Basic Life

City Scout: Houston

City Scout is a blog series where we invite our savviest Brass Babes to share their favorite, lesser-known spots in their local city or town. Our City Scout this month is Alexandria Nolan who is sharing her favorite spots in Houston.


My Sunday afternoon go-to for a group of friends, rain or shine. 

Boheme or 13 Celsius. Boheme is a cool, very chill cocktail bar known for their frozen mojito. It has kind of Spanish vibe, and most of the bar is outside in these spectacular large wooden booths. For something even more low-key, but a little more dressed-up, 13 Celsius is my favorite wine bar. They have a selection of wine that is eclectic and different, most gathered from small wineries throughout France, Spain and Italy. The owners are usually in-house and make the best recommendations. You just describe the mood or the taste you’re going for, and your budget, and they bring out a startlingly perfect bottle of wine. And the cheese plates? Life-altering. The truffle cheese is legend.

When I need to get my exercise on I head here. 

The Buffalo Bayou. All around the bayou is a walking/biking trail interlaced with skate parks, sand volleyball, basketball and tennis courts. I prefer to get my exercise on outside, and my dog and I have spent many, many, many miles traipsing around the Bayou, hitting up the dog park, and stopping by to watch my husband play pick-up games of tennis or sand volleyball. Following the trail gives you amazing views of the Houston skyline and gorgeous views of the wildlife around the Bayou itself.

My absolute favorite, but under-appreciated, restaurant.

I think under-appreciated is the wrong term, but with all of the James Beard, fancy sushi and steak and upscale foodie heaven that Houston has become, El Tiempo is our constant. It’s the best place to take visitors from out of town. It’s the place all of our friends that have moved out of Houston miss. And it’s our go-to on a Friday or Saturday night. Everything on the menu is good, inexpensive and the pitchers of margaritas are actual manna from heaven. The salsa is warm, the Xochitl soup is incredible and the fajitas? SHUT UP.


If I’m looking to get pampered or an awesome blow-out, this is where I go.  

Do or Dye on Washington. My good friend Brandi from the muchomuchobuenobueno blog is part-owner of the salon and everyone there is a rockstar. They hold hair-to classes, always greet you with wine or beer, and everyone on staff is someone you’d also want to be friends outside of your hair-cut. Do or Dye is the kind of place you’d want to go just to hang out and talk, and I find myself counting down the days until my next trim!

The place I go for a caffeine fix and people watching. 

Blacksmith on Westheimer. It’s this amazing little place, kinda grungy and industrial looking, but has the absolute best almond-milk caramel lattes. They make their own almond milk, and all of their own caramel, chocolate, vanilla latte flavoring blends in house. It’s cozy inside when the temperatures drop, but has a lot of outdoor seating and a patio for regular, typical Houston weather. Bonus: whenever Queen plays on their sound system, the drinks are free!

Love where you live and want to share your favorite spots? Email us to be considered for a City Scout post.