Tuesday, July 19, 2011


(includes Clear Lake, Crosby, Cypress, Kemah, La Porte, Spring & Tomball)


4th Ward
Canopy – 3939 Montrose Boulevard; 713-528-6848; shadeandcanopy.com/Canopy; pretty decorated dining area; home-baked breads and pastries.
Dolce Delights – 3201 Louisiana Street; 713-807-7575; mydolcedelights.com; Hong Kong native Candace Chang explores bold, exotic flavors; try Green Apple Mint & Piña Colada Dome Cakes.

Blacksmith – 1018 Westheimer Road; 832-360-7470; facebook.com/blacksmithhouston; coffeeshop food, especially good for breakfast.
Chocolate Bar – 1835 West Alabama Street; 713-520-8599; theoriginalchocolatebar.com.
Eatsie Boys – 4100 Montrose Boulevard; 713-524-3737; eatsieboys.com; coffees, ice creams; for breakfast, try “Eggman” (fried egg topped with cheddar and chicken poblano sausage).
Roots Juice – 507 Westheimer Road; 713-524-1000; rootsjuicehouston.com try OMGoji (agave, almond butter, coconut oil, Goji berry, strawberry, and vanilla).

Museum District
Bosta | Wine & Coffee – 1801 Binz Street, Suite 130; 713-533-9560; bostahouston.com; unique take on classic Houston coffee shop.

3rd Ward
Conscious Cafe – 2612 Scott Street; 713-658-9191; c2consciouscafe.net; coffee and tea.

West University
Cloud 10 Creamery – 5216 Morningside Drive; 713-434-6129; cloud10creamery.com; ice creams & sorbets made with only freshest ingredients; no artificial flavoring, no extracts & no additives.
Chocolate Bar – 2521 University Boulevard; 713-520-8888; theoriginalchocolatebar.com.

4th Ward
Pastry War – 310 Main Street; 713-226-7770; thepastrywar.com; mezcalaria named after obscure 1800s war; great margaritas.

Public Services Bar – 202 Travis Street, Suite 100; 713-516-8897; publicservicesbar.com; spacious wine & whiskey bar with art deco furnishings in the historic 1884 Cotton Exchange building.

Bar Annie – 1800 Post Oak Boulevard; 713-840-1111; rdgbarannie.com; good bar food.

Block 7 Wine Company – 720 Shepherd Drive; 713-572-2565; block7wineco.com; wine bar that serves food; try Sloppy Joe.
Canard – 4721 North Main Street; 713-864-8424; treadsack.com/canard; cocktails.
Blue Label Lounge – 4500 Washington Avenue; 713-861-9910; bluelabel-lounge.com; where hipsters go for cocktails and house music.
Coppa Italia – 5555 Washington Avenue; 713-426-4260; copparistorante.com; Italian.
El Tiempo – 5602 Washington Avenue; 713-681-3645; eltiempocantina.com; for margaritas; Ninfa’s direct descendant; several locations.
Max’s Wine Dive – 4720 Washington Avenue; 713-880-8737; maxswinedive.com; with exposed brick and gentle lighting, lively bar is not, in fact, dive; not conventional wine bar, either; serves 180 wines with comfort food, like mac & cheese.

Oporto Fooding House & Wine – 125 West Gray Street, #500; 713-528-0115; oportomidtown.us; European kitchen & wine bar featuring Portugese-inspired menu.

Anvil Bar & Refuge – 1424 Westheimer Road; 713-523-1622; anvilhouston.com; try hot drink, “Chinese 5-Spice Mulled Wine,” or cold drinks like “Golden Gate Swizzle” or “Maharaja Buck.”
TC’s Houston’s Premiere Showbar – 817 Fairview Street; 713-526-2625; tcsshowbar.com; familiar gay bar featuring live performers, all-day drink specials & patio with easygoing vibe.
Vinoteca Poscol – 1609 Westheimer Road; 713-529-2797; salumeria and Italian wine bar.

Museum District
Bosta | Wine & Coffee – 1801 Binz Street, Suite 130; 713-533-9560; bostahouston.com.

West Univerity
benjy’s – 5922 Washington Avenue; 713-868-1131; benjys.com; humming upstairs lounge overlooks dining room where jeans-&-boots-clad professionals enjoy contemporary American food like white pizza with crab meat.

