Food & Drinks

  • Best Chocolate Mousse

    Café Montrose - CLOSED

    We suspect a young boy owns the establishment that makes this city's best chocolate mousse — not because mousse is akin to pudding, and that's what's often packed in Lunchables. You'll see why, once you visit this hideaway featuring Belgian cuisine. Festooning the cafe's walls are dozens of pictures and other likenesses of boys and cherubs holding their penises. Some… More >>
  • Best Enchiladas

    El Jardin

    It's hard to stand out from the crowd when it comes to enchiladas. They are, after all, just rolled-up corn tortillas filled with cheese or meat and topped with a sauce. The enchiladas at El Jardin follow the same formula, but it's the variations that make them the best in the city. There are enchiladas mexicanas (filled and topped with… More >>
  • Best Bread

    French Riviera Bakery & Cafe

    The farmhouse loaf made by brothers Louis and Robert Wu is a dense loaf of bread, about 15 inches long, in the shape of an elongated football that is dusted with flour, which makes everything it comes into contact with white. And it is so crunchy that taking a bite may cause scratches in your mouth. This loaf is served… More >>
  • Best Breakfast Tacos

    Huarache Azteca ­Express - CLOSED

    The meat used for the barbacoa de Borrego is lamb, and it's lighter in color and slightly sweeter than the traditional beef used in most barbacoa found in the finest taco joints in Houston. It makes for a great taco, whatever the time of day. The lamb is slow-cooked in traditional Mexican spices until it falls apart. In a homemade… More >>
  • Best Wings

    Coozan's - CLOSED

    There's a sign near the register that says, "10 minutes to cook, 1 minute to shake on the sauce, 1 minute to serve, hot & fresh." This is their way of letting you know that all their wings are made to order, so be patient. The wait is definitely worthwhile. What makes these wings special is the sauce. The "Original… More >>
  • Best Calamari

    Lomonte's Italian ­Restaurant & Bar

    Perhaps it's the flour, seasoned with Italian spices and parsley, used as the batter which makes them so incredibly crispy and greaseless; maybe it's the homemade picante sauce Lomonte's serves along with a terrific marinara sauce that you dip them in; then again, maybe it's the tiny pieces of squid the restaurant uses — no jaw-breaking pieces here — that… More >>
  • Best Desserts

    Dessert Gallery

    This is a place where, even if you have the utmost self-control, you're likely to lose it once you see all they have to offer. As if the cakes, cupcakes, cookies and bars themselves were not enough, as you sit and enjoy your stash, you can even watch videos of the cakes being made, with sensual close-ups that will have… More >>
  • Best Falafel

    Al's Quick Stop

    Hidden at the back of a convenience store is a food counter that turns out some mean Middle Eastern food and the best falafel in the city. Tiny pucks of bright green masa are hand-formed and flattened on each side until they're the size of a half dollar. Then they're fried to a dark-brown, until the exterior is as crisp… More >>
  • Best Guacamole

    1308 Cantina El Tiempo

    There's nothing quite like the flavor of freshly made guacamole. Once you've tasted it, it's almost impossible to eat the stuff that was made earlier or, worse still, the pre-packaged stuff many places try to pass for guacamole, which has either a nasty, preservative taste or a stale taste that overpowers the avocado. Here, you add accoutrements to personalize the… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream/Gelato

    Gelato Blu - CLOSED

    The 75 varieties of gelato available here are all made by hand, and they should keep even the worst ice-cream-aholic satisfied for quite a while. All of the gelatos are extremely dense with intense flavors. There's also sorbetto, made with virtually nothing but fruit. It's hard to pick just one flavor, so the kind folks here are ready with a… More >>
  • Best Pho

    Thien An - CLOSED

    What sets one pho apart from another? Quite simply, the broth. The longer it's cooked, the more profound the flavor, and here they start the broths early so that by lunch, they've been simmering for quite a while. Thien An has all of the traditional cuts of beef, steak, brisket, flank steak — both standard and fatty versions — tripe,… More >>
  • Best Bloody Mary

    Houston's Restaurant

    Sure, Houston's is part of a national chain, but boy do they know how to mix one hell of a Bloody. Located on Kirby just south of 59, the upscale eatery doesn't hammer its customers with too much pepper and heat, opting for a less spicy and more flavorful approach to one of America's favorite weekend hangover cures. In addition… More >>
  • Best Pita Bread

