15 Best Things to Do in Montrose, Houston

Montrose, TX
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Are you looking for a neighborhood a little off the beaten path?

Montrose, Texas, lets you choose between having a quiet night or going to gay bars.

Montrose is a cultural neighborhood in Houston known for its hipster culture, artistic sceneries, and fun-filled nightlife.

You can shop at vintage stores and eat at many different restaurants.

Established in 1911, this neighborhood got its name from the town of Montrose in Angus, Scotland.

Its former name was Neartown.

Some have dubbed this neighborhood the "Heart of Houston" and its "Strangest Neighborhood" since it's also the center of Houston's LGBT community.

Montrose is home to Houston's historic houses, such as century-old bungalows and mansions.

Check these must-visit places in the neighborhood.

Find a Little Peace at Rothko Chapel

Exterior of Rothko Chapel
Another Believer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Rothko Chapel in Montrose is worth visiting if you want to pray or meditate in a non-denominational space.

The Rothko Chapel is a non-profit organization with a significant gallery space that hosts changing exhibitions focusing on human rights or social justice issues.

John and Dominique de Menil founded it in 1971 to house a collection of religious art and provide a place for people of all faiths to spend time alone.

Broken obelisk in front of Rothko Chapel
Jim Evans, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The chapel isn't just a structure; it's also the title of several works by painters, sculptors, and musicians.

The chapel is an octagonal brick tower with a skylight and gray or rose stucco walls.

It comes equipped with eight modest, adjustable benches for meditative contemplation and acts as a meditation and a gathering hall.

Visitors can read holy books from a variety of religions.

The interior of Rothko Chapel
Alan Islas, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Grab a Bite at Traveler's Table

The Traveler's Table is a globally inspired restaurant where Montrose shares its love of food and drink with the world.

This restaurant will make you feel like dining in a Parisian restaurant or drinking tea in Ireland.

Their modern interpretations of classic hand-selected cuisine from worldwide will make you feel like a legit globe-trotter.

Have you tried Pad Thai before?

Go to Traveler's Table if you haven't already!

If you're in the mood for jerked pork, this place is your best option.

They serve it with a side of spicy mango salsa, and it's one of the go-to dishes on their menu.

Discover European Cuisine at Rosie Cannonball

Rosie Cannonball uses live fire and wood-burning ovens to pay homage to the beginnings of cooking.

Their menu features a variety of European comfort foods.

This famed Montrose diner has something for everyone, from gourmet pizza to local fish.

June Rodil, Master Sommelier, compiled an extensive selection of delectable wines.

If you're up for a modest celebration over a bottle of wine, the cocktail menu reflects the restaurant's Italian focus.

Individual ingredients such as local vegetables, pasta, seafood, and meat grilled over a live fire inspire the menu.

Stop by the University of St. Thomas

Entrance of University of St. Thomas
Kk, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take a stroll through the school that has shaped many of Montrose's residents.

The University of St. Thomas promotes Catholic higher education's religious, ethical, and intellectual traditions.

The Basilian Fathers founded the university in 1947.

It's also the Archdiocese of Galveston's only Catholic university in Houston.

Exterior of the chapel of st. basil at University of St. Thomas
BD Images / Shutterstock.com

Its main campus is in the Montrose district of Houston.

What makes your visit to the school worthwhile?

UST is a diverse community of students from throughout the world.

The university is also noted for its multiculturalism, with students of all faiths.

Night scene at the grounds of University of St. Thomas
Bobby L. Warren, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go Vintage at Leopard Lounge

Leopard Lounge, located in the center of Montrose, is a must-visit shop and one of the tourists' favorite hangout spots.

If you love to collect antique clothing, this is the place to go.

This Montrose shop has everything you're looking for, from jeans and jackets to t-shirts and fun accessories.

Leopard Lounge specializes in men's and women's apparel dating from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s.

Their one-of-a-kind and unusual variety will impress even the most discerning clothing shopper.

Acid-washed jeans and jackets, and skirts for men and women also form a large part of their assortment.

There are also vintage western clothes and accessories available.

You can even locate vintage men's and women's boots.

Buy Unique Items at Erotic Cabaret Boutique

The Erotic Cabaret Boutique is an excellent place to shop for something naughty at Montrose.

There's an excellent selection of lingerie, costumes, and clothing that you can wear if you want to spice things up.

The Erotic Cabaret provides courteous, knowledgeable, and individualized service.

They aim to assist you in finding something ideal for you.

The shop offers something for everyone, from handmade steel-boned corsets to fun and fashionable accessories and bachelorette party supplies.

The Erotic Cabaret Boutique is a great place to visit for a fun and sexy shopping experience.

Shop along Westheimer Road

Street sign of Westheimer Road
Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock.com

Westheimer Road is a major thoroughfare in Montrose, Houston.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Michael Louis Westheimer, a German immigrant who worked as a grain salesman, inspired the name.

After constructing a school on his land for his 16 children, he encouraged other local students to attend as the area lacked a public school system.

The longest road in Houston is Westheimer.

It's a 19-mile section of road that runs from Bagby Street to the Westpark Tollway, where George Bush Park begins.

Between Shepherd Drive and Bagby Street is a street known as Lower Westheimer.

The hipster culture and nightlife are all well-known, including thrift stores, tattoo parlors, and pubs that dominate the area.

Purchase Souvenirs at Space Montrose

Space Montrose is where you can find one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items from all around the United States.

The couple Leila and Carlos Peraza founded the store in 2010.

