You must explore the food while traveling to the best places in Houston. Each place has its special food. Also, some of the best hotels in Houston also have their best menus. There are so many best restaurants in Houston to explore.
If you are a food lover or a food blogger, these top restaurants in Houston guide will help you explore the city and the food. Houston‘s restaurant scene has boomed in recent years despite the pandemic forcing some staples to close their doors. It has enhanced an already rich and varied offering.
People may be tempted to start with home-grown Tex-Mex. Still, the city’s diversity makes it a great place to sample global flavors and exciting fusion menus. However, whether you’re craving a delicious, tender ribeye steak or need a bite of a birria taco dipped in savory consommé, here are some of the best restaurants you’ll find in H-Town, according to locals and their reviews.
Read on for Continue Today’s picks of the best restaurants in Houston:
- Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers
- The Blind Goat
- Feges BBQ Spring Branch
- Phat Eatery
- Da Gama
- Truth BBQ
- Theodore Rex
- Bludorn Restaurant
- Étoile Cuisine et Bar
1. TRIS in Houston
Tapping into American, French, and Asian cuisine at this Woodlands steakhouse, Austin Simmons confirms why he is one of the best chefs in the region. Chef Austin Simmons combines worldly flavors with classic culinary techniques presented in familiar, yet sophisticated dishes at TRIS. TRIS is a truly unique dining experience in The Woodlands.
Experience the dining room for a quick, casual lunch or a high-end dinner for an intimate night out. Relax at the bar for a handcrafted cocktail, craft beer, or hard-to-find wine. Or indulge your senses at West with our unmatched eight-course progressive tasting menu.
In addition to a wide variety of beef cuts, the restaurant uses various ingredients, including brown butter. A butter-poached crab is on a kimchi pancake with yuzu aioli, smoked trout roe, and creamy crab truffle ravioli. Enjoy brown butter Old Fashioned with wine pairings.
2. Amrina in Houston
In a realm where culinary magic reigns supreme, nestled amidst the whispers of aromatic spices and the dance of vibrant flavors, lies a mystical haven known as Amrina. The name of this ethereal restaurant, meaning “princess,” pays homage to the extraordinary women who have brought beauty and strength into our lives. Enveloped in an aura of enchantment, Amrina beckons discerning souls on a captivating journey through gastronomic delights.
Chef Jaspratap Bindra, one of the Hindustan Times’ “World’s Best Indian Chefs,” helms the modern Indian restaurant. A5 wagyu grilled on white charcoal and masala chai marble cake with housemade spice butter are on the menu.
Amrina dining is a shared experience, and any occasion is to celebrate. The warm, comfortable setting and rich, fascinating flavors create an atmosphere. Cocktails, presented in creative vessels, are just as imaginative. The restaurant has become a festive place to hang out, with live music from Thursday to Sunday.
3. Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers in Houston
Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers is a neighborhood fried chicken and Gulf seafood destination in Independence Heights. Chef-owners Greg Gatlin and Michelle Wallace serve comfort food that speaks to the neighborhood’s history but attracts twenty-first-century diners to splurge again and again. Gatlin plums his local roots with craving-inspired takes on everything from gumbo to fresh oysters to buckets of fried chicken.
The menu––created by Gatlin, Gatlin BBQ Executive Chef Michelle Wallace, and Fins & Feathers’ Chef de Cuisine Darius King––is a mouthwatering testament to traditional Southern fare’s modern inclusiveness. The expansive list of starters sets the tone with Chargrilled Oysters to New Orleans BBQ Shrimp or try the Not My Momma’s Biscuits with seasonal jams.
The Clucker is Gatlin’s spin on a charcuterie board. Their menu also includes head-turning soups and salads, show-stopping sandwiches, and an extensive list of entrees from fried chicken to catfish, all promising generous plates of nostalgia. It is the New South, full of delicious diversity.
4. Tatemó in Houston
Chef Emmanuel Chavez showcases masa’s beauty and breadth in this reservation-only, multi-course tasting menu restaurant. Though the lineup of dishes constantly changes, diners can find masa-fueled bites like ceviche topped with Tiger Milk made with corn, the fan-favorite quesadilla, and a dessert made with masa cakes and an airy corn mousse, offering a whole new appreciation and perspective of Mexican cuisine.
This isn’t the kind of restaurant built to make these kinds of lists, which makes its inclusion all the sweeter. But Tatemó isn’t the only thing differentiating it from many of its slick Best New Restaurants in America counterparts. It is one of the best restaurants in Houston.
