Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States. Home to world-famous clutch rockets, the Houston Texans, NASA, lush reserve parks and pristine bayous, Houston is one of the most diverse, charming, and unique cities in the United States.
Don’t let Houston’s iconic imagery mislead you. Houston today is better described as a great American city trying to make itself even greater. And each neighborhood plays a part in making Houston what it is today. We have compiled a list of the best neighborhoods in Houston to help you in your search.
Best Neighborhoods in Houston
In a city as large as Houston, the variety of locations for buying a home is endless. While each area boasts unique qualities, we have considered individuality, location, desirability, and schools as factors in choosing these 8 best places to live in Houston, Texas.
#1: Best Neighborhoods in Houston
Located in the central part of Houston close to Downtown lies the neighborhood of Midtown. A great place to live, Midtown is attracting many young professionals to the area for its abundance of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and local businesses. Providing its residents with a trendy and upscale vibe, this neighborhood is extremely walkable and is close to all of the most popular city attractions. While Midtown is considered part of the inner loop of Houston, it remains an affordable area even though it is highly populated and sought after. Most property types that can be found in this area include luxurious high-rise apartments, chic lofts, and renovated single-family homes. So if you are looking for a lively and diverse neighborhood with fantastic nightlife, look no further than Midtown.
Ensemble Theatre: The Ensemble Theatre was founded in 1976 by the late George Hawkins to preserve African American artistic expression and enlighten, entertain, and enrich a diverse community.
Station Museum of Contemporary Art: Owned by James and Ann Harithas, this contemporary art museum is a cool place to admire works from local, national, and international artists. Featuring sculptures, paintings, and rotating exhibits.
Cyclone Anaya’s: After 50 years Cyclone Anaya’s has become a Texas legacy, serving Carolina’s original homemade recipes. Now the family is keeping the tradition alive and giving Texas and the nation the taste of fine homemade Mexican food that has made Cyclone Anaya’s famous.
#2: Best Neighborhoods in Houston
Houston Museum District
Located southwest of downtown, The Museum District has more than 8.7 million visitors who explore the 19 cultural institutions that populate this beautiful neighborhood each year. It’s a very walkable and pleasant neighborhood that renters enjoy because of its quiet pockets, parks, and strong community feel. Popular spots to go, besides the museums, include The Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre, and MF Sushi.
The tree-lined streets show the true culture and beauty of this area. Renters love that there’s no shortage of entertainment, but it’s also not as hectic as some of the other neighborhoods in Houston. It’s the best of both worlds in The Museum District.
Barnaby’s Cafe: Constantly humming with lively conversation, this cozy cafe is a popular Montrose neighborhood hangout. This snug little diner features fresh, uncomplicated, contemporary food. The service is quick, and the price is right.
Children’s Museum: This 90,000-square-foot museum is an interactive and immersive center for kids to learn and grow. Welcoming all kids up until the age of 12.
Houston Zoo: The Houston Zoo is a 55-acre zoological park located within Hermann Park in Houston, Texas, United States. The zoo houses over 6,000 animals from more than 600 species. It receives 2.1 million visitors each year and is the second most visited zoo in the United States, surpassed only by the San Diego Zoo
#3: Best Neighborhoods in Houston
River Oaks is one of the most luxurious and exclusive neighborhoods in Texas and in all of the U.S. The neighborhood is well-known for being home to Houston’s elite – its residents include politicians, celebrities, business giants, and international figures. The area has a population of about 17,000 people.
Developed in the early 1920s, River Oaks was among Houston’s first master-planned communities. It has grown to be among the U.S.’s wealthiest neighborhoods with its grand estates, beautiful mansions, and towering trees.
The neighborhood maintains its old-world charm with traditional, one-story ranch-style homes. New homes made by internationally-acclaimed architects feature modern, contemporary designs with Spanish and Mediterranean influences.
