Restaurant Guide–Houston

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  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources

Alvin

Khmer Kitchen–222 Fitz Rd. (Cambodian) Open 11 am to 7 pm Mon-Fri; 11-6 Sat (closed Sun).  This food truck has the best reviews in the Houston area for Cambodian food. It is exclusively Cambodian, while some others are Thai/Cambodian. Map (Outdoor picnic tables available 12-7-21)

Houston

888 Bistro–16744 El Camino Real (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  I think it has both authentic and Americanized food. The authentic food seems to be Cantonese with a section of the menu being the “Authentic Szechuan Menu” (Szechuan food is mostly not authentic in US restaurants but I do think many of the dishes look very good and could possibly be authentic). Reviewers stress how good the food is for the money, and it seems to be the best choice for authentic Chinese in far southeast Houston. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Afghan Village–6413 Hillcroft St. (Afghan) Open daily 10 am to 10 pm.  There are several good Middle Eastern restaurants in Houston (including Afghan). Probably the main reason to come here is that you get excellent food at lower prices (but also in a fairly small building in an older strip mall). Map (Dining room is open 1-4-22)

Aga’s–11842 Wilcrest Dr. (Pakistani) Open Daily.  Pakistani food with a flavor and quality that seems to be among the best in the country (and has a rating on Google Maps that apparently confirms this). Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Aroma Colombia Rest–13346 Briar Forest Dr. (Colombian) Open daily 11 am to 8 pm (open to 9 pm Fri & Sat).  This is a restaurant where reviewers say to order anything–all of it is good. Unlike many ethnic restaurants this has a more upscale and traditional restaurant setting. Has a large choice of menu items. Map (Dining room is open 1-4-22)

Asia Market–3620 N. Main St. (Lao) Open daily-last order taken at 8:30 pm (7:30 pm on Sun).  Serves Thai and Lao, but Lao is the specialty. Some sources say they also have Cambodian food (might also have some Burmese dishes). Formerly inside the market, but it has now moved into its own building nearby. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Banana Leaf–9889 Bellaire Blvd. (Malaysian) Open daily to 9 pm (9:30 Fri & Sat).  In same strip center as Mamak, and these are the two highest rated Malaysian restaurants (Banana Leaf was recommended by Malaysian people I know in OKC, so would be my first choice).  Also a very good rest. for Indonesian food. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Bollo Woodfired Pizza–2202 W. Alabama St. (Pizza) Open daily except Mon lunch.  Gayot has designated the pizza as being one of the best in the US in 2021. Pizza is wood fired, with the flour from Italy. They say that although they have a margherita pizza, the best one here is the Bianco. Reviews on Google Maps say the restaurant is very busy, and even with reservations you may have to wait a while before getting a table. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Bombay Sweets–5827 Hillcroft Ave. (Indian) Open Daily.  All vegetarian South Indian food. Said to be very good & very cheap (including the buffet). Has a large dessert menu and items are available to go. Better reviews than Udipi Cafe. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Brisket House–5775 Woodway Dr. (BBQ) Open daily except Sun night.  Owner worked at Tom’s BBQ in College Station, and serves the famous “Aggie Special” (served on butcher paper with a lump of cheddar cheese and a white onion). Map (Dining room is open 1-4-22)

Cafe Caspian–12126 Westheimer Rd. (Persian) Closed Mon.  A highly recommended and upscale Persian/ Iranian restaurant. It looks more expensive than the others and that you are paying for the atmosphere, but the food definitely looks high quality. (some reviewers say they spend $40 on a meal). They also report having some of the best meals of their life. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Christie’s–6029 Westheimer Rd. (Seafood) Closed Mon.  Has been in operation since 1917 and is still popular. Known for its fried shrimp which comes from Galveston. Food is said to be old school (so it will be fried shrimp the way I envision that it should be). Map (Dining room is open 1-4-22)

Crawfish & Noodles–11360 Bellaire Blvd. (Vietnamese) Dinner only but has lunch on Sat & Sun .  This is on my list because of the reviews, and not because the concept sounds very intriguing. It seems, though, that they have real Vietnamese food (pho, hot pots, and lesser known items), real Cajun food (shrimp, crawfish, etc.), and a small number of fusion dishes. Map (Dining room is open 1-4-22)

