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Downtown Houston — What You Need to Know 

Downtown Houston — What You Need to Know

The recent pandemic changed a lot of things in Houston. However, rest assured: Downtown Houston still has much to offer to the fun-lover. 

So ladies, tell your makeup artist to get ready and men, rush to the barbershop because a night out in Downtown Houston may be just what you need to get out of the pandemic slump. 

Don’t know where to start? That’s all right, as we’ve already put together the ultimate guide for Downtown Houston.

Is Downtown Houston worth visiting? 

Downtown Houston is worth visiting because it is close to almost all of the popular attractions in Houston, Texas. Additionally, Downtown Houston is very convenient because its public transportation connects to other cities. 

Where to Stay in Downtown Houston

If you aren’t local or don’t already have an apartment of your own, then you’re in luck. We’ve already identified some of the best hotels to make your stay in Downtown Houston comfortable. 

1. Cambria Hotel Houston

Cambria Hotel Houston

The architecture in Downtown Houston impresses many who visit the city. Cambria Hotel Houston is located in one of the city’s most famous skyscrapers, the historical Great Southwest Building. 

Of course, Cambria Hotel Houston offers its customers free Wi-Fi, a full restaurant and bar, and a fitness center. With around-the-clock upscale amenities and customer service, Cambria Hotel is as good for the urban tourist as it is for any architecture buff. 

2. Club Quarters

Club Quarters

This downtown hotel is only available to corporate members. 

It features complete services and upscale amenities, including free high-speed Internet access, computer workstations, a 24-hour member service desk, and the choice of gym equipment in the guest rooms. 

And yes, you can even request a massage to make your nights at Club Quarters more relaxing! 

For extended stays, corporate housing is available, and it has all the advantages of a private hotel. Of course, there are also regular hotel rooms available.

3. Hilton Americas Houston

Hilton Americas Houston

The Hilton Americas-Houston has the most guest rooms, ballrooms, hotel conference space, and cutting-edge amenities under one roof in the city.

So what is the Hilton Americas-Houston? It’s an AAA Four Diamond-rated hotel conveniently located between Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park and across the street from Discovery Green. 

There is much that Hilton Americas Houston has to offer. Such as 1,200 furnished guestrooms, adaptable meeting space, a grand ballroom, the Ballroom of the Americas, a FedEx store, popular restaurants and the largest Starbucks in Texas. 

4. The Lancaster 

The Lancaster

The Lancaster is a boutique hotel focusing on elegance and old-world charm. It is a 12-story Theater District hotel with 93 rooms and nine suites. 

Their meeting spaces are perfect for small business events or even an intimate wedding venue.

Moreover, the Lancaster Hotel now exhibits a scene-stealing collection of more than 200 contemporary works of art by reputable artists while retaining its charm from 1926. 

What to See in Downtown Houston

Downtown Houston can be intimidating if you don’t know where to go or what to do. Thus, we’ve compiled the following places in Downtown Houston that should not be missed. 

By the way, these places are perfect for photography or videography, so don’t forget to bring a capture device – or, at the very least, a phone with a good camera.

1. Avenida Houston

Avenida Houston

The city’s newest food, entertainment, and cultural district is called Avenida Houston. It is a site that will elevate your experience in Houston as it is carved into the skyline and snuggled amid three major sports arenas. 

With tons of vendors lined up down the streets, a stroll down Avenida Houston allows people to sip and savor the best foods and drinks of Downtown Houston, all the while admiring Houston’s architecture and art. 

2. Downtown Aquarium

Downtown Aquarium

Houston’s Downtown Aquarium & Restaurant offers food, entertainment for the whole family, amazing views of Houston’s downtown, and amazing land and sea wildlife. 

The Downtown Aquarium is an underwater adventure complex featuring more than 200 kinds of aquatic life from around the world is located in a 500,000-gallon space. 

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Louisiana Swamp, a Rainforest, and Maharaja’s Temple, where the stunning white tigers will capture you. 

