1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Downtown Houston fun?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by CaptCampion, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. CaptCampion

    CaptCampion Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Messages:
    46
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    I'll be in downtown Houston next week for a convention. At the Hilton of the Americas. Always looking for good beer and eats, unique places, brewpubs, etc. Any help would be awesome
     
  2. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    2,902
    Location:
    Southern Maryland by way of Philadelphia
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Minute Maid Park is a short walk.

    Warning! You don't know heat until you have been to Houston.

    There is a large concourse below the downtown towers that is interesting.
     
  3. WavesOfFury

    WavesOfFury Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    8th Wonder Brewery is pretty close. They have a taproom that's kind of Houston sports themed and their beer is pretty good. It was just open air last time I was there though, so it might be pretty hot inside. Mongoose Versus Cobra isn't too far either. Never been, but I've only heard good things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  4. CaptCampion

    CaptCampion Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Messages:
    46
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    How should I feel about walking around downtown (within several blocks of the convention center) in the later afternoon/evening? Safe?
     
  5. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    2,902
    Location:
    Southern Maryland by way of Philadelphia
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    I would watch my six in that park. No different from other big cities.
     
  6. WavesOfFury

    WavesOfFury Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    ^Very true.
     
  7. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    2,902
    Location:
    Southern Maryland by way of Philadelphia
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Is that the one across the street from the ball park? If it is, I had a great time there after a game. I think there is a decent steak house not far from there, too.

    OP - You can rent a car and drive to Galveston. It's about 45 miles or so and has a ton of cool stuff.
     
  8. mkhira2

    mkhira2 Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    I'm keeping my list narrowed to places either downtown or within a couple miles of it.

    Beer:

    The Flying Saucer - 200+ beers on tap, knowledgeable staff. Sundays are $3 Texas beer day. My favorite bar.

    Bad News Bar for cocktails, Pastry War for mezcal, Warren's if you're looking for strong pours with locals.

    Eats:

    Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse - best steakhouse in Houston IMO. They have a Vegas location as well.

    Huynh for Vietnamese, Ninfa's Orginal on Navigation for Mexican, Uchi for sushi, Tony's for fine Italian, Paulie's for a casual lunch. And definitely Common Bond for breakfast.

    Unique Places:

    The Menil - free museum in the Montrose neighborhood. Currently doing a Copley exhibition that is phenomenal.
    Museum of Fine Arts - not free, but doing a Kusama "At The End of the Universe" exhibit that is worth the short trip.

    All the museums are world class. Too many to mention. The two listed above are my favorite, but any will be worth your while.

    Brewpubs:

    8th Wonder - great bar, sports themed. Brewery is named after The Astrodome, the Houston Astros original home, nicknamed the "8th wonder of the world" for being the first major sports venue with artificial turf and an animated scoreboard.

    Karbach Brewery has great food, Saint Arnold's is Texas' oldest craft brewery.

    --------------------------------------------

    Downtown Houston is a great place to be. I feel pretty safe there, but like any big city, watch yourself down quiet streets.
     
  9. CaptCampion

    CaptCampion Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Messages:
    46
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Thanks for that. I already had the Flying Saucer and 8th wonder on my list....thanks for the confirmation. Here's a bunch of the other ones I researched for food or drink (I'm hoping most of these are walking distance)

    Calabash Island Eats
    Original Okra Charity Saloon
    Neil's Bar
    Hearsay Gastro Lounge
    Little Woodrows
    MKT Bar
    Dirt Bar
    Treebeards
    Captain Foxhearts
    Reserve 101
    Tejas Grill and Sportsbar
    Lucky's Pub
    Shay McElroy's Irish Pub
    Market Square Bar and Grill
    Mongoose Vs. Cobra
    Christian's Tailgate bar and grill
     
  10. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,866
    Location:
    Los Angeles,CA.
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    My question to the Houston guy? Do you have Uber cab service? Large cities also have bums sitting around. Some of them are nuts.
    I recently had the experience of being in Palm Springs at night at 8 p.m. The local bus dropped me off two blocks away from my hotel in town. I had to walk two blocks to get to my hotel and it was super dark streets.
    A bum with no shirt decided to walk with me to my hotel. He was crazy but I felt safe with him because a thief could have accosted me in the dark streets. After one block I noticed a Coffee Shop so I decided to go have a snack there.
    The bum said that he couldn't go inside because he didn't have a shirt on. I walked in and told the Manager about the Bum outside. He decided he was going to go to sleep on top of a car. The manager called the cops and they took him away. Then one of the workers walked me to my hotel and I gave him a $10. tip. I was so glad he walked me to my hotel because we saw another bum walking near my hotel.

    Even in Beverly Hills, Calif. people have been accosted by thieves. Better to go with a friend or use a cab.
     
