Between the Houston Zoo, Hermann Park, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston — or any number of roughly 20 cultural institutions — there's no shortage of things to see and do in Houston's Museum District. And recently, restaurants in the area have risen to the occasion. Here's a quick guide of where to eat when visiting one of Houston's favorite attractions.
01 of 08
In addition to the standard lattes and americanos, Bosta Kitchen has a range of specialty coffees, loose-leaf teas and cold beverages, as well as milk alternatives like soy, almond and coconut milk. The coffee alone is worth the trip, but its ambience is what will make you want to stick around. The space is quiet and low-key, perfectly suited for a small-group work meeting, a catch-up chat with an old friend, or some alone time with a good cup of coffee and dog-eared paperback. In the evening, the tables glow with small candles, making it a nice spot for an after-dinner cappuccino or glass of wine.
Its beverage options are accompanied by a modest food menu that includes brunch, lunch and dinner dishes (depending on the time of day), and some pastries are available as well. For an extra special treat, try the "Naughty Latte" — a latte made with Nutella, whipped cream and chocolate. You won't even need dessert.
Best for: Coffee/Brunch
02 of 08
MF Sushi is a popular Museum District spot for dates and special occasions due to its beautiful ambience and mouth-watering menu. Prices are on the high end, but you get what you pay for. The fish is fresh, the mixed drinks are delicious, and the "chef's choice" items are often a work of art.
Tip: This place can get packed on the weekends, so be sure to call ahead for a reservation.
Best for: Date Night
03 of 08
Lucille's labels itself "well-refined" Southern cuisine, and the fresh, seasonal menu reflects just that. The chefs' take on classic Southern dishes like fried green tomatoes or braised collard greens blurs the line between comfort food and fine dining. While the inside decor is classy and understated, the back patio is what makes it a great date spot. The space is set back from the street with draped lights hanging from the bordering fence, creating a quiet, intimate atmosphere that's great for a special night out.
Best for: Date Night
04 of 08
Barnaby’s Cafe is a family favorite in the district and for good reason. The restaurant sits just a few blocks away from the Children's Museum and Hermann Park, and has ample seating both inside and out. The noise level inside is just loud enough that kids can get a little fussy without making a scene, but not so loud that you can't hear others at your table. The menu is diverse with very large portion sizes, so it's great for picky eaters and those who like to share.
Best of all, the patio has a space for outdoor games, such as giant Jenga, and is pet-friendly. So much so that staff will even bring out water bowls for patrons' pups and — if they're lucky — even doggy treats.
Best for: Kids/BrunchContinue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Located right down the street from the METRORail RedLine's Museum District train stop, Bodegas Taco Shop provides a great, quick lunch or dinner option to families touring the district or seeing a show at Miller Outdoor Theatre. The menu is inexpensive and flavorful with all of Houston's Tex-Mex greatest hits, such as fish tacos, horchata and aguas frescas, as well as some basic American food items like chicken tenders and buffalo wings. While the line to order can sometimes get long, it moves very quickly, and there's plenty of seating both inside and out.
Best for: Kids/Quick Bite
06 of 08
If you're visiting the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (or even if you're not!), the MFA Café is a good place to grab something fast before hopping on the METRORail, heading to another museum or strolling around the park. Like the MFAH itself, the menu offers a diverse set of options that are great for both kids and adults. The paninis, salads — even brunch plates — are simple yet tasty and are typically served within a few minutes.
Bonus: The cafe is located below street level, away from the traffic noise and museum bustle, and a pretty outdoor eating area provides a great spot to eat when the weather's nice.
Best for: Quick Bite
07 of 08
The Pinewood Café is located in the middle of Hermann Park and is a fast-casual cafe with both indoor seating and a nice outdoor patio area that overlooks the park's duck pond. The menu offers standard, quick fare like salads, burgers, wraps and kids meals, making it a great spot to stop in for a bite between museums or on your way to the Houston Zoo.
Best for: Kids/Quick Bite
08 of 08
With its ample seating, electrical outlets and free wifi, Black Hole Coffee House is a favorite among college students and remote workers. The well-worn chairs and sofas make for a cozy atmosphere, and even during the busiest times, the volume stays relatively low. Bonus: Black Hole is open long hours, accommodating both early birds and night owls.
In addition to the standard coffees and teas, the menu features some beers and wine, as well as some light eats to pair with them.
Tip: This place gets busy, so come during off times to snag both a seat and a parking spot.
Best for: Coffee