    Abdallah's Restaurant and Bakery

    Abdallah's sells its pita bread not only at the store but also to many of the Middle Eastern restaurants and supermarkets in town. The bread here is large, about 12 inches in ­diameter. Six come in a package for the incredible price of $1.25. A whole-wheat version is available for $1.50. When toasted, the bread opens to form the perfect… More >>
  • Best Tamales

    Alamo Tamale Factory

    There are two kinds of tamales to be found here: the machine-made kind, which aren't bad, and the handmade kind, which are unbelievable. Either way, you'll be given a paper bag containing your booty, since there's nowhere to eat them. Pick up a dozen handmade chicken or beef tamales or, best of all, six of each for $8. No two… More >>
  • Best Burger

    105 Grocery & Deli

    The 105 Grocery & Deli is located in the rural hamlet of Washington, not far from Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park. Inside, there are a lot of cold drink cases and about six tables scattered around the interior. The burgers are made on a griddle behind the cash register. They come wrapped in tissue paper in a paper-lined blue plastic basket full… More >>
  • Best Cheeseburger

    The Hill Bar & Grill - CLOSED

    J's Special at The Hill Bar & Grill in Waller is a cheeseburger served on Texas toast. Swapping out a bun for two double-thick slices of toasted white bread sounds like a pretty minor change. But the effect that ­aggressively griddled Texas toast has on this cheeseburger is quite r­emarkable. The burger comes wrapped in ­tissue paper and served in… More >>
  • Best Chicken-Fried Steak

    Ouisie's Table

    The perfectly battered chicken-fried steak at Ouisie's has been rated the best in the state by more than one chicken-fried critic. The awesome meat patty is covered with an undulating crust and served with black pepper milk gravy in a metal gravy boat on the side so that you can dip each bite in gravy as you go, or pour… More >>
  • Best Crawfish

    Swampy's Cajun Shack

    If you like your mudbugs out on a patio with lots of beer and a Hawaiian Tex-Mex cover band, then Swampy's is your kind of place. The rest of the Cajun menu is hit or miss. But the bar is always hopping, and the crawfish are a relative bargain. Last spring, while the average price in Houston was between $4.50… More >>
  • Best Pizza

    Russo's New York Coal-Fired Pizzeria

    At Russo's New York Coal-Fired Pizzeria near the intersection of the Northwest Freeway and Highway 6, Anthony Russo has re-created the old-fashioned coal-fired pizzeria experience in a suburban strip center. But the superhot oven is only part of what Russo is doing right. You don't get a pizza crust with this kind of fabulous texture unless you can turn out… More >>
  • Best Dim Sum

    Fung's Kitchen

    The sesame balls filled with sweetened red bean paste are hot out of the fryer — they taste like Chinese jelly doughnuts. The regular dim sum items are all nicely done, but it's the upscale exotica that catches your attention here. The cart with the shell-shaped metallic dishes of seaweed salad also carries a stylish white rectangular plate that holds… More >>
  • Best Cevaps/Kebabs

    Café Pita +

    Cevapcici, or cevaps for short, are the Slavic version of kebabs. It's also the Bosnian national dish and the signature item at Café Pita +, Houston's favorite Bosnian restaurant. To make cevaps, ground beef and lamb are mixed with pureed onions, herbs and spices, formed into cylinders and grilled. The result tastes like a hamburger and looks like a hot… More >>
  • Best Mussels

    Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar

    The multicultural mussel appetizer at the Mockingbird Bistro in Montrose starts with perfectly cleaned, gritless Mediterranean mussels. The black-shelled, white-fleshed shellfish are stewed in a stout Asian-fusion coconut milk broth seasoned with garlic, lemongrass and spicy red curry. Then they're presented in a big white bowl of the hearty red sauce, with the shells arranged around the outside and a… More >>
  • Best Empanada

    The Original Marini's Empanada House

    Owner Marcello Marini claims his are "the best empanadas in the world," and while we can't know if that's true, we can certainly vouch that they're the best in Houston. The Marini family has expanded its empanada empire, opening this location at the Carillon Shopping Center last year to go along with its more established restaurant in Katy. Inside, don't… More >>
  • Best Oysters

