Tired Of Traffic? These Houston Neighborhoods May Have The Answer
Houstonians feel traffic is the worst problem facing the city, according to the 37th annual study from Rice’s Kinder Institute. Traffic (26%) topped the “Biggest Problems Facing The City” list, outranking Crime (16%), Economy (14%), and Flooding (13%).(1)
This implies that Houston traffic is likely to get worse over the next decade.
One of my clients summed up the challenge well:
To determine the most accessible neighborhoods in Houston, we:
- Analyzed the “Best Restaurants” lists from Houston Chronicle(4), Eater(5), Zagat(6) and TripAdvisor(7) and found neighborhoods with the most winners.
- Compared studies from Forbes (“The Most Walkable Major Cities in Texas”), Houston Chronicle Walkability Study, “Walkable Urban Places,” “Most Walkable Houston Neighborhood,” “Walkable Neighborhoods in Houston,” and “WalkUp.”
- Assessed venues that make up The New York Times claim that Houston is “one of the great eating capitals of America.”(8)
- Overlaid top ranked grocery stores.
- Compared neighborhoods with Houston’s Best Public School Guide.
- Interviewed dozens of our clients to find out where they love living without needing a car.
We also researched the median sales prices of single family homes, townhomes and condos in each of these Most Accessible Neighborhoods so you can see which is right for your budget.
“Paige Martin is the best Realtor. She is highly experienced and very knowledgeable. She made our buying experience an enjoyable one, not only for us, but for our daughter, son-in-law and several of our friends. We have bought and sold many houses, and Paige has been the best realtor we have ever worked with. We highly recommend her and The Houston Properties Team.”
MOST ACCESSIBLE HOUSTON NEIGHBORHOODSWhere To Live On Your Budget
Median Sales Prices To Live In Houston’s Most Accessible Neighborhoods
In the table above, please find the most recent year’s median sold home prices for: single family homes, townhomes & condos.
DISCLAIMER: These are the median values. The “premier streets” within each neighborhood typically sell at a premium to these prices. It is also very important to be cautious of being on a major thoroughfare (hurts resale), being near a railroad track (hurts resale), or buying from builders that have poor quality reputations (as the quality of construction varies widely in these areas).
If you’re looking to buy or sell a Houston home for sale in any of these Inner Loop neighborhoods, contact Paige Martin, one of the top ranked Realtors in the world and lead of The Houston Properties Team to get candid advice on the best homes and neighborhoods for you.
The Heights is one of Houston’s Hottest Neighborhoods and is located north of I-10 highway, south of Loop 610 and west of Highway 45.
Culturemap calls the Heights, “one the most walkable neighborhoods in Houston.”
Ranked #4 in CNN Money’s Top 10 Big City Neighborhoods, The Heights offers charm and a small-town feel and a fantastic collection of restaurants, coffee bars, antique shops, parks, and running trails.
Yelp alone has over 1,000 rated establishments within the Greater Heights area.
- Popular Neighborhood Venues: Historic Houston Heights Shopping District, Heights Library
- Top Ranked Restaurants Nearby: Coltivare, Shade, Bernadine’s, Liberty Kitchen, Down House, Onion Creek, Torchy’s, Zelko Bistro, Foreign Correspondents, Teotihuacan
- Grocery Stores: Kroger
- Trails & Parks: White Oak Park, Hike & Bike Trail System
Located in the heart of Houston’s Inner Loop, Montrose is a diverse neighborhood known for its elegantly restored mansions, contemporary condos, craftsman bungalows, and fantastic restaurants and bars.
The Houston Chronicle wrote, “Montrose, the central Houston community known for its diverse lifestyles, vibrant street life and stately historic homes, is being honored by the American Planning Association … as one of the country’s 10 great neighborhoods.”
Montrose boasts over 50 restaurants and bars, including nine restaurants that consistently make the list of “Top Restaurants in the State of Texas,” according to Texas Monthly.