Gatlin’s BBQ–3510 Ella Blvd. (BBQ) Open 7 am to 6 pm (closed Sun).  Maybe the best BBQ in Houston (also see Killen’s in Pearland). Brisket, pulled pork, turkey. The wait in line usually lasts from about 10 to 30 min. at lunch (this is less than at most other good BBQ places). Map (Dining room is open 1-4-22)

Goode Company BBQ–5109 Kirby Dr. (BBQ) Open Daily.  I get tips from as many sources as possible, and in this case it was an episode of Larry the Cable Guy. Information on line says this is “old school” barbecue and that it is “simple.” Larry’s show indicated it is not all that simple, and they use 12 spices for the rub on the brisket including guajillo chile. Brisket seems to be recommended here. Map (Dining room is open 2-1-22)

Helen’s Kitchen–14608 S. Post Oak Rd. (Jamaican) Closed Sun & Mon.  Serves traditional Jamaican food along with tropical drinks. Map (Dining room is open 2-1-22)

Himalaya–6652 Southwest Freeway (Indian & Pakistani) Closed Mon.  Seems to serve authentic food from Indian & Pakistan, but many dishes are not ones commonly found in restaurants in the U.S. This is not a Nepali restaurant although it may have some dishes from there as well. Map (Dining room is open 2-1-22)

Hu’s Cookiing–2502 W. Holcombe Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily (closed from 3 pm to 5 pm).  Reviewers say this is one of the top Chinese restaurants in the city and one of the ones that is authentic. Has Sichuan dishes (including one of my favorites–shredded pork with garlic sauce) but I think the menu items are from various parts of China. Map (Dining room is open 2-1-22)

Hugo’s–1600 Westheimer Rd. (Mexican) Closed Mon; closed Tue lunch and Wed lunch.  Authentic alta cocina Mexican food. Price is high for meat dishes (but you get the real deal, and less expensive items are available). Mole is one of the specialties. Owner won a James Beard award for the best chef in the Southwest. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Huynh–912 St. Emanuel St. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun and closed from 3:30 to 5 pm).  This seems to be a consensus choice as one of the two best Vietnamese restaurants in the city to “explore the menu” (banh xeo, bun bo hue, etc.). (Nam Giao is the other restaurant to check out). Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Irma’s–22 N. Chenevert St. (Tex-Mex) Closed Sat lunch & Sun.  Tex-Mex that is better than most because there is no menu–the owner cooks something fresh every day and that is what customers eat. Because there is no menu I’m not sure what it serves, but it might be a lot closer to authentic Mexican than most Tex-Mex places. Prices are higher than other Tex-Mex restaurants, though. Map (Dining room is open 9-13-22)

Kasra Persian–9741 Westheimer Rd. (Persian) Open Daily. Looks like it has an extensive menu with items not served in other cities. Chicken barg is recommended. Everything on the menu gets good reviews. Not as expensive as Cafe Caspian but is still very good (the food here more like you would have at a typical Persian meal. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Lankford Grocery–88 Dennis St. (Hamburgers) Open 9 am to 3 pm (open for dinner Thu-Sat).  Michael Stern of Roadfood said this may be the best place for hamburgers in a city of great burgers. He liked the bacon cheeseburger. Hubcap also gets good reviews on review sites (Hubcap is located downtown, 1133 W. 19th St., and Kemah). Map (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Los Perros–4212 Washington Ave. (Colombian) 7 pm to late night Wed-Sun.  This is a food truck so I’m giving an approximate address according to Google Maps. Serves Colombian street food (people like it for a late night snack). Map (Takeout only 12-8-21)

Lucille’s–5512 La Branch St. (Southern) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  A segment on CBS This Morning Saturday indicated that this is Southern cooking, but that it is “evolved.” The owner went to Europe to get ideas, and the idea she uses is to serve food that is upscale with “none of the bad stuff” (that makes people consider southern cooking to be unhealthy). Lucille’s great grandmother invented the hot biscuits that were served on American Airlines, and Lucille serves them in the restaurant. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Mala Sichuan Bistro–9348 Bellaire Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Tue.  Authentic Sichuan cuisine that give you “both the traditional and the adventurous.” I got excited when I saw that people were recommending shredded pork with garlic sauce. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Mawal–1227 Bay Area Blvd. (Middle Eastern) Open Daily.  Has what appear to be authentic Middle Eastern items, some of which are seldom found in US restaurants (one is makanek–a Lebanese beef sausage and one is a kunafa–a cheese and phyllo dough Palestinian dessert). Has a large outdoor patio for hookkah. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Mi Bella Honduras–1806 Wirt Rd. (Honduran) Open daily (serves breakfast).  Good place to try authentic Honduran dishes (there are other Honduran restaurants in the city but this looks like a good bet if you can only try one). Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

