These are Houston's most walkable strips for shopping, eating and exploring

Pick one of these walkable corridors for a full day of fun, sans Houston traffic.

People wait to enter Handlebar on Washington Avenue to celebrate New Year’s Eve on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, in Houston.

People wait to enter Handlebar on Washington Avenue to celebrate New Year’s Eve on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, in Houston.

Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

We’re spotlighting some of Houston’s favorite strips that are loaded with spots for great eats, cold drinks and good times with friends. The Bayou City has a lot of 'em!
See if your favorite made the list.

H-TOWN PLAYLIST: 5 Houston artists that are worth a listen

#5. Emancipation Avenue

Houston officials renamed the former Dowling Avenue to the new Emancipation Avenue in 2017.

Houston officials renamed the former Dowling Avenue to the new Emancipation Avenue in 2017.

Steve Gonzales, Staff Photographer / Houston Chronicle

Houston’s historic Third Ward boasts one of the city’s most vibrant strips of “grown folks” bars and meet-up spots.

This two-mile stretch of well-established venues includes low-key hangouts like the popular Dbar and The Spot Lounge staggered between Southmore and Alabama streets. You can also find delicious food sprinkled in, from outdoor crawfish boils to crab legs, burgers and barbecue. This strip only promises to get better as new investment in restoration and expansion is underway.


•    Dbar: A top watering hole for many, this joint has a laid-back crowd, soul music, and crawfish, steaks and seafood on various nights.
•    Spot Lounge & Bar: Hole-in-the-wall dive bar with a warm and friendly atmosphere. 
•    Sparkle’s Burger & Daiquiri Spot: Casual burgers, steaks and seafood. But be sure to explore those daiquiris one flavor at a time! 
   Luxx Bar & Lounge: All the important grown folks ingredients, good drink selection, cool crowd and a lively atmosphere 
•    CB’s BBQ & Burgers: Good food and open late enough to grab a plate after you leave Dbar next door.
•    The Savoy Ice House: Under renovation, highly anticipated and coming soon!
•    Emancipation Park: Take in a space dedicated to freedom.

#4. Broadway (Pearland)

D' Caribbean Curry Spot’s jerk chicken.

D' Caribbean Curry Spot’s jerk chicken.

Kirk Sides / Staff photographer

Houston’s hangout strips were once rated by the number of bars they contained, as Houstonians have always appreciated a good beverage. But today, the balance between food and drink offerings is more weighted on the side of the grub. On Pearland’s Broadway strip, nestled in the 2.5 miles between Highway 288 and Cullen Boulevard, patrons can find their beloved Tex-Mex food from multiple venues, along with Creole food, wing outlets, soul food, Caribbean cuisine and Asian fare. One only has to find the perfect combination of menu, patio size and tequila selection to suit one's taste.


   Killen’s TMX: The usual Killen’s quality applied to upscale Tex-Mex. With premium steak and seafood offerings as well, these guys provide a delicious anchor to the strip.
•    Mikki’s Soulfood Café: A real treat to find all of the soul food favorites served up in Pearland.
•    Big City Wings: Honestly, can we ever get tired of different wing flavors? Nope!
•    Taqueria Mi Pueblito Bar & Grill: Dollar tacos every Tuesday and a $2 happy hour margarita make for the perfect summer hangout.
•    Grazia Italian Kitchen: Italian staples, Texas twists and fresh Gulf seafood make Grazia a local favorite.
•    D’Carribean Curry Spot: When you really want a different food and music vibe in Pearland, stop in here.

#3. Gray Street

Coco Crepes, Waffles and Coffee on Gray Street offers outdoor seating in the midst of a food- and drink-heavy corridor.

Coco Crepes, Waffles and Coffee on Gray Street offers outdoor seating in the midst of a food- and drink-heavy corridor.

Google Maps

It’s hard to narrow Midtown down to a single strip, but if we did, this one would fit the bill.

Centered at Gray and Bagby streets, this strip is unique in that it features popular spots a block or two in every direction. As the location would suggest, Gray Street caters to a crowd of transplanted Houstonians, downtown workers and folks who don’t mind driving into town to catch the modern neighborhood vibe. Sushi, ramen and dumplings for your Asian fusion cravings, the legendary Christian’s Tailgate for sports fans and burger lovers, Tex-Mex, Italian and quaint coffee shops are all there along with bar offerings large and small. Take a short drive on Webster in the opposite direction and you can find live music and more great food at Phil and Derek’s.


