The Definitive Guide to Houston

Neighborhood Guide: East Downtown…EaDo for Short!

in Dining & Nightlife/Shopping & Style/Things To Do by

EaDo is more than just a designation for its proximity east of downtown. EaDo is also a neighborhood with trendy bars and restaurants to match its catchy nickname, along with a past life as the home to Houston’s original Chinatown. Hotel Alessandra’s downtown location allows guests a convenient path for exploring the area just beyond the skyscrapers and the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Where to Stay – Hotel Alessandra

Courtesy of Shannon O’Hara

Attention to detail is evident upon arrival at the Hotel Alessandra where a marble staircase guides guests to the front desk or the hotel bar, Bardot, offering daily happy hours and a David Hockney styled photograph of its blonde bombshell namesake. Nearby, the hotel’s light-filled restaurant, Lucienne, looks camera-ready for a Wes Anderson film with a Viennese café vibe. Fresh flowers from Houston’s own Lexis Florist and comfy nooks for lingering make the lobby seem more like a luxurious living room. There’s also a pool with plenty of views and a spa as well.

Trip Chandler Tip: The Spa by Alessandra offers a brief refuge from cubicle life for downtown office dwellers with a “Healthy Hour” 30-minute spa service and box lunch.

Ride in style to EaDo with the hotel’s complimentary Maserati car service or hop on a bike from the nearby BCycle station.

Where to Explore:

St. Emanuel Street served as the stomping grounds of the city’s first Chinatown and it’s still the main drag for much of EaDo’s dining and imbibing scene now.

Trip Chandler Tip: Keep an eye out for Asian architectural details left behind on some of the buildings.

Courtesy of Chapman & Kirby

Chapman & Kirby’s name gives a nod to the Allen brothers who founded Houston way back in the day. This industrial chic bar and restaurant has a loungey atmosphere featuring weekend bottle service for those traveling with an entourage.

Warehouse Live, a 1920’s era warehouse turned concert venue, has a calendar of live music, comedy, and a monthly burlesque show. Before you go, enjoy Vietnamese cuisine at Huynh, known for their family recipes and BYOB policy. Trip Chandler Tip: Order dessert before anything else to ensure your slice of Huynh’s flan topped with crushed ice and a coffee drizzle.

Courtesy of Truck Yard

Dallas imports, Rodeo Goat Icehouse, and the Truck Yard, compete for attention from bar-hopping Houstonians. Rodeo Goat serves boozy Moontangs made with the NASA-approved breakfast drink while the Truck Yard offers food truck fare and Ferris Wheel rides. Trip Chandler Trivia: Tang creator, William Mitchell, also invented Pop Rocks and Cool Whip.

Watch this space at the corner of St. Emanuel and Dallas! Agricole Hospitality, known for Coltivare, Eight Row Flint, and Night Heron, is bringing a trio of concepts to EaDo featuring a restaurant, a pizza joint, and a cocktail bar.

Pitch 25 caters to soccer fans who want to pre-game before watching Houston’s professional soccer teams, the Houston Dynamo and the Houston Dash, play at BBVA Compass Stadium across the street. Former Houston Dynamo and its all-time leading scorer, Brian Ching, (aka #25) is a partner in this beer garden that boasts an indoor soccer field and a dodgeball league.

Courtesy of 8 Wonder Brewery

Polk Street is anchored by 8th Wonder Brewery, who opened their taproom in 2013 on a corner lot that now include a distillery and a larger-than-life size sculpture of The Beatles by Houston artist, David Adickes. Head to The Secret Group for comedy nights, karaoke, and 90’s dance parties. Hang at the Blue Field Market Saturday Night Market from 6-10 pm for live music, local vendors, free yoga, yard games, and adult beverages. Make a reservation for dinner at Nancy’s Hustle where their photogenic dishes are regulars on Instagram foodie feeds.

Courtesy of Blue Field Market

Leeland Street is bordered by mural-laden warehouses thanks to the artists who participate in the yearly Hue Mural Festival. Leeland House’s patio provides colorful views of works by local artist, Shelbi Nicole,  Rawmirez from McAllen, and Miami muralist, Justin Vallee. Around the Corner also offers a cozy spot for coffee and/or cocktails while you’re exploring the area known as Graffiti Park.

Other must-see sights in EaDo include the sacred grounds of the Teen How Taoist Temple on 1507 Delano, with visiting hours from 10-6 pm. Forage among the doll parts and other oddities for your next Pinterest project at Texas Art Asylum, which also hosts art exhibits. Have a bánh mì lunch at Café TH or make a reservation for their popular prix fixe, BYOB dinners on Thursday and Friday evenings. Cyclists can follow the four-mile path on the Columbia Tap Trail. Collectors of fine vintage fashion will want to browse the racks at EADO Vintage. Round out your EaDo exploration with a fun ride on a scooter trike from EaDo Big Boy Toy Rentals.  


Feature image of Rodeo Goat

Dana is a native Texan who grew up in Houston and Joni is a transplant via Kansas, North Carolina, Scotland, and New Orleans. Together, they founded Trip Chandler, a two-woman team who create guides to Houston and provide tours to the city for visitors and locals!

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