Courtesy of Stoked Tacos & Tequila

Stoked Tacos & Tequila

Midtown

Housed in the former Cook & Collins, this Mexican street food concept takes inspiration from Chicago’s Big Star, a spirit-forward taco bar that doubles as a late-night honky-tonk. Chef Adam Puskorius and his team keep crowds steady by slinging out street fare with funk -- think house-smoked brisket and charro dip served in a Frito bag, or braised Texas mushrooms tostadas, while bartenders play a mix of '60s to '90s rock 'n' roll. With summer looming, there’s no better time to hit the covered patio and smash some scratch-made tacos alongside a well-appointed library of bourbons, tequilas, mezcals, and craft cocktails by the pitcher.

Quy Tran/Canard

Canard

Heights

Canard is the first concept from Treadsack’s bar director, Leslie Ross, so it should surprise exactly no one that it boasts an extensive lineup of incredible cocktails. The vibe is intimate, with only 50 or so seats, lush, French-smooched accents, and the tincture queen herself impressing with impossibly good concoctions, from a beautifully done Old Fashioned to seasonal drinks backed with chartreuse, vermouths, ports, bubbly, and special touches like essential oils, delicate adornments, and house-made sodas. With neighbors like Treadsack’s Foreign Correspondents and Morningstar, this newly developed strip is one of the coolest new destinations in the Heights.

Songkran Thai Grill

Sugar Land

Open since March, this more laid-back offshoot of the cult favorite Songkran Thai Kitchen features authentic, family-style street eats inspired by executive chef Junnajet “Jett” Hurapan’s hometown in northeastern Thailand. Get your hands dirty with shared plates of grilled head-on shrimp and pork ribs, which you can dunk into plum, “angry,” and sweet chili dipping sauce, for starters. Then move on to wok-fried noodles, chili basil chicken, and crispy duck clay pot. Wash it down with local suds, rinse, and repeat.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar (Houston)

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

River Oaks

This big & beefy Austin favorite finally opened its doors in the River Oaks District on Memorial Day. Judging by the three-hour line once it did, it’s safe to say Houstonians have been excited by this prospect. The burger bar offers a wide variety of burger choices made with locally sourced ingredients, plus a lineup of sides, salads, shakes, and a burger’s favorite companion, craft beer. Topping enthusiasts will want to try the Terlingua -- an Angus beef bomb smothered with chile con carne, cheddar, Fritos, and sassy sauce; or the pleasure-inducing Primetime -- a grass-fed Akaushi beef patty with caramelized onions, steak sauce, truffle aioli, and brie overcoat.

Mauro Luna with Monica Kressman Photography

Midtown BBQ

Midtown

The ill-fated OTC didn’t work, nor did Bourbon on Bagby, but we have a feeling the third time’s a charm for this Midtown haunt, now that it plays home to a duo of talented chefs (pitmaster Brett Jackson’s work includes a stint at the legendary Louie Mueller) who sling out Hill Country-style barbecue in all its glory. But it’s not all monster-pork-butt this and fatty-beef-rib-with-house-pickles that. No, this is still Houston, after all -- meaning there’s also things like smoked shrimp & oysters, whole-smoked fish with chimichurri sauce, gorgeously executed ossobuco, and potatoes fried in brisket fat... because was there really ever any other way?

State Fare

State Fare

Memorial

Housed in the former Pour Society, this concept from Cherry Pie Hospitality’s Lee Ellis and culinary director Jim Mills already has local fans thanks to chefy, lowbrow comfort fare that’s as big and bold as Texas. If you want a side of heart palpitations with your meal, go for its colossal burgers, which come stacked high and sloppily with things like chili & queso or griddled pastrami and chicken-fried french fries. For a more dinnery affair, the smoked double-cut pork chop with root beer syrup is spot-on.

Courtesy of Jeff Amador

Cane Rosso

Heights

After a whole lot of anticipation from eager pizza fans (and some vandalism... not cool, whoever did that), this Dallas-born pizzeria has finally opened its first Houston outpost. The flawlessly executed, certified awesome Neapolitan pies get scorched for about 70 seconds in a colossal, bright gold, 900-degree wood-burning oven before making their way to your gut. You definitely won't want to skip the cheese, since the mozzarella is made in-house, but you also don’t want to skip things like local sausage, Calabrian chiles, jalapeño pesto, and fried zeppole, so come hungry. But whatever you do, don’t ask for ranch dressing.

Conservatory

Downtown

In the coolest hatch opening since Lost comes this underground beer garden and food hall, which is made even cooler by the fact that you don’t need to blow it up with dynamite in order to enter, nor is it a station where you need to repeatedly enter 4 8 15 16 23 42 to prevent some sort of electromagnetic apocalypse (that’s how Lost works, right? That show was confusing). Back to Conservatory, head down the Art Deco staircase and you’ll find a modern, open food hall filled with fun things like a 60-count craft beer and wine tap wall, as well as tables and chairs at which to drink that beer and wine, plus food stands like Melange Creperie, Myth Kafe, El Burro & The Bull, and Samurai Noodle, and an awesome-looking, under-the-steps greenhouse.

Kimberly Park/Killen’s Burgers

Killen’s Burgers

Pearland

There’s no doubt chef Ronnie Killen was already “killen” it (sorry) with his steak & barbecue game, so it’s no surprise he’s ventured into the last of the holy trinity of Texas beef: burgers. J.J. Watt has already stopped by to visit his favorite chef friend and house some expertly griddled beef, and so should you. You should also house a side of fried cheese curds and crinkle-cut fries, obviously.