Your experience will be topped up by various attractions, such as the Shark Voyage train ride, carousel, and Diving Bell Ferris Wheel. 

3. Julia Ideson Library

Julia Ideson Library

For any book-lover, Julia Ideson’s library is a must-see. 

Houston residents and visitors can enjoy the new Exhibit Hall, which hosts rotating shows of items from the HMRC’s collection and visiting exhibits, as well as the magnificent Reading Room. 

Furthermore, it’s more than a library. The Julia Ideson library serves as the permanent home of the staff members of the Houston Public Library, Houston Public Library Foundation, and Houston Metropolitan Research Center. 

The exquisitely renovated public areas of the Ideson Library are also available for special occasions, including weddings, banquets, parties, meetings, and lectures.

4. Phoenicia Specialty Foods

Phoenicia Specialty Foods

This city center market offers residents and professionals in the downtown region all the necessary gourmet delicacies and basics for daily life. 

The state-of-the-art facility features two artisan bread-baking lines and conveyors that distribute hot, fresh pita and rustic-style pizza to clients. 

Phoenicia Speciality Foods is a luxury market containing premium produce, fresh meats, seafood, boutique wines, beers, premium meats and cheeses. 

They even have a signature coffee and gelato bar, floral and housewares sections, a cozy dining area, and a designated cooking demonstration kitchen. 

Indeed, Phoenicia Specialty Foods Downtown is a one-of-a-kind destination for Houstonians and tourists alike.

5. Historic Market Square

Historic Market Square

Historic Market Square is a district that mixes culture and commerce. 

Its 1800s-era architecture, tree-lined walkways, eclectic mix of sidewalk cafes, pubs, and nightlife attractions, as well as excellent residential buildings, make it a site to remember.

Where to Eat in Downtown Houston

After sightseeing around Downtown Houston, there is no doubt you’re bound to get hungry. So, try some of these places instead of leaning for your usual street tacos. 

1. 5411 Empanadas

5411 Empanadas

5411 Empanadas serves handmade, baked empanadas and desserts that warm people’s souls. They also do catering and have vegan and vegetarian empanada options available.

2. Andes Cafe

Andes Cafe

The Andes Cafe, run by Chef David Guerrero, emphasizes and celebrates the exquisite cuisine of South America. Fun fact: it is named after the world’s longest mountain range, which connects seven South American nations. 

3.  Bird Haus

Bird Haus

Located in Underground Hall, Bird Haus serves tasty hot chicken sandwiches with a delicious side of crinkle fries. Not to mention their buttery Texas toast that will have you licking your fingers and wanting for more.

4. Bouray’s Pho & Grill

Bouray's Pho & Grill

Bouray’s cuisine, served in the center of Houston’s Skyline District, clearly represents the city’s variety. 

Bouray’s Pho & Grill is one of the few places where you can have both a wonderful bowl of authentic Vietnamese noodles and a delicious Mexican tortilla. 

You may build the burrito or noodle bowl of your dreams at Bouray’s, thanks to the abundance of ingredients and sides!

5. POST Market

POST Market

This brand-new food hall inside POST HTX offers delectable fare, beverages, and consumables from Texas and international merchants. With over 20 vendors, visitors to the POST market can eat and drink to their hearts’ content. 

Anyone can enjoy delectable delicacies from Arabella Mediterranean Cuisine, Andes Cafe, or South America, as well as juice and coffee from Thrive Juices and BendIn Coffee Club. 

Where to Find Nightlife in Downtown Houston

The moment the sun sets, Downtown Houston begins to come alive. Instead of rushing back home, spend hours indulging in the Houston nightlife. 

1. 810 Billiards & Bowling

810 Billiards & Bowling

At 810 Billiards & Bowling in Downtown Houston, you may play chess, billiards, 10-pin, and enjoy beverages and sliders. Several activities are available at this sophisticated, fun hangout, including free board games and bocce.

