Houstonians love food – love it – and it may surprise you that Houston’s home to some of the most incredible, award-winning and innovative chefs and eateries in the country. My money’s on the fact our huge melting pot of cultures – the first majority-minority city in the US – is the reason for all of the fabulous food. Whether you’re visiting for a few days or spending a significant amount of time here in Space City, here’s how to treat your tastebuds…
Downtown Houston Dining
On the south side of downtown’s Discovery Green park, The Grove offers two floors of dining and event space. Overlooking the lush park and flanked by towering high rises, The Grove is known for its brunch on the green on Sundays and eclectic regular menu of fresh Texas vegetables, grilled and raw meats, and a handful of small-plate options. Their happy hour cocktails and eats are particularly yummy, and are best enjoyed on the outdoor patio.
Fans of vintage spaces and art deco style will adore The Pearl, a steak and seafood restaurant and oyster bar set in its historic 1924 building (the first hotel in Houston!). In addition to fresh oysters, steaks, and bar bites, The Pearl features signature artisan cocktails (like the watermelon-based Pearl Punch) made with fresh, local ingredients. Don’t you dare miss their Bananas Foster Bread Pudding or their Fried Gulf Oysters as both are sensational!
Before leaving downtown, Truck Yard is a must-visit beer garden and self-proclaimed adult playground. Laidback and low-key, this outdoor patio serves up 29-degree cold beer, craft cocktails, some pretty massive cheesesteaks, and an ever-rotating array of food trucks featuring the best of Houston’s fusion street food culture.
Midtown Nosh Spots
If seasonal eats are your vibe, you’ve got to check out Pax Americana. Pax rotates its menu quarterly and sources all of its ingredients from local farms. The plates are smaller and meant to be shared, so you can enjoy multiple tastes from each section of the menu. The cocktails are always perfectly swizzled and strong, and the customer service is exceptional.
With a wine list that tops 300 labels and numerous awards from Zagat, Wine Spectator, and more, Kiran’s Houston is named for owner and world-renowned chef, Kiran Verma. Known for its delectable Indian food, Kiran’s combines the best of fine dining with traditional cooking techniques. Their Afternoon Tea Friday and Saturday is to die for and fit for Alice herself.
Rise No. 2 is the second soufflé location for restaurateur, Hedda Gioia Dowd. It joins two locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and all three have a national reputation for exquisite sweet and savory soufflés. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect French Onion Soup, Rise has you covered, and their Goat Cheese Marshmallow Soup is a must-try.
For South African-inspired eats, head on over to award-winning Peli Peli Galleria. They’ve been featured on multiple TV shows for their intimate ambiance and creative fusion dishes like South African wings and Great Karoo Lamb Chops.
Food Outside the Loop
Brasserie 1895 is a true gem that you’ve got to try if you’re in the NASA/Clear Lake area. Inspired by the change in seasons, Chef Kris arranges his menus each quarter by what’s freshest and most succulent – both by land and by sea. Unpretentious and full of personality perfectly describes Brasserie 1895. Kick back with a cocktail and the Snapper étouffée.
Off the beaten path, and without a formal website, Jenivi’s Seafood Shoppe is hands down the best crawfish in Houston. Always fresh, never frozen, their crawfish can reach the size of your hand when they’re in the high season, and their sauce comes in mild, medium, spicy, or extra spicy. Take it from a pro, go for mild unless you enjoy tears…and only then should you snag the sauce in medium heat.
Ready to take a trip through Houston’s award-winning eateries? Visit Travel.Hilton.com/Houston to peruse our Houston destination guide complete with where to go, what to do, and where to stay!