Restaurant News

Houston Restaurants: Back to Business [UPDATED]

Staff at Mambo's welcome customers back after the winter storm.
Staff at Mambo's welcome customers back after the winter storm. Photo by Mambo's Seafood Staff
Houstonians are a hardy bunch of folks but this past winter storm coupled with an ongoing pandemic and political back-biting about energy has some of us ready to throw in the towel. One of the hardest hit industries is the hospitality sector with restaurants, cafes, bars and food purveyors falling victim to not only the weather but power outages and water issues that had many of them closings their doors this week.

Most of our restaurants have reopened in some form or another. Some are doing only take-away. Others are offering dine-in, a welcome respite for those who have eaten weenie-beanies and canned tuna for the past week. While many are back to offering their full menus, others may have limited menu items due to supply issues. Some restaurants have had to discard thousands of dollars worth of food and drink because of the storm. This is a time for us all to practice a little patience as we support our local businesses. Though many of us are experiencing financial difficulties of our own, using some ingenuity with take-out meals can mean stretching a dollar to its limit while supporting our favorite eatery.

Here's a list of places that are open and eager to accommodate guests for dine-in, take-out or delivery. Because there are so many restaurants in this wonderful city, we would never be able to list them all. However, we will be adding to the list this week in order to give support to our local restaurants while helping readers discover, or re-discover, the different cuisines that Houston has to offer.

Alicia's Mexican Grille

All five locations are back up and running: Katy, Spring, Cypress, Westchase and Sugar Land/Richmond

Bowl & Barrel
797 Sorella Court

This boutique bowling alley and restaurant reopened February 21. There is a full menu and full bar for dining and drinking plus lane and shoe rentals. It's offering a Kids Bowl promo, February 22 and February 23 for $10 which includes an hour of bowling, lunch and a drink.  Reservations for bowling are recommended.

Brennan's of Houston
3300 Smith

The  elegant Cajun/Creole restaurant is back open for regular operating hours including its weekend Jazz Brunch. For now, it's dine-in only.

Dario's Steakhouse and Seafood
14315 Cypress-Rosehill

This family-owned steakhouse from Grupo Herrera is back open for dine-in and take-out.

Dattz has Italian comfort food. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
Dattz has Italian comfort food.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

Dattz Pizza
11730 Grant

This family-owned pizza carry-out and delivery shop suffered a power outage February 16 which meant having to throw out perishables then restock when the power was restored. Now, it has gotten back to normal with its menu items, toppings and specialty pizzas, including its Pizza of the Month which is currently Sweet Hot BBQ through the end of February. Which is very soon, so you'd best hurry.

Dessert Gallery's van has been recovered but not unharmed. - PHOTO BY DESSERT GALLERY STAFF
Dessert Gallery's van has been recovered but not unharmed.
Photo by Dessert Gallery staff

Dessert Gallery Bakery and Cafe
3600 Kirby

This sweet shop and cafe is back open for business with only a slightly limited menu. As if a pandemic and unprecedented winter storm wasn't enough for businesses to contend with, the bakery is dealing with the theft of its delivery vehicle. so if you spot it around town, call the police. Update 10:25 a.m.: Dessert Gallery reports its van has been found. They described its condition as "very damaged but hopefully salvageable." Meanwhile, you can support them by indulging in their delicious cakes and cookies, including its Black History Month decorated cookies that focus on some of Houston's very own distinguished artists and professionals like Beyonce, astronaut Ron McNair and local news
anchor, Linda Lorelle.

2221 W. Alabama

This bar features a food menu from Yia Yia's Roadster Grill with Greek favorites like keftedes, dolmades and souvlaki as well as American fare such as burgers and chicken sandwiches. It's currently open for dine-in, to-go and delivery. There may be a limited menu. but there's always craft beer.

El Big Bad

419 Travis

With a huge selection of tequilas and a variety of tacos on offer, El Big Bad was back open in time to celebrate its tenth National Margarita Day this past Monday. It also served complimentary bowls of chicken tortilla soup to restaurant and food workers as it reopened after the storm. Currently, it is offering its house-made tequila infusions in flavors such as strawberry, pineapple, jalapeno and, wait for it, churro.

