Best Neighborhood Winner

Sorry Montrose: Another quirky Houston 'hood is named one of America's 10 Best Neighborhoods

Sorry Montrose: Heights named one of America's 10 Best Neighborhoods

Houston Heights, gazebo
The Heights offers an urban, walkable area. Photo by Hugh Hargrave/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
News_White Linen Night_crowd
White Linen Night brings out the crowds at the popular 19th Street retail area. Photo by Anthony Rathbun
Reed Home - 606 E 8and one half St Heights Home Hsitoric
Charming affordable homes and a cohesive neighborhood vibe place the Heights in CNN Money's top 10 big-city neighborhoods. Courtesy of Houston Heights Association
Houston Heights, gazebo
News_White Linen Night_crowd
Reed Home - 606 E 8and one half St Heights Home Hsitoric

It's good to be a little quirky.

CNN Money has named The Heights one of America's 10 Best Big City neighborhoods. The article cites the neighborhood's "walkable area with a cohesive neighborhood vibe" as something that sets it apart from other Houston neighborhoods.

The something for everyone shopping district on 19th Street is the best example of how The Heights sets itself apart. Boutique clothing stores sit next to antique shops. Across the street from Boomtown Coffee, a shop that roasts its own beans and regularly hosts food trucks, Vinal Edge Records sells turntables, records and cool toys.

 "We all shop locally and support one another. We also do a lot of volunteer work and take care of our own neighborhood."  

Kristal Kirksey, a Heights resident and business owner, tells CultureMap that the neighborhood's "spirit of community" makes it a great place to live.

"We all shop locally and support one another," she says. "We also do a lot of volunteer work and take care of our own neighborhood."

Kirksey's boutique Jubilee sells T-shirts with slogans that demonstrate pride in the neighborhood like "I'd rather be in The Heights."

If upcoming eateries are any indication, the neighborhood's growth looks set to continue well into the future. While iconic clothing store Harolds may be gone, that building is being remodeled rather than torn down and two new restaurants are moving in. Across Shepherd, CK Steakhouse, a restaurant that will unite Hubcap Grill's Ricky Craig with steak master Ronnie Killen, may be delayed by permitting hassles, but it should emerge in 2014.

Then there's Coltivare, an Italian restaurant from Revival Market, set to open this fall on White Oak. 

What are the downsides to The Heights? The article notes "less than stellar" public school options and limited bus routes, but says residents typically "seek out alternatives like magnet schools."