Choose for the more casual, first-come, first-serve atmosphere at Sunday brunch, where cheesy quesadillas, masa pancakes, and specials crafted from its weekly tasting menu are highlights. Don’t forget to take home an order of handmade tortillas, made with thoughtfully sourced masa and ingredients.
5. Squable in Houston
Squable is a vibrant, cozy neighborhood restaurant serving casual European food with American influences. The casual neighborhood restaurant combines many references with American food for dinner and brunch—neither of which we can get enough of.
There’s something nostalgic, comforting, and somewhat novel in each dish here, from the sourdough loaf smeared with everything bagel seeds to the stewed giant beans with kimchi or the hash brown tower encrusted with hollandaise and trout roe. Plate after plate offers unexpected textures (like fried feta cheese) and flavors (like fresh oysters with pickle juice).
But it all works without feeling pretentious, with so much flavor and nuance you want to eat even more. This is no matter how full you get. Service is relaxed and friendly, as though you’re already a regular. Make a reservation to snag a window-lit booth during golden hour, sidle up to the bar for brunch, or hang out on the covered patio.
6. The Blind Goat in Houston
The Blind Goat is a modern Vietnamese gastropub from Christine Ha, winner of MasterChef season 3. It was a James Beard Award Best New Restaurant in America semi-finalist in 2020.
Her modern Vietnamese restaurant, formerly a food stall within Bravery Chef Hall, now serves the burgeoning Spring Branch neighborhood. She draws inspiration from her childhood and family favorites with whole roasted turmeric fish and Mom’s egg rolls packed with pork and shrimp. She also serves the tender curry goat with a toasted baguette to sop up all the flavor. Ha’s famed dessert, the rubbish apple pie a la mode, is also on the menu.
The Blind Goat wants to foster a vibrant atmosphere. You can grab a bite and beverage with your friends, family, and colleagues at this casual eatery. It is a place to kick back, enjoy every day, and celebrate life’s big and small joys.
7. Feges BBQ Spring Branch in Houston
Houston loves barbecue and Feges BBQ is no exception. Patrick Feges, a self-taught pitmaster known as the ‘Whole Hog Guy‘, has teamed up with industry veteran and Chopped champion Erin Smith to open the second location of Feges BBQ in Spring Branch.
Feges BBQ menu goes beyond barbecue staples like brisket, boudin, and pulled pork. Here, you’ll find fancy sides like Moroccan-spiced carrots, spiced crackers, pimento mac, and cheese; sumptuous sandwiches and wings; plus a wide selection of adult beverages, including wine and $10 frozen margaritas. The restaurant is praised for its whole hog, but get there early — it sells out fast and often.
Even vegetarians enjoy Feges BBQ with its salad options and an inspired list of sides like sweet and spicy sprouts and roasted eggplant with mint and Moroccan spiced carrots.
8. Phat Eatery in Houston
Helmed by James Beard Award-nominated chef Alex Au-Yeung, Phat’s focus on Malaysian street food staples like roti canai and satay skewers has helped establish this restaurant as a must-try dining destination. Trendy, yet casual and affordable, diners should prepare to order a slew of signature dishes, like its big and juicy curry-sauced crawfish, addictive shrimp dumplings, and house favorites like sizzling black pepper beef and Hainanese chicken with a trio of sauces for dipping.
Malaysian roti canai is a must-try. But don’t stop there. Enjoy BBQ pork buns, sticky rice, and sizzling beef black pepper. Or try curry noodles or stir-fried tofu. Pair any dishes with beer, wine, or sake, and finish the evening with handcrafted ice cream.
The industrial interior ensures diners feel like they’re getting an urban foodie experience in Houston suburbs. Phat Eatery is an excellent stop for those in West Houston looking for a Houston dining experience.
9. Da Gama in Houston
Da Gama is a side-step from The Queen Vic, similarly Anglo-Indian, blending food and culture. With this concept, we draw inspiration from the Portuguese-Indian territory of Goa, East Africa, and Portugal through our Houston lens.
With items like masala hummus, Portuguese-inspired fofos, queijo de gama, and Indian starter staples like samosas, there’s something here for everyone. The food is packed with spice, and the textures range from crunchy (Power Bowl) to street food (Pav Bhaji) and surprising (Piri Paratha Taco). There’s a lot of mixing of cultures in Houston—and that’s what people come here for.
Customers can visit the walk-up window for specialty drinks like chai, natty wine, tropical cocktails, or warm eats like Tandoori rolls, samosa chaat, and curry bowls. The restaurant is more a canteen than a formal sit-down or three-course meal. There’s quick service, but the drinks are served promptly, and the servers’ advice is on point. There’s no rush—just plenty of tasty fare at a reasonable price and with flair.
