I miss Houston — moved to Charlotte for a job this summer...here are my tips as a native Houstonian:

  • Rookie mistake: thinking it’s only going to take 15 minutes to get somewhere during the day. Avoid the freeways during rush hour — all of them (including the toll roads) get packed. If you have to move around during that time, avoid I-610 like the plague.
  • Speaking of freeways, you will have to drive everywhere, so load up on those Lyft/Uber credits. The only good public transportation is the light rail in Downtown and even then that’s debatable.
  • I’m not sure if they FINALLY got rid of the stupid ordinance, but in the Heights area, you can’t have alcohol unless you join a “private club” — and it’s really just flashing your ID and being in a database. It’s really dumb.
  • Best areas for cool stuff: Heights, Montrose, Washington Ave.
  • Worst areas: East side of Houston.
  • Best areas for food: Heights, Montrose, Chinatown (down Bellaire Blvd. — amazing pho places around here).
  • Best restaurants that won’t break the bank: Niko Niko’s, BB’s Cafe, Ninfa’s on Navigation (this is the original one), Lupe Tortilla, Kim Son, Berryhill Baja Grill, Goode Co. BBQ, Velvet Taco, Liberty Taco
  • Torchy’s is overrated and expensive and the last two times I ate there I got sick.
  • Best restaurants that will break the bank: Underbelly, Uchi, Pass & Provisions, Killen’s STQ
  • Speaking of Killen’s, if you have time, go down to the Pearland area and go to the Killen’s BBQ joint. You’ll thank me later.
  • Best bars: Flying Saucer (beer), Anvil (cocktails), Hay Merchant (beer & actually amazing bar food)
  • On Thursdays, the Museum of Fine Arts is free (general admission) and it’s worth it because they have really amazing special exhibits.
  • Rice Village, which is near Rice University, is actually a pretty area and has great shops (like Dromgroole’s, an actual fountain pen and stationary shop) but parking is a bitch.
  • Speaking of Rice University, you should visit. It’s a beautiful campus.
  • Weather: we only have two seasons. Hot, and less hot. Be prepared to possibly wear shorts in winter.