Restaurants

Diverse and affordable, the Houston restaurant scene is well worth exploring. But like other aspects of Houston, it is spread out. Below, organized by city district, are restaurants that members of the Hospitality Subcommittee recommend. As you look around, note that April 3-10, 2016, is Black Restaurant Week in Houston (see menus).

Key: $ = under $11          $$ = $11-30          $$$ = $31-60          $$$$ = above $61

DOWNTOWN

(area surrounded by I-10, I-45, and I-69)

Downtown Houston with Hilton Americas-Houston and George R. Brown Convention Center Marked by Pins

Downtown Houston with Hilton Americas-Houston and George R. Brown Convention Center Marked by Pins

* The Grove, 1611 Lamar St., 713-337-7321 (slightly formal; located in Discovery Green) $$

*Phoenicia Specialty Foods, 1001 Austin St., 832-360-2222 (partly a gourmet market) $$

* Guadalajara, 1201 San Jacinto St., 713-650-0101 $$

* Kolache Factory, 777 Walker St., 713-222-2253 (closes at 2 p.m.) $

* Niko Niko’s Greek and American Café, 301 Milam St., 713-224-4976 $$

* Bombay Pizza Co., 914 Main St. #105, 713-654-4444 $$

* Café Express, 650 Main St., 713-237-9222 $$

* Nit Noi Thai Restaurant, 301 Main St., 713-225-1069 $$

*Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, 1200 McKinney St., 713-658-1995 (formal) $$$$

* Spaghetti Warehouse, 901 Commerce St., 713-229-9715 $$

*China Garden, 1602 Leeland St., 713-652-0745 $$

For food court options downtown, scroll to  “Convenient Cheap Eats” on the Resources & Accessibility page or on the Downtown Resources page.

Franklin St., North Side of Downtown

Franklin St., North Side of Downtown

EAST OF DOWNTOWN

(across I-69)

* Kim Son, 2001 Jefferson St., 713-222-2461 $$

* The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, 2704 Navigation Blvd., 713-228-1175 $$

Restaurant on Navigation Blvd.

Restaurant on Navigation Blvd.

* Kanomwan, 736 ½ Telephone Rd., 713-923-4230 $$

MIDTOWN

(south of Downtown)

Midtown Houston

Midtown Houston

*Gloria’s Restaurant, 2616 Louisiana St., Suite 101, 832-360-1710 (has a dress code) $$

*Pho Saigon, 2828 Milam St., 713-524-3734 $

* Les Givral’s, 2704 Milam St., 713-529-1736 (cash only) $

* Tacos a Go-Go, 3704 Main St., 713-807-8226 $

* Weights + Measures, 2808 Caroline St., 713-654-1970 $$

*Oporto, 125 W. Gray St., #500, 713-528-0115 (formal) $$

*Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith St., 713-522-9711 (formal) $$$

Midtown Eateries on Milam St.

Midtown Eateries on Milam St.

MUSEUM DISTRICT

(south of Midtown; around the north end of Hermann Park)

* Bodegas Taco Shop, 1200 Binz St., 713-528-6102 $$

* Café Express, 5601 Main St., 713-639-7370 (inside the Houston Museum of Fine Arts) $

*The Raven Grill, 1916 Bissonnet St., 713-521-2027 (slightly formal) $$

MONTROSE

(west of Midtown; area surrounding the intersection of Montrose Blvd. and Westheimer Rd.)

Montrose

Montrose

* Niko Niko’s, 2520 Montrose Blvd., 713-528-4976 $$

* Nidda Thai Cuisine, 1226 Westheimer Rd., 713-522-8895 $$

* La Guadalupana Bakery & Café, 2109 Dunlavy St., 713-522-2301 $

* Baba Yega Café, 2607 Grant St., 713-522-0042 $$

*Riva’s Italian Restaurant, 1117 Missouri St., 713-529-3450 $$

* Baby Barnaby’s, 602 Fairview St., 713-522-4229 $$

Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine, 713-942-2321 $$

* Kolache Factory, 2045 Westheimer Rd., 713-523-5567 (closes at 2 p.m.) $

* Torchy’s Tacos, 2411 S. Shepherd Dr., 713-595-8226 $

* Thai Pepper Restaurant, 2049 W. Alabama St., 713-520-8225 $$

* Brasserie Max & Julie, 4315 Montrose Blvd., 713-524-0070 (slightly formal) $$$

*Backstreet Cafe, 1103 S. Shepherd Dr. 713-521-2239 (formal) $$

*Hugo’s, 1600 Westheimer Rd., 713-524-7744 $$$

*The Black Labrador, 4100 Montrose Blvd., #8, 713-529-1199 $$

* Jus’ Mac Montrose, 106 Westheimer Rd., 832-203-8340 $

*McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk St., 713-528-5999 $$

Westheimer Rd. in Montrose Facing East

Westheimer Rd. in Montrose Facing East

UPPER KIRBY and environs

(west of Montrose; on and around Kirby Dr.)

