Houston has an abundance of shopping centers all over town, at every corner of the city, but it has several distinct main shopping areas that are popular with residents and visitors.
One of the most prestigious and popular shopping area is located in west Houston. In this area are a vast amount of exclusive shopping opportunities. The Galleria area and River Oaks area are the most affluent, prestigious and exclusive areas in Houston. In more detail, shopping centers and malls are primarily located in the Westheimer and Loop 610 area with the Galleria Mall, Uptown Park, Highland Village and River Oaks shopping center. It is not uncommon to be handed a glass of champagne while shopping in the upper level stores, which are defining the neighborhood. The wealthy residents here attract high class shopping. Price level in this area is middle to upper range but are still affordable for many Houstonians. There are average priced stores throughout, in addition to the more exclusive venues. The area goes from Post Oak outside of Loop 610 to along Memorial Drive inside the Loop to the River Oaks area reaching to midtown. It is broken up by Memorial Park.
Besides the impressive and high-status west Houston area, there are a few other shopping hot spots to mention. Such an area is the Rice Village area. It is an historic shopping area with a lot of stores within a few blocks. It is located near the Rice University campus, a premier university southwest of Downtown, in an area called Midtown. The Village attracts hip students from nearby Rice University as well as people, who are drawn to an area home to organic breakfast restaurants, hip clothes and accessories. Rice Village is very popular with expatriates as shopping there is so diverse and one can recharge in fun cafes or end the day at a cozy pub. Rice Village is located off Kirby Drive south of Hwy 59.
Another large shopping area is the Willowbrook area in northwest Houston. The area surrounding the mall has hundreds of stores and a movie theater. It is right around FM1960 and Hwy 249. Hwy 6 and FM1060 is a main shopping artery and more shopping is offered south and north along this loop. Along this route you will find every name brand store, clothing, electronics, appliances, book store, shoe store, basically, anything you can imagine.
Another hot spot is Chinatown, home to many of Houston’s Asian residents. You know you are in Chinatown when the road signs and store signs have Chinese translations under them. The official Chinatown is a small square of street blocks with stores and restaurants. One can get inexpensive clothes, purses, jewelry and also Asian foods here. Houston Chinatown is located in southwest Houston at Beltway 8 and West Park Tollway, the main street for shopping is Harwin Drive.