MytiBurger–2211 W. 43rd St. (Hamburgers) Open daily (breakfast on Sat & Sun).  Old style burger joint that is said by some to be a good replacement for Roznovsky’s (which used to be the place I ate most frequently in Houston). Malts, fried pickles, and chili cheese french fries are recommended. Large variety of sandwiches are available, including buffalo and turkey burgers. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Nam Giao–6938 Wilcrest Dr. (Vietnamese) Open 9 am to 9 pm (9-5 on Thu).  This and Huynh are supposed to be the best “full menu” Vietnamese restaurants in the city. As far as which one to go to–this is on the west side and Huynh is downtown, they are closed on different days, and this apparently has central Vietnamese food while Huynh has southern Vietnamese food. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Nara Thai–4601 Washington Ave. (Thai) Open Daily.  Northern Thai food that is spicier than most (if you order medium spicy it will probably be what most people consider spicy). People really like the flavors, and like most northern Thai restaurants, they especially like the curry. Also has locations in Baytown, Humble, Spring, and Cypress. The restaurant in Baytown is considered by some to be the best restaurant in town, and some also say it has the best seafood. The Houston (Washington Ave.) location has a large outdoor patio and seems to be the most popular of the several locations. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Niko Niko’s–2520 Montrose Blvd. (Greek) Open daily 10 am to 9 pm.  Just about everyone says this is the best Greek in town. Has a fairly extensive menu. Has 2 other locations. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Ninfa’s–2704 Navigation Blvd. (Tex-Mex) Open Daily to 10 pm (11 Fri & Sat).  Many say this is the best Tex-Mex in Houston (but some say it only used to be the best). Recommended are enchiladas suizas, homemade tortillas, tacos al carbon. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Oporto–125 W. Gray St. (Portuguese) Open daily except Sun lunch. Portuguese tapas restaurant. The food is described as primarily seafood cooked in an olive oil base. Food and wine are both good–it’s a little upscale, but ordering a few items is not expensive. It may be best to go with a group to sample more items. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Parrilla Colombiana–6053 Bissonnet St. (Colombian) Open daily 9 am to 6 pm. There are at least three dozen Colombian restaurants in Houston. This one has good reviews and is authentic–one reviewer says this is the only place that is exactly like it is in Colombia. Empanadas are recommended. Lunch specials are very cheap. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Pasha–2325 University Blvd. (Turkish) Open 11 am to 10 pm (closed Mon).  This looks like one of the better Middle Eastern restaurants in Houston. Menu consists of Turkish items (seems to give you a feast at dinner but smaller dinners at a good price at lunch). Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Peking Cuisine–8332 SW Freeway (Chinese) Open Daily 11am to 9pm.  Authentic Beijing style food (also has Sichuan dishes). Serves duck, but Peking duck must be ordered in advance. Map (Dining room is open 6-25-20)

Pho Binh Trailer–10928 Beamer Rd. (Vietnamese) Open 8 am to 3 pm (closed Mon).  This is not a real restaurant “in tiny digs” with indoor dining, and some of the city’s food writers who have tried every known Vietnamese restaurant say this one has the best pho. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Pizaro’s Pizza Napoletana–1000 W. Gray St. (Pizza) Open noon to 9 pm–10 on weekends (closed Mon).  Serves authentic Neapolitan style pizza (not currently certified by the Vera Pizza Napoletana organization but it used to be). Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Polonia–1780 Blalock Rd. (Polish) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Mon).  Pierogi, cabbage roll, roast pork, soup, kielbasa. Map (Temporarily closed 9-13-22)

Punta Cana–17776 Tomball Pkwy. (Dominican) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Said to be home cooked style of Dominican Republic food. It is also in a part of town where I could not find a lot to put on the list. There is not a consensus best dish because reviewers like everything they try. Map (Dining room is open 1-4-22)

