Each week, our My Top 5 series highlights a Houstonian who is shaping the culture of the city and making an out-sized impact on its character. In turn, each shares their own favorite things to do in Houston when not hard at work. This week, we’re very pleased to feature Bryan Caswell, chef and restauranteur of Reef, Little Bigs, El Real Tex-Mex Café, Jackson St BBQ, and 3rd Bar.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Chef Bryan Caswell
- The Waugh Bridge Bat Colony – Head to Buffalo Bayou Park at dusk to see the Mexican free-tailed bat colony emerge.
- The Orange Show – Houston’s Visionary Arts program is outta sight and it all starts with The Orange Show.
- Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar and Spirit Lodge – This is my go-to for an Old Fashioned and a So & So Collins on a week night. Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar and Spirit Lodge has the only balcony on the main strip and Justin Burrows serves some of the best fancy cocktails in the state.
- Mid-Day Art Stroll – With so many great spaces to view art within a couple of miles of each other, you can take your pick. The Menil Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and Rothko Chapel are all worthy options. Tip: finish your tour at the Menil and then finish the day drinking rosé at Bistro Menil.
- Bolivar Ferry in Galveston – Make the drive to Galveston and catch the free ferry for a poor-man’s boat ride to the Bolivar Peninsula. Head to Crystal Beach and post up at Stingaree Restaurant and Marina to enjoy BBQ crab and a couple of Stingaritas.
About Chef Bryan Caswell
Chef Caswell, a true Southerner born in Lafayette, spent his youth hunting, fishing and exploring the Gulf Coast. After graduating from the CIA, he went on to work for Jean Georges Vongerichten in New York, Hong Kong, Barcelona, and the Bahamas. He pairs a passion for fresh seafood with bold flavors and locally sourced produce. Bryan introduced Houstonians to 92+ different species from the Gulf since opening Reef, his first concept, in 2007. He has received rave reviews from critics and earned several culinary accolades, including multiple James Beard nominations. Bryan continued expanding his empire with Little Bigs, El Real Tex-Mex Café, Jackson St BBQ, 3rd Bar, El Real (IAH) and a partnership with the Astros at Minute Maid Park.