5 New Spots for the Weekend

Moku Bar does build-your-own poke bowls in the ConservatoryEXPAND
Moku Bar does build-your-own poke bowls in the Conservatory
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp
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The weekend is fast approaching, and that means more time to eat out. Maybe you're hoping to seek out a seat at one of the best new spots in town. Perhaps carve out a new favorite eatery or two? It's definitely hard to keep track of all the new restaurants opening in the Bayou City these days, that's for sure, but these five Houston newcomers are the hottest tickets in town, including a Michelin-starred expansion, the newest members of the poke phenomenon, a lunchtime wild card and something for the sweet tooth.

Pastries at Yauatcha, now open in The Galleria.
Pastries at Yauatcha, now open in The Galleria.
Photo by Mai Pham

The Galleria, 5045 Westheimer, yauatcha.com

While word on the street is that this new dim sum and patisserie powerhouse in The Galleria from the Michelin-starred Yauatcha empire already has a waiting list, a call to the restaurant does verify that walk-ins are accepted. Seating at the bar is first-come, first-serve, but the representative did say that walk-ins may be accommodated with seats in the dining area if available, so call ahead to check. If you're more than just a party of two, however, chances are slim you'll find a spot at the hottest opening of the year. Weekend Hours: Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Inside Dolce Neve
Inside Dolce Neve
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp

Dolce Neve
4721 North Main, dolcenevegelato.com

This new gelateria has just hit the Heights, straight from Austin, where the shop is known as one of the best spots for frozen treats. Ingredients and milk are sourced locally for the dozen gelato flavors available, including classic flavors (stracciatella, hazelnut, pistachio) and seasonal concoctions like a goat cheese and pecan. Try a salted caramel gelato sandwich, which comes between vanilla-lemon cookies, or get caffeinated with an affogato (gelato with an espresso pour-over). Whatever your poison, be it cup, cone or maybe even a gelato pop, there's a lot to like here with prices in the $4 to $7 range. Weekend Hours: Friday to Saturday, noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.

A spicy salmon bowl from Moku Bar.EXPAND
A spicy salmon bowl from Moku Bar.
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp

Moku Bar
1010 Prairie, inside The Conservatory

Downtown has a new poke hot spot with the opening of Moku Bar inside the Conservatory Underground food hall. A build-your-own bowl concept is what's in store, with three bases to choose from (sushi rice, quinoa or greens), toppings including masaga, seaweed salad and edamame, lots of veggie sides, sauces and even a wealth of "crunch" options — dare you resist topping your poke with Flamin' Hot Cheetos crumbs? We grabbed lunch here for around $15. Weekend Hours: Friday to Sunday, 11 am. to 9 p.m.

Fresh ahi at Hawaiian Poke Co.
Fresh ahi at Hawaiian Poke Co.
Photo by Jamie Alvear

Hawaiian Poke Co.
4334 FM 2920, Suite 100

This new poke spot in Spring is now open inside Howie’s Tiki Bar with fresh ahi tuna flown in daily and eight signature bowls with add-ons, including candied bacon. There's also a selection of Hawaiian-style street food — think ahi tacos, bao, gyoza, burgers and chicken sandwiches. Weekend Hours: Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sundays.

Crazy good Wokker TX Ranger fries.
Crazy good Wokker TX Ranger fries.
Photo courtesy of Wokker

907 Franklin, inside Craft Beer Cellar

Say you're in the mood for a weekend beer with a side of Asian-inspired Southern comfort food. You should probably head downtown to the Craft Beer Cellar, where beloved local food truck Wokker TX Ranger has set up a new kitchen, simply called Wokker, serving up an array of eats including its famous "Wokker TX Ranger Fries," made with brisket, cheddar jack, curly fries and spicy aioli, a mean smoked Korean chicken sandwich, Asian barbecue ribs, a banh mi BLT, Texas-inspired pad thai and more soulful eats that are obviously enhanced by an impressive selection of beers on tap. Weekend Hours: Saturday, noon to midnight

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