Courtesy of Tatemó

Esquire magazine has named three Texas restaurants to its list of The Best New Restaurants in America 2022. They are:

  • Canje: Austin chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph’s acclaimed Caribbean restaurant (fourth)
  • Tatemó: chef Emmanuel Chavez’s corn-obsessed tortilleria and Mexican restaurant in Houston (19th)
  • Birdie’s: Austin’s natural wine bar and cafe from husband-and-wife duo Arjav Ezekiel and Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel (25th)

Four writers — Omar Mamoon, Joshua David Stein, former Esquire food and drink editor Jeff Gordinier, and culture and lifestyle director Kevin Sintumuang — created the list by traveling the country. They found themselves drawn to restaurants that told a chef’s personal story.

“We’re always hooked when there is soul and a story to go with delicious, inventive dishes,” Sintumuang writes. “It’s hard to deny the reflection of lived experience imbued in a menu, a wine list, a cocktail, atmosphere.”

In Houston, Stein hails Tatemó for the many ways Chavez incorporates heirloom corn into the restaurant’s eight-course tasting menu, praising dishes such as totopos, consommé, and a quesadilla. “Corn has always been a character actor. Here it’s the leading man,” he writes.

Located just outside the loop in northwest Houston, Tatemó has earned local attention for its tasting menu, which it serves on Friday and Saturday nights, and its more casual Sunday brunch. Hundreds of Houstonians lined up this summer when the restaurant hosted former Pujol head chef Alex Bremont for a two-night taco pop-up.

Turning to Austin, Sintumuang notes that Canje goes to extreme lengths to deliver traditional Caribbean flavors — flying in cassareep for its signature wild- boar pepper pot and fermenting the marinade for its jerk chicken, a process chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph shared with CultureMap at the Southern Smoke Festival. Canje’s lively atmosphere adds to Sintumuang’s experience.

“And as the night rolls by, it can all start to feel like a celebration. Welcome to the party,” he writes.

Not only does Esquire include Birdie’s on the list, but wine director Arjav Ezekiel earns the title of “Wine Guru of the Year.” Sintumuang praises Ezekiel for his list of “approachable yet thrilling low-intervention wines” that are both tasty and approachable.

Similarly, the magazine hails the restaurant’s counter service approach as a way to offer better wages to its staff and praises chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel’s eclectic menu. “The lines are worth it for the food, a casual refined mix of American, a little Italian, a little French, that all makes you want to linger a little longer into the warm Austin night and order another bottle,” he writes.

Esquire’s acclaim is only the most recent time both Birdie’s and Canje have made best new restaurant lists, following similar nods from Texas Monthly and Bon Appetit. The New York Times included Birdie’s on its 2021 list of the 50 American restaurants it’s “most excited about right now.”


State Fair of Texas adds serious gourmet treats from local, acclaimed restaurants

all's fair

Texans and wannabe Texans have been flocking to the 2022 State Fair of Texas, which opened on September 30 with discounts galore.

On the foodie front, for the first time, the fair will see seven new food stands from some notable Dallas restaurants.

These are above and beyond the usual concessionaires, and also have nothing to do with the Big Tex awards (which this year include a Fried Charcuterie Board and a sweet called Peanut Butter Paradise).

No, these are serious gourmet goodies that range from irresistible empanadas to gourmet soft-serve ice cream to Neapolitan pizza topped with BBQ.

These are the seven brand-new vendors joining the lineup at the 2022 State Fair of Texas:

Empanadas and fries from Chimichurri & Milagro Taco Cantina
Award-winning chef Jesus Carmona’s new stand will be serving dishes from his two Dallas restaurants, Chimichurri and Milagro Taco Cantina. He'll be doing two types of empanadas, plus a campeona taco, a burrito Texano, and mole fries, drizzled with mole sauce, crema fresca, and cotija cheese. Carmona was nominated for Rising Star Chef in CultureMap’s 2018 Tastemaker Awards and appeared on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri.

Candy pickles from Di-Licious Candies Pickles Factory
Known as the “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” of pickles, the family-owned and -operated Di-Licious Candies Pickles Factory is the “first original candy pickle factory in the entire world” and has more than 250 flavors of candy pickles. Featured dishes include their signature chamoy candy pickle along with candy pickles in a cup, Rainbow Brite candy pickle sundae, and cotton candy pickle roll crunch.