Let's meat at Fajitas A Go Go. - PHOTO BY KIRSTEN GILLIAM
Let's meat at Fajitas A Go Go.
Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
Fajitas A Go Go
5404 Kirby

For those craving fajitas, this popular spot has reopened for take-out and delivery only. It has easy online
ordering, too.

Flying Idlis
9411 Richmond, 281-888-1377
720 Rusk, 713-485-0009

There aren't a whole lot of places serving Indian breakfasts in Houston but Flying Idlis has two locations in which to get your dosa or idli fix. The vegetarian restaurant offers a wide variety of both plus appetizers like samosas and the crepe-like uttapam. Most dishes are also vegan and gluten-free.

The General Public
797 Sorella Court

This bar and restaurant is a comfortable place to hang out and nosh with pandemic pod friends after the long, hard winter. From now through March 14 it is offering a Girl Scout Cookie and Beer flight for $10. No merit badges, though.

Goode Co. Armadillo Palace

5015 Kirby

Levi Goode's restaurant, beer garden and music venue hosted The Broken Spokes this past Saturday so it's ready once again for the barbecue seekers and toe-tappers searching for a Texas-themed good time. Dale Watson is on the schedule for March 6.

Photo by Jeff Balke

Goode Co. Barbeque

8911 Katy Freeway, 713-464-1901
5109 Kirby, 713-522-2530

This Houston barbecue institution has dealt with its power and water issues and is back to smoking meats. There may be a few things unavailable but things are rolling along. Unfortunately, the Woodlands and Highway 290 locations are still temporarily closed from the pandemic.

Goode Co. Kitchen and Cantina
9005 Katy Freeway, 713-766-3434
8865 Six Pines, 281-826-5150

Both the Spring Branch and Woodlands locations are all set for your Tex-Mex fix.

The Hay Merchant
1100 Westheimer

Underbelly Hospitality's laidback craft beer and bites hangout is back to it usual operating hours with its full menu including its Sunday brunch items. It also has a reverse happy hour from 9 p.m. to close, perfect for the restaurant industry employees who could surely use a drink these days or at least some Queso and Pork Rinds.

Jinya Ramen Bar
Eight Greater Houston locations

This ramen chain with its long simmered broths has reopened all eight Houston locations with regular operating hours and a full menu.


All Houston area Landry's concepts have reopened for regular operating hours. They include Babin's Seafood House, Bill's Burger Bar, Bloom and Bee, Bouchee Patisserie, Brenner's on the Bayou, Brenner's Steakhouse, Brick House Tavern and Tap, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Cadillac Bar, Craft F&B, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, Del Frisco's Grille, Downtown Aquarium Houston, Fish Tales, Fisherman's Wharf, Flying Dutchman, Grotto, Kemah Boardwalk, King Ranch Texas Kitchen, La Griglia, Landry's Seafood House,  Mastro's Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood and Steaks, Morton's Grille, Morton's the Steakhouse, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, The Palm, Rainforest Cafe, Saltgrass Steakhouse, Vic and Anthony's and Willie G's,

Ten Houston locations

All ten Mambo's Seafood restaurants are open with carry-out and dine-in.

Moderno Tacos
10455 Briar Forest

This casual Tex-Mex restaurant offers quesadillas, fajitas, tacos, nachos and more to-go or for dine-in plus a selection of margaritas.

click to enlarge We all deserve to treat ourselves to a seafood feast right about now. - PHOTO BY BECCA WRIGHT
We all deserve to treat ourselves to a seafood feast right about now.
Photo by Becca Wright
Orleans Seafood Kitchen
20940 Katy Freeway

This Louisiana inspired restaurant is open with its full menu and regular hours.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

1200 McKinney, 713-658-1995
5839 Westheimer, 713-780-7352

For those whose bank accounts have yet to be drained by the pandemic or burst water pipes, both locations of the upscale steakhouse with a stellar wine list are now back open.

click to enlarge Peli Peli has new dishes like the Sandy Bay Seafood Sampler. - PHOTO BY RAUL CASERES/WOND3R
Peli Peli has new dishes like the Sandy Bay Seafood Sampler.
Photo by Raul Caseres/wond3r

Peli Peli South African Kitchen

1201 Lake Woodlands Drive
5085 Westheimer

Both remaining locations of the popular South African restaurant are back open with the full menu and regular opening hours.