Alden Hotel – 1117 Prairie Street; 832-200-8800 or 877-813-1888; aldenhotels.com; modern.
Hotel Icon – 220 Main Street; 713-224-4266 or 877-829-2429; hotelicon.com; modern Texas style.
Magnolia Hotel – 1100 Texas Street; 713-221-0011 or 888-915-1110; magnoliahotelhouston.com; affordable and modern.

Hotel Sorella – 800 West Sam Houston Parkway; 713-973-1600 or 866-842-0100; hotelsorella.com; owned by Valencia in San Antonio; hipster-y.
Westin Houston, Memorial City – 945 Gessner Road; 281-501-4300 or 866-716-8147; starwoodhotels.com; 267 spacious rooms, 25 suites; soothing interior; restaurant is Il Mulino.

La Colombe d’Or – 410 Montrose Boulevard; 713-524-7999; lacolombedorhouston.com; renovated extensively in 2010; elegant.

Museum District
Hotel Zaza – 5701 Main Street; 713-526-1991 or 888-880-3244; hotelzazahouston.com.

Acres Home
Frenchy’s Fried Chicken – 757 West Little York Road; 713-691-1001; frenchyschicken.com.

Crawfish & Noodles – 10613 Bellaire Boulevard; 281-988-8098; crawfishandnoodle.com; Cajun-Vietnamese food.
Que Huong – 11201 Bellaire Boulevard, Suite 2; 281-495-2814; quehuonghouston.com; Vietnamese; extensive menu but all good; tempura soft-shell crab specialty.

Virgie’s Bar-B-Que – 5535 Gessner Drive; 713-466-6525; virgiesbbq.com; top notch pork ribs.

Quan Yin Vegetarian Restaurant – 10804 Bellaire Boulevard, Suite E; 281-498-7890; quanyinvegetarian.com; flatscreens play videos on loop with fake news articles about animal curelty; divine food.

Crawfish Shack – 5822 FM 2100; 281-462-2121; crawfishshack.com; BYOB; drive-thru window.
Brook’s Place – 18020 Farm-to-Market 529; 832-893-1682; brooksplacebbq.com; Southern-style, pork-centric barbecue; not heavily trimmed.
Shack Burger – 16602 Cypress Rosehill Road; 281-256-1575; facebook.com/theshackburgerresort; plenty of outdoor seating at this low-key burger & craft-beer specialist.

Grove – 1611 Lamar Street; 713-337-7314; thegrovehouston.com; glass-walled space with views of magnificent oaks and Discovery Green; great oyster BLTs; grows much of own produce.
Houston Hubcap Grill – 1111 Prairie Street; 713-223-5885; hubcapgrill.com/hubcap_grill_downtown.html; burgers.
Oxheart – 1302 Nance Street; 832-830-8592; oxhearthouston.com; in loft-like space under I-10; affordable fine dining in casual atmosphere; emphasis on breads and vegetables, in particular.
Vic & Anthony’s – 1510 Texas Street; 713-228-1111; vicandanthonys.com; high-end steakhouse.

Energy Corridor
Alma Cebiche & Bar – 1275 Eldridge Parkway, Suite 100; 281-293-0001; almahouston.com; Peruvian.
Sam’s Deli Diner – 11637 IH-10 (on Katy Freeway); 281-497-8088; samsdelidiners.com; closed last Sunday each month; burgers.

Fondren Southwest
Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe – 6579 West Bellfort Street; 713-726-9858; teomexicancafe.com; popular, stand-by, Mexican dive.

4th Ward
Brooklyn Athletic Club – 601 Richmond Avenue; 713-527-4440; thebrooklynathleticclub.com; badminton and bocce; upscale, ultra-rich tavern fare; crowded on weekends.
Canopy – 3939 Montrose Boulevard; 713-528-6848; canopyrestaurant.com; nouvelle American in pretty decorated dining area; home-baked breads and pastries.
Feast – 219 Westheimer Road; 713-529-7788; feasthouston.com; considered among most exciting new restaurants in country; “nose to tail” menu.
Pass & Provisions – 807 Taft Street; 713-628-9020; passandprovisions.com; dual restaurant concept (casual and upscale); go just to see bathroom.
Reef – 2600 Travis Street (at McGowen Street); 713-526-8282; reefhouston.com; tall, cool hot spot with great food; pork chop with cherry mustard sauce is outstanding; also, fresh Gulf seafood.
Sparrow Bar + Cookshop – 3701 Travis Street; 713-524-6922; sparrowhouston.com; fresh, local-ingredient-driven fare in 1940s warehouse.
Uchi – 904 Westheimer Road; 713-522-4808; uchirestaurants.com/houston; sushi; requires weeks advance booking; daily “Sake Social” at 5:00 p.m., with drinks and small plates.