- Popular Neighborhood Venues: Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel, University of St Thomas
- Top Ranked Restaurants Nearby: Uchi, Hugo’s, Underbelly, Vinoteca Poscol, Mark’s, Paulie’s, Common Bond, Agora, Brasil, Da Marco, Anvil, Biskit Junkie, Hay Merchant
- Grocery Stores: HEB, Randalls, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods
- Trails & Parks: Menil Park, Bell Park
Montrose real estate also has been a great investment. The neighborhood is ranked #8 in Houston Neighborhoods With Best Land Value Appreciation.
Within a 1.5-mile radius, the Museum District includes 19 museums that offer educational, artistic, and scientific resources. A dozen of the member museums have free admission each day.
YourHoustonNews wrote, “Museum District represents world-class collections of art, history and science – all within a walkable area. The museums are one of the biggest draws to the city – and one of the reasons more and more visitors consider Houston a leisure destination.“
In addition, this area includes Rice University, Houston’s Zoo, Hermann Park Golf Course, three running trails, Miller Outdoor Theatre and MetroRAIL access to The Medical Center and Downtown Houston.
- Popular Neighborhood Venues: Children’s Museum, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Museum of Natural Science, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Zoo, Rice University
- Top Ranked Restaurants Nearby: Lucille’s, Bodegas, Monarch, The Park Grill, Barnaby’s Cafe Museum District, Raven Grill
- Grocery Stores: Randall’s
- Trails & Parks: Hermann Park, Museum Park, Hermann Park Golf Course, Rice University Running Trails
Museum District is among the Houston Neighborhoods With Best Land Value Appreciation.
Midtown is also one of Houston’s most accessible neighborhoods. The neighborhood is nestled at the corner where the Southwest and Gulf Freeways meet, permitting residents comfortable access to the city’s main commercial and business hubs.
The neighborhood has seen tremendous growth recently. HoustonChronicle(7) noted that “the walking scene for people who live in mixed-use developments in Midtown includes retail, lounges and restaurants. Midtown, just south of the Central Business District, has seen its residential population explode over the past decade, to about 8,600 today.”
Midtown residents are a few blocks away from approximately 180 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Many of Midtown’s new construction homes were designed to accommodate and encourage retail activities on the first floors of multi-story buildings.
- Popular Neighborhood Venues: Houston Community College
- Top Ranked Restaurants Nearby: Brennan’s, Breakfast Klub, Reef, Artisans, CoCo’s, The Front Porch
- Grocery Stores: Randall’s, Fiesta
- Trails & Parks: Midtown Park, Bethel Park, Peggy’s Point Plaza Park, West Webster Street Park, Elizabeth Baldwin Park
Midtown also has an excellent reputation in public transportation and bike-ability. The METRORail runs through the neighborhood, providing residents easy access to the main city districts.
Downtown’s central Inner Loop location makes it one of Houston’s most accessible districts. It is also bordered by the city’s main thoroughfares. Downtown also has its own METRORail station and a local bus service for transportation.
One of the most unique aspects of this neighborhood is that it houses just under 3,000 residents, spread out through a collection of Downtown Houston lofts & condos, giving the neighborhood a “small community feel.”
There are 25 residential downtown Houston loft and condo buildings (see map and details below), which compose the majority of the available real estate options.
Many of its lofts and condos are minutes from key METRORail stations. To see Downtown Houston condos near METRORail, see map below.
Residents enjoy living a few blocks away from Theatre District (also 2nd in the nation with the largest number of seats), numerous parks, Sundance Cinema, and the Bayou Center.
- Popular Neighborhood Venues: Central Business District, Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center, Convention Center, Revention Music Center, Wortham Center, University of Houston-Downtown, Hobby Center, Jones Hall, Aquarium
- Top Ranked Restaurants Nearby: Vic & Anthony’s, Flying Saucer, Quattro, Irma’s, The Grove, Conservatory, Treebeards, Main Kitchen, Hearsay, Prohibition
- Grocery Stores: Phoenicia Speciality Foods, Randall’s
- Trails & Parks: Discovery Green, Market Square Park, Buffalo Bayou Trails
Downtown Houston is a bustling district filled with residential and commercial skyscrapers; streets lines up with restaurants, bars, and clubs; parks; and an extensive network of pedestrian tunnels, making for an inviting and fantastic living experience in downtown Houston.
