Best Of Food & Drink

  • Best Mac and Cheese

    Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar

    Head to this Heights kitchenette for not one, not two, but four drool-worthy skillets of macaroni and cheese. Each dish comes hot and bubbling with a crisp, buttery crust and molten, gooey core. Go au naturel with the classic American and aged cheddar skillet; dive head-first into one loaded with...

  • Best Farmers' Market

    Urban Harvest Saturday Farmers Market

    The Urban Harvest Farmers Market at Eastside Street is the place to be on Saturday mornings. From 8 a.m. to noon, numerous vendors set up stations to serve their specialty goods, be they fruits, vegetables, macarons, breads, cheese, coffee or olive oil. You can purchase groceries from local producers, such...

  • Best Food-Truck Park

    My Food Park HTX

    My Food Park HTX opened in late 2013 and brought a cornucopia of food-truck cuisine to the west Houston Energy Corridor. With three and a half acres of land, there's always a place to sit and dig into your food — not many food-truck parks have such relaxing seating. The...

  • Best Neighborhood Spot in the Village

    Café Rabelais

    If you want killer frites with house-made roasted garlic aioli, a fantastic warm goat cheese and hazelnut salad, or classic boeuf bourguignon, get your butt to this French restaurant in Rice Village. Café Rabelais isn't open at all hours of the day, but when it is, these folks are dishing...

  • Best Pastry Chef

    Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar

    Rebecca Masson, a.k.a. The Sugar Fairy, made a name for herself nationally as a competitor on Top Chef: Just Desserts in 2011, but she also has grabbed Houston's attention with exquisite treats from her custom bake shop, Fluff Bake Bar. Various coffee shops and markets in the city sell her...

  • Best Salad

    Adair Kitchen

    The Chicken Harvest Salad at Adair Kitchen is a simple dish, but features a multitude of ingredients that perfectly harmonize. The crisp, fresh butter lettuce sits underneath a combination of thinly sliced juicy strawberries; ripe avocado chunks; strong purple onions; chewy walnuts; soft, pungent goat cheese; and tender grilled chicken...

  • Best Margaritas

    El Big Bad

    Think of this hip downtown watering hole as the late El Gran Malo's younger, more badass brother. With 50 handcrafted tequila infusions in flavors such as red roasted beet, peanut butter and vanilla habanero, this tequila house concocts one helluva margarita. Go classic with the agave, lemon and lime El...

  • Best Ribs

    Killen's Barbecue

    You won't find ribs just in pig form at this barbecue mecca. Chef Ronnie Killen is serving up bones of the mighty cow, too. Large enough to make even Fred Flintstone swoon, the beef ribs are rich, smoky and full-on beefy with a lustrous cap of charred and rendered fat...

  • Best Deli

    Revival Market

    Not only do the fine folks at this Heights spot offer locally made cheese and heritage-breed pork, lamb and chicken raised from their own farms, they also make their own charcuterie, available at the deli counter by the pound. Head here for fiery salumis, pecan-studded mortadella, lamb pastrami and special...

  • Best Expense-Account Restaurant

    Tony's

    When it comes to business dining, we say, "Go big or go home." And there's no better place to do that than the classy, always impeccable Tony's on Richmond. Even though this fine dining establishment has been around for nearly 50 years, it continues to wow Houston crowds. Where else...

  • Best Family Restaurant

    The Lake House

    When it comes to dining with kids, there are few things greater than a restaurant with a playground. And at this casual lakeside eatery, that playground is the always-popping Discovery Green. The menu is simple, with something for everyone. Enjoy plump and juicy smokehouse burgers and dogs alongside grilled salmon...

  • Best Neighborhood Spot in Downtown

    OKRA Charity Saloon

    Downtown's historic district is once again becoming the place to be, and you could say it was this popular charity bar that spawned the 'hood's party-scene revival. Stop by the striking, always-bustling saloon for a selection of classic cocktails, local beer and wine, as well as top-notch bar bites. We...

