Our Local Love List is obviously full of love for those Houston originals that make our city so unique, but this month, we show our appreciation for some places where you can spoil yourself or someone special with good food, shopping, spas, and more.
Whether you are single, taken, or just deeply committed to Houston, like us, check out these spots this month and show them some local love!
This is the season for flowers! Send them to that special someone, your mom, or your friends. It’s a thoughtful way to show someone you care and let them know you are thinking about them. In the middle of February, it’s also nice to bring some vibrant, green life into your home.
The owner of Casa De Flores (boss babe, Mariela Aguilar El-Toukhy) grew up helping her mother sell flowers in Brookshire, went off to A&M to learn all she could about horticulture, then opened her own shop back home, which has bloomed into one of the highest-rated shops in town. Last year she was even named one of America’s top 10 up and coming florists!
Casa De Flores also hosts classes where you can learn how to make your own bouquets, garlands, or complete wedding arrangements. This would be the cutest idea for a Galentine’s Day meet up!
Most days they offer next day delivery or curbside pickup, but if you want to order for Valentine’s Day, get your order in by Feb 7th!
Looking for a place to unwind with your friends or to hit up pre or post-dinner? Give Sugar Room a try! This is the kind of place we want to just sit down on one of their cozy couches, enjoy an old fashioned, and pretend we have way more money than we do. The interior is lavish, decadent, and definitely gives us Gatsby vibes.
This spot opened in January last year, and we only had a couple of months to enjoy it before they were abruptly shut down with the rest of the bars in Texas. We are so thankful that they made it through 2020 and they are still here to dazzle us with their inventive cocktails!
Since they reopened, not only do they have some delightful cocktails, but they are also offering sweet bites from their sister bakery, Tout Suite.
This would be a great option for a stop on date night! The patio provides an intimate atmosphere where you can get to know someone without screaming at the person so they can hear you.
I’ve never met a taco I didn’t like. Around here, we have so many delicious options for Tex-Mex, but now and then, it is nice to switch it up (a little…we still want tacos).
Baja Cantina is serving up yummy Cali-Mex recipes in a festive environment. This place is one of Houston’s most vibrant spots- bright colors, murals, lanterns, and a great dog-friendly patio.
Cali-Mex is kind of the lighter version of the Tex-Mex we already love. They use tons of fresh ingredients and seafood, so you get many of the same flavors, but without that heavy, full feeling that makes you want to take a long nap.
This is the place to celebrate Taco Tuesday. They have quite the variety, and you can’t make a bad choice! Hit them up for happy hour for some of the best margaritas in town, and it really gets good if you stop by for brunch on the weekends! Tres Leches pancakes and bottomless mimosas, anyone?
As far as Texas goes, it is kind of known that we have the best nail salons in the state. So how do you stand out amid all that fierce competition? Deliver an over the top pampering experience!
From the moment you step inside this ritzy nail salon, you know you’ve found something special. The space is clean and modern: marble, chic black, white furniture, chandeliers, and a blinged-out, life-size horse.
When it comes to their menu, they offer almost anything you could want for your nails, brow and lash services, facials, and more. The best part? They aren’t crazy expensive! If you didn’t know what you were in for, you might expect to pay top dollar for your pamper session, but they are right on par with most other nail salons around.
Pick your color, order a cocktail, and let their amazing team spoil you!
Crepes–those magical little French cousins of the pancake. We absolutely love a good crepe, and it’s no surprise that it seems like Houston does too. This place started as a little rolling street cart that would pop up at markets around the city, and thanks to the patronage of fellow crepe-crazed locals, they now have their own spot in The Heights Mercantile Shopping Center where you can get your fix 7 days a week.
Love a savory crepe? Try their sausage crepe or The Michelle. Have a serious sweet tooth? Opt for the cereal or fresh fig crepe. Really, you could cover your eyes and point to anything on the menu and be happy with your decision. It’s all delicious!
