHostetler residence 500 Crawford
At press time, Casey Holder had literally just moved in to her apartment in 500 Crawford. She’d been there three weeks, but even as she was still unpacking, she was touting the virtues of Downtown living. “I walk to my office at Rusk and Main,” says the international trade attorney who’d formerly lived in Midtown and the Heights. “I get on the train and go to the Theater District.” Holder’s life at BakerHostetler is hectic, her schedule often meaning long days and detailed work. That’s why the convenience of being Downtown is an asset – she’s close to everything she likes and needs, and while she readily admits she likes to spend weekends resting after a busy week, she takes advantage of as much as she can. “I don’t make plans on the weekends, really. I’ll just take my dog for a walk and see what’s happening,” she says. “A lot of activities I love Downtown are free or just a nominal cost, so it’s great to always have options.”
“It’s so great to be able to explore and get to know the neighborhood. If you look back at just the last year, Downtown has changed so dramatically.”
Holder’s no homebody, though. She always loved having the ability to hop on the METRO light rail line and head to Reliant Stadium during the Rodeo. She’s looking forward to doing that again next year, but now she finds herself loving heading to movie nights or playing bingo in Market Square Park. “It’s so great to be able to explore and get to know the neighborhood,” she says. “If you look back at just the last year, Downtown has changed so dramatically. I really love just walking around and seeing what’s new.” Holder says that over the last few years, she’d been edging closer and closer to living Downtown, knowing that she wanted to advantage of being in the city core. 500 Crawford offered them multiple times over. The midrise apartment complex features a resort-style pool and an outdoor kitchen where residents can test their culinary aptitude, 24-hour access to the complimentary coffee lounge and sports and lounge deck that overlooks Minute Maid Park. The residence was designed so that all bedrooms could accommodate king-sized beds, and the 11 floor plans give residents tons of choice for one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as one bedrooms with a study. In addition to those interior options, 500 Crawford touts its central location as one of the most walkable residences in the city core. Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse, Jackson Street BBQ and the Lake House in Discovery Green are just blocks away. Looking to catch a movie or a game? Sundance Cinemas, BBVA Compass Stadium, and Toyota Center are easy walking distance, too. Even closer will be celebrity chef Bryan Caswell’s two new restaurants opening later this year at 500 Crawford. “I have absolutely no regrets about moving Downtown,” Holder laughs. “Living here doesn’t mean you have to give up your car—I drive once or twice a week. And I don’t pay for parking; it’s included in the rent. I keep trying to get my friends to move Downtown with me. If you’re even remotely thinking about whether to move Downtown or not, just do it!”
MY DOWNTOWN LIFE
On Saturday morning, you’ll find me running along Buffalo Bayou with my dog then grabbing a Greek coffee at Niko Niko’s in Market Square Park. I may also drop in on a Saturday morning class at Crossfit Roughnecks or join a free community yoga class in Discovery Green. I love to do something active on Saturday morning before enjoying Downtown’s great bars and restaurants on Saturday night. My favorite Downtown hangout is 8th Wonder Brewery (technically EaDo) because it’s dog-friendly, serves great Houston brews, and is a short walk (or train ride) from Astros, Rockets, and Dynamo games. They also have live music and the Eatsie Boys food truck most nights of the week. The best-kept secrets in Downtown are the various residential options— apartments and condos in historic conversions or new builds. I love it because I’m walking distance from work, great restaurants and bars, several sports venues, arts and theater performances, concerts, 5K races, dog parks… I could go on. There is always something happening Downtown and I love being in the middle of it. If you’re looking for something great to do after work in Downtown, I recommend grabbing a margarita made with infused tequila at El Big Bad (my favorite is the habanero ginger). Pair it with some fresh guac or ceviche— both delicious. If I could only describe Downtown living in one word, it would be: convenient.
THE POSITIVE RISK-TAKER
Lance Mullins MY DOWNTOWN LIFE
On Saturday morning, you’ll find me just relaxing and then maybe heading to Sundance Theatre for an early matinee. My Favorite Downtown hangout is The Commoner because of the good music. They have a really good DJ who plays everything from hip hop to old school to R&B, as well as a lot of Houston artists. It’s a great place to hear up-andcoming artists and just good music in general. The best-kept secret in Downtown is Main Street because there’s always a party, between the restaurants and people out looking at the art. If you’re looking for something great to do after work in Downtown, I recommend jumping on the train to any of the restaurants along the rail line. It’s so convenient. I love Oporto in Midtown, with its blend of Indian, Hispanic and Italian cuisines. It’s a regular brunch spot for me because of their curry empanadas. If I could describe Downtown living in one word, it would be: culturally diverse.
Lance Mullins is from Patterson, New Jersey, so he grew up in the shadow of the Big Apple. New York City was a train ride away, with its promise of great live entertainment, ethnic cuisine from around the world and cosmopolitan vibe. When Mullins graduated from Hilbert College in Buffalo, he’d been working for Apple. But a chance meeting led him to Houston. “I met a gentlemen who was the general manager of six landfills,” he says. “And he really liked the work I was doing, and convinced me to come to Houston to see what it was about. He showed me the city, and I could see a lot of opportunity here. I really liked what I saw.” Taking what he called a “positive risk,” Mullins left the Northeast and headed south to the Bayou City. He chose Downtown because it offered what he felt was something unique to the city—and something familiar to his living in the shadow of New York. “Downtown doesn’t feel like Houston,” he says. “While Houston has a lot of sprawl—it’s big— Downtown feels more like New York. There’s always noise here, people on the streets, things happening. It’s really comforting to me to hear that. It makes me feel like I am home.” Mullins has a studio apartment at The Rice. Offering loft and multi-bedroom options, Rice is in one of Downtown’s historic buildings and anchors the Historic District. Residents have every amenity imaginable, including auto detailing; a 24-hour-fitness center with towel service; their own private, fenced-in dog park; and an outdoor terrace with lounge, gas grills and TVs. Built in 1913 on what was the site of the Republic of Texas capitol building,
There’s such diversity Downtown. I feel like every day, I walk down the street and see something new.
it operated as the iconic Rice Hotel for much of the 20th century. Shuttered in 1977, it sat empty and unloved for nearly two decades before it was reborn as the Rice Lofts in 1998. As one of the early options for Downtown’s residential renaissance, the new incarnation kept original touches like the exposed brick and massive windows, and capitalized on the building’s location to lure everyone from young professionals to empty nesters. “My studio fits really well for my personality and my needs,” says Mullins, who has something of a designer in him. He’s taken care to create a space that looks aesthetically pleasing and functions well for his lifestyle. “It’s cool when people come in and say, this is a very cool apartment.” It’s located 15 minutes from his office, and he says the convenience factor was a huge selling point. Mullins knows many people in Houston travel much longer and farther than that; he realizes he’s lucky. For Mullins, living Downtown is about combining convenience with a cosmopolitan lifestyle. He loves jumping on the METRO light rail to get around. He loves seeing the new restaurants and gathering spaces coming into the area. “There’s such diversity Downtown,” he says, talking not only about the people who live there, but things to do. “There are so many different places to eat, there’s a great atmosphere here. I feel like every day, I walk down the street and see something new. It’s like a pop-up, these pubs and places I’ve never seen before that are here now.” He says that he loves the feeling that there is always something going on Downtown, always something to do. “There has been so much renovation and new building, Downtown just looks great, and it feels like a place that’s right for me.” When he recommends Downtown living to people, he counsels them to do a little research first. He recommends coming Downtown and staying at one of the hotels. This, he says, lets people get a feel for the neighborhoods-withinthe-neighborhood and see what it’s like to walk to a lunch or brunch spot, head to Sundance Cinemas for the latest big-screen release or an art-house film, take part in the activities at Discovery Green or Market Square. “Downtown is a great place to live,” he says. “People should really come on out and explore and see what we have.”
age 27 occupation New Hire Instructor and Scale Operator, Republic Services residence The Rice
Performing Arts 35 Festivals + Special Events 39 Discovery Green 42 Market Square Park 46 and more
EDITED BY NICOLE MARIN
Photo by Justin Stephens
PERFORMING ARTS A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN
LES PLAISIRS DE VERSAILLES
Through Sep 18 Like a comet that burns far too
Sep 9 Ars Lyrica’s 2016/17 season opens with a trip
brightly to last, Janis Joplin exploded onto the music scene in 1967 and, almost overnight, became the queen of rock ’n’ roll. The unmistakable voice, filled with raw emotion and tinged with Southern Comfort, made her a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock. Now, you’re invited to take a musical journey with Janis and all her biggest musical influences in the new Broadway musical A Night With Janis Joplin. Tickets $31–$77. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
to Versailles, where French kings and their courtiers cultivated pleasures of all kinds, including musical follies. Charpentier’s witty chamber opera pairs nicely with motets, drinking songs, and chamber works by François Couperin and Jean-Philippe Rameau, for a sumptuous and quintessentially French musical feast. Unusual for its era, Les Plaisirs de Versailles is a comedy—and an ode to both wine and chocolate! Tickets $39–$65. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.622.7443
HAND TO GOD
Through Sep 18 The devil is lurking in a church
LINDA EDER SINGS JUDY GARLAND
basement puppet show in Cypress, Texas and his name is… Tyrone. He may look like an innocent sock puppet, but when he infiltrates the angst-ridden church youth group and takes possession of Jason’s arm, all hell breaks loose. Spectacularly foul-mouthed and wickedly scandalous, Tyrone shocks the congregation with his outrageous insinuations, exposing their deepest secrets—and teaching us all what it means to be human. A smashing success on Broadway and now in London, this fast-paced irreverent comedy is making its hometown debut at The Alley Theatre. Tickets $31. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
Sep 9–11 Inspired by her album By Myself: The Songs
THE MUSIC OF QUEEN
friends who decide to import an Italian to change their lives. The friends organize a lavish welcome party. With the assistance of a daring maid, the women make their little party an opportunity to review the stories of their lives using songs, nostalgia, and memories, telling their miseries and expecting their Italian male to change the color of their wilted, drab, and frustrated lives. How will this all end? Note—This performance is in Spanish. Tickets $44–$54. 713.315.2400. thehobbycenter.org
Sep 3 The 70s are alive and well as the Houston Symphony celebrates the genius of Freddie Mercury in this electric symphonic-rock tribute to Queen. Enjoy all the classics of this incredible Bohemian Rhapsody, complete with Brody Dolyniuk’s soaring vocals, full rock band and live orchestra. Tickets $35–$115. Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
Sep 4 Get ready for the highly anticipated Houston Symphony debut of Seth MacFarlane! The consummate showman and Family Guy creator joins the orchestra this Labor Day weekend to lend his baritone voice to the hidden gems of the ’40s and ’50s swing era and sing selections from the Great American Songbook. Tickets $29–$139. Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575.
of Judy Garland, the unrivaled Linda Eder salutes stage and screen icon Judy Garland, along with Principal POPS Conductor Designate Steven Reineke. Experience Eder’s lustrous voice as the Houston favorite showcases some of Garland’s greatest hits like Me and My Shadow, Almost Like Being in Love, and the song that made Garland a superstar, Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Tickets $25–$143. Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575.
WAITING FOR THE ITALIAN
Sep 10 Waiting for the Italian tells the story of three
IN THE HEIGHTS
Sep 13–25 The first offering from Lin-Manuel Miranda, the genius behind the game-changing Hamilton: An American Musical, In the Heights is a vibrant snapshot of three days in an eclectic Manhattan neighborhood as the residents face the changes and challenges of a world that is on the move. Powered by the sounds of summer and the rhythm of the streets, In the Heights features words and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and book by Quiara Alegria Hudes. Tickets $39–$106. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.558.2600. tuts.com
THE GYPSY CARAVAN
Sep 16 In a colorful extravaganza, a troupe of 35 musicians and dancers trace the cultural and musical migration of Gypsies from Rajasthan to Eastern Europe and Spain. Tickets $35–$105. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 281.648.0422. iaahouston.com SETH MACFARLANE
DIRECTOR’S CHOICE—AMERICAN INGENUITY
Sep 8–18 Houston Ballet launches its 47th season with a mixed repertory program entitled Director’s Choice: American Ingenuity, featuring George Balanchine’s tribute to Imperial Russian Ballet, Theme and Variations, and the company premieres of Jerome Robbins’ dynamic Other Dances, and William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org
QUARTERLY MOBILE PHONE FILM FESTIVAL
Sep 22 Join us in celebrating the best in mobile
phone film. Rec Room’s Phone Film Festival is a quarterly festival at the beginning of each season. Every film is made entirely on mobile devices. The inaugural festival kicks off the fall season. Submission deadline is September 12. To enter, please send either a YouTube or Vimeo link with your short film to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets $5. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1291. recroomhtx.com
DAVID PARSONS DANCE Photo by Lois Greenfield
Sep 22–Oct 2 A signature work for Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch since its creation in 1995, Madame Butterfly depicts the story of a beautiful Japanese geisha who gives up her faith and her family to marry an American naval lieutenant. Set to Puccini’s powerful score with exquisite costumes and sets by Peter Farmer, Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly is a stunning achievement in neoclassical ballet that has been an international success, with performances on three continents. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org
THE REDEMPTION SERIES
Sep 22–Oct 2 How do we come together in times of crisis? When everything we hold dear is stripped away from us, how can we continue on? In the wake of national tragedies we are again confronted with these questions. Featuring new short plays by American playwrights from around the country, LTC seeks to find answers through laughter, tears, and community. Tickets $25 (suggested donation). 8 pm. Landing Theatre @ the Docks, 1119 East Freeway (Providence Street). 562.502.7469. landingtheatre.org
DAVID PARSONS DANCE
Sep 23 With more than three decades since its founding, Parsons Dance has won over audiences across the globe with its contemporary American dance that is enriching and accessible to a wide array of audiences. Started by the legendary David Parsons in 1985, the company’s mission is to deliver positive, affirming, life-enriching experiences to audiences worldwide. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4772.
