Downtown Houston City Guide | The Ballroom at Bayou Place
Downtown Houston has blossomed in the past few years to be the incredible hub it was always meant to be. From new, exciting restaurants, to the oldest bar in Houston, and theaters for any occasion, there is a place for everyone in downtown. Since The Ballroom sits right on the edge of downtown Houston in the famous Bayou Place block, we are surrounded by some great spots that we’d love to share with our fellow Houstonians, or those visiting to our beloved city.
Where to Eat
Phoenicia Specialty Foods
Phoenicia is a favorite among those who work and play in downtown Houston. Part grocery store and part cafe, this 55,000 square foot delicatessen has been in town for over 30 years and shows no signs of slowing down.
La Fisheria is finally back after flooding during Harvey last year, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Boasting an incredible happy hour, delicious coastal mexican food and a fun drink menu, you can’t go wrong stopping by.
The new Local Foods location in downtown Houston is hard to beat when looking for a fun spot for any meal, whether it be brunch, happy hour, a team lunch meeting or a cozy dinner. Fresh, local ingredients make up its delicious, seasonal menu.
Comfort cajun food—does it get any better than that? Treebeards is an institution, and they have a few locations throughout downtown. Our favorite is the spot right off of Historic Market Square Park. Jambalaya, cornbread and a view of the park equals the perfect Houston lunch spot.
The Conservatory is Houston’s first food hall, and beyond that, it’s the first underground food hall in Houston too! Complete with a beer and wine garden, a pizzeria, poke bar and more, this is a great spot for any time of day.
From Houston Astros owner, Jim Crane, Potente is a beautiful Italian restaurant with homemade pastas, seafood and steaks. All ingredients are locally sourced, and they have an incredible happy hour menu. Stop by after an Astros game for a real treat!
Where to Drink
Located in the historic Houston Cotton Exchange Building in downtown Houston, Public Services Wine & Whisky specializes in an international selection of reputable wine and whiskies. The lounge-like atmosphere is perfect for a drink after work, and the evening invites a cool, eclectic crowd to the full-service bar.
Houston may not have a white sands beach on its shores, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a tiki bar. Kanaloa is a new addition to the downtown bar scene, located near the Historic Market Square Park.
You can’t go wrong with The Pastry War—downtown Houston’s tequila bar. No pastries, just tequila and delicious tamales if you’re up for a bite. This space is perfect for a fun date night, drinks with friends or happy hour.
OKRA is downtown’s not-for-profit bar. With every drink you order, you receive a token to vote for which charity OKRA will donate their proceeds to that month. The result is a great drink and a feeling of doing good. It doesn’t hurt that OKRA’s kitchen is open until midnight, and they make the best chocolate chip cookies in town.
The Home of the Astros has been around since the year 2000, but it’s gotten quite the inside face-lift recently with new restaurants such as Shake Shack, Torchy’s Tacos, Saint Arnold’s Bar and many many more (see a comprehensive list here on Houston Eater). So while the Astros aren’t new, their restaurant/bar options and World Series trophy certainly are! Go and enjoy a cold one while watching our World Champs this season!
You can’t make a downtown Houston city guide and not include one of the best parks in Houston—Discovery Green. If you need to stretch your legs, look no further. With exercise classes, kayaking in the pond, movies on the lawn, a restaurant, a dog park and more, you really have it all in one place.
From ballet to opera to off-broadway shows, Houston has it all. If you’re looking for incredible musical productions, visit The Hobby Center for a grand performance. For a more intimate experience, check out The Alley Theatre. The Alley is a not-for-profit theatre and is the home to a company of actors that put on 450 performances per year! The Wortham Center and Jones Hall are The Ballroom’s neighbors and are home to The Houston Ballet and The Houston Symphony. A trip to Houston is truly not complete without visiting one of our amazing theatres!
Avenida Houston is a newer area growing near Discovery Green and the George R. Brown Convention Center. With restaurants, shopping and entertainment, you get a little bit of everything on this expansive boulevard.
We love being in the middle of the downtown Houston culture. If you’re looking to throw an event with the best views of downtown, we would love to take you on a tour of our space. Reach out to us directly or check out our website for more information.