Walkable Houston: White Oak Drive in The Heights

Greetings From Houston Mural by Daniel Anguilu | Photo: 365 Houston

While Houstonians definitely love their cars, there are nooks and crannies of the city that are best explored by foot. In our Walkable Houston series, we traverse those districts to find the prettiest parks, hottest restaurants and bars, coolest local art and shops, and most visit-worthy hidden gems.

White Oak Drive has seen a transformation in the past few years. The bustling district has some of the city’s hottest restaurants and bars, offering good vibes and a local feel, making it a totally walkable (and totally fun) experience.

Note: For the purposes of this list, the White Oak Drive district includes White Oak itself, spanning from the southside of the Woodland Heights at Studemont to Heights Boulevard.

Play & Explore along White Oak Drive

  • Black Swan YogaThis community-driven yoga studio is donation based (suggest $10 to $20), offering 90-minute sweat sessions available to everyone.
  • Greetings From Houston MuralSnap a photo in front of this life-sized postcard from Houston muralist and artist Daniel Anguilu. The graffiti mural is located on the side of the former Gelazzi on the corner of White Oak Drive and Harvard.
  • Obsidian TheaterAcross from the Greetings From Houston mural, this black box theatre serves Houston artists and the historic Heights community, offering a lineup of creative, musical, and visual performances.

Eat & Drink along White Oak Drive

  • Barnaby’sThis local mini-chain is a cult favorite thanks to its colossal plates, from towering salads and burgers to comfort foods like meatloaf and buttermilk pancake stacks.
  • BB’s CafeGet a taste of Louisiana at this bar and restaurant, located on the corner of Studewood and White Oak. Suck down crawfish (seasonal), share plates of roast beef and queso-topped Tex-Cajun fries, and dig into “maw maw’s” gumbo and fully dressed fried Gulf shrimp po’ boys.
  • Bobcat Teddy’s IcehouseThe former Jimmy’s Ice House may have transformed into a chicer space, but the chill icehouse vibe remains. Stop by for cold suds and good times; and look out for daily specials, from Tuesday Steak Night to Taco & Tallboy Thursdays.
  • Christian’s TailgateWash 1-lb burgers and “heart attack fries” down with cheap beers at this popular local sports bar and grill.
  • ColtivareColtivare is easily one of the most popular restaurants in Houston. From the masterminds behind Agricole Hospitality (Revival Market, Eight Row Flint, Night Heron), the Italian-inspired spot offers shareable plates, pasta, and wood-fired pies with ingredients picked straight from its garden. Reservations are not accepted, but you can always enjoy a craft cocktail in the garden to pass the time when there’s a wait (hint: there will be one).
  • El Gallo de JaliscoThis unassuming Mexican café offers cheap and authentic eats, from loaded breakfast tacos to deep, rich mole.
  • Golden BagelThis new bagel spot brings tasty New York-style bagels to the Heights. Nosh on everything bagels with lox and scallion dill spread, breakfast bagel sandwiches, and fun eats like bagel dogs and pizza bagels. Hours run on weekdays from 6am to 3pm; weekends 7am to 3pm .
  • JuiceLand Stop by to enjoy energizing smoothies, juices, and plant-based grab-and-go meals.
  • Little Woodrow’sThis local watering hole offers a great patio, sports games, and craft brews. On weekends, you’ll often find a food truck outside.
  • Onion Creek Cafe Experience the laidback, Hill Country vibe at this café and bar, which rocks beer, wine, and casual grub, from salads and pizzas to burgers and dogs.
  • Pho BinhSlurp some of the city’s best pho at this noodle shop and Vietnamese grill house.
  • Public HouseUnwind with darts and craft brews at this friendly public house.
  • Revival Market On the corner of Heights Boulevard and White Oak Drive, this part butcher shop, part café serves up breakfast and lunch daily. Get seasonally-inspired and locally-sourced eats, from corned beef hash and hot honey butter chicken biscuits to beet burgers and hanger steak salads.
  • Rita’sIndulge in Italian ices, cream ice, custard, and gelato at this popular stop, set in the same strip as Public House and Barnaby’s.
  • RitualWith its inspiration from local farms and ranchers, Ritual offers big Texas flavor in the form of dry aged beef, loaded burgers, and fresh market salads. Visit for lunch, dinner, and brunch.
  • Tacos A Go Go Load up on street tacos stuffed with everything from chorizo, jalapeño, and egg to barbacoa and pork guisado.

Shop & Support Local along White Oak Drive

  • Blue Lane Bike Lab This local bike shop strives to take the intimidation factor out of buying, offering an array of top quality bands in a friendly atmosphere.
  • Darling WayThis erotic luxury boutique offers romantic treasures, gifts, vintage books, menswear, and lingerie.

Find More Things to Do in Houston All Year Long

You can find more fun in our interactive event calendar and 365 Weekend Guides.

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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .