Culture + Style

Get Down in Houston: Your Guide to the City’s Underground Tunnels

You’ll find heaping piles of tasty barbecue in an unexpected venue: Houston’s underground tunnels. (Photo: Alamy)

Houston summers can get steamy. When you’re craving a day out of the hotel, but not exactly in the heat, take a tip from locals and slip down into Houston’s underground tunnels for some air-conditioned fun. Located 20 feet below ground, the tunnels are actually climate-controlled pedestrian walkways. Each tunnel is home to various eateries and activities, perfect to explore whether you’re running errands or killing time. Find your way around using your Houston tunnels map as well as our guide of where to eat and shop.

Satisfy Your Hunger at Tunnel Restaurants

Start your morning off on a buttery and flaky note with a stop at Kolache Factory for one of their ham, egg and cheese croissants. Pair it with a cup of their freshly-brewed coffees and you’ll have enough fuel to explore the rest of the Houston tunnel.

Come afternoon, juicy hamburgers and shrimp baskets are what make the business crowd flock to Prince’s Hamburgers in the East McKinney Tunnel during lunch hour. Forget fast food chains; this restaurant is authentic and always serving food made with greasy love and care.

Craving some pull-apart ribs or potato salad like mom used to make for dinner? Head to Otto’s BBQ located in the N. Travis Tunnel for authentic Texas-style BBQ. What’s more Houston than slow-roasted Texan barbecue?

Houston Tunnels
Cool off on a hot, Houston day with some shopping in the city’s tunnels. (Photo: Visit Houston)

Shop ’til You Drop at an Underground Shopping Mall

After grabbing a bite to eat, it’s time to hit the shops. For some great retail therapy, explore the underground mall nestled in Houston’s tunnel system. Clothing boutiques galore are offered around every corner, such as BCBGMAXAZRIA and beauty salons like Behold the Beauty Salon and Spa offer a true escape from everyday stresses.

Stop into the Shops at Houston Center for a new hairstyle, souvenir, or trendy top. Treat yourself – you’re on vacation, after all – with a new necklace from Designs by Dorli or try on a few new outfits for an upcoming occasion at Dress Barn.