In our Must Do Neighborhood series, we take look at Houston’s vast array of neighborhoods to bring you five fun, tasty, and enticing reasons you should give each a visit.
Largely a residential neighborhood, the Spring Branch area plays home to a tapestry of cultures, making it an excellent destination for authentic global cuisine. But that’s not all the sprawling ‘hood has to offer, as there’s plenty of other fun to be had. Here’s a glimpse at 5 of the best.
Note: For the purposes of this list, Spring Branch is roughly bounded by Clay Road and Highway 290 to the north, Interstate 10 to the south, 61 to the east, and Beltway 8 to the west. It includes Spring Branch East and Spring Branch West, plus the area in between.
5 Must Do Things in Spring Branch
- Sip top notch local suds at Karbach Brewing Company – Just on the edge of Spring Branch East lies this fantastic brewery, which has been keeping beer nerds quenched since 2011. With a recent multi-million dollar renovation which upgraded the facilities, expanded the outdoor space, and added an entire restaurant, Karbach’s already aggressive cult following has gained even more traction. Sign up for a tour when you check in, hit the biergarten for games of giant Jenga and pints of Hopadillo and Weekend Warrior fresh from the tap. Check out the restaurant, where you’ll find refreshing brews alongside a lineup of elevated pub grub, from hot pretzels and boudin to beer-braised carnitas tacos to Weisse Versa-battered fish and chips. Click here for directions.
- Release your inner child at Dave & Buster’s – Located in the Marq*E Entertainment Center, there’s no better place to get playful than this massive arcade and gaming haven. Challenge your significant other to a round of Skee-Ball or Pop-A-Shot, grab a burger topped with buffalo chicken and watch your favorite sports, or unwind after work during happy hour, complete with half-price cocktails, beer and wine specials, and 60 minutes of gameplay for $10 (Monday through Friday, 4:30pm to 7pm and Sunday through Thursday, 9pm to 11pm). Click here for directions.
- Get a taste of authentic eats from around the globe – The laundry list of ethnic cuisines dotting this part of town is downright impressive, but you’ll have to look inside the unassuming strip malls to find them. The ‘hood also packs street cred, as celebrated chef Chris Shepherd has been known to tout the spots lining Long Point Road. On that road, you’ll find real deal Mexican eats – think lamb barbacoa and cabrito (roast goat) served with handmade tortillas – at the family-run El Hidalguense in Spring Branch East. Cross the street and find one of the most spot-on examples of traditional Thai in the city at the highly regarded hole-in-the-wall, Vieng Thai. As you move along, you’ll see that Korean eateries are abundant, with Korea Garden Restaurant dishing out stellar Korean BBQ; fan favorite Bon Ga Korean Restaurant boasting everyday grub that is best ordered family-style; and Korean Noodle House packing the house on weekends with homey fare, from bulgogi to kimchi fried rice. For Vietnamese, don’t miss the banh mi at the unfussy Roostar Vietnamese Grill. It’s also worth venturing off Long Point to get excellent Polish sausage and pierogi at Polonia and all-star Korean fried chicken at The ToreOre, located in the Super H Mart’s food court. And that’s just the beginning.
- Reach new Heights at iFly – Set between Spring Branch East and Spring Branch West off of Katy Freeway, this high-flying fun zone offers you the chance to skydive without having to jump from a plane. Suit up and take a turn in the vertical wind tunnel, where you’ll feel like your floating on an air cushion as an instructor will guide you through a simulation in true free fall conditions. Each flight within the wind tunnel lasts 60 seconds (similar to the freefall portion of jumping from an airplane, which is about 45 seconds), but you can purchase packages that will allow you another round. Click here for directions.
- Get your laugh on at the Improv Houston – Is there any better way to spend the night than laughing until you’re literally crying? We think not. This comedy clubs hosts a lineup of talent that includes both the biggest names in comedy and up-and-coming funny guys that just may become your new favorite acts around. Seating is first-come, first-served, so show up early if you want the best seats in the house. Don’t worry, there’s a bar inside (and you can always kill time at the neighboring Dave & Buster’s). Click here for directions.