Pumpkin spice cheesecake on a stick from Drizzle Cheesecakes
Olympic athlete Stephen El Gidi and his partner Walid founded Drizzle Cheesecakes in 2018. Their business has made appearances across North America from southwestern Ontario to our neighbors at Six Flags Over Texas’ Holiday in the Park. Drizzle’s New York-style cheesecake on a stick is dipped in magic-shell Belgian chocolate and rolled in a variety of toppings including crushed Oreos, red velvet cake, strawberry crumble, and more. Their stand will feature specialty flavors developed just for the State Fair of Texas including pumpkin spice cheesecake.

Loaded queso fries by Enjoy Foods
Founded in 2012, Enjoy Foods started out as a gourmet kitchen store in Rockwall from owners Dwaina Morris and her husband They'll be serving loaded queso fries, loaded queso nachos, fried chicken tacos, root beer floats, brownie sundaes, daiquiris, and fried jalapeños. One extra-unique item is their adult-infused jumbo Texas pickle infused with daiquiri mix.

Gourmet soft-serve ice cream by Once Upon a Cone
Once Upon a Cone has been soft-serving delicious ice cream treats all over Texas for the past 12 years. They do premium vanilla, chocolate, and swirled soft-serve ice cream along with specialty sundaes, shakes, floats, and malts. Their dipped cones are available in chocolate, cherry, butterscotch, and birthday cake flavors.

Nashville hot chicken by Palmer’s Hot Chicken Dallas
The Nashville Hot Chicken restaurant concept from Dallas native Palmer Fortune and his partner and chef Mills Garwood will serve the Motherclucker sandwich, a fried chicken sandwich with pimento cheese and pickles; jumbo tenders; banana pudding; and tots, plain or smothered in pimento cheese queso). Plus their Frosé wine slushy made with pureed strawberries, hibiscus, and lime.

Neapolitan-style burnt ends pizza by Texapolitan Pizza
Stephan Nedwetzky of Pit Commander Barbecue is using barbecue as the topping on his favorite type of pizza, Neapolitan. Each pizza is made from 00 flour imported from Italy and needs only 90 seconds in the 900-1,000-degree stone oven to reach thin, crispy perfection. Four personal-sized pizza pies will include margherita, pepperoni, cheese, and smoked pork belly burnt ends. That one consists of red sauce, mozzarella, smoked pork belly burnt ends, jalapeños, cotija cheese, and Pit Commander Barbecue Sweet Heat BBQ sauce.

The Awty International School/Facebook

Houston high schools score high marks as Texas' best in 2022

A+ rating

Several campuses in the Houston area have earned extra credit as the best high schools in Texas.

In the latest rankings from education review website Niche, Houston's Carnegie Vanguard High School and Debakey High School for Health Professions come in No. 4 and No. 5 respectively among the state's best public high schools.

Meanwhile, Awty International School comes in at No. 2 (up from No. 3 last year) on the list of the state’s best private high schools.

Here's how some of Houston's top public and private schools scored:

  • Houston ISD’s Carnegie Vanguard High School, No. 4 among public high schools
  • Katy ISD’s Seven Lakes High School, No. 5 among public high schools
  • William P. Clements High School, No. 5 among public high schools
  • Houston ISD’s Debakey High School for Health Professions, No. 5 among public high schools
  • Houston ISD’s Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, No. 9 among public high schools
  • The John Cooper School in The Woodlands, No. 6 among private high schools
  • The Village School in Houston, No. 7 among private high schools
  • The Kincaid School in Houston, No. 10 among private high schools

For those interested in private schools, here are some of the top Houston institutions this year.
  • The Awty International School
  • The John Cooper School
  • The Village School
  • The Kinkaid School
  • Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
  • St. John's School

“Some of the biggest decisions that parents face have to do with their children’s education,” Luke Skurman, founder and CEO of Niche, says in a news release. “We strive to put as much power in their hands as possible so they can make informed decisions with confidence.”

Niche says that while traditional rankings rely heavily on metrics like test scores and academic performance, its rankings combine ratings from current students, alumni, and parents with data from the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate teachers, resources, facilities, extracurricular activities and more.

Here’s how other Texas schools and school districts fared in this year’s Niche rankings.

Austin area

  • Austin ISD’s Liberal Arts & Science Academy, No. 2 among public high schools
  • Eanes ISD’s Westlake High School, No. 6 among public high schools
  • Round Rock ISD’s Westwood High IB World School, No. 8 among public high schools
  • St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, No. 4 among private high schools
  • Eanes ISD, No. 1 among best school districts
Dallas area

Dallas ISD’s School for the Talented & Gifted tops the list of the state’s best public high schools, and St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas leads the list of the state’s best private high schools. Both schools ranked first on their respective Niche lists last year.