Their main goal is to deliver affordable handcrafted goods from all across the United States to the Houston neighborhood.

The store features over 200 dealers, with over 70% from Texas.

They have a vast choice of products, including handcrafted mugs, custom-designed shirts, cards, and more!

Among their offerings, their mystery kits are the most popular.

Test Your Puzzle Skill at Cipher Escape Rooms

Are you prepared to put your problem-solving abilities to the test in Montrose?

Cipher Escape Rooms is the gaming enthusiast's dream come true.

Cipher is a 60-minute puzzle-solving adventure in which players must escape a locked room by performing activities and progressing closer and closer to breaking the lock through the resolution of a sequence of clues.

Escape rooms should be immersive, including scenarios such as escaping from a dungeon or a museum.

Up to 12 other players are confined in a room with a mission to escape!

You'll need to work together to solve riddles and decipher information that will lead you to the exit.

You can solve the mystery together with your family or friends!

Visit the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Exterior of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Argos'Dad at the English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Start your Montrose party with something spiritual at the largest eastern Orthodox parish in Montrose, Houston.

Enjoy some alone time and learn about the Church's history.

The Greek Orthodox Cathedral dates from 1950 to 1952, when Houston's first Greek community established itself.

The establishment served as the seat of the Bishop of the Greek Orthodox 8th Diocesan District from 1967 to 1974.

The cathedral is a single-aisle domed basilica with a transept, and the iconostasis separating the nave and altar contains many of the original 1917 church's icons.

In 1950, the church outgrew its previous location.

The church had to move, owing to construction.

It has moved to its new site on Yoakum Street in the Montrose neighborhood.

The new church has 475 seats.

The original community hall, named after long-time parishioner S.P. Martel, stands next to the cathedral and is still used today.

Read and Learn at Houston Public Library

If you want a friendly place where people will help you find what you need, this library is for you!

The Houston Public Library was established in 1854.

The creation of the second Houston Lyceum culminated in creating the library.

A debating society, a special-interest mechanics academy, and a circulating library preceded the institute.

The Houston Public Library first opened its doors to the public in 1895.

William Marsh Rice, a Houston businessman and philanthropist who founded Rice University, made this establishment possible.

The Carnegie Foundation also aided in the creation of the library.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Experience the Neighborhood Spirit at Downtown Houston

Night scene at Downtown Houston
Silvio Ligutti / Shutterstock.com

Downtown Houston is the most populous business district in Houston and the state of Texas.

You'll reach it after only a few minutes drive from Montrose.

You'll find a pavilion and fountains around the Main Street Square Station.

GreenStreet and the Shops at Houston Center are both located in this area.

When it comes to downtown Houston, most people think of skyscrapers and large, gleaming structures.

Water fountain with night lights at Downtown Houston
amadeustx / Shutterstock.com

There's more to this neighborhood than meets the eye.

Market Square, where the old city hall stood, is still a bustling area with many shops and restaurants.

You can find it in the heart of the historic district.

Downtown Houston is Houston's most prominent office market, with 50 million square feet of commercial space.

Louisiana Street, which passes through the district's center, is one of the country's top fifteen most expensive streets.

Two people riding bikes along Downtown Houston
Nate Hover / Shutterstock.com

Discover the Menil Collection

Exterior of Menil Collection
Jacklee, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you enjoy collecting various objects, you will not want to skip this place.

The Menil Collection is a living reminder of John and Dominique de Menil's goal for their art collection.

Located at 1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, and two minutes away from the heart of Montrose, this museum houses over 17,000 notable pieces, including works by well-known artists.

The Menil Collection began as a tiny museum with only one facility: the Renzo Piano-designed structure that now houses most of its collection.

Chairs outside the Menil Collection
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

The original museum building was built on the site of bungalows that had made up a tight-knit Houston community.

In the 1960s, the Menil Foundation began purchasing bungalow-style homes in the region and painting them all the same shade of gray to create a sense of community.

The museum building has painted a shade of gray known as "Menil gray."

This well-known attraction first opened its doors in June 1987 and continues to offer free admission to this day.

Glass windows of Menil Collection
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Capture a Masterpiece at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Exterior of The Glassell Studio School at Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Iktotchi / Shutterstock.com

Are you looking for a way to keep in touch with the arts while having a good time?

Drop by Houston's Museum of Fine Arts!

The HMFA, Texas's oldest art museum, opened in 1917.

The museum's first structure was dedicated to the public in 1924 and remains standing today.

A pond at Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Coraline Mattice / Shutterstock.com

The HMFA consists of two structures: two house museums dedicated to decorative arts, a sculpture garden, conservation, and storage facility, and an administration building with an art school.

The Houston Museum District art museum is one of the largest in the United States, located 2.14 kilometers from Montrose.

It is home to a permanent collection of around 70,000 works spanning over 6,000 years of history from six continents.

The museum features nine distinct facilities ranging from art to education.

Caroline Weiss building at Museum of Fine Arts Houston
MFAH archives at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Thanks to its festive aura, this neighborhood offers many opportunities to enjoy yourself.

Montrose is one of Houston's most exciting spots, featuring everything from street art and coffee shops to food trucks and unique boutiques.

If you're an LGBT person in Houston, Montrose is the place to be.

Since the first gay clubs opened in the 1970s, Montrose has become the city's unofficial gayborhood.

The city's homosexual clubs used to stand throughout Downtown Houston and an area now known as Midtown Houston.

You'll never run out of fun things to do and unique places to check out in Montrose.

Plan your visit today!