Caracol – 2200 Post Oak Boulevard, #160; 713-622-9996; caracol.net; regional Mexican; great margaritas, try sopa de tortuga & El Coco for dessert.
Etoile Cuisine et Bar – 1101 Uptown Park Boulevard; 832-668-5808; etoilecuisine.com; for francophiles; excellent coq au vin.

Tony’s – 3755 Richmond Avenue; 713-622-6778; tonyshouston.com; once among Houston’s top restaurants, now, who knows?

Asia Market – 1010 West Cavalcade Street, Suite D; 713-863-7074; asiamarket-hou.com; Thai restaurant.
Block 7 Wine Company – 720 Shepherd Drive; 713-572-2565; block7wineco.com; wine bar that serves food; try Sloppy Joe.
Coltivare – 3320 White Oak Drive; 713-637-4095; coltivarehouston.com; American-Italian.
Coppa Italia – 5555 Washington Avenue; 713-426-4260; copparistorante.com; Italian.
Dry Creek Café – 544 Yale; 713-426-2313; drycreekcafe.com/home.html; burgers.
Gatlin’s BBQ & Catering – 1221 West 19th Street; 713-869-4227; gatlinsbbq.com; ribs, ribs, ribs; also, good venison sausage.
Glass Wall – 933 Studewood Street; 713-868-7930; glasswalltherestaurant.com; continental nouvelle.
Houston Hubcap Grill – 1133 West 19th; 713-862-0555; hubcapgrill.com/hubcap_grill_heights.html; burgers.
Les Givral’s Kahve – 4601 Washington Avenue; 832-582-7671; lesgivrals.com; authentic Vietnamese food with Cajun influence.
Max’s Wine Dive – 4720 Washington Avenue; 713-880-8737; maxswinedive.com; with exposed brick and gentle lighting, lively bar is not, in fact, dive; not conventional wine bar, either; serves 180 wines with comfort food, like mac & cheese.
Rainbow Lodge – 2011 Ella Boulevard (at 21st Street); 713-861-8666; rainbow-lodge.com; rustic log cabin with modern food.
Shade – 250 West 19th Street; 713-863-7500; shadeheights.com; gourment food in casual setting.
Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe – 1511 Airline Drive; 713-426-4420; teomexicancafe.com; popular, stand-by, Mexican dive.

Houston Hubcap Grill – 800 Bradford Avenue; 281-339-7116; hubcapgrill.com/hubcap_grill_kemah.html; burgers.

Frenchy’s Fried Chicken – 3919 Scott Street; 713-748-22233; frenchyschicken.com.

Beck’s Prime – 1001 East Memorial Loop; 713-863-8188; becksprime.com; Houston-area mini-chain; hamburgers.
Il Mulino – 945 Gessner Road, Suite 101 (at Westin Hotel); 832-358-0600; ilmulino.com; Italian; casual version of New York eatery.

Ibiza – 2450 Louisiana Street, Suite 200; 713-524-0004; ibizafoodandwinebar.com; high-end Mediterranean fare; beautiful people place.
Oporto Fooding House & Wine – 125 West Gray Street, #500; 713-528-0115; oportomidtown.us; European kitchen & wine bar featuring Portugese-inspired menu.

