Food & Drinks

  • Best Taco

    Karanchos

    Tacos are one of those foods best enjoyed outdoors — yes, even on a sweltering day. It's the Houston way. That's why the all-outdoors Karanchos is such a destination for taco hounds. That, and the rotating pork-on-a-spit called trompo, which marinates in pineapple juice while it cooks. Like barbecue, trompo is best cooked outside. And as with good barbecue, people… More >>
  • Best Sandwich

    Local Foods

    Located inside the old Antone's Deli spot in Rice Village, Local Foods does its former tenant a great honor by continuing to turn out spectacular sandwiches that are wholly Houston. Made with as many local ingredients as possible, whether it be produce, meat or cheese, Local Foods' sandwiches are chock full of good stuff. Try the roast beef with kale,… More >>
  • Best Food Truck

    H-town Streats

    It's hard to believe that food coming off a truck can be as inventive, or can taste as good as, what you get at H-town Streats. But then again, it's not every food truck that has trained chefs working at the helm. On any given day, you'll find Jason Hill and/or Matt Opaleski manning the truck, which means that crawfish… More >>
  • Best Martini

    The Davenport

    If you need proof that quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive, look no further than The Davenport martini. Non-purists will appreciate all of the well-crafted martini "varieties" (more than 30!), but the original classic (a frosty balance of gin, dry vermouth and a splash of olive juice) is truly potable art. More than one might even knock James Bond… More >>
  • Best Wine List

    Plonk Beer & Wine Bistro

    Just as the sign-less Plonk is a secret treasure here in Garden Oaks, so does its wine list feature hidden gems from the peerless mind of owner Scott Miller. Miller, the former wine director at Pappas Steakhouse, is smart enough to know his clientele on both ends of the wine spectrum and caters to them with aplomb. This means you'll… More >>
  • Best Seasonal Cuisine

    benjy's

    At the Washington Avenue location of this Houston classic, chef Mike Potowski — a native of Japan — showcases seasonal produce and local products in his diverse but streamlined menu, with echoes of Asian influences. Free-range chicken is served with summer succotash, and pork rib eye is paired with Texas peaches in warmer months, while spring sees dishes like Gulf… More >>
  • Best Peruvian Restaurant

    Latin Bites

    Chef Roberto Castre lives and breathes Peruvian food at his restaurant, Latin Bites — because he's from Peru himself. He brought with him to Houston not only an innate understanding of the cuisine, but also a deft touch in the modern treatments he gives to classics like ceviches and causitas. His saucework is nothing short of breathtaking, too, from bright… More >>
  • Best Japanese Restaurant

    Sushi Miyagi

    Sushi Miyagi definitely strives to keep its overhead low. There are only a few tables in this tiny restaurant and a staff of exactly two people. It's a true mom-and-pop joint; Pop makes wonderful, artistic sushi, while Mom runs basically everything else. What you get is just about the best quality fish you will find anywhere. There are some fancy,… More >>
  • Best Bagel

    Hot Bagel Shop

    Hot Bagel Shop is a true hole-in-the-wall, as any good bagel shop should be. New Jersey natives opened the store more than 25 years ago, and it's been pumping out fresh, crisp and perfectly doughy New York-style bagels ever since. Don't expect a lavish dining experience; besides the one or two tables in the parking lot, this counter-service shop is… More >>
  • Best African Restaurant

    Finger Licking Bukateria

    If you're brand-new to African — or Nigerian, in this case — food, Finger Licking Bukateria is the perfect place to start. The flagship restaurant of Houston's Little Nigeria, FLB is housed in an old Bennigan's, with plenty of room to spread out with friends and get your hands into some fufu and egusi. The helpful waiters will guide you… More >>
  • Best Bottomless Brunch

    Farrago World Cuisine - CLOSED

    If you wake up feeling particularly saucy on a Saturday or Sunday morning, then Farrago World Cuisine is the place for you. This trendy fusion restaurant is packed during its famous weekend brunch, serving up a refreshing menu alongside tall glasses of bottomless mimosas. The vibe is Miami-in-the-summertime, with a young, hip crowd that is ready to party as the… More >>
  • Best Burrito