  11. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,866
    Location:
    Los Angeles,CA.
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Houston has a lot of mosquitos at night time and I think also in the daytime. It is a very humid city.
     
  12. mkhira2

    mkhira2 Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    From your list, OKRA Charity Saloon and MKT Bar are both walking distance and great. OKRA is across the street from Flying Saucer.

    Neither have a terribly interesting beer list, but I enjoy both. OKRA had a really interesting premise. It's a non-profit bar where every drink you order comes with a "ticket". On your way out, drop your tickets into one of three voting boxes where each box represents a different local charity. The box with the most "votes" at the end of the month gets the bars monthly profit as a donation. MKT Bar is good if you're looking for some food to go with your beers. It's actually a grocery store (think International Whole Foods) with a bar attached. The store has a lot of hard to find items and specializes in selling unique food products from around the world.

    Yes, Houston has both Uber and people who, I believe, don't sleep in a house most nights. The people that I suspect sleep on benches instead of beds have been harmless in my experience.
     
  13. CaptCampion

    CaptCampion Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Messages:
    46
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Any of the other ones within reasonable walking distance from the Hilton downtown?
     
  14. mkhira2

    mkhira2 Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    Im not certain about them all, but certainly walkable are:

    Calabash Island Eats
    Original Okra Charity Saloon
    MKT Bar
    Captain Foxhearts
    Lucky's Pub
    Shay McElroy's Irish Pub
    Market Square Bar and Grill


    Neil's Bar and Cobra VS Mongoose are a bit over a mile each, but worth it. Neil's is video game themed and CvM is beer driven.
     
  15. spicole

    spicole Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Messages:
    557
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21
    You have some good suggestions already. mkhira2 is probably on the mark on most or all of the recommendations.

    It will be FUCKING HOT and BRUTALLY HUMID. Get ready to sweat! Don't worry about the mesquitos. There will probably be some, but not much downtown, especially in the dog days of summer. If you have time to kill during the day, check out the downtown tunnel system.

    The Hilton Americas is an excellent place to stay downtown if you are visiting for a convention. Pappasitos has a branch in the hotel and is most excellent. Definitely eat there. Get the beef fajitas. You are also within walking distance of Guadalajara (also good), and a short Uber ride from the original Ninfa's. Of the three, Ninfa's will probably be the best if you are willing to take Uber. It is not cheap. One unique place downtown is El Big Bad, which has a huge selection of infused tequilas. The food is "meh" but the drinks are great. They have something like 50 different infused tequilas, some as exotic as durian infused tequila. They had a "churro" margarita made with cinnamon and vanilla infused tequilas.

    Yes, Uber is in town and is ridiculously cheap.

    The Astros are not back in town until July 22.

    For beer: I also recommend Flying Saucer on Main. Anything up and down Main will be easy to get to.
    Others: I am not sure if Treebeards is open at night. Lunch is A+. I also like Phoenicia Deli. Christian's Tailgate is known for their burgers but is not close.
    If you want truly unique: Try the Last Concert Cafe. You need to knock to get in the door.

    In summary: Pappasitos, Flying Saucer, Ninfa's if you wnat to Uber. Don't be afraid to bar-hop.
     
  16. CaptCampion

    CaptCampion Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Messages:
    46
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Yeah and I'm from Portland where we have no idea what humidity is. I've been to Houston once before but it was in January. So I'm anticipating being very uncomfortable. That's what the beer is for.

    Thanks for the great suggestions. I do have to occasionally go to the convention stuff so I might not get to hit ALL these places. :)

    C
     
  17. spicole

    spicole Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Messages:
    557
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21
    I like your attitude! I'll be interested in hearing the reviews and whether we hit the mark or not. :)
     
  18. KellyLovesVegas

    KellyLovesVegas certified personal trainer/retired space nerd

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Houston
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    59
    As one who runs long distance in the epic Houston area heat and humidity, please remember you need to drink lots of water, especially since your body is not acclimated to this environment. If you are going to be outside for an extended period of time, alternate drinking an electrolyte sports drink and water.
    When temps are in the mid-high 90s with dew point in the 70s as they have been in the past few days, you will be amazed at how much water your body can shed in a short time.

    Drink plenty of water and enjoy your visit!
    Kelly
     
  19. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    2,902
    Location:
    Southern Maryland by way of Philadelphia
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    There's a reason Houston invented indoor baseball. It would be virtually impossible otherwise. I can't imagine what it must have been like at the old Houston Colt .45's games before the Astrodome.
     
  20. CaptCampion

    CaptCampion Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Messages:
    46
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    I'm taking a midnight flight out of Portland tonight, getting to Dallas at like 6am local time then hopping over to Houston. Gonna be tired on Monday so I'll probably fall asleep after a couple of beers. I'll be glad to give a report after I get back....I love bar-hopping. :) Thanks so much all