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Our Favorite Places to Eat in Houston

Where to eat delicious food when you’re in the city.

Houston is one of the biggest cities in Texas. It’s also one of the most fun. Whether you’re a local, visiting for business, on vacation in the area, or driving through for an Astros game, Houston has a ton of stuff to do.

Houston is also a fantastic food city. When you think about Texas, you might think “steak, barbecue, Mexican.” While that’s all very true, you’re holding yourself back if you think that’s all Houston has to offer. From delis to Asian and even African cuisine, Houston has unique dinner options for all palates all over the city.

group of people talking while dining at a restaurant in Houston

I want to take you on a food tour of the city, from Montrose to River Oaks and everywhere in between. You’ll read about some of Houston’s best casual dining spots and some of the most elegant. Whether you want a quick meal in a fun atmosphere or a five-star experience, Houston has a ton of dinner options for you. Check out my list of the best restaurants in Houston below!


State of Grace

3258 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098
Phone: 832-942-5080
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We’ll start in the River Oaks area of Houston at State of Grace. State of Grace calls back to earlier days of Texas. Game hanging from the walls and tons of wood and leather give this spot a very welcoming interior. The menu focuses on oysters and twists on classic Texas dishes.

I’m a massive fan of the diver scallops at State of Grace. These are enormous and perfectly cooked. They come with caperberry, olive, fennel, and roasted tomato broth. The Trinidad Sour cocktail, made with Angostura bitters, rye, orgeat, and lemon, is the perfect complement on a warm day.


Xochi

1777 Walker St, Houston, TX 77010
Phone: 713-400-3330
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Xochi is downtown and a great stop if you’re going to an Astros or Dynamo game. The menu at Xochi focuses on the Mexican region of Oaxaca. That means that you’re going to have a ton of different masas and moles. A great Mexican restaurant means you’re also getting a spectacular selection of mezcals, tequila, and Mexican beer.

I always start with the taquitos dorados. They’re rolled with smoked chicken, mole, crema, and queso fresco. You can’t go wrong with any of the entrees, but the chilaquiles, complete with grilled skirt steak and two sunny-side-up eggs, is a can’t miss.


Brennan’s of Houston

3300 Smith St, Houston, TX 77006
Phone: 713-522-9711
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Brennan’s is one of Houston’s most iconic fine dining restaurants. Brennan has been open for more than 50 years, and you can feel the tradition as soon as you enter. Business casual attire is required, but getting dressed up for this American Southern and Creole cuisine is worth it.

If you’re looking to make a splash, indulge and get the grand tower. This is a colossal seafood tower with oysters, shrimp, crab, and red snapper ceviche all at once. Take your time with this and a cocktail for a perfect starter! The boudin stuffed quail is a really great take on a very traditional dish.


Uchi Houston

904 Westheimer Rd Suite A, Houston, TX 77006
Phone: 713-522-4808
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Sushi might not be the first food that comes to mind when you think of Houston, but it really should be. Sitting near midtown, Uchi serves up modern, innovative sushi in a hip, sophisticated space. Seating can be tight, but Uchi does offer a takeout menu if you want to go that route.

The menu switches seasonally. No matter what you get, know that it will be fresh and has the best seafood and ingredients available. If you’re feeling decadent, Uchi offers caviar tastings as well. It’s a great starter to your sushi meal at Uchi.


Riel

1927 Fairview St, Houston, TX 77019
Phone: 832-831-9109
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Riel, on Fairview Street in Montrose, is a very hip dinner destination. Riel has a very modern interior and a very eclectic menu. The focus is on local flavors and Gulf Coast cuisine, but you’ll see inspiration from chef Ryan Lachaine’s Ukrainian and French-Canadian culture as well.

My preferred hot starter is the grilled oyster plate. Served alongside carrot chili butter, Chinese sauce, and brown butter breadcrumbs, this dish is excellent on cold evenings. For my main, I like the maple pork loin. This is perfectly seared and comes with a light and creamy sweet potato puree, apple, and maple mustard.