    Barnaby's Cafe

    Barnaby's Cafe is a consistent, healthy and dependable local chain. Whether you are out on a date, need a quick bite before a show or are looking to take out the family without breaking the bank, you will find friendly service and tasty food here. The burrito is one of the best values around. For $10, it's huge, packed with… More >>
  • Best Wine Bar

    13 Celsius

    So named for the temperature at which it carefully stores its hoard of wine, 13 Celsius has become the paradigm by which all other wine bars in Houston are judged. The meticulously restored building is a metaphor for the meticulously compiled wine list, which prominently features Old World wines that may have been otherwise snubbed or forgotten by a Napa… More >>
  • Best Spring Rolls

    Huynh

    When you're getting ready to go to a concert at Warehouse Live, or fueling to cheer on your Houston Dynamo at the new stadium a few blocks away, you must first have yourself a plate of Huynh's spring rolls. Whether or not you order shrimp, tofu, pork or all of them, you can't do much better than these spring rolls… More >>
  • Best Vegan

    Radical Eats

    Vegan Mexican food? Why not? Lard makes a lot of things better, but its use is rendered moot here at Staci Davis's all-veggie paradise. Instead, she's perfected a tortilla recipe that features no lard at all — nor are her tamales, enchiladas or tacos laced with the fatty stuff. Instead, she batters and fries avocados and stuffs them into tacos… More >>
  • Best Bistro

    Roost

    The epitome of a cozy, welcoming neighborhood bistro, Roost hosts local residents — many of whom walk or ride their bikes — in its comfortable, low-slung dining room while they nosh on whatever weekly specials chef Kevin Naderi has whipped up. Whether it's whole roasted Cornish game hen with grilled lemon and duck confit Lady Creamer peas one night or… More >>
  • Best Greek Restaurant

    Niko Niko's

    A Greek restaurant for Texan appetites, Niko Niko's routinely has a line out the door. Thankfully, it moves quickly. Excellent service and awesome food make Niko Niko's a bastion of consistency in the Houston food world. Whether you want falafel, baba ghanoush or a gyro, you can find it all and more at this local landmark. Make sure to eyeball… More >>
  • Best Michelada

    Connie's Seafood Market & Restaurant

    What do you get when you mix Connie's spicy bottled michelada sauce and a cold bottle of beer in a frosty beer mug? One of the best-tasting and refreshing micheladas you'll ever have the pleasure of tasting. Often described as a Bloody Mary made with beer, the tomato-ey, spicy michelada is the quintessential everyman's beer cocktail in Mexico and Latin… More >>
  • Best Service

    Uchi

    The massive, multisensory menu at Uchi can be intimidating — even to hardcore food lovers. Machi cure with yucca crisp and garlic brittle? Walu walu with yuzupon and myoga? It could all be a bit much if it weren't for Uchi's impeccable service. With a waitstaff that knows the menu inside-out and blindfolded, you can allow your server to be… More >>
  • Best Egg Salad

    DaCapo's Pastry Cafe

    As far as sandwich fillings go, egg salad can often be tame, mild — dare I say, effete? Not so at DaCapo's Pastry Cafe, whose version is genuinely peppy thanks to an infusion of honey mustard in the dressing and a sprinkling of dill. After experiencing this sweet-spicy punch, you'll never again see egg salad as the stuff of staid… More >>
  • Best Romantic Restaurant

    Rainbow Lodge

    There's a reason Houstonians continue to host their weddings and celebrate their anniversaries at this beloved institution — and it's not just the verdant views onto the lush bayou or the romantic, lodge-like feel imparted by the wood-beamed, fireplace-warmed structure. The food is amazing, too, as is the warm, high-end service. Rainbow Lodge offers a meal well worth paying for… More >>
  • Best Steakhouse

    Vic & Anthony's

    Not only is Vic & Anthony's currently the city's best steakhouse, it's one of the best all-around restaurants in Houston, period. The charmingly old-school service is exemplary, the dining rooms are lushly appointed and lavishly handsome, the food is always impeccable — hell, even the piano player in the dark, loungey bar is fantastic. A trip to Vic & Anthony's… More >>
  • Best Restaurant