The neighborhood is conveniently located near multi-award-winning schools under the Houston Independent School District. It is also home to the most sought-after upscale shopping and dining destinations, landmark attractions, and diverse art and entertainment scenes.
Backstreet Cafe: Cozy, intimate and always inventive, Backstreet is a winner for ambiance and excellent comfort fare. The plate of freshly prepared daily vegetables is one of the best anywhere, and the endlessly popular pecan-crusted chicken is always a solid choice.
Kirby Icehouse: Sleek, expansive bar serving local beers, cocktails & wine with a big backyard & food trucks.
River Oaks District: Discover Houston’s River Oaks District: 60+ luxury brands, dining, and art/cultural events. Shop, dine, and be entertained in style.
#4: Best Neighborhoods in Houston
The Memorial area spans over 80 miles of gorgeous homes with spacious lots and sprawling trees. It is also home to Memorial Forest, Memorial Villages, and Frostwood, three of Houston’s 20 most expensive neighborhoods.
As one of the largest neighborhoods in Houston by size, Memorial is composed of four regions (Memorial Villages, Memorial West, Memorial Close In, and Memorial Park), over thirty smaller communities, and six independent municipalities.
Memorial is located on the West side of Houston and is primarily south of Katy Freeway, mostly between West Loop 610 North and West Beltway 8, and the southern border runs along Buffalo Bayou to the south.
Memorial residents enjoy an easy commute to Downtown Houston, The Galleria, and Energy Corridor – three of the largest business districts in Houston (and the state of Texas).
Terry Hershey Park: Terry Hershey Park is a county park that runs parallel to a roughly 6-mile stretch of the Buffalo Bayou in western Houston, Texas. The park is named after Terry Hershey, a conservationist who campaigned to keep the banks of Buffalo Bayou from being paved.
Brenner’s on the Bayou: Upscale and elegant steakhouse with two locations dating back to 1936. Features an elegant, woodsy interior & charming garden patio.
Memorial City Mall: Memorial City Mall is a large shopping mall in Houston, Texas, United States. It is approximately 11 miles west of downtown Houston at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Gessner Road.
#5: Best Neighborhoods in Houston
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, 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 favorite murals.
Although the “Greater Heights” area includes areas off Washington, Northside, and even Oak Forest, this guide mainly discusses the specific Heights area, which we’re defining as north of I-10, south of 610, west of Studemont, and east of Shepherd.
White Oak Music Hall: is a five-acre, three-stage indoor/outdoor live music complex located just north of downtown Houston.
Fat Cat Creamery: The cats at Fat Cat Creamery handcraft unique, small-batch ice cream with local ingredients.
19th Street: One of Houston’s hottest shopping districts lies on the vibrant 19th Street in the Heights. Packed with antique shops and galleries.
#6: Best Neighborhoods in Houston
Almost every home in Montrose is within a handful of blocks from the nearest shopping center, restaurant cluster, grocery store, and more. Investing in a bike opens up even more of the attractions of living near downtown Houston, as places like the Texas Medical Center, the Museum District, and Hermann Park are only three or four miles away. And, of course, Montrose is served by plenty of stops on the METRO bus lines.
This area offers a special place for its residents to be near it all without the hassle of big-city traffic or long car travels after a day of work. There’s nothing quite like being able to walk to your favorite spot for a delicious dinner or meet up with friends for lunch without having to worry about parking. In Montrose, this dream can become your reality. Forget having to pack up in the car to meet your friends for a quick drink; here, food and fun are at your fingertips.
Buffalo Bayou Park: Buffalo Bayou Park is a 2.3-mile-long municipal park located along the banks of the Buffalo Bayou near Downtown Houston, Texas. With a total area of 160 acres, Buffalo Bayou Park stretches from Shepherd Drive to Sabine Street, between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive.
Agora: Agora offers gourmet coffees, imported ales & beers, and a wide selection of wines in a warm, old-world, artistically inspiring atmosphere.
