Restaurants in Houston
The Houston restaurants scene may surprise you. Yes, there are barbeque and Tex-Mex options, as well as Cajun ones (the city is less than 300 miles from Louisiana), but also a number of excellent Vietnamese options given the city's large immigrant population, and representatives of just about any other global cuisine you might want.
If you haven't heard, Texas is known for its barbeque. Among the restaurants in Houston that stand out for getting it exactly right is Goode Company Texas Bar-B-Q. There are now seven Goode Company locations in Houston, but the one on Kirby Drive is the original, having opened in 1977. Head to this barn/warehouse filled with Texas memorabilia to savor the mesquite flavors of the meats and the signature jalapeño cheese bread.
There is big money in this town, and a number of restaurants in Houston cater to expensive tastes. De Marco would make most lists of the best restaurants in Houston, definitely any list of the best Italian restaurants. Located in an unassuming house in the Montrose neighborhood, the kitchen gives roasted Texas quail and Colorado lamb chops the Italian treatment, which satisfies their loyal guests.
Often lauded as the best Italian restaurant in Houston, Da Marco is set in an unassuming Montrose cottage that belies an elegant interior of hardwood floors, white tablecloths, and pale yellow walls.
Corny to say, but eating at Mark's can be a religious experience, and although it occupies an early 1920's brick church complete with sanctuary, side chapel, choir, and pulpit, it has little to do with the architecture or former tenant.
Located in Houston’s Rice Village, Benjy’s offers modern American dining experience. Inside the dining room, exposed light bulbs dangle from the high ceiling, and white leather chairs curve around glass-topped tables.
Just a few blocks east of Montrose, Indika blends traditional Indian ingredients with fresh, local ingredients to create a progressive take on Indian cuisine.
Eating at the old-style family diner in Houston feels like an Edward Hopper dream with a Deep South spirit on the side. The same soulful bunch of ladies in the back kitchen have been at the Inn for ages, and five days a week they fry yardbirds to order.
Established in 1967 as a sister restaurant to Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, this Midtown landmark is renowned for its award-winning Southern and Creole cuisine. Designed by architect John F. Staub, the restaurant burned to the ground during Hurricane Ike but was completely restored in 2010.
Over the years, this rambling old Arts and Crafts bungalow with sunny rooms and a deep front deck that overlooks the street has housed a string of uninspired restaurants. But Brasserie Max and Julie, opened in late 2007, seems destined for success.
As you pass through a wall of water, divided by double glass doors, you realize you’re in for a special meal at Tony's. Inside the dining room, the soaring ceiling is topped with a row of skylights and the brightly colored walls are covered with fine art.
Located in the Heights neighborhood, the Glass Wall offers seasonal menus of modern American cuisine created by chef Jorge Rodriguez.
About 30 minutes south of Houston, this renowned steakhouse is tucked away inside a deceptively understated former icehouse. The dining room, however, is decidedly upscale, with classic white tablecloths, decorative ironwork, and Old West—themed paintings.
A line of patrons wrapping around the entirety of this bright yellow building is a common sight in Midtown, especially on weekends. Serving breakfast until 2 p.m., the restaurant is known for its signature wings and waffles as well as "katfish" and grits.
In a town of many fine Tex-Mex restaurants, La Tapatia is the standout. Located on a busy block of Richmond Avenue, this glorified diner offers nothing fancy, just impeccably fresh, beautifully prepared ingredients.