There’s plenty to do in Houston, but one area of town that keeps you busy for the entire day is the Museum District. The Museum District boasts nineteen institutions and 11 of those institutions are free to visit. Spend your day museum hopping at The Children’s Museum of HoustonHolocaust Museum HoustonHouston ZooMuseum of Fine Arts, HoustonBuffalo Soldiers National Museum, Houston Museum of Natural Science or Rothko Chapel. As you spend the day learning, interacting and playing at each location, you’re guaranteed great places to eat and drink throughout the day, as there are a number of fabulous (and proximal) restaurants and bars.

Breakfast – Java Lava Brew

A Hawaiian-inspired coffee shop might not the first thing you think of when you want breakfast in Houston, but it should be! Java Lava Brew focuses on providing food as nourishment and a source for meaningful connection. The coffee is made from 100% Kona ground coffee that is grown and handpicked from the restaurant’s own farm. The recipes are pulled from the owners’ Hawaiian and Vietnamese background with a Houston flair. There is a full menu of coffee and espresso drinks, coffee “snobs” will definitely be pleased with the variety of bold, rich flavors. There are also plenty of savory breakfast/brunch items like the chicken and waffles, Java Lava eggs, Kona pancakes or quiche. Feeling extra Hawaiian? Order the Island Spamwich with yes, Spam, eggs, cheese and avocado on a croissant.

Lunch – Pondi Café at the Asia Society

A great way to maximize your museum visit and food experience is to lunch at the Asia Society Texas Center’s Pondi Café. With 14 locations throughout the world, the Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the West. Pondi Café is equally as inspiring, featuring vibrant and innovative Indian cuisine from Chef Anita Jaisinghani. Lunch can include a chaat salad with lentil dumplings, cucumber, greens, peanuts, yogurt and chaat sauces. Another savory option is the lamb shank bun with pickled eggplant, mushrooms, cilantro chutney, pickled mayo and chaat chips. Think of it as a true lunch and learn experience. 

Happy Hour – Lucille’s

After a day of walking and wondering around the Museum District, head to Lucille’s for a great happy hour. Every Tuesday through Friday at the bar and/or patio, you can enjoy $3 off of all signature cocktails like the Queen Bee or Lucille’s Milk Punch. Further, there is special pricing on select beer and wine, mule variations, bar wells and bar calls. The happy hour bites menu is a who’s who of Southern specialties like fried green tomatoes, catfish nuggets, bone marrow and oxtail, mac and cheese and even chicken fried oysters. Prices on food range between $4 and $11. Happy hour, indeed! 

Dinner – MF Sushi

Eating dinner at MF Sushi could be the splurge of the century, but a meal you won’t soon forget. Between the toro fatty tuna, ika, King salmon and more, the nigiri and sashimi options quite literally melt in your mouth they are so fresh and expertly sliced. We suggest going with the chef’s tasting which is a number of courses presented in a particular order for maximum enjoyment. Not sure about raw fish? There are plenty of meat options like duck breast marinated with miso yaki and topped with scallions or the A5 Wagyu beef toban yaki with garlic. There is also a robata grill option which is similar to Japanese barbeque where guest cook their order at the table over hot charcoal.

Late Night – Grand Prize Bar

Intimate, cozy and dive-y are probably how most patrons would describe Grand Prize Bar. Tucked away in the Museum District, Grand Prize bar is the perfect place to wind down after a full day of sightseeing. One of the best parts about this hole-in-the-wall spot is the Pimm’s cup and paloma on tap. The bar also has great house specials like the Mezcal ranch water, the Southside with gin, mint and lemon to name a few. There is typically a full list of seasonal cocktails. Grand Prize takes its cocktails seriously and also offers some small bites for the late-night snack.