San Antonio area

  • Keystone School in San Antonio, No. 9 among private high schools
  • BASIS Texas Charter Schools in San Antonio, No. 4 among school districts

Rio Grande Valley

  • South Texas ISD in Mercedes, No. 2 among school districts
Photo courtesy of Biggio's

The 11 best sports bars in Houston for every team's top fan

Beer Me

Football, hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball — no matter which sport you support, it's way more fun to watch your favorite teams play when you're surrounded by other cheering fans.

But where to head for some cold drinks, hot food, and big sports action? In the spirit of CultureMap's newest signature event, The Tailgate, we're celebrating a season of sports with insider intel on all the ways you can enjoy it. (P.S. Tickets are on sale now).

Though by no means exhaustive, this list highlights sports bars in Houston that are definitely worth your overtime.

Named for Astros hall-of-famer Craig Biggio, the "not your average sports bar" inside the Marriott Marquis Hotel boasts more than 30 screens, including two massive, 30-foot-tall, high-definition screens. An extensive beer list is complemented by popular menu items like the chicken and waffles, loaded nachos, and crispy wings.

Pitch 25 Beer Park
With nearly 100 beers on tap, this 25,000-square-foot venue is Houston's go-to spot for good times — it's also only a 10-minute walk to Minute Maid Park. There's even an indoor soccer pitch, if the mood strikes to get a little sporty in between tacos, jumbo wings, burgers, and loaded fries.

Nick's Place
If it's good enough for the hosts of ESPN 97.5, who love to hang out here, then it's certainly good enough for us. Sports fans can't get enough of the authentic, homemade Italian eats, nor the 40 TVs, free WiFi, daily specials, and loyalty club, which nets you 5 percent off each purchase and $5 just for signing up.

Looking for something a little more upscale? Hit up either location (Houston Heights or downtown) of this glitzy, indoor-outdoor spot, which combines the practical — three-sided bar, high-def TVs — with the fun — dog-friendly, so many swings! — for a distinct game-watching experience.

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
Passionate sports fans run the Houston outpost of this popular chain, which proudly displays the best craft beer wall in the city. Aside from the literal hundreds of different beers to try, there's German-inspired food and plenty of televisions. Don't forget to join the UFO Club and work your way toward entering the Ring of Honor.

Kirby Ice House
"The biggest bar in Texas" spans more than 30,000 square feet at each of its three locations (Upper Kirby, Memorial, and Woodlands), so you're guaranteed a good seat in front of any of the big screens. More than 60 beers on tap sets the tone, and pups are allowed with your pints thanks to the indoor-outdoor setup.

Little Woodrow's
From the Heights to Rice Village, Little Woodrow's is serving cold beverages to sports fans at six locations around town. Consistently boasting every imaginable channel and upwards of 20 TVs, these locations feature plenty of drink specials so you can post up for a full day (or night) of game-watching.

Maple Leaf Pub
Escape the Texas heat and pretend you're in Canada for a few hours at this hockey-focused, neighborhood pub in Midtown. Expect cold beer, hot poutine, on-ice action, and plenty of friendly fans — you can't help but catch the Canadian niceness.

Patterson Park
Boasting a 5,000-square-foot outdoor deck, treehouse vibes, and sweeping skyline views, this dog-friendly Heights bar sports 40 HD TVs for prime viewing. Bar specialties range from ranch water variations to the Schwayze (vodka, lime, grenadine, Sprite). Get game day grub from the onsite food trucks, and afterwards face off with friends with arcade and board games. Note to active types: cyclists receive a 10-percent discount on their tabs.

Pour Behavior
Feeling rowdy? Then this is your spot. There are 45 65-inch HD TVs and two gigantic HD video walls, plus DJs keeping the crowd hyped while they enjoy more than 25 craft beers on tap, expertly crafted cocktails, and scratch-made menu items (with lots of vegetarian and vegan-friendly options).

Ducky McShweeney's Irish Pub
Houston's newest Irish pub makes sports fan feels lucky with a delicious brunch menu on the weekends (check out the Shamrockin' Brunch Board for two), happy hour all Sunday long, and an extensive whiskey selection. The Galleria bar of course also features traditional Irish meals like bangers and mash and shepherd's pie, as well as a selection of sushi rolls from its sister restaurant next door, Sushi On Post Oak. All of its 13 TVs are tuned to NFL football games on Sundays.