Penny Whistle Pub
1625 Richmond
713-528-7827 site

This Irish pub has a large, pretty patio on which to recuperate from the winter storm and feel human again.

Phat Eatery
23119 Colonial Parkway

Alex Au Yeung's Malaysian street food restaurant is currently open with regular business hours for dine-in and carry-out.

Raising Cane's
Multiple locations

This chicken finger chain out of Baton Rouge, known for its One Love chicken finger meals has reopened all of its Greater Houston locations.

The Rustic offers hearty homestyle cooking. - PHOTO BY JAMES COREAS
The Rustic offers hearty homestyle cooking.
Photo by James Coreas

The Rustic
1836 Polk, 832-321-7799
1121 Uptown Boulevard, 832-321-7775

This restaurant, bar and live music venue reopened its Downtown and Galleria locations February 19 with a full menu and regular hours.

Sixty Vines
2540 University Boulevard

Wine on tap sounds really good after dealing with no water or heat for days. This wine-centric eatery in Rice Village is perfect for rescheduling the canceled Galentine's Day get-togethers or just grabbing some bites and vino. It's operating at normal hours with its full menu.

Spanky's has been serving Houston for over forty years. - PHOTO BY KIM COFFMAN
Spanky's has been serving Houston for over forty years.
Photo by Kim Coffman
Spanky's Pizza
7118 Bellaire Boulevard
4010 Spencer Highway
4659 Telephone Road

This family-owned pizzeria has been around for decades, not only serving pizza pie but also pasta, sandwiches, burgers and salads. Currently, all three locations are back up to speed with a full menu and fountain drinks. Its margaritas, however, are a great adult option.

Napkins are a must when eating Sticky's wings. - PHOTO BY CARLOS BRANDON
Napkins are a must when eating Sticky's wings.
Photo by Carlos Brandon
Sticky's Chicken
2313 Edwards

This former food truck's brick and mortar serves wings with its signature sticky sauce that sister and brother Patsy and Benson Vivares based on their Filipino father's recipe. They reopened with limited hours then closed for a day due to supply issues, not an uncommon thing right now. However, they are now back open with regular hours and offering free coffee, hot tea and hot chocolate through the rest of the week. There are also free charging stations if the electricity in your home is still wonky.

1801 N. Shepherd

Ford Fry's Tex-Mex restaurant in the Heights is open for dining, take-out and delivery. Its menu is available online and it's wise to make reservations through its online waiting list for dine-in.

Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe
1511 Airline, 713-426-4420
4624 Irvington, 713-695-8757
6579 West Bellfort, 713-726-9858

Often at the top of many a Houstonian's Mexican restaurant favorites list, Teotihuacan is operating again at all three locations with its full menu.

Tobiuo Sushi & Bar
23501Cinco Ranch

This sushi bar reopened February 19 after power and water issues were resolved. It is open for regular operating hours and is following strict COVID protocols including limited tables and no sushi bar seating.

Pho me up, Buttercup. - PHOTO BY JOHN SUH
Pho me up, Buttercup.
Photo by John Suh
Xin Chao
2310 Decatur

This modern Vietnamese restaurant comes from Christine Ha, also known as "The Blind Chef", husband John Suh and chef Tony J. Nguyen of Saigon House. There's a large patio area for outdoor dining, perfect for the once again warm temperatures but it's also heated if it gets a bit chilly. Xin Chao is now offering crawfish boils on Monday which conveniently coincides with its Monday All Day Happy Hour. It's closed on Tuesday.
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.