The Definitive Guide to Houston

Shopping Centers Are No Longer Cookie-Cutter Developments

in Shopping & Style by

Shopping in Houston has always been noteworthy. Expanding far beyond the 3millionsquarefoot mall that opened in 1970, our extraordinary shopping centers have always included restaurants, entertainment venues and other attractions. These distinctive destinations are not only for shoppers, but also for individuals and groups looking for a full day of unique activities.  

River Oaks District 

Photo Courtesy of ROD

River Oaks District (ROD) opened its metaphorical doors in the fall of 2015 and quickly became the top place to see and be seen. The 252,000square-foot modern outdoor space has something for every fashionista. The vast retail mix includes Vince, Dolce & Gabbana, Theory, Alice & Olive, Dior, Hermes, de Boulle Jewelers and Jo Malone.   

After a full day of shopping, a cocktail and delicious meal are in order! The lineup of restaurants at River Oaks District will satisfy whatever craving you may have at the end of the day. Bisou, MAD and Ouzo Bay are three of the fine dining options. In addition, ROD houses some of Houston’s finest workout facilities and spas. The world-renowned Equinox is located at the front of the shopping center for easy access, and Bella Rinova Salon is a full-service salon. It’s also the only salon in Houston to both carry the French line, Biologique Recherche, and to have a certified esthetician on staff for this beauty cult favorite.   

Heights Mercantile

Photo Courtesy of Heights Mercantile

Heights Mercantile is the first shopping center of its kind in Houston. Expanding across multiple blocks in a historic residential neighborhood, it is more of an “urban market district” than a traditional shopping center. Its directory includes many classic shopping center businesses (retailers, restaurants, ice cream parlors, gyms, nail salons, etc.), but thanks to the founders expertlycurated mix, it feels like nothing of the sort. The team had a strong dedication to preserving historic structures, and they created a plethora of outdoor seating, so you can sit back and take in the authentic nature of The Heights neighborhood.   

In the mix of shops are many firsts for Houston, including Warby Parker (now opening a second location in Highland Village), Chubbies, Marine Layer, Lemon Laine and Favor the Kind. Dining options include healthy eatery Local Foods, Postino Wine Café and Melange Creperie.  

CityCentre

Photo Courtesy of CityCentre

Located in the Memorial area of Houston, is a self-contained community of upscale shops, premiere restaurants, refined office spaces, sleek apartments and luxurious hotels. The center is meticulously planned to resemble beautiful European open-air plazas and vast grassy areas where musicians perform and community events are held. You can dine at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood or Seasons 52 Grill and shop at Anthropologie, Hemline, or Z Gallerie, while staying within walking distance from the shops at Four Points by Sheraton or Hotel Sorella. City Center is also full of entertainment options to make your visit worthwhile. You can relax and recharge at Life Time Athletic, a state-of-the-art contemporary fitness center and luxurious spa. Then, unwind from a long day at Bowl & Barrel, Studio Movie Grill, or The Escape Room.   

Uptown Park

Photo Courtesy of EDENS

Uptown Park was the first non-mall shopping destination to come to the Galleria area in 1995. This past year, real estate developer EDENS completed a full remodel and remodernization of the center, putting Uptown Park back on the map. The newly-updated aesthetic reflects a California-meets-the-dessert vibe that invites visitors to socialize as well as shop. In Houston, a shopping destination can also double as a workplace, potential date spot or a place to spend the entire day. Tom Kiler, managing director, is well aware of this and said they are working diligently to infuse the diversity and personality found across Houston at Uptown Park.”   

Uptown Park is home to some of Houston’s premier local retailers and salons, including M.Penner, Elizabeth Anthony and Ceron Hair Studio. The restaurant scene is booming as well, thanks to Flower Child, M&S Seafood, Steak & Oysters, Uptown Sushi, Crave Cupcakes and more.  


Feature Photo Courtesy of Heights Mercantile 

Local Houstonian and Editor of Houston Hotel Magazine. Follow her on Instagram for her latest adventures around the city, @emilylunstroth.

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