Au Petit Paris – 2048 Colquitt Street; 713-524-7070; aupetitparisrestaurant.com; try beef cheeks; true French classic cuisine.
Blacksmith – 1018 Westheimer Road; 832-360-7470; facebook.com/blacksmithhouston; coffeeshop food, especially good for breakfast.
Café Brasil – 2604 Dunlavy Street; 713-528-1993; domybookstore.com; café.
La Colombe d’Or – 410 Montrose Boulevard; 713-524-7999; lacolombedorhouston.com; try veal t-bone.
Cuchara Mexico City Bistro – 214 Fairview Street; 713-942-0000; cuchararestaurant.com; authentic cuisine in lively environment.
Da Marco – 1520 Westheimer Road (at Ridgewood Street); 713-807-8857; damarcohouston.com; Houston’s top-rated restaurant; Italian; try short ribs.
Hugo’s – 1600 Westheimer Road; 713-524-7744; hugosrestaurant.net; excellent interior Mexican food, often with wonderful contemporary twists; for appetizers, try tostadas, sopecitos (small, thick handmade tortillas with toppings), or lobster tacos; seasonal menu consists of local sourced, hard-to-get fresh ingredients; dessert must include homemade Mexican hot chocolate, accompanied by small churros (Spanish equivalent of doughnuts); dining room is large and airy with comfortable furniture; high, pressed-tin ceiling reverberates bit with noise.
Lankford Grocery – 88 Dennis Street; 713-522-9555; lankfordgrocery.com; hamburgers.
Little Bigs – 2703 Montrose Boulevard; 713-521-2447; littlebigshouston.com; try fresh-ground beef sliders with caramelized onions and White Russian milkshake.
Mark’s American Cuisine – 1658 Westheimer Road (at Dunlavy Street); 713-523-3800; marks1658.com; celestial food and atmosphere (old church); expensive.
Mockingbird Bistro – 1985 Welch Street; 713-533-0200; mockingbirdbistro.com; great burgers.
Ocean’s – 819 West Alabama Street; 713-520-7744; oceansceviche.com; elegant 30s home with spacious garden; try their Oriental ceviche and carpaccio-like scallops rassurado.
El Real Tex-Mex Café – 1201 Westheimer Road; 713-524-1201; elrealtexmex.com; “vintage” Mexican food, mostly made from scratch.
Riel – 1927 Fairview Street; 832-831-9109; rielhouston.com; stylish, bustling bistro serving globally-inspired shared plates, cocktails, beer & sparkling wine.
Underbelly – 1100 Westheimer Road; 713-528-9800; underbellyhouston.com; whole-animals only restaurant, whatever that means.

Museum District
Dak & Bop – 1801 Binz Street; 713-528-0280; dakandbop.com; Korean-style chicken.
Lucille’s – 5512 La Branch Street; 713-568-2505; lucilleshouston.com; southern cooking.
Pax Americana – 4319 Montrose Boulevard; 713-239-0228; paxamericanahtx.com; New American venue with emphasis on vegetables; small plates; try Asian brisket.

Northside Village
Gerardo’s Drive-In – 609 Patton Street; 713-699-0820; facebook.com/Gerardos-Drive-In-150039567730; barbacoa de borrego is unique — meat chunks falling-apart tender & served with deep red chile broth; they make barbacoa de borrego with lamb shoulder & goat meat birria, mixed half & half, then seasoned with garlic, bay leaves, oregano & chili powder; meats are steamed slowly for 12 hours in vessels that capture juices; then meat is stripped from bone, shredded & steeped in broth; absolutely fabulous — if you like that kind of thing.
Speedy’s Burger – 6303 Irvington Boulevard; 713-692-4435; facebook.com/speedyburgerhoustontx‎; burgers.
Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe – 4624 Irvington Bouelarvd; 713-695-8757; teomexicancafe.com; popular, stand-by, Mexican dive.

Old Spanish Trail/South Union
Frenchy’s Fried Chicken – 6102 Scott Street; 713-741-2700; frenchyschicken.com.

Rice Military
Shandy’s Café – 5814 Memorial Drive; 713-426-2675; shandycafe.com/home.html‎; good burgers.

Rice Village
Helen Greek Food & Wine – 2429 Rice Boulevard; 832-831-7133; helengreekfoodandwine.com; taverna passionately devoted to modern Greek food.

River Oaks
Americas – 2040 West Gray Street, Suite 200; 832-200-1492; restauranteur.com/americas; New World Latin.
Backstreet Café – 1103 South Shepherd Drive (set off Main Street); 713-521-2239; backstreetcafe.net; open 25 years; reservations necessary; 1930s home, now restaurant; southwestern fare.
Brasserie 19 – 1962 West Gray Street; 713-524-1919; brasserie19.com; simple bistro fare.

