Tacos Tierra Caliente
This cash-only truck sells tacos at ridiculous bargain prices — an al pastor taco on flour will run you $2. Its popularity has allowed the team to run a couple other trucks, but stop in to the permanently parked one across the street from the historical West Alabama Ice House and grab a beer on the patio.
Tacos Tierra Caliente, 2003 W. Alabama St., Houston, Tex. 77098
Anvil Bar & Refuge
This industrial-themed speakeasy-style bar holds the torch as Houston’s first dedicated to classic American cocktails. Owner Bobby Heugel’s 10-year-old Anvil features an unmatched selection of spirits — the list is 65 pages long — and the 100 list, which is a menu of cocktail recipes the bartenders here should (and do) know by heart.
Anvil Bar & Refuge, 1424 Westheimer Rd., Houston, Tex. 77006
In a neighborhood marked by change, Poison Girl stands out as a space that not only has been here awhile but also isn’t interested in being trendy. Although it never looks quite open, the relaxed dive bar has cheap drinks, a reputable selection of whiskey and a cozy interior designed for conversation.
Poison Girl, 1641 Westheimer Rd. B, Houston, Tex. 77006
Inversion Coffee and Art
With rotating art installations and some of the best espresso in the city, Inversion acts as an incubator for some of the most connected artists in town. The space features a long, community-style table for work; food trucks that stop by for lunch; and the exterior windows are drip-painted the colors of the rainbow flag.
Inversion Coffee and Art, 1953 Montrose Blvd. A, Houston, Tex. 77006
Montrose Paint Wall
In a town full of buildings and artists, Houston was bound to have a thriving street art scene. A marquee marks the spot of this multicolored mural painted on the side of an unoccupied building that used to be a home-goods store. Snap a shot in front of it while strolling down Westheimer.
Montrose Paint Wall, 1435 Westheimer Rd., Houston, Tex. 77006
On one of the highest trafficked corners in Montrose — Westheimer Road at Dunlavy Street — antiques shops, art galleries and cafes abound. Leopard Lounge is a thrift store that attracts a lot of attention with its sidewalk stereo, outdoor shopping rack and mannequins dressed like characters from the Nickelodeon cartoon “Doug.” Who doesn’t love thrifting?
Leopard Lounge, 1657 Westheimer Rd., Houston, Tex. 77006
This unassuming Italian cafe offers an impressive selection of traditional classics without the fancy adornments and big-ticket price of some other places. Walking a couple blocks from the main Westheimer strip is well worth it for the handmade bucatini puttanesca, and the wine bar next door, Camerata, provides a relaxing atmosphere.
Paulie’s, 1834 Westheimer Rd., Houston, Tex. 77098
At 41 years old, Rudyard’s is a true Montrose institution. The British-style pub was recently revamped with a new chef and menu, elevating the cuisine far beyond the lowly “bar food” label. Rudz, as it’s called in town, has bar games, a great selection of craft beer and a venue for live shows upstairs.
Rudyard’s, 2010 Waugh Dr., Houston, Tex. 77006