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June 24, 2010

Montrose: Houston's Eclectic Neighborhood

Courtesy Jack Thompson

The best shops and restaurants in this intimate, historic area.

In sprawling, anonymous Houston, Montrose is intimate, historic, and defiantly eclectic. Sitting in the center of it all, between downtown’s gleaming towers and River Oaks’ leafy lanes, it was one of the city’s first grand neighborhoods (Howard Hughes’s childhood home is here), and today its treelined streets are a jumble of twenties mansions, modernist townhouses, and industrial warehouses. Though it can be a bit ramshackle—one reason that bohemians have come here to live and play for generations—it has one of the world’s great museums (the Menil Collection), an important center for spirituality and art (the Rothko Chapel), and Houston’s most elegant restaurant (Da Marco). Recently, a slew of openings have given the old neighborhood a new jolt of style.