CultureMap's The Tailgate is happening October 27 at Silver Street Studios. Head here to buy Early Bird tickets while they last.

Photo by Hinterhaus Productions/Getty

Texas clocks in as 5th hardest-working state in U.S., survey says

Lauding Texas’ labor force

In the 1980s, disco queen Donna Summer sang the praises of a blue-collar woman in the hit tune “She Works Hard for the Money.” If the song were to be updated for this decade, it might morph into an ode to the hardworking women and men of Texas.

A new ranking from personal finance website WalletHub puts Texas at No. 5 among the hardest-working states. The Lone Star State repeated its fifth-place showing from last year. In the 2022 study, Texas is preceded by North Dakota, Alaska, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The slackers, it appears, are in bottom-ranked New Mexico.

WalletHub evaluated each state based on 10 metrics. In the Labor Day-timed study, Texas earned an especially high mark for the average number of hours worked per week (ranked fourth).

In July 2022, nearly 14.6 million people were part of the state’s civilian workforce (which excludes active-duty military personnel), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That month, the state’s unemployment rate stood at 4 percent.

In a news release touting the July 2022 job numbers for Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott highlighted the state’s “young, skilled, diverse, and growing workforce.”

“Texas jobs are booming, and more Texans are working than ever before as we again break all previous records for total jobs,” Abbott says. “Despite the economic challenges job creators are facing across the nation, businesses are investing with confidence in the Lone Star State because we’ve built a framework that allows free enterprise to flourish and hardworking Texans to succeed.”

Photo courtesy of TxDOT

Houston swerves onto list of worst cities in U.S. to be stuck in traffic

Driving us up a wall

If you’ve been trapped on I-69/Southwest Freeway or pretty much any other highway in Houston, you can appreciate a new ranking of the worst U.S. cities to be stuck in traffic.

Houston ranks 10th on the list, compiled by auto insurance company HiRoad. The company judged cities based on two factors: commute delays due to traffic congestion and share of tweets complaining about traffic. No other Texas city lands in the top 10.

Chicago grabs the top spot on HiRoad’s list of the worst cities to be stuck in traffic, followed by New York City; Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco.

Helping drive Houston to the No. 10 spot: I-69 zips to 10th place in HiRoad’s rundown of the U.S. highways that draw the most Twitter complaints from motorists.

Of course, I-69 can’t take all the blame for Houston’s traffic troubles:

Houston stalled at No. 3 in a study released last year of large metro areas where motorists wasted the most time in traffic. Only New York City and Boston fared worse than Houston.

The Houston area “is at a critical juncture when it comes to transportation planning,” Adam Beckom, transportation manager for the Houston-Galveston Area Council, said in March. “The decisions we make regarding where we dedicate our resources and what kinds of projects we choose to invest in will set the stage for how resilient we are, our ability to accommodate our region’s continued rapid growth, and what quality of life will our residents have in the future.”

Houston wasn’t the only Texas city to show up in HiRoad’s data, though. Fort Worth ranked seventh for the share (37.5 percent) of “stressed” tweets from motorists. The nationwide analysis looked at 1.3 million tweets from this May.

The same Twitter analysis showed Texans’ biggest pet peeve when it comes to driving is speeding. Nearly 52 percent of tweets on the topic were perceived to be “stressed.” And as for the most stressed-out day on Texas roads, the analysis shows it’s Wednesday.

“Traffic was found to be the most annoying pet peeve in the majority of states, and overall, we discovered that bad weather makes drivers the most stressed,” says Steve Harris, vice president of HiRoad.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Iconic Austin blues club brings the show to fans with new indie livestreaming platform

Live on Live

If legendary Austin blues club Antone’s is your vibe, but the drive down I-35 isn't, know we get it. Saving San Antonians the trip, Antone’s Nightclub launched a new service for livestreaming its shows in November.

Kicking off with New Orleans-based funk and jam band Dumpstaphunk, for their special “Phunksgiving” show last month with Michael Hale Trio, the full lineup is delineated on the Antone’s website. Specifics were still loose before the launch, allowing the famous blues club to call the shots. The partner agency that created the streaming service, 3rd + Lamar, created the system to give Antone’s as much freedom as possible.

"Partnering with Antone's to build their livestreaming platform and produce each of their shows is an incredible opportunity for 3rd + Lamar," said the agency’s co-founder Nick Schenck in a press release. "The amazing talent that performs at Antone's – and their fans worldwide – deserve best-in-class live production quality, and we're thrilled to play a part in this operation."