6. Upper Kirby
Located a few miles southwest of Downtown Houston, Upper Kirby is a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood.
Upper Kirby is among the most accessible neighborhoods in Houston. Schools, restaurants, bars, shopping centers, stores, and cafes are located near Upper Kirby homes. Job and business centers like Downtown Houston and Medical Center are mere minutes away from the neighborhood.
Residents have convenient access to the Buffalo Speedway, the Southwest Freeway, Westheimer Road, and Shepherd Drive.
Upper Kirby is nestled next to the Greenway Plaza, while the River Oaks Shopping Center and the Galleria are within a short drive from the neighborhood.
Apart from reaping the benefits of its central location, the neighborhood is also a destination in itself, with its collection of upscale boutiques, fine dining restaurants, bars, and lounges.
- Popular Neighborhood Venues: Greenway Plaza, Lakewood Church, Edwards Greenway
- Top Ranked Restaurants Nearby: Kata Robata, Fleming’s, Grace’s, Carrabba’s, Mia’s, Little Pappasito’s
- Grocery Stores: Whole Foods, Central Market
- Trails & Parks: Levy Park, Menil Park, Weir Park
Upper Kirby real estate is among the best appreciating properties in Houston the last 10 years. The area is #11 in list of Houston’s Neighborhoods With Best Land Value Appreciation.
7. Hyde Park/River Oaks Shopping Area
River Oaks is Houston’s most expensive neighborhood and is located in the geographic center of Houston, making it one of the most accessible neighborhoods in the city.
The neighborhood is north of the Upper Kirby district and is near many major thoroughfares such as Westheimer Road, Kirby Drive, and San Felipe Street.
Houston main districts Downtown, Galleria and Medical Center are within 15 to 20 minutes from River Oaks.
Parts of River Oaks have acre-plus lots and deed restrictions to keep out commercial establishments. Other parts of River Oaks (notably on the South and Eastern sides) border the River Oaks Shopping Center and Upper Kirby/Greenway Plaza and are home to a fabulous collection of shops and restaurants.
The entirety of River Oaks is a scenic view of towering trees that line streets, coupled with intricately detailed bushes that lead to pocket gardens. There are also plenty of restaurants, bars, boutiques, and art galleries in the River Oaks Shopping Center and West Ave complexes.
Commonly referred to as a “River Oaks Neighbor,” Hyde Park is a small collection of homes on the Southeast side of River Oaks near Shepherd, Westheimer and Montrose that have fabulous access to grocery, shops, restaurants, bars, parks and schools.
- Popular Neighborhood Venues: River Oaks Theatre, River Oaks District, River Oaks Country Club
- Top Ranked Restaurants Nearby: Mockingbird Bistro, Just Dinner, Roost, Paulie’s, Mark’s, America’s River Oaks, Torchy’s
- Grocery Stores: Kroger, Randall’s, Whole Foods
- Trails & Parks: River Oaks Country Club, Buffalo Bayou Park, Mandell Park
This luxury region is one of the best places to live for great access to shops, restaurants and the finer things of Houston’s inner loop.
The Rice Military neighborhood is a few minutes away from Houston’s main districts. Galleria and Downtown Houston are roughly 10 minutes away.
Rice Military residents are also a stone’s throw away from Memorial Park, one of the nation’s largest urban parks with one of the largest trail systems anywhere in the city.
Houston Chronicle wrote, “Rice Military, a historic neighborhood on the fringes, is now a hip locale for young professionals and those without children interested in culture, fitness and walkable living. One thing that appeals to these demographics is the ability to walk to restaurants, shopping, art galleries and of course, Memorial Park, in addition to several other local parks.”
The majority of Rice Military’s establishments are bars and restaurants and are filled with excitement most weekends. Yelp also has over 500 rated establishments in the area.