    Underbelly

    Billing itself as "The Story of Houston Food," Underbelly has taken Houston's extremely diverse array of ethnic cuisines and combined them all seamlessly into a modern menu that somehow feels timeless and organic. Chef Chris Shepherd's love for all things Asian shows in dishes like Korean goat dumplings and Peking chicken with crispy eggplant, while Texas's heritage is reflected in… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse

    Catalina Coffee

    Owner and coffee roaster Max Gonzales has made sure that Catalina stays at the top of its game by keeping its baristas well-trained, its coffee selection well-curated and its cortados well-made, every single time. There is no such thing as a bad cup of coffee here, whether it's a flat white or an espresso, and the pastries in the small… More >>
  • Best Comfort Food

    Natachee's Supper 'n' Punch

    Natachee's Super 'n Punch's motto is "Sit back and relax...This is real down-home cookin!" They couldn't be more right. Open for breakfast and dinner, the restaurant serves up made-from-scratch comfort food just like your mama makes — that is, if your mama tops her meatloaf with spicy tomato gravy and a fried egg. With live music, an enormous patio and… More >>
  • Best Pakistani Restaurant

    Himalaya

    Pakistani food is often regarded as a subset of Indian cuisine, but it has an identity all its own. One huge difference between the two types of restaurants: beef, which you're not likely to find at Indian places. No one is doing it better, or more visibly, than Chef Kaiser Lashkari and his staff at Himalaya. Himalaya claims to be… More >>
  • Best Pizza

    Pizaro's Pizza Napoletana

    Pizaro's became an instant classic almost the moment that Bill Hutchinson opened its doors in a Memorial-area strip mall, because there's nothing else like it in town. The Napoletana-style pizza cooks in 90 seconds in a wood-fired 900-degree oven that's the centerpiece of the small, bare-bones dining room. What emerges from the belly of the fiery beast is a pizza… More >>
  • Best Raw Bar

    Liberty Kitchen

    This seafood-heavy Heights hot spot consistently turns out some of the best seafood dishes in town, from gumbo to whole-fried trout. But the sleek, marble-topped oyster bar straight out of a New England restaurant is equally ambitious. Here, you can dive into an ocean of different raw seafood dishes: Hawaiian-style tuna poke, ceviche marinated in ginger beer, chiles and sweet… More >>
  • Best Tapas

    Majorca

    Named after an island in the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain, Majorca in Midtown is creating food that was inspired by those islands: tapas. Chef Hicham Nafaa's extensive menu includes typical Spanish classics like paella, albóndigas (meatballs) and gambas con arroz (prawns with rice). In typical tapas fashion, most dishes are small and meant to be shared. On… More >>
  • Best Beer Bar

    Petrol Station

    Houston's oldest and best craft beer bar is still going strong since opening in 2007, thanks to the guidance of beer god Ben Fullelove. Of the 30-odd taps that Fullelove has in the bar, all are interesting and dynamic beer selections, whether it be a fruity Dogfish Head Festina Pêche or a hop-heavy Stone Ruination IPA. Petrol also hosts regular… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian

    Roots Bistro - CLOSED

    Chef German Mosquera, who is vegan, takes his greens as seriously as most chefs take their proteins, but has fun with them at the same time. And his restaurant, Roots Bistro (which also features meat on the menu), encourages diners to do the same. In lieu of a stuffy, self-righteous attitude, Roots features fanciful dishes such as quinoa mac 'n'… More >>
  • Best Tex-Mex Restaurant

    La Mexicana

    This family-run restaurant has been serving Montrose its Tex-Mex since 1982, and the food reflects those years of loving care. You'll find old favorites like entomatadas here that are a rarity on more modern Tex-Mex menus, as well as huge weekend portions of soul-saving stuff like menudo and barbacoa breakfast tacos. If the line gets too long, seat yourself at… More >>
  • Best Barbecue

