A few weeks ago Alex and I traveled to Houston to celebrate my 30th birthday! We were both raised in Texas, but neither of us have spent time in Houston. I've explored every large city in Texas except Houston, which is odd considering it's the 4th largest city in America and largest in Texas. I was suprised the drive was less than 3 hours from Austin, and there are two Bucees along the way..winning!
We stayed at Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE, a boutique hotel located in a modern shopping and dining area called CITYCENTRE. The hotel is less than 15 min. from downtown Houston, and has everything you could want nearby. There is a hip rooftop pool great for lounging, having a cocktail, or hanging out with friends. The rooms were fresh, chic and had a great view of Houston!
WHERE TO EAT:
Every morning we had the continental breakfast at our hotel, and enjoyed the peace and quiet on the balcony. It felt so odd to have our hands free and be able to enjoy our meals slowly.
Located in the Heights district, DownHouse is cozy and hip with marble tabletops, modern light fixtures, and navy walls. Alex and I weren't super hungry so we split the Fried Chicken Sandwich. Oh my goodness it was amazing! We both wished we had ordered one for each of us.
Sweet Paris Creperie:
I might have freaked out when I saw Sweet Paris Creperie across from our hotel. If you know me, you know I'm OBSESSED with crepes and have been since I studied abroad in Poland. This adorable cafe was perfect for a sweet snack in between shopping, and we even went back after dinner instead of going to a bar. Wow, we're old. I had nutella with strawberries the first time and went back for the lemon and sugar crepe. They also offer breakfast and savory crepes.
B&B Butcher's Restaurant:
Alex is a huge meat lover, so I wanted to find a good steakhouse or burger joint that he would love. I surprised him and took him to B&B Butcher's Restaurant and it was perfect! The weather was gorgeous and we sat outside on their rooftop patio. I had the Truffle Burger, which might have been the BEST burger I've ever had (onion jam, truffle butter, and truffle aioli). Alex had the open faces steak sandwich with caramelized onions and blue cheese. I've heard this is one of Jay Z and Beyonce's favorite places to eat when their in Houston.
One of my favorite things about staying at Hotel Sorella was the onsite restaurant, Radio Milano. After a long day of walking around, not having to drive anywhere for dinner was perfect. We enjoyed the local cheese plate, goat cheese and ricotta tortellini with brown butter, and a porkchop with sweet potatoes.
WHAT TO DO:
A cute area northwest of downtown Houston with local shops and restaurants. This is the perfect area to stroll. We stopped in Manready Mercantile, a beautiful and amazingly curated men's store, as well as a few antique stores.
Improv Comedy Theater:
For the first time ever Alex and I went to a comedy show and it was the best decision! We got lucky and were in town for David Spade and Kevin Farley. I'm the type of person that enjoys an activity rather than going to a bar and drinking. Dancing, bowling, putt putt...I'm down for mostly anything. Laughing for over an hour straight was just what we needed.
There are beautiful murals throughout Houston, and Instagram account Wall Wanderings gives you a perfect guide of where to find them and the best time of day to shoot! There are numerous walls and murals painted in the area of Emmanuel Street (including these below).
Additional Recommendations: Collectors Firearms (If you're a gun fan, THIS is the place for you. It's a museum of guns...old and new), Bowl & Barrel, The Museum of Fine Arts, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Saint Arnold Brewery, Shopping at the Galleria, Children's Museum.
Houston has a ton of culture and a lot to offer food lovers. If you're spending more than a few days in the area, you can also head south to Galveston Beach which is only an hour away. I'm so glad I spent time exploring Houston. As a born and raised Texan, I feel it's my duty to visit every major city in this great state!