Best of Houston: Restaurants + Coffee

February 12, 2013

I found this map by Bonnie Dain online, and I love love love it. It highlights most of my favorite places. I went to Kuhl-Linscomb for the first time on Friday, and I’m seriously obsessed. I’ve embarrassingly never eaten at Da Marco!

I must admit it, I love the Bayou City, so I’ve compiled a list of my favorite restaurants + coffee shops by area, including some brief thoughts about each place. Let me know if you have any other good suggestions – always up for a new culinary adventure!

Email me if you want any specific recommendations! Click here for a Google map of all these restaurants, which helps when trying to pick a restaurant nearby.


Downtown

The Grove – love the views and the fact it’s a part of Discovery Green

The Blue Fish – a perfect downtown spot for a night at the theater – good tofu options for veggies!


Midtown

Sparrow (by Top Chef Monica Pope) – try the brussels sprouts (oh, and everything else)

Barnabys (there are a few around the city) – this is a staple in my life – get the falafel patty

Pass & Provisions – one of the more recent “cool” places to go – formal and casual in one building

Brooklyn Athletic Club – plan on having a fun game night at BAC with amazing food (not typical bar food!)


Montrose/West Gray

Bistro Menil – a pretty little restaurant directly across from the Menil Collection with delicious sangria and quinoa + roasted veggie dish

Indika – amazing Indian fusion restaurant – try the Kale Blueberry Salad

Roost – one of my new favorites – very intimate setting with delicious food (and yes, Brussels)

Cafe Brasil – love this eclectic spot – sit in the back courtyard and eat the Goat Cheese Salad

Uchi – amazing sushi, beware – the wait may be LONG, but the Brussels sprouts are worth it

El Tiempo Cantina – amazing Mexican food – pretty busy on the weekends (warning: strong margs!)

Just Dinner – it’s an old house converted into a BYOB dinner-only restaurant

Canopy – the layout of the place can change and it looks like it’s a canopy – how cool is that?

Black Hole Coffee – totally Austin-like coffee shop – Dell-users would feel out-of-place

Backstreet Cafe – a gorgeous two-story house turned into an absolutely delicious restaurant

Dolce Vita – step into Italy at this intimate restaurant – please, please eat the Brussels sprouts

Baba Yega – a “wholesome vegetarian” menu? yes… please

La Griglia – a big, loud Italian restaurant – worth a visit

Underbelly – not the most veggie friendly place in the world, it’s definitely worth a visit (great wine menu!)

Mockingbird Bistro – more of a fancy, quiet restaurant (for dates!) – the food is phenomenal, as are the cocktails


The Heights

Cedar Creek or Onion Creek – the former feels like it’s in Austin – love both!

El Gran Malo – delicious flavor-infused tequila – grungy garage style, but cool

Cottonwood Club – popular hangout place at night – just north of the Heights (pretty new)

Antidote Coffee – it’s super, super hipster and it’s pretty much awesome (as is the sign)

Glass Wall – go there for a date night – it’s small and tasty and you won’t regret it

Rainbow Lodge – two words: Sunday Brunch, and three more: 99 cent mimosas!


Washington Corridor

Benjy’s (also in Rice Village) – where I go for my birthday every year – Brussels sprouts are amazing!

The Counter – make your own yummy burgers (veggie options too)

Catalina Coffee – best coffee in Houston, hands down

Beavers – not the healthiest option in town, but great food and vibe

Coppa – great wine selection, delicious “bites” and fresh salads (try the burrata cheese!)


Rice Village

Benjy’s – see note above

Black Walnut Cafe – has become a chain but doesn’t feel like it – the Black Walnut Salad is great

Tiny’s No. 5 – sister restaurant to Tiny Boxwoods (below)


Upper Kirby/River Oaks

Tiny Boxwoods – you need to go here – it’s perfect – esp. in the spring – best “ladies who lunch” experience

Haven – organic, delicious, pretty – went there when I got engaged and for the Royal Wedding

Pondicheri – Indian fusion at West Ave – love the big doors when you walk in

Tasting Room – also in Galleria and CityCentre – small bites are amazing (baked brie – eeeek!!) and wine selection is great

Giacomo’s – authentic Italian food – don’t leave without trying the involtini di melanzane alla parmigiana

Corner Table – tucked away off Westheimer, this gorgeous, healthy restaurant has one of the best menus around (try the Earth veggie burger!)

Field of Greens – not a fancy restaurant, but darn good vegetarian and vegan food – Quinoa Delight is unreal

Local Foods – I am seriously obsessed with this place (namely the giant old map of River Oaks on the wall) – try the Fall Harvest Salad or Falafel Sandwich as a salad (+ sangria!)


Galleria/Tanglewood

Adair Kitchen – must go there – it’s best during lunch, but busy – get the Black Bean Quinoa Burger

Relish – gorgeous glass building and amazing light, healthy meals

Kiran’s – delicious Indian food (kind of pricey) – great for a romantic meal or special occasion

Philippe – a great place for a private party or romantic dinner – Quartette of Vegetables, all day long

Dish Society – a relative newcomer, this farm-to-table restaurant will win you over with the quinoa stuffed avocado


Memorial/Bellaire

Barnabys – see note above

Brenner’s on the Bayou – a tucked-away garden with great views, this laid-back version of Brenner’s Steakhouse won’t disappoint (perfect date night spot)

Harvest Grille – all organic – lovely

La Vista – BYOB, down the street from Harvest – amazing portobello mushrooms

Jonathan’s The Rub – the “hidden gem of Houston” – also BYOB – total Memorial crowd

Union Kitchen – do yourself a favor and order the baked brie

Island Grill – hummus, falafel and the best juices and smoothies in town (new location at Bunker Hill/I10!)

Maryz – amazingly authentic lebanese food, with hummus so good, you’ll order seconds

Shri Balaji Bhavan – voted best Indian in Houston by Alison Cook – who am I to argue? Try everything

Latin Bites – attention all vegetarians: order the Quinoa Salad… it’s absolutely phenomenal


CityCentre/Town and Country

Cyclone Anaya’s – try the skinny blueberry mojito – it’s Sasha’s favorite

Ruggles Green – one of my top three regular go-to places – I dream about the Texas Goat Cheese Salad

Zoe’s Kitchen – the only “fast food” worthy of your time (you’ll find others across town as well)

13 thoughts on “Best of Houston: Restaurants + Coffee

  1. Alexandra

    Can’t believe you just made it to Kuhl-Linscomb! That’s been one of my go-to gift places since I started driving. Also, have you had the “beet-it” burger at Tiny Boxwoods? It’s rather amazing.

    Reply
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