Not that Antone’s needed to stand out more in the music industry (the nearly 50-year-old venue has always been one of the best places to see both local and national talent), but this achievement places it among relatively few venues across the country, especially those that operate their system independently.

The intimate Antone's shows are filmed by four Blackmagic 4K cinema cameras on tracks overhead, which ensure that the whole space is easily visible without having camera operators amid the audience.

“We did over 430 individually ticketed shows in 2019 and we felt like we were bursting at the seams,” said Antone’s owner Will Bridges. “Then when livestreams became more prominent during the pandemic we realized, this is our opportunity to take Antone’s outside of our four walls. … [W]e see people in the comment threads all the time saying ‘If I could only be teleported to Antone’s!’ Well now they can.”

The release emphasizes that the system means Antone’s “fully retain[s] ownership of their content, which can then be utilized at their discretion.” It also calls the service “an add-on option for all artists performing at Antone’s,” positioning the service as not just an audience luxury but a performer’s low-cost marketing tool. Suddenly, artists playing at Antone’s are afforded a choice without needing to be invited to record or pay an independent video team, while reaching even more viewers with no extra time spent advertising.

“Our ultimate goal is to make these amazing musical experiences accessible to everyone. Life is busy, but we want to give everyone the opportunity to participate no matter where they are or what they have going on,” said Bridges. “We want to make livestreams from Antone’s totally commonplace. When we announce our upcoming shows, fans have two options: watch it at the club our watch it at home.”

Livestreams are at antonesnightclub.com, and links also appear with each applicable event across the site. Prices are listed on the website, and livestreams start 10-20 minutes before each show.

Alt-rock legends Red Hot Chili Peppers heading to Houston for 2023 North American tour

one hot minute

One of alternative rock's most pioneering and enduring acts is headed to Houston to close out a highly anticipated North American tour next year. Red Hot Chili Peppers will play Minute Maid Park on Thursday, May 25, 2023 as part of a North American trek that kicks off in Vancouver, British Columbia on March 29.

Houston lands the honor of the closeout city for the North American tour (the band will also play a slew of dates in Europe). Effortlessly hip, celeb-fave modern rock band The Strokes will support the Chili Peppers, along with the talented bassist-vocalist Thundercat.

Tickets go on sale this week at 10 am Friday, December 9 online.

Houston fans who can't get enough can also catch the Chili Peppers when they hit The Alamodome in San Antonio on Wednesday, May 17 — the only other Texas date.

Aside from The Strokes and Thundercat, supporting acts along the way include Iggy Pop, The Roots, The Mars Volta, St. Vincent, City and Colour, and King Princess.

Touring in support of their two No. 1 studio albums released in 2022, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen, the Chili Peppers have been played sold-out shows in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and more with major names such as Notable artists such as A$AP Rocky, Anderson.Paak, Beck, and HAIM.

The first rock band in 17 years to score two No. 1 albums in one year, the band has been red hot on the Billboard charts and at the MTV Video Music Awards, where they received the Global Icon Award and brought the house down with a performance of the No. 1 single “Black Summer,'' which also won the award for Best Rock Video.

Fronted by the impossibly chiseled and ageless (he's 60!) Anthony Kiedis, the Chili Peppers formed in 1983. Unabashedly proud of their LA roots, the band burst onto the scene with early singles such as "Higher Ground" and "Give It Away," both showcases of bassist Flea's slappin', funk-fueled basslines.

Throughout the peak of alternative music in the '90s, the band saw tragedy, personnel changes at guitar, and reinventions — Kiedes' rap-singing, Flea's bass grooves, and singalong choruses all constants over the decades.

While many '90s alt-rock acts fizzled, the Chili Peppers stayed relevant; the band boasts two anthemic singles with more than 1 billion streams — "Californication" and "Under the Bridge" — and more than 25 million followers on Spotify.