•    The Fish: Great place for Houstonians and sushi to collide while socializing.
•    IzakayaModern vibes and comforting ramen, plus great deals during weekday happy hours.
•    Cyclone Anaya’s Tex-Mex Kitchen: One of the most consistent restaurant and bar vibes in the city.
•    Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ: Out-the-door lines in the evening speak to this joint's popularity. Consider making reservations.
•    CoCo Crepes, Waffles & Coffee: Get a little something sweet with your java and enjoy people-watching from outdoor seating.
•    Bagby Park: Unassuming greenspace in Midtown.
•    Little Woodrow’s: A bar’s bar, two blocks away and worth it.
•    Phil & Derek’s: Frequent live entertainment and an extensive Creole menu.

#2. Almeda Road

The Turkey Leg Hut Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Houston.

The Turkey Leg Hut Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Houston.

Steve Gonzales, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

In the world of food and entertainment, numbers matter, meaning Houston’s Turkey Leg Hut could qualify as a hot strip all by itself.

The legendary lines wrapped around the Almeda Road venue have caught the attention of diners across the country. But bringing all that traffic to Almeda has also given a shot in the arm to other venues on the strip, such as the classic Alfreda’s Soul Food, coffee shops, smaller bars and the newly-renovated Bar 5015 with its massive patios and extensive food and drink menus. Remember the Reggae Hut? It’s still there too, providing a taste of authentic Caribbean food and atmosphere. Keep your eye on this one, as the hottest location in town may soon anchor the hottest strip.


   Turkey Leg Hut: Become famous and skip the line or just deal with it. It's well worth either approach.
   Reggae Hut: Gotta love Houston institutions that reflect our diversity. There's always a good jerk on the menu.
•    Spanish Village: A Houston stalwart with a bonus vegan menu that earns raves from locals.
   Bar 5015: Upscale casual crowd, great food and possibly your favorite new patio.
   Alfreda’s Soul Food: A staple since the '60s with the soul to match. Three words: Smothered turkey wings.
•    Houston Sauce Pit: All vegan and all good.
   Martini Bar and Cigar: A relative newcomer in the former Faces Ultra Lounge spot, Martini is getting props for its grown and sexy vibe.

#1. Washington Avenue

Bottled Blonde on Washington Ave, Saturday, October 3, 2020.

Bottled Blonde on Washington Ave, Saturday, October 3, 2020.

Jamaal Ellis, Houston Chronicle / Contributor

When the Richmond strip laid down its nightlife crown over a decade ago, it was the Washington Avenue corridor that picked it up.

Home to the great Rockefellers venue where so many experienced live jazz for the first time, Washington boasts a rich history and a thriving newness at the same time. It’s both upscale and dive. You can eat well or shove down tacos on the way to the next spot. Hang out at a brewery, catch some live entertainment or peer out at the Houston skyline from a restaurant rooftop. This strip is both consistent and ever-evolving.

All lists are subjective, but for now, the Washington Avenue strip is our number one.


•    B&B Butchers & Restaurant: Every strip needs a serious spot for dining and drinks. This is that place.
•    Shell Shack: Crawfish crowd meets crab leg crowd here. Could get messy! 
•    Platypus Brewing: A joint that proves Texas and Australia do mix, especially when it comes to food and drink.
•    Bottled Blonde: Lively bar atmosphere with a young hip crowd. Well-situated for a crawl to a few other spots.
•    Lincoln Bar: sports-focused bar with themed weekly dance nights and ongoing crawfish Sundays.
•    Star Pizza: Those who know, know. Try it and you will too.

Honorable mentions: These two strips were so instrumental in defining the culture in Houston, we have to give them props for their contributions.

The Richmond Strip

This is the only street in Houston that was ever renamed “The Strip” among locals because of the world-class nightlife that it boasted. For most of the '90s and early 2000s (remember the Yucatan Liquor Stand and Club 6234?), the Richmond Avenue stretch between Chimney Rock and Gessner warranted serious HPD presence for traffic control and disorderly conduct. All in the interest of a good time, of course!

Westheimer/Montrose Strip

This is the Granddaddy of 'em all when it comes to entertainment and culture strips in Houston. Stretching back to the '80s and beyond, this narrow and winding patch of Houston’s longest street, from Bagby to Sheperd, was famous for out-of-this-world people-watching. In fact, the curiosity was so strong that many Houstonians can remember cruising by the Numbers Club and Charlie’s as mere high school teens, peering from cars and longing for the day that they too could take it all in on foot.

It’s now home to more daytime-friendly adventures with choice resale shops and tattoo parlors nestled among small eateries and bars. But a few signs of its underground heritage remain, if you know where to look.

More Lifestyle

- Airline ticket prices have risen 40 percent since the beginning of 2022

- 5 great hiking trails in Houston worth exploring

- Train through Houston makes the list for most scenic Amtrak route

- 9 wineries to visit within a one-hour drive of Houston

For the latest and best from Chron, sign up for our daily newsletter here.