Photo courtesy of Naeem Khan

With fashionistas excitedly shedding the extra layers in hopes of a good tan – it's an excellent time for savvy shoppers in Houston. Fashion mavens in the know will be the first to see spring and summer 2023 looks hitting the racks or browse the fabulous winter sales.

And, of course, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo adds extra fervor to the city as everyone is hunting for the perfect cowgirl chic gear.

From those always-popular rodeo pop-ups and Houston-only outposts, we've rounded up 12 best places to flex your spending power this March.

Abejas Boutique

The fashion-forward boutique is hosting two trunk shows at their West U outpost. Iconic Italian brand Forte Forte will be in-store from March 1 to 3 – look for a lot of metallics and shimmering fabrics. Argentinian brand Rocio G will also be on hand from March 7 to 11 with fine leather goods.


As we reported, Bally has opened a new store in the Galleria. What started with shoes has since become an entire collection of bags, accessories, and ready-to-wear pieces for both men and women. Shoppers can check out the latest collection of Bally jewelry and the debut of the brand's Spring/Summer 2023 collection by creative director Rhuigi Villasenor. Their Galleria location is on level 1 near the Galleria Financial Center.

City Boots

Just in time for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, City Boots, the Texas-based handmade, top-shelf boots, is opening its first store in Houston. The brand's posh River Oaks District pop-up will open through May 15. Six new styles, dubbed the Houston Collection, will launch at the pop-up and be exclusive to the Houston store for the first week before being available online.

The Conservatory

Blue Lagoon Iceland Skincare, the premier Nordic luxury beauty brand sustainably created from the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, recently launched in the luxury retailer The Conservatory. This launch brings the Blue Lagoon Iceland Skincare's luxury BL+ Skincare product line and the Spa Body Collection to The Conservatory to provide consumers with the most effective, science-driven, innovative products that align with The Conservatory's mission of sustainability and lasting value.

Elizabeth Anthony

The posh Uptown Park boutique is absolutely buzzing with big-name trunk shows and personal appearances this month. Shoppers can find Naeem Khan, Jason Wu, Anabela Chan, Fabiana Filippi, and Jenny Packham's designer collection trunk shows throughout the month. Katherine Jetter and Roberto Quaglia will make personal appearances with their designer trunk shows. A full calendar of events is available here.


Freebird kicks up in Houston just in time for rodeo season. The new store on Level 1 between Macy's and Nordstrom is fully stocked with their spring and summer collections. Look for funky designs with distressed leather, exotic skins, and expandable back lacing panels — making many of their styles size-inclusive. For those seeking a unique western moment, highlights include peep-toe booties and multi-strap styles.

I W Marks

Celebrate National Jewel Day at I.W. Marks. Their Bellaire boutique is brimming with gems perfect for spring. Be mesmerized by a large selection of engagement rings, colored gemstones, and diamond jewelry.

M-K-T Heights

Spring forward at M-K-T Heights Plant Market. Enjoy an open-air market featuring Houston's finest growers, gardeners, artisans, crafters, and more. Head to the Houston Plant Market 'Heart of Hou' Community tent for a Springtime Scavenger Hunt adventure around M-K-T. Sunday, March 12, from noon to 6 pm.

Montrose Collective

In honor of International Women's Day on March 8, Montrose Collective celebrates their women-owned businesses with a guided meditation at Studio BE Montrose, followed by a Q&A with the women-owned business owners. Tyler Darling will be on hand doing self-love portraits.

Post Oak Hotel

It's Rodeo Season, y'all! The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston hosts a Pop-up Rodeo Lounge Experience from 4 pm – 8 pm throughout the Rodeo from February 25 to March 18. Anyone can get rodeo ready with the latest Western-wear styles from King Ranch and Lucchese pop-up shops. Shoppers can also receive a complimentary boot shine and hat steaming.

Rebecca Lankford Designs

The custom jewelry designer will host a rodeo market at her Yale street boutique. Shoppers can get rodeo ready with a custom hat bar and check out boots, jewelry, food, and more. Saturday, March 4, from noon to 5 pm.

Rice Village

Head to Rice Village on March 3, from 5 to 8 pm, as the shopping center kicks off the rodeo season in style with live music from Cooper Mohrmann, a mechanical bull, vendors, photo opportunities, and plenty of shopping favorites, including King Ranch Saddle Shop, Tecovas, and the Aspen-based luxury pop-up from Kemo Sabe.

Photo courtesy of Naeem Khan

Elizabeth Anthony will host several trunk shows including Naeem Khan, Jason Wu, and Jenny Packham.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Whataburger weighs in as healthiest cheeseburger in the nation


With its love of greasy enchiladas, gluttonous fried steaks, and fat-speckled brisket, Texas isn’t always known as a healthy eating mecca. But it turns out that one locally beloved dish isn’t as unhealthy as one might think.

