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Category : Know Your Neighborhood

The Best Whiskey Bars in Houston

  It must be in the DNA of Houston, where laid-back, Southern bayou culture meets strapping Texas pride, that makes the men and women of our fair city appreciate a fine glass of Whiskey. Houstonians are drinking more whiskey than ever. And whether it was drawn from an old oak barrel in some Tennessee whiskey mecca or distilled right here in the Lone Star State, if it’s good, we’ll drink it.

These are the best whiskey bars in Houston.  



Reserve 101 is recommended by CultureMap Houston as one of the top Whiskey Bars in Town. Reserve’s dedication to the bracing brown spirit is evident. They have over 340 varieties in stock! Why that’s coming close to a different sip for every day of the year!  (Not that we’d recommend anyone mounting such a challenge.) CultureMap endorses one of Reserve’s recent top self-acquisitions—Annasach 25, a custom blend of four spirits that are all at least 25-years old. It can be purchased by the bottle, as a matter of fact, for a mere $250.  



Anvil Bar & Refuge opened in 2009 as Houston’s first bar devoted to classic cocktails. They’ve developed a list of 100 drinks. Their list of spirits is nothing to sneeze at with over 20 pages devoted to whiskey from Europe, North America, and Asia. Culture Map highlights the “Break-Even Bottle” which allows patrons to sample rare spirits at a more affordable price.
Margaret Z. from Manhattan, New York, says in her 5-star Yelp review, “Highly recommend and this would be one of my first stops if I’m ever back in the Houston area!”    


Public Services Wine & Whiskey is located in downtown Houston next to the historic Houston Cotton Exchange Building. Built in 1884, the bar is listed on the National Register of Historic Places! If you get a hint of sweetness with your spirits it’s because their extensive selection of whiskey has been finished in Sherry casks. Yum!
Jordan T. of Lexington, Kentucky, was very impressed. In his 5-star Yelp review, he says, “Randomly found this gem while walking around Houston. Great bar. Fantastic whiskey selection that’s reasonably priced. Service was excellent and the staff was knowledgeable.”
Distinctive, strong, yet laid back—this describes both a fine glass of whiskey and the city of Houston. Order yourself a nip at some of the best whiskey bars in H-Town!

The Best Late Night Eats Around Houston

A basic fact of Houston’s growth, whatever your opinions otherwise, means more late night options for all the crave-fueled, starry-eyed, midnight taco seekers out there. And that’s progress! Right? The variety of late night eats has gotten broader, too, and the tastes discerning them have only become more discerning as quality has risen.

Lots to consider, I know unless you want to cut to the chase and make a beeline for the best. Here are the best late night eats around Houston!    



Tex-Orleans-style cooking is a thing and they’re serving up heaps of it at BB’s Cafe. Thrillist proclaims, “This Cajun eatery’s grub is fantastic EVEN when you’re sober, so just imagine how it tastes after some beverages.“ The loudest recommendations come in for the Tex-Cajun Virgin fries smothered with roast beef, gravy, and chile con queso. You don’t have to be a genius to cook up good food like this, but you’d have to be an idiot not to love it!

  BB’s is where all the little crawdads in Houston hangout after 12. You can find BB’s in multiple locations throughout Clutch City but the one in Montrose is open ‘til 4 am.



Especially after a long night, once you find yourself inside Velvet Taco, it’s hard to want to leave. They serve tacos until 4 am. And if that doesn’t keep you coming back, Eater Houston knows you’ll find something to whet your appetite, “with large tacos stuffed with everything from falafel to crispy chicken skin and potato salad.”

Ari L.’s 5-star Yelp review goes even deeper into Velvet Taco’s inviting menu: “My go-to tacos are the chicken tikka masala, grilled flank steak, rotisserie chicken, or brisket. Chips & Queso and street corn are both great sides.”



Slurp noodles ‘til 12. They don’t care at Ninja Ramen! Ninja Ramen’s Asahikawa-style Ramen recipe has been passed down and secretly guarded for 2 million years. Mercifully, their website warns patrons: “Beware of shurikens!”

The Google Local Guide reviews are in on this place and they are glowing. In her 5-star review, Jamy Abraham beams, “Got the garlic noodles and it was delicious!! The service is great as well!”

Houston has grown. And so have our late night dining options! The best eats in H-Town after midnight are some of the best eats anywhere, at any time.