    Danton's Gulf Coast ­Seafood Kitchen

    The oysters are expertly shucked and beautifully served on a tray full of ice with lemons and all the sauces. They'll give you puny ones under two-and-a-half inches if you want, but they will also accommodate those who like their oysters big — ask for the sea monsters and you'll get oysters of three-and-a-half inches or more. Danton's is a… More >>
  • Best Campechana

    Pan y Agua - CLOSED

    Pan y Agua is a new and already packed upscale cantina where the elite meet to pay a premium for Latin food. If you're not up for an expensive steak, there are some real standouts on the appetizer menu. One such standout is the campechana. Beautifully presented, well-flavored and full of plump, fresh, high-quality seafood, the campechana is well worth… More >>
  • Best Drink Special

    The Mezzanine Lounge

    The Mezzanine Lounge is a little unsettling in that its general vibe defies description, but it has some seriously good drink specials, so who cares? You can land there any day of the week and find yourself overcome with joy about how cheap the drinks are. And good news for sports fans — the drink prices seem to be inversely… More >>
  • Best Dumplings

    Xiong's Cafe

    Tucked into one of the endless strip centers of Bellaire Chinatown, this tiny cafe offers some delicious traditional Chinese fare. And what Xiong's lacks in size, it makes up for in dumplings. Steamed, boiled and pan-fried varieties are handmade, and show up at the table in generous portions. The spicy Szechuan dumplings and boiled pork-and-Chinese chive dumplings are fantastic and… More >>
  • Best Fish Tacos

    Berryhill Baja Grill

    Berryhill Baja Grill is a Houston-based chain that's vegetarian-friendly. They've been serving up their famous fish tacos since 1993 and know how it's done.  Both the grilled and tempura varieties come out fast, with crunchy cabbage and a generous dollop of Baja-style sauce on top. On Mondays and Fridays, these addictive tacos can be had for $1.99. Each location has… More >>
  • Best French Fries

    Goode's Armadillo ­Palace

    Armadillo Palace serves up some great Texas bistro fries. Thin cut with skins on and ­sprinkled with just enough seasoned salt, these fries are perfectly paired with a side of Goode Company's famous BBQ sauce. The ­secret here is frying them twice, so they're crispy on the outside and tender in the middle. If you like a fantastic burger and… More >>
  • Best Margarita

    Pico's Mex-Mex - CLOSED

    Few things can bring you sheer joy like a ­margarita the size of your head — just as ­nothing can bring about sheer agony like two margaritas the size of your head. Pico's momentous 48-ounce margarita is a good balance of sweet and tart and an excellent deal. If you're in the mood for something more adventurous, Pico's also has… More >>
  • Best Korean Pancake

    Tofu Village

    As the name promises, Tofu Village has all kinds of tofu (most of which are not vegetarian) and a village of two-dimensional Korean glitterati whose eyes follow your every move. It also has all kinds of pancakes, and they are quite delicious. What sets Tofu Village apart is that its pancakes — whether zucchini, seafood, oyster or kimchi/shiitake/beef — come… More >>
  • Best Milkshake

    Sparkles Hamburger Spot

    For burger aficionados and inhabitants of the Third Ward, Sparkles Hamburger Spot is a true haven. If you don't mind waiting, the gals at Sparkles will mix you up one tasty shake. They're the best because they use full-flavor ice cream and milk, mixing it the old-fashioned way, by hand. No complicated machines or premade mixes here. The only real… More >>
  • Best Mojito

    3rd Bar

    Mash a bunch of mint in the bottom of a glass, pour rum over it and you have a mojito; do it right and you have magic. Reef's 3rd Bar is doing it right. Making it the traditional way, the bartenders at 3rd Bar muddle the freshest mint with just enough sugar to make the Bacardi rum's flavors come out.… More >>
  • Best Pancakes

    Buffalo Grille

    If you want to avoid the hyper-corporate flopcakes at places like International House of Crap or the House of Guys, head on over to one of these home-style grills. Buffalo Grille has good old-fashioned hotcakes the size of your head. There is no short-stack, or even a half-stack. Stacking these country cakes would be totally ridiculous. They're huge and hot and… More >>
  • Best Fried Chicken