10. Truth BBQ in Houston
Truth BBQ, the Heights restaurant known for its whole-hog roasts, Cajun burnt ends boudin, and delectable cakes. Brenham-based, the restaurant opened a Houston outpost three years ago serving BBQ and creative sides. Pitmaster Leonard Botello‘s mother, Janel, and head baker Laquita Wilkins make the cakes.
With juicy whole-hog roasts, smoked boudin, fatty brisket, and Saturday-only beef ribs that quickly sell out, it’s no surprise Truth BBQ is one of the top barbecue spots in the state. Evolved from a small shack in Brenham, Truth’s fancy second location in the Heights serves competition-level barbecue with backyard flair.
Visitors can delight in complements like corn pudding, tater tot casserole, and delectable cakes crafted by Botello’s mother, Janel, and Truth’s head baker Laquita Wilkins.
11. Theodore Rex in Houston
The Warehouse District building once housed Justin Yu’s lauded restaurant Oxheart. It is now home to Theodore Rex, a casual but sophisticated restaurant where the chef’s capabilities remain on display.
This restaurant is filled with folks whose idea of fun is a meal out. Suppose you ca unable to wax poetic about tomato toast or discuss how milk-chocolate ice cream and apple butter combine to thrilling effect. In that case, you may leave underwhelmed—or confused.
However, you can create your own with your server’s help to try the full menu. Flavors might initially sound strange—melon and sumac, frozen yogurt and oregano—but they work. Order the Texas Wagyu strip loin, a reliable and classic dish when all else fails.
12. Bludorn Restaurant in Houston
Diners can experience a food journey with chef and owner Aaron Bludorn. Bludorn Restaurant is the Netflix Final Table star’s first solo venture. It’s located in Houston’s historic Fourth Ward neighborhood.
New American and French-inspired menus celebrate Texas, including Gulf cioppino, a stew of red snapper, crab, and shrimp in spicy tomato broth; salmon with green sauce and 5-seed crust; short rib ravioli with fig, red onion, and blue cheese; lamb with apricot, couscous, yogurt, and mint; chicken with peas, crawfish, and ham in a sauce supreme; and quail wrapped in bacon, rosemary, and blackberry. For seafood lovers, a raw bar is stocked with everything from oysters made to Maine lobsters.
Fine dining in a casual, relaxed atmosphere, Bludorn doesn’t disappoint with elegant chef-created desserts like Peach Cobbler with speculoos and Greek yogurt sorbet, Beignets with lemon curd, Baked Alaska, Chocolate Molten Cake, and Hazelnut Marjolaine with Nutella ice cream. Wine selections from around the world, craft beer, and classic-inspired cocktails.
13. Étoile Cuisine et Bar in Houston
One can assume from a name like Étoile Cuisine et Bar that something French is happening inside. What one might not know is how French and how good it is. Within months of opening in Houston’s Uptown Park, it developed a legion of Francophiles and lovers of delicious food.
The traditional menu is classic in the right way, while the seasonal menu features fresh produce and other items. Etoile also offers diverse brunch, lunch, and happy hour menus, so you never have to leave the restaurant.
Everything about Étoile Cuisine et Bar, the high-quality service, conveys a feeling of truly being in France. With Chef Philippe’s take on a seasonal menu using French techniques, fine food lovers come together. This is not on a special occasion, but to enjoy every day.
14. Xochi in Houston
At Xochi, Ortega spotlights the Oaxaca region. The menu includes mole flight, memes, roasted pork ribs with tomatillo-avocado sauce, and plenty of cocktails. Xochi, located inside the Marriott Marquis, is an obvious choice if you’re staying there. It’s also a great place to take a group; the more adventurous your dining companions are, the better.
Ortega runs a super-soulful, modern, and sophisticated Oaxacan spot where housemade moles and mass are evident in every dish, from the mela to the hongos. Try something you’ve never ordered before; a suckling pig, goat, black-footed chicken, or insects if you’re feeling incredibly bold.
In conclusion, Houston’s dining scene is a culinary paradise, offering many exceptional restaurants that cater to all tastes and preferences. From delectable international cuisines to traditional Texan flavors and innovative fusion creations, the best restaurants in Houston are a feast for the senses. As a food blogger, you must visit these best restaurants in Houston.
Whether you’re looking for a gastronomic adventure, a taste of Texan comfort food, or a fusion of flavors that take your palate on a journey, the best restaurants in Houston offer a culinary landscape as diverse as the city itself. Exploring these culinary gems promises a delightful and unforgettable dining experience in Houston’s vibrant and dynamic city.