*Pondicheri, 2800 Kirby Dr., Suite B132, 713-522-2022 $$

*Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino, 3215 Westheimer Rd., 713-522-1934 $$

* Chuy’s, 2706 Westheimer Rd., 713-524-1700 $$

*Carrabba’s Grill, 3115 Kirby Dr., 713-522-3131 $$

* Fat Bao, 3419 Kirby Dr., 713-677-0341 $

*Field of Greens, 2320 W. Alabama St., 713-533-0029 $$

*Mia’s Table, 3131 Argonne St., 713-522-6427 $$

* Oishii Restaurant, 3764 Richmond Ave., 713-621-8628 $$

*Pico’s, 3601 Kirby Dr., 832-831-9940 $$

* Kolache Factory, 3813 Southwest Fwy., 713-629-9626 (closes at 2 p.m.) $

WASHINGTON AVENUE AREA

west-northwest of Downtown

* El Rey Taqueria, 910 Shepherd Dr., 713-802-9145 $

* Les Givral’s Washington, 4601 Washington Ave., 832-582-7671 (cash only) $

THE HEIGHTS

(northwest of Downtown; north of I-10, usually west of I-45, and inside the 610 loop)

Restaurants on W. 19th St. in The Heights

Restaurants on W. 19th St. in The Heights

* Down House, 1801 Yale St., 713-864-3696 $$

*Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe, 1511 Airline Dr., 713-426-4420 $$

* Torchy’s Tacos, 350 W. 19th St., 713-595-8229 $

* Tacos a Go-Go, 2912 White Oak Dr., 713-864-8226 $

* Jus’ Mac in the Heights, 2617 Yale St., 713-622-8646 $

RICE VILLAGE

(west of Hermann Park and Rice University)

* Shiva Indian Restaurant, 2514 Times Blvd., 713-523-4753 $$

* The Bombay Brasserie, 2414 University Blvd. #210, 713-355-2000 $$

* Torchy’s Tacos, 2400 Times Blvd., 713-487-0067 $

* Black Walnut Café, 5510 Morningside Dr., 713-526-5551 $$

* Istanbul Grill and Deli, 5613 Morningside Dr., 713-526-2800 $$

* Mi Luna, 2441 University Blvd., 713-520-5025 $$

* Local Foods, 2424 Dunstan Rd., 713-521-7800 $$

*Benjy’s, 2424 Dunstan St., 713-522-7602 (slightly formal) $$

*Prego, 2520 Amherst St., 713-529-2420 (slightly formal) $$

MAHATMA GANDHI DISTRICT

(mainly along Hillcroft Ave. between I-69/Southwest Fwy. and Westpark Dr.)

Hillcroft Ave., North of I-69

Hillcroft Ave., North of I-69

* Udipi Café, 5959 Hillcroft Ave., 713-334-5555 $

* Shiv Sagar, 6662 Southwest Fwy., 713-977-0150 $

* Bijan Persian Grill, 5922 Hillcroft Ave., 832-242-1500 $$

Note that to many Houstonians, this newly named district is simply called Hillcroft. It is on the city’s west side.

CHINATOWN

(along Bellaire Blvd. immediate east of W. Sam Houston Pkwy.)

Shopping Center in Chinatown, Bellaire Blvd.

Shopping Center in Chinatown, Bellaire Blvd.

* Fu Fu Café, 9889 Bellaire Blvd. #105, 713-981-8818 $

* Spicy Hunan, 9889 Bellaire Blvd. c307, 713-271-6666 $$

* Café Yummy, 9888 Bellaire Blvd. #118 $$

* Sinh Sinh, 9788 Bellaire Blvd., 713-541-2888 $$

OTHER RESTAURANTS OUTSIDE THE 610 LOOP

* Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill, 4738 Beechnut St., 713-666-4644 $$

* Korean Noodle House, 1415 Murray Bay St., 713-463-8870 $$

*Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen, 2327 Post Oak Blvd., 713-871-8883 $$

* Cafe Pita, 5506 Richmond Ave., 713-952-9066, and 10852 Westheimer Rd., 713-953-7237 $$

*Churrascos, 9705 Westheimer Rd., 713-952-1988 $$$

*Ciao Bello, 5161 San Felipe St., 713-960-03333 (formal) $$

*Etoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101-11 Uptown Park Blvd., 832-668-5808 $$$