    Frenchy's

    Just across from the University of Houston, Frenchy's is the perfect place to avoid cafeteria food and even make those freshman 15 worth gaining. Get in line at the drive-thru, or get in your exercise by walking up to the stand to order fresh fried chicken with just enough grease to make it moist while retaining the crispy, spicy Cajun… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Sushi Jin

    It's obvious after one bite that Sushi Jin has raised the bar for Houston's raw fish lovers. Flown in from Japan, the mouthwatering pieces of salmon, tuna and yellow tail are sure to impress even the snobbiest connoisseurs. Wanna walk on the wild side? Jellyfish, sea cucumber and other exotics are hidden away in a secret stash — all you… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Dish

    Quan Yin Vegetarian's Chicken and Onions

    For those who want to live meat-free but still can't shake that craving for the forbidden, Quan Yin Vegetarian is the place. The soy substitutes come in just about every shape, color and type of animal that you'll find on a farm, and are as close to the real thing as you can get without drawing blood. One highlight of… More >>
  • Best Onion Rings

    Raven Grill

    When you try the onion rings at Raven grill, you suddenly realize that the prefab stuff you've been eating at Wendy's isn't so good. People actually still hand-make these things to order? Turns out there are still restaurants that create food with heart and soul, like they actually care what you're putting in your mouth. Raven's "tower o' rings" puts… More >>
  • Best Fish and Chips

    Soma Sushi

    This is not your British Auntie's fish & chips. At Soma, chef Robert Gadsby, formerly of Noe at the Omni Hotel, offers a Japanese-inspired twist on this traditional dish, serving up a whole fried bass, bones, skin, tail and all. The only thing not on the plate is the head, making this a far cry from the conventional battered fillet… More >>
  • Best Pork Chop

    Perry's Steakhouse & Grille

    There should be a prize for eating Perry's entire seven-finger pork chop by yourself in one sitting. Really, this is one big cut of meat. Stacked seven fingers thick (hence its name), this pork chop is carved tableside into three large pieces. Served with garlic butter on top and applesauce on the side, the meat is falling-apart tender and wonderfully… More >>
  • Best Martini

    Timpano Martini Bar and Chop House

    Anybody can make a martini: Shake the booze and ice till it's so cold you can't taste it or feel it going down your throat, making it easy to drink three in an hour and get so shit-canned you're wearing your necktie like a headband and telling your boss at happy hour what you "really think about your bonus." But… More >>
  • Best Beer Selection

    The Stag's Head

    If the downtown sausage-fest or the jock-stock in the village are not your cup of tea, the Stag's Head and their quality-over-quantity beer selection can be a haven for hopheads. Rather than trying to carry as many beers as possible or using gimmicks, they put some thought into the beers they pour, including Belhaven, Full Sail Pale Ale and Fuller's… More >>
  • Best Sangria

    Open City - CLOSED

    The best part about Open City's wine-and-fruit concoction is that they make their sangria with bourbon. Before you scream, "Spanish booze sacrilege," taste it! Better yet, have a pitcher on the rooftop with its view of the city skyline while you're surrounded by scores of hot women and quick bartenders. Open City's reverse happy hour runs from 9-11 p.m. on… More >>
  • Best All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

    V Star Restaurant

    When it comes to stuff-your-face gluttony, no one does it better than the Asian-inspired all-you-can-eat buffet at V Star. Located in a strip mall just off of I-45, this place almost literally has it all. A fruit bar, salad makings, a soup station and a seafood bar overflowing with oysters on the half shell, shrimp, king crab legs and spicy… More >>
  • Best Wine Bar Food

    Max's Wine Dive

    Go for the wine; keep going back for the food. Max's Wine Dive has a first-rate wine list, but it's this joint's food that separates it from the growing number of wine bars stretched along Washington. From the Texas-size Kobe-beef burger topped with creamy brie to the fried-egg sandwich with three eggs covered in truffle oil, smoked bacon and Gruyère… More >>
  • Best Jamaican Restaurant

    Caribbean Jerk Cuisine

    In a city with summers hot enough to cook an egg on your forehead, a place like Caribbean Jerk Cuisine is a cabana in the sun. No fusion crap at this spicy hole in the wall, just good down-home tropical specialties like curried goat, hot meat pies and jerk snapper. How do you jerk a snapper? Lots of aromatic spices… More >>
  • Best Tapas