  • Best Fried Chicken

    Punk's Simple Southern Food

    It takes only one step into this spunky Rice Village eatery to feel that Southern charm, so you sort of already know the fried chicken's going to be good. But you'd still be surprised by just how good it actually is. Piled high on an old-fashioned tray with paper to...

  • Best Neighborhood Spot in Midtown

    Natachee's Supper 'n Punch

    With a big back patio and stage for live music on the weekends, there's never a shortage of good times at this down-home neighborhood hangout. It's the kind of place where you can grab a punch, sit back and waste the day away. Come for Southern cooking just like your...

  • Best Pizzeria

    Pizzeria Solario

    Scorched Neapolitan-style pies are the name of the game at this Upper Kirby 'za joint. The slightly charred crust — cooked in a 900-degree wood-fired oven in a matter of minutes — reaches that ideal balance between thin and crisp and soft and chewy, with just enough bite to hold...

  • Best Mediterranean Restaurant

    Fadi's Mediterranean Grill

    With offerings both Mediterranean and Middle Eastern, Fadi's has the veggie-centric dishes and mounds of meat to please people of any dietary persuasion. Though the restaurant is set up like a cafeteria with buffet lines and plastic trays, the food goes far beyond typical cafeteria fare. From the hummus to...

  • Best Theater District Restaurant

    Hearsay Gastro Lounge

    Just a short walk from Houston's best performance halls, this stunning, dark and sultry speakeasy nestled in the historic Foley building is the perfect pregame for a night of theater. Sit under downtown's prettiest chandelier as you munch on starters like Peruvian ceviche and a bright ginger beet salad before...

  • Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant

    Doshi House Café

    This Third Ward cafe is a triple threat: one part art space, one part coffeehouse and one part fantastic vegetarian eatery. The menu is small, but so is the amount of pain you inflict on your wallet. Stop by for breakfast and lunch to indulge in a curried potato and...

  • Best Nigerian Restaurant

    Safari Restaurant

    If you're in any way familiar with the Houston food scene, you know by now that a nondescript strip-mall location and shabby sign are in no way indicators of a restaurant's quality. Proving this rule once again is Safari, which has a small but loyal following of diners who come...

  • Best Burger Joint

    Hubcap Grill

    At Hubcap Grill, the fries are delicious — thick, crispy and, if you like, dusted with garlic or feta cheese. You'll forget all about them, however, if you also order (and why wouldn't you?) one of the restaurant's specialty burgers. There are terrific though comparatively pedestrian options such as a...

  • Best Enchiladas

    Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen

    For more than 20 years, Sylvia Casares has consistently proven that quantity and quality are not mutually exclusive, at least when it comes to enchiladas. Her ever-expanding menu of enchilada varieties (19 and counting) is overwhelming not simply because of the number of options, but because each and every one...

  • Best Sundae

    Cloud 10 Creamery

    In a city dense with cookie-cutter chain ice cream outlets, the arrival of Cloud 10 Creamery and its finely crafted flavor selection (which has included red currant mascarpone, gingersnap and buttermilk chai) was a breath of fresh air. Among creator Chris Leung's many unique spins on traditional treats is Cloud...

  • Best Risotto

    Vinoteca Poscol

    At Poscol it's easy to get distracted by the many, many masterful dishes, but resist filling up on bruschette and salumi, and save room for the succulent risotto with chicken livers and squash. Autumnal vegetables and rich bits of poultry offal mingle in each bite of supple, plump rice saturated...

  • Best Breakfast

    Harry's Restaurant & Cafe

    You can't help feeling right at home when you walk inside Harry's. The entire cafe smells like maple syrup, bacon, pancakes and French toast, just as a diner should. And speak of the delicious devil, the baklava French toast is a must-order meal. Rather than simply being topped with butter...

  • Best Soul Food

    Mikki's Soul Food Cafe

    This is not your high school cafeteria. At Mikki's Soul Food Cafe, staples such as fried chicken, smothered pork chops, macaroni and cheese, and the infamous sits-like-a-brick-in-your-belly beefsteak with "40-pound gravy" are done in superior fashion. Look no further than the consistently long lines and blissful faces of exiting customers...