The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation

2704 Navigation Blvd, Houston, TX 77003
Phone: 713-228-1175
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Ninfa’s is a lively, casual spot that has been offering up delicious Mexican cuisine since 1973. Located just a few blocks from Minute Maid Park, Ninfa’s is a superb dinner option before a game.

The menu focuses on Mexican classics, and there are great dishes all over. A lighter option is the caldo Xochitl, a soup with shredded chicken, avocado, rice, and pico de gallo in a rich broth. I love to get any of the taco dishes, primarily the house special tacos al carbon. The beef is tender and will leave you coming back again and again.


Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

Multiple locations
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Pappas Bros. has two Houston locations, one downtown and one at the Galleria. They both offer a fantastic traditional steakhouse look and feel. Pappas Bros. takes particular pride in their steaks, from the selection through the aging, cut, and cook. This is a place you have to get to if you’re a meat-lover.

What else could I recommend here but the steak? You have more than ten options to pick from, but I get the bone-in prime ribeye. It’s dry-aged, which gives it a ton of flavor. Simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and butter, it’s a perfect piece of meat.


BCN Taste & Tradition

4210 Roseland St, Houston, TX 77006
Phone: 832-834-3411
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BCN Taste & Tradition is just steps from many of Houston’s museums, and the food here is elegant enough that I wouldn’t blame you for thinking it was art. The menu focuses on modern Spanish cuisine, served out of a modern and sophisticated dining room.

I love starting with a seafood appetizer, and BCN has many. I get the steamed mussels with smoked leek sauce and cured Spanish ham. It’s a salty, savory starter. Coffee vanilla cake with whipped cream cheese and cocoa powder is a terrific dessert no matter what you get for the rest of the meal.


Hugo’s

1600 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006
Phone: 713-524-7744
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Next, we’re returning to the Montrose district to visit Hugo’s. This slick and upscale spot features modern twists and traditional Mexican cuisine. If you’re so inclined, they also specialize in margaritas that they prepare and shake tableside!

One of my favorites here (aside from the margaritas) is the Chile Relleno. It’s a roasted poblano pepper that’s opened up and stuffed with chicken, cheese, green chile sauce, Mexican rice, and refried beans. Every bite brings different flavors and textures. It’s a spectacular dinner choice. The plantain empanadas are an appetizer, but I’ve been known to save a couple for dessert as well.


Caracol Restaurant

2200 Post Oak Blvd #160, Houston, TX 77056
Phone: 713-622-9996
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Caracol is a vibrant Mexican restaurant located uptown, right near the Galleria. It’s a casual and airy spot that’s great to wind down after some shopping. Fresh is one of the critical themes of the menu, with many light seafood dishes.

Caracol’s ceviches are all great. If it’s available, the ceviche de Caracol is a house specialty. Conch, charred pineapple, papaya, ginger, and red jalapeno come together to form a subtly sweet and delicious starter. I’m also a massive fan of the carne asada con mole negro. It’s a grilled ribeye served with potatoes and a complex, warm mole sauce.


Kenny & Ziggy’s

2327 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056
Phone: 713-871-8883
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Kenny & Ziggy’s, also near the Galleria, is a unique Houston dinner spot. They serve up classic delicatessen fare that you won’t usually see outside of New York. The dining room is an old-school spot that will make you feel at home.

Delis are known for their sandwiches, and Kenny & Ziggy’s stands up there. All their sandwiches are stacked high with a heaping side of fresh coleslaw. The pastrami is triple smoked and served on seeded rye bread. It may be too much to take down in one dinner, but the leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day.


Kata Robata

3600 Kirby Dr suite h, Houston, TX 77098
Phone: 713-526-8858
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Kata Robata is a sleek and modern Japanese restaurant that sits in Upper Kirby. Creative and flavorful sushi preparations along with small, shareable plates make Kata Robata a great spot to share with friends or a date.

I like to start my sushi meals with salad, and the fresh seaweed salad at Kata Robata is a winner. Five different kinds of seaweed mixed with a sesame vinaigrette is a simple but powerful combination. If it’s your first time, I also recommend the sushi platter or chef’s sashimi. Either is a variety of the best preparations Kata Robata has to offer.


