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Neighborhood Guide: Houston Heights

By: Hannah Le
July 12, 2019

Living in Houston Heights

If you’re considering a move to Houston, Texas, be sure to explore areas in Greater Heights, commonly referred to as just “The Heights.” The Heights is a thriving, lively urban community that is less than 15 minutes northwest of Downtown Houston. The neighborhood is practically designed for energetic young professionals. Here’s what you need to know about before considering a move to Houston Heights. 

The Best of Houston’s Original Culture

As Houston’s oldest planned community, Houston Heights offers a rich history with a modern twist. The best way to describe the Heights is to emphasize its quirky sense of individuality. You’ll see this vibe reflected in its shops, cafes, and flair for all things retro-chic. According to a  National Geographic article, the Heights “flourishes as a destination for foodies, architecture buffs, and creatives.” We agree, and believe it’s the perfect community for young professionals with a love for arts and culture.

The hub of Houston Heights activity lies on 19th Street. This street is a walkable strip of unique boutiques, thrift stores, and antique shops. This popular Heights destination also offers quaint cafes and restaurants, as well as more niche stores. You’ll find spots that sell comic books, vintage toys, crafts, and more. Each month, there’s live music, plants, and artwork on display at the First Saturday Arts Market.

Beyond 19th Street, the Heights Mercantile is another charming marketplace with walkable shopping and dining experiences. Come by on your Sunday morning for board game cafes and specialty bagel bakeries.

The Heights’ Hip, Urban Communities

Most of the Heights’ locals are city dwellers and young professionals who appreciate the diverse community and architecture. They tend to be active and open-minded, and there is a mix of both homeowners and apartment renters.

This is reflected in the vintage Victorian homes and Craftsman bungalows juxtaposed against newer mid-rise apartments that fortify Houston’s diversity. The Heights is known for its great running trails and green spaces by the Houston Bayou. This is an active part of town for families and pet owners alike. 

A Booming Nightlife

Going out in the Heights is always guaranteed to be a good time. The neighborhood provides one of the finer, “cool” experiences of going out in the city. New nightlife establishments give off funky yet down-to-earth vibes and attract returning locals every weekend. The bars are casual but not tacky, and they play a big part in Heights’ personable, social reputation. It’s easy to make friends when going out in the Heights.

In addition to warmly-lit bars, the Heights’ nightlife also includes live music performances at night, outdoor venues, and late-night restaurants.  It’s an ideal location for exploring multiple activities and sites all in a single night.

Things to Do in Houston Heights

New to the neighborhood and looking for some things to do? Here are the first things to check out in Houston Heights.

Listen to Live Music 

Houston has no shortage of live music whether you’re headed out on a Monday or bustling Saturday night. Sing along to the music, grab a cold brew, or enjoy a bite to eat at White Oak Music Hall in Houston Heights. The space features several on-site venues including "The Lawn," "WOMH Upstairs," and "WOMH Downstairs." If you're hungry, get tickets to a show on The Lawn for music under the stars and choose snacks and dinner from on-site food trucks. Otherwise, choose from one of the restaurants nearby or along 19th Street like Harold's Restaurant and Tap Room for burgers, creole benedict, chicken and waffles, and southern pulled pork tacos. 

Take a Bike Tour

Explore the original footprint of Houston Heights and learn more about the city’s first mixed-use community. Hop on a bike, or rent one from Houston B-Cycle, and join AIA Houston for a bicycle tour of the area's contemporary architecture and how it fits into the broader context of the neighborhood. Reservations are required, and tours meet at the Heights Branch public library.

Eat from an Urban Garden 

Urban gardens are nothing new, but being able to sample the fresh produce on your favorite pizza, pasta, and small plates is an experience. Coltivare grows an impressive garden out back to keep their food tasting fresh, and creating the most sustainable dishes possible. A selection of wine, beer, and cocktails are also available  But be prepared to embrace Coltivare's no reservation policy. The wait is worth it, and lounging out back in their lush vegetable garden while your table is prepped is just part of the fun. 

See an Independent Film

Creatives and artists at heart head to 14 Pews to see independent films and visual art celebrations that promote the city’s diversity. Housed inside an old white, wooden church in Houston Heights, 14 Pews has shown over 800 films, documentaries, experimental shorts, and curated eight film festivals. But locals know part of the charm of 14 Pews isn't just its impressive sampling of artists films, it's also their 85-year-old bartender who love serving locals and art lovers.