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VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN FRIENDLY

These eateries are vegan or vegetarian friendly and located within two miles of the George R. Brown Convention Center:

  • The Grove, 1611 Lamar St. (.2 miles from the Convention Center): modern and elegant dining in downtown Houston $$
  • Phoenicia Specialty Foods, 1001 Austin St. (.4 miles from the Convention Center): signature coffee stand, large salad bar with many vegan and vegetarian options, plus pita bread made on site $$
  • Guadalajara Hacienda, 1201 San Jacinto St. (.5 miles from the Convention Center) $$
  • Cafe TH, 2108 Pease St. (.6 miles from the Convention Center): top-ranked traditional Vietnamese cuisine $
  • Niko Niko’s, 301 Milam St. (1.3 miles from the Convention Center): voted by locals the “hottest Greek food in town” $$
  • The Doshi House, 3419 Dowling St. (1.8 miles from the Convention Center): homey restaurant featuring global vegetarian and vegan soups, sandwiches, and mains, plus coffees and teas $
  • Conscious Cafe, 2612 Scott St. (2 miles from the Convention Center): simple, healthy menu of vegetarian and vegan eats in a casual cafe with a TV and free WiFi $

Also, although it is 4.2 miles from the convention center, see Field of Greens, 2320 W. Alabama St., 713-533-0029, for dishes prepared from a macrobiotic perspective.

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FROM “8 BEST VEGAN DISHES YOU NEED TO TRY IN HOUSTON,” BY ERIKA KWEE, 2015, HOUSTON PRESS

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FOR FOODIES

Houston’s restaurant scene offers nearly anything you’re looking for–and plenty of surprises. Here we share restaurants that have made a splash in recent “top” or “best of” lists from the highbrow to the lowbrow.

FROM ALISON COOK’S TOP 100 RESTAURANTS: 2015

(restaurants are in Houston unless otherwise indicated)

  1. The Pass & Provisions, 807 Taft St., 713-628-9020 $$$$
  2. Oxheart, 1302 Nance St., 821-830-8592 $$$$
  3. Pax Americana, 4319 Montrose Blvd., 713-239-0228 $$$
  4. Killen’s Barbecue, 3613 E. Broadway St., Pearland, TX, 281-485-2272 $$
  5. Tony’s, 3755 Richmond Ave., 713-622-6778 $$$$

MENTIONED BY TOM SIETSEMA IN “THE SEARCH FOR AMERICA’S BEST FOOD CITIES: HOUSTON,” WASHINGTON POST, 2015

FROM PHAEDRA COOK’S “10 BEST BUDGET RESTAURANTS IN MONTROSE,” HOUSTON PRESS, 2015

  1. Paulie’s Restaurant, 1834 Westheimer Rd., 713-807-7271 $$
  2. Mala Sichuan Bistro, 1201 Westheimer Rd., Suite B, 832-767-0911 $$
  3. Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca, 500 Westheimer Rd., 713-520-8222 $$
  4. Osaka Japanese Restaurant, 515 Westheimer Rd., 713-533-9098 $$
  5. El Real Tex-Mex, 1201 Westheimer Rd., 713-524-1201 $$

FROM “HOUSTON’S TOP ASIAN RESTAURANTS OF 2015,” BY ANDREA WAGUESPACK, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2015

  • Pondicheri, 2800 Kirby Dr., Suite B132, 713-522-2022 $$
  • Uchi, 904 Westheimer Rd., 713-522-4808 $$$$
  • Kata Robata, 3600 Kirby Dr., Suite H, 713-526-8858 $$$
  • Himalaya, 6652 U.S. 59 S., 713-532-2837 $$
  • Kuu Restaurant, 947 N. Gessner Rd., 713-461-1688 $$$

FROM “BEST NEW RESTAURANTS 2015,” BY KATHARINE SHILCUTT, HOUSTONIA, 2015

  1. Helen Greek Food and Wine, 2429 Rice Blvd., 832-831-7133 $$
  2. Bramble, 2231 S. Voss Rd., 832-819-0322 $$$
  3. Weights & Measures, 2808 Caroline St., 713-654-1970 $$
  4. Peska Seafood Culture, 1700 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 190, 713-961-9229 $$$
  5. BCN Taste & Tradition, 4210 Roseland St., 832-834-3411 $$$

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR, “EATER AWARDS 2015

  • State of Grace, 3258 Westheimer Rd., 832-942-5080 (winner) $$$
  • Bramble, 2231 S. Voss Rd., 832-819-0322 (nominee) $$$
  • Izakaya, 318 Gray St., 713-527-8988 (nominee) $$
  • La Table on Post Oak, 1800 Post Oak Blvd., 713-439-1000 (nominee) $$$
  • B&B Butchers, 1814 Washington Ave., 713-862-1814 (nominee) $$$