La Table

1800 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056
Phone: 713-439-1000
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Another uptown spot to check out for dinner is La Table. Everything at La Table, from the menu to the decor, feels modern and clean. The menu is thoughtful and elegant, with a heavy emphasis on the best of French and American cuisine.

If you like seafood, do yourself a favor and get the red snapper at La Table. It comes with shrimp, fennel, peppers, and olives in a saffron broth. You don’t often see perfection, but the red snapper at La Table is close. The restaurant also has an excellent cocktail menu, so kick back and enjoy!.


Feges BBQ

3 Greenway Plaza Suite C-210, Houston, TX 77046
Phone: 832-409-6118
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Feges BBQ is one of the hottest new barbecue restaurants in Houston. It’s been named one of the Best BBQ Joints in America by Thrillist in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Their first location is in the food court of Greenway Plaza, and a second location has also just opened in Spring Branch.

Smoked meats are the heroes of the menus here. You can buy brisket, pork belly, pulled pork, sausage, and turkey by the pound. To start, though, get a combination plate. You can pick up to three types of meat along with a side. I’m partial to the hog-fat cornbread!


Killen’s Barbecue

3613 E Broadway St, Pearland, TX 77581
Phone: 281-485-2272
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With two locations in the Houston area, Killen’s Barbecue has steadily gained prominence since opening in 2013. Killen’s has been recognized by such outlets as Food Network and Thrillist as one of the best restaurants in Houston and one of America’s best barbecue joints.

Killen’s offers the classic meat by the pound, but I recommend trying out the fried chicken if you want to branch out a bit. The meal comes with eight pieces, a side of gravy, and four tender, flaky biscuits. Add in some potato salad or some fries, and you’ll be full in no time.


Mala Sichuan

Multiple locations
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Mala Sichuan has three locations in Houston, which is excellent because it means you’re never too far away from delicious, authentic Sichuan cuisine. Mala specializes in using hot, tongue-numbing chili peppers that you won’t find in other cuisines. It’s an acquired taste for many but addicting for sure.

At Mala, I always get an order of the finger-licking fragrant wings. They fry these to perfection, then toss them with dry red chilies, Sichuan peppercorns, fermented bean paste, aged oil, and sesame seeds. The depth of flavor is way beyond what you will get out of a regular Buffalo wing.


Coltivare

3320 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007
Phone: 832-203-7890
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Coltivare is in Woodland Heights and is an excellent Houston dinner spot for anyone looking for a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. The menu focuses on wood-fired Italian cuisine with vegetables grown right outside the restaurant. Guests can even sit next to the garden, so you’re as close to farm-to-table as you can get.

The pizzas are the star at Coltivare. The wood-fired oven cooks them up quickly with a crunch and a char that you’ll be talking about for a long time. I go pretty simple and get the pizza with pepperoni, tomato sauce, mozzarella, greens, and parmesan.


Pizaro’s Pizza Napoletana

Multiple locations
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Pizaro’s is one of Houston’s best-known pizzerias. They serve New York- and Detroit-style, but the pizza that got them the following is the Naples-style pizza. If you’ve never had it, it uses specially-milled flour and particular tomatoes to create a simple pie that’s unlike anything you’ve ever tried. Go in and try it in Pizaro’s comfortable dining room.

Pizaro’s offers the ability to customize your pie any time you like, but first-timers should absolutely try the margherita. It’s simply tomato sauce, housemade buffalo mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, and basil. It’s as straightforward as can be, but everything is done perfectly.


Crawfish & Noodles

11360 Bellaire Blvd #990, Houston, TX 77072
Phone: 281-988-8098
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Crawfish & Noodles is a very hip and lively dinner spot in the Universal Shopping Center. They specialize in the super-interesting combination of Cajun and Vietnamese cuisines. The restaurant has been featured on Food Network, the Travel Channel, and the Netflix series Ugly Delicious!

On the Vietnamese side, I love the lau duoi bo, which is a housemade oxtail hotpot. For Cajun cuisine, you have to get the vietcajun crawfish. They’re cooked in classic New Orleans style but tossed in Vietnamese sauces and spices, giving an entirely new world of flavor. Sometimes I even get two orders! They’re that good.