Photo by Clay Patrick McBride
Night Owl highlights his signature silky sound. Tickets $50–$56. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041.
Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Writer Catherine Johnson’s sunny, funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The storytelling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, and every night everyone’s having the time of their lives! Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.622.7469. houston.broadway.com
Beedle capture the essence of Simon and Garfunkel’s 1960s counterculture harmonies, complete with beautiful acoustic arrangements of standards like Mrs. Robinson, Homeward Bound, Sounds of Silence and Bridge Over Troubled Water. $25–$138. Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
Oct 6–9 A mother. A daughter.
Oct 7 Acclaimed singer-songwriter, and “America’s greatest living poet,” Smokey Robinson has a legendary career that spans over four decades of chart-topping hits. Rising out of the Detroit Motown scene, Smokey Robinson has dominated the R&B charts with songs written for a wide variety of legends, from My Girl and Tears of a Clown to I Second That JASON MORAN Emotion and You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me. Watch the legend in person when he thrills the crowd at Jones Plaza with his high tenor voice. Jones Hall, 615 MAHLER SYMPHONY NO. 1 Lousiana. 713.227.4772. spahouston.org Sep 23–25 Meet the winner of the Houston Symphony’s first Young Composer Competition and hear the music of JASON MORAN tomorrow with a performance of the winning piece. Then, Oct 7 As a child in Houston studying classical piano, Mahler’s titanic Symphony No. 1 takes listeners on an Jason Moran heard a recording of Thelonious Monk epic journey, reflecting Mahler’s belief that “a symphony in his parent’s living room and it changed his life. must be like the world: it must embrace everything.” Moran’s critically acclaimed multimedia tribute to Tickets $35–$115. Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575. Monk focuses on the seminal recording of the jazz houstonsymphony.org iconoclast’s 1959 performance at Town Hall. Rather than “replay” the event, Moran delves into Monk’s HAYDN’S THE CREATION life and work in order to create a highly personal and Sep 29–Oct 2 Andrés leads the orchestra, chorus innovative tribute to the pianist whom Moran now and a cast of exciting soloists in the original considers part of his “musical DNA.” Wortham Center, German-language version of Haydn’s magnum opus, 501 Texas. 713.524.7601. dacamera.com The Creation. A musical depiction of the Genesis creation story, this choral masterpiece is filled with A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM evocative sound paintings. From the creation of light Oct 7–Nov 5 The Alley Theatre joins companies to Adam and Eve’s love duet, the birds, beasts and around the globe in celebrating 400 years of angels all rejoice in Haydn’s glorious music. Tickets Shakespeare with Shakespeare@400. In the Bard’s $25–$131. Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575. most popular and enchanting comedy, the woods houstonsymphony.org outside Athens are a busy place as four young lovers and a troupe of actors find themselves in the middle JULIA BULLOCK: OPENING NIGHT of a dispute between the King and Queen of the fairies. Sep 30 Da Camera’s celebration of musical and cultural Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org roots kicks off with rising-star soprano Julia Bullock finding inspiration in legendary singer Josephine Baker. BRAHMS’ FIRST SYMPHONY Bullock makes her Houston debut in Josephine Baker: A Oct 8 Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. Personal Portrait, with new music and arrangements for mercuryhouston.org the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble by celebrated composer and multi-instrumentalist RICHARD ELLIOT & MAX GROOVE Tyshawn Sorey. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.7601. Oct 9 Red-blooded Scottish sax man Richard Elliot, dacamera.com raised in Los Angeles, has been blowing audiences away for decades. The overtly sensual, romantic ZAKIR HUSSEIN & NILADRI KUMAR sax player has collaborated with giants such as Oct 2 A classical and light classical Sitar concert to Peter White, Dave Koz, Paul Brown and many more. commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. Tickets Max Groove is known as one of the true pioneers of $35–$105. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 281.648.0422. smooth jazz. His style has captivated listeners for iaahouston.com years. His hit list is lengthy and his current release
DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD LIVE!
Oct 9 Won’t you be our neighbor? The legacy of the beloved Mister Rogers lives on with the hit television series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, from The Fred Rogers Company and airing daily on PBS KIDS. Now, Daniel and all of his friends are hopping aboard the Trolley to delight live audiences with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! This live theatrical production filled with singing, dancing, laughter and “grr-ific” surprises will warm the hearts of multiple generations. 713.227.4772. spahouston.org
SOUNDS OF SIMON AND GARFUNKEL
Oct 14–16 Folk-rock duo AJ Swearingen and Jonathan
A MAGIC CARPET RIDE
Oct 15 Journey to a land of princes, princesses—and genies! This magic carpet ride features music from Aladdin, with favorites like A Whole New World and A Friend Like Me. Also on the program is RimskyKorsakov’s magical Scheherazade, as presented by storyteller Hope Shiver, with its dazzling, colorful orchestrations and the tale of One Thousand and One Nights. This Silk Road adventure is sure to elicit curiosity and evoke intrigue. Tickets $22–$32 Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
Oct 15–16 Handel’s final masterpiece is inspired by an Old Testament tale about a warrior’s foolish promise to God and its terrible consequences. The austere subject matter (from the Book of Judges) becomes pure gold in Handel’s hands; his oratorio is full of beautiful melodies, searing choruses, even a surprise ending. These performances feature a stellar cast of soloists and the award-winning Moore’s School Concert Chorale from the University of Houston. Tickets $39–$65. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.622.7443 arslyricahouston.org
DONIZETTI’S THE ELIXIR OF LOVE
Oct 21–Nov 4 Set in the Italian Riviera in the 1950s, this beloved comic opera tells the story of a love-struck peasant determined to win the affections of the village beauty. He employs the help of a scheming traveling doctor and his cure-all “magic” potion. Tickets start at $15. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. hgo.org
50TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT
Oct 22 Internationally acclaimed violinist Itzhak Perlman returns to Houston to celebrate the legacy of the Jones Family and the Houston Endowment. Hosted by Friends of Jones Hall, in collaboration with Society for the Performing Arts and the Houston Symphony, this Mad Men-style concert celebration will include a champagne toast and concert with Itzhak Perlman and the Houston Symphony, conducted by Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada. Tickets $53–$178. Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
datebook. DAVID SEDARIS
Oct 22 A perennial favorite, David Sedaris will once again return to Houston as a part of Society for the Performing Arts’ 50th anniversary season. With multiple bestsellers, Sedaris is beloved by audiences for his bizarre, candid takes on real life. On stage, Sedaris is as captivating, hilarious, and moving as he is on the page. Famous for his sarcastic take on Christmas traditions in The Santaland Diaries, Sedaris is a prolific writer who takes his new, never-before-heard work on the road with him to try out on audiences across the world. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4772.
Houston Public Library
ON THE TRAIL OF BIG CATS
Oct 25 Join wildlife photographer Steve Winter as he shares his captivating stories, from documenting the nocturnal adventures of a mountain lion in the Hollywood Hills and being repeatedly charged by rhinos in India, to narrowly avoiding becoming jaguar prey in a Brazilian rainforest. Tickets $15–65. Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
Oct 25–Nov 6 Who knew the key to success could
be found in a simple self-help manual? That’s Ponty Finch’s secret, as he climbs his way from window washer to the top of the World Wide Wicket Company in just two weeks. Page by page, scheme by scheme, rung by rung, we find ourselves rapidly ascending the corporate ladder with Finch, while his grinning gal pal Rosemary tries to keep him from rising ruthlessly out of control. Wonderfully colorful and full of good, pointed fun, we’d venture to say this show has all the makings of success. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.558.2600. tuts.com
THIS IS MODERN ART
Oct 27–Nov 17 Commissioned by Steppenwolf and based on true events, the LOH graffiti crew is willing to risk anything for their art. Called vandals, criminals, even creative terrorists, these Chicago graffiti artists set out night after night to make their voices heard and alter the way people view the world. But when the crew finishes the biggest graffiti bomb of their careers, the consequences get serious and spark a public debate asking, where does art belong? Tickets $25 (suggested donation). 8 pm. Landing Theatre @ the Docks, 1119 East Freeway (Providence Street). 562.502.7469.
Sep 3, Oct 15, Nov 5 Van Gogh, Da Vinci, and why not you? Explore talented artists and try your hand at mimicking their signature styles to create your own work of art. 3 pm. Central Library.
Central Library 500 McKinney
All events free and open to the public. 832.393.1313. houstonlibrary.org
5TH ANNUAL HOUSTON LIBROFEST
culture with a focus on highlighting Hispanic history and heritage through library presentations, activities, performances and more. Audiences of all ages can take in the sights and sounds of bilingual storytelling, craft-making, poetry readings and live music featured throughout the Central Library, the outdoor plaza and Hermann Square at City Hall.
Baby Time, 10:30 am Toddler Story Time, 11:30 am Preschool Story Time, 1 pm
Oct 1 A celebration of books, art and
Oct 8 Bring your imagination and
Julia Ideson Library 550 McKinney
TUESDAYS Toddler Yoga, 10:30 am Toddler Playtime, 11:30 am
WEDNESDAYS Lego Mania, 3 pm
THURSDAYS Minecraft, 3:30 pm
let’s get crafting! Children are invited to create an Ojo de Dios craft at the library that they can show off at home. 3 pm.
Oct 28–Nov 11 This classic French opera, based on Goethe’s famous play, is a gripping exploration of vanity and desire. In desperation, the aging philosopher Faust agrees to sell his soul to the devil in exchange for the restoration of his youth and a chance at love with the beautiful Marguerite. Tenor Michael Fabiano sings Faust, Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni sings Mephistopheles, and Ana María Martínez returns as Marguerite. Tickets start at $15. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. hgo.org
GOUNOD’S FAUST Photo by Jim Caldwell
UNDERWATER BUBBLE SHOW
Oct 28 Take a dive into the latest family-friendly sensation with the B-Underwater Bubble Show, starring Mr. B! Using cutting-edge laser technology, snow cannons, soap bubble tornadoes, theatrical fog, and optical illusions, the B-Underwater Bubble Show is an interactive performance that appeals to children and adults alike. Dance, puppetry, juggling, contortionism, sand art, magic, special effects and massive LED screens make for a truly immersive “underwater” show, complete with bubble artists Enrico Pezzoli and Dace Pecoli, two of the foremost bubble artists in the world. Wortham Center, Texas 501. 713.227.4772. spahouston.org
KAVAKOS PLAYS & CONDUCTS
Oct 28–30 Greek violin virtuoso Leonidas Kavakos has been hailed as one of the most comprehensively gifted instrumentalists of his time. This fall, he returns to Houston to play Bach’s exquisite Violin Concerto in A minor and conduct Brahms’ searching Symphony No. 4. Tickets $25–$131. Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575.
TRIFONOV PLUS RACHMANINOFF
Nov 3–6 Russian piano sensation Daniil Trifonov returns to perform the passionate and lyrical Piano Concerto Schumann wrote for the love of his life, his wife Clara. Andrés then conducts Rachmaninoff’s lushly-scored Symphony No. 2, one of the Russian composer’s greatest masterpieces. Tickets $25–$136. Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575.
SCOTT BRADLEE’S POSTMODERN JUKEBOX
Nov 9 Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox is a genrebusting, rotating collective of musicians and vocalists who re-imagine modern pop hits in the style of jazz, ragtime, and swing classics of the 1920s–1950s. An act that crosses all musical boundaries and generations,
Postmodern Jukebox has developed a niche all its own, and performs a live show unlike any other—a must-see for anyone who loves jaw-dropping live performances. Tickets $40–$105. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2400. thehobbycenter.org
I LOVE A PIANO
Nov 11–13 We’re rolling out the piano for a brand new concert honoring ultimate piano men. Celebrated pianist and modern-day crooner Tony DeSare is showcasing classic piano pop repertoire, featuring Gershwin’s jazz-influenced hallmark work, Rhapsody in Blue. Tony also salutes songs from great piano composers like Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, as well as Billy Joel and Elton John. Tickets $25–$138. Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
ODIN DUPREYON “A VIVIR”
Nov 12 Odin Dupeyron arrives in Houston with his show A Vivir, which he has presented with success for more than 10 years in Mexico. You can’t miss it! This event is presented entirely in Spanish. Tickets $45–$90. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041.
WARREN HILL & KAREN BRIGGS
Nov 13 Toronto native Warren Hill began playing music at age eight. Influenced by David Sanbord, Hill played weekends in local combos while attending school in Rochester, New York. Warren has dropped chart topping albums such as Devotion, Truth, and Shelter and he continues to mesmerize audiences. Recognized as the “lady in red”, Karen Briggs and her fiery violin are featured on the multi-platinum selling Live at the Acropolis. Karen’s inclusion in various genres of music has been eclectic and includes collaborations with Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, and Ledisi. Tickets $50–$76. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamtheater.org
CIRQUE DREAMS: HOLIDAZE
Nov 15–20 This is the true story of how four bluecollar kids—Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi—became The Four Seasons, one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide—all before they were 30. Jersey Boys features their hit songs Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Rag Doll, Oh What a Night and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.622.7469.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SYMPHONY OF THE GODDESS—MASTER QUEST
Nov 18 Designed to be a journey as epic and thrilling
as the legend itself, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses presents the music of this celebrated franchise with all-new arrangements directly approved by franchise producer Eiji Aonuma and Nintendo composer and sound director Koji Kondo (Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda). Tickets $35–$110. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. 713.230.1600.
