Welcome to Downtown Houston! From towering skyscrapers, vibrant festivals and energetic concerts and sporting events to world-class theater performances, eclectic bars and public art, here are the “hotspots” to help you navigate your way through what to see, do, eat and in Downtown. Divided into 10 districts (or what we like to call, neighborhoods): Historic, Shopping, Avenida Houston, Skyline, Ballpark, Theater, Historic Market Square, Warehouse, Southern Downtown and County, every corner awaits something new to discover about Downtown’s unique identity. But hey, don’t just take our word for it, try some (or all) of these for yourself as you explore #DowntownHouston!
Serving as an ode to visionary and “mother of Houston,” Charlotte Baldwin, the C. Baldwin Hotel is a luxe property conveniently connected to the Allen Center combining innovation with modern amenities. As a guest, enjoy easy access to Downtown with a complimentary shuttle and experience bold cuisine from Top Chef Masters Winner, Chef Chris Cosentino at Rosalie Italian Soul.
Elevate your Downtown stay with the Marriott Marquis Houston. With spacious rooms, sophisticated service and easy access to the George R. Brown Convention Center through the skywalk, this one-of-a-kind property is sure to add to an already enjoyable stay in Downtown. Float in the Texas-shaped rooftop lazy river, sit on the terrace and outdoor pavilion or get some R&R at the full-service spa.
Just a short of walk from Market Square Park and bars and eateries along Main Street, Hotel ICON is the ideal boutique property to experience the Historic neighborhood of Downtown Houston. Located in the once Union National Bank of Houston, unique features include: the bank’s original vault housed in the hotel main lobby and an elegant foyer centered around a lively bar. Hotel ICON is where glamour meets history.
Steps away from Houston’s preeminent and vibrant Theater District featuring The Hobby Center for Performing Arts, Alley Theatre, Jones Hall and Wortham Center, lies The Lancaster. From hosting an array of celebrity guests throughout its nearly 100 years of service, this quaint luxury property is a pillar in Downtown history. Built in 1926, The Lancaster redefines artistic charm by housing more than 200 contemporary works of art from prominent Texas artists.
Let us help you eat your way through Downtown – after all, the best way to experience a city is through the diverse restaurants and culinary geniuses that call Houston home. Start the morning with a walk to 3 Fibs Coffee & Wine Bar. In addition to the delicious brews they serve, take your pick from sweet and savory liege waffles made in-house with ingredients imported from France and Belgium. For more of an array of breakfast and lunch selections, Common Bond Brasserie & Bakery located on the corner of Capitol and Travis, boasts menu offerings like flavorful shrimp and grits, toasty flatbreads and French classics from coq au vin to French onion soup and fresh sandwiches.
Guard and Grace in One Allen Center is the contemporary dining experience your trip in Downtown must include! From the mastermind of prominent Denver chef Troy Guard, feast on appetizing brisket melts and burgers to mouthwatering wood-grilled steaks. This atmosphere offers a modern twist to traditional steakhouses.
One step into Bravery Chef Hall and you’ll know exactly why it’s a favorite in the historic neighborhood of Downtown. Directly across from Market Square Park, indulge in the diverse flavors of Houston through five chef-driven restaurants: Kokoro, BOH Pasta & Pizza, The Blind Goat, Marguax’s Oyster Bar and IXIM, all housed under one roof. As you dine in the food hall, also grab a drink from one of three bars: Bravery Wine Bar, The Italian Job and Secret Garden Bar.
An evening in Downtown would not be complete without a dinner experience to seal the night. Within the Four Seasons Hotel is an exciting destination that celebrates the convivial dining culture and vibrant flavors of Central and South America. Toro Toro, an award-winning Pan-Latin Steakhouse curated from hef Richard Sandoval, offers prime tomahawk, South Texas antelope tenderloin, sweet corn empanadas, lobster mac and cheese and more!
For elevated dining near Minute Maid Park, look no further than Potente. Created by Houston Astros-owner Jim Crane, this swanky Italian restaurant focuses on using local products and high-quality ingredients. Try the Spaghetti Al Tartufo Nero (named one of the best pastas in the country by Food Network) or any of the other delectable dishes.