Pondicheri

2800 Kirby Dr b132, Houston, TX 77098
Phone: 713-522-2022
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From the first time you see Pondicheri, you get a cool vibe. This industrial-looking spot in the Shops at Arrive River Oaks specializes in Indian cuisine. Unique, creative dishes reflect the street food scene in Mumbai and are unique in the Houston area.

If you’re having dinner at Pondicheri, you should definitely try one of their curry dishes. The butter chicken gets braised in creamy fenugreek, tomato, and garam masala then served alongside turmeric rice. It’s warm, hearty, and homey. The potato cakes are a perfect side, fried to golden brown and dipped into a spectacular tomato chutney.


Taste of Texas

10505 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77024
Phone: 713-932-6901
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When a lot of people think about Houston, they think about beef. Taste of Texas is a vast, family-friendly steakhouse located right off the Katy Freeway. They have an on-site butcher who offers up some of the biggest, tastiest steaks around.

I firmly believe that the ribeye can be the best steak, and it’s excellent at Taste of Texas. After that, you can go to the butcher shop and get it cut as thick as you like. You pay by the ounce, so it’s all up to you. Past that, the prime rib, if it’s available, is a meaty, messy, succulent treat.


Masraff’s

Road, 9655 Katy Freeway Suite 190 At bunker hill, Houston, TX 77024
Phone: 713-355-1975
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Masraff’s focuses on combining the best of European techniques and American flavors. Located in the Village Plaza at Bunker Hill, Masraff’s offers a refined, fine dining experience in an elegant but still cozy setting.

The fried green tomatoes are a spectacular opener. These heirloom tomatoes come with a whipped citrus ranch and a chile emulsion. It’s a light and fresh appetizer for any entree. I’m also a massive fan of the shrimp and andouille paella. It takes the classic Spanish rice preparation and brings in some delightful Gulf Coast flavors that Houston is famous for.


The Breakfast Klub

3711 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 713-528-8561
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Another great Midtown spot is The Breakfast Klub. The specialties here are soul food and diner-style dishes. It’s an excellent dinner for families, friends, or just bringing people closer together in a fun, neighborhood-style atmosphere.

The Breakfast Klub has a ton of great breakfast and lunch dishes. The katfish and grits is a showstopping meal. A seasoned fillet of catfish sits on top of creamy grits. That also comes with your choice of potatoes or two eggs and also toast or a biscuit. It’s a ton of hearty food, so make sure you’re doing something active and fun afterward!


The Capital Grille

840 W Sam Houston Pkwy N City Centre Four, Houston, TX 77024
Phone: 713-463-5051
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The Capital Grille is a national chain, but don’t think the food is like a typical chain. The Houston CityCentre location offers up one of the best dinners in Houston. A classy and classic steakhouse atmosphere sets the mood perfectly, and is great for celebrating special occasions in a private room.

The seafood starters are plentiful here, whether you like raw bar options or cooked (like the lobster and crab cakes). Steaks are the main entrees here, but you can go a little further and get The Capital Grille’s version of a surf and turf. A seared tenderloin with butter-poached lobster tails is the absolute best of all worlds.


Potente

1515 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 713-237-1515
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Potente is a fabulous dinner spot just a couple blocks away from Minute Maid Park. If you like modern Italian food and wine in an upscale and clean destination, Potente is an excellent option. 

Start with a cedano salad. That’s celery with anise, pecorino romano, and Meyer lemon. It’s simple and great! Absolutely try the spaghetti al tartufo nero as well. This truffle pasta’s been recommended as some of the best in the United States by the Food Network. Leave room for dessert as well! The gelato and sorbet have seasonal flavors and are a terrific ending to the meal.


Squable

632 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008
Phone: 832-834-7362
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Sitting on West 19th Street, Squable has been a fixture on the Houston restaurant scene ever since it opened. Offering modern takes on European classics in a comfortable, casual setting, Squable is a good dinner choice any night of the week.

