5 Must Do Things in Midtown

Courtesy of Midtown Houston

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.

While you may think of Midtown as a place where rowdy young professionals live and play, the trendy ‘hood has more than just a killer party scene (though don’t worry, we’ll get to that, too).

The popular residential district houses mixed-use developments, has a fantastic restaurant and arts scene, is home to “Little Saigon”—a section of town that housed a large Vietnamese community in the 1970s and where you can find a lineup of banh mi shops to this day—and welcomes up-and-coming projects like innovation hub The Ion.

See what kind of fun this vibrant neighborhood brings with our five ways to explore.

Note: For the purposes of this list, Midtown is defined by this map.

5 Must Do Things in Midtown

A delicious all-you-can-eat spread at Gen Korean BBQ House in Midtown | Courtesy of Gen Korean BBQ House

Go from brunch to date night

Ease into the day with one the city’s best fried wings and waffles plates at the uber-popular morning spots, The Breakfast Klub and Taste Bar + Kitchen, or get traditional diner eats and endless hot coffee at Harry’s Restaurant & Cafe.

For expertly-crafted cocktails and standout brunch plates, hit Weights + Measures (the dukka-spiced carrot pizza is an absolute must order).

For killer Vietnamese (who said banh mi and pho aren’t brunch?), check out Cali Sandwich, Thien An, Simply Pho, and Pho Saigon in the aforementioned Little Saigon; not to mention longtime favorite Mai’s.

Courtesy of Gypsy Poet

When you’re looking for the perfect date night, head over to Midtown’s unofficial restaurant row, where you can get authentic Italian pies at Piola, incredibly good ramen at Jinya Ramen Bar, tableside grilled Korean bbq at Gen Korean BBQ House, and Creole-style fine dining at the beloved Midtown institution, Brennan’s of Houston.

Just a few blocks away near the Mid-Main development you’ll find fiery Sichuan at Spicy Girl, perfectly crafted po’boys and cocktails at Winnie’s, conveyor belt sushi at Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, and more.

Courtesy of WInnie’s

And we’d be remiss not to mention juicy soup dumpling spot Wanna Bao, and Portuguese-kissed Oporto Fooding & Wine House, which sits just outside the border between Midtown and Montrose.

The ‘hood also has badass steakhouse Thirteen from James Harden, bohemian artisan pizza spot The Gypsy Poet, and Old World Italian restaurant Damian’s Cucina.

MATCH hosts the full spectrum of performing arts, from chamber music and dance to drama, spoken word and beyond | From “A Maroon’s Guide to Time and Space”; courtesy of Catastrophic Theatre

Experience the arts

Located just off the cusp of the Museum District, this area of town has no shortage of culture.

At Ensemble Theatre, you can catch an enriching program of dramas, comedies, and musicals from one of the largest African American professional theater companies in the U.S.

Or head to MATCH, a cool destination for visual and performing arts where you’ll find artists collaborating in creative and exciting new ways.

Midtown Park | Courtesy of Design Workshop

Don’t forget to snap a shot in front of the giant “Midtown” letters in Bagby Park; and be sure to check out the art installations and performances at the neighborhood park centerpiece, Midtown Park.

Courtesy of Pedal Party

Get your drink & sweat on with a Pedal Party

We’re sure you’ve seen one of those giant bicycle-trolleys riding around town. The ones with the group of people that look like they are having way more fun than you?

That would be a Pedal Party, and one of the best places to take one is in this bar-heavy, easily-traversed ‘hood.

The party bikes hold up to 16 passengers, with 15 seats and one standing spot for your designated “bartender” in the center.

Courtesy of Wonder Bar

Hop on and make your way to pubs and party spots like Little Woodrow’s, Front Porch, Electric Feel Good, Wonder Bar, 77 Degrees, Community Bar, Social Beer Garden, and The Dogwood.

Since you’ll probably work up an appetite, finish off with some seriously big burgers from Christian’s Tailgate.

Axelrad hosts a free evening of open mic performances, movies and more in Midtown | Courtesy of Axelrad

Stay classy with cocktails & wine

Though Midtown’s party bars are certainly a good time, there are plenty of other, let’s just say more adult-like atmospheres.

Get caffeinated and boozed up at Double Trouble Caffeine & Cocktails, the cool coffee shop and bar that offers killer brews and refreshing tiki drinks.

At Wooster’s Garden, the brews come in the form of hoppy local suds and the drinks packed with syrups, bitters and flames.

Courtesy of Social Beer Garden

Sibling establishment Holman Draft Hall is one of the hottest patio destinations in the city, as is the hammock-filled Axelrad Beer Garden.

Check out European-inspired wine bar 13 Celsius for cheese, wine, and all things fine; and don’t miss some of the best cocktails and most talented barkeeps in town at Two Headed Dog.

Courtesy of Continental Club

Jam to live music

Live music fans can find an awesome lineup of bands and artists at local favorites like the raucous Continental Club and adjoining Showshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge; or get moving at high-energy dance bar Barbarella.

Courtesy of Rise Rooftop

And look out for nightly programming and special pop-up events at the totally chill Axelrad Beer Garden, plus your favorite DJ sets at spots like Clé Day/Night Club and RISE Rooftop.

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