The Best Breakfast Tacos in Houston

A lot of towns aren’t even sure what a breakfast taco is. Some towns have some really good ones. But Houston has the best. Now, we’ll avoid the H-Town trap of piling on Austin; they cook up a downright acceptable breakfast taco, occasionally. But, this blog is about the BEST breakfast tacos. And so we’ll speak nothing more of Austin.  

Born of the crucibles of our own Tex-Mex cocinas, the breakfast taco (and its sister, the breakfast burrito) is a Texas original. Enjoy the best breakfast tacos around Houston!


Tacos Tierra Caliente is legit. They’re a taco truck parked at Hollywood Food serving eggy, cheese-filled corn tortillas every day until 11:30 a.m. for less than a trip to Starbucks. This is about as good as it gets, folks. Alexandria T., of Houston, TX, agrees.

She yelps, “The best thing about Houston is tacos. And, more specifically tacos from Tacos Tierra Caliente.”

Thrillist recommends “you drench [the breakfast tacos] in both the red AND the green salsa.”   


The line moves fast at Laredo Taqueria. So do the breakfast tacos. Thrillist throws in its two cents: “get spicy potatoes, chorizo & eggs, chicharrones, and refried beans.” They sing corridos about the handmade corn tortillas there.

Houstonia Magazine chimes in: “Even the most basic potato-and-egg taco tastes amazing thanks to Laredo’s homemade tortillas and zesty, fiery salsas.”


“Inhale tacos. Exhale emotions.” Tacos A Go-Go gets it right. Like a flaming El Camino out of the Texas sunset, Tacos A Go-Go, well, goes at Houston’s taqueria scene with its rockabilly vibe, old-school Mexican kitsch and simple, no-nonsense food made from scratch every day. They serve breakfast until late into the night, so go-go anytime.

Sonal M., of Houston, TX, likes the food and the value of Tacos A Go-Go. She yelps, “Four huge breakfast tacos for 10 bucks! Can’t beat that! Each one comes with perfectly cooked eggs and two toppings on either a flour or corn tortilla.”

Delicious and affordable.

“What the bagel is to NYC, the breakfast taco is to Houston,” Houstonia Magazine asserts. So you’d better get it right! Do yourself a favor and try the best breakfast tacos in Houston.  

Best Springtime Date Ideas Around Houston

When it’s springtime it feels like all of nature is inviting you to celebrate! American poet E.E. Cummins seems to agree when he writes, “all the merry little birds are/flying in the floating in the / very spirits singing in / are winging in the blossoming.”

Don’t miss out, Houston! Enjoy these springtime date ideas in H-Town.



  Give “going out for ice cream” a gourmet touch. Cloud 10 Creamery blends their handcrafted ice cream a half a gallon at a time. These treats are the creation of award winning Pastry Chef Chris Leung who refreshes their line of flavors each season. Try the spring flavors at Cloud 10!
Yelper Morgan R. is impressed by the creative variety of ice cream “ Cloud 10 is a unique ice cream parlor with many unique, changing flavors.”  


Cafeza is not only the cutest little Latin American cafe this side of the Rio Grande, they host live music several nights a week. The cafe draws its inspiration from the cafés of Barcelona and Buenos Aires, as well as the neighborhood cervecerias and refresquerias around downtown Houston.
Yelper Yvette H. agrees that the romantic vibe of Cafeza is intoxicating: “I recently attended one of the jazz nights at Cafeza and it was truly magical! Fun lights, cool drinks and still serving churros past 9 pm!”  


  An outing beneath the stars is classic romance. And, with our well-known connection to the aerospace industry, Houston is about as close as you can get to the heavens here on Earth. The George Observatory’s “Starry Night: A VIP Experience” is hosted by the Director of Astronomy. View the sky through their  36″ Gueymard Research telescope. And who knows? Maybe somewhere out there on the other end of the telescope, on some other world, there’s a pair of lovers staring back at you.

  It’s cuffing season, H-Town! Winter will be back before you know it. Live in the moment this spring with the best date ideas around Houston. Viva sweet love!

The Best Juice Bars Near Houston

Minute Maid Park isn’t the only juice Mecca in Houston. It’s true, a trip to the ol’ “Juice Box” to see the world champion Astros play will have you over the moon for an evening, but a healthy, plant-based diet comprised of living, vital ingredients will give you a glow that lasts. And you don’t have to be a World Series athlete to appreciate the benefits of juicing.

Prepare yourself, Houstonians! Here are the best juice bars in town.