  • Best Banh Mi

    Les Givral's Sandwich & Cafe

    To make a great banh mi, a restaurant must have great bread, and Les Givral's, once a bakery in Paris and Saigon, certainly does. It has a thin, crispy crust and a soft inside that soaks up the juice from the meat, veggies and sauces. Les Givral's keeps it simple...

  • Best Greasy Spoon

    House of Pies

    After it closed because of fire damage late last year, we missed this standby diner so much, we couldn't not name it our 2014 Greasy Spoon winner. Thankfully, it opened back up last spring. Now you can get your big country breakfasts, old-fashioned tuna melts and classic BLTs 24/7 again,...

  • Best Burger

    Bernie's Burger Bus

    The juicy patties and doughy buns at Bernie's Burger Bus are so popular that Justin Turner, chef and owner behind the army of three food trucks, recently opened a brick-and-mortar location in Bellaire where diners can get more than just burgers. It's the burgers that Bernie's does best, though, thanks...

  • Best Foie Gras Dish

    Étoile

    Meat butter. That's the way foie gras is most often described, and the torchon at Étoile is the perfect example. It's almost gamey but delicate at the same time, and when rolled into a torchon — so named for the dish towel in which it's wrapped — and cooked in...

  • Best French Fries

    Coreanos

    The Kim Cheese Fries at fusion food truck Coreanos are neither Mexican nor Korean per se, but they contain elements of both cuisines. The scorching hot french fries are thicker than most fast-food fries, but still thin enough that they're crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They're...

  • Best Ice Cream

    Cloud 10 Creamery

    Chris Leung started his dessert business by selling to restaurants and chefs, but eventually demand for his stunning sweets became so great that he decided to open his own place. Cloud 10 Creamery launched last October, and there's been a steady crowd lining up for Leung's unique flavors and whimsical...

  • Best Chef

    Hugo Ortega

    It was a big year for Hugo Ortega. In 2013, he and his wife, Tracy Vaught, published Backstreet Kitchen: Seasonal Recipes from Our Neighborhood Cafe, the Backstreet Cafe cookbook celebrating the restaurant's 30th anniversary. Ortega and Vaught opened Caracol, a Mexican seafood restaurant in an expansive (and expensive) space in...

  • Best Milkshake

    Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar

    Petite Sweets makes its famous custard in-house, and Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar uses that, as well as pies and cakes (also from Petite Sweets), to make some of the most outrageous milkshakes around. You want a pecan pie shake? Done. How 'bout carrot cake with vanilla custard? YES. The...

  • Best Pasta

    Ciao Bello

    Ciao Bello does Italian the way owner Tony Vallone remembers it and the way chef Bobby Matos envisions it should be. It's the combination of old-school Italian and new-school flavor profiles that has elevated this restaurant from the lesser cousin of Tony's to real competition, and its pasta is the...

  • Best Pho

    Pho Binh By Night

    Pho Binh first established a reputation for serving the best pho in town out of a trailer on Beamer Road. Following the success of the trailer, the owners opened a bigger, brighter spot that shines like a beacon in the darkness on Bellaire after hours: Pho Binh by Night. What...

  • Best Wine List

    Mala Sichuan

    You might not expect to find an awesome wine list at a small Chinese restaurant on Bellaire, but there's a lot about Mala Sichuan that's surprising. Sommelier Justin Vann, who runs his own wine and beer consulting company, called PSA Wines, created the wine list for the small bistro after...

  • Best Breakfast Tacos

    Tacos Tierra Caliente

    These are the cheapest breakfast tacos in town, and also the best. For only $1 (no tax), you get a thick, fluffy flour tortilla packed with the only option Tacos Tierra Caliente usually offers: eggs, potato, ham and chorizo. What the cooks make is what you get, and what they...

  • Best Neighborhood Spot in Upper Kirby

    Hobbit Cafe

    This cozy house tucked away off Richmond sure serves up some fantastically non-hobbit-size fare. Grab a few pints from the rotating selection of local and craft beer out on the deck shaded by oak trees, then dig into some seriously good burgers and sandwiches topped and stuffed with all manner...

