Alief – Houston, TX

Located about 17 miles southwest of Houston, Alief offers an escape from urban living while still being within commuting distance, making Alief apartments highly desirable. Alief is close to several major highways, including the Westpark Tollway and I-69. Alief's charming parks and nearby hiking trails combine with the charming neighborhoods to provide residents with an ideal suburban atmosphere. But with Houston only minutes away and several interesting nearby neighborhoods to explore, Alief is as exciting as it is peaceful.

Schools in Alief

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Alief contains a variety of restaurants, giving visitors the chance to try authentic and exotic dishes originating from far-flung parts of the world. Locals have a choice of bars and entertainment options too, which means the night can be as exciting as you make it. For Japanese, visit Sushi Miyagi on Bellaire Boulevard, where some locals say you'll find the best sushi in Houston. Sushi Miyagi's owners welcome diners to their intimate restaurant, serving fresh food at affordable prices. Since the restaurant runs at relatively unusual hours (between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesdays through Thursdays), make sure to get there early to avoid the queue, and don't leave before trying the Agedashi Tofu. The restaurant serves alcohol and provides customers with plenty of parking. For Vietnamese and vegetarian food, head to San San Tofu on Wilcrest Drive. The cafeteria-style restaurant provides hungry visitors with an array of healthy options and well-priced combination meals. You can also buy groceries here, which you may be inspired to do after sampling the restaurant's menu. Go for one of their affordable lunch trays and choose from a range of vegetarian options, such as the meatless bun rieu. Wilcrest Drive offers much in the way of bars and evening entertainment with various options along the street and nearby. If you prefer a louder and more entertaining dining experience, try Vibe Lounge. You'll be seated under dimmed lighting and surrounded by unique decor, music, and plenty of noise in the form of television and chatter. The trendy restaurant and bar offers a happy hour and caters for groups. Also on Wilcrest Drive, you'll spot Big John's Sports Bar and Grill. The traditional sports bar is great for comfort food, well-priced drinks, and entertainment, including karaoke. If you happen to be in the area at night and feel like picking up some late-night grub on your way home, visit Pho Binh by Night on Bellaire Boulevard. The local Vietnamese chain stays open until midnight on week nights and 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Popular dishes include pho, spring rolls, egg rolls, and banh mi.

History & Culture

Alief is named for its first postmistress, Alief Ozelda Magee. She applied to open a post office in 1895, roughly 34 years after the area was first settled. At the time, the town was known as "Dairy." To avoid confusion with the similarly-named Daisy, Texas, the postal service referred to the new post office as "Alief." The site of that very first post office now contains a Texas State Historical Marker. To learn more about the history of Alief, visit the Museum of Southern History in nearby Bellaire. For art, head northeast towards Houston, stopping at galleries such as the Museum of Fine Arts on the way. Join the community during annual events, such as the International Parade, taking place in September and celebrating the community's diversity. After renting your Alief apartment, be sure to mark your calendar for the Lunar New Year Festival, an annual event that touts itself as the "largest international celebration in the southwest." This festival includes a beauty contest, dancing, and other events.

Transportation

Located in southwest Houston, Alief's southern boundary comes in the form of the Fort Bend county line with the Sam Houston Tollway to the east, Highway 6 to the west, and Westpark Tollway to the north. The Westpark Tollway connects to Highway 59 and south central Houston. Uber is available and transports passengers to Houston. Taxi stands in Houston are located at designated areas. On downtown Houston streets, you'll find hailing cab icons, indicating a three-minute zone where taxis can drop off and pick up passengers. The Metropolitan Transit Authority, or METRO, operates in this area, with various bus stops scattered throughout Alief and about 10 bus lines running through it. You'll find many stops on the main roads. Park & Ride locations include Gessner, Mission Bend, Westchase, and Westwood. Many Alief residents get around by walking. Government improvements have reconditioned certain sidewalks over the years. Cycling is enjoyed recreationally, with residents using bike trails in parks and visiting nearby trails, such as the Brays Bayou Trail. If you follow Bissonnet Street east, you'll soon meet the Brays Bayou River. Nestled between the river and Braeswood Boulevard, you'll find the 12-mile-long trail, stretching from Gessner to MacGregor Park.

Cost

Based on data for Alief's southern neighbor, Sugar Land, the cost of living around this area is just below the cost of living for Houston and Texas in general. The average rental rate for a one-bedroom apartment is $590 per month. Gas in Houston is nearly 6 percent less than the national average. The METRO day pass costs a maximum of $3 for unlimited access to local bus and rail service. Getting to Houston using Uber costs between $24 and $32. The cost of a beer at the local pub can be as little as $2 or $3.

Shopping

Alief's busy streets present many opportunities for shopping and dining, with numerous shops lining Bissonnet and Beechnut streets and especially Bellaire Boulevard. For shopping malls, Alief boasts the biggest Asian indoor mall in the southeastern United States, the Hong Kong City Mall. Home to numerous restaurants and cafes, the mall features intricate Asian architecture, gardens, fountains, and a huge parking lot. Just a few miles east of Hong Kong City Mall, Harwin Outlet Mall features a wide variety of stores offering deep discounts for shoppers. North of Alief and east of George Bush Park, West Oaks Mall is home to big brands and high-end stores. Here, you can find Macy's, Victoria's Secret, Aeropostale, and more. Future brides should try Misora Bridal Boutique, just west of Sam Houston Parkway. There's a good chance you'll find the dress of your dreams at this bridal shop, possibly even at a discount. For natural color and a personal touch, head to Flowers by Adela, south of Alief. The family-owned and -operated shop sells floral arrangements and gifts. Groceries can be found at many of Alief's smaller shops and local grocers, as well as chains, including Food Town, Foodarama, and Walmart. Stock up on Asian produce at My Hoa Food Market on Synott Road, south of Bellaire Boulevard. Farmers Market at Imperial can be found in Sugar Land, just south of Alief. The market opens on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and provides customers with fresh produce and live music.

Parks

The City of Houston operates and maintains parks in Alief. The 37.3-acre Alief Park features a well-equipped natural playground and the opportunity to retreat from urban living. Visit the park, located on Bellaire Boulevard, for its swimming pool, wading pool, bath house and locker room, four lighted tennis courts, two lighted baseball fields, two playgrounds, soccer field, multi-use pavilion, picnic area, hiking and biking trail, and community center. The single loop asphalt trail at Boone Road Park attracts walkers, joggers and dog walkers. You'll also find a picnic area and water facilities here. Hackberry Park on Dairy Ashford Road provides visitors with a playground, outdoor pavilion, a community center, and a single-loop trail for walking, running, and dog walking. Visit the community center for activities like aerobics, kickboxing, and Zumba. Harris County also operates parks in Alief. At the 11 acre Alief-Almity Park, you can take advantage of a 17-mile trail, pavilion, covered basketball court, two playgrounds, horseshoe courts, volleyball court, picnic tables, and barbecue grills. At the 175-acre Arthur Storey Park, you'll find an exercise station for adults and children, a gazebo, picnic area, playground, pond, walking trail, and Tai Chi Court. Leashed pets are allowed in the park. Your pet will also be welcome at the 46-acre Mike Driscoll Park, with its picnic tables, playground, and asphalt walking trail. Attend events held in Alief's parks during the year, such as the Lunar New Year annual event in February at Alief-Almity Park.
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