FROM “TOP 10 INDIAN RESTAURANTS IN HOUSTON, TX,” TABELOG, 2015

  1. Cuisine India, 1212 Nasa Pkwy., Nassau Bay, TX, 281-333-4343 $$
  2. Bundu Khan Kabab House, 11887 Bissonnet St., 281-879-5787 $
  3. Restaurant Indika, 516 Westheimer Rd., 713-524-2170 $$$
  4. Bismillah Cafe, 5702 Hillcroft Ave., 713-781-5000 $
  5. Pondicheri, 2800 Kirby Dr., Suite B132, 713-522-2022 $$

FROM “10 ESSENTIAL HOUSTON FARM TO TABLE RESTAURANTS,” LOCAL LOCAL, 2015

  1. Season’s Harvest Cafe, 17303 Shaw Rd., Cypress, TX, 832-534-8686 $$
  2. Food Music Life (food truck), 281-814-7990
  3. Prohibition Supperclub & Bar, 1008 Prairie St., 281-940-4636 $$
  4. Sparrow Bar + Cookshop, 3701 Travis St., 713-524-6922 $$$
  5. Underbelly, 1100 Westheimer Rd., 713-528-9800 $$$

FROM “THE HANGRY GAMES: 10 BEST QUICK MEALS IN HOUSTON,” BY ROBIN SUSSMAN, ZAGAT, 2015

  1. Local Foods, 2555 Kirby Dr., 713-255-4440, and 2424 Dunstan Rd., 713-521-7800 $$
  2. Dish Society, 5740 San Felipe St., 832-538-1060 $$
  3. Vallones, 947 N. Gessner Rd., 713-395-6100 $$$
  4. Velvet Taco, 4819 Washington Ave., 832-834-5908 $
  5. Treebeard’s, Market Square, 315 Travis St., 713-228-2622 $

FROM “10 HOUSTON DISHES TO EAT BEFORE YOU DIE,” BY ERIC SANDLER, CULTURE MAP HOUSTON, 2015

  1. Pho Binh by Night, 12148 Bellaire Blvd. #101, 832-351-2464 $
  2. Himalaya, 6652 Southwest Fwy., 713-532-2837 $$
  3. The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, 2704 Navigation Blvd., 713-228-1175 $$
  4. Oxheart, 1302 Nance St., 832-830-8592 $$$$
  5. Coltivare, 3320 White Oak Dr., 713-637-4095 $$

FROM “BUDGET-FRIENDLY OPTIONS ON ALISON COOK’S TOP 100 RESTAURANTS OF 2015 LIST,” BY ANDREA WAGUESPACK, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2015

  1. Bernie’s Burger Bus, 5407 Bellaire Blvd., 713-349-9400 $$
  2. Corkscrew BBQ, 24930 Budde Rd., Spring, TX, 832-592-1184 $$
  3. Hubcap Grill, 1111 Prairie St., 713-223-5885 $
  4. Pollo Bravo, 6015 Hillcroft Ave., 713-541-0069 $$
  5. Pho Binh Trailer, 10928 Beamer Rd., 281-484-3963 $

FROM”EAT WELL, PAY LESS AT HIGH-END HAPPY HOURS,” BY SYD KEARNEY, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2016

  1. Killen’s Steakhouse, 6425 W. Broadway St., Pearland, TX, 281-485-0844: happy hours 3:30-6:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
  2. Hugo’s, 1600 Westheimer Rd., 713-524-7744: happy hours 2:00-6:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
  3. The Pass & Provisions, 807 Taft St., 713-628-9020: happy hours 2:30-6:00 p.m.
  4. Arnaldo Richards’ Picos, 3601 Kirby Dr., 832-831-9940: happy hours 3:00-6:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
  5. Caracol, 2200 Post Oak Blvd., 713-622-9996: happy hours 3:00-7:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

OTHER RESTAURANT LISTS

For more lists of top Houston restaurants, we recommend Houston Eater, Zagat, Travel + Leisure, and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

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COFFEEHOUSES

Coffeehouses in Houston can be as eclectic and surprising as the rest of the city, with some geared to customers who work 9 to 5 and others catering to customers who mix work and play or who simply want a social space. This range is evident in the coffeehouses below.