CIRQUE DREAMS: HOLIDAZE
Nov 18–20 A brand new show, Cirque Dreams Holidaze is a Broadway musical and family Christmas spectacular all in one holiday stage extravaganza. Witness snowmen, penguins, angels, reindeers, toy soldiers, gingerbread men, and of course Santa himself come to life with soaring acrobatics, gravitydefying feats, Broadway-style production numbers, and imaginative costumes. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4772. spahouston.org
Nov 19 Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. mercuryhouston.org
datebook. A MOZART THANKSGIVING
LANDING HOLIDAY CONCERTS
Nov 25–27 Give thanks for Mozart when veteran
Nov 29–Dec 23 There are many ways to celebrate
soloist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane leads an allMozart program this Thanksgiving weekend. Mozart’s dramatic Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor is the perfect foil for his charming and sensuous Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major. His delightful Prague Symphony unfolds like a musical love letter to the Bohemian capital. Tickets $25–$136. Jones Hall, 615 Louisana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
the holiday season, and music is one of the most immediate. The Landing Theater will host a series of benefit concerts featuring a diverse mix of bands celebrating the holiday season and jamming the night away! A complete list of groups can be found on their website. Tickets $25 (suggested donation). 8 pm. Landing Theatre @ the Docks, 1119 East Freeway (Providence Street). 562.502.7469. landingtheatre.org
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS
Nov 25–Dec 27 Snowflakes. Sword fights. Dancing dolls. And a Christmas tree that reaches the sky. Stanton Welch’s opulent new production promises everything you love about The Nutcracker, brighter and more splendid than ever. In this, the most traditional tale, Clara and Drosselmeyer travel together to the Land of the Sweets where the Sugar Plum Fairy is reunited with her prince—and where the magic happens. With grand sets and stunning costumes, The Nutcracker, features the entire company of dancers playing hundreds of fun and exciting new roles. Tickets $19–$123. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.2787. houstonballet.org
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Nov 26–Dec 29 A Christmas Carol—A Ghost Story of Christmas returns this year with a re-telling of Charles Dickens’ classic story, which follows Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey with the three ghostly spirits that visit him on Christmas Eve. Tickets $21–41. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
MUTTS + MELODIES
Sep 3 & 24, Oct 1 & 22, Nov 5 & 26 Pup Squad Animal Rescue will be holding pet adoptions on The Lawn at GreenStreet. Enjoy live music as you visit with these sweet puppies looking for their fur-ever home. 1–4 pm. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1201.
Wednesdays, Sep 7–Nov 23 Start the day off right with a challenging boot camp. No equipment is needed and classes are open to all skill-levels. Free. 6:30–7 am. The Lawn at GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1201.
HAPPY HOUR WITH PINOT’S PALETTE
CITY HALL FARMERS MARKET
Wednesdays, Sep 14–Dec 14 It’s a food-lovers delight at Urban Harvest’s City Hall Farmers Market. The public can enjoy a variety of locally prepared, ready-to-eat or packaged to-go foods, pick up farm-fresh weekly groceries and at the same time support sustainable food, all amid Houston’s dramatic Downtown urban setting. The farmers market features more than 30 vendors including fresh produce grown by local farmers, cheeses, breads, roasted coffees, and a variety of prepared meals, as well as food trucks. 11:30 am–1:30 pm. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby. 713.880.5540. urbanharvest.org
FRIDAY FLICKS ON THE LAWN Spread out on The Lawn at GreenStreet the third Friday of each month for a free movie night under the moon. Movies begin at 8 pm. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1201. greenstreetdowntown.com Sep 16 Friday Night Lights (PG-13) 2004, 118 min. Oct 21 Hocus Pocus (PG) 1993, 96 min. Nov 18 Elf (PG) 2003, 97 min.
PUERTO RICAN CUBAN FESTIVAL
Sep 17 A day of culture, celebration and live music that features all the flavors of the region through art, music, food, fashion and car shows. Tickets start at $13. Tranquility Park, 400 Rusk. prcfestival.com
MONTHLY VOLUNTEER DAY
Sep 17, Oct 15, Nov 19 Houstonians, ages 9 and up, are invited to join Buffalo Bayou Partnership for community-wide volunteer days at Buffalo Bayou Park the third Saturday of each month. Volunteers will help with a variety of tasks, including but not limited to: trash pickup, mulching and weed removal. Free. 8:30 am. The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park, 105 Sabine. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
HAPPY HOUR WITH PINOT’S PALETTE
Sep 21, Oct 19 Make plans for an unforgettable evening of fun and fine art where the wine and the canvases are provided! All you need to do is bring your friends and get ready to be inspired by local artists from Pinot’s Palette who will guide you step-by-step through a featured painting. At the end of the evening, leave with your own masterpiece. Space is limited and registration is required. Tickets $20 per person. 5:30–8 pm. Main Street Square, 1021 Main (under the Trumpet Flower Canopy). artblockshouston.org
BAYOU CITY ART FESTIVAL
BRATS & BREWS
Oct 1 A beer festival block party benefiting Casa De Esperanza, the event will feature the best craft beers around, tasty delights, live music and games. Tickets $50–$55. 1–5 pm. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1201. greenstreetdowntown.com
BAYOU CITY ART FESTIVAL DOWNTOWN
Oct 8–9 A sophisticated outdoor gallery under the iconic Houston skyline, transforming the streets of Downtown into artistic avenues bursting with color and culture. The two-day festival showcases the works of over 300 of the finest artists and craftsmen in the world. Adding to the festive outdoor gallery are a variety of food options, a creative zone for children, and a stage with ongoing multicultural entertainment. Tickets $17 adult, $5–child, children under 5 free. 10 am–6 pm. 901 Bagby. bayoucityartfestival.com
HOUSTON EGYPTIAN FESTIVAL
Oct 29 Celebrate Egyptian culture, food, belly dancing, kids crafts and more at this daylong festival. Phoenicia Specialty Foods is the exclusive food sponsor for the event and they’ve partnered with local brewery, 8th Wonder Brewery, to create a special beer just for the event! Tickets $10. Noon–9 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. egyptfesthouston.com
HOUSTON CINEMA ARTS FESTIVAL 2016
Oct 14–15 This pet lover’s dream weekend will kick
Nov 10–17 Houston Cinema Arts Festival, a film
off with a Yappy Hour on Friday evening featuring live music and other free entertainment. Then, come back Saturday afternoon to celebrate the ingenuity and creativity of the Houston community in an exhibition of one-of-a-kind doghouses crafted by local artists, designers, and architecture firms. Treat you furry friend to a makeover at the doggie salon, as you mingle with fellow pet lovers enjoying live music, delicious food trucks, and more. Don’t forget to bid on your doghouse! All proceeds benefit Pup Squad Animal Rescue. Free. Friday, 5–9 pm; Saturday, noon–4 pm. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1201.
and multimedia arts festival, showcases films by and about artists in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This eight-day multi-venue festival includes over 50 narrative and documentary films, an interactive video installation gallery, 16mm screening room, live multimedia performances, Meet the Makers workshops, free outdoor events and free student field trip screenings. Tickets start at $12. Sundance Cinemas, 501 Texas and other locations.
KBR KIDS DAY
Oct 15 Join Buffalo Bayou Partnership and KBR for the 10th Annual KBR Kids Day on Buffalo Bayou: Cultivating the Imagination, a day filled with FREE family fun! Children and adults will be delighted by hands-on nature and learning activities, live music and entertainment, food trucks, birds of prey shows, and pontoon boat tours on the bayou! Free. The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park, 105 Sabine. 713.752.0314.
UNTAPPED BEER FESTIVAL
Oct 22 Enjoy this afternoon festival at Discovery Green featuring 300+ craft beers and live entertainment throughout the day. 2–10 pm. Ticket prices vary. untapped-festival.com
HOUSTON SALUTES AMERICAN HEROES VETERANS DAY CELEBRATION
Nov 11 The City of Houston will show support for our Armed Forces at the annual Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Celebration with an AT&T Job & Resource Fair and Veterans Day Parade. Free. 10 am–2 pm. Ceremony starts at 10 am, parade starts at 11:30 am. 901 Bagby. houstonspecialevents.org
VIA COLORI STREET FESTIVAL
Nov 19–20 Amazing chalk artists transform the streets of Downtown into colorful optical illusions and masterpieces in a festival benefiting the Center for Hearing and Speech. Enjoy live music on multiple stages, food, a beer and wine garden, as well as activities for all ages. Free. Hermann Square and City Hall, 900 Smith. houstonviacolori.com
67TH ANNUAL H-E-B THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
Nov 24 The Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the oldest parades in the country. Decorative floats, talented marching bands, high-flying balloons, and other uniquely artistic entries will take over Downtown for this special day of celebration. The parade route begins at Lamar and Smith. Viewing areas include: Smith to Walker, Walker to Milam, Milam to Pease, Pease to Louisiana, Louisiana to Clay. Parade ends at Smith and Dallas. 9 am. Free.
DOWNTOWN AQAURIUM This family-friendly six-acre entertainment and dining complex is a 500,000-gallon aquatic wonderland, home to over 200 species of aquatic life from around the globe. With a full-service restaurant, aquatic and geographic exhibits, shopping and a variety of amusements, the Downtown Aquarium has it all! 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474. downtownaquarium.com
SPECIAL OFFER: SUPER SATURDAYS
Sep 3, 10, 17 & 24 Buy one get one free Aquarium Adventure Passes on Saturdays. Adventure Pass includes unlimited access to Aquarium Adventure Exhibit, Stingray Reef, and all rides with the purchase of another. Visit website to download coupon.
SMASH THE SQUASH
Oct 15–16, 22–23 & 29–31 The white tigers at the Downtown Aquarium love Halloween! Come watch them train, eat and pounce on pumpkins! Exhibit ticket required.
JERRY AND MARVY FINGER LECTURE SERIES—LEVI JORDAN PLANTATION: BEFORE AND AFTER THE CIVIL WAR
Sep 15 This presentation covers the economic and social transition of the plantation before and after slavery. It also discusses the factors that kept the plantation operating and how those factors changed during Reconstruction. Members are free, non-members are $5. Noon–1 pm. The Heritage Society Tea Room, 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912.
INPRINT PRESENTS JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER READING
Sep 19 Jonathan Safran Foer, bestselling author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Everything Is Illuminated—both made into award-winning films—will read from his new novel (his first in 11 years) Here I Am, kicking off the 2016/2017 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. Tickets $5. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org
INPRINT PRESENTS LAUREN GROFF & ANN PATCHETT READING
Oct 17 Lauren Groff, reading from her acclaimed
novel Fates and Furies, finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, and Ann Patchett, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and Orange Prize for Bel Canto, reading from her new novel Commonwealth, will appear. Tickets $5. 7:30 pm. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org
INPRINT PRESENTS RABIH ALAMEDDINE & JUAN GABRIEL VÁSQUEZ READING
Nov 21 Rabih Alameddine, finalist for both the
National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for An Unnecessary Woman, reading from his new novel The Angel of History, and Juan Gabriel Vásquez, leading Latin American author of the international bestseller The Sound of Things Falling, reading from his new novel Reputations, will appear. Tickets $5. 7:30 pm. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org
KBR KIDS DAY
Fall Calendar Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at the Lake House. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages permitted. Most events are free, unless noted otherwise. 1500 McKinney.
The events listed are confirmed at the time of printing. For a full listing of Discovery Green’s fall 2016 events, please visit the calendar at discoverygreen.com
ART & ENTERTAINMENT MET DANCE 21ST SEASON OPENER
THURSDAY CONCERTS PRESENTED BY GREEN MOUNTAIN ENERGY
season under the stars. 8:30–10 pm.
Family friendly concerts in the park featuring the best in Gulf Coast music. 7 pm. Sep 15 Los Skarnales, Groupo Kache Sep 22 Mingo Fishtrap, The Nightowls Oct 6 Sarah Jaffe, Dollie Barnes Oct 13 Nikki Hill, Annika Chambers
Sep 23 Come and see METdance dive into its 21st
Oct 7 & 8 The 2016 Fiddle Festival brings today’s most exciting and innovative string artists to Houston for a series of concerts, workshops and jams, including Daniel Bernard Roumain and the Villalobos Brothers who will headline the concert. 7–10 pm.
ART @ DISCOVERY GREEN®
Nov 5 & 6 Art @ Discovery Green is a celebration of
the visual artist with 75 fine art and contemporary craft artists showing and selling their original works. Guests will enjoy strolling the artist booths hunting for that perfect piece for their collection or unique and original gifts for the holiday season. The art featured comes in many styles, colors, shapes and sizes from jewelry to furniture, paintings to sculptures all created by the artists who have used various materials including wood, glass, clay, steel and stone. 10 am–5 pm.
SPECIAL EVENTS SUNDAYS IN THE PARK
Sep 4–Nov 13 Weekly events including music, games, art and exercise that all ages can enjoy. 2–5 pm.
DISCOVERY DISCUSSIONS PRESENTED BY SOUTHWEST AIRLINES®
Sep 13, Sep 27, Oct 11 Dynamic conversations with changemakers. 8:30 pm.
FLEA BY NIGHT PRESENTED BY GREEN MOUNTAIN ENERGY
Sep 17, Oct 15, Nov 19 Food trucks, live music and vendors selling vintage clothing, antiques, jewelry, art and more under the stars and twinkling lights! 6–10 pm.
