The Houston Heights or as it is known to the locals “The Heights” is a neighborhood about four miles from downtown Houston. It also happens to be my neighborhood! Being my neighborhood, I thought it’d be a great place to start a series on Houston, my home town for the last twenty years.
The Heights is sort of like a small town inside a big city. It is a wonderful neighborhood for walking or riding your bike with some great bike/hike trails, bike lanes, and overall bike friendly streets.
I love to explore it on foot or on my bike so I can just enjoy the small tree-lined streets, historic Victorian style or bungalow homes, the many restaurants, beverage establishments (that’s generic for breweries, pubs, bars, wine bars, and the like), coffee shops, and antique shops.
Some of the best things to enjoy about The Heights include:
- Heights Bike & Hike Trail – this trail takes you all the way through The Heights, through the Sawyer arts district, and into downtown. Once downtown, you can work your way over to the Buffalo Bayou Park and trail and continue exploring on foot or on your bike.
- The Heights Boulevard Promenade – a broad boulevard with a beautiful tree-lined center promenade with a walking trail, benches, art installations, and even water fountains.
- 19th Street – think old style “Main Street Commercial” area. Here you can find great boutiques, antique shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and brew pubs. This is also the site of White Linen Night – more on that later.
- Enjoy one of the many restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, and the like.
- Enjoy a performance at Opera in The Heights.
- Enjoy one of the many weekly or monthly special markets.
- Take a walk in the Historic district – enjoying the architecture.
- Enjoy one of the two main yearly festivals: White Linen Nights (usually the first Saturday of August) and Lights in the Heights (early December display of Christmas lights).
- Browse through one of the many antique shops located on 19th Street or Yale Street.
- Enjoy the flowers and plants at one of the native plant stores in the neighborhood.
- Enjoy finding the latest street art, art installation, or even lawn art that is seen throughout.
The Heights is blessed with a broad selection of restaurants and includes some of the best in Houston. While I may be biased in this assessment, I will say that you will not be disappointed at any of them. The list below is not an exhaustive list – it is just a list of some of my favorites and those that are closest to my home (yes, I am a bit biased).
|Alli's Pizzaria||350 W 19th St Suite D, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Some of my favorite pizza in Houston. VERY thin crust!||www.allispizzaria.com|
|Antidote Coffee||729 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77007||Yes||Good coffee!||Antidote Coffee|
|Barnaby's||2802 White Oak Dr #500, Houston, TX 77007||Yes||Casual eatery - very good burgers. Lots of fries!||barnabyscafe.com|
|BB's Cafe||2701 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77009||Yes||Cajun food. Open late.||bbscafe.com|
|Bernadine's||1801 N Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77008||No||treadsack.com|
|Black and White||1001 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77008||No||blackandwhitehou.com|
|Boil House||606 E 11th St, Houston, TX 77008||No||Seasonal crawfish restaurant.||theboilhouse.com|
|Boomtown Coffee||242 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Good coffee - near antique shops and boutiques.||boomtowncoffee.com|
|Carter & Cooley||375 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Great deli sandwiches and soups!||carterandcooley.com|
|Cedar Creek||1034 W 20th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Very hill country atmosphere. Causal food. Similar menu to sister properties (the "Creek" restaurants).||cedarcreekcafe.com|
|Christian's Tailgate||2820 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007||Yes||Sports bar with really good burgers.||christianstailgate.com|
|Colina's||502 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Good Italian and it's BYOB||collinas.com|
|Coltivare||3320 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007||Yes||Farm to table - even has it's own garden alongside.||coltivarehouston.com|
|Dacapo's Pastry Cafe||1141 E 11th St, Houston, TX 77009||Yes||Good sandwiches, soups, pastries.||dacapospastrycafe.com|
|Downhouse||1801 Yale St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||High end bar food||downhousehouston.com|
|Dry Creek||544 Yale St, Houston, TX 77007||Yes||See Cedar Creek.||drycreekcafe.com|
|Eight Row Flint||1039 Yale St, Houston, TX 77008||No||Bourbon, craft beer, tacos.||eightrowflint.com|
|Fat Cat Creamery||1901 N Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Ice cream - homemade ice cream!||fatcatcreamery.com|