You can choose to get shareable small plates or big plates at Squable. If you’re going small, definitely get the Dutch baby pancake (with ricotta, kumquat, black pepper honey, and oregano). It looks simple but brings complex flavors. For an entree, the beef short rib with herbs, brodo, spicy schug, and spring vegetables is one of my favorites.


Nancy’s Hustle

2704 Polk St A, Houston, TX 77003
Phone: 346-571-7931
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Nancy’s Hustle is a short walk from the Toyota Center, so a great destination if you’re going to an event or basketball game. The feel of Nancy’s Hustle is the combination of a bistro and bar, with a great drinks selection and a food menu to match.

The parmesan and pancetta croquettes at Nancy’s Hustle are bite-sized and packed with flavor. Grilled spinach with goat cheese sauce, pine nuts, and golden raisins is a great option for vegetarians and is hearty enough to be a whole meal. If you leave room for dessert, the poppy seed basque cake is particularly delicious!


Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse

1510 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 713-228-1111
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Vic & Anthony’s was named both the best steakhouse and the best downtown restaurant of 2021 by the Houston Press, so you know it’s good. Business casual attire is required for this refined setting, but dressing up is worth it for the food quality here.

Vic & Anthony’s has a roasted bacon appetizer that you have to try. The bacon gets covered in a pepper crust, aged maple syrup, and a root beer glaze. If you wanted to just get several orders of this with cocktails, l wouldn’t blame you. The steak options are plentiful, and all are excellent.


Georgia James Steakhouse | Houston, TX

1100 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006
Phone: 832-241-5088
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This Montrose eatery is a warm and refined steakhouse. With a focus on home-style flavors and the highest quality experience, Georgia James provides an incredible dining experience with its food and drinks.

If you’re not quite in the mood for steak, I recommend checking out the French onion burger. A freshly ground chuck burger, caramelized onions, gruyere, and horseradish dijonnaise give you a filling meal that has all the flavors of French onion soup. Georgia James also features more than 500 types of wine, as well as a ton of signature craft cocktails to match with your meal.


B&B Butchers & Restaurant

1814 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007
Phone: 713-862-1814
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This Washington Avenue steakhouse gives you the best steakhouse preparations and flavors in an atmosphere that’s not as stuffy as others. B&B also has an attached butcher shop that cuts everything for the restaurant and also offers sandwiches and cuts of meat you can take home.

One of B&B’s specialties is bacon. You can get a plate of thick-cut bacon, a lamb bacon salad, bacon served with crumbled blue cheese and honey, and a trio of bacons! The raw bar options at B&B are also excellent, and the beef wellington is warm, crunchy, and fantastic.


Kulture

701 Avenida De Las Americas Suite A, Houston, TX 77010
Phone: 713-357-9697

Kulture is a fun and comfortable spot located downtown at Avenida Houston. Kulture is from the same family that created The Breakfast Klub and is similarly excellent. This dinner spot focuses on African and Caribbean flavors.

The black-eyed pea hummus comes with a black-eyed pea flatbread and is a great starter to share. When I’m especially hungry, I get the pork and beans. This delicious pork shank is somehow both crispy and tender and comes with braised beans and pickled celery. Kulture is a great place to go and have a beer and a great meal.


Aquarium Restaurant

410 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 713-315-5126
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The Downtown Aquarium offers one of the more unique dining experiences in all of Houston, and that’s all because of the setting. Every table is situated around a floor-to-ceiling 150,000-gallon aquarium, meaning every seat has a great view of all the sea life the aquarium has to offer.

When you’re around so many fish, getting fish is the thing to try. I enjoy the herb-crusted Atlantic salmon. This comes alongside side dishes of mushrooms, asparagus, lemon butter, capers, and garlic mashed potatoes. It’s an herbaceous, delicious treat! You can even add an extra crabmeat topping.


Weights + Measures

2808 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77004
Phone: 713-654-1970
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This Midtown location has a little bit of something for everyone. Weights and Measures is an excellent restaurant with an attached bar, and it also has a bakeshop that offers fresh-made bread and pastries every day. Weights and Measures also sits in an old industrial warehouse, giving it a very relaxed vibe.

