The trendy Inner Loop neighborhood filled with some of Houston’s best shopping centers, Upper Kirby offers restaurants, and entertainment options. Located at the center of many of Houston’s oldest and most affluent neighborhoods, Upper Kirby has become a carefully curated district for luxury and leisure. Whether you’re looking for gourmet sweets, green space, organic meals, or a unique happy hour spot, Upper Kirby has it. These are the ten best things to see and do in Upper Kirby.
Get a gourmet cupcake anytime of the day at Sprinkles. Sprinkles is a bakery serving cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, and delicious combinations of the three. Sprinkles bakes different flavors of cupcakes and cookies fresh every day of the week. If you’re craving a specific flavor, check the schedule before stopping in. Want to jazz up your sweet treat? Try a brownie sundae or a Sprinkles sandwich – a scoop of ice cream between two cupcake tops. Craving a cupcake at 2 AM? The Sprinkles ATM, located outside behind the shop, dispenses delicious cupcakes 24 hours a day.
Highland Village Shopping Center has been a part of Houston since 1957. It began with four businesses and has grown over the past five decades to cover 15 acres just inside the 610 loop. This upscale shopping center hosts specialty retail stores like Williams-Sonoma, Valobra, Tossini, and White House/Black Market. The center also has a number fine-dining options including Houston favorites RA Sushi and Smith & Wollensky. During the winter, many Houstonians look forward to the sparkling lights and holiday decorations that decorate the shops of Highland Village.
River Oaks District is a high-end shopping center featuring luxury brand boutiques, fine restaurants, a movie theater, and two residential buildings. Visitors can walk through 250,000 square feet of trendy, modern architecture along winding sidewalks and beautiful landscaping. The District is outdoors, so be sure to bring an umbrella on a rainy day. River Oaks District opened in 2015 and new stores and restaurants are still popping up. Taverna and Hopdoddy Burger Bar are recent additions to the dining options at River Oaks District.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar, an Austin-born burger joint, recently opened its first Houston restaurant location. Hopdoddy puts a gourmet twist on the classic burger stand. The restaurant has made upgrades to the basic burgers, fries, and shakes menu with options like bison and lamb burgers, truffle fries, and Nutella shakes. The burger bar also offers a selection of locally brewed beers on tap, cocktails, and wine. The line is long with customers eager to try the new restaurant, so be prepared for a wait – it’s worth it!
The Music Box Theater is a one-stop-shop for live music and comedy in Houston. Every year, a team of five Houston actors and singers write and perform four musical comedy shows featuring popular songs of the past. The singers are backed by a fantastic band, G Sharp and the MBT 3. The Music Box Theater also hosts touring artists throughout the year. Shows at the Music Box Theater are set in an intimate, cabaret-style theater offering wine, beer, and light bites. The $15 Bottomless Mimosas are a popular option. Seating is first come, first served, or you can purchase reserved seats for an extra fee.
iPic Theater is a movie theater with a luxury upgrade. iPic shows the latest releases in theaters equipped with plush leather seats, reclining seats, and date-ready cuddle pods. The cinema snack bar received an upgrade as well. Premium-level moviegoers can order gourmet snacks and chef-crafted meals at the iPic Express stand to take into the movie. Premium Plus guests can skip the bar and order food and drinks right from their theater seats. Don’t have time for a movie? iPic has a lounge-style restaurant featuring cocktails and plates that are perfect for happy hour.
Don’t head to Levy Park just yet – it’s still getting a facelift. Levy Park has been a part of Houston since 1941 when American businessman and philanthropist Leon Levy gifted the city 5.21 acres of land in present-day Upper Kirby. In 2004, the Upper Kirby Management District took over management of the park and began improving the landscaping and amenities. It is currently being remodeled and revamped with some of its biggest improvements yet. The park is expected to reopen in fall 2016 with a new playground, performance pavilion, event lawn, dog park, community garden, and a packed events calendar.
Urban Harvest Farmers Market holds the Eastside Farmers Market every Saturday in Upper Kirby. From 8 AM to noon, Houstonians and visitors can buy locally grown produce and artisanal goods from Houston vendors. Rain or shine, dozens of producers come out to the market to sell vegetables, fruits, flowers, prepared foods, cheese and dairy, and more. The market is a great chance to shop locally. Eastside Farmers Market is family-friendly, but health codes do not allow for dogs and pets at the market.
A.D. Players is a Houston theater company producing six mainstage plays and four children’s theater plays every year. Shows are held in the small but cozy Grace Theater. Jeannette Clift George began A.D. Players in 1967 as a small, part-time troupe that later grew into an internationally touring company. It is now a well-respected part of the Houston theater community. A.D. Players also runs a Theatre Arts Academy year-round, teaching acting and production skills to children from kindergarten to high school.
Why save board game night for the weekend when Asgard Games is open seven days a week? Asgard Games is one of Houston’s best hobby shops selling card games, board games, role-playing games, and tabletop games. It’s a pretty cool place to hang out too. Asgard Games hosts game nights and tournaments multiple times a week. New to gaming? Stop by Sunday board game nights where players can learn a new game every week. The shop also has card tables, wargaming tables, and rentable tables in a private room.