    Gatlin's

    The line at Gatlin's never gets any shorter, but the city's barbecue fans keep coming. Could this one day be Houston's answer to Franklin's, outside of Austin? Perhaps, but for now it's our little secret. And the secret lies in Greg Gatlin's ribs, cooked low and slow over pecan wood, his fall-apart-good brisket with a thick smoke ring, his liver-laced… More >>
  • Best Falafel

    Fadi's Mediterranean Grill

    With locations all around town, family-run Fadi's offers diners wonderful Mediterranean cuisine — always fresh and incredibly tasty — in a cafeteria-style setting. Fadi's offers outstanding fried cauliflower, lamb shanks, kebabs and hummus. The falafel is absolutely a must-try. With the exact balance of crispy outside and soft, airy inside, it somehow transforms simple chickpeas, onions and spices into crave-worthy,… More >>
  • Best Cocktail Bar

    Anvil Bar & Refuge

    Don't go to Anvil looking for a vodka and soda. The name of the game at Anvil is cocktails, and whether it's a Pimm's cup, a French 75 or something mixed with bourbon, gin or another spirit, Anvil's bartenders get it right, every time. What started out as a project among self-professed cocktail freaks Bobby Heugel, Kevin Floyd and Steve… More >>
  • Best Banh Mi

    Thim Hing Sandwiches

    Thim Hing Sandwiches has been serving sandwiches to Alief for at least a decade. The hole-in-the-wall shows signs of long-term wear with chipped melamine tables, chairs and floors that have seen better days, but their banh mi sandwiches are still top-notch. The secret is in the bread: They use just-toasted baguette bread that is thin and crispy, but not so… More >>
  • Best Seafood

    Brasserie 19

    As any good brasserie should, Brasserie 19 offers a voluptuous selection of seafood to its swanky River Oaks clients — including a super-spendy seafood tower christened "Le Grand Dix Neuf Plateau" — as well as other specialty items like Osetra caviar. Fans of cooked seafood will enjoy classics like trout almondine and house-made salmon gravlax, while more adventurous diners can… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Eats

    BB's Café

    Open until 3 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, the always-hopping BB's Café is a little bit of New Orleans right in the heart of Montrose. The Creole-style eatery boasts a menu packed with Louisiana favorites like po-boys, gumbo and fried oysters by the pound. But the true standouts are dishes like the "Tex-Cajun Virgin," a heaping plate of queso, roast beef… More >>
  • Best Brunch

    Hugo's

    Who needs to go to Vegas when you can get Sunday brunch at Hugo's? The Sunday all-you-can-eat brunch consistently offers an excellent sampling of regional Mexican cuisine that is the staple of Hugo's trademark. Beautiful shrimp and octopus salads, hearty rich seafood soups, rack of lamb and roasted pork ribs, along with traditional brunch fare of eggs Benedict and huevos… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Shri Balaji Bhavan

    Shri Balaji Bhavan's sparse atmosphere and counter service don't dissuade Houstonians in search of delicious and authentic Udipi-style cuisine. The place is always packed with people sitting at feast-laden tables. Prices are so reasonable here, you can generously feed a family of four for around $50. It's so delicious that even meat lovers don't mind that the place is strictly… More >>
  • Best Fries

    Hubcap Grill

    Though primarily known for its innovative burgers (like the Sticky Monkey with peanut butter, bacon and grilled bananas), Hubcap Grill offers fries that can steal the show from the patties. The Hell Fries, thin strips of deep-fried potato topped with jalapeños, cayenne and chile powders, and a Siracha mayonnaise, are (irony noted) heaven for those who want some serious spice… More >>
  • Best Breakfast

    the breakfast klub

    A true Houston landmark, the breakfast klub in Midtown is a hub of activity during its limited operating hours — 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays. Featuring a rib-sticking soul-food menu and service that is both quick and friendly, the breakfast klub will start your day off right. Must-tries include the… More >>
  • Best BYOB

    Lucio's BYOB

    Although it has a small and well-edited wine list, Lucio's is still a BYOB first and foremost. That's why you'll find many of the city's wine geeks tucked away in one of its cozy dining rooms or sprawled on the inviting, manicured back patio. The big draw here is the low-cost $5 corkage fee and chef Brett Maesch's simple, elegant… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream

    Le Mistral

    Le Mistral is probably best known for its French cuisine, but lately it has upped the ante in the dessert department, starting with the acquisition of a commercial-grade Italian ice cream machine that produces house-made ice creams easily and frequently. Fruit-based sorbets are outstanding, with a wide array of seasonal flavors like pear, apricot, plum, strawberry and lemon. Staple flavors… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese

    Cafe TH

    Whether it's the "Heart Throb" banh mi with double pork, double chicken, two eggs and bacon; a rice vermicelli bowl topped with freshly grilled chicken and egg rolls; or a bowl of the best vegan curry you'll find anywhere in town, Cafe TH delivers Vietnamese with food that's made with care and fresh, wholesome ingredients. It's the hallmark of owner… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Kata Robata

    Ask anyone where to go for sushi in Houston, and Kata Robata will most assuredly make the list. From traditional nigiri sushi to some of the freshest sashimi and inventive new sushi dishes, Kata Robata has it all. At the core of this restaurant is Executive Chef Manabu Horiuchi, the first-ever Japanese nominee from Houston to be nominated for a… More >>
  • Best Meat Selection

    Underbelly

    Chris Shepard is known for his charcuterie and passion for whole-animal cooking, so it's no wonder that Underbelly, the chef's first restaurant of his own, processes all of its meat in its own full-scale, back-of-the-house butcher shop. And the restaurant's ever-rotating, meat-centric menu, inspired by the various cuisines in Houston culture, certainly reflects that. Underbelly's small-plate (and limited-availability), family-style selections… More >>
  • Best Korean

    Bon Ga

    Located on Long Point Road between Gessner and Blalock, Bon Ga is a favorite among local chefs, offering authentic, everyday Korean cuisine that can be ordered à la carte for one or eaten family-style. The menu is extensive, with several pages of illustrated dishes, ranging from popular boiling hot pot stews like the kim chi jjigae (kimchi stew) or soondubu… More >>
  • Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

    Tiny Boxwood's

    The simple chocolate chip cookie is surprisingly difficult to make well, judging from the host of dry, bland discs that regularly pose as America's favorite cookie. Tiny Boxwood's has managed to find the perfect combination of ingredients, prepared with the appropriate timing and temperature, to produce lusciously chewy, soft-but-sturdy assemblages of buttery vanilla dough and rich chocolate pieces. You'll find… More >>
  • Best Wings

    Max's Wine Dive

    This artsy neighborhood dive is more than just a laid-back spot to grab drinks with friends; Max's Wine Dive makes some serious fried chicken wings. The wings are butchered daily, soaked in a jalapeño buttermilk batter, and deep-fried low and slow to form the most incredibly crisp, moist and juicy chicken around. You can enjoy Max's wings drizzled with chipotle… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Mala Sichuan

    There is no better nor more consistently excellent Chinese restaurant in town right now than Mala Sichuan, thanks to the peerless stewardship of owner Cori Xiong and her team of highly trained Sichuan chefs. The flavors in Mala's water-boiled fish or mapo tofu are clean, vibrant and piercing, while less heat-heavy dishes such as the Funky Stick Chicken, Arctic surf… More >>
  • Best Fish and Chips

    The Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen

    Although there's snazzier fare to enjoy at the Queen Vic, dismissing the fish and chips would be a royal mistake. This classy take on the dish involves a bouquet of spry fries and several thick halibut filets encased in a perky coriander batter. Sides of ketchup and dill yogurt sauce are there to keep the Yanks happy, but just a… More >>
  • Best Patio Dining

    Monarch at the Hotel Zaza

    With a view onto sprawling Hermann Park, the beautiful Mecom Fountain and the lush Museum District, dining on the Monarch's shaded patio feels a little like noshing at a swank Central Park spot — especially as you traipse through the elegant lobby to get there. Much of chef Adam West's food seems purpose-built for patio dining, too, with modern picnic-like… More >>
  • Best Hidden-Gem Restaurant

