In our Must Do Neighborhood series, we take a look at Houston’s vast array of neighborhoods to bring you five fun, tasty, and enticing reasons you should give each a visit.
Located between downtown to the East and the Port of Houston to the west, this sprawling neighborhood is rich in history and in culture. Not only is the district home to the Harrisburg community, an early Texas trading post that was once considered for the initial development of Houston by the Allen brothers, it is also home to two of Houston’s oldest Hispanic neighborhoods, Magnolia Park and Second Ward.
With a thriving art scene, the expanding of the Brays Bayou trails and the light rail, and a mix of traditional and modern hitting everything from the housing to the food, there are plenty of reasons to check out this vibrant ‘hood. Here are a few.
Note: For the purposes of the list, the East End District is defined as the area represented in this map.
5 Must Do Things in The East End
- Take a dip in the melting pot at Kitchen 713 – It didn’t take long for this eclectic newbie to become a local foodie’s darling. Open since late 2014, the Southern kitchen dishes out globally-inspired takes on classic comfort food. The duo of chefs behind the magic are well acquainted with Houston’s diverse and adventurous palette, so expect deliciousness in the form of turkey neck lettuce wraps with housemade nuoc cham, jerk ribs with stone ground grits, and crispy catfish coubion. Click here for directions.
- Explore the arts, music and culture – Founded in 1977, the Talento Bilingue de Houston has evolved into the largest cultural arts center of its kind in Houston. The bilingual theater focuses on the Latino arts experience through performances, music and film festivals, and galleries. For cutting-edge multi-media dance productions, the Frenetic Theater is a must hit. There’s also the East End Studio Gallery, which works side by side with artists to bring the community art shows, workshops, gallery talks and educational outreach programs. With an awesome rotation of bands and cheap beers, the less than a year old dive Satellite Bar has already become a hotspot for live music lovers. And if you’re looking for something Instagram-worthy, be sure to make a quick stop at The Sugar & Cloth Color Wall, a color-block mural designed by S&C’s Ashley Rose outside the workshare space, Headquarters.
- Spend Sunday at the East End Street Market – Stretched along the Navigation esplanade, this local farmers and street market has grown to house over 30 vendors in its first year. Head here for organic produce and eggs, artisan cheeses and baked goods, flowers, crafts, art, jewelry and more. And be sure to look out for vendors like the Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream stand, the perfect way to cool down on a hot day. Sundays 10am to 2pm. Click here for directions.
- Taste the OG fajitas at The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation – While this ‘hood has no shortage of authentically awesome Mexican and Tex-Mex eats (The Original Villa Arcos’ excellent breakfast tacos being just one example), you have to try the fajitas that sparked Houston’s fajita craze at least once. Mama Ninfa first began feeding locals from a small taco stand (and later a restaurant) in 1973. Today, Ninfa’s on Navigation is an institution thanks to their addicting outside skirt steak, darkened and served straight from a sizzling hot comal alongside scratchmade tortillas. Click here for directions.
- Have a damn good time Moon Tower Inn – Gourmet wild game weenies and craft suds are the name of the game at this totally chill watering hole. In addition to a fantastic, 66-tap lineup of brews and outrageous creations like duck dogs with apple brandy and a fiery cheeseburger packed with 13 chiles, the ice house also hosts movie nights, crawfish boils and all other kinds of fun shenanigans in their sprawling yard. Click here for directions.