Shopping in Houston offers some of the best retail experiences in Texas. Houston offers a range of shopping experiences that provide more than just the chance to buy souvenirs. With modern shopping centers, period arcades, and one-of-a-kind boutiques, the city provides a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the local life and enjoy authentic Texas cuisine.
The historical districts of Rice Village and The Heights are particularly popular with visitors. These areas boast an array of independent stores amongst the cafes and period houses. Additionally, there are numerous markets where you can find locally produced goods, meet farmers, and chat with craftspeople. With our guide to shopping in Houston, you can explore the best the city offers.
The Best Places for Shopping in Houston
1. THE GALLERIA
The Galleria is an iconic mall experience, boasting over 350 retailers, two hotels, and an ice-skating rink. You’ll find high-end brands such as Chanel, Versace, and Jimmy Choo, and popular stores like J. Crew and H&M. Stop by the Apple Store and Samsung Experience Store to check out cutting-edge tech or browse modern art and vintage posters at Off The Wall Gallery.
Food and beverage options are also plentiful. Enjoy a meal at BiCE or Ninfa’s, grab a quick bite at a fast-food chain, indulge in pizza and pasta at Roman Delight, or savor dumplings and noodles at Yong Kang Street. For dessert, Marble Slab Creamery serves up delicious chocolate amaretto ice cream.
The Galleria is great for families, too. The complex features a skating rink, an escape room, a gaming room, and a children’s play area, offering hours of fun for kids of all ages.
2. HIGHLAND VILLAGE
Highland Village Shopping Center has been a Houston favorite for many years. Its stately palm trees, charming stucco buildings, and an array of upscale shops provide a gracious welcome and make it a popular destination. Domestic goods can be found at Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, and Williams-Sonoma, while quality clothing is available at Tootsies, Banana Republic, and Chico’s.
Highland Village is also a great place to shop for luxury items. Popular national brands like J. Crew, Lululemon, and Anthropologie line the outdoor mall, while Sephora has a huge range of skincare and makeup products. For a unique shopping experience, stop by Lush for bath bombs and vegan beauty products.
Dining options abound at Highland Village. You can try Asian fare, steaks, a fragrant cup of coffee, and a snack. Lobster filet mignon and calamari rolls can be found at RA Sushi, or you can enjoy Tex-Mex comfort food at Escalante’s. Stop by Sweet Paris for breakfast with tasty crepes and a Nutella latte.
3. THE SHOPS AT HOUSTON CENTER
The Shops at Houston Center is a great shopping option for downtown professionals and visitors. Located across two blocks and beneath an atrium, it offers a bright and airy shopping experience.
The complex is also connected to the downtown tunnel system for increased convenience. The shopping center has about sixty businesses, including Dress Barn, Hallmark, Jos. A. Bank, a fitness center, and a bank branch. There is a food court with both fast-food and sit-down dining options.
4. WOODLANDS MALL
Woodlands Mall is a shopping center in one of Houston’s most affluent communities. It offers a unique shopping experience, featuring indoor and outdoor shopping venues and a waterway with gondolas and a carousel for children. The mall is anchored by Sears, Macy’s, JCPenney, and Dillard’s and features other stores such as The Buckle, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Express, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, and Gymboree.
The mall also offers a variety of dining options, including upscale sit-down restaurants and a food court. There are several fun activities for children, including a soft play area, the carousel with various animals, and the Build-A-Bear Workshop. Families can enjoy the Lego Store, Pet Fair, and Barnes & Noble. To top it off, there is a Creamistry for delicious handcrafted ice cream.
The mall hosts several events throughout the year, such as outdoor films in the summer and meetups with Santa in December. With its excellent shopping, visual appeal, and entertainment options, Woodlands Mall is a great destination for the whole family.
5. RICE VILLAGE
Rice Village, located near Rice University, is a popular shopping destination. It spans fifteen blocks and offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. Whether you are looking for clothes, accessories, or a place to eat, Rice Village can accommodate all tastes.
