A Foodie's Guide to Houston
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Houston is a foodie's paradise. From tacos, tortas, and Tex Mex, to curries, pho, and dim sum, Houston's restaurants continue to impress us in quantity, quality, and variety.
See our Top Fourteen Favorite Houston Restaurants Below.
1. Niko Niko's
For over 40 years, Niko Niko's has been a Houston staple, serving standard Greek food in a casual environment. In fact, Niko Niko's was the first restaurant I visited with my cousins when I first came to Houston, and it's still one of my favorites! Indulge in a classic gyro or chicken kebob sandwich. I also suggest a couple dolmathes and dolmas on the side. With their huge assortment of sweets, you could easily enter food coma status. Stick with a standard baklava or try the saragli to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Happy hour is Monday through Friday, 2 to 6.
Location: 2520 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006 (the original location)
You can also find them at 1040 West Sam Houston Pkwy N (i10 at Sam Houston).
2. Blue Fish
Though not the most well-known sushi joint in Houston, Blue Fish is a respectable spot to feed your sushi cravings both for lunch and for dinner. Their lunch menu features two-for-one sushi and bento boxes. Go for dinner and start with the ever-popular Ahi Tower. We love the Las Vegas Roll (wrapped in soy paper), the Pinata Roll, and the Super Dragon Roll, and you should round out the evening with the Wonton Berry Tower.
Daily specials are offered Monday through Thursday, and Sunday is 1/2-price bottles of wine all day.
Location: 550 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002
They have a secondary location at 5820 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007.
3. Pappadeux Seafood Kitchen
Part of the Pappas family's large chain of restaurants (over 90 restaurants in seven states), Pappadeaux is based in Houston. The popular chain features a fabulous selection of seafood options with a New Orleans flair. Indulge in the cheesy goodness of the shrimp and crawfish fondeux, and tackle the seafood platter or opt for the lighter seafood cobb salad with shrimp.
Happy hour bites and brews are Monday through Friday, from 3:00-6:30 (try the orange shrimp!).
Location: 10499 Interstate 10 Frontage Rd, Houston, TX 77024 (with several other locations around Houston)
4. Velvet Taco
Hands-down one of my favorite taco spots in Houston is Velvet Taco. Each week they have a WTF (Weekly Taco Feature), which I try every time we go. We also love the buffalo chicken, the rotisserie chicken, and the ahi poke. If you're carb-conscious like me, try them on lettuce wraps!
Make a special trip there on Monday and order the backdoor chicken special (normally $20, but half-price on Mondays!).
Location: 4819 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007
5. Ginger and Fork
This small neighborhood gem off i10 serves up Cantonese food in a chic environment. Owner Mary Li clearly loves what she does. She greets her regulars by name and introduces herself to newcomers. Come for the fabulous food; leave with new friends! Oh, and start with the chilled chili cabbage - simple, but so tasty!
Make reservations on Friday and Saturday nights. Closed Sunday and Monday. Happy hour is Tuesday through Friday, from 2:30 to 7:00.
Location: 4705 Inker St, Houston, TX 77007
In Houston's historic museum district lies a renovated 1923 Mission-style house, home to Lucille's. Since 2011, this cozy restaurant has served up Southern favorites with a twist. Start with the fried green tomatoes (they're topped with goat cheese and spicy aioli!), then dig into their shrimp and grits or the yardbird. For a lighter option, the tuna classic salad is a solid choice!
Tuesday to Friday from 3pm to 6pm, enjoy discounted prices on cocktails, mocktails, and delightful bites.
Location: 5512 La Branch St, Houston, TX 77004
7. B&B Butchers
Built in 1922, the newly-renovated building which formerly housed a bakery is now home ot one of Houston's best steakhouses, B&B Butchers. The vintage building features exposed wood and brick with a rustic chic ambience. With a butcher shop and deli in the front which serves up tasty sandwiches at lunch, full bars on both the ground and second floors, daily lunch and dinner served both upstairs and downstairs, plus an upstairs patio deck, B&B has something for everyone. Oh, and the food - incredible! Start with the carpet bagger appetizer. Don't ask questions. Just do it. Then splurge on a juicy steak or their tender lamb chops.
