How Understory is paving its own way in the food hall game
When you think of the Downtown Houston dining scene, two words probably come to mind—food hall. We do seem to love them! And what’s not to love? Offering a variety of cuisines under one roof, the concept allows guests to mix and match their dishes, satisfying any and all cravings on each visit. What’s great is that each one seems to have its own unique and cool vibe and set of offerings.
As one of the newest halls to hit the block, Understory isn’t just a good spot to grab a bite, it’s the ultimate underground hangout. Located at the tunnel level of the brandspanking-new Bank of America Tower, this expansive 40-foot atrium doubles as both a food hall and work/lounge space, and features a range of experiences in a bright, naturally lit environment. Designed by renowned Austin architecture firm, Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Understory invites you to enjoy a coffee on the Great Steps, take a mental break with a game of ping pong or cornhole or take in a live performance from a local artist.
By curating an event calendar that keeps the space activated throughout the week, Skanska and Transwestern, the groups behind Understory, have made sure the space isn’t known as a place to grab food, but is instead considered a place to work, gather and connect. “Both the working and living communities here in Downtown Houston can come and enjoy this fun and vibrant place where we celebrate art, culture and delicious food,” explains Kelly Wheeler, senior property manager with Transwestern. “Stop by for a Thursday trivia night, head over on Saturday morning for Sip & Stretch or attend a monthly pop-up market.”
With six (soon to be seven) unique eateries, a stand-alone bar and a few retail tenants in the works, the beautiful new space has certainly set the standard for what it means to be a Downtown destination.
EAST HAMPTON SANDWICH CO.
Pledging to bring you nothing but the best, East Hampton offers creatively flavorful, perfectly prepared sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads. They serve premium ingredients for a versatile menu that has something for everyone. Must-try Items: Polo Club pesto with a side of sweet potato fries
Texas-grown produce and sustainably caught fish make for a unique spin on the traditional Hawaiian dish at Seaside Poke. The menu invites you to choose from one of the delicious signature bowls or take the reins and create your own. Must-try Meal: Truffle yellowtail
FLIP 'N PATTIES
Masterfully blending the worlds of Filipino cuisine and juicy gourmet burgers, Flip ‘n Patties serves up everything from rice plates to Flipanadas (that’s Filipino empanadas). Quality, creativity and food ethics are the main ingredients when it comes to making these handcrafted Filipino street foods and gourmet Akaushi burgers. Must-try Meal: Flip 'n Patties burger and Flip 'n Fries
MAMA NINFA's TACO Y TORTAS
Legendary Houston restaurant group, Legacy Restaurants, has blessed us with a Downtown concept to consume all the Tex-Mex fare we love. Adapting several recipes from The Original Ninfa’s, Mama Ninfa’s offers Mexican street-style tacos and tortas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Must-try Meal: Carnitas torta with chips and queso
MONA FRESH ITALIAN FOOD
Serving up the best of Italian cuisine, MONA provides guests with an approachably sophisticated menu consisting of high-quality food for an unbeatable cost. Choose from their farm fresh ingredients to build your own dish or dig into an entrée created by Chef Sidney Degaine, the mind behind the fastcasual concept. Must-try Meal: Build your own pasta!
Those familiar with this coffee shop’s Heights and Main Street locations know that if you’re looking for an excellent cup of coffee, Boomtown is the place to go. Featuring the same classic coffees, custom concoctions and house lattes you know and love, this local favorite is a great place to start or end your day. Must-try Meal: The Crüd
SILVER LINING BAR
Boasting the title of “the only stand-alone bar in the tunnel system”, Silver Lining Bar offers wine, spirits, beer and signature cocktails. Grab a seat at the bar for a view of the vibrant art installations from Sawyer Yards, meet friends for happy hour or simply take the edge off a long week with some of the best bartenders in town. Must-try Items: Any signature cocktail
COMING SOON to Bank of America Tower...
FARRO, from MONA Chef Sidney Degaine
THE ARGYLE LEAGUE, barbershop
COMMON BOND, located at street level