- Avis Francis
Once home to Houston’s Old Chinatown, East Downtown, or EaDo for short, is now the most up-and-coming neighborhood in the Space City. EaDo may have flown under the radar for most people, but it is quickly showing Houstonians that this is the place for entertainment. Discover some hidden gems tucked away in the EaDo district.
BBVA Compass Stadium
BBVA Compass Stadium is home to multiple MLS Cup champs, the Houston Dynamo, the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League, as well as Texas Southern University’s football team. Doors opened in 2012 and since then the stadium has been filled with die-hard fans screaming, chanting, and singing in support of their team. BBVA Compass Stadium hosts a plethora of different events: international soccer matches, concerts, rugby, and much more. You can always expect something new and exciting when visiting this stadium in EaDo.
BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas Ave, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713-547-3000
EaDo is home to one of the best live music venues in the greater Houston metropolitan area. Warehouse Live hosts some of the biggest named artists as well as underground musicians to attract a very eclectic crowd to their doors. The venue has two different sections, the Studio and Ballroom. You can have the small intimate performance or the outrageously large crowds, the best of both worlds. Warehouse Live is the go-to live music venue. Ticket prices can vary depending on who is performing, but it is usually a modest amount compared to other venues.
Warehouse Live, 813 St Emanuel St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 225 5483
8th Wonder Brewery
Houston can get pretty hot. Want to kick back and grab a cold one? Check out 8th Wonder Brewery. Born and bred in H-Town, 8th Wonder is the beer made by Houstonians for Houstonians. The name itself pays homage to Houston’s own 8th wonder of the world, the Astrodome, and if that wasn’t enough, they have original Astrodome seats in the brewery’s taproom. Now that is dedication. Visit their website for information on brewery tours as well as upcoming events. Check out the crowd favorite: Rocket Fuel, a Vietnamese coffee porter, 4.6% ABV, 18 IBU.
8th Wonder Brewery, 2202 Dallas St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 229 0868
Aerosol Warfare is a graffiti, street art, and urban arts organization that is run by artists for artists. Aerosol Warfare has been supporting the graffiti scene for over 24 years. The organization specializes in graffiti, aerosol art, murals, and outsider, street, and hip hop arts while appreciating all art forms. Over the years, Aerosol Warfare has showcased and supported hundreds of local and national artists. GONZO247 is a fellow artist, founder, and chief of operations for Aerosol Warfare. GONZO247 and Aerosol Warfare are currently in the process of opening Houston’s first ever graffiti-oriented museum, The GASAM (AKA The Graffiti And Street Art Museum).
Aerosol Warfare, 2110 Jefferson St #111, Houston, TX, USA, +1 832 748 8369
Sparkle’s Hamburger Spot
On the hunt for Houston’s best hamburger? Sparkle’s Hamburger Spot should be on everyone’s list to check out. Sparkle’s is a no-frills burger joint that garners high scores from customers all over the city with their thick patties, crisp bacon, and melted cheese all on a nicely toasted bun. Don’t forget about their handmade fries either. It may not look like much from the outside but this hole in the wall will leave a lasting impression on taste buds. Place an order at the window and take a seat on the bench; you’re about to taste something great.
Sparkle’s Hamburger Spot, 1515 Dowling St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 225 8044
Lucky’s Pub is located right in the heart of ‘Saint E,’ next door to Warehouse Live and BBVA Compass Stadium. Lucky’s has a huge selection of over 250 beers, a wide range of bar games, great staff, and an exceptional bar menu. On top of all this, it’s a fantastic place to watch any Houston team on their 21-foot HDTV, along with over 50 more HDTVs throughout the pub. Lucky’s also provides complimentary shuttle service to the Houston Toyota Center, which makes this a great place to start the night with friends. Lucky’s Pub sets the standard pretty high and makes other sports bars look subpar in comparison. Check out their happy hour deals and daily drink specials.
Lucky’s Pub, 801 St Emanuel St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 522 2010
Houston Whatever Fest
Houston Whatever Fest is EaDo’s premiere music, comedy, and art festival. 2015 was the Fest’s second year in operation, debuting in 2014. The festival was once again held in what is dubbed the EaDo Party Park near BBVA Compass Stadium. HWF is constantly taking giant steps by bringing big name talents such as Metric, Ghostland Observatory, GWAR, and GZA of Wu-Tang Clan, as well as utilizing local musicians Lil’ Flip, Fat Tony, and many others. Comedians were provided with their own dedicated stage, allowing festival goers multiple options to scope out different acts. Houston Whatever Fest is definitely one of Houston’s top annual events.
Houston Whatever Fest, 813 St Emanuel St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 225 5483
Columbia Tap Rail-Trail
Looking for a little exercise or just want to take your bike out for a ride? Columbia Tap Rail-Trail is a four-mile path linking EaDo to other close by communities. Completed in 2009, the trail follows the old Columbia Tap railroad route from EaDo just a block from BBVA Compass Stadium at the intersection of Walker St. and Dowling St., runs by churches and schools in the Third Ward, passes through the campus of Texas Southern University, and ends in Dixie St. in the south. The 10-foot-wide, paved trail is lined with native trees, is lighted for nighttime use, and has many benches along its route, creating an inviting greenway through the neighborhood.
Columbia Trap Rail-Trail, 2300 Walker St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 832 395 7000
Texas Guandi Temple
Take a minute to meditate at the Texas Guandi Temple, located in EaDo’s Old Chinatown neighborhood. The temple welcomes visitors with a small circular reflecting pool, which is surrounded by statues of Chinese deities. Inside is a shrine dedicated to Guandi and his attendants. The temple was established in 1999 by a Vietnamese couple, Charles Loi Ngo and Carolyn. They decided to build a temple to Guan Yu, AKA Guandi, after surviving an aggravated robbery that occurred at their store in the Fifth Ward. They believed that Guandi saved their lives during the incident. The temple is open to followers of all religions, so feel free to stop by.
Texas Guandi Temple, 2089 Milby St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 224 0880
Texas Art Asylum
Part craft store, part thrift store, part salvage yard, and part antique store, Texas Art Asylum is a crafter’s paradise and is truly a unique shopping experience. It is without a doubt the most fun place you will ever find if you’re doing any type of creative project, anything from a personalized greeting card to painting the next Mona Lisa. You will find everything from games, lamps, art supplies, the most fantastic selection of old photographs, old jewelry, books, buttons, tons of old doll parts, fabrics, do-dahs, knick knacks, trinkets, and the list goes on. If you want it, Texas Art Asylum has it. Take some time and explore the treasures at this EaDo spot.
Texas Art Asylum, 1719 Live Oak St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 224 5220