- Popular Neighborhood Venues: Target Shopping Complex, Silver Street Studios
- Top Ranked Restaurants Nearby: Max’s, Laurenzo’s, El Tiempo, Benjy’s, Velvet Taco, Hickory Hollow, Urban Eats, Ginger & Fork
- Grocery Stores: Kroger, Sprout’s, Whole Foods
- Trails & Parks: Memorial Park, Memorial Park Golf Course, Buffalo Bayou Trails
Rice Military is also #11 in Houston Neighborhoods With Best Land Value Appreciation.
Nestled at the corner of Southwest Freeway, Galleria is one of Houston’s most accessible districts. It is in close proximity to Memorial Park, one of the country’s largest urban parks. Downtown Houston, Medical Center and the West University area are about 15 to 20 minutes away from the area as well.
Most of the people who live in the Galleria/Uptown park area live in condo and highrises. (Compare Galleria Condos), as land values are quite high.
Highrise living allows residents to reside just a few blocks from numerous entertainment hubs like The Galleria mall and Uptown Park, as well as several hundred restaurants, parks, and shops.
Galleria highrises also offer great amenities: tennis courts, pools, saunas, fitness rooms, well-kept grounds, roof top decks, and more. Porters, valet, building managers, concierges, trash & dry cleaning pickup are also available at many luxury buildings.
- Popular Neighborhood Venues: Galleria Mall, Galleria Business District, Uptown Park
- Top Ranked Restaurants Nearby: Etoile, Peli Peli, Chama Gaucha, Pappas Bros, Truluck’s, Kenny & Ziggy’s, Caracol, Capital Grille, Masraff’s
- Grocery Stores: Whole Foods, Grocery’s & More, Randall’s
- Trails & Parks: Waterwall Park
The most popular real estate in Galleria are condos. Most of the Best Houston Condo Investments are within luxury highrises within the Galleria area.
10. West University
West University is also one of Houston’s Top 20 Most Expensive Neighborhoods.
West University offers easy access to Downtown Houston, The Medical Center, The Galleria, and Houston’s Inner Loop. The neighborhood is also right next to the Southwest Freeway, giving residents accessibility to the rest of the city’s main business and commercial districts.
West U offers some of the best public schools in the State of Texas, a private police and fire department, and the Rice Village Shopping Center with over 300 establishments.
Parts of West U also offer a fantastic small town vibe with easy access to the Rice Village Shopping Center with over 300 establishments. The entire area is also divided into 26 blocks or sections, making it one of the most organized neighborhoods in Houston.
- Popular Neighborhood Venues: Rice Village, Rice University, West U Library System
- Top Ranked Restaurants Nearby: Benjy’s, Local Foods, Sweet Paris, Prego, Tiny’s, Edloe Street, Buffalo Grille, Azuma, Bombay Brasserie, Kenny & Ziggy’s
- Grocery Stores: HEB, Kroger, Randall’s
- Trails & Parks: West University Park System, Rice University Running Trails
Located adjacent to Downtown Houston (hence the name East Downtown), this area was a graveyard of abandoned supermarkets and restaurants until about 10 years ago.
East Downtown (EaDo) is a vibrant Houston neighborhood near the major business districts of Downtown Houston, the Texas Medical Center, and the Houston Ship Channel.
EaDo is located north of Interstate 45, and between the George R. Brown Convention Center and the East End district.
EaDoHouston.com dubbed the neighborhood as the “Art & Soul of Houston.” Formerly referred to as “Houston Chinatown,” EaDo was filled with inexpensive land.
Over the past few years, this community has seen one of the largest investments in capital projects of any part of Houston.
EaDo benefits from the new BBVA Soccer stadium, MetroRail expansion, multiple new apartment and townhome complexes and an explosion of (highly rated) new restaurants and bars.
- Popular Neighborhood Venues: BBVA Compass Stadium
- Top Ranked Restaurants Nearby: Ninfa’s, El Tiempo, Huynh, Andes, District 7 Grill, Cafe TH, Kim Son
- Grocery Stores: Long Sing Supermarket, Kim Hung
The reinvention of the EaDo area has propelled it among Houston Neighborhoods With Best Land Value Appreciation.