Houston >Attractions > Downtown Aquarium
410 Bagby St, Houston, TX | Directions 7700229.764555 -95.366710
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Neighborhoods: Downtown, Central
Downtown Aquarium – When I think of the Aquarium, I think of the ambience, the white tigers, the HUGE aquarium in the middle of the restaurant, the appetizers and drinks, NOT the entrees. The food is decent but I wouldn't say the pricey meals is all what you're paying for. You're paying for the scenery and environment, which is completely worth it!
But warning...there is never not a wait to eat dinner at this place! One time, my boyfriend and I waited 2 hours for a table. But luckily they have a downstairs cafe where you can order drinks and appetizers to pass the time or you can enjoy the rides, games and see the aquarium and white tigers while you wait. I would say it's definitely worth the trip.
Fun and Entertaining – I have visited the Aquarium with my youngest adult daughter on more than on occassion. I just recently took my Daycare preschoolers to the Aquarium as we were learning about Ocean Life.
The children loved it and requested that we go again, and we did. Wish the place could have been a little bigger, however, considering the space... it is a nice get-away and adventure.
I visited the restaurant with my oldest daughter when she was home on leave from the Army and had no complaints. The food is great.
Drink and play at Tilman Fertitta's seven-acre, downtown aquatic adventure.
Houston's first public aquarium was designed to entertain the masses. The $38-million world-class complex, perched on the redeveloped 400 block of Bagby, boasts 500,000 gallons of visible underwater tanks with more than 200 species of marine life--and that's just skimming the surface.
The restaurant has an extensive menu that specializes in seafood, steaks, salads, pasta, chicken and other main entrees. Appetizers such as shrimp and crab dip, crispy calamari, and Maryland crab cake are a few of the aquarium favorites that bring patrons to the downtown restaurant. Patrons can view various sharks, marine plants, and a large range of other fish while dining. It is a family-friendly environment that attracts people of all ages.
At this classy carnival, expect rides and amusements for the entire family. The Shark Voyage is a highlight: Travel via train into an acrylic tunnel with live sharks swimming overhead. Ride the 100-foot Diving Bell Ferris wheel for an incredible view of the city, or the aquatic carousel if you'd rather be grounded. See educational exhibits of themed underwater environments like the Rainforest. Quell your hunger at the Marina Matinee cafe or Aquarium restaurant; quench your thirst at the Dive Lounge. Thinking big? The Nautilus Ballroom accommodates 450 people.
Although the kids will probably be too distracted by the giant residents of the wall-size aquariums to notice, the food at the simply named Aquarium Restaurant is good -- really good. Sure parent-pleasers include the tortilla crusted shrimp salad (a house specialty) and sautéed gulf snapper. Although the kids' menu is not quite as inspired (pasta, miniature burgers, and chicken tenders), your little ones will devour every bite if they can tear themselves away from looking at the fish.
More upscale than the other Landry family restaurants that include a crab shack and cantina theme, the Aquarium Restaurant of Houston has a menu includes anything from fish and shrimp to burgers and steaks. For an appetizer, enjoy shrimp cocktails, oysters on the half-shell or crab wontons. The menu also includes items like the shrimp tortilla club sandwich, blackened redfish and sautéed red snapper with crab-avocado pico de gallo.
With the museum-like environment and live sharks, this restaurant is very kid-friendly. While the prices are a little higher than most restaurants, you definitely get your money’s worth of ambience. Whether you visit the downtown or Kemah restaurant, you should make time to visit the Aquarium Restaurant at least once.
No admission required. The restaurant has its own entry, so aquarium admission is not required to dine here. It's a great way to see aquatic life without touring the entire aquarium.
Expect the expected. The aquarium's theme park rides are right outside the restaurant door. Expect the inevitable pleas to ride.
Been sick for 2 days – Ate at the Aquarium Friday night and its Sunday and I still have stomache cramps! A friend warned me before going becuase she too got sick. She had crabs and I the mahi mahi with crab. Been there before and thought is was over prices but this is where our clients choose... Never again.. And too bad because it does have a great atmosphere and cool stuff for kids.. Not worth it though
TIGER CRUELTY – The fish are fine.
Parking was expensive and a disaster! No parking! WE drove around for at least 30 min before stalking someone to their car and waiting for their spot.
And, don't get me started on the poor white tigers living in a h hole. Two large tigers live in an extremely tiny cement prison cell. No grass, no light, not even dirt... just cement. And there are thousands of kids and parents banging on the glass that separates the tigers from us... The poor tigers can't get any rest. My cats at home have better life! This is animal cruelty....
Mediocre – Definitely dont go here for the food. The atmosphere is fun, but if you are looking for great seafood then this place will disappoint!
great place for kids – This is a great place to bring your kids. When we first got there, we thought the place was closed, but it was empty so we pretty much had the aquarium and outdoor venue to ourselves. The attendants were very friendly and let us ride whatever rides we wanted whenever wanted for as long as we wanted.
Granted the food isn't fantastic, but you shouldn't come here is that is what you are mainly after, great food. You come for the aquarium, the rides and other attractions. I think people have unrealistic expectations of what this place is. It is not for adults, its for kids. Our kids are 2 and 4 and they loved it. Its was the first meal we had in a long time where we could eat in relative peace while our kids were completely entertained by the large fish tank inside the restaurant. And our waiter, Jose, was very friendly and nice to our kids. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone with children.
Great for Kids – Let's face it the reason you come here is for the giant fish tank in the center of the dinning room. My family and I ate at this location and the one at Kemah boardwalk. The food is consistently good. It's a little pricey but you are supplementing the cost of that fish tank. Service is good. We enjoyed taking are kids around to look at all the different fish. It's a fun place to visit and great for the kids.
The rides at the Downtown Houston location are fun but not to the standard of the Kemah Boardwalk. But if you are looking for some place to kill a couple hours it's worth it. The exhibit is short but I enjoyed it. I think the complaints aren't fair. This is a restaurant and not a zoo. If you take the train ride, there is a 200,000 gallon shark tank that is really cool. Our children loved it.
Houston Downtown Aquarium – Terrible place to take children. The fish exhibit is tiny, the food is really expensive and there is no shade to sit in and eat. They conveniently place the gift shop where you have to go throught it to get out! Go to the Discovery park or Children's museum but stay away from the Aquarium.
DO NOT GO THERE!! – This place is a joke!! The aquarium is so small you are done with it in 10 minutes, but the most appaling part is the Tiger exhibit - this poor animal lives only INDOORS in a small room with no grass and nothing remotely that mimics the natural habitat. It is pitiful to see this animal in there - I will never return to this place and will advice everyone against visiting this place. If you want to see a nice aquarium I suggest you go to Moody Gardens in Galveston. Do not go there and support this animal cruelty!!
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