Top 10 Restaurants in Houston

Whether you're looking for traditional Texas dishes or you want to expand your culinary horizons, Houston has you covered


When staying in Houston, make sure to sample some of the local fare. In addition to a vast selection of menu offerings from around the globe, you’ll find a price range to fit your budget.

1. Hearsay Gastro Lounge

If you’re looking for a mouth-watering burger, check out Hearsay Gastro Lounge, located in bustling Market Square. The famous Hearsay Burger is an Angus beef patty with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato, red onion and chipotle mayo. The space might be cozy, but between the natural lighting and friendly atmosphere, you'll feel right at home. Hearsay’s drink menu is extensive and includes a large selection of wine and beer, as well as many specialty cocktails. If Scotch is your liquor of choice, you’re in luck; Hearsay focuses on premium Scotch whiskeys. Don’t forget dessert—the Sticky Toffee is the signature treat.

2. Backstreet CafÉ

This charming little café is owned and operated by chef Hugo Ortega, along with his wife Tracy Vaught. Chef Ortega has been named Chef of the Year by the Houston Culinary Awards. It’s an accolade well-deserved, as you’ll quickly see once you join him for brunch, lunch or dinner. You'll find Backstreet Café in the River Oaks area, located inside a quaint 1930s clapboard house. Dine on the patio if weather allows, or snuggle into the intimate dining room or solarium. The menu includes a diverse selection of American, Cajun, Creole, Hispanic and Asian offerings. Wake up with Sunday Brunch, where you’ll enjoy live jazz and a special selection of cocktails.

3. Roost

Chef Kevin Naderi, owner of Roost, revises his menu every three weeks, so no matter when you visit, you’ll find the freshest seasonal ingredients with flavors from around the world. Enjoy dishes inspired by Asia, the Middle East and American Southern cooking. The restaurant is lively and bright, with painted shutters and chalkboard menus as wall decor. The linen tablecloths add a touch of class to the cottage-style theme, dressing the restaurant up just enough to impress without intimidating. The bread is homemade, fresh from the oven and served with your choice of specialty butters. Plan on a bit of a wait, especially on weekends—the restaurant only seats 50 people.

4. M&M Grill

A fusion of Mexican and Mediterranean might seem strange, but you’ll be convinced once you try the M&M Grill on Alameda Street, near the medical center. The family-owned grill specializes in burgers, but also offers kebabs, enchiladas, queso sauce, hummus, shawarma, burritos and more. M&M Grill is casual dining—perfect for a quick lunch or dinner on the run. Visit when you’re in need of simple cuisine, friendly service and a wide variety of choices.

5. Crave Sushi

Crave Sushi patrons rank this restaurant among the top spots in Houston's considerable sushi scene. You’ll find the place packed with locals who rave about the sashimi. The fatty tuna and peppercorn yellowtail are popular, but if you prefer sushi rolls, try the spicy chopped scallop. If you’re not quite ready for raw fish, you won’t miss out—Crave’s menu includes a large variety of cooked rolls. For a sophisticated twist on a childhood favorite, order the Cheetah Roll (crab, cream cheese, cucumber, avocado and more—covered in crushed Cheetos). The spicy Stop Drop and Roll is another unique option. See if your taste buds can handle this combination of shrimp tempura, Sriracha, avocado and fire power sauce.

6. Stanton's City Bites

Stanton’s is a long time, family-owned café. In fact, the owner lived on the second floor when the restaurant opened in 1961. Find it on the corner of Edwards and Houston in the Sixth Ward. Stanton’s burgers come in a variety of choices, from classic to the Truck-Stopper, topped with deep-fried onion rings. You’ll also enjoy sandwiches, chili dogs, salads and vegetarian offerings. The owner’s daughter-in-law hails from Hong Kong, and she’s introduced an Asian element to the menu. Try the egg rolls for a unique appetizer before your burger!

7. Zydeco Louisiana Diner

At Zydeco , you’ll find authentic, Louisiana-style Cajun cooking in a fun, casual atmosphere. Step into line and choose your grub—it’s served up cafeteria-style, so you’ll get exactly what you want. Try the gumbo, red beans and rice, jambalaya and seafood dishes. The menu rotates, but you’ll always get some version of a traditional Louisiana dish. Make sure to try the award-winning garlic mashed potatoes. Check out the Space City’s swag on the walls and make friends with the locals. Zydeco Louisiana Diner is open during the week for lunch only, so leave room on your itinerary for an early meal.

8. The Breakfast Klub

If you’re in midtown, wake up to the grub at The Breakfast Klub. The restaurant has received multiple culinary awards. It’s casual Texas dining, but you won’t find any vinyl-covered booths here. The light, sunny space is full of modern art and bright colors. The Breakfast Klub is a hotspot, and you’ll also find plenty of locals lining up for a plate of waffles and wings. Owner Marcus Davis is all about community; visit on the first Saturday of the month for kids’ activities, live music and face painting.

9. Vietnam Poblano

Ronnie and Linda Nguyen, a young couple in their early twenties, opened Vietnam Poblano in 2013, and it’s already garnered plenty of accolades. It’s located in a strip mall in the Spring Branch area, but the cuisine is all about Vietnamese street fare. Snack on a bahn mi—a traditional sandwich similar to an American submarine, but with mouth-watering, marinated meats and vegetables. If you prefer a fork-to-mouth experience, try the rice or noodle dishes. Vietnam Poblano cuts and marinates all its meat and veggies in-house, so the ingredients are always at their freshest.

10. Tiny Boxwoods

This charming little restaurant serves every meal of the day, along with afternoon tea. Enjoy the cozy atmosphere inside or on the patio next to the garden. Most everything at Tiny Boxwoods is made from scratch so you won’t find commercially prepared jam, pickles or pesto here. Vegetables ripen in the nursery then land on your plate just hours after being harvested. You can’t go wrong ordering any kind of pastry—Executive Pastry Chef Jayme Volstad even creates a special 3 p.m. muffin every afternoon for tea. Dine on an array of meats, seafood, salads and sandwiches. Don’t leave without a warm chocolate chip cookie—it’s Tiny Boxwoods’ specialty.




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