Houston hotel/neighborhood suggestions
November 28, 2011 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Where in Houston should I stay for a solo, weekend trip?

31 years-old and married, minus my significant other a weekend in Houston for a college football game.

Looking for suggestions as to which area of the city I should stay. I like craft beer and chill bars with character. I'll have a car and will be in town Friday evening through Sunday evening.

I used to live in Seattle and I would tell "people like me" to stay in Capitol Hill or Lower Queen Anne or Freemont, if that gives you any indication of the scene I like.

Money isn't truly an issue, though I don't want to spend more than $130 per night at a hotel.
posted by bamassippi to Travel & Transportation around Houston, TX (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Definitely go to St. Arnold's brewery for a 'tour' (in quotes because the tour is interesting, but optional. Buy a $5 pint glass and use it for your samples. Trust me.)

If you're going to the UH game (I'm assuming that's why you're here), I'd look for a hotel in the Greenway area. It's in a urban part of town, but very central and easy access to all of the fun areas (Rice Village, Montrose, Heights). I'd spend my evenings in Rice Village (Gingerman is your craft beer bar), or if you're feeling hipster-ish, Grand Prize (Banks St. right off Montrose) is the cool kids hangout.

I'm a Houstonian, so I don't know much about the areas of Seattle you're talking about, but feel free to tweet/email me if you have specific questions. I'm happy to give you some pointers.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 8:46 AM on November 28, 2011

My favorite bar in Houston, located downtown:


The Carafe in Market Square. No craft beers, but lots of character.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 9:25 AM on November 28, 2011

The Hotel Zaza is the one that keeps coming up when I look for some place interesting in Houston. May be tough there at under $130. Last time I was there I stayed at the Crowne Plaza River Oaks which was perfectly adequate and conveniently located ($80 per night for some random weekend in December). Generally, any hotels inside of Loop 610 are central, with a preference to the west or southwest octants. The Montrose and Museum District are sort of the center of modern urban stuff, within a couple of miles of Westheimer and Montrose.

For fancy beer the Gingerman used to be the place. I haven't been there in years, but the one in Austin was still good last year. (My favourite Texas beer is still Shiner Bock, which despite having gone industrial is still quite nice and a good everyman beer.) Houston has great food: Cajun, Creole, Tex-Mex, Barbeque, and Vietnamese are all good choices. For Creole I had a good dinner at Danton's, a somewhat fancy place. For Tex-Mex try El Real. Goode Company is a reasonable go-to for barbeque, but honestly I think it's overrated.

I grew up in Houston, but have only visited once in the past few years.
posted by Nelson at 9:53 AM on November 28, 2011

Oh and if you want an old school beer drinking experience (now made slightly hipster) the West Alabama Ice House is a great place to spend a warm evening.
posted by Nelson at 9:55 AM on November 28, 2011

Native Houstonian and former Heights resident here, now living in Austin. If I'm feeling like a nice weekend in the old hometown with my spouse, I stay at Sara's, a bed & breakfast on Height Boulevard. Freeway access for getting to the game is relatively easy and you're in good driving distance to Montrose/lower Westheimer/Rice on surface streets. If I feel cheap and am planning to be out and about for most of my visit, I generally stay at the Hampton Inn just inside the 610 Loop off San Felipe, which is serviceable and well within your price limit.

Seconding the St. Arnold's tour, which I did many years ago and would love to do again--I believe they've moved facilities since the last time I took it. I haven't been to the (Houston) Gingerman in years, but I used to like it. My go-to bar when I'm in town is McGonigel's Mucky Duck, mostly for the music.

Enjoy your trip!
posted by immlass at 10:01 AM on November 28, 2011

The Magnolia downtown sometimes has good rates around $125. Other nice hotels: Icon, Alden. If you can get good rates there they are nice places to stay and good for getting around nearby colleges and the bars. Local foodie fav Phoenicia Foods just opened near the Magnolia and the Alden.

Seconding La Carafe (downtown), the West Alabama Ice House, Danton's and El Real. If you can make it to Vahalla on the Rice campus that place is fun and interesting. Closed on Sat and Sun however. Have fun. This town is crazy for college ball right now.
posted by dog food sugar at 10:06 AM on November 28, 2011

Modern B&B in Montrose is somewhere we used to put up visiting artists and might appeal to you. Montrose and the Heights are neighborhoods (about 10-15 minutes apart) that are good for craft beer and bars with character, as well as other attractions.

More specifically, a pretty awesome-looking craft beer place, The Hay Merchant, is set to open shortly, and would be near you if you stay in Montrose. Until they open, Liberty Station or Down House (a Charles Darwin themed bar in an old bank) is a good bet. Other (not-craft-beer) bars with character on the dive-with-good-jukebox end of the spectrum are Alice's Tall Texan the Rose Garden.
posted by *s at 10:13 AM on November 28, 2011

Be warned that Alice's doesn't take credit/debit nor has an ATM machine. This STILL gets me almost every time.

Down House has great food. I'm more partial to Anvil for drinks (though, DH just debuted a new winter drink menu).
posted by chrisfromthelc at 10:57 AM on November 28, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, y'all!
posted by bamassippi at 11:08 AM on November 29, 2011

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