Travel advice for Houston, Texas please!
May 22, 2015 3:10 PM   Subscribe

I am traveling to Houston for work soon and would like some help finding awesome things! I will have a car but not a lot of time as this is a work trip.

I absolutely love Tex-Mex and am hoping to eat my weight in tacos and tamales. I unfortunately have food allergies and will need stuff that is vegetarian, gluten-free, and has no soy.

I love tea. Tea tea tea. Teaaaaaaaa. I've heard that The Path of Tea is good? What else is good?

I hear Houston has good thrifting! Where do I find this?

Is there a place to get zines, or where zinesters hang out?

What else should I know about Houston?
posted by bile and syntax to Travel & Transportation around Houston, TX (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Don't know if this is up your alley but when I was there I tracked down the Buffalo Soldiers Museum which was really worth a visit. Accessible on public transpo.
posted by jessamyn at 3:18 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

It sounds like you're looking for the Westheimer/Montrose area but Houston is quite large- in what area will you be primarily staying? In general, the City of Houston Visitors Site and Houston Press are good starting points. And the museum district has a number of excellent small venues if that's your interest.
posted by beaning at 3:38 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Where are you staying? 'Houston' is a big area, and suburbia Houston is different from the inner loop, where all the cool stuff is.

If you are not in the inner loop.... travel times are usually around 20-30 minutes, or up to three hours of traffic jams, depending on the freeway. has a world class dinosaur, gem and mineral, and Egyptian exhibits.

Also, the Menil is a good museum, if eclectic, and free.

The art museum if also good/great.

We also have a Holocaust museum that I really need to go to. music festival, June 6&7, never been. No idea.

Right next to path of tea is field of greens, which is vegetarian.

Té House of Tea, 1927 Fairview Street, Houston, TX 77019 is not far from path of tea, and apparently has good tea, and is a little more hipsterish than path, which is.... all about tea, really.

All the thrift shops that I know of are on or near Westheimer, in the same area as path o tea and te house. Its also near some of the richest areas of the world, so you can find surprising stuff.

The semifinals basketball Rockets games might be in town when you are.
posted by Jacen at 3:41 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Houston is huge. What part are you going to be working in? I suggest the Museum District for culture, the Montrose area for food and funky things, and that you check around for thrift shop recommendations. I personally like the Blue Bird Circle Shop, though they have short hours.

I cannot recommend any Tex-Mex that is vegetarian and gluten free. There are a great variety of different types of food available, however.

The current weather forecast indicates that you check for flood watches for the next week.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 3:45 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Don't miss the Rothko chapel.
posted by brujita at 4:19 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: If your love of tea extends to bubble tea, give Star Snow Ice a shot (they have a few locations, including one in the SW suburbs).

Fadi's has great Mediterranean food with a bunch of veg options.
posted by asphericalcow at 5:03 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'll be in the inner loop.
posted by bile and syntax at 5:21 PM on May 22, 2015

Best answer: N'th-ing the Rothko Chapel. Come for the somber, contemplative space; stay for the group shaming of jackasses who don't silence their phones.

Houston is also home to the National Museum of Funeral History, if you're looking for a slightly atypical museum experience.

My favorite place for cheap shopping is Harwin, between Beltway 8 and Hillcroft.

If you're a hardware hacker, EPO is worth a trip. (N.B. not open Sunday!)

Directron, The Fantasy Gallery and Nan's Games and Comics Too are all places I regularly patronize, though only of interest if you are the proper subspecies of geek.

Vegetarian gluten-free food is not my strong suit, but one awesome option is Amy's Ice Creams. Need a dive bar? Try notsuoH.

Safe journeys!
posted by sourcequench at 5:36 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Vegan gluten free Tex-Mex can be found at Radical Eats. My Mexican-American, makes-his-own-awesome-Tex-Mex, stepfather even agrees that it's yummy, particularly the sweet potato tamales.
posted by devinemissk at 6:14 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Orange Show, Beer Can house, and Art Car Museum (sorry, official website seems broken right now) are some pretty stellar examples of folk art. You will not see their like anywhere else and they are all pretty close to each other.

For tea I highly recommend Hou De Asian Art. They sell lots of teas, collectible tea ware (yixing pots and the like) and Asian art. Their pricing is high but the selection is fantastic for Chinese tea.

Wherever you go to eat (I always go to Pappasitos -- there are better restaurants, but this place is where I went all the time growing up), make sure that they make their tortillas in house and that you buy 2 or 3 dozen of them to take home with you. They freeze well and you will thank yourself later. (edit -- missed the gluten free bit. nevermind on the tortillas, unless you want to have gifts for others. I can't think of any restaurants that make their own corn tortillas but they might be out there)
posted by cubby at 6:20 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You might also want to to check out the Houston Heights area or along Washington Ave.
posted by beaning at 7:47 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Unfortunately, Radical Eats is closing on Sunday.

For GF food, I would strongly suggest MeMailing Runes as I know his family has lots of expertise in this area. Houston is a fantastic food city but V, GF, and no soy will require some planning.

You can also search Houston Restaurant Week's menu page by gluten free and vegetarian options (go to Advanced Search and they're under cuisine. If you select GF, a lot of the places that come up are also Veg). There's probably an easier way but I like to use HRW because these are restaurants which are often interesting and good food.

I'm a huge tea snob and I didn't particularly enjoy Path of Tea. Maybe you'll have better luck, but I'd suggest that you have a backup location in mind as well. The tea is fine but the service was not.

Zines are a big ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ for me, sorry. If you are the type who likes paper and typography and that aspect of 'zines, you might like the Museum of Printing.

Houston has great museums and great food. Thrifting? I'd never heard that one before. I googled out of curiosity and found Too Cheap Blondes, a blog which has a list of places they recommend. To contextualize their list (which is sorted by neighborhoods): River Oaks=rich area, the Heights=hipster area, 290=a hike and not worth it this trip, Meyerland=kids and families. (no, really!) also had a list that looked good, based on neighborhoods highlighted. One of my colleagues has recommended the Blue Hand, which is in Rice Village, as an interesting stuff (not necessarily clothing, not necessarily vintage) store.
posted by librarylis at 7:19 PM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Hobbit Cafe is a cute little restaurant in a semi-residential downtown neighborhood.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:44 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Unfortunately, Radical Eats is closing on Sunday.

Noooooo! That is so sad.
posted by devinemissk at 8:21 AM on May 25, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks so much everyone!
posted by bile and syntax at 7:08 PM on June 7, 2015

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