Your Expert Guide
Montrose: Vibrant, diverse, and walkable historic charm in the heart of Houston
There are so many great places to live in Houston that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
Montrose has been described as "the heart of Houston" since 1910, says real estate agent William Finnorn, "and I firmly believe that its true beauty lies in the fact that it contains something for everyone. I see the neighborhood's vibe as an inveterate mix of creativity, eccentricity, and diversity."
Finnorn has lived in Montrose for the last five years, becoming a homeowner here three years ago.
"Montrose offers a unique lifestyle that combines historic appeal with contemporary living," Finnorn says. "Its charming streets, diverse housing options, and wide range of dining and shopping choices make it an exciting place to call home."
The area offers a little bit of everything, done well and finished with a certain artistic flair. One of the best things about Montrose is that it's a truly walkable neighborhood, Finnorn notes, giving its residents an easy way to explore all the area has to offer. Tree-lined streets offer a picturesque backdrop for the homes, with the mature oak and pecan trees not only providing shade but also enhancing the neighborhood's overall appeal.
Montrose also has a strong sense of community engagement, and is a place where people actively participate in volunteer work and contribute to various charitable causes, creating a close-knit and supportive community.
Finnorn himself has previously served on the board of directors for the Houston Area Parkinson's Society and is currently involved with the Montrose Center's young professionals group.
Finnorn was recently named to the Houston Association of Realtors' 20 under 40 Rising Stars in Real Estate, an award given to HAR members who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of sales, leadership, and community involvement.
"I love the neighborhood's vibrant and eclectic energy," he says. "It truly embodies my idea of the perfect place to live, work, and play. It's a neighborhood that keeps on giving, and I'm more than happy to help others find their own piece of this vibrant and eclectic enclave."
Finnorn offered up a few of his personal favorites about life in Montrose. Here's his guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
"The neighborhood offers endless options, representing a wide spectrum of cuisines," says Finnorn. "Whether you're in the mood for a burger, shareable plates, pizza, or a bowl of ramen, Montrose has it all."
A few of his recommendations include:
- Bludorn, where chef Aaron Bludorn elevates classics with dishes like lobster pot pie and dry-aged burgers.
- Hugo's, Hugo Ortega's eponymous spot in Montrose for upscale Mexican classics.
- La Guadalupana, a go-to spot for Mexican breakfast classics and café de olla (Mexican cinnamon coffee).
- Uchi, a renowned Austin-based restaurant that has become an integral part of Montrose's food scene.
- Ramen Tatsu-ya, the go-to ramen joint in Montrose.
- Clark's Oyster Bar, another Austin export that just opened at the corner of Montrose and West Alabama, for top-notch seafood and martinis.
- March, a posh tasting menu restaurant from Goodnight Hospitality for a full sensory experience.
- Rosie Cannonball, also from Goodnight Hospitality, for wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta.
- Montrose Cheese & Wine, for the rotating selection of cheeses and wines.
- Nobie's, a classic Montrose bungalow turned eatery for its shareable plates and famous olive oil cake.
Where to play
Cherryhurst Park features a tennis court that's open to the public, and Finnorn comments that "it's a nice spot to enjoy a casual game with friends or practice your tennis skills."
Buffalo Bayou Park offers a natural escape in the heart of the city. Visitors can enjoy walking and biking trails, public art installations, and scenic views of the bayou. "While some choose to bike or kayak along the Bayou, I prefer to explore its pathways on foot," says Finnorn.
Bell Park is a small but charming park in the neighborhood offering green spaces, walking paths, and a peaceful environment for relaxation.
What to see
Finnorn recommends stopping into "art museums and galleries like the Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel, and my personal favorite, the Cy Twombly Gallery."
La Colombe d'Or's striking architecture and art-filled interior make it a unique landmark to visit. And don't miss out on the variety of cultural events and festivals that take place here throughout the year, including The Original Greek Festival.
Where to live
"The homes in Montrose are as diverse and eclectic as the neighborhood itself," Finnorn says. "Montrose is known for its charming historic bungalows, a mix of architectural styles, and a wide range of housing options that cater to various tastes and preferences."
In addition to bungalows, look out for Craftsman-style homes, Spanish Revival designs, Tudor Revival, and contemporary construction.
"This diversity gives the neighborhood a distinct aesthetic," Finnorn notes. "It also contributes to the neighborhood's popularity and its continued growth. Montrose attracts a diverse community of movers and shakers, artists, young professionals, and those who've called it home for many years, all of whom have contributed to its rich history."
Cherryhurst, an enclave within Montrose, is especially known for its strong sense of community. Residents take pride in their homes, and you can see the results in well-kept properties and beautifully landscaped yards.
Here, you'll find cozy cottages, larger single-family homes, and even multi-story townhouses, catering to a broad range of residents.
Many homeowners have taken on restoration and renovation projects to preserve the historical integrity of their homes while adding modern amenities and finishes.
Living in Cherryhurst means you're within walking distance to Montrose's art galleries, restaurants, boutique shops, and cultural attractions.
A recent listing of Finnorn's, 1635 Hawthorne St., embodies the essence of Montrose living by combining classic charm with modern amenities, emphasizing meticulous attention to detail, and preserving its historic architectural character.
"It's a prime example of how homes in Montrose offer a unique blend of timeless elegance and contemporary living," says Finnorn.
William Finnorn works and plays in Montrose. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here,email email@example.com, or call 713-306-0194.