Development never stops in H-Town! New restaurants, bars and attractions are opening all the time. Consider this your go-to guide for staying in the know in Houston.
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OPENINGS: NOVEMBER 2013
60 Degrees Mastercrafted
The menu at 60 Degrees Mastercrafted is built around generous offerings of hard-to-find akaushi beef, a breed of Japanese cattle that are raised in America.
Azuz in Rice Village
Fashion forward and pet friendly, Azuz is the latest shop to hit Rice Village. Four-legged companions can grab a drink of water at the pet station while shoppers pour over racks of designer clothes.
The Brandon brings a new contemporary art gallery to Montrose's Lower Westheimer district.
Brick & Spoon
Southern food fans found a new place to indulge in Louisiana-style Cajun brunch fare when Montrose-set Brick & Spoon opened in November 2013.
Cafe Layal Express
Mediterranean concept Café Layal has taken over the Westheimer Curve space left vacant by the closing of La Fendee.
Dean's Downtown is the reinvention of Dean's Credit Clothing, a Historic District hipster hangout. The bar has a new, posher look and a more elaborate cocktail and beer menu.
Charcuterie boards and paninis have replaced frozen yogurt in a small Highland Village spot.
The Gaslamp took over and added to a small former bar space at McIlhenney and Brazos streets. The result is a three-story bar and lounge serving up craft cocktails and beer plus a substantial menu of sandwiches, burgers and salads.
Good Dog Hot Dog
Good Dog has been rewarded for good behavior (and flavor) and given amore permanent home indoors. Following the success of its food truck, the locally loved and nationally recognized eatery has set up shop in The Heights neighborhood.
The Heights General Store @Harolds
We're all in a rush these days. That's why one-stop-shops are so appreciated. But few offer quite the experience as The Heights General Store @ Harold's, the neighborhood's newest market, deli, kitchen, restaurant and bar.
Located in the former Cafe Artiste space, adjacent to The Menil, Lowbrow opened in October 2013, offering buttoned-up comfort food, a relaxed atmosphere and an emphasis on local breweries.
Craving fresh, Asian-inspired food? You're at the right place. Whether it's Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese or Korean, Mama Fu's is a one-stop-shop for Asian cuisine.
Building off his 23 years of experience in local kitchens, Korean Chef Donald Chang opened Nara in late 2013, bringing authentic Asian cuisine to one of the hottest developments inside the Loop.
Pluckers is the place to come to find spicy, crazy-hot buffalo wingsand an ice cold beer while soaking in more sports than thought possible.
Trenza, meaning "braid" in Spanish, skillfully weaves Latin cuisine with an Indian influence to create flavor forward dishes like lamb vindaloo sopes (fried Mexican masa cakes), and shrimp dumplings with cilantro, curry and lime.
Effortless style, comfort and quality come together at Soft Surroundings. The boutique offers heavenly-soft clothing, jewelry, French-inspired home furnishings, and beauty and skincare for women.
The menu at Tiger Den focuses around four varieties of ramen: traditional tonkotsu (pork, noodle soup), garlic black bean, miso and tantan ramen (minced pork, peanuts and chilies). And Tran is cutting no corners, spending a day-and-a-half on his broth prep and making his ramen noodles in house.
Vallone's offers a creative twist on the all-American classic steak and fish house through the lens of Houston native and James Beard-nominated chef Grant Gordon, and partners Tony Vallone and Scott Sulma.
OPENINGS: OCTOBER 2013
Izakaya-wa gets its name from the traditional izakaya setting, which is essentially a beer/sake-forward establishment that serves a variety of Japanese style tapas.
Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette
The owners of The Heights' popular Liberty Kitchen have opened the doors on the restaurant's high-end sister concept. Located in River Oaks, Oysterette serves up a seafood-focused menu with a Southern influence.
The Litter Box
If Marcus Davis' Alley Kat was appropriately named for the alleyway that spans the rear of the building on Mid-Main, the new club builds on the cat idea with a moniker that's sure to turn heads.
Little Dipper is decidedly low-key in comparison to its hipster haven sister Poison Girl. Might that change as Downtown grows as the place to be for Houston nightlife? Perhaps. But for now, enjoy the cozy if boozy vibe.
My Food Park HTX
The Energy Corridor is getting in on H-Town's food truck craze with the recent opening of My Food Park HTX. Located just south of Memorial Drive, along Highway 6, the three-acre expanse makes room for a changing mix of trucks like H-Town StrEATs, Bernie's Burger Bus and Zeapod Cakery.
In November 2013, Princess Cruises launched new service from the Port of Houston, sailing from the state-of-the-art Bayport Cruise Terminal. Passengers can set sail on one of 26 planned Caribbean Princess departures in the 2013-14 season.