DOWNTOWN

(area surrounded by I-10, I-45, and I-69)

Downtown Houston with Hilton Americas-Houston and George R. Brown Convention Center Marked by Pins

Downtown Houston with Hilton Americas-Houston and George R. Brown Convention Center Marked by Pins

* Ben’s Beans, 1302 Dallas St. (2.5 blocks from Discovery Green), 713-684-8865: Relaxed and generally quiet; also, one of the closest large coffeehouses to the George R. Brown Convention Center

* Minuti Coffee, 909 Texas Ave., 713-226-7500: located in the grand former Rice Hotel (built in 1913), now the Rice Lofts

* Starbucks, George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas,  713-853-8172

  • Houston Center, 1200 McKinney St. #476, 713-654-9113
  • 914 Dallas St., 713-651-0791
  • 600 Travis St., 713-225-8515
  • 910 Louisiana St. #135, 713-224-5800
  • 1100 Louisiana St., 713-650-3319

EAST OF DOWNTOWN

(across I-69)

* Tout Suite, 2001 Commerce St., 713-227-8688

* AHH, Coffee!, 2018 Rusk St., 832-968-3433

EASTWOOD AND THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON

(3-4 miles southeast of Downtown)

Coffeehouse and Other Stores, Telephone Rd. Near Leeland and Lockwood

Coffeehouse and Other Stores, Telephone Rd. Near Leeland and Lockwood

* Bohemeo’s, 708 Telephone Rd., 713-923-4277

* The Nook Café, 4701 Calhoun Rd. #150, 832-831-3620

MIDTOWN

(south of Downtown)

Midtown Houston

Midtown Houston

* Double Trouble, 3622 Main St., 713-874-0096

* Khon’s Wine Darts Coffee Art, 2808 Milam St. #H, 713-523-7775

* Coco Crepes, Waffles and Coffee, 218 Gray St., 713-521-0700

* Starbucks:

  • 2101 Smith St. #101, 713-654-2180
  • 2625 Louisiana St., 713-528-2204

MUSEUM DISTRICT

(south of Midtown)

* Bosta Wine & Coffee, 1801 Binz St., Suite 130, 713-533-9560

* Café Express (inside the Houston Museum of Fine Arts), 5601 Main St., 713-639-7370

* Kaffeine Coffee Internet & Office Café, 5225 Almeda Rd., 713-299-3424

MONTROSE

(west of Midtown; area surrounding the intersection of Montrose Blvd. and Westheimer Rd.)

Montrose

Montrose

* Boheme Café and Wine Bar, 307 Fairview St., 713-529-1099

* Mercantile, 3321 Stanford St., 713-360-7947

* Inversion Coffee House, 1953 Montrose Blvd., 713-523-4866

* Bungalow Coffee (outdoors), 1219 Marconi St., 713-524-2591

* Black Hole Coffee House, 4504 Graustark St., 713-528-0653

* Agora, 1712 Westheimer Rd., 713-526-7212

* Bacchus Mediterranean WineBar & Coffee Shop, 2502B Dunlavy St., 713-529-2330

* Blacksmith, 1018 Westheimer Rd., 832-360-7470

* Starbucks:

  • Hawthorne Square, 3407 Montrose Blvd., 713-521-7278
  • 2801 S. Shepherd Dr., 713-523-8533
  • River Oaks Shopping Center, 2050 W. Gray St., 713-522-3029
  • River Oaks Shopping Center, 2090 W. Gray St., 713-942-7030

UPPER KIRBY and environs

(west of Montrose; on and around Kirby Dr.)

* Starbucks, The Terrace Shops, 5115 Buffalo Speedway, 713-664-8044

* Einstein Bros. Bagels, 5300 Kirby Dr., 713-528-1992

WASHINGTON AVENUE AREA

(west-northwest of Downtown)

* Catalina Coffee, 2201 Washington Ave., 713-861-8448

* Paper Co. Café, 1100 Elder St., 713-522-3533

* CoCo Crepes & Coffee, 5555 Washington Ave., 832-804-7985

* Starbucks:

  • 213 Yale St.
  • 1801 Durham Dr., 713-862-4394

THE HEIGHTS

(northwest of Downtown; north of I-10 but within the 610 loop)

* EQ Heights, 1030 Heights Blvd., 713-434-6923

* Boomtown Coffee, 242 W. 19th St., 713-862-7018

* Antidote, 729 Studewood St., 713-861-7400

RICE VILLAGE

(west of Hermann Park and Rice University)

Rice Blvd. in Rice Village

Rice Blvd. in Rice Village

* Fellini Café, 5211 Kelvin Dr., 281-888-6654

* Starbucks:

  • The Village Arcade, 2520 University Blvd., 713-529-1571
  • 5801 Kirby Dr., 713-522-4898
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