  • Best Crawfish

    LA Crawfish

    The original location of LA Crawfish, the Viet-Cajun joint that expanded recently to meet increased demand for spicy mudbugs, is tucked into the food court of a Chinese grocery store. The spot doesn't look like the purveyor of the best crawfish in town, but one bite of the crawfish pho...

  • Best Bread Basket

    benjy's

    Gone are the days of the standard slices of French baguette with pats of butter. Nowadays, many restaurants offer a bread basket filled with an intriguing array of crackers, flatbreads and other doughy items, sometimes for an additional fee. At benjy's on Washington (and also in Rice Village), you never...

  • Best Sushi

    MF Sushi

    When MF Sushi closed because of a fire in late September 2013, Houstonians mourned the loss of the restaurant helmed by chef Chris Kinjo. Thankfully it reopened in May, and Kinjo got back to doing what he does best: incredible sushi. The most authentic experience is had at the sushi...

  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Mala Sichuan Bistro

    Evidence that Mala Sichuan is the best Chinese restaurant in Houston: It's always packed with local chefs hanging out in the small, unassuming space, ordering everything on the menu and hoping to pick up some tips or ideas for how to improve their own food. Sichuan is, of course, a...

  • Best Drive-Through

    Mytiburger

    If there were an award for longevity, Mytiburger, the no-frills drive-through serving Oak Forest since 1967, would win. Of course, you can't stay in business that long without making a "myti" fine burger, and Mytiburger does just that. At $3.50 for a basic burger, the vintage joint still has some...

  • Best Comfort Food

    Good Dog Houston

    Is there anything more comforting than hot dogs, fries and shakes? How about overloaded hot dogs, fresh-cut fries, and decadent, flavor-packed milkshakes that are so wacky and delicious they could only have been born in Houston? Last year when this former food truck morphed into a brick-and-mortar spot in the...

  • Best Ethnic Grocery

    H-Mart

    If you're looking for an obscure Asian vegetable or candy you haven't seen since your last trip to Tokyo, chances are H-Mart has it. The Korean supermarket carries all manner of Asian produce, prepared dishes, seafood, candy and drinks in addition to other things neighborhood folks might need, such as...

  • Best Sandwich

    Kraftsmen Cafe

    All the sandwiches at Kraftsmen Cafe are simple yet bursting with flavor. The lunch menu features a few classics, like the croque-madame, with delicate slices of ham, melted Swiss cheese, a creamy béchamel and, of course, a perfectly fried egg on top, and then there's the Krafstmen BALT, a traditional...

  • Best Classic Food Truck

    Taco Keto

    Though Houston is becoming increasingly known for its gourmet food trucks, it's the classic trucks that boast the best values and some of the best food. Taco Keto has been serving the same corner of Cullen Boulevard in the Sixth Ward for years, and it doesn't need to innovate with...

  • Best Bakery

    Common Bond Cafe & Bakery

    Visiting Common Bond is an experience. The bright white cases are filled with a beautiful array of croissants, baguettes, scones, macarons, mudslide cookies and three brioche pastries: kugelhopf, sticky buns and cinnamon rolls. One glance at the gorgeous kugelhopf, shaped like a miniature bundt cake, and you won't be able...

  • Best Lunch

    Local Foods

    Now with two locations (in Rice Village and Upper Kirby), this homegrown eatery serves up some of our favorite sandwiches in town. Try the truffled egg salad, piled high on a pretzel bun, or the corned beef on rye, topped with beer mustard and 'kraut. But it's not just between...

  • Best Service

    Uchi

    Uchi's tasting menu changes nightly, yet somehow the servers are always ready to tell you exactly what you're eating, where it came from and why the flavors work in such perfect harmony. The training they go through is intense and rigorous and requires a lot of memorization about seafood varieties,...

  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Himalaya Restaurant & Catering

    At Himalaya Restaurant & Catering, chef Kaiser Lashkari cooks up the best (and spiciest) Indian and Pakistani food around in a no-frills environment. Until recently, there was a desk in the middle of the dining room from which Lashkari took phone calls and conducted business. The desk is now gone,...