    Live Oak Grill

    Outside, there is a 120-year-old oak tree and a tin roof with a large Texas flag painted on it. Inside, there are burgers, onion rings and a chicken-fried steak that will make you thank your lucky stars you were born a Texan. It's a great place to go if you're catching a Skeeters game, as the stadium is just around… More >>
  • Best Beer Selection

    The Hay Merchant

    The new craft beer bar from Anvil Bar & Refuge co-owners Bobby Heugel and Kevin Floyd is bigger in both size and beer selection, with 80 taps that include five devoted solely to cask selections. Within those 80 taps, you'll find nearly every style of beer conceivable, from Rauchbiers to Russian Imperial Stouts and everything in between.… More >>
  • Best French Restaurant

    L'Olivier

    Chef Olivier Ciesielski made Tony's into one of Houston's top destinations for years, and finally branched out into a place all his own with the effortlessly chic L'Olivier. Inside what was once a convenience store (among other things), Ciesielski has transformed the space with cool, herringbone marble floors in the bright bar area and a mid-century modern-style dining room and… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    Good Dog Hot Dogs

    When you see Good Dog's baby-blue-and-white food truck with cheerful red and gold lettering parked next to a coffee shop, museum or bar, it's hard not to pull over immediately and get your hands on one of its signature hot dogs. All of the condiments are handmade, the soft buns are from Slow Dough and the specially blended franks themselves… More >>
  • Best Deli

    Kenny & Ziggy's

    Step into Kenny & Ziggy's, and it feels like you've landed in the middle of a New York City neighborhood, complete with the Jewish grandmothers, waiters in black-vested uniforms, and red booths with classic brass accents. Order a pastrami sandwich with meat piled high on rye, smoked salmon that tastes like you'd get it in New York, chopped liver like… More >>
  • Best Italian — neighborhood

    George's Pastaria

    George's Pastaria is the epitome of a friendly neighborhood restaurant, staffed with kids from the local high schools and stuffed with families enjoying old-school Italian food of the red-and-white-checkered tablecloth variety. Beef ravioli bears a mention of being the favorite dish of a nearby resident, while the sign out front frequently mentions customers' birthdays. Try the Rigatoni Campagnolo with sausage… More >>
  • Best Thai

    Thai Gourmet

    Tucked away in an unassuming strip mall on Richmond near Hillcroft, Thai Gourmet is one of those places that are authentically Thai yet still accessible to relatively untutored palates. Dishes like Penang Beef ordered "Thai hot" may scorch the tongue in true Thai style, while others, like the basil beef or their excellent tom kha gai coconut chicken lemongrass soup,… More >>
  • Best Veggie Burger

    Green Seed Vegan

    Green Seed Vegan's all-veggie Dirty Burque burger is so good, we'll put it up against a meat-based burger any day of the week. It's hard to miss the meat, in fact, when there's so much deliciousness between the buns: The patty is mostly buckwheat, a pseudo-cereal that's gluten-free, high in protein and made from scratch. It's studded with colorful chunks… More >>
  • Best Burger

    Bernie's Burger Bus

    It may look like a school bus, but it's a lean, mean, burger-grilling machine. Winner of the 2012 Houston Press Burger Bracket, Bernie's Burger Bus is the true definition of gourmet food truck, utilizing the freshest ingredients — fresh-ground Black Angus beef, freshly made baked buns, and homemade condiments — to make one of the juiciest, tastiest burgers you'll ever… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    Oxheart

    With Oxheart, husband-and-wife chefs Justin Yu and Karen Man have created a restaurant that feels everything like and nothing like Houston at once. The bold menus offer only three different tastings nightly — two four-course meals (one of which is vegetarian) and one seven-course meal. They use a fascinating array of ingredients obtained locally and techniques they picked up across… More >>
  • Best New Bar

    Mongoose versus Cobra

    Midtown has no shortage of bars. But it does have a shortage of bars that are serious about their product — craft beer in this case — while playful and casual at the same time. You don't have to dress up to enjoy a Friday night here. You don't even have to enjoy beer, as the classic cocktail menu is… More >>
  • Best Grilled Cheese

