West Houston, at first glance, seems to be no more than urban sprawl at its worst: strip malls, gridlock, billboards, and more strip malls. Yet one need not travel far from the interstate to discover a trove of hidden gems: tranquil parks, the absolute highs and lows in both upscale and bargain shopping, and an endless variety of exotic, authentic eateries - as proof, look no further than New Chinatown.
Despite a plethora of rundown apartment complexes and a reputation for crime, Southwest Houston was the center of much of the city's suburban development from the 1940s through the 1970s, today it is one of its most diverse quarters and is also home to some of the city's most desirable neighborhoods, including Meyerland and the charming City of Bellaire. This area is almost completely outside of the 610 Loop, although the City of Bellaire is partially inside the 610.
New Chinatown (AKA Little Saigon or Asiatown) would be the largest Chinatown in the world area-wise, but the term Chinatown is misleading due to the fact that the majority of the shops and restaurants cater to Houston's large Vietnamese population. This area is outside the 610 Loop and near the Beltway, Houston's outer freeway loop.
The Mahatma Gandhi District located along Harwin Drive between U.S. Highway 59 (Southwest Freeway) to the south and the Westpark Tollway to the north has a large concentration of Indian and Pakistani shops and restaurants. The area is known for its many import shops and bargain emporiums.
Westchase is home to gleaming office towers housing tech companies and oil service firms. Located around Westheimer and the Sam Houston (Beltway 8), it's a busy area with shopping, restaurants, and garden apartment complexes.
City Center is a mixed use concept development at I-10 and the Sam Houston (exit Town and Country or Memorial). Shops, restaurants, hotels, and apartments fill this busy corner of town.
- 1 Houston Telephone Museum, 6500 West Loop South, Bellaire, ☏ . A museum of telephone history. Please call us to schedule. If there is no answer, please leave your name and phone number, and we will return your call.
- 1 WorldFest-Houston Film Festival. Totally dedicated to Independent Film screenings. All Screenings at the AMC Studio 30 on Dunvale, the HQ Hotel is The Renaissance Hotel, Greenway Plaza. Featuring 55 new international feature films and 100 new short films, all introduced by their directors with a Q&A after the screening.
- 2 Sky Zone Houston.
- 1 Hong Kong City Mall, 11205 Bellaire Blvd. A very large grocery store/shopping center in this area.
- 2 Memorial City Mall, 303 Memorial City (IH-10 West at Gessner), ☏ , email@example.com. Has many department stores and also an indoor ice skating rink.
- Traders Village, 7979 N. Eldridge Rd.. A giant outdoor flea market with all sorts of wares. Deals are to be sought here. Unlike in the rest of the US, you can actually try to bargain in flea markets like this. Should not be missed by those looking to shop.
- 3 CityCentre, 800 Town and Country Blvd ((at the SW corner of the) Katy Freeway and Beltway 8 Interchange), ☏ . A new mixed use development built on the former site of the Town & Country Mall featuring several retail stores including Z Gallerie, J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, H&M, Anthropologie, etc.
- 4 PlazAmericas, 7500 Bellaire Blvd ((Southwest Freeway at Bellaire)), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Formerly known as Sharpstown Mall, it was renovated and remodeled with a Latin American theme and nowadays caters to the Hispanic and Latino American community in the surrounding area.
- Phoenicia Specialty Food Market, 12141 Westheimer Road (Located in a retail center on the south side of Westheimer, just past Kirkwood Road), ☏ . This market has the largest selection of Mediterranean food and specialty items in Houston. The 55,000 square foot market has an amazing selection of foods and spices from the mid-east and southern europe. If you just want to eat they have a ready made food deli and bakery.
- 1 Taste of Texas, 10505 Katy Freeway (IH-10 between BW-8 and Gessner). The finest steaks and prime rib (only certified Angus Beef) money can buy. Award-winning wine list, lobster, freshly baked breads, etc. Menu is translated into 12 different languages.
- 2 Pho VN 21, 5800 Bellaire Blvd Ste 101. Vietnamese restaurant known for their pho. Be sure to try the white meat pho ga.
- 3 [dead link] Pepper Soup Cafe, 10010 Bissonnet St. Restaurant serving Nigerian cuisine.
- 4 Original Marini's Empanada House, 10001 Westheimer Rd, ☏ . Restaurant specializing in authentic Argentinean cuisine. They are especially known for their empanadas. They will even ship out frozen empanadas for those living outside the Houston area.
- 5 [dead link] Mi Pueblito, 9425 Richmond Avenue, ☏ . One of the most authentic Colombian restaurants in Houston with menus in both Spanish and English. Be sure to try the Bandeja Paisa.
- 6 Korean Noodle House, 1415 Murray Bay St, ☏ . Korean restaurant known for their kimchi, noodles, and jeon (seafood pancakes).
- 7 Kim Chau Restaurant, 11210 Bellaire Blvd. Suite #125, ☏ . Hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant.
