Whew, what a year, guys. So many new and exciting things happened in 2018 — new bars, music venues, happy hours, etc. Here’s what we got most excited about that either just came to town or that we discovered. Tell us your 2018 favorites in the comments!
You may have forgotten, but this super fun bar and restaurant in Sawyer Heights is relatively new. You gotta go for brunch or drinks to admire the skyline view on the patio.
Close second: Vibrant
You’ll find loads of vegan and gluten-free options on this Montrose eatery’s menu. While the food is a bit pricy and parking is a bit tough during peak times, the decor and fresh flavors make up for it! We felt whisked away to Marfa as we brunched over soba noodles, rainbow carrot salad and gluten-free vegan mac and cheese! Would totally go again.
The funnest new bar came to Montrose this year — you and everyone everywhere knows this already. It really made a splash with its fun drinks and even funner bar art. Drink every time something’s “fun”.
Close second: Miss Carousel
We’re obsessed with this new dark and sultry bar in EaDo, where the drinks are strong and the fries are crispy.
Place for day drinking
Heck yes. This gem in Heights Mercantile has easily been my go-to spot for catching up with a friend. Monday and Tuesday nights you get a board and a bottle for $20 after 8 pm. And the place is bumping both nights! You can also get $5 glasses of wine or pitchers of beer (!!!) before 5 pm seven days a week! A pitcher of beer is like 2.5 beers. That is a STEAL!
Hidden gem restaurant
Bengy’s on Washington very quietly transformed into The Classic this year. It sounds like it’s a diner-themed spot, but honestly the food is too nice to be really considered that. There are, however, candy containers at the front where you can get some hot tamales and other fun stuff for free!
Close second: Better Luck Tomorrow
You may think of it as a bar, but we think of it as our pasta Tuesday ritual.
2018 was the year of the poke bowls for me and my banking account. Seriously, let’s not calculate how much I’ve spent on poke.
Watch the stars on the big screen under the stars — while eating unlimited popcorn and sipping movie-themed cocktails.
Close second: The Rustic
Looking for a two-stepping, toe-tapping good time? Look no further than The Rustic and it’s right in the heart of downtown!
Embrace your flower child and charge your phones and cameras!
Worth the drive: FOMO Factory
This one’s in Austin, but has to be the MOST FUN photo installation I’ve done. It totally took me back to the times of decorating your locker and summer break!
MFAH’s Bayou Bend is far from new, however I discovered it this year! It’s the Versailles of Houston (let’s make that a thing!) — awesome gardens and historic house of one of Houston’s royalty.
New workout studio
Semi-private pilates is such a treat! Hands-on instruction for classical pilates on a reformer. It’s so fun — and secretly tough!
Speaking of Pilates, click here for a full guide to pilates in Houston!
Move over, Chicago! We got our own now! The same artist who did Chicago’s Cloud Gate also made Cloud Column, which is now standing in MFAH’s sculpture garden. It’s free to check it out!
Close second: Peacock in the Desert
A good exhibit makes you feel like you’ve left Houston for another world — this one did that for us in spades!
I fell in love with this small town in central Texas. The food, the drinks, the views — all so fun for a weekend getaway.
Annual wine weekend continued this year with a trip to the Portland area’s Mt. Hood Territory and Willamette Valley. Had the best trip there — the city is so cute and the wine is so cheap!
Our first guide to Africa — did you catch it? Affordable traveling to a whole other side of the world.