Photo by Inclán Studio

The official start of summer is right around the corner, making June a fantastic time to go shopping.

With Father's Day coming up, it's a great chance to find a special gift just for Dad. Plus, outdoor festivals and markets are popping up everywhere, so shoppers can enjoy exploring and discovering unique finds.

Remember to take breaks from the heat and duck into Houston's air-conditioned stores and malls to chill out. We've rounded up the best spots to score those summer vibes while scoring some incredible finds.

The Avenue

Shop the second drop of Mason's Daughter from Lindsey Zorich's in-house label, exclusively available at The Avenue. The collection has several pieces in a light blue and white seersucker fabric — perfect for summer. Mason's Daughter has also added home goods to their line, including tablecloths, napkins, and flatware.

Photo by Inclán Studio

Indulge in the beautiful styles at the Christy Lynn and Inclán Studio Summer Warehouse Sale through June 23.


Join the crowds at CityCentre Summer Socials. Starting June 1, 2023, from 5–7 pm, CityCentre is hosting bi-weekly al-fresco gatherings. Visitors can enjoy cold drinks, music, giveaways, and mingling. The Sound Cream Airstream, a mobile discotheque, will bring shimmering disco balls, vibrant lights, and summer vibes for the ultimate thirsty Thursday experience. A local DJ will spin hits from the latest charts to classic dance anthems, creating an electric atmosphere. Connect, sip cocktails, sample gourmet bites, and grab a promo card to redeem special offers on food, drinks, and services from participating stores and restaurants during Summer Socials.

Christy Lynn and Inclán Studio Warehouse Sale

Indulge in the beautiful styles at the Christy Lynn and Inclán Studio Summer Warehouse Sale. These two local labels will join forces in a chic venue, offering a delightful selection of fashion pieces. Explore tiered cotton poplin garden dresses, striking floral trousers paired with matching blazers, and elegantly feminine eyelet and ruffle dresses. The sale will run until June 23 at 306 Avondale St., so seize this opportunity to enhance your wardrobe with these swoon-worthy looks.


The global fashion eyewear brand was founded on the philosophy of luxury experimentation and recently opened its first Texas outpost in the Galleria on Level 1, near the Galleria Financial Center. Shoppers can explore the SS23 mainline, the best-selling collaborative Maison Margiela collection, and the recently launched BOLD2 collection.

Jimmy Choo

Houston Premium Outlets has exciting news for fashion-forward and budget-conscious shoppers. The renowned luxury brand Jimmy Choo has just arrived, offering its signature high-end styles and accessories to Houston residents. Explore an extensive range of coveted items, including trendy shoes, chic bags, stylish eyewear, small leather goods, and more.

John Varvatos

The brand John Varvatos is known for its menswear designs, uniting old-world craftsmanship and refined tailoring with modern innovations in textiles. John Varvatos' designs often draw inspiration from the past and make them into something entirely new. Its Galleria boutique reopened on Level 1 near the Galleria Financial Center.

Katy Mills

Katy Mills and Houston Premium Outlets are getting ready for the highly anticipated National Outlet Shopping Day, bringing shoppers incredible deals from popular brands, exclusive giveaways, and exciting center-wide experiences to celebrate the art of finding great bargains. Over 65 retailers, including Aeropostale, Coach Outlet, Kate Spade New York, Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse, Polo Ralph Lauren, Reebok, Saks OFF 5TH, and Under Armour, Katy Mills will offer discounts of up to 65 percent on a wide range of luxury, designer, and houseware brands.


Available at Heights Mercantile, Mizzen+Main has the "Best Damn Dress Shirt" that goes from work to night with no ironing necessary. The Leeward dress shirt is comfortable and lightweight, perfect for dad, with superior quick-dry and stretch properties.


On June 15 from 5 to 9 pm, join the festivities at M-K-T Sunset Market for an evening of local shopping, delicious food, and entertainment suitable for all ages. This outdoor market takes place trailside every third Thursday, offering a delightful experience with gourmet food pop-ups, live music, engaging activities for children, talented local artisans, and breathtaking sunset views. Take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy a vibrant community gathering filled with tasty treats, unique crafts, and enjoyable moments against the backdrop of a stunning sunset.

Savage X Fenty

Rhianna's Savage X Fenty's Galleria boutique will host a Sip' N Shop event to celebrate the newest collection in June. Starting at 5 pm, shoppers can enjoy branded drinks, light snacks, and an elevated shopping experience. The sip n' shop event will be recurring on the first Thursday of each month and is open to the public.

A Sneaker City

The premier Buy/Sell/Trade store beloved by sneakerheads and streetwear fans recently opened in the Galleria on the Rink Level in the Dining Pavilion. A Sneaker City carries Nike, Jordan Brand, Adidas, Yeezy, and many more.


SuitShop makes its Texas debut at M-K-T, marking its first brick-and-mortar store in the state. Founded by a woman, SuitShop is a direct-to-consumer suiting brand that has served over 200,000 clients since 2016. The brand's success is built on three pillars. They prioritize sustainability with their Eco Stretch suiting fabric made from 38-percent poly-recycled material derived from recycled plastic bottles. They also emphasize gender and size inclusion, offering mix-and-match pieces and the broadest size range in the industry (sizes 00-60). Affordability is another crucial aspect, with prices starting at $200, below the average rental cost.

