Top 5: Food Streets

When it comes to food, all streets are not created equal. These are the five best in Houston.

5. Airline I really wanted to put Airline higher on the list, but truth is, it just edged out Montrose to land in the top five. Granted, this street is top-heavy, with powerhouses such as Tampico Seafood and Cocina Mexicana and Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe. But look deeper, and you'll find lesser-known stars like Connie's Seafood and Mambo Seafood. Toss in the Farmer's Market for your fruits and veggies, Triple A for a great breakfast, and Arandas Bakery for your cakes and breads, and you've got the makings for one of the best food streets in all of Houston.

4. Washington Relax, yuppies. Put down that mini-cupcake you were just about to throw at me. Take your foot off your BMW's gas pedal. Life is still good I know you wanted Washington higher on the list, but coolness alone doesn't get you the best ranking. Truth is, there are some wonderful eateries on this street. One little problem, Washington isn't all that lengthy and it's still a tremendous work in progress. That said, it's hard to argue its impact on the Houston dining scene. Max's Wine Dive serves up some great meatloaf, amongst many other heavy-portioned comfort foods. Catalan Food & Wine Bar (soon to change name and concept) is one of the best restaurants in all of Houston, and benjy's is quickly becoming one of my top spots. Are there many more awesome spots on Washington? Yes. But if you're reading this, you probably already know them.

3. Bellaire We are getting into some serious eating territory with our top three. The sheer number of Asian restaurants, bakeries, tea houses, tiny grocery stores, mega grocery stores and complete hole-in-the-walls make Bellaire a great food destination. When it comes to restaurants, some of my favorites include Lai Lai Dumpling Houseand Lucky Pot. Please let me know if you find a better fried dumpling in this city than the one Lai Lai churns out. We are so fortunate to have a culinary street like Bellaire. Just pick a spot, any spot, and try it out.

2. Long Point On Long Point, it's all about diversity. So many cuisines are represented on this street, and quite well, might I add. Here are a few: Vieng Thai, El Hidalguense, Otilia's, Beef and Bun, Casa de Leon, Seoul Garden and Korea House. I could write a book documenting my wonderful culinary experiences on Long Point. Instead, I'll condense it into this small paragraph. Just head down Long Point, duck into a parking lot, choose a spot, and eat well.

1. Westheimer I guess this is a no-brainer and a little anti-climatic, but Westheimer really has it all--for a variety of reasons. First, it's a very long street. Second, every type of cuisine and size of restaurant is heavily represented. Mentioning even a few seems ridiculous, but I'll give it a shot. You can't go wrong with Mark's American Cuisine, nor Hugo's. And although my Feast experience wasn't a good one, I'll chalk it up to a bad night. I've enjoyed my time at Caffe Bello, and the new El Real Tex-Mex Cafe is delightful. Coffee houses abound, and so do dessert spots.

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Kevin Shalin
Contact: Kevin Shalin