OPENINGS: SEPTEMBER 2013
Since it opened in Austin in 2009, Barbarella has become one of the hottest clubs in the Capital City-a place to dance all night and mingle with friends and strangers. The unique video bar expanded into Midtown Houston in fall 2013, drawing crowds to its large space on San Jacinto.
The Blue Elephant
The Austin-born women's clothing boutique recently opened a Houston outpost showcasing the company's namesake collection of contemporary dresses, blouses and jewelry. Soon, the spot will add other brands including Current/Elliott, Splendid and Marc by Marc Jacobs.
The brains behind River Oaks' Local Pour have expanded their restaurant presence with a Heights-area pizza tavern. Set in the former D'Amico's location, the Italian eatery is busy turning out wood-fired pizza, along with an eclectic mix of American fare.
Need a slice of pizza? Osteria Coppa has you covered. The relaxed, family-centric restaurant in Rice Village beckons patrons with house-made pastas, meat and cheese boards, sandwiches and, perhaps most importantly, a street-side pizza window where passersby can snag a slice.
Award-winning pastry chef Chris Leung and biz-partner Christopher Balat recently opened their highly-anticipated ice-cream and sorbet shop in the Hanover Rice Village development. Expect progressive flavor mash-ups like toasted rice, gingersnap and camomile-dulce de leche.
Drybar Houston, Uptown Park
H-Town's latest blow dry bar concept comes courtesy of the west coast. Founder and blow-dry maven Alli Webb launched her hair-taming venture five years ago, before adding locations throughout the U.S. Find her Houston outpost holding court in Uptown Park.
Kate Spade Saturday, Rice Village
Preppy accessory queen Kate Spade recently expanded her cheerful luxury empire with a lower-priced concept dubbed Saturday. Stop into the designer's Rice Village boutique and peruse a mix of clothing, patterned accessories and home goods, all on offer for a fraction of what fans pay at Spade's Galleria-set store.
The popularity of their original location in the Heights and suburban outpost in Sugar Land led the proprietors of the macaroni-and-cheese wonderland Jus' Mac to expand to Montrose.
Max Gonzalez, the owner of Washington Avenue's popular Catalina Coffee, has added a second, more buttoned-up concept to his local bean biz. His new Rice Village venture serves up the purveyor's famous coffee, while also expanding into the gourmet grocer realm.
The Place Upstairs
Those looking for the unusual and collectible have a new spot to explore. The Place Upstairs is a pop-up boutique from the owners of the popular resale shop Replay on 19th Street.
Local vegetarians and vegans embraced owner and chef Staci Davis' Mexican food venture when it first opened in summer 2011. Recently, however, the forward-thinking talent uprooted her Northside Village-set location and reopened in the heart of Montrose.
Saleem Fernandez—one of the names behind other local nightlife concepts including Roosevelt and Drinkery—has taken over Washington Avenue's former Sawyer Park location. In its new incarnation, as Social Junkie, fans will find a sports bar lounge offering up burgers, dancing and, of course, plenty of game watching.
Torchy's Tacos - The Heights
Following on the debut of its popular locations in Montrose and Rice Village, Torchy's Tacos has opened another outpost in the Heights. The Austin-based, food-trailer-born venture has developed a loyal local following for its wallet-friendly menu items and come-as-you-are attitude.
Vineyard Vines, the New England-born clothier synonymous with East Coast prep, opened its first store in the Houston area at Market Street in The Woodlands.
OPENINGS: AUGUST 2013
Grotto - Galveston
The upscale restaurant takes its place along the San Luis' 32 acres of beachfront property, offering Southern Italian fare such as veal San Pietro and salmon brioso. A nice assortment of pastas, pizzas and other entrees make Grotto a suitable place for a leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner.
Grub Burger Bar
College Station-born Grub Burger Bar recently put down Houston roots, along the second level of CityCentre’s bustling mixed-use development. The casual, come-as-you-are venture spotlights in-house grinded beef, fresh-baked buns and other made-from-scratch fare.
Set along Shepherd Drive, inside the former Sugarbaby’s Cupcake Boutique space, Maine-ly Sandwiches turns out classic New England-style lobster rolls on buttery, toasted buns, along with other coastal favorites like clam chowder and saltwater taffy.
Neon Boots Dancehall & Saloon
Inside the space once home to the famous Esquire Ballroom, this new country gay bar retains a huge dance floor, large stage and multiple bars. That stage where Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson performed in their heyday will now feature regular performances by local musical acts and a lot more.
Chef John Sheely of Mockingbird Bistro introduces his latest concept to the Houston market—a northern Italian, Tuscan-inspired venture reflects Sheely's Italian heritage both in name—Mazzantini is his mother’s maiden name—and in cuisine.
The Pastry War
Expect a true multisensory experience at Pastry War with its dia de los muertos-inspired décor and meticulously selected tequila and mescal selection -- many of which have never before been poured in Texas. The margarita's the thing -- salt or no salt, tequila or mescal, house or flavored (the mango habanero seems to be the big hit).
Brands such as Soul Star, Altru, Superdry and Original Penguin come together with a wide selection of accessories in this new Montrose-set men's shop.
This bar doesn't seem to be trying to attract a fancy crowd, and there's a bit of tongue-in-cheek vulgarity that may be a turn off for some and refreshing to others. But patrons will find a nice mix of tiki cocktails and New Orleans-style poboys.
OPENINGS: JULY 2013
For a bird’s-eye view of Downtown Houston, head to Midtown’s 3rd Floor Bar. Guests take an elevator ride to the upper-level venue, where they find skyline views and a libations lineup highlighting American beer, wine and cocktails (pictured above).
Camerata at Paulie's
Houston sommelier David Keck and restaurateur Paul Petronella teamed up for the opening of a new wine bar concept, located next door to Montrose's Paulie's restaurant. Beyond a well-versed beverage menu, Camerata patrons also find a small plates menu touting fine charcuterie and cheese options.
After three years turning out tacos from her Fusion Taco Truck, Julia Sharaby recently put down brick-and-mortar roots across from Downtown’s Market Square Park. There, Sharaby and partner David Grossman (former chef/owner of Branch Water Tavern) showcase a menu of globally-influenced tacos, salads and sandwiches.
Houston Food Park
Houston has been building a great food truck scene in recent years, garnering national attention from aficionados of these rolling restaurants. But the city has lacked a steady place to find good food trucks. Enter the Houston Food Park, which opened for business in mid-summer 2013 offering space to vendors on wheels.
The Lancaster Hotel Houston
An extensive renovation was completed in summer 2013 that includes a major redesign of this historic hotel's lobby and meeting spaces as well as all guest rooms and suites. The result is a more modern take on luxury, with a large, dramatic lobby and reception area filled with natural light and warm tones.
Something unique has landed in Midtown--a steakhouse with a brash, eccentric personality that aims to reimagine upscale dining in one of the city's hottest districts.
This upscale steakhouse has been a landmark on the national dining scene for decades. Now a $5 million renovation has transformed Houston's Palm restaurant into a modern white tablecloth experience.
Owner and interior designer Deanna Breaux Gathe fills her Uptown Park shop with rare finds she’s collected from her travels abroad. Stop in and peruse an ever-changing inventory of bold interior accents, accessories and furniture pieces.
Rosemont Social Club
From dive bars to top-notch cocktail bars, you'll find a lot of nightlife on Lower Westheimer. Rosemont Social Club added a new dimension to the mix when it bowed in late summer 2013.
Ruth's Chris Steak House
Set just a few blocks west of the Galleria, the new glass-lined location offers a more open and modern take on the traditional, heavily-wooded steakhouse. The nearly 10,000-square-foot space offers three private dining rooms in addition to its main dining room.
Want even more scoop on all of Houston's newest restaurants, boutiques and attractions? Check out our monthly breakdown of all the hot-spots that opened in the past year.
In the year 1252, Alfonso X of Castile and Leon was crowned King of Spain. Widely recognized as an intellectual, writer and composer, Alfonso is also credited as the father of Spanish tapas. What Read more »
For a bird’s-eye view of Downtown Houston, head to Midtown’s 3rd Floor bar. Guests take an elevator ride to the upper-level venue, where they find floor-to-ceiling windows offering patrons skyline Read more »
The menu at 60 Degrees Mastercrafted is built around generous offerings of hard-to-find akaushi beef, a breed of Japanese cattle that are raised in America. Fritz Gitschner, the former longtime Read more »
The brains behind Houston’s Eatsie Boys food truck and Eatsie Boys Cafe have branched out with another concept, 8th Wonder Brewery.Located in EaDo and named after the city’s iconic Astrodome, this Read more »
Set inside The Heights' Vineyard Church, Erica Raggett's non-profit A 2nd Cup coffee shop turns out a lot more than caffeine—its key focus is to help shed light on child sex trafficking in Read more »
Inconspicuous, yes. But Marcus Davis and Kory Hinton’s nightlife concept, The Alley Kat Bar and Lounge is one of those places you’ll love discovering.Located on Mid-Main near hotspots like Read more »
Southeast Asian cuisine makes its way to Houston’s Museum District via Ambrosia—an intimate, lounge-like restaurant known for its sharable small plates highlighting spices from the far east with Read more »
A unique sense of style and a flair for design inspired Annie Odum to create her Annie Allbritton boutique. After earning a fashion degree from Louisiana State University, Odum returned to Texas where Read more »
One of west Houston's newest destinations takes the shooting range concept to an entirely new level. The luxurious, 26-lane Athena Gun Club offers classes, rentals and a wide range of firearms for Read more »
After opening River Oaks’ Casa de Novia bridal boutique in 2005, fashion-savvy entrepreneur Luvi Wheelock expanded her fashion stake with Atrium—a ready-to-wear outpost just next door. The sleek, Read more »