“With 10,000-plus restaurants representing over 70 different cuisines, Houston is the
‘Culinary & Cultural Capital of the South.’
Our amazing restaurant scene as ethnically
diverse as our 2. 3 million residents,” said
Mike Waterman, president and CEO of Visit
Houston. “From Xochi’s Oaxacan cuisine
to The Rustic’s American fare or Caribbean
soul dishes at Kulture and Kau Ba’s Vietnamese Cajun, visitors can experience the
world’s delicacies in one visit.
“Plus, with so many options, it’s not
surprising that Food & Wine, GQ and
Trav-elZoo all named Houston as the best foodie
destination this year,” he added.
Following are six standouts on the
Houston culinary map nowadays, some
new, some tried and true—all well suited
to visiting groups, starting with three in the
city’s completely reimagined convention
center district: Avenida Houston.
The Rustic Houston
One of the city’s hottest new performance
venues is also one of its tastiest. The Rustic
Houston debuted in November 2018 as the
third installment in The Rustic series. The
flagship is in Dallas and the other is in San
Antonio. In Houston, The Rustic stands
on Polk Street right next to the George R.
Brown Convention Center, so groups are
loving the vibrant venue just steps away.
The 25,000-square-foot, event-ready
dining and entertainment establishment
features farm-to-table, home-style fare,
daily concerts, a retractable roof, an out-
door stage and a large outdoor patio.
Live music is on the calendar daily.
Latest + Greatest
➜ Omni Houston Hotel ( www.omnihotels.com/hotels/houston) reopened in November 2018
following a property-wide $30 million renovation. The inspiration drew from an authentic
local aesthetic that includes leathers, bronze, brass and lush greens, providing a new take
on a “modern Texas.” The urban oasis now has natural light throughout with floor-to-ceiling windows, open communal spaces and the idea of bringing the outdoors inside. The
property features 378 guest rooms and suites, more than 30,000 square feet of meeting
space, the 7,100-square-foot Mokara Spa and numerous high-end dining options.
➜ The Lancaster Hotel ( www.thelancaster.com), which opened in 1926 and is registered as
a Texas Historic Landmark, reopened in fall 2018 after undergoing a multimillion-dollar
renovation following flooding damage from Hurricane Harvey. The renovated hotel, well
suited for small meetings, boasts a redesigned lobby and guest rooms, a new restaurant
and bar, an outdoor mezzanine, an espresso bar and a new cardio fitness studio. Additionally, the hotel is a haven for art lovers, with the work of more than 60 artists displayed
throughout the property and a TV channel dedicated to art.
➜ In March 2018, The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston ( www.thepostoakhotel.com)
opened as Houston’s newest luxury destination. The 10-acre development boasts
a 38-story tower with 250 guest rooms and suites, 20 executive residences and a
35,000-square-foot conference facility. Unique amenities include a two-story Rolls-Royce
showroom and an on-site Bentley and Bugatti Post Oak Motors dealership, as well as
signature restaurants, including Texas’ first Mastro’s Steakhouse and the new Willie G’s
➜ Z Resorts, the management company responsible for Hotel ZaZa, partnered with MetroNa-tional Corp. to bring the sophisticated boutique hotel brand to Houston at the intersection
of Interstate 10 and Bunker Hill Road. Hotel ZaZa Memorial City ( www.hotelzaza.com/
memorial-city), which opened in late 2017, provides 158 creative guest rooms, including seven specialty concept suites, more than 22,000 square feet of meeting and event
space, an outdoor poolside experience with a neighboring pool bar, ZaSpa, a fine-dining
restaurant and a nightlife-oriented lounge.
➜ Hotel Alessandra ( www.hotelalessandra-houston.com) debuted in October 2017 and now
serves as a new anchor for downtown’s GreenStreet mixed-use development. Designed by
Gensler and with interiors by internationally acclaimed Rottet Studio, the contemporary
20-story tower is located at Fannin and Dallas streets. Midway developed the project,
which includes 223 guest rooms and suites, approximately 5,000 square feet of meeting
and event space, Bardot lounge, Lucienne restaurant, Spa by Alessandra and a rooftop
pool. Valencia Group is the operator.
➜ The Melrose, a vacant, historic downtown office building originally constructed in 1952,
was renovated to become an Le Meridien Houston Downtown ( https://le-meridien.marriott.
com), which opened in September 2017. Highlights include a rooftop pool, outdoor
sundeck, restaurant and bar. The property features 225 guest rooms and 8,000 square
feet of meeting space in its 21-story design. The building was Houston’s first modern
skyscraper and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
➜ A Washington-based hospitality group will bring its 10th Hotel RL concept to Houston in
early 2019. Located at 1005 St. Emanuel St., the 150-room Hotel RL Houston Downtown
( www.redlion.com/hotel-rl) will feature retail space, a signature restaurant and bar, and
meeting space. The Hotel RL concept aims to capture the spirit of adventure and creativity within comfortable and modern conveniences designed for a new generation of traveler,
complete with exciting lobbies, free Wi-Fi, trained Victrola Coffee baristas, performance
spaces and other unique amenities. Hotel RL is one of RLH Corporation’s brands.
➜ Intercontinental Houston Medical Center ( www.ihg.com) debuted Jan. 15 in the heart of
the Texas Medical Center. The 21-story, 353-room property features 12,000 square feet
of meeting space, including a 7,800-square-foot ballroom, and unique restaurants such
➜ C. Baldwin Hotel Houston ( www.cbaldwinhotel.com), a high-end, hyper-localized, independent property, is slated to debut this summer. The hotel is inspired by the Bayou City’s
unsung hero, Charlotte Baldwin Allen, who was a land developer, cattle rancher, brash
businesswoman and philanthropist who used her inheritance to finance the City of Houston. Highlights will include stylish guest rooms, common areas, a signature restaurant—
also named after a groundbreaking woman—a luxury nail salon, curated local retailers,
activated green space and 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
➜ The former Southwestern Bell Telephone Company building in downtown Houston will
be the location of a new Hyatt Place Hotel ( www.hyatt.com), expected to open in 2019.
The $22.8 million project will transform the 16-story building into a full-service hotel
complete with 150 guest rooms, ground-level dining, rooftop cocktail bar, indoor pool and
➜ Downtown Houston’s century-old Houston Bar Center is being transformed into an AC
Hotel by Marriott ( https://achotels.marriott.com). The $44 million property, slated to open
in summer 2019, will be located at 723 Main St. and bring 185 new rooms to the area.