2nd Ward
Champ Burger – 304 Sampson Street; 713-227-2094; champburger.net; popular burger dive; massive burgers.

Fu Fu Café – 9889 Bellaire Boulevard; 713-981-8818; do not confuse with Fufu Restaurant nearby; try soup dumplings.
Hong Kong Dim Sum – 9889 Bellaire Boulevard; 713-777-7029; hkdimsumcity.com; dim sum; be prepared to wait; try steamed dumplings, steamed pork spare-ribs, and/or pork and preserved egg congee.

Corkscrew BBQ – 24930 Budde Road; 832-592-1184; corkscrewbbq.com; considered one of central Texas’ barbecue temples.

Spring Branch
El Hidalguense – 6917 Long Point Road; 713-680-1071; live mariachi music, freshly made tortillas, and baby goat roasted on spit on premises.
Vieng Thai – 6929 Long Point Road; 713-688-9910; viengthaihouston.com; BYOB; excellent Thai.

6th Ward
Beaver’s – 2310 Decatur Street; 713-864-2328; beavershouston.com; Texas-style gastropub where ingredients are local and sausage is homemade; patio perfect for lingering over perfect brisket.

Sugar Land
Aura Brasserie – 15977 City Walk; 281-403-2872; aura-restaurant.com; inventive French food.

3rd Ward
Conscious Cafe – 2612 Scott Street; 713-658-9191; c2consciouscafe.net; coffee and tea.

Mel’s Country Café – 24814 Stanolind Road; 281-255-6357; melscountrycafe.com; burgers.
Tailgate Grill – 22008 Rosehill Pines; 281-255-9353; facebook.com/pages/Tailgate-Grill/264177390403802; everything from burgers to fried fish; can eat outside weather permitting.

Upper Kirby
Avalon Diner – 2417 Westheimer Road; 713-527-8900; avalondiner.com; hamburgers.
Haven – 2502 Algerian Way; 713-581-6101; havenhouston.com; locally sourced, organic ingredients.
Goode Company Hamburgers & Taqueria – 4902 Kirby Drive; 713-520-9153; goodecompany.com; burgers.
Kata Robata – 3600 Kirby Drive; 713-526-8858; katarobata.com; freshest sushi in Houston; worth special trip.
Katsuya – 2800 Kirby Drive, B100; 713-590-2800; sbe.com/katsuya/houston; Houston branch of trendy LA sushi restaurant.
Pondicheri – 2800 Kirby, Suite B132; 713-522-2022; pondichericafe.com; Indian-influenced meals include breakfast; vegan offerings.

River Oaks
State of Grace – 3256 Westheimer Road; 832-942-5080; stateofgracetx.com; try Butter Burger Carpet Bagger Style (with fried oyster on top).

Rioja – 11920 Westheimer Road; 281-531-5569; riojarestaurant.com; tapas.

My Private Driver – 713-467-5400; myprivatedriver.com; provides suited, professional driver; can drive your car or supply limo.

Facade – 1101-03 Uptown Park Boulevard; 713-552-1545; facadeuptown.com; for brow-shaping, facials, etc.

Solution for Hair & Make-Up – 1800 Westheimer Road; 713-526-4545; solutionforhair.com; best hair colorist in Houston (Brad Hensler).

River Oaks
Tiny Boxwood’s – 3614 West Alabama Street; 713-622-4224; thompsonhanson.com; landscaping architecture.

Upper Kirby
Do Bar – 2800 Kirby Drive; 713-521-4425; thedobar.com; one-stop shop for blowouts, braids, and other hair (and beauty) products.
Vanity Lounge – 2800 Kirby Drive, Suite 110; 713-942-9177; esvanitylounge.com; brow-shaping, lash-dipping, make-up, etc.

West University
Tre Spa – 2516 Sunset Boulevard; 713-523-7800; trespasalon.com; escape into beauty-inspired bungalow for ridiculously thorough facials and high-end product lines.

Hong Kong City Mall – 11205 Bellaire Boulevard; 281-575-0677; hkcitymall.com; full Hanoi-meets-Houston experience; filled with restaurants and giant market; name doesn’t make much sense because mostly Vietnamese.