  • Best Desserts

    Common Bond Cafe & Bakery

    This bakery from pastry chef Roy Shvartzapel — whose résumé includes Bouchon, elBulli and Cyrus, to name a few — may have opened only this year, but it has already gained a cult following. One bite of the salted caramel macarons, rich and chewy chocolate chip cookies, decadent chocolate éclairs...

  • Best Korean Restaurant

    Il Me Jung

    Often overshadowed by more popular spots like Korea House or Bon Ga, Il Me Jung is a small, unassuming restaurant nestled in a cozy space on Long Point Road. It's popular for its Korean seafood dishes, prepared with fish so fresh you can pick them out of tanks up front...

  • Best Ceviche

    Latin Bites

    There are many places in town that serve ceviche, but none do it with as much swagger as chef Roberto Castre of Latin Bites. Castre always has at least three kinds on the menu, each one created with confidence and consistency. His Market ceviche comes alive with textures and flavors...

  • Best Late-Night Restaurant

    Pho Binh By Night

    Open until midnight on weekdays and 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Pho Binh By Night serves the same amazing pho that started the Pho Binh sensation in a trailer on Beamer Road south of Hobby Airport. The pho empire has since expanded, and the late-night outpost on Bellaire gleams like...

  • Best Chicken-Fried Steak

    BRC Gastropub

    BRC Gastropub's chicken-fried steak is a heart-stopping breakfast for dinner and is anything but traditional. The tender steak is coated in a jalapeño and potato chip batter, creating a greasy, crispy, spicy and salty crust. It's then topped with a paprika-seasoned cream gravy and two eggs (medium over easy is...

  • Best Pakistani Restaurant

    Bismillah Restaurant

    Just a few doors down from Bismillah Cafe is Bismillah Restaurant, the slightly more upscale and traditional sister to the Pakistani-American fusion cafe. The restaurant is known for majorly spicy food, from beef nihari thickened with bone marrow to tawa keema, a ground-beef cake sure to set your taste buds...

  • Best Neighborhood Spot in the Galleria

    Big Woodrow's

    This neighborhood bar and grill has everything you could want in a chill hangout spot. Come here to share a bucket of beer with buds, then chow down on beefy burgers, fried pickles and Gulf Coast specialties such as oysters on the half shell and crawfish étouffée. With weekly steak...

  • Best Bloody Mary

    Brick & Spoon

    The Big Spoon Bloody Mary at this Louisiana import is a feisty two-hander made your way. Fill out a custom sheet and choose from 12-plus vodkas — from standard Tito's to bacon and pickle-infused; then load it up with veggies like pickled okra, sweet peppers and blue-cheese-stuffed olives (they'll let...

  • Best Restaurant Comeback

    MF Sushi

    Back in September of 2013, a kitchen fire shuttered MF Sushi for an indefinite amount of time while chef Chris Kinjo and his partner, brother Alex Kinjo, worked with contractors and the city to restore the popular restaurant to its former glory. In May, eight months after it closed, MF...

  • Best Sommelier

    David Keck of Camerata

    When wine bar Camerata opened next to Paulie's a little more than a year ago, it was an immediate hit, thanks in large part to partner David Keck, who brings a winning combination of knowledge, customer service and humor to the swanky establishment. A former opera singer, Keck knows how...

  • Best Vegan Restaurant

    Green Seed Vegan

    Originally a popular (and Houston's first!) vegan food truck, Green Seed Vegan launched a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2012 to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant serving the same great food, only with much more seating. Though the restaurant is devoutly vegan, the food appeals to a wide range of Houstonians...

  • Best French Restaurant

    Étoile Cuisine et Bar

    French chef Philippe Verpiand knows what it's like to work in a Michelin-starred restaurant — he's worked in several. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that Étoile, which he opened with his wife, Monica, quickly gained a reputation as one of our city's finest French restaurants. The great thing...

  • Best Appetizer

    Grilled Oysters at Eleven XI

    Even in a city known for its massively delicious Gulf Coast oysters, this Montrose hot spot's sexy oyster appetizer shines. Grilled in the shell, the half dozen bivalves are terribly messy and completely decadent, with chunks of bacon, Texas pecan pesto, pico de gallo and lightly browned Parmesan smothered on...

