Houston's restaurant scene is the city's most vibrant feature. Locals love to eat out and you'll find everything from comforting Tex-Mex to smokin' barbecue to inventive bistros run by top chefs. Most areas of the city have good options.
To keep track of the latest, check out the features and listings at Texas Monthly as well as www.thrillist.com/houston, www.houston.eater.com and http://houstonfoodblog.com.
Downtown dining is on the upswing as more hotels open in renovated office buildings. There are some excellent restaurants in the gentrifying streets of the Warehouse District or East End (EaDo) just east of the center.
Houston Heights & Washington Ave
Washington Ave is known for its nightlife, but you can find plenty to eat here too.
Midtown & Museum District
Midtown has up-and-coming and diverse dining options spread out around Travis and W Gray Sts.
Mixed among the area's funky boutiques and bars, Montrose eateries (radiating out from the intersection of Westheimer and Montrose Blvd) are some of the most creative in town.
On the Go: Houston Food Trucks
Unlike in some other cities, food trucks in Houston really move. You might see the same one in two or three places on the same day. Check online for their latest locations, but they're often near bars and cafes in Montrose. The Menil Collection and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston parking lots are also frequent stopovers. Note: you'll rarely see them downtown because of parking regulations.
- Oh My Gogi! A fusion of two local cultures: try Korean barbecue tacos or kimchi quesadillas. This truck is perfectly situated for the Rice University bars.
- Tacos Tierra Caliente Some of Houston's best tacos in the city are served piled high from a battered food truck (try the pastor – spicy roast pork). Although there's nowhere to sit, just across the road is the West Alabama Ice House – a fine spot for a taco feast while nursing a few cold ones. At other times you can get Mexican breakfasts.
- Waffle Bus Waffles and waffle sandwiches, with toppings from sweet to savory (cheeseburger, smoked salmon etc). Usually open for lunch, often around the University of Houston.
Rice Village's bustling shopping area near the university is home to numerous casual restaurants.
Upper Kirby, River Oaks & Galleria
North of I-59, Kirby gradually blends into the ritzy River Oak area. Houston's most ambitious restaurants (and prices) are found here and in the Galleria area.
Top Burgers, Mexican & Barbecue
Houston's three main food groups are all meaty, tasty and casual.
- Stanton’s City Bites Huge burgers served in many flavors.
- Lankford Grocery The city's juiciest burgers in a down-home setting.
- Original Ninfas Classic Mexican; don't miss the beef fajitas.
- Hugo's Master chef Hugo Ortega's restaurant is regional Mexican at its finest.
- Gatlin's BBQ Go early before the smoked brisket sells out.
- Goode Co BBQ Great barbecue in an open-air barn.
Just like Houston, good restaurants sprawl throughout the region.