Feel Like a Kid Again

Kids don't corner the market on fun in Houston Heights, and the off-beat Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theater delivers adult-sized fun. The theatre launched in 1996 to introduce artists and audiences to the art of puppetry through original productions. It's not your typical kids' puppet shows and creates cutting-edge shows with adults in mind. But if you do have kids and want to have some fun, head over to Donavan Park. Little locals call this spot “Castle Park” featuring an electorate playground and railroad theme and wooden castle.

Browse 19th Street

Leave your car at home and set out on 19th Street in Houston Heights to play, eat, and explore. Explore the folk art gallery at Casa Ramirez Imports, order some shrimp and grits at Down House featuring locally-sourced and fresh ingredients, shop for wine at We Olive & Wine Bar, and get nostalgic at the hipster-favorite Cutthroat Barbers. There's more to see and do in just one day, so keep 19th Street on your regular must-do list. 

Postino via Instagram

Where to Eat and Drink in Houston Heights

Looking for some of the best bites in the neighborhood? We’ve got you covered. Here are some of our favorite restaurants in Houston Heights.

Better Luck Tomorrow

Better Luck Tomorrow is a hip and buzzy bar tucked into the Houston Heights neighborhood. They whip up inventive cocktails and dish out elevated comfort food. Try the Crispy Chicken. This delicious chicken is fried in hot sauce and paired with pickled cabbage. You can’t go wrong with the Warm Flatbread as well, with yogurt marinated cucumbers and lemon. They have cocktails, wine and beer and also fun weather specials. For example, if it’s hotter than 95 degrees, highballs are half off and if it’s raining, hurricanes are half off. So swing by when the weather is crazy for fun deals!


For simple, delicious food and a warm atmosphere come to Postino. This place boasts unique, eclectic décor and cool vibes with a large indoor dining room. On those cool summer nights enjoy a meal on their beautiful patio under the string lights. They serve Italian favorites and specialty bruschetta, plus lots and lots of wine. To try a few bruschetta flavors at once, you can order a flight for $15. The best flavors are Burrata, Bacon, Arugula and Tomato, Ricotta, Dates and Pistachio, Salami and Pesto and Brie, Apple and Fig spread. A flight and a bottle of wine make for a perfect combo.


With an unmatched Deep South-influenced menu, you must try Ritual when in Houston Heights. It’s a beautifully bright, casually hip taproom featuring smoked meats and savory Southern cuisine. Ask for The Houston Breakfast Extravaganza if you’re feeling indulgent or want to share. It’s $50 and comes with more breakfast than you could ever ask for. Four eggs, bacon, two types of sausage, ham steak, grits, breakfast potatoes, toast, biscuit, two buttermilk pancakes, and a giant waffle. Yeah… you might want to bring your friends along for this one. 


Downhouse prides itself on offering a chef-driven menu, specialty coffee, and a quality craft bar experience. The dining experience is elevated in an artsy and comfortable environment with friendly servers. Some favorites off the breakfast menu include the Pork Hash and the Chilaquiles paired with their Cold Brewed Coffee. For dinner, try the Chicken Milanese, which is a parmesan-breaded chicken breast, tomatoes, arugula, and avocado pesto or the Kimchi Burger. Happy Hour is Monday – Friday from 9 – 6 pm and on weekends from 3 – 6 pm and all classic cocktails, house wine, and beer are $5.

Cedar Creek Bar & Grill

One of the best patios to enjoy a meal with friends or family in Houston Heights. When it’s hot out, Cedar Creek opens umbrellas for shade while you dine. When it’s chilly, they burn cedar wood on the outdoor fire pit for a cozy feel. Brunch items include Chicken & Waffles, Breakfast Bowls and Breakfast Tacos alongside morning cocktails or coffee drinks. They have a Champagne Bucket for $20 which is an entire 750ml of champagne with grapefruit, pineapple or orange juice. A perfect way to start a weekend!

Ready to make Houston Heights your new home? Find an apartment situated in the neighborhood.

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Hannah M. Le: Le is a freelance marketer and entrepreneur who never gave up on her "save the world" mentality. Read More
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