  • Best Ramen

    Tiger Den

    There's a reason Tiger Den was so heavily mobbed when it first opened. The tiny shop in Chinatown's Dun Huang shopping plaza was one of the first places to actually deliver on the promise of scratch-made tonkotsu pork broth and house-made noodles. Though it has quieted down a bit, owner...

  • Best Italian Restaurant

    Ciao Bello

    Is there a better place in town for pasta right now? From his house-made spinach lasagna stuffed with chicken meatballs to his butternut squash pansoti and classic pappardelle bolognese, chef Bobby Matos is rockin' the kitchen with delicious Italian food. And it's not just the things he makes, but the...

  • Best Neighborhood Spot in Montrose

    Barnaby's Cafe

    The moment you walk through the doors at the Barnaby's Cafe in Montrose, you feel right at home, even if you're a first-time visitor. The waitstaff welcomes you with giant smiles and open arms. It's a "mi casa, su casa" kind of place, and there's something on the menu for...

  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    Cuchara

    The huge, vibrant wall murals are certainly a draw, but this hip Montrose eatery's traditional Mexican fare is what keeps people coming back. That and the fact that the owners — Ana Beaven and Charlie McDaniel — are constantly cooking up new ways to engage the community. During the week,...

  • Best Oysters

    Eleven XI

    You can get Gulf oysters all around Houston, but for the best variety of exotics, Eleven XI is where it's at. Executive chef Kevin Bryant is so serious about his oysters that he devotes half his walk-in cooler just to storing them. During the week, he offers a minimum of...

  • Best Pizza

    Coppa Osteria

    When this West U eatery — the younger, more casual sister of Italian resto' Coppa — opened, it set out to make the kind of pizza people want to eat. We'd say it has succeeded. Diners can look in on the "dough room," where fresh pizza (and pasta) dough are...

  • Best Tex-Mex Restaurant

    Little Pappasito's

    Sitting prominently on the corner of Richmond and Kirby, Little Pappasito's is one of those places that always manage to deliver on their promise of tasty, satisfying Tex-Mex. Maybe that's because it's so old and familiar. Or maybe it's because the place is always super-crazy-busy. Whatever the case, the margaritas...

  • Best Soup Dumplings

    E-Tao Asian Eatery

    It's an unlikely spot for an authentic Cantonese restaurant, but on the second floor of the Galleria Mall II, not far from the entrance to Nordstrom, E-Tao is cooking up Shanghai-worthy food. In the case of the soup dumpling, or xiaolongbao, E-Tao actually manages to do the unthinkable and beat...

  • Best Brunch

    Caracol

    Imagine the magic of Hugo's legendary brunch buffet. Now imagine it with a focus on bright and vibrant seafood. That's what you have with this latest coastal Mexican venture from Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught. Start with a fewcóctelescreated by beverage director Sean Beck, then move on to the outrageous...

  • Best Chips and Salsa

    Molina's Cantina

    Since 1941, the Molina family has been turning out tasty, family-friendly Tex-Mex, and at the heart of any great Tex-Mex restaurant are the chips and salsa. Molina's chips are made fresh daily. Extremely thin and crisp without the slightest hint of oil, they break if you dip them too vigorously...

  • Best Vietnamese Restaurant

    Thien An

    It's back! Not that Midtown has any shortage of Vietnamese restaurants to choose from, but we sure are happy that Thien An has finally reopened after closing down in 2012 and assuring fans it would re-emerge a mere six months later. The popular sandwich joint has a new, larger location...

  • Best Fajitas

    Ninfa's on Navigation

    Ninfa Laurenzo is the mother of a small empire of Tex-Mex restaurants, and years later the Ninfa's on Navigation is the crown jewel of all the places that carry her name. It all has to do with the quality of the beef fajitas, and there is no substitute for the...

  • Best Atmosphere

    Brenner's on the Bayou

    We can all admit that Houston isn't the most picturesque city around, which makes an elegant meal at this stunning steakhouse on the bayou that much more special. With the serene backdrop of the trickling water (who knew the bayou could be so pretty?), the restaurant has a cabin-in-the-woods kind...