They make all pasta, bread, and pizza dough fresh daily, so you can’t go wrong there. The pancetta pizza comes with green apple, goat cheese, hazelnuts, and arugula. It’s a bit different than a regular old pizza but way better. The menu also features a ton of bold vegetarian options.


Chama Gaucha

5865 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77057
Phone: 713-244-9500
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Whether you’re a veteran of Brazilian steakhouse eating or have never tried it, Chama Gaucha is a spot you have to get to. Brazilian steakhouse dining is a combination of unique meat dishes with a side of fun. Gauchos continually criss-cross the dining room with vertical skewers of meat that they’ll carve right onto your plate.

Chama Gaucha offers eight types of meat that you’ll see in the dining room. I particularly enjoy the cordeiro (lamb) and porco (pork). Everything comes off the skewer super tender and well-seasoned. And since it’s all you can eat, you can go crazy with it. Bring your appetite!


Pinkerton’s Barbecue

1504 Airline Dr, Houston, TX 77009
Phone: 713-802-2000
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Pinkerton’s Houston location sits on Airline Drive, right across the street from beautiful Montie Beach Park. Everything at Pinkerton’s is made fresh daily. Chef Grant Pinkerton is known as a great pitmaster worldwide, even winning the Memphis in May Beef Grand Championship in 2019.

Meats by the pound are the star, and you have to get the brisket. I prefer sliced but chopped is an option as well. The smoked duck and sausage jambalaya is an excellent match to the meat. You can also get a sandwich if you need something a little bit more manageable.


Eddie V’s Prime Seafood

Multiple locations
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Eddie V’s has two Houston locations, one on West Avenue and the other at CityCentre. If you’re not familiar with Eddie V’s, it’s a fine-dining chain focusing on the best seafood and steak dishes around. If you’re lucky, you might get to hear some live jazz playing in the cocktail lounge as well!

My favorite seafood dish at Eddie V’s is the jumbo Gulf shrimp. These are enormous shrimp split open and stuffed with huge pieces of lump crab, herbs and garlic before being oven-roasted to perfection. Get a side of the butter-poached lobster mashed potatoes too.


Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse

8250 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77063
Phone: 713-978-6500
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Fogo de Chao is one of the largest Brazilian steakhouse chains in the world, and there’s a reason for that. All-you-can-eat meat coupled with Brazilian sides in a classy but fun setting are huge parts of a great dining experience.

I highly recommend the Churrasco experience at Fogo de Chao. For one flat price, you can eat as much as you want of no less than 13 meats, along with sides like delicious cheese bread, polenta, and caramelized bananas. You also get access to the Market Table, which is the salad bar. It’s an excellent bargain for an amazing meal.


Grace’s On Kirby

3111 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77098
Phone: 713-728-6410
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You might have guessed this already, but Grace’s on Kirby sits on Kirby Drive in Houston. The restaurant is a tribute to the Sicilian Sunday family dinner, so you can expect plenty of comfort food, braised meats, and the kind of food that makes you want to celebrate life.

The mia gumbo is a beautiful starter at Grace’s. Shrimp, crab, and okra are slow-simmered into a warm, spicy stew and served on white rice and saltines. I’d be satisfied with just a massive bowl of that! Maw Maw’s pork pot roast is served with smooth, creamy mashed potatoes. It’s great!


Steak 48

4444 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027
Phone: 713-322-7448
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Steak 48 is another fantastic steakhouse option for dinner in Houston. Located uptown, Steak 48 serves prime meats in seafood in a sleek, modern setting. It’s an excellent restaurant to bring someone you’re trying to impress.

All of the prime steaks are fantastic but pricey. They’re well worth the cost though. I also love the steak knife BLT wedge salad, which provides iceberg lettuce, crumbled blue cheese, ample amounts of bacon, and grape tomatoes. Steak 48 also has a fantastic selection of cognacs and whiskey to help you digest. So get something on the rocks or in a handcrafted cocktail!


Truluck’s Ocean’s Finest Seafood & Crab

5350 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77056
Phone: 713-783-7270
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Just a bit further down Westheimer Road is Truluck’s. Truluck’s describes itself as a “special occasion” restaurant. They have the dress code to match that, but they also have the menu and upscale dining experience to make that extra effort worth it.