|Glass Wall||933 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Fine dining.||glasswalltherestaurant.com|
|Good Dog||903 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Excellent hot dogs.||gooddoghouston.com|
|Happy Fatz||3510 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007||Yes||Excellent hot dogs and cakes!||happyfatz.com|
|Harold's Restaurant & Tap Room||350 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Fine dining - great view from the terrace overlooking 19th Street||haroldsheights.com|
|Hubcap Grill||1133 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Great selection of burgers.||hubcapgrill.com|
|Hugs and Donuts||1901 N Shepherd Dr #4, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Donuts - delicious donuts||hugsanddonuts.com|
|Hunky Dory||1801 N Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Upscale "pub food".||treadsack.com|
|Jus' Mac||2617 Yale St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Mac 'n' Cheese every which way!||jusmac.com|
|KA Sushi||1901 N Shepherd Dr #1, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Really good sushi!||kasushi.com|
|Lee's Fried Chicken and Donuts||601 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007||No||Fried chicken and donuts.||leesfriedchickendonuts.com|
|Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar||1050 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Good all around food - but their Wednesday Southern fried chicken is incredible!||libertykitchenoysterbar.com|
|Lola||1102 Yale St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Diner style food - very good.||eatlola.com|
|Maryam's Cafe||315 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Pastries, coffees, teas, etc. Good for a break from the shopping.||maryamscafe.com|
|Onion Creek||3106 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007||Yes||See Cedar Creek.||onioncreekcafe.com|
|Pho Binh||2916 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007||Yes||Good Pho and Vietnamese food.||phobinhgrill.com|
|Pinks Pizza||1403 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Good pizza with delivery.||pinkspizza.com|
|Red Dessert Dive||1045 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Good pastries and desserts.||reddessertdive.com|
|Revival Market||550 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007||Yes||Craft butcher now also serving coffee and sandwiches. Same chef/owner as Coltivare.||revivalmarket.com|
|Ruggles Green||748 E 11th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Good American food.||rugglesgreen.com|
|Shade||250 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Fine dining.||shadeandcanopy.com|
|Sonoma Wine Bar & Restaurant||801 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77007||No - but I have visited their other location||sonomahouston.com|
|Southern Goods||632 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||BBQ and southern foods.||southerngoodshouston.com|
|Tacos a Go Go||2912 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007||Yes||Some of the best tacos you can get.||Tacos a Go Go|
|Teotihuacan||1511 Airline Dr, Houston, TX 77009||Yes||My favorite Tex-Mex||teomexicancafe.com|
|Thai Spice||460 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Thai food||thaispice.com|
|The Boot||1206 W 20th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Cajun||thecajunboot.com|
|Torchy's||350 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Austin transplant with good tacos and pretty darn good queso!||torchystacos.com|
|Zelko Bistro||705 E 11th St, Houston, TX 77008||Yes||Upscale casual farm to table.||zelkobistro.com|
I’ve already mentioned that The Heights is a very walkable (or bikable) neighborhood and these restaurants fit in that paradigm for me – I can get to all of them either by foot or on my bike.
The Heights is known for two big yearly festivals – White Linen Nights and Lights in the Heights.
White Linen Night is a festival that takes place the first Saturday in August featuring artists, music, food, beverages, and thousands of people dressed in – yes, you guessed it – white linen. This is a major event and sometimes the streets are so crowded that one just has to go with the flow!
Lights in the Heights is a smaller scale festival held in early December highlighting a section of The Heights where homes are decorated with amazing Christmas light displays. Along with the decorated homes you’ll find some private parties and music throughout. It is a great way to get in the Christmas spirit!
The great thing about The Heights is that it is totally self contained yet close enough to everything. You can quickly make it in to downtown, The Galleria area, the Uptown area, Midtown, EaDo, Washington area, West U, Village, Montrose, and River Oaks are all very close by.
In the future, I’ll be writing about some of those areas so stay tuned for more. But, for now, I’ll leave you with this.