  • Best New Restaurant

    Caracol

    When Caracol opened in late December 2013, the crowds came, not just in support of the beloved duo of chef Hugo Ortega and restaurateur Tracy Vaught but because the space was amazing and offered food to match. From the get-go, Caracol operated like a well-oiled machine. Signature dishes, like the...

  • Best Neighborhood Spot in the Heights

    Revival Market

    The best spot to feel right at home in the Heights is Revival Market. Stop by to purchase a few local products, such as cupcakes from Fluff Bake Bar, cheese from Houston Dairymaids or hot sauce from Bravado Spice, and stock your fridge with fresh fruits, vegetables and butchered meats...

  • Best Steak

    Killen's Steakhouse

    Cordon Bleu-trained Pearland native Ronnie Killen knows how to make a mean steak. His icehouse-turned-steakhouse is certainly the best in Pearland, and his steaks, sourced from high-quality meat purveyors such as Allen Brothers and Strube Ranch, are among the best in the greater Houston area. In fact, order his 32-ounce...

  • Best Beer List

    The Hay Merchant

    This Montrose brew bar helmed by guru Kevin Floyd remains just as popular today as it was when it burst onto the scene in 2012, thanks in part to its stellar cask selection (five per day, to be exact) and eccentric list of local favorite and hard-to-find beers. It's the...

  • Best Charcuterie

    Kris Bistro & Wine Lounge

    It happens every single time there are new people who haven't yet been to Kris Bistro: When the charcuterie comes out, presented on a hanging display with the different cuts of meat dangling from clothespins, heads turn, cameras whip out and collective gasps erupt all around. And that's just for...

  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Thai Gourmet

    You have to go out of your way to find Thai Gourmet, a place almost hidden away in a strip mall on Richmond between Hillcroft and Fountainview. And yet it still gets packed. The reason? The food. You can get something as simple as a pad Thai noodle dish or...

  • Best Steak Night

    MKT Bar at Phoenicia Specialty Foods

    In addition to having one of the most affordable steak nights around, MKT Bar at Phoenicia Specialty Foods downtown has the distinction of making the deal available twice a week — every Tuesday and Thursday. For the staggeringly affordable price of $12.99, you get to feast on a fresh and...

  • Best Peking Duck

    Regal Seafood

    Its name may be Regal Seafood, but the place might as well be Regal Peking Duck. This new Cantonese restaurant, owned by the same folks as E-Tao in the Galleria, specializes in Peking duck carved tableside, and it's a sight to behold. The golden, crispy-skinned duck is wheeled out on...

  • Best Peruvian Restaurant

    Latin Bites

    A slew of new Peruvian restaurants have been popping up all over Houston, but Latin Bites is still the place for an authentic take. Though the menu has been changed to incorporate dishes from other South American countries, chef Roberto Castre's Peruvian roots shine through in his creative ceviches and...

  • Best Seafood Restaurant

    Hai Cang Seafood Restaurant

    Located way outside the Loop in a remote strip mall on Bellaire near Kirkwood, Hai Cang Harbor Seafood is one of those places where it's all about the food. Entering the restaurant, you'll notice the tanks of live seafood just off the left of the hostess stand. Peer inside, and...

  • Best Brazilian Steakhouse

    Chama Gaúcha

    The fact that Fogo de Chão, one of Brazil's most famous chains, is right down the street hasn't stopped Chama Gaúcha from making a name for itself. This Brazilian steakhouse, which serves its meat in the traditional rodízio style, has been winning hearts since it first opened in September 2011...

  • Best Hot Dog

    Koagie Hots Food Truck

    When you're looking for one of those gourmet hot dogs that'll knock your socks off, leave it to food truck Koagie Hots to do the job. The brainchild of chef-turned-food-truck-proprietor Matt Pak, Koagie Hots parks every night outside of Boondocks in the lower Westheimer area, offering a formidable menu of...