The lobster bisque at Truluck’s is a sweet, warm treat accented with some heat in horseradish goat cheese. The Mediterranean branzino impresses with its serving of the whole fish. It’s a very old-school presentation, but it’s been around so long because it tastes incredible! Truluck’s also offers a great cocktails menu, blending traditional favorites along with modern interpretations.


Mezza Grille

6100 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77057
Phone: 713-334-2000
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Another strong option on Westheimer Road is Mezza Grille. Mezza just oozes cool, with tons of color and artwork in the dining room. The decor complements an upscale American and Mediterranean menu. Mezza also has an attached market where you can stock up on specialty items, to-go meals, and wine.

The falafel platter is a beautiful way to start the meal. Mezza offers tons of delicious sandwiches and wraps, but I lean toward getting the classic shish kabob. You get two skewers of juicy prime beef medallions, plus a side of creamy garlic sauce, along with rice and grilled veggies.


Etoile Cuisine et Bar

1101-11 Uptown Park Blvd, Houston, TX 77056
Phone: 832-668-5808
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For a taste of France in the Uptown section of Houston, make a trip over to Etoile. Inside, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a modern and rustic farmhouse. The menu is filled with French delicacies, with a particular focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients.

The French onion soup is a straightforward presentation but comes packed with heartiness and umami flavors. Coq au vin is another traditional French dish that you have to sample. Chicken thighs are braised for hours in a red wine reduction then served with vegetables and a silky potato puree. Again, it’s simple food cooked well. Bon appetit!


La Griglia

2002 W Gray St, Houston, TX 77019
Phone: 713-526-4700
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If you’re at the River Oaks Shopping Center, La Griglia is an excellent dinner spot to end your day. Murals, artwork, and a central wood-burning oven make this a fun and energetic place to get modern interpretations of Italian dishes.

La Griglia has a great charcuterie board. Packed with meats and cheeses, it’s a great pairing with a bold red wine and a fantastic way to start your meal. Anything out of the wood-fired oven is delicious, especially the margherita pizza. It’s nothing too fancy, but the stove imparts a great char and smoky flavor that you’re sure to enjoy.


Pappas Burger

Multiple locations
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Pappas Burger has a couple of locations throughout Houston and is a terrific, high-end burger spot. Pappas Burger is owned by the family behind Pappas Bros Steakhouse, so you’re getting the highest-quality burger possible. The keyword here is “fresh”: buns are baked daily, fries are cut daily, and fresh produce is delivered daily.

I like a lot of toppings on my burger, which is why I get the hickory cheddar burger. It’s a 10-ounce patty with cheddar cheese, hickory-smoked barbecue sauce, smoked bacon, onions, and lettuce. It’s sweet, smoky, and filling. The fries on the side are great for dipping!


93 Til

1601 W Main St, Houston, TX 77006
Phone: 281-846-6405
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93 Til is a homey and hip restaurant on West Main Street. The specialty at this restaurant is elevated comfort food. A well-designed and elegant patio plus vinyl records give 93 Til a really relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.

It seems like every restaurant today is making its own chicken sandwich. 93 Til does as well, but theirs is a cut above. A perfectly fried fillet is covered with cabbage and kale slaw, house pickles, and honey mustard and served on a fresh and fluffy brioche bun. For something a little fancier, the duck confit is a great dinner choice.


Bludorn Restaurant

807 Taft St, Houston, TX 77019
Phone: 713-999-0146
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This Montrose eatery is one of my favorite places in Houston. Lots of wood and exposed beams give Bludorn an awesome industrial vibe. The menu is New American, with an extra focus on freshness and seasonality. Bludorn also has a fantastic craft cocktail selection.

For dinner, check out the Gulf cioppino. This is a stew dish with a tomato broth filled with generous red snapper, crab, and shrimp portions. It might sound simple, but the flavors are deep and complex. I pair that with the fantastic Oaxaca’s Plan cocktail, which is mezcal, fernet branca, sherry, and agave bitters.