Revival Market–550 Heights Blvd. (Cafe) Open to 4 pm (closed Mon).  Has a wide range of food, and all of it is locally sourced. This means that the menu is not always the same because they only serve things that are fresh (this includes fresh shrimp from the Gulf when it is available). Breakfast seems to be the most popular meal at the restaurant, and it looks very good. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Rice Bowl–11324 Fondren Rd. (Indonesian) Closed Sun.  Google Maps says it’s a Chinese restaurant. Supposedly it has Indonesian food but reviewers don’t mention it. Reviewers on Chowhound indicate that the Indonesian menu is limited, but does have telor balado (deep fried eggs), beef rendang, ayam goreng, etc. Map (Takeout only 12-8-21)

San Dong Noodle House–9938 Bellaire Blvd. (Chinese) Open 10 am to 9 pm (closed Mon).  Has excellent Chinese dumplings. #20 (leek pork dumplings) in broth is suggested. Small, casual place with cheap prices. Map (Dining room is open 9-26-21)

Sawa–16608 El Camino Real (Middle Eastern) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Has some dishes I have never seen before, but doing a search indicates they are from northern Israel and Syria. I usually find that the best restaurants bring their favorite dishes to us (as this one does) rather than relying solely on ones they think are more familiar to Americans. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Shanghai–9116 Bellaire Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Wed.  Reviewers say this is one of the few truly authentic Chinese rests. in Houston. Chef tofu special is popular. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Shri Balaji Bhavan–5655 Hillcroft Ave. (Indian) Closed Tue.  Authentic South Indian–supposedly the best place in town for dosa. Food is all vegetarian. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Sinh Sinh–9788 Bellaire Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily 10 am to late night (after midnight). This was personally recommended to me by some friends who in turn heard about it from their friends in Houston. This is a good place for Cantonese style food, including upscale dishes such as roast duck and roast pork. Noodle soup is also recommended. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Street Food Thai Market–1010 W. Cavalcade St. (Thai) Open daily (closes at 8:30 weekdays).  Maybe the most authentic Thai restaurant in Houston, although it appears to have some Lao dishes as well. People who have traveled to Thailand say the flavor here is the real deal. One person recommends khao mun gai as a good thing to try for first time diners because the ginger sauce is so delicious (but almost everything here is reported as being excellent by the people who review them). Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Tan Tan–6816 Ranchester Dr. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 10 pm Mon-Thu; 11 am to midnight Fri-Sun.  Very large menu–seems to be good food. Known for the hot pot. Map (Dining room is open 9-26-21)

Taqueria Aguascalientes–2809 Broadway St. (Mexican) Open daily 7 am to 10 pm.  The most popular Mexican food in Houston seems to be street tacos. This is the place that looks best to me, and has the best reviews (but there are many others that look very good also). Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Taste of Nigeria–5959 Richmond Ave. (Nigerian) Dinner only (closed Mon).  Has extensive menu that is popular with Houston’s large West African immigrant community. Map (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Tex Chick–712 Fairview St. (Puerto Rican) Lunch only but open to 7 pm on Fri & Sat (closed Mon).  Most Puerto Rican restaurants seem to be very small and many are food trucks. This one looks good because it is centrally located, is open 6 days a week (many others have limited hours), and the food looks really good from the photos (and has good ratings). It is counter service, serves food on paper plates, and has limited seating  but the tradeoff is food that reviewers say tastes home made. Map (Dining room is open 1-4-22)

Truth Barbecue–110 S. Heights Blvd. (BBQ) Tue-Sun 11-4 or sell out.  Rated by Texas Monthly as the third best BBQ restaurant in Texas, and the best in Houston. They say the ribs and brisket are good enough to go sauce-free, but if you want sauce they have a large selection including one that is mustard based that seems to be the most popular. Burnt end boudin and house-made hot sauce are also popular. Sides include corn pudding and creamed spinach. They also recommend the chocolate cake. Typically has long lines to get in (they say it is best to arrive before 11 am and most of the BBQ choices may be gone after 2). Map (Dining room is open 2-7-22)