Located in the eclectic Warehouse neighborhood, Theodore Rex, combines relaxed fine dining with French touches. Revel in comfort dishes created by James Beard award-winning chef Justin Yu like butterbeans, savory tomato toast, gulf snapper and roasted chicken, all with a modern spin.
Raise a glass to Downtown’s bustling nightlife in bars and clubs that embody the vibrance of the city. On your stroll along Main Street, stop into Little Dipper Bar and let your hair down at this whimsical watering hole with cheap cocktails and a cool neighborhood feel. Prepare to move and groove under neon nights and a mirror ball unicorn at ‘80s themed, Cherry Bar. Or from the same nightlife brilliance that brought Cherry, grab a colorful cocktail at Zenaku, the anime-inspired bar. Combining digital light elements and animated digital graphics, immerse yourself in this one-of-a-kind night on the town.
Situated along Buffalo Bayou, you can’t visit Downtown without hearing the name McIntyre’s. From live music, the largest covered dog-friendly patio bar in Downtown, large screens for watching your favorite games, food trucks to keep your belly full, and signature swings and arcade games, McIntyre’s is a guaranteed good time.
Just a few blocks from Discovery Green, right across from House of Blues Houston is Reserve 101. Named one of the top whiskey bars in the country, stop in for an impressive glass of scotch in a bar that has withstood the test of time- including Prohibition!
For some no-frill fun near Market Square Park, La Carafe and Warren’s Inn are the perfect evening stops to cap a great night. La Carafe, the oldest bar in Houston offers a myriad wine list and classic jukebox, while Warren’s Inn is a popular Downtown hangout spot for locals, serving up classic cocktails in its care-free ambience.
SEE & DO
Highlights of Downtown include two urban parks that have contributed the development of the city. Market Square Park in the heart of Houston is the perfect hangout spot to enjoy with friends, family or fur baby in the dog run. Grab a beer and gyros from Niko Niko’s, pick a spot on the lawn and take in the sounds and sights of Downtown. Houston’s favorite family-friendly park, Discovery Green is also home to a dog run, amphitheater, children’s playground, kids splash pad to cool off in the Texas heat and much more! From bingo nights and concerts at Market Square Park to movie nights and fitness classes at Discovery Green, the fun never stops!
Just across the way from Discovery Green is the grocery store of your dreams. Phoenicia Specialty Foods is a one-stop “gourmet” shop. Pick up an array of boutique grocery and household items from the international market, enjoy the coffee and gelato bar or grab a bite at the various tasty food stations. When you leave, the only word on your mind will be “YUMMY!”
For some added “hub” fun head to POST Houston. Once home to the Barbara Jordan Post Office, this long-awaited development project now houses Live Nation concert venue 713 Music Hall, a breathtaking Skylawn and unique workspaces. After you marvel at the innovative architecture, pick up lunch from one of over 20 international food vendors in POST Market.
Hike, bike, canoe or kayak at Buffalo Bayou Park, a greenbelt that hugs northwest Downtown. Spend the day exercising and enjoying the greenspace, or head to The Cistern for a tour of the former underground drinking water reservoir built in 1926, that showcases rotating art installations.
Rent a bicycle at Bike Barn at Waterworks or from one of many Houston BCycle stations and take a ride down to see the historic monuments of James A. Baker, III and George H.W. Bush monuments at Sesquicentennial Park and Lyndon B. Johnson at Tranquility Park to learn about the contributions each made to the development of Houston, Texas and our nation.
Finish the ride with a stop at the Downtown Aquarium to see over 200 land and sea species from an array of habitats including the Louisiana Swamp and Rainforest. Just in time for sunset, catch a picturesque glimpse of the Downtown skyline with views from the Diving Bell Ferris wheel, or voyage through sharky waters aboard a whimsical train ride.
Founded by husband-and-wife duo, Kenneth and Carissa Stephens, add a unique experience to your to-do list with a taste-tasting at Pur Noire Urban Wineries. Sample wines from the hand-crafted collection while you learn about pairings and the wine-making process.
A few miles north, stop in Houston favorite Saint Arnold Brewing Company and crack open a craft. Take a tour of Texas’ Oldest Craft Brewery to see everything from the brewing to the bottling. After, catch a game on the big screen in their beer garden, or sit inside their chapel-style restaurants for some good ole fashioned pub grub.