Best of Houston

Best of Houston® 2011: Now In Handy Map Form!

View Best of Houston® 2011 Food & Drink Winners in a larger map

By now, you've hopefully had time to peruse this year's Best of Houston® winners in the food and drink category. If not, then we've put together a handy map (above) with all of the winners listed, for those who prefer spatial interpretations of data. There are even links to each winner's entry in the map, so click around and see which Best Of winners are in your neighborhood and in need of visiting.

Of course, I didn't just create this map because I have a degree in geographic information systems (true story) and am a map nerd (even truer story). I made it because of all the complaints I saw rolling in on Twitter and Facebook yesterday afternoon to this effect: "Don't Houston Press writers ever go outside the Loop?!"

My answer was: "Yes, and many of us even live outside the Loop." ANOTHER TRUE STORY. But I think the map demonstrates this far better than my apologist defense does.

Let's look at some interesting geographic patterns that emerged with this latest round of Best Of winners...

Of the 97 winners in various food and drink categories, only 46 were inside Loop 610. That's means more than half of our Best of Houston® winners are Outer Loop restaurants, bars, grocery stores and other food establishments.

Large clusters of winners in certain areas indicate "restaurant rows" of sorts, including "new" Chinatown, Montrose and the Heights:

  • 14 percent of Best Of winners are in Montrose
  • 13 percent of Best Of winners are in Chinatown
  • 10 percent of Best Of winners are in the Heights

I-45 marks a stark boundary between the winner-heavy west side and the quieter east side, home to chain restaurants and food deserts (not that there aren't good restaurants in the East End, of course). To me, this indicates that I need to do a better job exploring the east side of the city in 2012.

Neighborhoods/areas represented include:

  • The Woodlands
  • Spring
  • Tomball
  • Missouri City
  • Rosenberg
  • Sugar Land
  • South Houston
  • Gulfgate
  • Willowbend
  • Gulfton
  • Second Ward
  • Chinatown
  • Alief
  • Memorial
  • Spring Branch
  • Oak Forest
  • Garden Oaks
  • The Heights
  • Washington Avenue
  • Upper Kirby
  • Montrose
  • Downtown

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Katharine Shilcutt