Udipi Cafe–5959 Hillcroft Ave. (Indian) Closed Mon. Vegetarian South Indian. Has thali (but reviewers say chutneys are below par). Good variety of dosa. Also in Sugar Land (3551 Hwy. 6). Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Vieng Thai–6929 Long Point Rd. (Thai) Open Daily.  Authentic and flavorful.  One advantage over many others is that they do not use MSG. Some say the owners have made the food somewhat less authentic because it has gotten so popular they’ve had to streamline their operation (but I think if you want the most authentic version they can still do it). Map (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Xochi–1777 Walker St. (Mexican) Closed Sun evening and Mon.  Serves upscale Oaxacan cuisine. Even though lunch has better prices and has a good variety of “street food” (including mole), the dinner menu looks better to me because they have six kinds of mole which are at a good price compared to the rest of the menu (this includes a “mole tasting” plate where you try four kinds of mole). Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Zaab-Der–14642 Memorial Dr. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 3 to 4:30 pm).  This is exclusively Isan style from northeastern Thailand. Reviews are good, and it seems that the staff will explain the food to anyone who is not familiar with it. Map (Dining room is open 9-26-21)

Zoa Moroccan Kitchen–4710 Lillian St. (Moroccan) Open daily 10:30 am to 9 pm.  Has tajines and other dinners as well as sandwiches. Seems as if you get a lot for the money here. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Humble

Humble City Cafe–200 E. Main St. (American) Breakfast & lunch daily; open to 8 pm Fri & Sat.  Rating on Google Maps is not as high as Kay’s but seems to be very good for certain items including chicken fried steak & chicken fried chicken (you can get a small size of these if you wish). Reviewers say the other must try items are the fried zucchini and the cornbread. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Kay’s Seafood, Burgers, & Wings–216 Charles St. (American) Open daily 9 am to 6 pm.  Said to be a very good small town style restaurant. Recommended items include burger, Philly cheesesteak, patty melt, and fried shrimp po boy. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Katy

Captain Tom’s–20525 Katy Freeway (Seafood) Open Daily.  Recommended on a Reddit discussion for fried shrimp. They are cooked in front of you after you order, but are cooked in cornmeal (some say other restaurants are better because they cook it in flour). Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Phat Eatery–23119 Colonial Pkwy. (Malaysian) Open Daily.  Malaysian street food with very good reviews. Seafood is a specialty. Map (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

La Porte

Monument Inn–4406 Independence Pkwy. (Seafood) Open daily 11 am to 8 pm.  This was one of the suggestions on a Reddit discussion for the best fried shrimp in Houston. A bonus here is that it is one the water. Blackened redfish seems to be the other specialty here. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

League City

King’s BierHaus–828 FM 646 W. (German) Open Daily.  Has a beer hall setting but the menu is extensive (most of it is sausage and schnitzel but has other dishes such as meatloaf and Hungarian stew). They also have a number of dishes that are a fusion of German with Italian, Cajun, Texan, and other flavors (I think they actually look pretty interesting). Map (Dining room is open 1-12-22)

Taqueria La Famosa–2800 W. Main St. (Salvadoran) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Mon).  Reviewers give very good reviews of the pupusas. Salvadoran tamales are available at certain times during the week (and sometimes have Mexican tamales on Sat.). Tacos are said to be very good (I think they are Mexican style). Map (Dining room is open 1-12-22)

Missouri City

Thanima–3776 Cartwright Rd. (Indian) Closed Tue.  Small restaurant with South Indian food that is said to taste home made. I think the biggest problem here is figuring out what to order because it is not the typical Indian menu, but offers dishes that I really think you would have a hard time finding anywhere else. Large choice of seafood dishes and some less common meat choices such as duck and goat. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Nassau Bay

NASA Fast Food–18059 Point Lookout (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sun).  Most recommended Vietnamese in SE Houston. Pho, noodles with char-grilled meat. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Pasadena

El Comalito–1661 Pasadena Blvd. (Salvadoran) Open daily (including breakfast).  Very good reviews. Has enchiladas (which I think are Mexican) but mostly the food is from El Salvador. Pupusas are well known in Salvadodran restaurants, but this place has a fairly large menu with interesting items. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Pearland