We also love that even though they have taken a hit amidst all the COVID craziness, they’re still paying it forward by giving away some of their goodness to first responders and those in need.
Eat good food. Support a good mission!
I don’t know if you’re aware of how big an impact you made on small businesses last year. Typically there is plenty of traffic, so small shops can count on enough people wandering through that they can make enough sales to keep them going. Last year, your efforts to shop local were intentional and it made a huge difference!
While you are looking for more places to shop small, we highly recommend Forth & Nomad. The collection of items they have curated are inspiring. As you walk through you will quickly notice that it isn’t the same stuff you have seen 100 times. They select their inventory from up-and-coming artisans and quality little-known brands so you are guaranteed to find something unique.
It’s fantastic, but the owners didn’t stop there either. They also have a full coffee shop and candle bar inside too!
I love a good steak. If it’s done right, it doesn’t need a bunch of sauce or seasoning, it’s just good. Vic & Anthony’s and Pappas Bros are great options for a quality cut, but Killen’s is worth the drive out to Pearland or the Woodlands.
If you are on the hunt for a nice dinner (maybe for date night or a celebration), we definitely recommend splurging a little at Killen’s. Make your selection from wet-aged, dry-aged, or wagyu, then choose your sides like classic au-gratin potatoes or try the skillet potatoes with egg.
If you’re not on the red meat train, no worries. They also have some seafood and chicken entrees that are just as mouth-watering.
Killen’s has received high accolades from Zagat, Forbes, The Houston Chronicle, Texas Monthly, and more, but see for yourself just how delicious an expertly handled steak can be.
We have loved Common Bond for a long time. The coffee keeps us charged, the pastries are perfection, and the savory options dance through our heads as we drift off to sleep at night.
This month though, we wanted to make sure to point you in their direction because they are ready to help you celebrate Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day.
If you order their king cake, you have to make the tough decision between the traditional cinnamon filling or their new raspberry cream filling (or get both), but either way, you will be getting one of the best around. You can also order it plain with all the fixings to decorate it yourself.
For Valentine’s Day, they take pre-orders for cakes, but you know you can’t go wrong with any of the sweets they have daily! Since V-Day falls on a Sunday this year, this would also be a great spot to switch it up with Valentine’s brunch.
Y’all…you don’t know how long I scrolled through pictures from Houstatlantavegan because I simply couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that yes, all those delicious sandwiches to the left, their shrimp and grits, the mac & cheese, all of it…VEGAN.
No animal products here. It’s a 100% plant-based menu, but the dishes can satisfy even the most ravenous of carnivores. Seriously, half the reviews we found start with some variation of “I’m not normally into vegan food, but…”
Try a Swag-N-Bang sandwich or the H-Town Nonna’s lasagna. They even have brunch options like the MLK Chicken & Waffles.
Had a long week at work? Kids driving you up the wall? Stressed about your next exam? We can all use a little r&r.
GangNam spa is the perfect way to unwind in a spa setting for not a lot of dough (although you can certainly rack up a bill if you take advantage of all the optional services). On weekdays $39 gets you in the door, and on weekends it only goes up by $10.
On top of that, they also offer a 50% discount for military, police, teachers, firefighters, and doctors with your ID.
Your admission fee grants you access to the facilities where you can pick and choose what you want to take advantage of. They have topaz caves, Himalayan salt rooms, hot rooms, an ice room, a foot spa, and a general relaxation lounge all designed to help improve different aspects of your overall wellness.
This is the perfect place to unwind or treat someone else to a peaceful afternoon.
So Much to Love in Houston
February is a short month, so that means that you only have 28 days to hit up all 10 of these places before we give you a whole new list to try! So get out there and take advantage of these places you won’t find anywhere but Houston.
While you’re there, be sure to snap a pic and tag us on Instagram or share in the Facebook group! We want to know what you think and we love hearing your recommendations too. We love you, Houston! See you out there.