SCREAM ON THE GREEN PRESENTED BY UNITEDHEALTHCARE
Oct 28 Have a spooky good time at Houston’s ninth annual citywide costume contest and Halloween celebration! Prizes, music and more! 6–10 pm.
SCREEN ON THE GREEN
BANK OF AMERICA SCREEN ON THE GREEN Catch a free flick in the shadow of Houston’s skyline. Arrive one hour early for contests and activities. Sep 24 Star Wars: The Force Awakens (PG-13) 2015, 136 min. 7:45 pm Oct 1 Lilo & Stitch (PG) 2002, 85 miin. 7:45 pm Oct 28 Little Shop of Horrors (PG-13) 1986 Nov 12 Grease Sing-A-Long (PG-13) 1978, 110 min. 6:30 pm
FAMILIES AND CHILDREN EVENTS
FITNESS IN THE PARK
Sep 2, Oct 7, Nov 11 Writers in the Schools hosts
Tuesdays (Sep 6–Nov 29), 6:30–7:30 pm
writing and slam workshops for poets ages 13–19. 6–7:30 pm.
YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP
Tuesdays (Sep 6–Nov 29), 6–8 pm
OTHER EVENTS CULTURE FAMILY DAY
Sep 10 Celebrating cultural diversity in Houston through food and entertainment. 1–5 pm.
HOUSTON BLACK HERITAGE MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL
Saturdays, Sep 3–Nov 12 Writers in the Schools, HPL
Sep 19 Come celebrate the essence of the African
Express and Discovery Green offer Houston’s only free and open writing workshop for kids. 10:30–11:30 am.
Wednesdays (Sep 7–Nov 30), 6:30–7:30 pm
American spirit! Ticket fees apply. 4–10 pm.
LEARN A LANGUAGE
Thursdays (Sep 8–Nov 24), 6:30–8 pm
Saturdays, Sep 3–Nov 12 Start your child on a journey toward learning a new language. 11:30 am–12:30 pm.
PARKOUR HATHA YOGA
Oct 15 Family friendly event to include activities catering to both adults and children. 11 am–9 pm.
Saturdays (Sep 3–Nov 26), 9–10 am
hands-on science, technology, engineering and math education program for kids. 12:30–1:30 pm.
KAYAK RIDES AND STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING ON KINDER LAKE
Weekends, Sep 3–Nov 26 Enjoy Stand Up
28TH ANNUAL PICNIC IN THE PARK WITH SEARCH
Paddleboarding (SUP) or a relaxing, guided kayak ride. No reservation required. $5 for Kayak and $10 for SUP.
supporting Houston’s homeless. Ticket fees apply. 6–9 pm. searchhomeless.org
Saturdays, Sep 3–Nov 12 Girls, Inc. hosts a fun
Nov 3 Spend an evening under the stars while
Story time and activities with some of your favorite characters. 10:30 am. Sep 6 The Giving Tree Sep 13 Good Night Yoga Sep 20 If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Sep 27 Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Oct 4 Giraffes Can’t Dance Oct 11 Are We There Yet? Oct 18 Love You Forever Oct 25 Mickey’s Halloween
LOWE’S BUILD AND GROW CLINIC
Sep 18 Join Lowe’s on the Lawn to build your very own wooden craft and play lawn games for prizes! 11 am–5 pm.
TAKE ME OUTDOORS HOUSTON
Sep 24 Eighth annual family-oriented festival. Sample all the great outdoor activities with Texas Parks and Wildlife. 10 am–3 pm.
YOGA IN THE PARK
REVENTION MUSIC CENTER
Sep 4 We Are NRG – Knife Party, Mat Zo and More Sep 9 Garbage Sep 10 Lewis Black Sep 11 Cyndi Lauper Sep 13 Death Cab for Cutie Sep 17 Ryan Bingham and Brian Fallon & The Crowes Oct 2 Flume Oct 3 Thalia Oct 5 School Boy Q Oct 6 Two Door Cinema Club Oct 7 Young The Giant Oct 9 Octonauts Live! Oct 14 Elvis Costello Oct 15 Chance the Rapper Oct 18 NEEDTOBREATHE Oct 22 Celtic Thunder Oct 24 Troye Sivan Oct 26 Gavin DeGraw & Andy Grammer Oct 29 Il Divo Oct 30 Straight No Chaser Nov 25 Blue October Revention Music Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. reventionmusiccenter.com
HOUSE OF BLUES
Sep 9 Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine Sep 10 Green River Ordinance Sep 14 Bayside Sep 17 Switchfoot & Relient K Sep 18 Leon Russell Sep 21 Boyce Avenue Sep 24 James Blake Sep 29 Charlie Puth Sep 30 Gojira Oct 9 Yellowcard: The Final World Tour Oct 13 The Faint Oct 14 E cho & The Bunnymen Oct 15 Jonny Lang Oct 26 Elle King Nov 2 Perpetual Groove Nov 3 Black Rebel Motorcycle Club/Death From Above Nov 4 Ingrid Michaelson Nov 5 Pennywise Nov 16 Grouplove Nov 19 Jim Breuer Nov 28 Henry Rollins
Sep 3–4 Drake & Future Sep 9 Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas Sep 15 Puff Daddy, Lil Kim, Mase, 112,
French Montana & more Sep 20 Kanye West Oct 1 Mana Oct 14 Marc Anthony Nov 4 Sia Nov 8–9 Adele Nov 10 Black Sabbath Nov 18 Juan Gabriel Nov 20 Amy Schumer Nov 22 Pentatonix Toyota Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.4HOUTIX.
HOB’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. House of Blues, GreenStreet, 1204 Caroline. 888.402.5837.
Sep 10 The Yoga Expo Sep 29–Oct 2 Texas Contemporary Art Fair Oct 9 Your Wedding Experience Presented by David Tutera
Oct 19–21 Grace Hopper Celebration Nov 3–6 International Quilt Festival The George R. Brown Convention Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas. 713.853.8000. houstonconventionctr.com
WAUGH BAT COLONY BOAT TOUR
Sep 10 & 24 Take in a breathtaking view of over
250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats during their dusk emergence from the Waugh Drive Bridge over Buffalo Bayou! Learn more about these magnificent creatures that share the city with us. Tickets $30. Reservations required. Boat departs 30 minutes before sunset. Sabine Promenade, 150 Sabine. 713.752.0314.
SECOND SATURDAY BOAT RIDES
Sep 10, Oct 8, Nov 12 Escape from the city and enjoy the cool breeze as you glide along Buffalo Bayou’s waters during the afternoon. Look for graceful herons, jumping fish, and even an occasional alligator sunning on the banks. 30 minute boat rides. 10 am–2 pm. Tickets $7 for adults/$5 for children ages 4–12 (cash only; payment taken when boarding). Sabine Promenade, 150 Sabine. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
BUFFALO BAYOU: FROM MASTODONS TO MARATHONS WALKING TOUR
Sep 17, Oct 15, Nov 19 Led by Texas Master
Naturalists, the discussion and tour will highlight how the landscape and ecology of 19th-century Texas created Houston, as well as the importance of prairies in rebuilding this astonishing and all but vanished ecosystem. Free. 10:30–11:30 am. The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park, 105 Sabine. 713.752.0314.
“LOOKING BACK” BOAT TOUR WITH LOUIS AULBACH
Oct 1, Nov 5 Learn about Houston’s rich history from
local historian Louis Aulbach while cruising in Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s pontoon boat, Spirit of the Bayou. 10–11:30 am. Tickets $40. Reservations required. Sabine Promenade, 150 Sabine. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
DISCOVER HOUSTON TOURS Choose from ghost tours, tunnel walks, rail tours, architectural tours and more. Tour guide, Sandra Lord, is the resident expert and has been conducting Downtown and Houston tours since 1988. Ticket prices vary. 713.222.9255. discoverhoustontours.com
HERITAGE SOCIETY HISTORIC HOMES TOUR Nestled among 19 acres in the heart of Downtown Houston, the Heritage Society boasts eight historic structures dating from 1823 to 1905. Each historic structure is authentically restored to reflect its original magnificence. Tickets $15 adults, $12 seniors, $6 children 6–8 and kids under 5 are free. Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby. Times vary. 713.655.1912.
MINUTE MAID PARK TOUR Get a behind-the-scenes look at Minute Maid Park including historic Union Station, broadcasting booth or press boxes, Astros’ or visitors’ dugout, luxury suites and much more. Tickets $9 adults, $7 seniors and $5 for kids 3–14. Mon–Sat 10 am, noon. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 713.259.8687. astros.com
SAINT ARNOLD BREWING COMPANY TOUR Come visit Texas’ oldest craft brewery. Every Saturday, the doors open at 11 am and groups rotate in and out of the facility in an open-house format until 2 pm. If Saturdays don’t work for you, check out their weekday open house at 3 pm. After the tour, guests are welcome to stay for a free tasting. Tickets $10, no reservations required. All minors under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 2000 Lyons at I-10. saintarnold.com
SEGWAY TOURS OF HOUSTON Like the rest of Texas, Downtown Houston is a pretty big place to walk around. There are a lot of things to see up close and from a distance. Experience the Bayou City, once the capitol city of a sovereign country, from a talking perspective within a few hours while you have effortless fun on a Segway. $75–$80. Meet at Wortham Center, 501 Texas. Daily: 10 am, noon, 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm. 866.673.4929. segwaytoursofhouston.com
SECOND SATURDAY BOAT RIDES
A NIGHT AT MARKET SQUARE
Market Square Park
Sep 2 Get ready to dance the night away as Los Skarnales make their Market Square Park debut. Always true to roots music in all forms, Skarnales performs a mixture of ska, reggae, rockabilly, swing, mambo, cumbia, and danzones, all with a punk attitude. Never letting down at a live show, the band has performed extensively throughout the United States and Mexico! 8 pm.
15TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION OF SEPTEMBER 11
Sep 11 Join Mayor Turner and the Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas Foundation for the 15th Anniversary Commemoration of September 11. Located at Market Square Park, Lauren’s Garden is home to a memorial that honors Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas—a Houstonian and passenger on United Flight 93—and all those lost on September 11. 10–11 am.
Sep 15 Join us for the last bingo of the year! Bring your blanket, lawn chairs or snag one of the tables at the park for a night of music and great prizes. $10 admission includes one bingo packet (nine games). Additional games and daubers can be purchased for $1 each. Packets are sold beginning at 6 pm and bingo begins at 7 pm. Proceeds benefit Market Square Park and Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
HTX BIKE FEST
Sep 17 Calling all cycling enthusiasts! HTX Bike Fest will return to Market Square Park for its fourth year. This year’s festival will host more than 50 cyclingrelated vendors as well as an all-day swap meet and a variety of demos. Come out for a day of music, food, fun and most importantly, bikes. This festival is free to the public, however a $5 donation is suggested to support this year’s nonprofit, Bike Houston. 10 am–6 pm.
Sep 24 Houston-area top-chefs compete against one another to find out who can render the best possible cooking under less than favorable conditions. Stipulations include using pre-selected ingredients and non-perishable food items typically found in a survival preparedness kit and camp stoves to simulate food preparation conditions during a disaster. The Chef’s Challenge is part of the ongoing regional Ready Houston campaign to educate residents about the need to prepare for emergencies before they happen. 3–4:30 pm.
A NIGHT AT MARKET SQUARE
Oct 8 This annual neighborhood favorite it back! Join us for a historic night out by exploring the neighborhood’s eclectic bars and restaurants. Enjoy lawn games and a cold beverage at Market Square Park before settling on the lawn for a live performance by The Bright Light Social Hour. Visit website for more details. 7 pm–close.
HTX BIKE FEST
HISTORIC MARKET SQUARE’S HALLOWEEN BASH
Oct 29 Join us for a night of festive fun as Historic Market Square comes together for an evening of neighborhood tricks and treats. Start things off at Market Square Park as the Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow presents a free screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show— costumes encouraged. Then spend the evening exploring the neighborhood’s spooky specials at various bars and restaurants. Hungry for more? Check out some of your favorite food and retail trucks at the Market on Main (300 block of Main). Movie starts at 8 pm. Market on Main, 7 pm–close.
MOVIES ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMAS ROLLING ROADSHOW PRESENTS THE QUIRKY & THE CLASSICS Forget about trekking to the ‘burbs for your Alamo Drafthouse fix and come Downtown instead. Join the Rolling Roadshow for these fantastic films under the stars: Sep 22 Tommy Boy (PG-13) 1995, 97 min. 7:30 pm. Oct 29 Rocky Horror Picture Show (R) 1975, 101 min. 8 pm. Nov 11 Lost in Translation (R) 2003, 105 min. 7 pm.
SAVE THE DATE DESIGNCRAFT HOLIDAY MARKET
Dec 3 DesignCraft is AIGA Houston’s 7th Annual Holiday Market featuring the work of local artists, crafters, creatives and more. Find the perfect gifts and enjoy demonstrations by local artisans, live music and local food trucks. 10 am–5 pm.
RECREATION BAYOU BIKERS
Sep 4, Oct 2, Nov 6 Bayou Bikers meet at Market Square on the first Sunday of the month for 25- to 40-mile bike rides exploring the bayous of Houston. Rides are open to all. Mountain bikes or bikes with fat tires are necessary. This is an informal group whose purpose is to show Houstonians and visitors the beauty of Houston’s waterways. First Sunday of the month, 8 am.
Sep 30, Oct 28, Nov 25 Critical Mass is an informal bike group that meets the last Friday of every month to ride around the city, raise awareness and advocate for a bicycle-friendly urban environment. All bikes are welcome. 7:15 pm.
