There are so many Houston eating establishments, and thus, so many signs. But these are the best.
5. Antonio's Flying Pizza (2920 Hillcroft) There's nothing not to like about this sign. It has all the characteristics you look for--big, bright, eye-catching lights, and a classic look. I've never eaten at Antonio's. I don't live near the place, and I rarely seek out pizza joints. But I used to take classes nearby and was always captivated by the sign. I only wish we had more like it in Houston. If the pizza is anywhere near as good as the sign, Antonio's in good shape. I'm guessing that's the case.
4. Goode Company BBQ (8911 Katy Freeway) Say what you want about the overrated and somewhat average barbecue, but Goode Company's signage is awesome--and so is the brisket. It just screams Texas (maybe that's because it's in the logo). Strong colors, flowing letters, with an old-timey building backdrop, it just doesn't get much better than this one. I favor the Katy Freeway sign over the Kirby location. The armadillo is cool and very iconic, but that's not really a sign--more of a statue.
3. Spec's Liquor (8714 Stella Link) Spec's sells just enough food to make this list. I absolutely love this sign on Stella Link. It's got strong, contrasting colors, with a drunken, bent-eared, flag-toting bunny pining for your attention. Quick, did you ever really look close enough to realize the bunny was wearing specs? I hadn't. Whoever came up with this was a genius. Spec's is up to 73 locations around Texas, so you'll be seeing plenty of the rabbit.
2. Shipley's Do-Nuts (3410 Ella) Probably the most iconic of all Houston food signs, the Shipley's donut is recognized by all. I love the more modern version, but to me, it's hard to beat Ella's vintage sign. Lit up at night, it's like a beacon to fat asses all around Northwest Houston seeking the best damn glazed donut this city has to offer. I would have preferred to take a night picture of this sign, but the schedule wouldn't permit. It's great because it's so simple. Sometimes less really is more.
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1. Empire Café (1732 Westheimer) A bit of a dark horse takes home the top spot. This sign combines my two great loves in life--women and coffee, or is it coffee and women? It doesn't matter, they're both great. Empire Café found a way to have a hot chick rising out of a cup of java. Not to be overlooked, I love the rust going on as well. This sign won't blow you away with bright colors, but it's smart, classy, and conveys the point.