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CultureMap's top stories of the year: Houston's hottest articles of 2015

CultureMap's top stories of 2015: Houston's hottest articles

Houston skyline freeway aerial
Houston landed the No. 1 spot on Forbes' latest annual list of America's Fastest-Growing Cities. Photo by Jim Olive/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Jeff and Mindy Hildebrand at the Camp for All event September 2014
Jeffrey Hildebrand, shown with wife Mindy, is working hard to be the best boss ever. Photo by Anthony Rathbun
BCN Taste & Tradition CROP
BCN Taste & Tradition is just one of the city's hottest restaurants according to CultureMap's Food Editor Eric Sandler. BCN Taste & Tradition / Facebook
Manabu Horiuchi Kata Robata crop
Sitting at Kata Robata's sushi counter for an omakase tasting with Manabu Horiuchi is one of Houston's best dining experiences. Courtesy photo
J.J. Watt Katy Perry Texans
Katy Perry left her photo shoot with J.J. Watt totally charmed by the humble Houston Texans star. Courtesy of ESPN Magazine
News_Ninfa's on Navigation, exterior, night
The beef fajitas from Ninfa's on Navigation made Eric Sandler's list of the 10 Houston dishes to eat before you die. Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Houston, Chita Johnson, July 2015, engagement
Local TV personality Chita Johnson's engagement came as quite a surprise to the KHOU meteorologist. Courtesy photo
Houston skyline freeway aerial
Jeff and Mindy Hildebrand at the Camp for All event September 2014
BCN Taste & Tradition CROP
Manabu Horiuchi Kata Robata crop
J.J. Watt Katy Perry Texans
News_Ninfa's on Navigation, exterior, night
Houston, Chita Johnson, July 2015, engagement

Houston's certainly seen its fair share of excitement this year, and since it's our mission to keep you informed about all the city's happenings and hottest spots, we've rounded up CultureMap's most popular stories of 2015.

Out of the nearly 1,300 articles we published this year, our most read story detailed exactly why Houston garnered the No. 1 spot on Forbes' annual list of America's Fastest-Growing Cities, indicating that it's an honor Houstonians don't take lightly. 

Seeing that Jeffrey Hildebrand, the CEO of Houston-based energy company Hilcorp, recently gave each of his 1,381 employees massive holiday bonuses of $100,000, it's no surprise that the article on his remarkable generosity shot to be our No. 2 story of the year, in spite of having been published only a few weeks before year's end.

A number of articles by our food editor Eric Sandler also garnered top spots this year, including a run-down of the city's hottest restaurants and 10 Houston dishes to eat before you die.

Whether we wrote about local celebrities like the Houston Texans' J.J. Watt or KHOU's Chita Johnson, gave you the scoop on hot concerts or told you about an upcoming reality Houston-based reality show, here are CultureMap's most popular stories for 2015:

1. Houston named America's No. 1 city by top national magazine: Oil bust no matter

2. Best boss ever: Houston billionaire gives $100,000 holiday bonus to every employee

3. Houston's Best Restaurants: These 7 eateries lead city's dining scene to greatness

4. Houston's 10 best sushi restaurants: One stands above the rest, but lots of fine choices abound

5. Katy Perry completely charmed by J.J. Watt's humble Houston vibe: Sports' new power couple?

6. 10 Houston dishes to eat before you die: Greatest culinary hits abound in H-Town

7. Love is on the air: Surprise engagement has Houston TV star on cloud nine — even with no make-up

8. Sexy cool John Legend embarrasses Houston at Rodeo: Undressed fools exposed, treated to old school class

9. Olivia Munn helps Aaron Rodgers rob J.J. Watt of his rightful MVP: Hollywood fakery not QB bias decides things

10. Houston's restaurant community mourns unexpected death of popular general manager

11. Billionaire entrepreneur joins fight to end LGBT discrimination in Texas

12. Reality series Married to Medicine is filming in H-Town, and we have our own ideas for the cast

13. Houston's most intense private school rivalry rocked by new Smartest School rankings: Superiority established?