OTC Guide to Houston’s restaurants and entertainment

Looking for ways to spend your free time during the OTC? Here are guides to some of Houston’s best restaurants, bars, clubs and sites, plus trails for running, which you’ll need to do to work off all those margaritas.









Reliant Park area

Reliant Park will be the center of the Offshore Technology Conference activities.

While not a typical Houston dining destination, the area is home to several places worth a visit, including terrific spots for Cajun, Mediterranean, seafood, Tex-Mex and some of the best fried chicken in town.

10 restaurants near Reliant.

Best spots for barbecue

Houston’s most memorable barbecue joints may not be centrally located, let alone open late or even every day. But they serve some of the best BBQ in the country, and visiting them is worth your time.

These spots, while a bit of a drive from Reliant, are where to go for some of the best food in the city.

Six great barbecue joints.

Best spots for Mexican food

Houstonians consider Mexican food, devoured early and often, to be their sacred birthright.

Here are some of our favorite places to get the good stuff, and the margaritas that go with it.

12 great Mexican restaurants.

Best spots to visit in Midtown/Downtown

Some of Houston’s most interesting restaurants are located in downtown and midtown. You can find them along the light rail, which runs from Reliant to downtown — no driving necessary.

10 recommended restaurants in Midtown/Downtown.

Restaurants near the Washington corridor/Houston Heights

The Washington/Heights area is constantly evolving and has some of the most energized entertainment and dining spots in the city. Here you’ll find places to enjoy the pretty weather and prettier people.

8 restaurants in the Washington/Heights area.

Restaurants near the Galleria/Post Oak area

There’s no shortage of dining options in Houston’s premier shopping district, but many of the restaurants that you’ll find in this area are over-rated upscale chains. Reward yourself by searching out the local eateries.

Recommended places in Galleria/Post Oak area.

Best spots to visit in Energy Corridor and City Centre

Houston has some vibrant ‘burbs and none more so than this growing area.

With its mix of monied older neighborhoods and luxury apartment complexes filled with young professionals, you’ll find a good mix of patrons at all of these spots. You’ll also find a good assortment of dining and drinking options.

Best restaurants in Energy Corridor, City Centre.

Guide to gourmet food trucks

Houston is home to hundreds of taco trucks serving inexpensive, humble and filling fare. If you’re up for an adventure, stop and give one a try.

The city has some of the toughest health codes in the country so you have no worries, even if the truck looks a little rough around the edges.

Houston’s best food trucks.

Best hamburgers in Houston

Houston has an unusually strong burger culture that has entered a sort of golden age, with fine new joints popping up every other month.

However, if you are only in town for a weekend, you’ll want only the best out of Houston burger joints.

Guide to top burger specialists.

Best steakhouses in town

There are high-end steakhouses littered across the Houston area. Of course, you can find the national brands, such as Capital Grille, Smith & Wollensky, Morton’s and Del Frisco’s.

However, you can also find some local restaurants that’ll serve you outstanding specialties.

Best steak places in Houston.

Explore the best spots in Galveston

When most Houstonians think of dining on the island, it’s generally about the casual spots along the Seawall that welcome flip-flops, damp T-shirts and bit of sand on your shorts.

But you may be surprised to know how many fine dining options Galveston offers.

Galveston has plenty of places for both moods.

Best spots in Galveston.


Best dance clubs in Houston

Remember when nightclubs used to play music that actually made you want to do more than find a quiet corner, complain all night about the door man or make fun of that obnoxious couple at the bar?

We’re talking about hip-shaking, head-bobbing stuff that makes you want to grab your friend, put the drinks down (for a sec) and act a little silly.

Houston has plenty of places to dance.

Houston’s best dance spots.

Along the light rail: a guide to Downtown and Midtown Bars

No car? No problem.

There are plenty of great spots to have a drink or two all along the light rail.

From a bar that also doubles as an arcade to live-music venues or refined wine bars, there’s a bar here to suit your mood.

And when you’re done, just hop on the train to get back to your hotel room.

Top bars in Downtown/Midtown

Guide to bars along Washington Avenue

Houston’s hottest entertainment district – hands down and pints up — is the area known as the Washington Corridor.

The fact that the geographical designation crosses expansive I-10 and into the Heights attests that new bars and clubs are eager to be associated with H-Town party central.

Top bars along Washington.

Guide to bars in Montrose/Upper Kirby

Houston’s new culinary center can be found here.

After dinner you may be looking for a nightcap.

This is the place to be for great drinks with a laid-back atmosphere.

Great bars around Montrose.

Around Houston

Best tourist spots in Houston

One of the things visitors notice about Houston is its mishmash. Giant brick homes overshadowing modest frame houses. A sleek restaurant next to a dumpy auto shop.

The pat explanation is Houston lacks zoning laws. But the real reason is Houstonians hate being told what to do. (Why can’t I cover my house in beer cans?) And that brings us to some of the odd sights to be found in Houston if you have some time to explore

Top tourist spots in Houston.

Best places to go for a runDon’t settle for a hotel fitness room or a run along a freeway feeder road.

Houston has scenic parks and trails that offer peaceful respites from long days of networking.

Here are a few suggestions organized geographically.

Great spots to go running.