Houstonians can again enjoy some serious show-off rights. The Bayou City was included in Time Magazine’s prestigious list of The best places in the world 2021.
With respectful regrets to Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth, H-Town is the only Texas city featured on the list.
For a small perspective, other world-class cities mentioned in the enviable review include Athens; Beijing, Cannes, France; KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; Arouca, Portugal; and Marrakech, Morocco.
US cities in the report included understandable destinations like New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Denver – as well as some surprises like Indianapolis; Memphis, Tennessee; and Orlando, Florida.
Announcing Houston as a “Lone Star Stunner” (aw shucks), the Time article states that our beautiful city welcomed around 100,000 new residents in 2019 and “has become one of the most diverse cities in the American South.”
Unsurprisingly, food is the focus of the Houston article, with allusions to Musaafer, as well as, in late August, the “highly anticipated restaurant under the direction of Top Chef Finalist Dawn Burrell is about to open in the city’s new innovation district.”
And why not? As CultureMap’s food editor Eric Sandler noted, the palatial, over-the-top Musaafer (the inside is worth a visit alone) boasts of charismatic chef Mayank Istwal and his creations – all inspired by his travels through India’s 29 states Collect recipes and ideas.
“It is an honor to have reached this milestone after our first anniversary after a sometimes insurmountable year,” the owners of Musaafer, Shammi and Mithu Malik, told CultureMap. “We’re proud to call Houston home and we’re excited to have Musaafer add to the city’s ever-evolving, diverse culinary landscape. It is our mission to celebrate our culture with our new community and this recognition on a global scale is a testament to the years of hard work and dedication of our Chef Mayank Istwal and his team. “
As noted in an exclusive interview with high-flyer Burrell, a former Olympic track and field athlete who made it to the Top Chef finals, late August is another example of the ultra-modern cuisine that can be found here. Her establishment will “introduce a new style, namely Afro-Asian cuisine,” she told Sandler. “A lot of cultures like Guyana have all of these flavor profiles because of migration.”
Other attractions on the Time piece include the bustling POST Houston, the downtown concert hall, the food and market hall, and the workplace that opens this fall in a former post office. As CultureMap noted when the project was first announced, POST will feature one of the largest rooftop gardens in the world.
The downtown hotspot just announced 11 exciting new tenants of food halls representing fresh global and local offerings and approaches.
Houston’s popular Project Row Houses, our community-based arts organization that has restored townhouses to provide art studios and showrooms for local artists and affordable housing for new mothers, is also valued.
Project Row Houses was founded by dynamic local artist Rick Lowe and recently celebrated a huge cash injection thanks to a generous donation from the Houston Endowment and the Ford Foundation.