Killen’s BBQ–3613 E. Broadway St. (BBQ) Lunch Tue-Sun; dinner Fri & Sat (closed Mon).  Many rate it as the best barbecue in the Houston area. Brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, turkey, pulled pork (but it looks as if brisket is their best item). Sides are very good also. There is usually a wait (which I think involves standing in line waiting for a table). After 2015 they expanded the hours to 8 pm (9 pm on weekends), and this seemed to have reduced the rush they had at noon when wait times were very long, but after the pandemic it is closing at 6 pm except on weekends. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

T J Filipino–1826 Country Place Pkwy. (Filipino) Open 7:30 am to 7 pm (closed Sun dinner).  Filipino people say this restaurant has a better taste than others (normally they do not like restaurants–just cooking at home). Is a buffet, but it doesn’t seem to cost more than if you got one or two items from a menu. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Rosenberg

Schulze’s BBQ–1214 1st St. (BBQ) Open daily except Sun evening.  A popular place for “Brazos Valley” style BBQ (cooked with pecan wood). Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Witt Pit–2516 1st St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  A well known place for “Brazos Valley” style BBQ (uses pecan wood for cooking). Maybe the better of the two Rosenberg BBQ places, based on reviews. Map (Dining room is open 8-13-21)

Seabrook

Merlion Thai–1205 Main St. (Thai) Dinner only (closed Mon).  Specializes in Thai seafood, and the chef’s specials include Thai basil red curry sauce with red snapper, red curry with shrimp, and a number of similar dishes. It is not cheap, but seems to be considered one of the best Thai restaurants in the U.S. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Pier 8–409 Todville Rd. (Seafood) Open Daily.  Located on the water. One of the suggestions on Reddit for the best fried shrimp in Houston. This is a market where you pick out your fresh seafood, and they cook it for you. I think, though, that most people, rather than getting fried shrimp, choose to have fresh flounder, snapper, tilapia, or other seafood grilled or cooked the way that best enhances the freshness of the fish. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Viola & Agnes’ Neo Soul Cafe–3659 NASA Rd. (Soul Food) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  A highly recommended soul food restaurant, which along with Mary Lou’s has an expert chef who puts this restaurant on a higher level than most. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)

Spring

Fu Manchung–3416 FM 2920 (Vietnamese) Closed Sun (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  This may be the best and most popular restaurant in Spring–good ratings for the flavor and people like the fact that it is healthy. Some dishes are fusion (chef deviates from the traditional recipe but keeps a Vietnamese flavor). I think many of the dishes, including the pho, are cooked the traditional way. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Gessner’s Grub BBQ Co–25131 Melda Rd. (BBQ) Open 8 am to 3 pm (closed Sat & Sun).  Said to be very good old school BBQ. Brisket is the most popular item. Sides are said to be very good including the pickles. Brisket is smoked over post oak wood. Map (Dining room is open 12-8-21)

Sugar Land

Jade Ly–5022 Alt. US 90 (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Their specialty is halal Chinese food, and they do not serve any pork dishes. However they do have some traditional Chinese dishes including some Americanized ones (orange chicken, etc.). From the photos, though, this looks like the best orange chicken I have seen anywhere, and the more authentic dishes would be even better. Map (Dining room is open 12-7-21)


  • For additional explanation of this list see Index
  • Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

Barbecue

Texas Monthly published a list of the top 100 barbecue restaurants in Texas for 2021. The following are the ones in the Houston area:

Top Ten

  • Truth Barbecue–110 S. Heights Blvd. (Houston). No. 3 in the state. Ribs and brisket are so good they can go sauce free. Has a large selection of sauces and sides that make it interesting. Get there before 11 am to avoid long lines. Map Tue-Sun 11-4 or sell out

The Rest of the Best (No. 11-50)

  • Blood Brothers BBQ–5425 Bellaire Blvd. (Bellaire). What the judges liked best here were the specials such as banh mi specials and Hawaiian style guava-glazed ribs. Map Wed-Sun 11-3 or sold out (has dinner on Thu)
  • Feges BBQ–8217 Long Point Rd (Houston).  Varied menu choices including fried chicken, hanger steak, sweet glazed pork ribs, burnt ends, and smoked chicken. Map Tue-Sat 11-9; Sun 11-3
  • Brett’s BBQ–606 Mason Rd. (Katy).  Brisket, sausage, and turkey are good. They especially recommend the slaw. Map Wed-Fri 11:30-sold out; Sat & Sun 11-sold out
  • Killen’s Barbecue–3613 E. Broadway St. (Pearland).  They say it has top notch brisket and banana pudding, while beef and pork ribs are very good. Map Tue-Thu 11-6 or sold out; Fri & Sat 11-8 or sold out; Sun 11-sold out
  • CorkScrew BBQ–26608 Keith St. (Spring).  They say the brisket and pulled pork are some of the best in the state. Map Wed-Sat 11-4 or sold out
  • Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue–200 N. Elm St. (Tomball).  Chile relleno sausage is said to be the star of the show. Map Tue-Fri 11-6; Sat 11-5