    Rioja

    Serving classic tapas and sangria, Rioja is a standard among Spanish restaurants in Houston. It is pretty much a no-brainer that when you go to Rioja, you're going to get some pretty badass tapas, like the house-made chorizo or the fried shrimp with smoked paprika. Rioja serves good-size proportions of authentic, well-made tapas, reasonably priced and made with fresh ingredients.… More >>
  • Best Cuban Restaurant

    Flor de Cuba

    Looking for a feast? Try Flor de Cuba's parrillada cubana, a cornucopia of island delicacies including chuletas (pork chops), macitas (fried pork chunks), pechuga de pollo (grilled chicken breast), camarones al ajillo (shrimp in garlic) and vaca frita (fried beef). With all entrées, you get healthy servings of beans, rice, yucca and two types of plantains. It's more than enough… More >>
  • Best Soul Food

    This Is It

    Family-owned since its beginning, This Is It Soul Food is all about big, hefty servings of done-right down-home cooking. Back when it opened in 1959, a meal cost 89 cents. It's a bit more these days, but still more than reasonable. Now $10 will get you a plateful of fried catfish, smothered pork chops, barbecue ribs or oxtails and more… More >>
  • Best Brasserie

    Brasserie Max & Julie

    Owners Laurence and Chris Paul of Café Rabelais fame have managed to create an authentic brasserie experience in the heart of Montrose with their Brasserie Max & Julie. With not too much imagination, you'll be transported to Paris in an instant, and not just by the decor. They have Kronenbourg on tap and an excellent selection of French wines that… More >>
  • Best Brunch

    Seco's

    Apart from the fabulous food served here every Sunday, it's also the best bargain in Houston with a sumptuous buffet priced at an incredible $12.99 per person. And as if that weren't enough, bottomless mimosas go for $7.99 and bottomless sangria for $8.99. Start out with a warming bowl of sopa de camarones, a cream-based soup that is as chock-full… More >>
  • Best Family Restaurant

    Tony's Mexican ­Restaurant

    The bar at Tony's Mexican Restaurant stays busy serving up margaritas and mojitos, but its clientele is mainly families. It has the three main requirements for a happy family dinner: good food, low prices and a kid-friendly staff. Tony's offers kid's plates including ­quesadillas, tacos, hamburgers, enchiladas and fried shrimp. (Adults who want smaller portions can order a child's plate… More >>
  • Best Italian Restaurant

    Ristorante Cavour

    Flawless is the only word to describe the service at this exclusive place with only seven tables in the Hotel Granduca. However, it's not just the traditional European-style service and unmistakable attention to detail that make Ristorante Cavour what it is; it's the fabulous, authentic, traditional Italian food that puts it over the top. You're encouraged to have three courses… More >>
  • Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

    Zabak's

    This place is modern, clean and unpretentious. Order at the counter, and minutes later you'll be enjoying some terrific homemade Middle Eastern food from favorite family recipes. The hummus is as smooth as can be, and the baba ghanoush has a really smoky flavor, typical of this dish. The falafel is legendary, and the tabbouleh as authentic as you can… More >>
  • Best Pre-/Post-Theater Dining

    Bistro Lancaster

    With her ever-changing seasonal menus and inspired take on traditional fare, talented award-winning Executive Chef Jamie Zelko has revitalized Bistro Lancaster, once again making it the best spot to grab a bite before a show or a drink right after. Located inside The Lancaster Hotel in the Theater District, the bistro is the perfect spot to dine and then make… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    Feast - CLOSED

    They call the food at Feast "rustic European fare," and there's nothing else like it in Houston. Situated in a charming old house with a very relaxed and homey atmosphere, Brits Richard Knight (the chef) and James Silk (the butcher) are taking Houston tastebuds on a journey back in time, when people used to eat everything that a pig (and… More >>
  • Best Steakhouse

    Del Frisco's

    Sure, this is the place to see and be seen, and it's been so ever since it opened its doors. Sure, the decor is superb (it was the most expensive build-out in the city's history). Sure, it's one of the largest restaurants in the city (it seats 400). Sure, it has the most expensive and extensive wine list in the… More >>
  • Best Barbecue Restaurant