- 8 [dead link] Honduras Maya Cafe and Bar, 5945 Bellaire Blvd Ste B, ☏ . One of the most authentic Honduran restaurants in Houston with menus in both Spanish and English. They also have karaoke on Friday nights.
- 9 Fung's Kitchen, 7320 Southwest Fwy #115, ☏ . Chinese restaurant known for their dim sum.
- 10 Go Hyang Korean Restaurant, 1400 Blalock Rd Ste E, ☏ . Korean restaurant known for their Korean style barbeque.
- 11 Blue Nile, 9400 Richmond Ave, ☏ . One of the most authentic Ethiopian restaurants in Houston.
- 12 Hong Kong Cafe, 9108 Bellaire Blvd Ste A, ☏ . Chinese restaurant known for their BBQ Pork and BBQ Duck. They only accept cash.
- 13 Cafe Pita+, 10852 Westheimer Rd, ☏ . Although the decor isn't much to look at, this mom-and-pop in West Houston offers affordable, hearty Bosnian cuisine. Try the meza platter, cevap sandwich or one of the pizzas. Cafe Pita+ was once featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. BYOB.
- 14 [dead link] Café Byblos, 6134 Richmond, ☏ . Mediterranean restaurant specializing in Lebanese fare.
- 15 [dead link] Crawfish & Noodles, 11360 Bellaire Blvd, ☏ . Fusion restaurant that is known for combining elements of Vietnamese and Cajun cuisine.
- 16 Bijan, 5922 Hillcroft Ave, ☏ . Straightforward restaurant featuring authentic Persian cuisine & kebabs, plus hookah pipes.
- 17 Shri Balaji Bhavan, 5655 Hillcroft St, ☏ . 11AM–9:30PM. Restaurant serving spicy South Indian vegetarian fare.
- 18 Darband Shishkabob, 5670 Hillcroft Ave, ☏ . 11AM–10PM. Stop for quick Persian standards such as the namesake kebabs, served in a kitschy dining room.
- 19 Banana Leaf, 9889 Bellaire Blvd #311 (Located in: Dun Huang Plaza), ☏ . Small eatery serving a large menu of traditional Malaysian cuisine.
- 1 Vine Wine Room, 12420 Memorial Dr (In the Wick Lane Shopping Center), ☏ . This cozy wine bar and wine retail shop offers wine by the glass and bottle, selected beers, and wine-friendly snacks and pizzas. There are wine tastings every Saturday at 3PM, often showcasing wines new to the establishment.
- 2 Cafe Thanh Quynh, 10804 Bellaire Blvd Ste H, ☏ . Vietnamese coffee shop known for their scantily clad waitresses. This place serves Vietnamese condense milk coffee (with iced tea), bac xui, and smoothie: avocado, soursop, and durian. Smoking is also allowed on premises.
- 3 Cafe Window, 6230 Wilcrest Dr, ☏ . Guan Nhau or Vietnamese sports bar with karaoke and a full bar. Smoking is also allowed on premises.
- 4 Watson's House of Ales, 14656 Grisby Rd, ☏ . Features a full menu and full service bar, state-of-the-art audio and video systems, live music several nights a week, and traditional games of skill such as billiards and English steel tip darts.
- 5 Bear and Bull Tavern and Eatery, 11980 Westheimer Road (Located at the back of the retail center at the southeast corner of Westheimer and Kirkwood.), ☏ . The Bear and Bull is popular with British expats and Soccer fans. The food is good with daily lunch specials and 30 domestic and imported beers on tap.
- 6 The Colorado Sports Bar & Grill, 6710 Southwest Fwy,, ☏ . 11:30AM–3AM. Gentlemans club known for their food and drink specials.
- 1 Hyatt Regency Houston West (Formerly Omni Westside), 13210 Katy Freeway (Take I-10 West and exit north at Eldridge Parkway), ☏ , fax: . Features an atrium lobby with indoor lakes and waterfalls, tropical fish and glass elevators.
- 2 Residence Inn Houston West/Energy Corridor, 1150 Eldridge Parkway, ☏ . Free Wi-Fi and fully equipped kitchens. The hotel is pet friendly and provides a free shuttle that will take guests to businesses and attractions within a 5-mile radius.
- 3 Wyndham Houston West Energy Corridor, 14703 Park Row, ☏ .
- 4 Sheraton Houston West, 11191 Clay Road, ☏ . 128 rooms. Pet friendly. Free Wi-Fi
- 5 Hotel Zaza - Memorial City, 9787 Katy Freeway (near Memorial City Mall), ☏ , email@example.com. Has a spa, resort pool, and onsite restaurant.
- Hilton Westchase, 9999 Westheimer Blvd, ☏ . Modern mid-range hotel along the bustling Westheimer strip, just inside the Sam Houston beltway.
- Marriott Westchase, 2900 Briarpark Dr (Take the Sam Houston Tollway (Beltway 8) to Westheimer and exit east, turn right on Briarpark), ☏ . Large modern hotel. Indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center.