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Island Grill’s Mediterranean menu is a perfect complement to the smoothies on deck. One look at their blog vindicates our suspicion that Island Grill is committed to keeping Houston healthy. They proudly proclaim, “Island Grill has a wide selection of options packed with fruit and veggie power.”

Google Local Guide BD loves the food, too. He reviews, “Love this place!  The food is always fresh, cooked to order, and portion sizes are good.”



Daily Juice is a Texas original. Born in 2003, the juice is fresh every day and made from real foods—no sugar or ice added. Their raw juices are prepared onsite and sold directly to the public. “Raw Juices,” says Daily Juice, “contain the live enzymes your body craves. RAW juices have the vitality your body will celebrate!”

Google Local Guide (and Houston gal) Miranda Queen will be heading back. She beams, “Houston has a lot of juice bars but this is the best one so far for me. I was able to sample 6 juices. I learned a lot about juicing.”



713-Juice-Bar has the 411 on all things healthy! H-Town’s juice dispensary provides fresh and healthy ingredients to keep you feeling great. The Yelp community raves about this place. Christine K. says, “They certainly use the best quality ingredients (whole delicious foods) – each smoothie is incredibly filling almost like a meal.”

We know juice in Houston. Just ask the boys in orange at Minute Maid Park. You’ll be an MVP with more freshly squeezed juice in your daily diet!

The Best Doggie Daycare in Houston

Our dogs are like our children, meaning that leaving them home alone every day with just the TV on to keep them company isn’t what one might call “top quality caregiving.” Like people, our dogs need to be engaged mentally, physically and socially to lead a happy, healthy and fulfilling life.

Here are our picks for the best doggie daycare services in Houston.



River Oaks Doggie Daycare is Houston’s premier cage-free boarding facility. They cultivate an environment that promotes stimulation and socialization, creating a “home away from home” for your pooch. This will reduce separation anxiety which leads to many of the negative behaviors we see in our dogs.

Their customer testimonials speak for themselves: “Just started placing my puppy at Doggie Daycare! Tillie loves it! And most important too, Gabie and her staff are the greatest.”



Camp Run-A-Mutt’s “muttcams” let you see the fun your dog is having all day. They have over 8,500 square feet of play space for your dog to just enjoy being a dog. And Camp Run-A-Mutt offers obedience training and grooming services on-site!

Google Local Guide Andrew Long raves, “We love this place. Sammie always comes home happy and tired.”



Dogtopia echoes a sentiment I know we can all agree upon: “Dogs fill our lives with so much joy. It’s time to repay the favor.”

They offer award-winning dog daycare, overnight, weekend and holiday boarding and spa services. They know that being a part of the pack a deeply instinctual need for dogs. So they integrate open play into the daily routine. K-9 obesity is also a widespread epidemic affecting 54% of US dogs. Dogtopia makes sure regular exercise is part of your pooch’s personal program.

We want the best for our furry family. They rely on us for everything, after all. The best doggie daycare in Houston.

How to Spend a Long Weekend in Houston

Sure, we may only be a few weeks through the New Year, but we’re already ready for a long weekend… and we’ve got one coming up. Well, some of us do… maybe the rest of us may just need to play hooky on a Friday or a Monday and spend a 3-day weekend exploring and loving life outside of the office. For our blog this week, we at Alta City West want to throw a few suggestions out there. “How do you spend a long weekend in Houston?” you ask… well, we’ve got the answer for you. Behold, a long weekend schedule to make the most of all Houston’s got to offer!
  • Day One: Buy some Texas-themed treats! We recommend visiting Pinto Ranch Houston or The Hat Store (yes, it’s called that) for some western gear to show your Texas pride and remind you of why you love the place you call home. After that, it’s time for BBQ, of course! The Brisket House is known for… well, we’ll let you guess. And Roegels Barbecue Co. was ranked in Texas Monthly’s top 50 places, but we’ll let you be the judge of that. Both are neighborhood staples, and you’ll end Day 1 of your long weekend remembering why you love it here in Houston!
  • Day Two: Get out of the city! Ok, you’ve had your Texas-themed fun in the local neighborhood, but now it’s time to get out and explore. We recommend an outdoorsy day, first with a hike through the Sam Houston National Forest, and then with a watery trip to Trinity River. Both are just an easy few minutes from each other, and less than a two-hour drive from us here at Alta City West. Trust us, you’ll want a break from the city on a long weekend, and you’ll be glad you explored nature at these spots. Bring friends, and pack a picnic… and don’t forget to hydrate!
  • Day Three: Relax, and wind down in style! Of course, when Alta City West is our home, how can we leave for long? For us, getting a workout in is a great way to let off some steam and release some tension… the post-workout feeling is one that can’t be recreated, and it makes us feel on top of the world. Then order takeout from Chuy’s or Nick’s Place (depending on what you’re in the mood for). Crack open a cold one, take in the view of the Houston skyline, and call your long weekend a success. What a way to rest up before another work week!
Did we miss one of your favorite things to do around Houston? How about an attraction that you love in our neighborhood or the surrounding areas? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll check it out ourselves. We never want to miss anything Houston has to offer!