Our 50 BBQ Honorable Mentions

  • Fulshear:  Dozier’s BBQ & Meat Market
  • Houston:  Gatlin’s BBQ, Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue, Roegels Barbecue Co.
  • Richmond:  Harlem Road Texas BBQ

Note: Texas Monthly is now putting more weight on “modern” barbecue that they think tastes good. For traditional BBQ they do not like brisket to be too salty or ribs to be too sweet.


Fried Shrimp:

A discussion on Reddit indicated that Christie’s at 6029 Westheimer Rd. might be the best place in Houston for fried shrimp. However it is old school and might not be everyone’s favorite (see listing on this page).

Some others mentioned include the following:

  • Fountain View Fish Market–2912 Fountain View Dr. Also old school with good reviews but it is a market that has a few tables where you can eat the fish (drinks might be limited and they don’t have anything else on the menu besides the fish dinners). Map
  • Goode Company Seafood–2621 Westpark Dr. (can get a good variety of side dishes and dessert to go with the fish). Map
  • Monument Inn in La Porte (see listing on this page). Located on the water and gives a better atmosphere than some of the other places.
  • Pappadeaux’s–various locations (A friend of mine ate at Pappadeaux’s in the Intercontinental Airport and confirms that this is an excellent place for shrimp).
  • Pier 8 in Seabrook (see listing on this page). Upscale restaurant on the water and fried shrimp is not really their specialty but commenters say it is good.

Chicken Fried Steak

Wide Open Eats “The 10 Best Chicken Fried Steaks in Texas That’ll Change Your Life” (May 2019):

  • Houston:  Pappy’s Cafe–12313 Katy Freeway.  Southern style chicken fried steak with a rich creamy gravy. Map

Nigerian Food:

The PBS Program “No Passport Required” did a show on Nigerian food in Houston, with Taste of Nigeria at 5959 Richmond Ave. being recommended (see listing on this page).

Suya Hut at 11720 W. Airport Blvd. is where you can get Nigerian style skewers (it is takeout only as of 8-13-21) Map

Jolly Jolly Bakery at 6275 S. Hwy 6 is where you can get Nigerian style bread and other treats (such as chicken pie). It is also takeout only as of 8-13-21 Map


Houston Cuisines of Note:

The City-Data discussion on Houston’s most underrated cuisine is mainly about the best cuisines (underrated or not). These include Barbecue, Seafood, Cajun, Soul Food, Greek, Persian, Turkish, Mexican, Tex-Mex, Colombian, Venezuelan, Caribbean, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Vietnamese, Chinese


James Beard Foundation America’s Classics

The following are locally owned restaurants that are distinguished by their timeless appeal, and which serve quality food that represents the character of their communities:

  • Houston: Irma’s–22 N. Chenevert St.

Closed (Formerly on the Restaurant Guide)

  • Hong Kong Food Street–9750 Bellaire Blvd., Houston (closed 2021) Specialized in inexpensive everyday Canonese food such as congee, but also known for roast duck.

Sources:

James Beard Foundation (America’s Classics Award Winners)

Chowhound (former web site)

City-Data (Houston BBQ)

City-Data (Most Underrated Cuisine of Houston)

Eater.com (The 38 Essential Houston Restaurants)

Gayot (2021 Best Pizza Restaurants in the U.S.A.)

Google Maps

Houston Matters (Houston Vietnamese Food)

No Passport Required (Houston)

Reddit (Best Fried Shrimp)

Trip Advisor (Houston BBQ)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Wide Open Eats (The 10 Best Chicken Fried Steaks in Texas That’ll Change Your Life)

Yelp (Houston)

Zomato (Houston)

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