Bellaire

In this happily sleepy area, nuclear families occupy new manses and older ranch-style homes, all with perfectly manicured lawns and gardens. You’re likely to see a physician-mom dashing off to the Med Center and a professor-pop zipping over to the Rice campus. The local Little Leaguers and Bellaire High’s baseball team both have a dedicated community following. Culinary adventures can be sought in neighboring areas, where hole-in-the-wall restaurants may go unnoticed. But these ethnic joints are where you’ll find the city’s hottest chefs on their days off.