Best Surf Shop (2002)
A recent transplant from Southern California was shocked when we told her that people really do surf here in Texas. She would have died laughing if we had shown her our pick for Houston's best surf shop. It's true that the outside of the Surfhouse isn't what you might expect. Instead of seagulls, we have blackbirds. Instead of salt in the air, we have exhaust fumes. Pounding waves? Forget it. The nearest beach is an hour away. But on the inside, this north-of-the-Heights landmark is a shrine to Texas surf culture. The Surfhouse has been a fixture on the Houston scene since before most of its current customers were born. It opened in 1967, under the same owners it has today. "They're really into the history of it all," said one 28-year-old customer who has been shopping here since age 11. "It's cool to support a store where they really love the sport."