HOUSTON B-CYCLE STATION Park visitors can purchase daily, weekly or annual memberships and explore Downtown on two wheels. Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield, this bikesharing program has expanded from three to 14 stations throughout Downtown, as well as in other areas of Houston. houston.bcycle.com
PARK INFORMATION Market Square Park is open daily from 6 am–11 pm. Blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at Niko Niko’s. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages are allowed. Metered on-street parking is available and free after 6 pm. $5 parking is available nightly across the street at Market Square Garage. 301 Milam.
marketsquarepark.com Be sure to follow Historic Market Square on Facebook and Twitter for special event announcements, weather-related updates and other happenings in the neighborhood’s eclectic dining and bar scene.
EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS KNOWN AND UNDERKNOWN
Through Sep 12 Arts Brookfield presents Known and Underknown which exhibits a selection of works from our community’s emerging talent as well as pieces by more established artists. Free. Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm. 1600 Smith (concourse level). 713.336.2280.
2016 TEXAS STUDENT BIENNIAL & BACK TO SCHOOL BASH Sep 16 This exhibit will feature student work from
seven of the eight accredited architecture programs in the state of Texas (University of Houston, Rice University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech, University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at San Antonio), with each school submitting its best work for the exhibition. Free. 6–9 pm. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol (Suite 120). 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org
Sep 19–Nov 21 Arts Brookfield presents Growing Wild, an installation by Natasha Bowdoin of paintings encompassing a garden of earthly delights accompanied by unique porcelain creations by Anthony Sonnenberg. Free. Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm. Total Plaza, 1201 Louisiana. 713.336.2280. artsbrookfield.com
Museum of Fine Arts Houston highlighting fashion designs inspired by Art Deco period cars. Free. Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm. Two Allen Center, Second Floor Lobby, 1200 Smith. 713.336.2280. artsbrookfield.com
THIS WAS CONTEMPORARY ART: FINE AND DECORATIVE ARTS IN HOUSTON 1945–1965
Through Oct 15 Browse a variety of mid-century
modern artworks in the Heritage Society’s, This WAS Contemporary Art: Fine and Decorative Arts in Houston 1945–1965, exhibit. Free. Weekdays, 10 am–4 pm. The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912.
YOU ARE HERE: MAPS OF TEXAS
Oct 26–Jan 7 Maps tell us many interesting stories about the past. The Heritage Society will exhibit a selection of maps such as the 1869 W.E. Wood Map of Houston, along with maps of Texas on loan from private collectors and institutions. Free. Weekdays, 10 am–4 pm. The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
IT’S A CONVERSATION
Through Nov 8 Arts Brookfield presents It’s A
Sep 21–Jan 12 Arts Brookfield presents Prints and
Conversation, a collection of lead covered wood sculptures by Steve Murphy that deal with the classic elements of sculpture: form, volume, surface and edge. Each piece has something to say! Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm. Heritage Plaza, 1111 Bagby. 713.336.2280.
Plates, A Selection of Matrices, a collaboration with Flatbed Press and artists in an exhibition of prints and the plates in which they were made. Free. Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm. 1600 Smith (concourse level). 713.336.2280.
Through Feb 2017 Art Blocks is a yearlong public art project where colorful and compelling public art infuses the three-block promenade of Main Street Square in Downtown Houston. Explore and interact with four installations—Main Street Marquee, Color Jam Houston, Trumpet Flower and mas que la cara (more than the face). Main Street Square, between Walker and Dallas. artblockshouston.org
PRINTS AND PLATES
REFINEMENT OF LINE IN FASHION AND MACHINE
Through Sep 29 Presented by Arts Brookfield,
Refinement of Line in Fashion and Machine is a collaboration with Houston Community College’s Fashion and Costume Design Program and The
SPORTS KELLOGG’S TOUR OF GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONS
Sep 30 See members of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Teams at the 2016 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions! This event gives fans a high-flying, dynamic experience that will celebrate the sport’s beauty and skill. Bigger and better than ever, the show’s format pairs elite gymnastics skill with modern performance art that pushes the boundaries of athleticism and is sure to keep fans cheering for more. Tickets $31–$299. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.4HOUTIX. houstontoyotacenter.com
NATIONAL WOMEN’S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
Sep 24 Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers Sep 30 Dynamo vs. New York City FC Oct 8 Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids (Noche La Dynamo)
Oct 16 Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276.GOAL.
Sep 3 Dash vs. Orlando Pride Sep 11 Dash vs. Boston Breakers (Military Appreciation Night)
Sep 9–11 Astros vs. Cubs (Sep 10—Boot Scootin’ BBQ + Street Fest)
Sep 12–14 Astros vs. Texas Rangers Sep 22–25 Astros vs. Angels of Anaheim (Sep 24—Hispanic Heritage Street Fest)
Sep 26–28 Astros vs. Seattle Mariners
SPECIAL OFFERS: ASTROS $1 HOT DOG WEDNESDAY Every Wednesday night home game is $1 Hot Dog Wednesday presented by Nolan Ryan Beef. Enjoy all the hot dogs you can eat at Minute Maid Park!
Oct 9 Enjoy a night of fierce competition as the top
Sep 25 Dash vs. Seattle Reign
two teams in the National Women’s Soccer League go head to head in the championship game! Tickets $21–$81. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276.GOAL. bbvacompassstadium.com
ASTROS FRIDAY NIGHT FIREWORKS
For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276.GOAL.
Kick off your weekends at Minute Maid Park! Every Friday night home game is followed by the best fireworks show in town.
TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL Sep 17 TSU vs. Missippi Valley State Oct 1 TSU vs. Alabama A&M Oct 22 TSU vs. Jackson State Nov 12 T SU vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff Nov 19 T SU vs. Grambling State
For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.313.4355.
For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 877.927.8767.
Oct 2 Rockets vs. Shanghai Sharks (Preseason) Oct 4 Rockets vs. New York Knicks (Preseason) Oct 14 R ockets vs. Memphis Grizzlies (Preseason) For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.758. 7200. rockets.com
EDITED BY NICOLE M ARIN
THE GUIDE TO EATING DOWNTOWN
Oxheart At this eclectic eatery, diners are treated to brilliantly composed dishes from executive chef Justin Yu.
These listings are not reviews but are a guide to Downtown dining spots. “Recommended” restaurants are selected by Downtown editors and are based on food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance and value. v RECOMMENDED NEW! JUST OPENED B Breakfast BR Brunch L Lunch D Dinner LN Late Night
Average Price of an Entrée $ $10 or less $$ $11–$19 $$$ $20–$29 $$$$ $30+
For a searchable database of downtown Houston restaurants by cuisine, location and price, visit downtownhouston.org and click on Guide.
17 Restaurant New American Found in the lobby of the luxurious Sam Houston Hotel, this lush and lavish destination oozes elegance. Detailed American cuisine and smart service make this a restaurant of note. thesamhoustonhotel.com. 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. D Daily. $$$ v Andalucia Restaurant & Bar Tapas/Spanish Dim lighting, large wooden tables and heavy iron accents provide for a cozy, rustic atmosphere. The menu features large dishes, such as paella for up to 16 people, and tapas that range from the traditional such as gambas al ajillo (shrimp cooked in olive oil and garlic) and empanadas, to veal tongue and oxtail. andaluciatapas.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. L Mon– Fri, D Mon–Sat. $$ v Artista American Artista offers inspirational contemporary American cuisine and theatrical ambiance with high ceilings, glass walls and sweeping views of the Downtown skyline. cordua.com. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby, 713.278.4782. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat (Open for L & D on Sun only if a theater performance is scheduled). $$$ v Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar Japanese/Sushi Voted “Best Sushi in Houston” by Citysearch.com, this newage Japanese restaurant is anything but typical. The ambience is terrific, the sushi is innovative and fresh and the outside seating area provides great people watching. azumajapanese.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.0909. L Mon– Fri; D Mon–Sun; LN Fri & Sat. $$
Ballpark Café American Enjoy the all-American cuisine and a nostalgic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just across the street from Minute Maid Park, Ballpark Café is a great place to have a pre/post-game meal. westin.com/Houston-Downtown. The Westin Houston Downtown, 1520 Texas, 713.228.1520. B & L Daily. $ v Barnaby’s at Market Square American A local favorite, Barnaby’s serves up oversized sandwiches, salads and burgers, putting a Southwest spin on traditional deli dishes. Colorful murals adorn the walls of the restaurant along with large windows for a perfect view of the park. barnabyscafe.com. 801 Congress, 713.226.8787. L Mon–Sat; D Fri–Sat. $ v Batanga Tapas + Drinks Latin This tapas joint whips up delicious dishes inspired from Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Chile—anywhere that sangria is served. The spacious patio is as good as it gets when it comes to outdoor dining with its festive twinkle lights, great music
and stellar views of the Historic District and Market Square Park. batangahouston.com. 908 Congress, 713.224.9500. L & D Daily; BR Sat & Sun. $$
Benihana of Tokyo Japanese While some restaurants allow their guests to view the kitchen, this Japanese grill brings the kitchen to you. Benihana chefs set up shop right in front of your table. The meal is made from scratch, and you can witness the entire show. benihana.com. 1318 Louisiana, 713.659.8231. L & D Daily. $$$
Birraporetti’s Italian This Italian restaurant/
Brown Bag Deli Fast Casual Located in the Houston Club building, Brown Bag Deli serves up tasty, fresh sandwiches “just like you like it.” Known for its fluffy, soft bread you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet. thebrownbagdeli.net. 702 Main, 713.224.7000. L Mon–Fri. $
Burger Theory American Located at street-level of Downtown’s Holiday Inn, Burger Theory specializes in gourmet burgers, casual American fare and boasts a beer-centric bar. They also serve a mean breakfast! 1616 Main St. B, L, D & LN. $
Irish bar is a Theater District staple. Their delicious pizzas continue to hit the spot, while items such as the chicken picatta and La Dolce Vita have become standouts. Enjoy a signature dessert to finish the meal. birrarestaurant.com. 500 Louisiana, 713.224.9494. L, D & LN Daily. $$
Buzz Barista Coffee House This full-service espresso
The Bistro American The Bistro is a full-service
The Cafe American Located in the lobby of the Hilton
restaurant serving up breakfast and dinner in a casual atmosphere. Courtyard by Marriott, 916 Dallas, 832.366.1600. B & D Daily. $ v Bistro Lancaster New American Located in the historic Lancaster Hotel, this cozy getaway is a great place to dine before catching a show in the Theater District. You’ll find hearty soups, sizzling steaks and savory seafood. thelancaster.com. Lancaster Hotel, 701 Texas, 713.228.9502. B, L & D Daily. $$$$
bar offers much more than caffeinated beverages for a morning fix. People on the go can grab fresh-baked pastries, Naked juices, yogurt parfaits and fruit cups along with their brewed delights. 811 Main, 713.228.3033. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Americas. An elaborate buffet is offered for breakfast, with a la carte selections from the menu available for lunch and dinner. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L, D & LN Daily. $$ v Cafe Express Fast Casual Need to grab a quick lunch? Cafe Express is an informal yet sophisticated choice. You can always find a variety of delicious entrees, salads and sandwiches. cafe-express.com. 650 Main, 713.237.9222. B & L Mon–Sat. $
v Blue by Massa Seafood This upscale and elegant restaurant offers up a fine selection of American and Seafood cuisine. Among the esteemed list of favorites, the Lobster Bisque is a standout. Superior service and a great dining atmosphere allow guests to enjoy a memorable dining experience. Blue also offers occasional live entertainment and dancing is highly encouraged! massas.com. 1160 Smith, 713.650.0837. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$
Caffé Bene Coffee House The first Houston location
Blue Fish Sushi Japanese Not your typical Japanese
experience which brings all the flavors of the Caribbean together under one roof. Sample various curry flavors, jerk seasonings and delicious sides such as fried plantains. Keeping with the Caribbean spirit, the restaurant also includes an island inspired Rhum Bar, a cigar patio and a stage set for live calypso and reggae music! calabashislandeats.com. 1919 Pease, 713.739.9038. D, LN Sat–Sun. $$
restaurant. Don’t expect small, minimal décor. Be prepared for innovative sushi in a high-energy atmosphere at Bayou Place. thebluefishsushi.com. 550 Texas, 713.225.3474. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$ v Bombay Pizza Co. Indian Fusion Fusing the cuisines of India with pizza, innovative creations are served on a homemade, dense, thin and crispy crust. Try the saag paneer, which is topped with fresh spinach and four cheeses or the Gateway to India topped with cilantro, tandoori chicken, garlic and artichoke hearts. bombaypizzaco.com. 914 Main, 713.654.4444. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $
Bouray’s Burrito Bar Fast Food Bouray’s offers made-
from the International chain, Caffé Bene, is housed at GreenStreet with a menu that includes a variety of coffees, Belgian waffles, sandwiches, Italian gelato and other sweet treats! This cozy coffee shop is the perfect place to sit back, relax and escape the bustling downtown streets. caffebeneusa.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 713.255.2363. B, L, D daily. $
Calabash Island Eats Caribbean A unique dining
China Garden Chinese A popular Chinese restaurant, China Garden has been serving downtown for more than 30 years. Their egg rolls and lemon chicken have become favorites. 1602 Leeland, 713.652.0745. L Mon-Fri; D Daily. $
Chipotle Mexican Known for its large portions,
to-order Mexican and Vietnamese food using ingredients that are prepared fresh daily. bourays.com. 609 Clay, 713.652.5999. L Mon–Fri. $
this Mexican fast casual spot offers a variety of wholesome menu items. chipotle.com. 909 Texas, 713.225.6633. L & Early D Mon–Fri. $
v Bovine & Barley American Bovine & Barley is a beautifully designed urban bar and eatery with a heavy focus on beef and beer. The space has an industrial feel which is complimented by warm wood accents and huge HTX letters that hang illuminated on an exposed brick wall. Highlights from the menu include brisket tacos, meatloaf muffins on top of jalapeno mash, 1836 beer can chicken and a variety of burgers. Not to metion over 42 beers and six hand-crafted cocktails on tap! bovineandbarley.com. 416 Main, 832.742.5683. L, D & LN Daily. $$
v Christian’s Tailgate American Christian’s Tailgate has arguably one of the best burgers in town and now you can enjoy them Downtown! The notable Houston burger joint in Downtown’s Historic District boasts daily food specials, 30 beers on tap, 40+ TV’s, a pool table, shuffle board, video games and an awesome outdoor patio! christianstailgate.com. 1012 Congress, 281.556.1010. L,D, LN. $
plate. Oxheart 1302 Nance St. By reservation only. oxhearthouston.com 832.830.8592
HUMBLE BRAG Nestled in a quiet little corner in Downtown’s eclectic Warehouse District, lies Oxheart, an award-winning restaurant disguised in the totally unassuming historic Erie City Iron Works building. There’s no sign out front, just the numbers ‘1302’ subtlely placed above the door to let you know you’re at the right address. Oxheart was opened in the spring of 2012 and is the product of Justin Yu, the winner of the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest. It is also the recipient of numerous accolades from magazines and food writers around the nation, and if you have a hard time landing a reservation, it’s because this hidden gem on the north end of Downtown is arguably the best restaurant in Houston—just ask local restaurant critic, Alison Cook. From the exposed brick walls to the light fixtures up above, there’s something about the industrial-chic features that make the intimate
DOWNTOWN ESTABLISHMENT HAS QUIETLY BECOME THE BEST RESTAURANT IN THE CITY BY NICOLE M ARIN
30-seat concept warm and inviting. It almost feels as if you’re having dinner in a friend’s home. And that’s exactly how Yu intended it. “I just want people to be comfortable more than anything— both staff and guests. The goal is to have people feel like they can come in and just be themselves. No one is really hovering over you. You pour your own water and wine. We just want you to have a good time,” he says. Adding to the experience are the dishes themselves—the restaurant specializes in serving thoughtfully sourced vegetable-centric tasting menus presented in impeccably creative ways. The dishes at Oxheart are so carefully composed, that they’ve been described as works of art all on their own. Diners who are lucky enough to land a spot around the 11-seat kitchen counter are in for an experience as they get to witness the composition of the intricate creations firsthand. Yu insists that the thoughtful presentation is
not so much to elevate the food, but rather is an attempt by cooks to form specific bites for diners so that one ingredient isn’t pushed to the other side of the plate. For those carnivores who are still on the fence about giving this vegetable focused restaurant a try, Yu urges diners to come in with an open mind, “We cover a lot of bases that people think they’ll miss when they don’t eat meat, like textures and flavors that don’t necessarily mimic meat, but that are very distinct on their own.” Yu says these special in-house formulas are designed to leave diners feeling happy and satisfied. And that’s exactly what they’re doing!
