Top 10 Restaurants Near Hobby Airport

Frank's Diner on Telephone Road
Frank's Diner on Telephone Road
Photo by photomajik

One of the questions I get most frequently from friends who travel is this: Why isn't there anywhere to eat around Hobby Airport? To which I say: There are lots of places. You're not looking hard enough.

Hobby is in one of those parts of town that require a finer-toothed comb than, say, the Montrose or Upper Kirby areas, where good restaurants are on prominent display. But this just makes finding truly great spots that much more rewarding.

Moreover, some of the genuinely best restaurants in Houston in their categories can be found in the neighborhoods near Hobby: Frank's Grill, where time in the old diner seems to stand still; Shuttle Burgers just south of the airport on Almeda-Genoa; Dot Coffee Shop in the massive Gulfgate shopping complex, an old-timer amidst a thicket of boring chain restaurants; 888 Chinese, where old-school American-Chinese cuisine has never gone out of style; and even an outpost of James Coney Island, Houston's oldest and most beloved hot dog joint.

And that's not even cracking the Top 10.

C&D Burger Shoppe specializes in classic Texas roadside burgers and Frito pies.
C&D Burger Shoppe specializes in classic Texas roadside burgers and Frito pies.
Photo by Troy Fields

10. C&D Burger Shoppe

If you're on the way to Hobby from down south, C&D Burger Shoppe is an easy stop. Equidistant from Beltway 8 and I-45 at the corner of Beamer and Fuqua, this former Dairy Queen has been a mainstay in South Houston since the early 1980s. It turns out better burgers than you'd get at a fast-food joint, for the same price. And here, you can get a Frito pie and a grape Kool-Aid to go with your cheeseburger, along with a heady dose of nostalgia. At lunch, it's a working man's destination, but it's all sleepy small-town vibes at night -- perfect for stopping in for a meal and decompressing on your way home.

9. Mannie's Seafood

As with another favorite, Joyce's Seafood and Steaks, Mannie's serves a hybrid of Mexican and Cajun food -- two cuisines that have historically employed seafood to great acclaim. Mannie's is the only place I know where you can order horchata and gumbo, micheladas and fried frog legs. It's as reliable for its fresh seafood such as cheap Gulf oysters as it is for its fried shrimp and fish platters. And in the grand tradition of other Mexican seafood joints such as Tampico and Connie's, those fried platters usually come with a side of fried rice.

8. Airport Italian Deli

Located just north of Hobby on Airport Boulevard, the aptly named Airport Italian Deli is the closest dining destination on this list. But that's not all this Italian-Cajun deli has going for it. Try the New Orleans-style muffulettas on soft, squishy bread or the homemade lasagna if you're not in too much of a hurry. You'll notice, however, that most people take their po-boys and sandwiches on freshly baked bread to go. Both the price and the food itself will make the idea of stopping by a Subway on the way out of town simply anathema.

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