Inspired by February’s American Heart Month (albeit belatedly), Gambling.com decided to dig deep into which fast-food burger was best for the ticker and the body overall. What that has to do with online slots is anyone’s guess, but perhaps open-heart surgeries are not conducive to risk-taking.

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Local favorite/ food cult Whataburger took the top slot, earning honors with its standby cheeseburger. Assumably, the gambling site considered the mustard-slathered original, eschewing calorie bombs like bacon slices and creamy pepper sauce.

Where’s the fun of Whataburger if you can’t get it just like you like it?

To arrive at the rankings, Gambling.com analyzed each burger for sugar, fat, salt, and calorie content per ounce. Each metric was given a one to ten score that factored into the final report card shared with content-hungry food journalists everywhere.

Coming in a close second was In-N-Out’s cheeseburger, a comforting fact for Texans who enjoy complaining about Californians. Rounding out the top five were Checker’s Checkerburger with Cheese, Culver’s ButterBurger Cheese, and Del Taco’s del Cheese Burger.

For those trying to make better eating choices, that list should give some pause. Yes, Whataburger beats out other fast-food faves, but it was competing against a chain that literally toasts all their buns in churned cream. Health is a relative concept.

Elsewhere on the list was another Texas darling, the No. 6 ranked Dairy Queen. Apparently, all that “hungr” is being busted by a hefty dose of sodium. Yes, we will take fries with that.

Upscale new Japanese restaurant serving sushi, robata, and more docks in familiar River Oaks District space

ouzo bay replacement revealed

Baltimore-based Atlas Restaurant Group has revealed its plans for the former Ouzo Bay space in River Oaks District. The company will bring Azumi, an upscale Japanese restaurant, to the development this winter.

Named for a Japanese word that means “safe harbor,” Azumi will serve a mixture of modern and traditional Japanese dishes. Similar to its sister location at the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore, the menu will include sushi, tempura, robata, and more.

Atlas Restaurant Group’s executive concept chef Alisher Yallaev plans to move to Houston to open Azumi, according to a press release. He’ll oversee menu development that will utilize premium ingredients such as wagyu beef, freshwater soft sell crab, and fish that’s flown in from Japan. An extensive beverage program will include cocktails, sake, and Japanese whisky.

Designer Patrick Sutton will lead the transformation of Ouzo Bay’s dining room into Azumi. Look for a 130-seat main dining room, a private room for omakase tastings, and a 78-seat dining room.

“We’re excited to bring the culinary artistry of Azumi to Houston’s vibrant dining epicenter, River Oaks District, and look forward to creating lasting memories for guests,” said Alex Smith, President and CEO of Atlas Restaurant Group. “At Azumi, our focus will be the presentation of a sophisticated and immersive Japanese dining experience that finds harmony and balance in both the traditional and innovative.”

Ouzo Bay, Atlas’s European-inspired seafood restaurant, closed April 30. The company still operates Loch Bar, an East Coast-inspired seafood tavern, and Marmo, an Italian steakhouse.

Azumi will join a dynamic mix of restaurants in River Oaks District that includes Steak 48, Spanish restaurant MAD, and Vietnamese restaurant Le Colonial. The district recently welcomed two new arrivals: Bari, an upscale Italian restaurant, and Ojo de Agua, an all-day cafe with locations throughout Mexico.

Azumi exterior rendering

Courtesy of Atlas Restaurant Group

Azumi will open this winter.

Eat a delectable dessert from this sweet Houston cafe and donate to help kids

Crepes for a Cause

This summer, Coco Crepes & Coffee wants you to indulge for a great cause.

During the entire month of June, the popular creperie/neighborhood cafe will donate a portion of its sales from the Banana Split Crepe to Texas Children’s Hospital. Eat gelato to help children? Okay!

This sweet move is in response to International Children's Day on June 1. Being a noted family-friendly eatery, Coco Crepes & Coffee decided that one day simply wasn't enough, so it's helping future generations for the entire month.

Ready for details on the featured crepe? It boasts chocolate sauce-covered banana slices nestled inside a sweet crepe, all drizzled with vanilla, chocolate, and caramel sauces, and then finished off with your favorite flavor of gelato.

But there's no rule that says you can't sample the rest of the menu while you're there. Take your pick from a wide range of dishes that includes sweet and savory crepes, gourmet coffee drinks, salads, paninis, waffles, and smoothies.

Special for summer is the dragonfruit smoothie, a mouthwatering mix of dragonfruit, banana, and mango.

All locations, including the newest one in the Greenway/Upper Kirby area which is set to open in mid-June, are participating in the featured crepe give-back.

So get ready to satisfy your sweet tooth this June while eating for a bigger cause.