West Houston, at first glance, seems to be no more than urban sprawl at its worst: strip malls, gridlock, billboards, and more strip malls. Yet one need not travel far from the interstate to discover a trove of hidden gems: tranquil parks, the absolute highs and lows in both upscale and bargain shopping, and an endless variety of exotic, authentic eateries - as proof, look no further than New Chinatown.
Despite a plethora of rundown apartment complexes and a reputation for crime, Southwest Houston was the center of much of the city's suburban development from the 1940s through the 1970s, today it is one of its most diverse quarters and is also home to some of the city's most desirable neighborhoods, including Meyerland and the charming City of Bellaire. This area is almost completely outside of the 610 Loop, although the City of Bellaire is partially inside the 610.
New Chinatown (AKA Little Saigon or Asiatown) would be the largest Chinatown in the world area-wise, but the term Chinatown is misleading due to the fact that the majority of the shops and restaurants cater to Houston's large Vietnamese population. This area is outside the 610 Loop and near the Beltway, Houston's outer freeway loop.
The Mahatma Gandhi District located along Harwin Drive between U.S. Highway 59 (Southwest Freeway) to the south and the Westpark Tollway to the north has a large concentration of Indian and Pakistani shops and restaurants catering to the large Indian and Pakistani population in the Houston area.
WorldFest-Houston Film Festival Totally dedicated to Independent Film screenings. All Screenings at the AMC Studio 30 on Dunvale, the HQ Hotel is The Renaissance Hotel, Greenway Plaza. Featuring 55 new international feature films and 100 new short films, all introduced by their directors with a Q&A after the screening.
Hong Kong City Mall is a very large grocery store/shopping center in this area catering to Houston's Chinese community.
Memorial City Mall, 303 Memorial City (IH-10 West at Gessner), ☎ 713-464-8640 (email@example.com), . Has many department stores and also an indoor ice skating rink.edit
Traders Village, 7979 N. Eldridge Rd.. A giant outdoor flea market with all sorts of wares. Deals are to be sought here. Unlike in the rest of the US, you can actually try to bargain in flea markets like this. Should not be missed by those looking to shop.edit
Phoenicia Specialty Food Market, 12141 Westheimer Road (Located in a retail center on the south side of Westheimer, just past Kirkwood Road), ☎ (281) 558-8225, . 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM. This market has the largest selection of Mediterranean food and specialty items in Houston. The 55,000 square foot market has an amazing selection of foods and spices from the mid-east and southern europe. If you just want to eat they have a ready made food deli and bakery.edit
PlazAmericas, 7500 Bellaire Blvd. (US 59 South at Bellaire), ☎ 713-777-1111 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Formerly known as Sharpstown Mall, it was renovated and remodeled with a Latin American theme and nowadays caters to the Hispanic and Latino American community in the surrounding area.edit
Cafe Pita+, 10852 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77042, ☎ (713) 953-7237, . Although the decor isn't much to look at, this mom-and-pop in West Houston offers affordable, hearty Bosnian cuisine. Try the meza platter, cevap sandwich or one of the pizzas. Cafe Pita+ was once featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. BYOB.edit
Fung's Kitchen, 7320 Southwest Fwy #115, ☎ 713-779-2288, . Chinese restaurant known for their dim sum.edit
Honduras Maya Cafe and Bar, 5945 Bellaire Blvd Ste B, ☎ 713-668-5002, . One of the most authentic Honduran restaurants in Houston with menus in both Spanish and English. They also have karaoke on Friday nights.edit
Hong Kong Cafe, 9108 Bellaire Blvd Ste A, ☎ 713-772-9633. Chinese restaurant known for their BBQ Pork and BBQ Duck. They only accept cash.edit
Kim Chau Restaurant, 11210 Bellaire Blvd. Suite #125, ☎ 281-498-9888, . Hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant.edit
Mi Pueblito, 9425 Richmond Avenue, ☎ 713-334-4594, . One of the most authentic Colombian restaurants in Houston with menus in both Spanish and English. Be sure to try the Bandeja Paisa.edit
Original Marini's Empanada House, 10001 Westheimer Rd, ☎ 713-266-2729, . Restaurant specializing in authentic Argentinean cuisine. They are especially known for their empanadas. They will even ship out frozen empanadas for those living outside the Houston area.edit
Taste of Texas, 10505 Katy Freeway (IH-10 between BW-8 and Gessner), . The finest steaks and prime rib (only certified Angus Beef) money can buy. Award-winning wine list, lobster, freshly baked breads, etc. Menu is translated into 12 different languages.edit
Bear and Bull Tavern and Eatery, 11980 Westheimer Road (Located at the back of the retail center at the southeast corner of Westheimer and Kirkwood.), ☎ 281-496-6655, . 11-10. The Bear and Bull is popular with British expats and Soccer fans. The food is good with daily lunch specials and 30 domestic and imported beers on tap.edit
Cafe Thanh Quynh, 10804 Bellaire Blvd Ste H, ☎ 281-530-8488. Vietnamese coffee shop known for their scantily clad waitresses. This place serves Vietnamese condense milk coffee (with iced tea), bac xui, and smoothie: avocado, soursop, and durian. Smoking is also allowed on premises.edit
Cafe Window, 6230 Wilcrest Dr, ☎ 281-530-8787. Guan Nhau or Vietnamese sports bar with karaoke and a full bar. Smoking is also allowed on premises.edit
Rioja, 11920 Westheimer Road (Located at the southeast corner of Westheimer Road and Kirkwood Road.), ☎ 281-531-5569. Lunch 11-2, Dinner 5:30-11. Closed Mondays. A tasty selection of Spanish food including a large tapas selection and very good paella. Inexpensive Spanish wines and an outdoor patio. Live music Friday and Saturday nights.edit
Watson's House of Ales, 14656 Grisby Rd, ☎ 281-920-2929, . Features a full menu and full service bar, state-of-the-art audio and video systems, live music several nights a week, and traditional games of skill such as billiards and English steel tip darts.edit
Omni Houston Hotel at Westside, 13210 Katy Freeway, ☎ +1 281-558-833 (email@example.com, fax: +1 281-558-4028), . A luxury hotel featuring an atrium lobby complete with indoor lakes and waterfalls, tropical fish and glass elevators.edit