    The Counter

    Ordering something other than a burger at The Counter may seem akin to going to Long John Silver's for chicken strips. But the Grilled Cheese Trifecta, oozing with robust flavors of cheddar, provolone and American cheeses, all wedged between two slices of crispy, buttery white toast, definitely holds its own against The Counter's meatier options. And devoted carnivores needn't worry;… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Restaurant

    Arturo Boada Cuisine

    Do residents of the nearby Tanglewood neighborhood know how lucky they are to have Arturo Boada Cuisine in their backyard? Longtime Houston chef Boada could have easily opened his restaurant anywhere else in Houston — certainly inside the Loop — and made a killing. Instead, he chose a very tucked-away location on a quiet side street in a mostly residential… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    Coppa

    Happy hours are best when there's great music, fun nibbles and awesome drinks. Coppa fulfills all these criteria with $5 drink specials, discounts on food, a good-looking after-work crowd, ample seating room at the bar and patio, and an upbeat soundtrack that adds to the overall happy vibe. Order a margherita pizza and some meatballs to munch on while indulging… More >>
  • Best Classic Restaurant

    Tony's

    Although it's a classic in every sense of the word, Tony Vallone's namesake restaurant is not content to rest on its laurels. A big, bold space reflects the expansive and adventurous menu under Chef Grant Gordon, who is able to cook Elysian Field Farms lamb racks with mint jus for Tony's signature upper-crusty society clientele as deftly as he constructs… More >>
  • Best Middle Eastern

    Abdallah's

    Most people know Abdallah's for its pita bread, which is baked fresh every day and found in many grocery stores and restaurants across the city. And you can pick up some loaves for yourself at its storefront location, along with an array of fresh and frozen food from its kitchens. Its steam-table lunch is a great deal during busy weekdays,… More >>
  • Best Mexican

    La Fisheria

    Chef Aquiles Chavez doesn't serve chips and salsa or fajitas at La Fisheria, because this isn't a Tex-Mex restaurant: It's a true Mexican establishment from a Mexican chef who's more interested in modern, creative interpretations of his home country's food than in serving standards. For appetizers, tender octopus is served over thin slices of confit potatoes with Mexican vanilla oil,… More >>
  • Best Sommelier

    Vanessa Treviño-Boyd - CLOSED

    Being one of the few female sommeliers in town doesn't make Vanessa Treviño-Boyd any less of a powerhouse; if anything, this only makes her more fascinating. In what is a typically male-dominated industry, Treviño-Boyd worked her way through some of New York City's finest restaurants before returning home to Houston and heading straight to the top: Philippe, the two-story French… More >>
  • Best Margarita

    El Gran Malo - CLOSED

    The shrine to tequila near El Gran Malo's entrance should give you some indication as to how seriously this bar takes its spirits. Its signature tequila infusions range from fruits and vegetables (strawberry-cucumber or blueberry-jalapeño-cilantro) to herbs and spices (cinnamon-vanilla or hops) and even meats (a beef jerky-infused tequila makes a great Bloody Maria), each of them making a fascinating… More >>
  • Best Mac -n- Cheese

    BRC Gastropub

    Of all the incarnations of macaroni and cheese served in a miniature cast-iron skillet that have decorated menus in the past few years, BRC's interpretation of this dish is the best. And that's because the gastropub keeps it smartly simple, with elbow macaroni soaking up a sharp cheddar sauce that's silky-smooth and subtly salty. A sprinkling of bread crumbs on… More >>
  • Best Cupcake

    Fluff Bake Bar for Revival Market

    As far as food celebrities go in Houston, Top Chef: Just Desserts season two contestant Rebecca Masson is definitely one of our most famous. But her fame isn't just of the TV kind. People familiar with her desserts become devoted fans of everything, from her French-style macarons to her famous fluffer nutters. Her cupcakes at Revival Market, however, definitely take… More >>
  • Best Italian — Upscale

    Da Marco

    Gourmet once called chef Marco Wiles's flagship restaurant, Da Marco, "as close to Italy as you can get without leaving Texas," and this still holds true. Part of that is due to Wiles's insistence on flying in the best Italian ingredients on a weekly basis such as fresh Mediterranean seafood and items for its separate cheese menu — yes, Da… More >>
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