Downtown Houston is an international hub with great entertainment and fantastic food. Attractions include Minute Maid Park, Market Square, and the performing arts theater.
Nearby, you can find many delicious restaurants serving various cuisine, from authentic Italian to Vietnamese to Southern comfort food.
Whatever your palette may be, there is something for everyone. When I come to a new city, I’m always looking for the best food, fun atmosphere, and excellent cocktails.
1777 Walker St, Houston, TX 77010
Inside the Marriot Marquis, Xochi is a chic destination serving Oaxacan food and cocktails. You can find this sleek spot on the corner of Walker and Crawford street, across from Kinder Lake.
Nearby, Discovery Green Park is a nice relaxing spot to listen to live music and view public works of art.
Award-winning chef, Hugo Ortega, cultivates Oaxaca-inspired dishes with creativity. Ortega and his team make in-house masa, mole, chocolate, and many other indigenous ingredients.
This modern, upscale restaurant offers valet parking and private dining. They offer lunch and dinner every day and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
If you are an adventurous eater, try the insect tacos or roasted octopus. The Pescado (catch of the day) is delicious, served with swiss chard and baby carrots.
Also, anything with their homemade mole is splendid. Be sure not to skip dessert, the highlight of the meal.
Ortega’s brother is the pastry chef, and he has curated a delicious signature dessert, the cocoa pod. White chocolate is sculpted and painted to resemble a cocoa pod filled with tasty treats.
1510 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002
Vic & Anthony’s is the best steakhouse in Downtown Houston. This upscale restaurant is on La Branch Street and Texas Avenue, across the street from Union Station and Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros. A great place to stop and eat dinner after the game.
Tilman Fertitta, the famous restauranteur, traveled throughout North America, finding inspiration to cultivate his award-winning steak house menu. Along with the menu are an extensive wine collection and an elegant atmosphere.
To start, try the oysters or the Wagyu Carpaccio. Follow with the main course of premium prime ribeye and lobster mac and cheese—transition to the cozy lounge for red velvet torte and a glass of wine.
1515 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002
This swanky spot is right across Minute Maid Park and specializes in modern Italian cuisine. Centrally located on the cross streets of Crawford and Texas Ave, it’s opposite Vic & Anthony’s.
Houston Astros owner, Jim Crane, opened Potente back in 2017. It is now a favorite luxury Italian restaurant in Houston, Texas.
Executive chef, Danny Trace, focuses on fresh seafood and homemade pasta. Its interior design resembles a modern Italian villa.
For dinner, try the porterhouse special and signature truffle pasta. Order the creme brulee or the tiramisu for dessert!
Treebeards is an affordable weekday lunch spot for Southern comfort food. Try out the location inside the historic Christ’s Church Cathedral, down the street from the Bayou Place mall. There are three Treebeards locations within the downtown area, four in Houston.
No matter which location you choose, you can expect fast home-cooked Southern food for cheap. Treebeards is a casual, laid-back atmosphere where you can come and enjoy a delicious lunch.
The red beans and rice is a hit, along with their desserts. Try a big slice of chocolate cake or warm bread pudding.
1475 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002
Irma’s Southwest is an eatery serving familiar Southwest cuisine. You can find them on the corner of La Branch Street and Texas Avenue, across the street from Vic & Anthony’s and Potente.
Irma Galvan, a James Beard Award recipient, started Irma’s in the late 1980s. Since then, her small sandwich shop has transformed into a modern Mexican restaurant in the heart of Houston.
Stop by for a margarita and some shrimp fajitas or tamales. Order some homemade sopapillas before you leave!
912 St Emanuel St, Houston, TX 77003
Huynh is a family-run restaurant serving Vietnamese food in a classy, urban atmosphere. Just down the street from the PNC soccer stadium, Huynh is located on the cross streets of Emanuel and McKinney.
This Vietnamese restaurant has served fresh, homemade food for over ten years in Houston. Everything on their menu is delicious and for a low price. Try the duck salad or any of their noodle bowls. Pair it with a spring roll and hot soup.
700 Milam St, Houston, TX 77002
Perbacco is a small, stylish lunch spot serving classic Italian food. Sitting on the corner of Capitol and Milam Streets and right across from the Jones Hall for the Performing Arts. This authentic Italian restaurant is the perfect spot for a pre-theater meal.
Vittorio Preteroti, the owner and chef of Perbacco, was born and raised in Capri Island, and he knows authentic Italian food. The atmosphere is friendly and accommodating, in an intimate and cozy environment.
I truly enjoyed the lasagne and ravioli, and their fresh French bread is fantastic! This hidden gem serves hand-made pasta and aged balsamic vinegar.
307 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002
Classic dive bar serving strong drinks, complete with a jukebox in the background. This bar is a landmark, serving locals stiff beverages for decades.
Although not technically a restaurant, this place is a staple in Downtown Houston and a must-try if you’re in the area. If you are not into the club scene but want to get a drink with friends, try out Warren’s Inn.
1201 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77002
McCormick & Schmick’s is a Northwest steak and seafood chain known for its delicious food and great happy hour. You can find them next to Memorial Park as soon as you get off the highway.
What started as a small restaurant in Portland, Oregon, has grown into locations all over the country serving premium steak and seafood. McCormick & Schmick’s is an upscale establishment with an award-winning bar.
I ordered the caramel glazed roasted salmon served with crispy potatoes and sauteed spinach. It was excellent. The filet mignon and truffle mac and cheese are also delicious choices.
301 Milam St, Houston, TX 77002
Niko Niko’s is a bustling Greek cafe with large portions. Be prepared for a lengthy wait and difficult parking. It’s worth it! It’s a walk-up and order restaurant.
Eleni Fetokakis started her Greek restaurant in 1977 and has worked non-stop for over 40 years. Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and voted as number 17 best gyros globally, Niko Niko’s is food that you have to try. Their lamb is to die for, and the gyros are worth the hype. Pair it with Greek coffee and some falafel!
Hearsay is an upscale pub serving American food and creative cocktails. You can find them on the corner of Travis and Congress streets, directly across from historic Market Square Park. Grab some grub and head over to the park!
The vast ceilings and crystal chandeliers give this pub a unique and chic atmosphere. Management encourages people to relax, chill, and forget their troubles. It’s a great place to grab drinks and food with friends.
Their menu is eclectic, with many options. Try the halibut tacos or their signature burger with chipotle aioli.