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Downtown Houston’s Restaurant Scene Is About To Explode

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A rendering of Avenida Houston
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Amy McCarthy is a staff writer at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

On the heels of rumors that restaurateur Tracy Vaught and Chef Hugo Ortega are planning a concept for the forthcoming Marriott Marquis hotel, today brings massive news for Downtown Houston’s soon-to-explode dining scene.

CultureMap Houston reports that in addition to Xochi, the concept from Vaught and Ortega, a slew of new restaurants from some of the city’s heaviest culinary hitters will hit the neighborhood in the coming months. The newly-christened dining district, called Avenida Houston, will be home to a total of ten new restaurants between the Marriott Marquis and the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Scope out the full list of restaurants below:

  • B&B Restaurant – This “signature” restaurant of the Marriott Marquis will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner in an “airy” and “unpretentious” setting.
  • Bud’s Pitmaster BBQ – Upscale, Southern-style smoked meats.
  • Cueva – The Marriott Marquis’ “wine cave” will feature more than 200 bottles and 20 wines on tap.
  • Texas T – Quick-service coffee, tea, and pastry shop.
  • Grotto Downtown – Italian-inspired fare (think Neapolitan-style pizza and housemade pasta) plus craft beers and a broad selection of wines.
  • Xochi – This new concept’s name means “to bloom or catch fire,” which means that Ortega and his top-notch culinary team plan to let their creativity run wild. What exactly that means for the menu remains to be seen.
  • High Dive – A casual eatery offering panoramic views of Houston, snacks, and “off-the-grill” fare surrounding the Marriott Marquis’ Texas-shaped pool.
  • Biggio’s – Sports bar inspired by Astros legend Craig Biggio.
  • Kulture – Breakfast Klub owner Marcus Davis’ “exploration of the cultural contributions of the diaspora from the continent of Africa thru the Caribbean.”
  • McAlister’s Deli - Quick-service sandwich chain.

No official opening timeline has yet been set for any of these restaurants, but expect for them all to land just in time for next year’s Super Bowl.