v Conservatory Beer Garden & Food Hall Conservatory Underground Beer Garden & Food Hall is the first food hall in Houston to showcase a curated list of food vendors, including Samurai Ramen, Myth Kafe, Melange Creperie with South Side Coffee and El Burro and The Bull each of which serve elevated yet casual cuisine. The food hall also features pop-up food carts serving specialty items every week and a beer garden with 60 beers on tap serving an eclectic mix of local craft breweries, foreign imports, and wine. conservatoryhtx.com. 1010 Prairie. 713.398.7697. L, D, LN Daily. $$
and use the catering service to treat your work pals. einsteinbros.com. 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. B, L & LN Mon–Sun. $
Corner Bakery Fast Casual A bakery cafe, offering
Flying Saucer Pub Fare Offering more than 200 beers,
fresh breads, salads, sandwiches, soups and sweets in a casual atmosphere. Located right on Main Street Square, you can’t beat the people watching or just relax and watch the rail line and Main Street Square’s jumping fountains. cornerbakery.com. 1000 Main, 713.651.0673. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Crossroads at House of Blues Southern Classic Crossroads at HOB serves Southern-inspired classic dishes such as voodoo shrimp, St. Louis ribs and the Cajun classic, Creole jambalaya. Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits, you can’t miss Kirk Franklin’s Sunday Gospel Brunch. hob.com. GreenStreet, 1204 Caroline, 888.402.5837. L & D Daily. $$
Domino’s Pizza 975 McKinney, 713.227.3030. $ The District American The District offers classic American cuisine in a modern setting. Perfect for lunch or dinner before a show! The menu includes a variety of options like burgers, salads, pasta and small plates. There’s definitely something for everyone! thedistricthtx.com. 610 Main St. L, D. $$
The Downtown Aquarium Seafood The menu features a huge variety and offers something for everyone. While dining, guests are surrounded by a 150,000-gallon aquarium. Enjoy the sights and a great meal at this family-friendly spot. aquariumrestaurants.com. 410 Bagby, 713.223.3474. L & D Daily. $$
Droubi Bro. Mediterranean Grill Mediterranean This authentic Mediterranean grill offers up a quick and satisfying spot for lunch. Pita sandwiches are popular. 507 Dallas, 713.652.0058. L Mon–Fri. $
Eats Mesquite Grill Classic American Craving a burger downtown? Popular for its juicy burgers and great-tasting fries, Eats makes for a great lunchtime stop. Guests can make their burgers exactly how they like them. 804 Milam, 713.223.3287. L Mon–Fri. $
Edgar’s Hermano Mexi-South Edgar’s Hermano is a southern American restaurant with a Mexican-inspired twist located inside The Whitehall Hotel. It perfectly blends Houston’s native Tex-Mex cuisine with classic southern fare offering menu items like Texas corn cakes with pork chicharon and cotija cheese, mac and queso with chipotle-grilled Gulf shrimp, and award-winning southern fried stuffed chicken with masa grits and candied bacon jam. thewhitehallhouston.com. 1700 Smith. 713.739.8800. B, L, D Daily. $$ v Einstein’s Bagels Deli Known as a great place to grab freshly-baked bagels and coffee for breakfast, they also serve up delectable lunch choices that include paninis, melts and pizza bagels. Be an office hero
El Big Bad Mexican Brought to you by the El Gran Malo crew, this casual Tex-Mex restaurant brings hand-crafted tequila infusions, specialty margaritas and craft beers to the table. The gastrocantina-inspired menu is chock full of tasty tacos with fresh toppings like pomegranate salsa, charred scallions, pumpkin seeds and more. elbigbad.com. 419 Travis, 713.229.8181. L, D & LN Mon–Fri; D & LN Sat & Sun, BR Sun. $$
almost half on draft, Flying Saucer is a beer drinker’s paradise. Excellent staff and tasty eats give the place an identity all its own. beerknurd.com. 705 Main, 713.228.7468. L, D & LN Daily. $ v Frank’s Pizza Pizza Home of the “late-night slice,” Frank’s Pizza has built a quality reputation for itself serving up delicious food in a great atmosphere. Not only can you grab a slice of pizza, Frank’s also serves up darn good hamburgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, Buffalo wings, lasagna and salads. frankspizza.com. 417 Travis, 713.225.5656. L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $ v Fusion Taco Latin/Japanese Taking the best from Asian and Latin cuisine, Fusion Taco comes up with creations like jerk chicken tacos, chicken tikka masala quesadillas and Asian pulled pork flautas. An extensive beer and wine selection rounds out the menu. fusiontaco.com. 801 Congress, 713.422.2882. L & D Mon–Sat. $ v The Grove American Rustic This two-story, ultra-urban restaurant is found at Discovery Green. The menu features rustic American cuisine such as Gulf Coast seafood, steaks and signature rotisserie dishes. grovehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar, 713.337.7321. L & D Daily. $$$ v Guadalajara del Centro Mexican This family-owned restaurant consistently serves up tasty food in a new, very cool environment. It’s the perfect place to bring the family or a large group of co-workers or friends. Great happy hour specials. guadalajarahacienda.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$
Hard Rock Café Classic American What do you get when you mix a music-themed diner with an allAmerican menu? Hard Rock is a great family-friendly spot serving up items such as burgers,nachos and chicken varieties. hardrock.com. Bayou Place, 570 Texas, 713.227.1392. L, D & LN Daily. $$ v Hearsay Gastro Lounge New American Located in a beautifully refurbished historic building, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up delicious sandwiches, salads and entrees. They feature an extensive wine list, numerous beers on draft and bottle and premium liquors with a focus on Scotch whisky. hearsayhouston.com. 218 Travis, 713.225.8079. L Daily; D Mon–Sat; LN Fri–Sat. $$ v Hearsay on the Green American Located inside the Embassay Suites in Downtown’s Convention District, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up the finest craft cocktails, New-American dishes and a chic dining experience. The drink menu features an extensive wine list, numerous bottle and draft beers and premium liquors. hearsayhouston.com. 1515 Dallas St, 832.377.3362. L & D Daily; LN Fri–Sat; BR Sun. $$
Home Plate Bar & Grill Classic American A great hangout spot before or after an Astros ballgame. Enjoy a full menu of all-American favorites. homeplategrill.com. 1800 Texas, 713.222.1993. L & D Daily (may close earlier during off–season so call first). $ v The Honeymoon Cafe+Bar American The Honeymoon brews local Boomtown Coffee, has perfectly hand-crafted cocktails and satisfies the appetite with light bites and delectably sweet treats! With all the natural lighting, the ambiance is like a dream! thehoneymoonhtx.com. 300 Main St. B, L & LN Daily. $ v Hubcap Grill American Classic Small but packs a punch. One of the best burger joints in town. 1111 Prairie, 713.223.5885. L Mon–Sat. $ v Irma’s Mexican Irma Galvan has been crowned Houston’s Tex-Mex goddess. This authentic spot is a longtime favorite among Houston politicos and downtown business people. Traditional, home-cooked Mexican cuisine is served for breakfast and lunch on weekdays. 22 North Chenevert, 713.222.0767. B & L Mon–Fri; D Thu–Sat. $$
Irma’s Southwest Grill Mexican Irma’s second location is a hip spot to satisfy a Mexican food craving. Enjoy tasty foods and great drinks for lunch or dinner. Only a few short blocks from Minute Maid Park. irmassouthwest.com. 1314 Texas, 713.247.9651. B & L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. Open on Astros baseball game days and nights three hours before first pitch. $$ v Jackson St. BBQ Barbecue This laid-back spot by renowned Houston chefs Bryan Caswell, Bill Floyd and Greg Gaitlin offers smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage and classic southern fixins like potato salad, baked beans, collard greens and cole slaw! Conveniently located across from Minute Maid Park, stop by this Downtown favorite before or after Astros games! jacksonstbbqhouston.com. 209 Jackson St. 713.224.2400. L,D Sat–Sun.