    Pierson & Company Bar-B-Que - CLOSED

    Friendly, accommodating and spotlessly clean, this top-notch barbecue joint has recently opened in Acres Homes not far from the ashes of the late great William's Smokehouse. Owner Clarence Pierson is a bear of a man who knows his smoked meats. He cooks on an honest-to-God, wood-fueled, Houston-made Klose barbecue pit — not one of those gas-fired stainless steel virtual barbecue… More >>
  • Best Burger Joint

    Lankford Grocery and Market

    Like many quintessential Texas burger joints, this place started out as a convenience store. The grocery opened in 1939, and when owner and head cook Eydie Prior was growing up, her parents really sold groceries. But it was the hamburgers that brought in the crowds, and so they took out the store shelves and put in some tables. Today, Lankford… More >>
  • Best Cajun Restaurant

    Floyd's Cajun Seafood House

    Go eat some of Floyd's fried oysters with hand-cut French fries or his wildly spicy crawfish or his awesome poor boys, and you will remember why Cajun food used to get us so excited. The boat-shaped bar on the southbound side of the Gulf Freeway is now one of two Floyd's locations. It's great to see Floyd Landry building another… More >>
  • Best Indonesian Restaurant

    Noodle House 88

    Houston ethnic food doesn't get much more exotic than this. But even if you aren't up to trying street foods like otak otak (tubular "fish cakes" grilled inside banana leaves and dipped in spicy peanut sauce), gado gado (watercress, long beans, cabbage, and fried tofu tossed in chili-spiked peanut sauce with crispy shrimp chips) or nasi goreng with sator (fried… More >>
  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    Hugo's

    The restaurant roasts its own cocoa beans and grinds them by hand in an old-fashioned stone mill that chef-owner Hugo Ortega brought back from Oaxaca. The fresh-ground cocoa paste is used to make its signature mole poblano, as well as the cup of hot chocolate that comes with some of the desserts. Seasonal dishes at Hugo's, like the chiles en… More >>
  • Best Pizzeria

    Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca

    Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca is owned by Marco Wiles, the chef-owner of Houston's best Italian restaurant, Da Marco. Wiles says that Dolce Vita is a tribute to authentic Italian pizzerias. Heating up a brick oven takes a long time, which is why the great pizzerias in Italy are only open in the evening. Dolce Vita is following their lead,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant

    Reef

    Reef is an intensely local restaurant that caters to our city's culinary eccentricities. Chef-owner Bryan Caswell, who grew up in Houston, used to do a lot of fishing. Fishermen understand the treasures of the Gulf of Mexico in a way that non-fishermen never quite get. At Reef, the menu changes every day to take advantage of what's available. Sure, there's… More >>
  • Best Service

    Da Marco

    There was a time in Houston when the best tables were awarded to the wealthy and prominent and the rest of us had to wait. In those days, great service meant sucking up to socialites and fluffing napkins, not providing information about the menu and the wine list. Da Marco is the upscale Italian restaurant that changed all that. Da… More >>
  • Best Atmosphere

    The Grove

    Sure, the food is good, but at The Grove, it's all about ambience. Patrons walk through the entrance and face a soaring wall of windows that look out onto the oak trees and lawns in Discovery Green Park. The dark wood floors and ceiling add a homey touch to this otherwise sleek and modern-looking restaurant that bleeds almost seamlessly into… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Restaurant

    House of Pies

    Low-key doesn't begin to describe this Upper Kirby institution, where the wait staff has seen it all and won't bat an eyelash if you come in from your job still in uniform or from that costume party still dressed as Catwoman. Although the pies are certainly the pièce de résistance of this 24-hour hangout, don't shy away from other menu… More >>
  • Best South American Restaurant

    Inka South American Cuisine

    After a few bites of the borrego al pebre at Inka South American Cuisine, you may find yourself wondering where in South America the recipe for this rack of lamb crusted with spices and served with a battered and deep-fried avocado quarter came from exactly. Yes, the menu also features authentic arepas, glorious empanadas and lots of intriguingly seasoned postmodern… More >>
  • Best Taco Truck

