Houston | 2015 City Guide

There’s more to soccer culture than the professional game, which is why we’ve put together guides for each of MLS’ 19 markets. Whether you’re just dropping in on vacation or hitting the road with your fellow supporters, here’s the lowdown on what to do and how to do it.

SOCCER CULTURE

Soccer runs deep in Houston, and it doesn't lack for influence. Houston's one of the more eclectic cities in the US and draws its soccer influences from all over the world. Dynamo games are littered with a mix of families, youngsters and everyone in-between. Couple the international influences with an abundant youth soccer culture, and the beautiful game is alive and well for everyone in the Bayou City.

WHERE TO PLAY

  • Meyer Park: Grabbing a game is easy at Meyer Park with a large number of fields and a strong soccer community. Just be ready to dodge the hordes of youth soccer clubs showcasing their talents on the weekends.
  • Kicks Indoor: A popular spot southwest of the city, Kicks offers a refuge from the elements – namely, the heat – in a truncated setting. It's not unusual to get on a team for the night or to see a Dynamo assistant or former player stretching their legs in between the walls.
  • Rice University: One of the nation's bastions of learning will also give you an education in the beautiful game. Hit up the intramural fields to kick the ball and maybe talk world politics as well.

LOCAL CUISINE

  • Ninfa's on Navigation: Houston's known for its Mexican food, and few treat you better than Mama Ninfa. Added bonus: it's only a quick jaunt from BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Killen's BBQ: If you'll stand in line for a Dynamo game, you'll be well trained to hit up a rising BBQ spot south of Houston. The brisket is worth the queue even in the summer heat.
  • Hub Cap Grill: If burgers are your thing, then Hub Cap is the spot. Bring cash, your appetite and a creative outlook.
  • Honorable mentions: El Tiempo, Christian's Tailgate, Good Dog Houston, Brother's Pizza

SOCCER BARS

  • Richmond Arms: If you're looking for a drink and a soccer game, whether it's 7 am or 7 pm on a Saturday, the Richmond Arms is the spot. A British feel in Houston, this establishment has been catering to soccer for years. You'll have to ask for that other football to be turned on when you drop in, a welcomed change for soccer fans.
  • The Firkin: It's become a hub for Dynamo parties and supporters groups of the world's top clubs.
  • Lucky's Pub: Not just a soccer bar but it's become the de-facto home for anyone from radio stations to the American Outlaws. It doesn't hurt either that a Brad Davis free kick from the back porch could land in the center circle at BBVA Compass Stadium.

WHERE TO VISIT

  • Hermann Park: If you're looking for a standout zoo, a children's museum within a mile, a public golf course and wide-open spaces, this is your place.
  • The Galleria: Who doesn't like to spend money? The Galleria is the one-stop shop for anyone looking to snag a jersey, leather pants or anything in between.
  • Space Center Houston: Everyone wanted to be an astronaut when they were a kid – or longer – and there’s no way to get closer than visiting where it all actually happens. Get a close up look at how and where they trained and mission control.
  • Honorable mentions: Kemah Boardwalk, Museum of Fine Arts, Old Town Spring, Children's Museum.

MATCHDAY

From the beat of the drums to the sound of horns, a game day in Houston can draw you in. The supporters’ group puts on a show in the stands and, if it’s there, you’ll get to see a replica cannon fired. Those events inside the stadium, coupled with a strong tailgate culture, make a Dynamo game an all-day event.

MATCHDAY TIPS:

  • Hit up the tailgates: You’ll get friendly folks, soccer talk and good food and drink.
  • Look to the east side for parking: It’s a cheaper rate with easy access in and out of the area.
  • Pay attention to the Astros schedule: If Dynamo game day collide with Houston’s Major League Baseball team things can get pretty congested. Get there early if it’s a double dip.
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