The Heights is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Houston founded originally as a “utopian community” in the late 1890s. Named from the fact that its elevation is just 23 feet higher than Downtown Houston, it’s a great place to be during one of Houston’s inevitable floods–as well as year round.
The Heights life is a good one. It’s an extremely walkable neighborhood inside the loop just minutes from Downtown, with amazing restaurants, spacious parks with amazing trees, and adorable Victorian houses and well-kept Bungalows. The Heights has an amazing food and bar scene–despite being a dry county–and is home to some of our most favorite murals.
Although the “Greater Heights” area includes areas off Washington, Northside and even Oak Forest, this guide is mainly talking about the specific Heights area, which we’re defining as north of I-10, south of 610, west of Studemont and east of Shepherd.
Where you need to go
- Best Spin: Ride Indoor Cycling
- Best Yoga: Black Swan Yoga – catch free classes at Raven Tower
- Best Pilates: CitizenPilates
- Best Running Trail: Heights Boulevard – 2 miles of shade!
- Best Views of Downtown: Heights Bike and Walk Trail
- Best Bike Trail: White Oak Bayou – starts at Downtown and goes on for zillions of miles!
- Best Park: Bayou Greenways
- Best Haircut: Birds Barbershop – be sure to get a beer
- Best Mural: Greetings from Houston Sign
- Best Photo Spot for Love Birds: I Love You Wall
- Best Spot for Tourists: Greetings from Houston Wall — gelato nearby!
- Best Nail Spot: Prestigious Nails – doesn’t look like anything special, but great prices and free wine
- Best Boutique: Emerson Rose
- Best Antique Shop: Heights Antiques on Yale
- Best Brewery: Eureka Heights
- Best Study Spot: EQ Heights
- Best Coffee: A Second Cup — coffee for a good cause!
- Best Tacos: Torchy’s — duh
- Best Fries: Presidio
- Best Frozen Treat: Steel City Pops
- Best Hipster Juice: Revolucion Juice
- Best OG Vegan Juice: Maryam’s
- Best Southern Fare: Harold’s
- Best Vietnamese: Pho Binh
- Best Mac & Cheese: Liberty Kitchen
- Best Salads: Baby Barnaby’s — plan to take home leftovers!
- Best Brunch: Downhouse – no reservations and yes you will have to wait… WORTH IT
- Best Happy Hour: Barking Pig
- Best Date Spot: Coltivare — no reservations, put your name in head of time and hang out in the garden!
- Best Live Music: Fitzgerald’s
- Best Christmas Bar Crawl: Nogsmas — a bunch of bars/restaurants team up to make their own version of an eggnog. Try them all and get a prize!
- Best Sports Bar: Christian’s Tailgate
- Best Dog Friendly Spot: Onion Creek Café
- Best Dessert: Red Dessert Dive — their Instagram is out of control
- Best Crawfish: BB’s Cafe
- Best Fancy Dinner: Field and Tides
- Best Happy Hour with Coworkers: 8 Row Flint –Patio is amazing! Get the queso!
- Best Fancy Drink: Better Luck Tomorrow – drink specials when the temperature is higher than 95 degrees!
- Best Wine: Postino
- Best Bar with Swings: McIntyre’s — check out their St. Patrick’s Day party!
- Best German Food: King’s BierHaus
- Best Patio: Heights Bier Garten
- Best Tiki Drink: Lei Low
- Best Waffles: Cane Rosso
- Best Whiskey: BCK
- Best Astros Mural: 20th Street
- Best Sustainably Produced Boutique: Emerson Rose
- Best Gelato: Gelazzi
- Best Ice Cream Sandwiches: Smoosh
What you need to know
PSA: Loads of people will say they live in “The Heights” but they actually live in “The Greater Heights”. Not technically a lie, but know you’re more legit than they are if you’re in the main Heights area around Heights Boulevard and live off a numbered street.
The Heights is primarily pretty residential with a few key pockets of businesses on White Oak (6th Street), 11th Street or 19th Street. White Oak is full of bars and restaurants and know for its legendary post-White Linen Nights street party. 11th Street is pretty residential but has a big cluster of restaurants and coffee shops around Studemont. 19th Street is packed with antique shops and great photo ops–don’t miss the giant American flag inside Man Ready Mercantile or the You are My Sunshine Mural.
Heights is street party central, and you absolutely CANNOT miss December’s Lights in the Heights or August’s White Linen Nights. Grab your buds and your beers and street party. Occasionally during the fall they block of the streets for 5Ks and fun wellness events too and other “shop local” block parties.
Adding to the neighborhood’s eccentricity is the fact many parts of the Heights are “dry,” meaning you can’t buy alcohol from places unless you’re a member of the bar’s drinking club. It’s free to join, and takes just a sec. No harm no foul.
Just can’t get enough? Here’s everything we’ve written about The Heights.