Jason’s Deli Deli Order to please, Jason’s will make your sandwich or salad exactly how you like it. jasonsdeli.com. 901 McKinney, 713.650.1500. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches Deli All subs are served on your choice of fresh-baked French bread or thick-sliced seven-grain bread or try the low-carb lettuce wrap: all the regular sandwich ingredients without the bread. jimmyjohns.com. 820 Main, 713.222.9995. L Mon–Sat. $ v La Fisheria Coastal Mexican Located in Downtown’s Historic District, La Fisheria serves authentic Mexican seafood such as sweet shrimp tamales, perfectly prepared fish tacos and a variety of crudos and ceviches. lafisheriahouston.com. 213 Milam. 713.802.1712. L, D Daily. $$
The Lake House Fast Casual Offering family-friendly food, featuring burgers, Kobe beef hot dogs, salads, shakes, wine and beer. Located on Kinder Lake, there is a large patio where you can watch model boats race across the water or listen to some live music from the nearby stage. thelakehousehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar. L Tue & Wed; L & Early D Thu–Sun. $
plate. v La Palapa Fast Food A Courthouse District favorite, there’s always a line at this free-standing pink concession stand for breakfast tacos and hamburgers. 1110 Preston, 713.228.9620. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Lacey’s Deli Deli The sandwiches are fresh, tasty, and affordable. We recommend the Italian Stallion which has homemade meatballs and marinara with sliced beef and sausage. laceysdeli.com. 416 Caroline, 713.237.0000. L Mon–Fri. $ v Last Concert Cafe Mexican Tucked away in the Warehouse District, this Tex-Mex cafe was born in 1949 and still supplies tasty food and local music today. Spend some time on the leafy back patio and you’ll swear you’re in your neighbor’s backyard throwing back a cold one. lastconcert.com. 1403 Nance, 713.226.8563. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sun; LN Fri–Sat; Bar & live music Tue–Sat. $ v Line & Lariat Modern American An award-winning dining experience located in the historic lobby of Hotel Icon’s landmark bank building. The intimate dining room is extravagant, and the exquisite dishes from the Gulf Coast and South Texas emphasize fresh ingredients. A contemporary lounge with a modern setting for cocktails and an elegant after-work meeting place. hotelicon.com. Hotel Icon, 220 Main, 832.667.4470. B Daily; D Mon–Sat. $$$
Little Napoli Italian Theater and moviegoers can now enjoy these southern Italian dishes before the big show! The healthy options, such as whole wheat pizza crust and low-fat cheeses, are a nice touch. littlenapoli.net. 540 Texas, 713.225.3900. $$
Lone Star Taco Tex-Mex Fast-casual Tex-Mex restaurant, specializing in great tacos! Lone Star Taco quickly serves artisanal quality, made-fresh tacos at an affordable price. txlonestartaco.com. 1001 Texas St, 713.223.8226. B, L, D Daily. $
Luby’s, etc. American Enjoy an incredible view of
v Market Square Bar & Grill American This Chicagostyle neighborhood hangout is a local favorite. Boasting a handful of “fire-powered” burgers, Market Square offers plenty of reasons to stop by for a meal or drink. The backyard patio, friendly staff and full bar add flavor. marketsquarehouston.com. 311 Travis, 713.224.6133. L, D & LN Mon–Sat. $ v Massa’s South Coast Grill Seafood Like its sister restaurant, you can count on superior service and a great dining atmosphere. Conveniently located close to the convention center and Toyota Center, it’s a prime spot for lunch and dinner. massas.com. The Shops at Houston Center, 1331 Lamar, 713.655.9100. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$ v McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood The extensive menu changes daily depending on each day’s fresh seafood deliveries. With more than 80 preparations on the menu each day, every guest is sure to find something to satisfy their palate. mccormickandschmicks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin, 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$
McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam, 713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon–Fri. $ v Mia Bella Italian You’ll enjoy an eclectic variety of Italian cuisine blended with a Mediterranean feel. A longtime favorite, this intimate little bistro’s simple, yet appealing décor, makes it a downtown standout. bellarestaurants.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$ v Minuti Coffee Coffee House The coffee is created by a roast master in Italy, before making its way into the hands of talented baristas. This is the perfect place to bring the laptop and take advantage of Minuti’s free Wi-Fi. They also have beer and wine, which makes it a great pre/post theater spot. Be sure to sample some of the fresh-baked pastries and smoothies, too. minuticoffee.com. 909 Texas, 281.265.3344. B, L, D & LN Daily. $
downtown along with 10 food stations offering a wide variety of goodies: a build-your-own salad bar, madeto-order grill, pizza by-the-slice, delightful deli, global café and traditional Luby’s cafeteria line with all the classic dishes. lubysetc.com. 1301 Fannin, 13th Floor, 713.759.9954. B & L Mon–Fri. $
v MKT Bar Mediterranean Part of Phoenicia Specialty Foods, it’s the perfect place to stop when you need a chill moment. The bar offers coffee, pastries, wine, beer, gourmet pizza and other yummy nibbles for which Phoenicia is known. phoeniciafoods.com. 1001 Austin, 832.360.2222. B, L & D Daily. $
Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge American Bowlers
The Moonshiners American The Moonshiners
and patrons relax on sleek leather couches and enjoy floor-to-ceiling video screens that flash movie clips and music videos as DJs deliver danceable grooves. Delectable munchies are available lane-side and in the lounge. bowlluckystrike.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 3, 713.343.3300. L, D & LN Daily. $$
Southern Table + Bar offers up a rebellious respite in the bustling urban backdrop of Downtown Houston. The restaurant celebrates and elevates southern culinary traditions serving up moonshine and whiskey in mason jars alongside generous portions of southern comfort foods such as fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and pulled pork sandwiches. 1000 Prairie. 713.226.7717. L, D Mon–Fri; LN Fri & Sat. $$
v Main Kitchen American Named Main Kitchen to reflect its location on Main Street and the hopes of becoming a staple in Houston’s culinary scene, the restaurant seats 120 and boasts an exhibition kitchen providing guests with an insight into the chefs’ creative process. jwmarriotthotelhouston.com/main-kitchen. 806 Main St, 713.400.1245. B, L, D Daily. $$ v Mango Tree Thai Bistro Thai A casual Thai joint that keeps booths packed with hungry downtowners looking for eclectic dishes to satisfy their spice cravings. And there’s a pretty tempting happy hour for drinks and nibbles under $5. mangotreethaibistro.com. 914 Main Street, #125, 713.659.1600. L & D Mon–Sat. $$
Morningside Thai Thai Diners can expect the same great quality and service at the Downtown location that they enjoy at the original Houston staple. Menu favorites iniclude a variety of different curry dishes like the Panang Curry and the Roasted Duck Curry. morningsidethai.com. 917 Franklin. 713.228.8424. L & D. $ v Morton’s Steakhouse This award-winning steakhouse offers an outstanding menu. The downtown location features its new bar concept, Bar 12•21, which includes an impressive wine and martini menu along with its specially priced “bar bites.” mortons.com. 1001 McKinney, 713.659.3700. L Mon–Fri; D Daily. $$$$
Murphy’s Deli Deli Indulge in a variety of sandwiches and salads. Hot or cold, Murphy’s specializes in creating your sandwich any way it’s ordered. murphysdeli.com. 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1021 Main, 713.275.1912. 440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. B & L Mon–Fri all locations. $ v Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe in 2010 at Market Square Park. Favorties such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L & D Daily. $ v Oxheart New American Often lauded as the #1 restaurant in Houston, Oxheart is a small informal tasting-menu concept in Downtown’s Warehouse District which gathers Texas’ best ingredients, cooked in a focused, creative way. oxhearthouston.com. 1302 Nance St. 832.830.8592. D Th–Mon. $$$$
Padthai Thai Restaurant Thai A traditional Thai restaurant located at the ground level of the loft residence Hogg Palace. The warm and cozy atmosphere offers a great setting for a dinner escape and is a local favorite. padthaithairestaurant.com. 401 Louisiana, 713.225.4900. D Daily. $ v Pappas BBQ Barbecue Voted one of Houston’s best year after year, this barbecue joint offers an excellent selection with Texas-sized portions. Traditional favorites such as brisket, ribs, sausage and ham are served with Pappas’ flare. Delivery and take-out are available. pappasbbq.com. 1217 Pierce, 713.659.1245. L & D Daily. 1100 Smith, 713.759.0018. L & D Mon–Fri. $ v Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Steakhouse Pappas Bros. Steakhouse puts immeasurable care into everything they do, all to provide their guests with a dining experience like no other. They buy the highest-quality ingredients, use a timeless recipe, and cook it flawlessly each and every time. pappasbros.com. 1200 McKinney. 713.658.1995 D Mon–Sat. v Pappasito’s Cantina Tex-Mex One of Houston’s most popular casual Tex-Mex restaurants, Pappasito’s specializes in sizzling fajitas, creamy queso and tortillas that almost melt in your mouth! The Downtown location offers six unique ceviches and crudos that can’t be found at any of the other restaurants. pappasitos.com. Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar St, 713.353.4400. L & D Daily. $$ v Perbacco Italian An adorable little spot located at street level of one of Houston’s skyscrapers, Perbacco serves up Italian cuisine in a modern and fresh atmosphere. Catering to downtown workers and the theater crowd, you always get quick and friendly service and tasty food. 700 Milam, 713.224.2422. L Mon–Fri; D Thu–Sat. $ v Prohibition American Prohibition is the home of the Moonlight Dolls who dazzle audiences with their sexy yet fun burlesque performances. Beaming with glitz and glamour, this upscale supper club has an exquisite menu featuring fresh Gulf seafood and steaks cooked to perfection! prohibitionhouston.com. 1008 Prairie, 281.940.4636. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat; LN Thu–Fri. Sat 5p–2a. $$$
v Quattro Contemporary Italian Vivid colors, creative lighting and a unique design create a sophisticated and inviting ambience for guests. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, Quattro is one of downtown’s best restaurants. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar, 713.652.6250. B, L & D Daily. $$$
Quizno’s Fast Food
811 Rusk, 713.227.7702. L & D Mon–Fri. 1119 Commerce, 713.228.9000. L & D Mon–Sun. $
Rachel’s Café American Rachel’s Cafe is an old fashioned hamburger joint inside the historic Londale Building. This quaint little café has an extensive menu with lots of simple classics like burgers, fries, sandwhiches and salads- all made fresh! rachelscafehouston.com. 421 San Jacinto. 713.229.7067. B, L & D Sat–Sun; BR Sat & Sun. $
Roma’s Pizza Italian Located just across from the Preston Station on the MetroRAIL, Roma’s Pizza offers New York-style pizza by the slice or pie, as well as a variety of salads, lasagnas, ravioli, and chicken dishes. 223 Main, 713.222.1184. L & D Daily. $
Russo’s New York Pizzeria Italian Inspired by the traditional Italian values of family, friends & food, this Houston original doesn’t disappoint when it comes to fresh, delicious, homemade Italian meals. And they serve more than just pizza- try one of their specialty calzones, sandwiches or pastas! nypizzeria.com. 604 Polk. 713.759.9800. L & D Daily. $
Salata American This next-generation salad bar allows you to create your own, tossed-to-order salad or wrap complete with a variety of fresh greens, a large selection of veggies, fruits, nuts, cheeses and more. Top your order off with one of their signature dressings and your choice of chicken, seafood or tofu! salata.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 713.275.1088. L & D Daily. $
The Sam Bar American Casual The Sam Houston Hotel’s relaxed dining option where you’ll find a breakfast buffet and a great bar menu with tasty appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches every day of the week. thesamhoustonhotel.com. The Sam Houston Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$
Shula’s Steakhouse Dark wood, sports memorabilia
café in downtown’s Warehouse District which serves up classic favorites in a modern setting. Try their fresh baked pastries and French toast for breakfast, or enjoy a salad and a wide variety of sandwiches for lunch. toastershouston.com. 1004 N. San Jacinto, 713.261.1562. B, L Mon–Fri. $
Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread,
offering traditional Tex-Mex breakfast and lunch dishes made from fresh ingredients. 1205 Travis, 713.651.0049. B & L Mon–Fri. $
v Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon–Fri. $
Spaghetti Warehouse Italian Making its home in an
Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is described
Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Sol Cafe Mejicano Mexican A family-owned cafe
old warehouse, this Italian-American eatery offers up large portions for lunch and dinner. Traditional menu items such as spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and pizza allow the Spaghetti Warehouse to cater to all ages and appetites. meatballs.com. 901 Commerce, 713.229.0009. L & D Daily. $$ v Spindletop American A favorite Houston seafood restaurant and fine dining experience ideal for birthday parties, family reunions, anniversaries and engagements. Perched on the 34th floor of Hyatt Regency Downtown, this glass-walled restaurant makes one revolution every 45 minutes, ensuring you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of the city and all of its famous landmarks. houstonregency.hyatt.com. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. D Tue–Sat. $$$
Springbok South African Springbok features a contemporary take on classic South African dishes such as local game, house-made sausages, burgers and curries. Enjoy an amazing selection of local and international beer and cocktails while watching rugby and other national and international sporting competitions. thespringbok.com. 711 Main, 818.201.6979. L, D & LN Daily. $$
Subway Fast Food 405 Main, 713.227.4700. 805 Dallas, 713.651.1331. Daily. $
v Sambuca New American A hip, trendy and upscale restaurant right in the mix of Main Street. The menu includes a wide variety of favorites and combined with the live music, Sambuca is Houston’s ultimate supper club. sambucarestaurant.com. 909 Texas, 713.224.5299. L Mon–Fri; D & LN Daily. $$$
Table 7 Bistro American Table 7 Bistro is a combination of an upscale, yet casual atmosphere. Weekday happy hour includes $4 well drinks and $2 domestic beers, and it’s happy hour all weekend with $2 mimosas all day on Saturdays and Sundays. district7grill.com. 720 Fannin @ The Club Quarters, 713.227.4800. B, L & D Daily. $
The Shops at Houston Center Food Court
Tejas Grill & Sports Bar American Located at The
Brooklyn Meatball Company, Bullritos, Chick-fil-A, Doozo’s Dumplings & Noodles, Freshii, Fusion Grillerz, Great American Cookie, Great Wraps, Luisa’s Pasta, Murphy’s Deli, Otto’s Barbecue & Hamburgers, Pho Huy Vietnamese Noodle House, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Pretzel Time, Quizno’s Subs, Salata, Sarku Japan, Simon’s Homestyle Café, Snap Kitchen, Squeezed, Starbuck’s Coffee, Subway, Thai Basil, The Mediterranean Grill, Treebeards, Wok & Roll. shopsathc.com. 1200 McKinney, 713.759.1442. Mon–Sat, hours vary. $
Shops at Houston Center, Tejas offers the perfect tailgate menu and full-service bar. tejasgrillandsportsbar.com. 1201 Lamar at The Shops at Houston Center, 713.739.8352. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$
Toasters Café American Toasters is a quaint little
and menus hand painted on official NFL game footballs makes Pro Hall-of-Famer Don Shula’s Steak House stand out from the rest. Become a member of the 48oz Club by finishing a 48-ounce Shula Cut. donshula.com. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4777. B, L & D Daily. $$$
v III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and impeccable service sets the stage for this sophisticated steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$$$
as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ v Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse This world-class steak house is one of the most elegant dining locations in Houston. It boasts rich mahogany woodwork and one-of-a-kind hospitality. Located in the heart of the Ballpark District and across from Minute Maid Park, Vic & Anthony’s is the ideal spot for entertaining business clients, a special celebration or a pre/post-game dinner. vicandanthonys.com. 1510 Texas, 713.228.1111. L Mon–Fri; D Daily. $$$$
Which Wich Deli A fast and easy build-your-ownsandwich joint where doodling is encouraged and the possibilities are endless! Which ‘wich will you make? 811 Main, 713.227.0860. B & L Mon–Fri; L Sat. $
Wimpy’s Hamburgers Fast Food Wimpy’s serves up a pretty good burger but they also have many other downhome favorites. 632 Polk, 713.652.0123. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Your Pie Italian Your Pie is a “down-the-line” pizza concept offering customers the opportunity to build their own 10″ hand-tossed pizza which cooks in a gasfired oven in less than five minutes! Their bar menu includes 25 taps of craft beer and a selection of boutique red and white wines. yourpie.com. 1625 Main St. (inside SkyHouse Houston). 832.767.2544. L, D. $
Zero’s Sandwich Shop Deli A great little spot for a freshly made deli sandwich. zerossandwichshop.com.
