5 Must Do Things on Lower Westheimer

A bustling scene of an outdoor market next to a resale shop
Hit the shops and occasional markets along Lower Westheimer in Montrose | Courtesy of The Montrose Market

In our Must Do Things Around Greater Houston series, we take a look at Houston’s vast array of communities, neighborhoods and destinations to bring you five fun, tasty, surprising and enticing reasons you should give each one a visit.

Running west of Midtown and east of Shepherd along Westheimer Road, the Lower Westheimer district in Montrose is positively packed with action, with features including the walkable Westheimer Curve, boutiques, thrift stores, and a seriously good bar and restaurant scene.

Here’s how to spend your time when visiting this slice of Montrose.

5 Must Do Things on Lower Westheimer

An overhead view of a fish stuffed with vegetables and other plates of food
Have a taste of worldly cuisine at Traveler’s Table on Westheimer | Courtesy of Traveler’s Table

Eat around the world

The diversity of Houston is well highlighted by the food scene in this piece of town.

It’s got regional Mexican restaurant Hugo’s, mouth-numbing Chinese food spot Mala Sichuan, Mediterranean haunt Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine, inventive Japanese eatery Uchi, ace noodle house Ramen Tatsu-ya, Italian inspired kitchens Paulie’s and Rosie Cannonball, extraordinary fine dining spot March, 24-hour delicatessen Katz’s, Vietnamese kitchen Kau Ba, wordly taco slinger Velvet Taco, tequila and taco bar Pistolero’s, and Cajun style hotspots Acme Oyster House and BB’s Tex-Orleans, to name just a few.

And if you want a taste of the globe in just one meal, check out Traveler’s Table

A bright shop filled with shoppers, clothing, decor and jewelry
Space Montrose at Westheimer and Dunlavy | Photo: Jenn Duncan; courtesy of Space

Shop & thrift for unique art, clothes & local goods

Pop along Lower Westheimer and you’ll find a blend of high-low boutiques, thrift shops, antique stores, and art stops, including but not limited to high-end bedding and accessories store Biscuit Home, quirky antique shop B.J. Oldies Antiques, cult favorite vintage clothing stores Leopard Lounge and Lo-Fi Vintage, perfectly curated small goods shop Space Montrose, consignment and thrift shop The Cottage Shop, and luxe fragrance boutique Le Labo.

A wide shot of a bar with shelves of alcohol and decoration on the walls
Poison Girl offers a dive bar experience on Westheimer | Courtesy of Poison Girl

Have a fancy drink or go the dive bar route

The area is home to many low-key hangouts that are quite awesome. You can catch music and entertainment at grungy nightlife hangouts Avant Garden, Boondocks, Numbers, and Rudyard’s (just up the street off Waugh); mix American whiskies and vintage pinball at Poison Girl; or spend a day drinking cold ones on the patio at quintessential Texan watering hole, West Alabama Ice House.

Wine enthusiasts should head straight to Montrose Cheese & Wine and Camerata, easily two of the best wine bars in all of Houston; while cocktail fans can get expertly crafted ones at Anvil Bar (the spot that helped launch the city’s craft cocktail scene) and quieter sibling establishment Refuge

And those looking for a fun time? Fun-loving spots La Grange, Idle Hands, and Present Company have you covered.

An exterior shot of the Montrose Collective, with multiple stories of shopping and eating and an outdoor plaza
The Montrose Collective offers a shopping and dining destination on Westheimer | Courtesy of the Montrose Collective

Visit the new Montrose Collective

There’s a new boutique shopping and dining destination in the hood, and it’s dubbed The Montrose Collective.

Sitting off Westheimer between Grant and Crocker Streets, hit it to eat good at standout spots like Italian steakhouse Marmo, cool Cali-inspired restaurant Graffiti Raw, IG-worthy coffee shop La La Land Kind Cafe, and ice cream slinger Van Leeuwen Ice Cream; plus shop for high-end goods at Fiora’s Bottle Shop, Mejuri, Reformation, State & Liberty, and more.

A patio with trees and greenery, and a few patrons at tables
Brasil at the corner of Westheimer and Dunlavy | Courtesy of Brasil Cafe

Get a caffeine buzz or sugar rush

Whether you’re after a dark roast or something sweet to get you through the day, Lower Westheimer has something for you.

Score perfectly brewed coffees and teas, silky smooth lattes, and some damn good pastries at local coffee shop Blacksmith, get some quiet time at Greek coffee shop Agora, go for the flawless drips and nitro cold brews at FIX Coffeebar; pop into neighborhood cafes like Brasil and Empire Cafe for a coffee-fueled meal or quick bite; or pair your latte with gorgeous pastry creations at Common Bond Café & Bakery or Italian bakery La Sicilia.

Got a sweet tooth? Night owls can hit 24-hour, wacky doughnut slinger Voodoo Doughnut, and ice cream fans can get their fix at locally crafted scoop shop milk + sugar.

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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 .