Walk into Conservatory Beer Garden & Food Hall in downtown Houston during weekday lunch and you’ll find a little bit of everything. Families with kids slurping noodles from their ramen bowls, groups drinking pints of beer, office workers in for a plate of Texas barbecue, a casual lunch date enjoying crepes.
The new underground food hall opened the second week of April, bringing even more dining options to a growing downtown dining scene. Located in a basement next door to Prohibition Supperclub & Bar, this cool new spot is the brainchild of Prohibition owners Anh Mai and Lian Pham. “We had been to a lot of these food halls in the East Coast and West Coast and we thought Houston needed something like this,” said Mai. “We added the beer garden part, which is kind of cool.”
Entering through the glass doors on 1010 Prairie Street, you’re first greeted by a grand staircase, which is original to the building, a living wall and a cube-shaped glass chandelier that’ll soon house a terrarium. Down below, the space houses four food stands -- Myth Kafe, El Burro & The Bull, Melange Creperie and Samurai Noodle -- and a bar operated by Prohibition that serves 60 beers on tap, sake and wine. Plants line the back walls of the space where you can grab a seat in a booth or wooden table, away from the busier food and bar area, which has communal tables where you can sit to enjoy your meal.
Mai said they looked to have a diverse set of vendors that represented Houston, had good food and an interesting story. For vendors, Conservatory offers an opportunity to serve their food to the public in a cool spot, says Veronica Hernandez, who owns El Burro & The Bull, with husband John Avila. For customers, it’s a place where they can find a variety of food under one roof.
Open from 11 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and late into the night on weekends (until 2 a.m. on Thursdays and 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays), Conservatory is a good dining option no matter the time of day or mood you’re in. It’s a place to grab lunch, drink a beer after work, eat dinner and get a late-night bite to eat after an evening out. You can get all your food at one place or have a taste of it all.
When you go try Myth Kafe’s gyros and fries seasoned with oregano, Samurai Noodles’s spicy shoyu ramen and takoyaki (octopus dumplings), El Burro & The Bull’s pulled pork tacos and Melange Creperie’s sweet crepes with cup of Southside Espresso coffee. Also keep an eye out for specials and brunch and happy hour menus, which will soon be offered paired with beers and wines from the bar.