The Burger Joint: Burgers and dogs unite at this cult favorite burger joint, which features a pups-welcome, wrap-around patio at its Montrose location.
#7: Best Neighborhoods in Houston
Greenway/Upper Kirby is among the most sought-after mixed-use districts located southwest of Downtown Houston. Home to nearly 20,000 people, the neighborhood offers its residents a good mix of residential and commercial lifestyles. Residents here get the vibrant urban feel while being at the center of commerce and growth.
Greenway/Upper Kirby features a wide variety of housing types – ranging from single-family homes and luxury townhomes to multi-million dollar mansions, affluent apartments, and high-rise condominiums. The neighborhood is the site of the popular Greenway Plaza which is an architectural and cultural masterpiece that showcases some of Houston’s most reputable businesses.
Greenway/Upper Kirby is among Houston’s most walkable neighborhoods where people can be within steps of excellent restaurants, unique and chic small business boutiques, commercial strip malls, art cafes, and bars. The neighborhood is the best place for those who want to maintain a fit and active lifestyle because it has abundant green spaces and upscale restaurants and shops with healthy options.
Greenway Plaza: There are many things to do and explore in and around this premier business center district. From upscale shops and restaurants, art theatres, and fitness centers to modern architecture and green spaces, Greenway Plaza offers residents and guests the best of contemporary living while also highlighting several quiet spaces for meditation and relaxation.
Carrabba’s – The Original On Kirby: Family owned and operated, The Original Carrabba’s on Kirby Drive opened on Dec. 26, 1986, but has developed into a massive chain eatery & bar serving a diverse menu of classic Italian fare in a family-friendly setting. The journey began at this location.
Levy Park: Featuring about 5 acres of land and green spaces, Levy Park is the perfect place for families and communities to reconnect and bond over picnics, sports, and entertainment. The park boasts of a community garden, dog parks, playgrounds, a performance pavilion, and free Wi-Fi. There are many fitness, dance, and yoga classes for children and adults to participate in and join the fun.
#8: Best Neighborhoods to Move to in the Houston Area
West University Place
West University Place is located in the 4th largest metropolitan area in the nation but has managed to retain its small-town feel while providing convenient access to an array of big city amenities in the surrounding areas, such as:
- Southside Place
Just minutes from downtown Houston, the Galleria, and Texas Medical Center, West University Place’s location makes it an ideal spot for living, working, and raising a family. West University Place’s tree-lined streets, well-maintained homes and expansive park system are second to none.
The area’s strong educational background, its proximity to Rice University, and the fact that 85% of adults who live in West U have bachelor’s degrees are among the reasons West University Place has been recognized for its high quality of life.
Local Foods: this is a great spot for those looking for delicious and healthy food options. The restaurant offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, and soups that are all made with fresh, local ingredients. The menu is vegan-friendly, and there are plenty of gluten-free options as well. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they always go out of their way to ensure customers are happy.
Main Street Theatre: Since 1975, this professional theater has been enriching the city’s culture through intimate, theatrical performances that challenge its audience and its members to think and grow.
Sweet Paris Creperie & Cafe: The sugary confections lining this neighborhood are as dreamy as ever for sweet treats that are acceptable even in the morning head here. You’ll find an array of crepes stuffed with fresh berries and sweet cream, Nutella and marshmallows, and apple cinnamon crème brûlée. The ultra-delicate delights are best enjoyed with a creamy latte or cappuccino.
Best Neighborhoods in Houston- BOTTOM LINE
Houston, Texas is a great place to live and has an above-average quality of life score. While the city may have many pros and cons, one of the best parts about Houston is its abundance of great neighborhoods. Whether you are moving to Houston for work or simply for a change of scenery, Houston will appeal to any lifestyle and is more affordable than other similar metropolitan areas. If you are planning to build your own custom home in the Houston Area, give us a call today and let us guide you through the home-building process. 713-939-8005!