  • Best Cake

    Rustika Cafe & Bakery

    Pastry chef Francis Reznik creates beautiful cakes every day at Rustika Cafe & Bakery for weddings, birthdays, holidays and every other type of celebration. But it's what's on the inside that counts, and Rustika's cakes are not only gorgeous, but delicious. Rustika offers dozens of flavor combinations, which makes choices...

  • Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Common Bond Cafe & Bakery

    You'll never ask for more chocolate in Common Bond's chocolate chip cookies. As you break open one of the large, firm yet soft treats, you'll discover a hidden treasure of giant, slightly melted chocolate chunks; even after several hours, each chocolate chipper tastes as if it just came out of...

  • Best Cajun Restaurant

    BB's Cafe

    With ten different kinds of overstuffed po-boys and one of the best and boldest crawfish boils in town, this Cajun hot spot never fails to pack a punch of Louisiana flavor. There is, of course, a Texas twist, making this breed of Cajun cuisine uniquely Houston. Get spiced and crispy...

  • Best Coffee

    Boomtown Coffee

    Owner Matt Toomey sources and roasts his own beans at Boomtown Coffee, and it definitely makes the difference. The house espresso blend, The Spindletop, is a slightly bitter and sweet brew excellent as simple drip coffee or blended with warm milk and sugar. Standard cappuccinos, cortados, flat whites and lattes...

  • Best Crepes

    Melange Creperie

    Walk up to this crepe stand at the corner of Westheimer and Taft (Friday to Sunday) for a sweet or savory crepe made by the ever-entertaining Buffalo Sean. Choose a breakfast crepe filled with ham, egg and cheddar cheese for a Saturday morning breakfast, or opt for a sweet combination...

  • Best Doughnuts

    Christy's Donuts

    After being in operation for so many years, Christy's Donuts is a Montrose neighborhood classic that has become a household name. There's always bound to be a line out the door, a sure-tell sign that you're at the right place. If you're a bit late to work, invest in a...

  • Best Macaron

    Macaron by Patisse

    Sukaina Rajani, co-owner of Macaron by Patisse, sells more than 20 flavors in her glamorous River Oaks store. Her beautiful display case features classic and simple flavors such as pistachio, vanilla, chocolate and rose as well as more exotic ones such as lavender with white chocolate, chai spice, and fig...

  • Best Kolaches

    Kolache Factory

    The Kolache Factory is a Texas (and Houston) staple. With multiple locations around the city, you can fill up a box with sweet, fruit-filled kolaches, spicy jalapeño poppers, and, of course, the classic sausage, egg and cheese. The exotic and out-of-the-box fillings wouldn't be anything without the soft and hearty...

  • Best Nachos

    Way Good Food Truck

    One of the most disappointing aspects of eating nachos is getting to the bottom and realizing all you're left with is chips and a little bit of queso. You might get lucky and have a jalapeño slide through the cracks, but the rest of the good stuff is all gone...

  • Best South American Restaurant

    Américas River Oaks

    Set in the heart of River Oaks, the flagship for the Cordúa family of restaurants is its brightest-shining star. Though the menu is still dominated by the signature, much-imitated churrasco steak, executive chef David Cordúa also has introduced fun and approachable items, such as deep-fried empanadas, ceviches in a rainbow...

  • Best Barbecue

    Killen's Barbecue

    Get ready to stand in line if you plan on stuffing your face with brisket, ribs and sausage at Killen's Barbecue. Ronnie Killen's Pearland BBQ restaurant draws crowds each and every day, and with one bite of the tender, moist, black-crusted brisket, you'll know why. Some describe it as food...

  • Best Tasting Menu

    Kata Robata

    You could visit Kata Robata every single night and get a different tasting menu. That's the beauty of a Japanese omakase, which, translated, means "trust chef." Available by reservation at the sushi bar and varying between eight to 12 courses on a given night, the omakase experience with executive chef...

  • Best Brewery

    Saint Arnold Brewing Company

    You can stop by for a tour and weekday lunch with fresh-tapped brews, or spend your Saturday afternoon lounging in the beer hall playing board games, eating lunch and, of course, drinking beers. Or you can have one crazy week and do both. Tours are held at 3:30 p.m. on...