It is also an ideal spot for those unsure of what they are looking for, as the variety of stores and restaurants may spur some ideas. Rice Village offers stores of all sizes, so there is something for everyone.
6. UPTOWN PARK
Uptown Park is a shopping center located in Houston that stands out from the rest. It has an inviting European-style atmosphere, with Italianate buildings, fountains, and landscaped walkways. It is the perfect place for browsing, with a wide variety of upscale shops.
You can find spas, jewelry stores, florists, cigar shops, and lingerie boutiques. People of all ages can find fashionable clothing, including stylish clothing for children. After shopping, visitors can relax and refuel at one of the many restaurants and coffee shops.
7. Traders Village
Traders Village is the biggest weekend flea market in Texas. Thousands of vendors offer diverse items, from furniture and clothing to car parts and fancy costumes. You can find everything from Charismatic Clothing’s clothes and jewelry to Village Flowers and Gifts’ seasonal blooms. You can also explore Neat Collectables and Hey Bro Video Games for new comics and games.
If you want to take home something uniquely Texan, there are plenty of options at Traders Village. Fullerton’s Panes offers handmade glass flags, while El Potrero Western Wear has classic cowboy hats. And don’t forget the fun amusement rides, such as the Flea Fall (which drops you from 128 ft) and an antique carousel.
8. Houston Premium Outlets
Houston Premium Outlets is a shopping destination that offers discounted goods from major brands like Burberry, Hugo Boss, Coach, Kate Spade, and Marc Jacobs. Furthermore, shoppers can find deals at high-street brands, including Oakley, Converse, and Columbia Factory Store. Special offers and extra discounts on various brands are available weekly and can be found on the Houston Premium Outlets’ official website. Those who sign up for the VIP shopping club can receive alerts as well.
After a long day of shopping, visitors can take a break at one of the food outlets, such as Maria’s, Villa Fresh, or Smoothie King. Maria’s offers fajitas, tamales, and churros, Villa Fresh has pizza, pasta, and stromboli, and Smoothie King offers healthy snacks and nutritious fruit smoothies.
9. River Oaks Shopping Center
River Oaks opened its doors to shoppers in 1937, making it one of the oldest shopping centers in Houston. The building’s façade is a beautiful example of Art Deco style, while the stores inside are decorated with modern designs. The mall is filled with upscale brands such as Allen Edmonds, White House Black Market, and Alton Lane.
River Oaks also offers plenty of health and beauty experiences. Visitors can relax with a facial from the Beverley Hills Rejuvenation Centre, get their nails done at Your Nail Time & Spa, or try acupuncture at Modern Acupuncture. The River Oaks Theatre, a glamorous period building, also shows independent and art-house films.
10. Houston Farmers Market
The Houston Farmers Market is a popular destination for locals looking for fresh and local groceries. Its sprawling aisles offer a wide variety of produce, from exotic fruits to local vegetables and roasting corn. Those looking for a bite can also enjoy hearty cheeseburgers, Vietnamese-Cajun fusion dishes, and traditional Texan cuisine.
The market is also great for stocking up on herbs and spices. De Mi Tierra Chiles offers a variety of flavourful herbs and spices, while Manzano’s has dried chilies, and Orellana sells local honey. Los Cavazos is great for herbal tea and coffee, and they also have an array of scented soaps and incense.
11. Main Street Square
Main Street Square is the vibrant center of Downtown Houston. It offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes for visitors to explore. Local boutiques provide a great selection of unique jewelry, clothing, and hats. Finn Hall is an Art Deco food court where people can try different eateries, and Flying Saucer Draught Emporium has a range of domestic and international beers.
The square is known for its street musicians, impromptu performances, and local celebrations. Adding to the atmosphere is the eye-catching fountain. It has thirteen jets of water that can shoot up to 40 ft in the air, and the 250 ft long pool underneath was built across the city’s light rail line, so visitors can see trains passing straight through it.