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Houston

Ah, Thanksgiving is upon us, and we couldn’t be any more excited about it. There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned, family-style dinner – Texas-sized, of course! Watching the parade together in the morning, smelling that turkey cooking throughout the day, and celebrating with family and friends over the afternoon… and don’t forget the pie, either! Here are just a few ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in Houston with your loved ones this year. Try not to eat too much!
  • Watch the H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade… in person! The largest Thanksgiving event in Houston takes place downtown, and the weather is slated to be perfect. So grab a few friends and family members, and be sure to arrive early to get a good spot. Bonus for sticking around to spot Santa!
  • Host a “friends-giving” feast! Who doesn’t love a good potluck turkey dinner?! Assign a few of your loved ones to bring the stuffing, the pumpkin pie, and the cranberry sauce, and host your Thanksgiving dinner feast comfortably at home in Alta City West.
  • Volunteer to feed others. Houston’s own Annual Thanksgiving Big Super Feast is one of the best events of the year to spread the joy and thankfulness to those who may not be feeling it this time of year. Tis the season to get involved with a charity.
  • Dine out with friends… When all else fails, West Houston’s got plenty of restaurants around our neighborhood here that are featuring dinner deals. Never fear! If you’ve burned that turkey, you can still have the chance to stuff your face!
How are you spending your Thanksgiving this year? Share photos of your plans and celebrations with us, and we may highlight them on a future blog or social media post. After all, we in Houston are famous for a community that feels like family… and that’s you, too! There’s no place like home on Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble!

Photo Blog: West Houston Coffee Shops

For this week’s photo blog, we’ve found a few of our favorite coffee shop drinks around Houston, and we’re sharing the love. Behold, the countdown of coffee shop goodies that will power your morning and keep you going throughout the day. Cheers!
Tea party. 👌 A post shared by Sara K. Gilmore (@sarakgilmore) on

Had a bad ass time riding the #grom tonight!

A post shared by Robert (@robert_87_) on

Crepee🍫🍌 #lonjasfelices #foodporn A post shared by Lonjasfelices (@lonjasfelices) on

❤ this

A post shared by Elizabeth (@eliza_beth) on

But first, tea! #teaforme #afternoontea A post shared by Jeniifer Harrold (@jenniqueso) on

Sweet stuff

A post shared by Hoang (@hoang.time) on

An Astros Fan’s Guide to the World Series

At long last – it’s time for our Houston Astros to redeem themselves since the year 2005, where our team was swept in the World Series, losing in just four games… It was a tough loss, but that’s all about to change! The Houston Astros are in it to win it this year!

  • Know the games and times. Obviously, this is the most important one – you don’t want to miss a game. We’ve got full confidence in the Astros’ ability to bring it home, but we’re still expecting a close match-up with the LA Dodgers, with all seven games being played. How about you?
  • Looking for tickets? You may have to shell out for some expensive ones, but it’s not an impossible situation. Check online for a source that is verified… and if all else fails, we think that at home at Alta City West isn’t too bad of a place to cozy up and watch the game.
  • Traffic may be gnarly, especially around the stadium on game days… plan a route accordingly to avoid the Minute Maid Park craziness if you want to get home at a reasonable hour. Or maybe that’s an even better excuse to stay in?
  • Have fun celebrating. Let’s be honest, celebrations can get pretty rowdy, so be sure to prioritize a fun and respectable time for everyone. If you need a designated driver or Uber or Lyft, don’t be afraid to call one – and be inclusive and friendly as we all celebrate the wins together as a close, friendly community!
Well, there you have it – a few tips for surviving the Astros’ appearance in the World Series without white-knuckling it too hard. And, of course, if you’re celebrating in your own unique way, we want you to share it with us. We here at Alta City West love sharing the festivities on our blog and social media, so join in the community pride and Astros #teamspirit, and let us know how you’re showing your Houston Support. Go Houston Astros!