Little Bird – 1735 Post Oak Boulevard; 832-767-4483; thelittlebirdinc.com; both designer and vintage wear.

Wabash Antiques & Feedstore – 5701 Washington Avenue; 713-863-8322; wabashfeed.com; eclectic, 100-year-old business straight out of “Petticoat Junction.”

David Sutherland Showroom – 5120 Woodway Drive #170 (at Decorative Center Houston); 713-961-7886; davidsutherlandshowroom.com; boutique feeling.

Domy Books – 1709 Westheimer Road; 713-523-3669; domybookstore.com; art exhibits, avant garde books, café, and Japanese toys.
Mortar – 1911 Westheimer Road; 713-529-0009; shopmortar.com; mens clothing.

Museum District
Peel Gallery – 4411 Montrose Boulevard; 713-520-8122; peelgallery.org; art, design goods, and jewelry from around world.

Rice Village
Alexandra Knight – 3622 Locke Lane; 713-521-2615; alexandraknightonline.com; handbags, particularly in exotic skins; some flip-flops and sandals.

River Oaks
Tiny Boxwood’s – 3614 West Alabama Street; 713-622-4224; thompsonhanson.com; gardening items.

Upper Kirby
Kuhl-Linscomb – 2424 West Alabama Street; 713-526-6000; kuhl-linscomb.com; “design and lifestyle” store.

West University
Leap – 2314 Bissonnet Street; 713-526-4580; carries women’s clothing from Orla Kiely, Petro Zillia, and other hard-to-find designers; also stocks accessories, candles, pillows, and other gift items.

Clear Lake
Johnson Space Center – 1601 Nasa Parkway; 281-244-2100; spacecenter.org.

Tin Hall – 14800 Tin Hall Road; 713-664-7450; tinhall.com; Texas’ oldest reception rental hall.

Discovery Green – 1500 McKinney Street; 713-400-7336; discoverygreen.com; 12-acre park located on Avenida de las Americas across from Convention Center; bandstands, lake & public performance venues.

Beer Can House – 222 Malone Street; 713-926-6368; beercanhouse.org; folk art house, covered with beer cans, bottles, and other beer paraphernalia; monument to eccentricity & recycling.
Glenwood Cemetery – 2525 Washington Avenue; 713-864-7886; glenwoodcemetery.org; Howard Hughes’ grave.
Live Oak Friends Meeting House – 1318 West 26th Street; 713-862-6685; friendshouston.org; designed by James Turrell (light artist); non-Quakers can enter on Friday afternoons half hour before sunset; sit quietly on bench and gaze through skylight in center; transforming.
Waugh Drive Bat Colony – 401 South Heights Boulevard (in Spotts Park); 713-752-0314; houstontx.gov/parks/batpage.html.

Hermann Park
Houston Zoo – 6200 Hermann Park Drive; 713-533-6500; houstonzoo.org; 55-acre world-class zoo.

San Jacinto Monument & Museum – 1 Monument Circle; 281-479-2421; sanjacinto-museum.org.

Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery – 6900 Lawndale Street; 713-928-5141; dignitymemorial.com/forest-park-lawndale-funeral-home/en-us/index.page; Bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins, Dominique & John de Menial, Red Adair, Karla Faye Tucker (unmarked).

Buffalo Bayou – Memorial Park, by Woodway Drive, to Hogg Bird Sanctuary; buffalobayou.org; easy paddling; 3 miles, 1-3 hours; arrange tour through Buffalo Bayou Partnership at buffalobayou.org; go to Shandy’s for burger afterwards.
Memorial Park – 6501 Memorial Drive (parking at 1 Westcott Street; 832-395-7000; houstontx.gov/parks/ourparks/memorialpark.html; among America’s largest urban park expanses; includes Hogg Bird Sanctuary.

Menil Collection – 1515 Sul Ross Street; 713-525-9400; menil.org.
Rothko Chapel – 1409 Sul Ross Street; 713-524-9839; rothkochapel.org.

Museum District
Museum of Fine Arts – 1001 Bissonet Street; 713-639-7300; mfah.org.

River Oaks
Bayou Bend Gardens – 1 Westcott Street (at Memorial Park); 713-639-7750; mfah.org/visit/bayou-bend-collection-and-gardens; Ima Hogg mansion and grounds.

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