The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Shopping Malls

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We've watched as several of Houston's shopping malls have withered and died over the years. Northwest Mall, once a bustling spot, lost its big names stores one after another, but it's still hanging on - barely. These days it houses a giant antique mall and most of the eastern side of its parking lot has been taken over by the expansion of Highway 290. (We have our fingers crossed that once the construction is over, Northwest Mall will bounce back, but, sadly, we doubt it.) There are some malls that are hanging in there, and there are some that are flourishing. Taking into account, the variety and number of shops and restaurants, parking, event schedule, parking and atmosphere, here's our list of the top 10 shopping malls in the city.

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Photo by Marco Pakoeningrat
The opening of the Apple store at Willowbrook Mall
10. Willowbrook Mall
2000 Willowbrook, 281-890-8000

Macy's anchors the Willowbrook Mall at one end. There are also JCPenny's, Sears and Dillard's stores, along with a good number of smaller shops (in comparison) including a Michael Kors and Apple. Food choices are good, though we do wish there was more high-end, sit down alternatives. Most of the clerks give good directions to shoppers who are a little lost. And the crowd is well-behaved (no mad dashes to the sales counters or groups of unruly teens hanging around). Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.


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Courtesy of Katy Mills Mall
9. Katy Mills Mall
5000 Katy Mills Circle, 281-644-5000

Katy Mills Mall isn't the sort of mall you can run in to and grab one or two items. Even if that's your plan, once you get there, the number and array of shops lure you in. Stores include Marshall's, Burlington Coat Factory, GAP, Books-a-Million and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th. There's also a good sized AMC theater complex --- and we have to admit, a couple of vacant shops. Thankfully, the open anchor spots are at the end of the mall so you can do quite a bit of shopping without having to pass them (empty storefronts are so depressing). 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

8. Highland Village
4055 Westheimer, 713-850-3100

Highland Village describes itself as a "carefully edited collection of upscale boutiques, national retailers and restaurants." Okay, we agree with that. There are good, if slightly predictable choices, such as Ann Taylor and Pottery Barn. More exotic, one-of-a-kind boutiques vs upscale shops would be welcomed. Highland Village has a good array of restaurants, including Smith & Wollensky, RA Sushi and PF Changs. Hours vary by store.

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Courtesy of First Colony Mall
7. First Colony Mall
16535 Southwest Frwy, 281-265-6123

Most of us call First Colony Mall "the Sugar Land Mall," but we're sure First Colony would like it if we stopped that. True First Colony is a bit of a drive if you live in the Heights or Montrose, but for anyone southwest of downtown, it's worth the time. Dillard's, Macy's and JCPenny's are the anchor stores. There's also an AMC theater complex. Other shops include an Apple store, Barnes & Noble, Coldwater Creek and Foot Locker. First Colony isn't as plush as some of the other upscale malls in the area, that's because it's meant for shopping, not just see-and-be-seen shopping. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.


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5 comments
Amanda Johnson
Amanda Johnson

You might want to write off Katy Mills today. I-10 is closed at 99 and took me entirely too long to get there last weekend only to leave empty handed.

Hannah Ali Drew
Hannah Ali Drew

These aren't the 'best'...these are all the malls in Houston...

del.martinis
del.martinis topcommenter

And fortunately or unfortunately, I'm closest to the first two! 

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