Booze and Bites Social Hour is Monday through Friday, from 3pm to 6pm.
Location: 1814 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007
When we lived near the Washington Avenue location of Candelari's, we visited here a couple times a month. Although it's a bit of a drive for us now, and although it supposedly changed ownership at some point in the last couple years, the pizzas at Candelari's continue to draw us back, and they never disappoint! We also love the caprese salad and the Brussels sprouts appetizer. With gluten free crusts available, you can't go wrong with Candelari's!
Monday through Friday, from 3:00 to 6:30, catch happy hour bites and drinks.
Location: 6002 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007
9. Sal Y Pimienta
The South American flavors of this Uruguayan establishment perfectly complement the rustic decor. Dinner is an event, during which you'll be presented with an array of fabulous cuts of meats from which you can choose your meal. Visit again on a Saturday or Sunday for their buffet brunch.
Location: 818 Town and Country Blvd #105, Houston, TX 77024
10. Liberty Kitchen at the Tree House
This swanky seafood eatery serves up some fabulous salads, like the Louis: The King of Salads (try it with lump blue crab!), as well as a fabulous selection of fresh oysters. Start with their deviled eggs; you can't go wrong with any of them, but the bacon jam is to die for!
Happy hour is Monday through Friday, from 3-6, and Sunday, from 5-9.
Location: 963 Bunker Hill Rd, Houston, TX 77024
Also visit Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar at 1050 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77008
Off the Beaten Path
11. Barclay asian Grill
Looking for somewhere that we could grab a quick, casual bite to eat at 9:00 at night, we stumbled onto Barclay Asian Grill, tucked unassumingly into the corner of a small shopping plaza on the corner of Barker Cypress Road and Clay Road. We heartily consumed delicious steamed dumplings and each chose a bowl of pho (Marvin had the chicken, which he enjoyed, and I had beef, which was also delicious!). With friendly service and a down-home feel, this Vietnamese joint is definitely a place we will return to again and again.
Location: 18311 Clay Rd, Houston, TX 77084
12. Ocean Palace Restaurant
On Bellaire, in the Chinatown neighborhood of Houston, you'll find a number of great little Chinese restaurants, focusing on various Chinese cuisines. Though Ocean Palace is housed in an expansive building and features an extensive menu, including genuine Peking duck and fresh lobster, we go for the traditional dim sum, served all day. Ocean Palace serves the best soup dumplings we have found in Houston thus far! Try a couple different small plates and sip a jasmine tea with your dinner.
Location: 11215 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77072
13. Cafe Benedicte
This family-owned restaurant has gone through some tough times, with Hurricane Harvey shutting them down for nearly a year following its destructive flooding. But owner Vahid Navassi and his staff re-opened with the warmth and good spirits their regular patrons have always known and expected. We stumbled onto Cafe Benedicte one night while searching for a chic atmosphere with happy hour bites and brews to stop by after work. We were so impressed that we've returned several times since then. Their hummus is fabulous, and from the happy hour menu, you can't go wrong with their lamb tacos and their black Angus slider with fries. Order from their impressive wine list, visit on Wednesday for tapas night, or stop by on Friday or Saturday from 9pm to 11pm for nightcap happy hour.
Regular happy hour is Monday through Saturday, from 4pm-7pm.
Location: 15455 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77079
For the Sweet Tooth
14. Oui Desserts
Macarons, beignet bites, and other delectable desserts await you at Oui Desserts. Not only are they tasty, they're also pretty! Sip a latte and satiate your sweet tooth at Oui.
Location: 3411 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77098
Whether you want Mexican with a twist, sushi, health food, vegan or vegetarian, international cuisine, or down-to-earth American fare, you'll find it in Houston!
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