Warby Parker

Warby Parker will unveil its latest Summer 2023 Collection on June 6. Serving as a refreshing update to their previously released Summer Pt. 1 collection in April, this new assortment showcases an array of frame families, extended sizing options, and fresh variations of their popular best-selling designs. With prices starting at $95, the collection provides an ideal opportunity for individuals to revamp their summer eyewear and embrace the upcoming sunny days.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Where to eat in Houston right now: 9 best new restaurants proving our pizza town cred

where to eat right now

By any standard, pizza is having a moment in Houston. Not that pizza ever goes out of style, but when a wave of new pizzerias open — some led by the city’s top chefs — the time has come for a closer look.

Notably, we found options in a range of styles ranging from classic New York, to on-trend Detroit, a grilled pizza that may be unique to its restaurant. Anyone who thinks Houston isn’t a pizza town simply hasn’t eaten enough slices here.

While this list focuses exclusively on restaurants and bars that have opened in the last year or so, it is not meant to disrespect those tried-and-true places Houstonians have been patronizing for years. Fans of places like Star, Brothers, and Romano’s can save their emails. We like them, too, but they aren’t a fit for this roundup.

As always, Where to Eat columns are based on actual visits to the included restaurants (sometimes more than once) and are ordered by what we’d go to first. They all have something to offer, even if a visit requires a jaunt down the Westpark Tollway.

ElRo Pizza & Crudo
Chef Terrence Gallivan has made his return to the dining scene with this intimate restaurant on the border of Montrose and Midtown. With their high crown and creative toppings, ElRo’s personal-sized, Italian-style pizzas recall the pies Gallivan served at The Pass & Provisions. Highlights include the mushroom pie with smoked maitakes and mortadella with pistachio pesto. Round out the meal with a crudo or two — the spicy tuna on toast is a particular favorite. An affordable wine list and creative cocktails (all named after Bruce Springsteen songs) complete the experience.

ElRo restaurant pizza
Photo by Julie Soefer
ElRo serves a variety of pizzas.

Nonno’s Family Pizza Tavern
Nobie’s owners Sara and Martin Stayer channel Gen X nostalgia at this pizzeria that’s located next to The Toasted Coconut, their tiki-inspired restaurant and bar. Nonno’s serves the Midwest tavern-style pies that Sara grew up eating in Chicago; the thin, crispy pies are cut into squares — known as a party cut — to make them easier to share. Appetizers like chicken wings and mozzarella sticks complete the classic pizzeria experience.

Nonno’s takes the “family” part of its name seriously. A recent visit found at least half the tables occupied by families with children, many of whom entertained themselves at the restaurant’s arcade that features pinball machines and vintage video games.

Pastore Italian Kitchen
This restaurant's menu may describe its round, dough-based items as “flatbreads,” but we know a pizza when we see one. Available with traditional toppings like margherita, an East Coast-style clam pie, or seasonal ingredients like fig with lemon ricotta, Pastore's wood-fired pizzas blend Italian flavors with a slice that’s sturdy enough to be eaten by hand. The restaurant’s new brunch service offers a breakfast pizza topped with pancetta, poached eggs, hashbrowns, and more, which makes it the perfect hangover cure — especially when paired with some hair of the dog from the cocktail program overseen by former CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Bartender of the Year winner Sarah Troxell.

Gold Tooth Tony’s
Chef Anthony Calleo has been serving Detroit-style pizzas at Rudyard’s for awhile now, but his new restaurant in the Heights dives in more deeply with a greater selection of pies and a more diverse set of toppings. The square-shaped, deep dish pizzas feature a crispy edge and a pleasant chew. Calleo channels his Pi Pizza days with selections like the Only5 (venison sausage, port wine cherries) and the Grizz (chicken, bacon, ranch, charred pineapple, grizzly sauce). New to the Gold Tooth Tony’s menu are selections such as the Hunger Force (meatballs, whipped ricotta) and the Sebastian’s Big Idea — a spam musubi-inspired pie with toasted pineapple and furikake.

Betelgeuse Betelgeuse
The self-described “bar with good pizza” recently added a Montrose location to its roster. Having access to a full kitchen instead of a food truck allows Betelgeuse to serve both 10 and 14-inch versions of its signature “ironclad pizzas,” named for the round, cast iron pans that give the pies a crispy crust. Compelling vegetarian pies — think the Three Sauce (pizza sauce, pesto, and vodka sauce) or the Fresh de Frays (ricotta, strawberries, chevre, basil) — might make even the most devoted carnivore skip the pepperoni. An extensive cocktail selection and fun bar snacks round out the menu.