    Mi Lindo Huetamo #2

    This stately white and stainless steel taco truck can be found at the corner of Hillcroft and Jessamine on the same block as Droubi's Middle Eastern grocery and bakery. The cooking is top-notch, and the garnishes are unusually elaborate. Try the quesadillas al pastor, lovingly topped off with sour cream, avocado and cilantro. You get two salsas with every order, a… More >>
  • Best Tex-Mex Restaurant

    Los Dos Amigos

    When Los Dos Amigos first opened 32 years ago, the sign above the building was red. The color has washed away over the years, and now you can barely read the name of the place. Los Dos Amigos is one of many restaurants on Washington Avenue that were built to serve the nearby Mexican barrio. The neighborhood has changed, but… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese

    Que Huong

    Vietnamese Americans visiting Houston from the East and West coasts tell us there is nothing like Que Huong (pronounced WAY HONG) where they come from. They are blown away by the quality of the food and the cheap prices. Don't miss the hot Vietnamese egg rolls with cold lettuce leaf wrappers and fish sauce dip (#004), and the pan-fried squid… More >>
  • Best Wine List

    Catalan Food & Wine Bar - CLOSED

    Antonio Gianola is the sommelier at Catalan, and his passion for wine is scary. Gianola demonstrated his encyclopedic knowledge of Italian wines while he served as the wine steward at Da Marco. While composing the wine list at Catalan, he began reaching out to the world's most forward-thinking winemakers. When Gianola starts talking about these folks — eco-sensitive French winemakers… More >>
  • Best Cheap Seafood

    Connie's Seafood ­Market & Restaurant

    Across the street from the Heights farmers market, this kid-friendly seafood spot has a myriad of fresh offerings at very reasonable prices. The menu provides many choices in preparation and serving size, so even the pickiest eater will be satisfied. The calamari and campechana are fantastic, and the fried-seafood platter is definitely enough for two. Shrimp fried rice is a… More >>
  • Best Indian

    Shri Balaji Bhavan

    Shri Balaji Bhavan serves up some excellent Southern Indian comfort food that has not been dumbed down for the masses. The staff is friendly and willing to help navigate the menu, if you're not familiar with Indian food. Thali, or sampler platters of sorts, are a great way to try a number of things if you can't commit. There is… More >>
  • Best Pakistani/Northern Indian

    Himalaya

    Encompassing Pakistani, North Indian and a bit of Southern Indian cuisine, Himalaya is a standout among the dozens of Indian restaurants that populate the area. However you describe it, the food is flavorful and satisfying. Presided over by the ever-present owner, Himalaya offers some of the best dishes from the Subcontinent you'll find anywhere in town. The chicken tikka masala… More >>
  • Best Chain Restaurant

    Becks Prime

    When it comes to local chains, no one does burgers and steaks faster or better that the folks at Becks Prime. Originally only on Kirby Drive more than 20 years ago, the chain now has eight locations peppered throughout the Houston area, five of which sport the all-important, convenient drive-thru windows Houstonians know and love. But just because the food… More >>
  • Best Breakfast

    Goode Company ­Taqueria

    It's a good thing this taqueria is a weekend-only breakfast spot. If not, we'd be sinking our teeth into the migas seven days a week. You might have to wait in line to place your order, but once you have, sit back and have some of Goode Company Taqueria's fresh-squeezed orange juice on the relaxing patio or the funky indoor… More >>
  • Best Comfort Food

    Cleburne Cafeteria

    If Houston traffic leaves you needing some serious TLC, Cleburne Cafeteria is your place. Everything about this Houston staple whispers comfort. Drift through the line and pick up heaping bowls of mayo-filled salads, thick-sliced meatloaf, gooey chicken and dumplings and layer upon layer of luscious cake slices before sliding into a chair and relaxing with your meal. You'll feel right… More >>
  • Best Delivery

    Star Pizza

    Don't feel like going out? Microwave seem too complicated? The staff at Star Pizza will help. You won't hear any groans if you want to switch around your toppings one last time, or cover only half the pie in olives. Then again, you can always kick it old school with one of the classic options that Star has been serving… More >>
  • Best Gay-Friendly Restaurant

    Baby Barnaby's

    Don't be fooled by the somewhat decrepit facade of this Montrose breakfast haven. It seems the owners of this gay-owned Montrose staple decided to forgo the manscaping and instead focus on the classic American cuisine, delicious fresh-squeezed juices, on-the-case staff and affordable prices. After all, it's what's inside that counts, right? A welcoming rainbow flag in the window beckons patrons,… More >>
  • Best Greek Restaurant

