The residents of Houston love to eat out, which accounts for the fact that the city is home to more than 10,000 restaurants offering the cuisine of over 70 countries and regions in the U.S. Houston’s growing reputation as a premier city for foodies has been strengthened in recent years by Tasting Table naming it the most exciting food city in the United States as well as being named the “newest capital of great food” by Food & Wine magazine.
It is hardly surprising that a city so intimately involved with cattle and cowboys since its inception would have some of the best steakhouses and barbeques in the world. When it comes to steakhouses, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse – located in Downtown Houston – is one of the most popular in the city. This two-storey restaurant features prime beef courses, freshly caught seafood, and an over 1,000 bottle wine list. Operating for almost 40 years Taste of Texas, located on the Katy Freeway, is a traditional Texas steakhouse and attracts both average patrons and celebrities. Along with its tasty beef, seafood, and chicken dishes, the restaurant allows diners access to their butcher shop where they can choose the cut they want. The iconic Brenner’s Steakhouse, also on the Katy Freeway, has been serving diners since 1936. Decorated in a 1950’s retro country club style, Brenner’s is known for its filet and rib eye steaks, veal Wiener schnitzel, and homemade apple strudel. You are never far away from great barbecue in Houston. Byron’s Gourmet Barbeque, located off Little York, offers ribs, brisket, and its unique house specialty – Cajun Boudin Balls – at its walk-up location. Traditional Texas BBQ can be found at Demeris Bar B Q. In business since 1964, Demeris has three locations around the city and specializes in baby back ribs and jalapeno sausage. Gatlin’s Barbecue, located in the Heights, was named one of Texas’ 50 best restaurants by Texas Monthly; specialties include brisket, ribs, pulled-pork, and Cajun-style sausage.
Award Winning Restaurants
Houston is home to over 70 national award-winning restaurants. Caracol, located in the Galleria section, is a Mexican seafood restaurant; head chef Hugo Ortega has been a finalist for the James Beard Best Chef Award Southwest four years running, and the restaurant has also received recognition from Zagats, Southern Living, the Washington Post, and Forbes Travel Guide. Oxheart, an American cuisine restaurant in the Warehouse District, has received the James Beard Best Chef Award Southwest 2016 for Chef James Yu, multiple awards from Conde Nast Traveler including being named one of the best 70 restaurants in the world in 2013, as well as awards from Food and Wine and GQ. Other award winning restaurants include the Mockingbird Bistro on Welch Street; Pondicheri, an Indika restaurant in the Montrose section; and Reef, a seafood restaurant in the Midtown area.
No discussion of dining in Houston would be complete without mentioning Montrose Boulevard, in the Montrose section of the city. Over 20 ethnically diverse restaurants are located on the 1.5 mile-long “restaurant strip” and offer patrons the flavors of the world. Standouts include the Khum Kai Thai Café, El Tiempo 1308 Cantina, Hollywood Vietnamese, Nico Nico’s Greek restaurant, BB’s Café Cajun restaurant, Aladdin Mediterranean Café, and Nippon Japanese Restaurant. While Houston has not traditionally been thought of as a great city for dining in the past, that perception is changing rapidly. With restaurants that will appeal to virtually any taste, award winning restaurants, and a food culture that continues to evolve, Houston really does have something that will appeal to everyone. Bon appetit!