Take it all in while enjoying a brick oven pizza or one of their many burger options. For those who need to eat their vegetables while playing pool, the menu also offers a variety of salads.

2. CRU Hemp Lounge 

CRU Hemp Lounge

The restaurant and bar CRU Hemp Lounge is well-known for its handmade cocktails and CBD-infused menu items. The menu has small dishes, including wings, lollipop lamb chops, baby burgers, and hookah and crutails.

3. Bandista


Bandista is a small, contemporary speakeasy located within the Four Seasons Hotel Houston. It is reminiscent of a 1920s club and glistens with a sumptuous Latin vibe. 

Every bar stool at Bandista gives patrons a front-row view of the cocktail lab, where they can mingle with the best bartenders in the city and other discreet diners. 

The 20-seat bar and lounge offer unique and creative takes on traditional and modern cocktails and rare spirits from around the globe. 

4. Boots’ n Shoots 

Boots' n Shoots

Boots’ n Shoots, a Texas-themed bar conveniently located off the METRORail, offers a broad selection of whiskey. 

We recommend trying out the incredibly entertaining larger-than-life PLINKO board, which determines your fate when it’s time to take a shot if you dare.

5. Secret Garden Bar 

Secret Garden Bar

The Secret Garden Bar, located in Bravery Chef Hall’s 2,000-square-foot backyard patio, is a delightful place to get a drink. 

Secret Garden serves craft, bottled, and carbonated beverages and coffee (up until 2:00 PM). In addition, daiquiris, margaritas, and frosé are offered. 

6. Warren’s Inn 

Warren's Inn

This downtown hangout is a favorite among the locals despite not being particularly fancy. With a killer jukebox, great cocktails, and a lively, carefree attitude, the good times will roll. 

Throughout the day, sandwiches are served quickly.

Where to Hear Live Music at Downtown Houston 

Sometimes after a long day of going around downtown, all we want to do is enjoy a scrumptious meal while listening to good music. So we’ve chosen the best spots in Downtown Houston that provide live music and mouth-watering meals.

1. House of Blues

House of Blues

The downtown Houston location of House of Blues Houston opened its doors in October 2008. This enormous facility is the focal point of the GreenStreet outdoor shopping and entertainment complex. 

By the way, it is the only House of Blues built in a vertical structure. Moreover, various superstars are shown in the restaurant’s enormous hand-painted mural with local heroes like Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Albert Collins. 

The House of Blues Houston retains a metal box of mud from the Delta Mississippi to keep the tradition alive. All the while exhibiting the “Crazy Quilt” behind its stage.

2. Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar 

Pete's Dueling Piano Bar

Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar is known for creating vivid memories that keep its customers coming back for more. Their fantastic piano shows and exclusive VIP experiences give everyone who comes to Pete’s Dueling Bar an everlasting experience. 

All night long, you can enjoy jamming to hits from every era while indulging in a drink or two. 

3. Last Concert Cafe

Last Concert Cafe

This 1949-founded Tex-Mex restaurant, tucked away in Downtown’s Warehouse District, offers homemade, fresh food and fantastic live music seven nights a week. 

Last Concert Cafe’s vibrant and welcoming atmosphere gives guests the impression that they are in a neighbor’s backyard. 

Moreover, the outdoor patio is surrounded by picnic tables. It also has a spacious stage area with plenty of room for dancing on “the beach.”

4. The Rustic 

The Rustic

Kitchen, backyard, bar, and live music can all be discovered at The Rustic. Local artisan beers and beverages can be enjoyed outdoors as you eat home-style meals produced with farm-to-table ingredients. 

Not to mention, there are performances by regional and national performers every night that will have you jumping out of your seats,  dancing to every beat. 

Downtown Houston is vast, and there is always something to do, places to eat, and places to stay. While we’ve only put together a guide of the finest recommendations, don’t be afraid to go out and explore Downtown Houston. 

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