Sonder City Chats: Houston

For our eighth edition of Sonder City Chats, we spoke with our General Manager of Houston, Clay Jackson. Having been with Sonder for two and a half years, Clay has significantly grown Sonder’s footprint to encompass some incredible spaces – many of which are historical buildings, like Sonder’s Hogg Palace building, built in March of 1921. Below, he shares some of his favorite spots to visit in Space City.

What’s the best-kept secret about Houston? Houston is one of the most diverse cities in America, and a melting pot of cultures and international influences. Foodies will find unique menus that are influenced by American, French, Southern US, Gulf Coast, Creole, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Latin American and Mexican culinary traditions. Additionally, the arts and museums in the city are world-class. My personal favorites are the Rothko Chapel and the Cy Twombly Gallery at the Menil Collection.

What’s one activity you’ve always had on your bucket list but haven’t gotten to do yet? NASA! Even as a kid, I’ve always loved astronauts and outer space and the NASA command center in Houston has tours for the public. 

Which Houston Sonder space is your favorite? This unit at Sonder Hogg Palace — the high ceilings and windows are amazing. It’s spacious and light in a wonderfully appointed loft. 

Favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant? Riel and Bludorn are two of my favorites that are more upscale. For a “hole in the wall” classic, The Breakfast Klub is an icon, and Ninfas on Navigation arguably put Houston fajitas on the map.

Left to right: Boomtown Coffee, Ninfas

What are three social distancing activities travelers can do in Houston right now? Hermann Park is beautiful for outdoor walks among the Spanish moss in the old oak trees. There are many buildings with beautiful murals throughout the downtown and inner loop. A self-guided mural tour may even take you by the Sonder office! At dusk, the Waugh Bridge bat colony will emerge about 15-30 minutes before sunset and can be witnessed from the viewing platform and overlooks Buffalo Bayou. Beautiful, scenic and a natural escape from the stress of the world. 

Rapid-fire questions

Cafe?

Boomtown Coffee in the Heights. 

Non-food or drink-related activity?

Menil Collection 

Date night spot?

Riel or Bludorn

Local shop?

The Path of Tea is Houston’s only totally organic tea house. They curate some extraordinary and delicate teas that are divine. My recent favorite is a Thin Mint Rooibos that makes you think of a girl scout thin mint. 

Delivery/take-out spot?

 There is a thriving Vietnamese community in Houston and there are lots of good options for amazing Banh Mi. Here are some of Thrillist’s recommendations.

Place to go for a walk or run?

Hermann Park or Allen Parkway

Clay with Sonder’s Houston team members

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