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.
Houston’s Energy Corridor may play home to the world’s largest energy companies, but there’s way more to this business district than straight business. There’s the annual Houston Greek Fest at the St. Basil The Great Greek Orthodox Church, for starters. And these playful, tasty, and invigorating activities.
Note: For the purposes of this list, the Energy Corridor is defined by this map.
5 Must Do Things in the Energy Corridor
- Share pies at the original Pizaro’s Pizza – Houston’s first Vera Pizza Napoletana-certified pizzeria sling out what are easily some of the best pies in town. The thin and chewy, Neapolitan-style pies cook for about 90 seconds in a 900-degree Italian brick oven before coming out hot and beautifully-scorched. You’ll want to come with a crew so you can share a few varieties, which include but are not limited to a caramelized onion and bell pepper sweetpea Pizza, classic calabrese pizza with spicy soppressata and pepperoni, and Margherita pie with a spinach and ricotta-stuffed crust. BYOB (for a reasonable corkage fee) and ease into the night. Click here for directions.
- Practice your swing at Top Golf – This interactive driving range is the coolest way to hit the green. Perfect for an after work happy hour, a leisurely weekend, or when you have guests in town and want to play hooky from work, head here to grab some drinks and above par pub grub while you do your best to hit golf balls at targets in the outfield. Don’t worry, there are microchips to keep score so you don’t have to. Click here for directions.
- Hit the parks – Stretched over 7,800 acres, you can spend the entire day exploring George Bush Park. The public park boasts jogging and biking trails lined by swamps, ponds and forests, plus soccer and baseball fields, playgrounds and pavilions, and a shooting range. If you’d like to keep things easier, try Terry Hershey Park, where you’ll find hike and bike trails (dubbed “The Anthills”) running along a 6-mile stretch parallel to the Buffalo Bayou.
- Get your skate on at Dairy Ashford Roller Rink – Break out the tube socks and go back in time at this old school roller skating rink, which has kept the party going since 1974. Today, the throwback is the perfect place to get nostalgic, whether it be at a birthday party, cheap public skates, or adult skate nights complete with DJs. There are roller skates and inline blades available, so all you need to do is lace up and get rollin’. Click here for directions.
- Go French – You can visit Paris without ever leaving the city by taking a short trip to the Energy Corridor, as two of Houston’s best French restaurants call the neighborhood home. You’ll find Le Mistral, the upscale eatery that focuses on simple, elegant flavors, fresh ingredients, and classic techniques. Chef David Denis impresses with foie gras torchon, roasted farm-raised chicken au jus, and red snapper en papillote. Desserts like crème brulee and soufflé au chocolat ensure you just say “oui!” Don’t forget to pop into their bakery, Foody’s Gourmet, for some takeaway baguettes and brioche. Located right outside the neighborhood’s “official” border, Bistro Provence plays with the flavors of one of France’s most beautiful regions. Hit the cozy bistro to dine on wood-roasted escargot and filet de boeuf au poivre, or visit during one of their excellent wine dinners. Those looking for something a bit more casual will love Julie’s French Pastries and Coffee Shop, a cute café with croissants, sweet and savory crepes, excellent quiche, and an array of French pastries that will make any lazy day better.