809 Dallas, 713.650.3333. 1110 Lamar, 713.655.7722. 507 Dallas, 713.739.9955. B & L Mon–Fri. $ v Zydeco Louisiana Diner Cajun This cafeteria-style Cajun joint brings Louisiana dishes to the Hospital District of downtown Houston. Traditional Cajun items such as po-boys, jambalaya and gumbo make Zydeco a great lunch stop. A casual atmosphere adds to the enjoyment. 1119 Pease, 713.759.2001. L Mon–Sat; D Tue–Sat; $
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Lawless Spirits & Kitchen | 909 Texas
Looking for a spot to go after a long day or for a fun night out with friends? Check out some of our favorites. LIKE US AT FACEBOOK.COM/VISITDOWNTOWNHOUSTON
Lawless Spirits & Kitchen is an establishment with flair. A place that gives rise to the iconic visions of Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Frank Sinatra or Steve McQueen leaning on the bar with a stiff, well-crafted Rye Manhattan. Lawless is detailed with glitzy style, featuring revolutionary cocktails accompanied by comfortable finger foods and satisfying bites. lawlesspirits.com
Little Dipper | 304 Main The Boulevardier | 410 Main, Downstairs This beautiful lounge provides an upscale yet comfortable respite to Main Street every Thursday through Saturday serving the finest craft cocktails. Thu–Sat 6 pm–2 am. thecommonerbar.com/#upstairs
Barringer Bar | 108 Main
Barringer is a classic bar and lounge located in historic Downtown Houston where patrons can enjoy a wide selection of beer, wine and libations. Antique furniture and photos fill the cozy space and live music, DJs and aerialists entertain throughout the weekend! Tue–Fri 5 pm–2 am; Sat 8 pm–2 am. barringerhouston.com
Boots ‘n Shoots | 506 Main
This Texas-themed bar conveniently located right off the METRORail, features a wide variety of whiskey. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out the super fun larger-than-life PLINKO board which decides your fate when the time comes to take a shot! Wed–Sat 4 pm–2 am. bootsnshootshouston.com
Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge | 308 Main
A fun and quirky bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously (hence the name), but the cocktails are seriously good. Patrons enjoy the speakeasy vibe and the patio terrace for prime people watching. Mon–Sun 4 pm–2 am. twitter.com/badnewsbar
Char Bar | 305 Travis
Char Bar offers stiff drinks alongside custom suits. Drenched in nostalgia, Char Bar is proud of its history, as reflected in the old photos of family members who have worked in the space since the 1930s. Enjoy the second floor balcony or chat it up with Weldon Renfro, who has a permanent shoe shine booth at the entrance. Mon–Wed 10 am–midnight; Thu–Sat 10 am–2 am. twitter.com/TheCharBar
The Commoner | 410 Main, Downstairs Simple, straightforward. Cocktails, beer and wine. Mon–Sun 4 pm–2 am; Sun noon– midnight. thecommonerbar.com
Dean’s | 316 Main
Under new ownership and with a new look and feel, Dean’s adds to the cool vibe found on the 300 block of Main. Great attention from the bartenders and the trendy crowd make it a unique place to socialize. Mon–Thu 8 pm–2 am; Fri–Sat 5 pm–2 am. deansdowntown.com
The Dirt Bar | 1209 Caroline
The non-venue rock ‘n’ roll lounge is a popular pre- and post-show destination spot that has become famous for its performer patronage. Drawing crowds and artists from every venue in the city has allowed The Dirt to host hundreds of memorable after-show events, including Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon. Daily 6 pm–2 am. dirtbar.com
806 Lounge | 806 Main
A favorite of the locals, 806 Lounge located inside the JW Marriott Houston Downtown, ignites the senses with sophisticated creations. Their mixologists are experts in creating cocktails, lively in conversation, and can recommend a favorite dish to accompany your handcrafted drink. Daily 11 am–11 pm. jwmarriotthotelhouston.com/806-lounge
1820 Bar | 1820 Franklin
This cozy little bar is located just one block north of Minute Maid Park. It’s the perfect
place for a pre-game drink or a strong night cap during the week. Eighteen Twenty Lounge shares a door with Joystix Classic Games which is open on the first and last Friday of every month where $15 gets you all night access to practice your Pac-Man skills. Daily 4 pm–2 am. 1820lounge.com
El Big Bad | 419 Travis
El Big Bad is a Gastro-Cantina that specializes in infused tequilas, fresh juice margaritas and cocktails, Mexican and Texan Craft Beer and scrumptious fare. Sun–Thu 11 am–midnight; Fri & Sat 11 am–2 am. elbigbad.com
Flying Saucer | 705 Main
Offering more than 200 beers, with nearly half on draft, Flying Saucer is a great place to hang out and enjoy a cold one. Check out the website for information on beer tastings, trivia night and specials. Mon–Wed 11 am–1 am; Thu & Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat noon–2 am; Sun noon– midnight. beerknurd.com
Henke & Pillot | 809 Congress
Where past meets present, and drinks and dining blend in flawless harmony. Henke & Pillot is more than a dynamic Downtown cocktail lounge. Named after the Houston grocery store chain that occupied the space in the 800 block of Congress over 150 years ago, the simple yet sophisticated setting offers patrons inspired cocktails that are paired with mouthwatering dishes. Wed–Sat 4 pm–2 am. henkehouston.com
The Honeymoon Cafe+Bar | 300 Main
The Historic District welcomes The Honeymoon - a new, adorable bistro with great cocktails, wine and coffee from local Boomtown Coffee. Mon–Thu 7 am–midnight; Fri 7 am–2 am; Sat 10 am–2 am; Sun 10 am–10 pm. thehoneymoonhtx.com
Houston Watch Company | 913 Franklin
Houston Watch Company is located in the lobby of the Bayou Lofts at 913 Franklin and gets its name from the former timepiece company that occupied the space over 100 years ago. From its name to its drinks, Houston Watch Company is the essence of old-school. We suggest trying one of their 4 different versions of an old fashioned or the strawberry shrub cocktail made with fresh fruit! Mon–Sat 4pm–2 am, Sun 4pm–midnight. houstonwatchcompany.com
HTX Fan Tavern | 1800 Texas St.
HTX Fan Tavern is a sports-centric bar conveniently located across from Minute Maid Park. It’s the perfect palce to pre-game before cheering on the home team or to celebrate after a big victory! htxfantavern.com
La Carafe | 813 Congress
The oldest building in Houston, this dark and cozy hideaway boasts a great jukebox, moody atmosphere and an extensive beer and wine selection. Sit on the outside patio or balcony and look up in awe at the amazing downtown skyline. Cash only. Mon–Fri noon–2 am; Sat & Sun 1 pm–2 am.
Last Concert Café | 403 Nance
You have to knock three times on the red door to gain entry to the unmarked house in the Warehouse District (well, not anymore). With a backyard stage and sandpit, hoola-hooping and tiki bar, Last Concert has live music most nights. Tue–Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat 5 pm–2 am; Sun 3–9 pm. lastconcert.com
This spot is a cool, blue neighborhood bar with pinball machines, cheap bourbon and a bad-ass jukebox. Daily 4 pm–2 am. twitter.com/LittleDipperBar
LIVE Sports Bar & Grill | 407 Main
Located in Historic Market Square, Live Sports Bar & Girll makes you feel like you’re sitting at the game amongst all the action! Watch your favorite team on a number of TVs while you enjoy good eats and a drink from their everevolving selection of beer on tap. Daily 11 am–2 am. livesportsbarhouston.com
Lone Star Saloon | 1900 Travis
The Lone Star Saloon is a true classic Texas dive bar that seems misplaced in its urban setting. The crowd, half aging townies and half world-weary road dogs, are always willing to share have-been-to-hell-and-back stories. Daily noon–2 am.
MKT Bar | 1001 Austin
Phoenicia’s MKT bar, located at the first floor of One Park Place, is the perfect place to stop when you need a chill moment. The bar offers coffee, pastries, wine, beer, gourmet pizza and other yummy nibbles for which Phoenicia is known. Mon–Wed 7 am–9 pm; Thu 7 am–2 am; Fri & Sat 9 am–2 am; Sun 9 am–8 pm. mktbar.com
Molly’s Pub | 509 Main
This classic Irish pub offers a variety of Irish whiskeys and international beers. Tables and coves lead you to the back, where pool and darts can be found and a second-floor balcony provides excellent views of Main Street and Downtown. Daily 11 am–2 am. mollyspubs.com
Moving Sidewalk | 306 Main
This upscale bar has an intimate setting complete with antique chandeliers, dark lighting and candles. The cocktails at Moving Sidewalk are sure to please as they have handcrafted ingredients such as rosehip infusion and a fig and marigold shrub. Perfect for a romantic night out or to catch up with friends over drinks! Tue–Sat 4 pm–2 am. twitter.com/movingsidewalk
The Nightingale Room | 308 Main
The Nightingale Room—named for the famous songbird—also references Houston music legend Sippie Wallace, known as the Texas Nightingale during her prime in the 1920s. This entertainment-focused bar is a casual, comfortable spot to listen to vinyl during the week and will turn up the energy on weekends with live music—dancing is encouraged! Expect a variety of music from all genres. The drink menu features a small selection of house drinks, shots, as well as beer, wine and champagne. Tue–Sat 4 pm–2 am. nightingaleroom.com
Notsuoh | 314 Main
The name is Houston spelled backwards. A bar full of random weirdness: Think grunge lounge and artsy. You’ll find people playing chess, and drinking beer, live music, lots of crazy, weird artwork and maybe walk in on a night of punkrock karaoke. Live bands on weekends. Daily 8 pm–2 am. notsuoh.com
The Original OKRA Charity Saloon 924 Congress
Houston’s first charity bar is a true collaboration from Houston’s finest, including owners from Anvil, Paulie’s, Grand Prize and more. Expect classic cocktails and brews in a gorgeous historic building. Every drink
purchase earns you a vote that can go toward select charities to win the bar’s monthly earnings. Daily 3 pm–2 am. friedokra.org
Part & Parcel | 1700 Smith
Part & Parcel is a trendy patio bar located at The Whitehall Hotel—it’s the perfect place to mingle, sip and relax under the Texas stars. Their menu includes classic cocktails, original libations, and small plates with big taste! Mon–Thu 4pm–midnight; Fri–Sat 4pm–2 am. thewhitehallhouston.com
The Pastry War | 310 Main
A Mezcaleria from Bobby Heugel and Alba Huerta that serves up agave spirits along with classic Mexican cocktails and beers in a festive and intimate environment. This specialty tequila joint not only accepts pesos, but is on a brave mission to serve the best margaritas in town. Salud! Tue–Sat 4 pm–2 am. thepastrywar.com
Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar | 1201 Fannin at GreenStreet
Two dueling pianos and a sing-along, clap-along, drink-along, have-one-helluva-good-time-along bar! Wed–Sat 7 pm–2 am, showtime @ 8 pm. petesduelingpianobar.com
Public Services Wine & Whiskey 202 Travis
Nestled in the historic Cotton Exchange Building, lies Public Services Wine & Whiskey. Public Services isn’t just any cocktail bar, in fact, they’re the complete opposite. Here, patrons can find classic wines and a vast yet distinctive whiskey selection served straight, on the rocks, or with a small selection of mixers. Craft beer and cider help round out the carefully crafted drink menu. Mon–Sat 4 pm–2 am. publicservicesbar.com
Reserve 101 | 1201 Caroline
A whiskey and martini bar touting more than 220 specialty liquors that will make any cocktail aficionados mouth water. Stop by on Tuesday for complimentary tastings of special selections. Order up delicious bites from the new, chef-driven menu featuring tasty flatbreads, appetizers and sandwiches. Sun 5 pm–2 am; Mon–Sat 2 pm–2 am. reserve101.com
The Sam Bar | 1117 Prairie Street at The Sam Houston Hotel
Located in the Alden Hotel. This upscale bar is furnished with dark leather banquettes and a menu of 30 cocktails, both classic and new mixologist creations. Sun–Thu 11 am–midnight; Fri & Sat 11 am–1 am. thesamhoustonhotel.com
Shay McElroy’s Pub | 909 Texas at Rice Lofts
Dublin native and owner John McElroy created this space around a richly detailed, 19th-century bar he had shipped from Ireland. The crowd is an inviting collection of young professionals and not-so-young merrymakers. Mon–Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat & Sun 1 pm–2 am. mcelroyspub.com
Sunny’s Bar | 901 Capitol @ Main
Laid-back place with a friendly atmosphere and great prices that keep the regulars coming back. Sunny will likely be behind the bar serving up the beer and cocktails and great conversation. Foosball, darts and shuffleboard are in the back of the house to keep you entertained. Mon–Sat 2 pm–2 am.
Warren’s Inn | 307 Travis
This tavern is long known for its top-notch jukebox full of American classics, strong mixed drinks and its diverse crowd of customers. Mon–Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat noon–2 pm, Sun 2 pm–2 am.
The Wine Cellar | 540 Texas
Unwind and relax with more than 400 varieties of wine and imported beers. Wine tastings Mon–Thu, 2–7 pm. Daily 11 am–midnight. thewinecellarhouston.com
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Published on Aug 31, 2016
More and more, millenials are making downtown their preferred address and their willingness to think outside the box, their embrace of new i...