Expect this show to be packed with Gen Xers and new fans for what promises to be one hot minute.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 tour dates:

  • Wednesday, March 29 – Vancouver – BC Place
  • Saturday, April 1 – Las Vegas – Allegiant Stadium
  • Thursday, April 6 – Fargo, North Dakota – FargoDome
  • Saturday, April 8 – Minneapolis – US Bank Stadium
  • Friday, April 14 – Syracuse, New York – JMA Wireless Dome
  • Friday, May 12 – San Diego – Snap Dragon Stadium
  • Sunday, May 14 – Phoenix – State Farm Stadium
  • Wednesday, May 17 – San Antonio – Alamodome
  • Friday, May 19 – Gulf Shores, Alabama – Hangout Music Festival
  • Thursday, May 25 – Houston – Minute Maid Park

announced their 2023 Tour, in support of their two No. 1 studio albums that were released in 2022, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen. Following a recent Grammy nomination for Best Rock Song for “Black Summer,” the band will embark on a 23-date global trek that kicks off on Wednesday, March 29 at BC Place in Vancouver, BC with stadium shows and festival stops across North America and Europe in Las Vegas, San Diego, Houston, Lisbon, Madrid, Vienna and more before wrapping up on Saturday, July 23 in Glasgow, UK at Hampden Park. The Strokes, Iggy Pop, The Roots, The Mars Volta, St. Vincent, City and Colour, Thundercat, and King Princess will join the band on select dates.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 Tour rolls into the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX, on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, and Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX, on Thursday, May 25, 2023, both with the Strokes and Thundercat.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 Tour comes close on the heels of the band’s largest 40-date stadium tour to date, which included massive sold-out shows in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and more. Notable artists such as A$AP Rocky, Anderson .Paak, Beck, HAIM and more joined the band on the road through 2022. After completing the wildly successful tour across North America and Europe this year, Red Hot Chili Peppers continue into January 2023 with eight dates across New Zealand and Australia, featuring Post Malone.

Tickets go on sale starting on Friday, December 9 at 10 a.m. at redhotchilipeppers.com.

As a result of the two album releases this year going No. 1, Red Hot Chili Peppers notably stand out as the first rock band in 17 years to achieve the feat. Moreover, Return of the Dream Canteen bowed at #1 on the Billboard Top Album Sales Chart —just like its predecessor Unlimited Love did back in April. Both albums were produced by longtime collaborator and creative confidant, Rick Rubin. Plus, it reached #1 in numerous countries around the globe.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers recently took home the prestigious Global Icon Award, and delivered a show stopping performance at the MTV VMAs. Their No. 1 single “Black Summer'' also won the award for Best Rock Video. This year, the band also garnered an MTV Europe Music Award nomination for Best Rock and scored three American Music Awards nominations for "Favorite Rock Artist," "Favorite Rock Album" for Unlimited Love and "Favorite Rock Single" for "Black Summer."


Wed Mar 29 – Vancouver, BC – BC Place *~

Sat Apr 01 – Las Vegas, NV – Allegiant Stadium #~

Thu Apr 06 – Fargo, ND – FARGODOME ^~

Sat Apr 08 – Minneapolis, MN – US Bank Stadium ^~

Fri Apr 14 – Syracuse, NY– JMA Wireless Dome ^~

Fri May 12 – San Diego, CA – Snap Dragon Stadium >+

Sun May 14 – Phoenix, AZ – State Farm Stadium ^+

Wed May 17 – San Antonio, TX – Alamodome ^+

Fri May 19 – Gulf Shores, AL – Hangout Music Festival =

Thu May 25 – Houston, TX – Minute Maid Park ^+

Fan-favorite, wood-fired Houston pizzeria quietly opens in the Heights

enough (pizza) to love

A popular Houston pizzeria has opened its second location in the Heights. The Gypsy Poet has begun a quiet soft opening in the former Fegen’s space at 1050 Studewood St.

Since its 2019 debut in Midtown, the Gypsy Poet has earned a devoted following for its wood-fired pizzas. The restaurant’s personal-sized, 13-inch pizzas exist somewhere on the spectrum between traditional Neapolitan and classic New York — too crispy for the Italians but not quite foldable like an East Coast slice. Options include a classic Margherita and the signature Fancy Backpacker, which is topped with prosciutto, truffle oil, and arugula.

Part of the restaurant’s appeal stems from its friendly service and easy going atmosphere. It regularly hosts informal musical performances and other artistic happenings.

Taken together, Gypsy Poet has earned legions on fans. Yelp users ranked it as Texas’s second best restaurant in 2021. More recently, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy awarded it a high 7.8 rating during a pizza review.

The restaurant opens at a time of transition for pizzerias in the Heights. Dallas-based Neapolitan restaurant Cane Rosso closed last year, and suburban favorite Crust Pizza Co. opened this summer in the former Mellow Mushroom space at N. Shepherd and 20th.

The Heights location of Gypsy Poet will be open Tuesday-Thursday from 5-9 pm; Friday from 12-2 pm and 5-10 pm; Saturday 2-10 pm; and Sunday 2-9 pm.