Agnes Café & Provisions

2132 Bissonnet St Suite 100, Houston, TX 77005
Phone: 713-714-0078
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Agnes is one of Houston’s newer restaurants, and it brings a vibrant bistro feel with a casual cafe menu. An attached specialty grocery store helps you stock up on snacks and meals to make at home before heading out.

The lamb kofta burger brings Mediterranean flavors to an American classic. Fresh ground lamb comes with pickles, tahini sauce, and harissa ketchup on a brioche bun to give you a dinner that’s one part burger and one part gyro. Duck fat potatoes are a rich and tasty side. Be sure to get a croissant or other treat for dessert!


Blue Nile

3030 Audley St, Houston, TX 77098
Phone: 713-814-5101
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Blue Nile has been serving Houston authentic Ethiopian food since opening in 1994. The decor is very traditional, the atmosphere is very warm, and the flavors are bold and delicious. Blue Nile even offers an Ethiopian coffee ceremony if you want an immersive experience.

I love everything on the Blue Nile menu, so I get the traditional family dinner when I go. It comes with the very best on the menu: fish, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and even vegetarian entrees with loads of sauces, sides, and salads. It’s a lot of food but a great introduction to the Ethiopian style.


Blood Bros. BBQ

5425 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, TX 77401
Phone: 713-664-7776
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Blood Bros BBQ has been around since 2013 on Bellaire Boulevard. Three lifelong friends started this casual eatery. Yes, they serve up classic Texas barbecue, but the daily-changing menu also has new specialties and brings in a lot of Cajun and Asian ingredients and flavors.

The meat is always good but check their Instagram daily for the specials. If they’re available, you should get the Thai chili peanut butter sticky ribs. They’re cooked Texas-style, but the Thai chili and peanut butter sauce brings a mysterious but addicting flavor that I can’t get enough of. Don’t miss it!


Afrikiko

9625 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77036
Phone: 713-773-1400
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Our final stop is in Westwood at Afrikiko. Afrikiko is one of the only restaurants in Houston focusing on Ghanian and West African cuisine. That means you’re getting fresh ingredients loaded with flavor and spice.

At Afrikiko, get the soup and combination plate. You have a ton of options, but you’re going to end up with a warm and spicy soup with a protein on the side. No matter what, be sure to get the fufu. This traditional West African dough is amazing for dipping into a soup and sopping up everything on your plate. It’s a can’t-miss.


Final Thoughts

So there you have it! Those are 50 of the best restaurants in Houston, and I could have kept going with 50 more. Houston is a fantastic city full of culture and fun, and the food scene more than keeps up with it. 

I guarantee that you’ll love the restaurants that Houston has to offer.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!

Best Restaurants in Houston

  1. State of Grace
  2. Xochi
  3. Brennan’s of Houston
  4. Uchi Houston
  5. Riel
  6. The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation
  7. Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
  8. BCN Taste & Tradition
  9. Hugo’s
  10. Caracol Restaurant
  11. Kenny & Ziggy’s
  12. Kata Robata
  13. La Table
  14. Feges BBQ
  15. Killen’s Barbecue
  16. Mala Sichuan
  17. Coltivare
  18. Pizaro’s Pizza Napoletana
  19. Crawfish & Noodles
  20. Pondicheri
  21. Taste of Texas
  22. Masraff’s
  23. The Breakfast Klub
  24. The Capital Grille
  25. Potente
  26. Squable
  27. Nancy’s Hustle
  28. Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse
  29. Georgia James Steakhouse | Houston, TX
  30. B&B Butchers & Restaurant
  31. Kulture
  32. Aquarium Restaurant
  33. Weights + Measures
  34. Chama Gaucha
  35. Pinkerton’s Barbecue
  36. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
  37. Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
  38. Grace’s On Kirby
  39. Steak 48
  40. Truluck’s Ocean’s Finest Seafood & Crab
  41. Mezza Grille
  42. Etoile Cuisine et Bar
  43. La Griglia
  44. Pappas Burger
  45. 93 Til
  46. Bludorn Restaurant
  47. Agnes Café & Provisions
  48. Blue Nile
  49. Blood Bros. BBQ
  50. Afrikiko

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Written by Erin B.

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.