Cup N’ Char Buffalo Pizza Cafe
This favorite of the Katy/Fort Bend Foodies Facebook group serves a Buffalo-style deep dish that’s similar to Detroit-style. The thick, chewy crust provides a sturdy platform for robust toppings like chicken fingers, a classic Hawaiian, and the Italian Mob (pepperoni, sausage, onion, and banana peppers). Even better, the convenient “half medium” size makes for a hearty single serving. Of course, Cup N’ Char’s Buffalo roots mean their chicken wings are first-rate — crispy, meaty, and available in a range of toppings, including the must-order Italian (garlic-parmesan) that can also be tossed in spicy Buffalo sauce.

Coastline Artisan Pizzeria
Newly opened in First Ward by childhood friends Armando Dimeo and Jordan Kone, Coastline serves two styles of pizza — a grilled pizza Dimeo first developed while working for his family’s restaurant in the Hill Country and a classic Neapolitan that’s baked in a wood-burning oven. The grilled pizza has an oblong shape and a crispy crust that supports more elaborate toppings like The O.G. (mozzarella, Italian sausage, ricotta, habanero honey, basil, and tomato sauce). Since the wood-burning oven takes three hours to reach a full 900 degrees, the Neapolitan pies are only available at dinner.

Formerly known as How to Survive on Land and Sea, this casual bar has rebranded itself as a low-key gathering spot for beer, wine, cocktails, and pizza. The classic New York-style pies utilize a recipe developed by Angelo Emiliani, the chef who burst into Houston’s collective restaurant consciousness with his Angie’s Pizzas pop-up. Sold either by-the-slice or as whole pies, the pizzas have a pleasantly chewy crust that’s easy to fold. Even better, slices are free with the purchase of a cocktail on Monday nights.

Home Slice Pizza
This Austin-based pizzeria debuted in Midtown last December with its classic New York-style pizzas and Sicilian, “grandma-style” pies. Sold as whole pies or slices, Home Slice pizzas have a toothsome, foldable crust that serves as the basis for everything from a classic pepperoni and mushroom to a white clam pizza with garlic and oregano that wouldn’t be out of place in New Haven, CT. Very credible meatballs subs and Italian-style hoagie (ask for light mayo) complete the East Coast experience. Once the weather cools off, the expansive patio will be a pleasant place to linger over selections from the well-chosen beverage list.

Houston Hot Girl Megan Thee Stallion seizes the awkward with mental health campaign

hot take

We all know Megan Thee Stallion is the baddest you-know-what of them all. She can share the stage with a fellow Houston queen (and still get choked up about it), make an ex-porn star quote her lyrics on social media, and even play a cartoon version of herself on a Netflix show.

But America’s favorite Hot Girl Coach also wants you and your friends to take care of each other mentally.

She recently joined the Seize the Awkward campaign to encourage young adults to reach out to their “strong” friends in a new PSA. In the video, Megan gets real about the pressures to be strong and the importance of peer-to-peer support. “No matter who you are,” she says in the video, “being vulnerable is what makes us whole.”

Seize the Awkward is a national campaign (first launched in 2018) that encourages young adults to start the conversation with friends about mental health. The campaign was developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Jed Foundation in collaboration with the Ad Council.

With 76 percent of young adults turning to a peer for support in a time of crisis, how can more young adults join Megan and Seize the Awkward to get the conversation started?.

As Megan says in the PSA, you can visit SeizeTheAwkward.org and Megan’s website BadBitchesHaveBadDaysToo.com for more resources to check in on a friend. You can also follow @SeizeTheAwkward on Instagram.

Score free Shake Shack for one day only at juicy collab with charming Rice Village jeweler


Popular ear piercing barStuds made a name for itself by offering a customized piercing experience for those who aged out of places like Claire's but wanted an alternative to a tattoo parlor for piercings. With 19 locations nationwide, Studs offers a wide assortment of earrings that range from classic shapes, to huggies, flatbacks, and dangling charms.

Studs has once again added to their earring selection with their latest collaboration with Shake Shack. They created an adorably beefy earring to add to any burger lover's Earscape.

Studs and Shake Shack created a limited-edition Burger huggie earring and Earscape set. Photo by Studs

Retailing for $32, the limited edition Shake Shack burger huggie comes as a 14K gold-plated hoop with a loaded hamburger charm. Shoppers can opt for the $64 pair, but Studs is also currently offering a discount on the Shake Shack x Studs set. For $78, earring enthusiasts can get the two Shake Shack burger huggies, the 14K-gold Smiley Stud and the 14K-gold Micro CZ Stud.

What's even better than cute earrings? Free Shake Shack! On Thursday, September 28th customers can enjoy free bites from Shake Shack while they shop the new Shake Shack Charm Huggie collection at Stud's Rice Village location.

For $78, earring enthusiasts can get the two Shake Shack burger huggies, the 14K-gold Smiley Stud and the 14K-gold Micro CZ Stud.Photo by Studs

Shake Shack is known for their always made-to-order fare including ShackBurger, crinkle-cut fries, hand-spun shakes and their new Veggie Burger and non-dairy offerings.

Interested shoppers can RSVP here.

Studs Rice Village, 2567 Amherst St.; (832) 981-2869. RSVP here.