    Biba's One's a Meal

    The beat-up decor of this all-night establishment might be a little off-putting at first, but as with most things Greek, personality is key. While working through plates of light and flaky spanakopita, dense moussaka and classic Greek salad, the in-your-face staff will make you feel cozy enough to sink into the comfy booths and even stick around once you've finished… More >>
  • Best Jewish Deli

    Kenny & Ziggy's

    Would it kill you to eat a little something, or do you enjoy breaking your mother's heart? If that sounds familiar, you'll be right at home at Kenny & Ziggy's, where authentic New York deli food is done up right. Dig into a gargantuan Reuben or corned beef sandwich. Get a bagel topped with any of the stunning smoked fish,… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Vieng Thai

    Vieng Thai's dynamic dishes are a welcome change or addition to the ordinary just-home-from-work quick dinner out. As you enter the modest dining area, remind yourself that it's the food at Vieng Thai that's bringing you here. Random karaoke videos in the background may or may not add to the ambience, depending on your camp-tolerance that day. The impressive menu… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant

    Field of Greens

    Field of Greens's mostly meat-free menu has a wide range of dishes, including a raw vegetable rainbow plate, green bean hummus wrap and six different kinds of veggie burgers. Feeling overwhelmed? The knowledgeable staff makes ordering easy and will happily explain the difference between tempeh and tofu or make substitutions to accommodate vegan customers and those with additional dietary restrictions.… More >>
  • Best Greasy Spoon

    Lucky Burger - CLOSED

    From the outside, Lucky Burger looks more like a greasy bucket than a greasy spoon. You may even think that the food inside this dumpy little corner eatery isn't safe, but inside are some really simple and tasty burgers. The short menu gets to the point with burgers and cheeseburgers, with variations of toppings like jalapeños, bacon, extra meat, blue… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Jackie Tan Restaurant

    It's huge, it's inexpensive and it's fun. Located in a towering building on Bellaire between Synott and Dairy Ashford, Jackie Tan Restaurant looks like a fortress along the Great Wall of China. It seats over 300. The menu is huge, and there are lots of gloppy brown sauce dishes lying in wait for the unwary. If you pay attention, you… More >>
  • Best Dry Restaurant

    Shade

    There are a number of dry restaurants around, so what makes this one supreme? We could say that it's the wonderfully inspired chicken-fried quail, the inventive wasabi and cucumber crusted red snapper or the toothsome trays of tiny pastries offered at brunch. But what truly catapults this dry restaurant in the heart of West 19th Street over the top is… More >>
  • Best Expense Account Restaurant

    Pappas Bros. ­Steakhouse

    A throwback to steakhouses of generations past, Pappas Bros. has the old-school charm of a private club and is the perfect setting for a power dinner. Plush leather seating, grand marble columns and rich mahogany paneling make this the ideal place to chomp on a stogie and seal a deal. Once you've polished off a buttery 26-ounce porterhouse, take the… More >>
  • Best Family-Owned Restaurant

    Niko Niko's

    For more than 30 years, Niko Niko's has been offering up authentic Greek food, many of the recipes coming from founder Eleni Fetokakis's father's restaurant in Athens. A converted gas station, Niko Niko's is always bustling with diners eager to get their Greek on. Customers form a line at the counter and fire their orders off into one of the… More >>
  • Best Taqueria

    Laredo Taqueria

    If it's down-home comfort you seek, look no further than Laredo Taqueria. From the woman behind the counter hand-rolling the softest of tortillas to the Little League photos and ceramic tiles depicting the Virgin Mary on the walls, this cozy one-room joint on the north side of town just off I-45 brings home the feeling of an old-timey taqueria. Fall… More >>
  • Best Seafood Restaurant

    Jimmy Wilson's Seafood & Chop House

    Best Seafood Restaurant Traditional Cajun crawfish bisque was the best starter at the old Jimmy Wilson's on Westheimer. Fried green tomatoes topped with jumbo lump crabmeat is the signature appetizer of the upscale new Jimmy Wilson's on San Felipe. The list of fresh fish written on a chalkboard at the old place appears on a flat-screen television set in the sleek… More >>
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