Toulouse Cafe & Bar

Toulouse

River Oaks

Treat yo’self to a fancy but unsnobby French meal at this sophisticated Dallas import from Lombardi Family Concepts. After opening  “French Cowboy” Philippe Schmit at the helm, the kitchen is now being helmed by Chef Laurent Dubourg, who is bringing Houstonians a touch of the Parisian bistro experience through pernod butter-soaked escargot, spot on l'orange-style duck confit, and a croque madame that you definitely want in your mouth right now along with a gratin of truffled bacon lobster mac because we’re in Houston, not Paris, so screw it!

Taverna Pizzeria and Risotteria

Taverna

River Oaks

Toulouse’s sister eatery is a posh, brick-walled beauty that wants to feed you Northern Italiano classics. Hint: you should let them. Come with a crew so you can hit all the marks, starting with the risottos for which they are known and moving on to burrata pizzas, braised beef gnocchi, and veal Parmigiana. We guess you could throw in some greenery, too. Since it's located in the River Oaks District, Taverna is a place where you’ll want to come dressed to impress, even at brunch, as the people-watching is top-notch.

Morningstar

Heights

If you thought Houston was missing a coffee-heavy eatery with grade-A grinds, matcha-iced donuts, and some serious pedigree, you were right! The latest venture from Greenway Coffee and Blacksmith’s David Buehrer and Ecky Prabanto, the breakfast, lunch, and coffee stop pleases eager fans with a rotating menu, showing off everything from hazelnut praline and dark chocolate ganache donuts (yes!) to black rice with coconut milk and Korean steak & eggs with scallion pancakes (oh yes!). It may take a few trips to find your favorites, but every one of said trips will be worthwhile.

Part & Parcel | The Whitehall Houston

Edgar's Hermano/Part and Parcel

Downtown

Don’t discount hotel restaurants, especially one tucked inside a historic hotel that underwent a $5 million dollar renovation. Sotherly’s The Whitehall hotel (formerly the Crowne Plaza) has an eatery that boasts what they’ve dubbed “Mexi-South” cuisine, taking the best parts of Tex-Mex, the best parts of Southern comfort, and fusing them together to make things like slow-burning braised oxtail soup and Saint Arnold beer-battered chile rellenos. Outside, the courtyard bar Part & Parcel shows off Mexi-South-inspired street eats and a mix of elevated classics and original concoctions jazzed up with Sotherly’s own private label bourbon, Edgar’s Truth.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Stoked Tacos and Tequllia 2416 Brazos St, Houston, TX 77006 (Midtown)

Inspired by Big Star -- Houston's favorite taco bar/honky tonk duo -- Stoked Tacos and Tequila in Midtown supplies great street fare (house-smoked brisket and charro dip served in a Frito bag, or braised Texas mushrooms tostadas). And with '60s and '90s music in full swing, this spot perfect for enjoying scratch-made tacos and a number of bourbons, tequilas, mezcals, and craft cocktails options on the patio.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Canard 4721 N Main St Ste B, Houston, TX 77009

Canard in Heights is the first concept from Treadsack’s bar director, Leslie Ross, so it should surprise exactly no one that it boasts an extensive lineup of incredible cocktails. The vibe is intimate, with only 50 or so seats, lush, French-smooched accents, and the tincture queen herself impressing with impossibly good concoctions, from a beautifully done Old Fashioned to seasonal drinks backed with chartreuse, vermouths, ports, bubbly, and special touches like essential oils, delicate adornments, and house-made sodas. With neighbors like Treadsack’s Foreign Correspondents and Morningstar, this newly developed strip is one of the coolest new destinations in the Heights.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Songkran Thai Kitchen 1101 Uptown Park Blvd Ste C-8, Houston, TX 77056

This laid-back Sugarland offshoot of the cult favorite Songkran Thai Kitchen features authentic, family-style street eats inspired by executive chef Junnajet “Jett” Hurapan’s hometown in northeastern Thailand. Get your hands dirty with shared appetizer plates fit for dipping and handling, then move on to entrees of noodles, curry and rice galor. Exotic decor highlight this modern eatery and there's seating outside on its patio in addition to inside.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Hopdoddy Burger Bar 4444 Westheimer Rd Ste H100, Houston, TX 77027

This big & beefy Austin favorite has opened its doors in the River Oaks District in Houston. The burger bar offers a wide variety of burger choices made with locally sourced ingredients, plus a lineup of sides, salads, shakes, and a burger’s favorite companion, craft beer. If you want the burger professionals to take care of the decision making, consult their menu of burger creations for some awesome flavor combos.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Midtown BBQ 2708 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77006 (Midtown)

Midtown is a warehouse-style venue that plays home to a duo of talented chefs who sling Hill Country-style barbecue smoked low and slow in the pit out back. But it’s not all monster pork-butt and fatty beef-rib. No, this is still Houston, after all -- meaning there’s also things like smoked shrimp & oysters to add some variety to the standard BBQ concept. When you're not watching a Texans game on the big screen, local brew in hand, check out the live music.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. State Fare 947 Gessner Rd Ste B190, Houston, TX 77024

State Fare has a bright and simple atmosphere and features innovative, lowbrow comfort food that’s as big and bold as Texas and goes well with anything on its extensive drink menu from craft beer to specialty cocktails. If you want a side of heart palpitations, go for its colossal burgers, which come stacked high with things like chili and molten queso or griddled pastrami and chicken-fried french fries. For a more dining-out feel, the smoked double-cut pork chop with root beer syrup and seared Ahi tuna with crab fried rice and jalapeño ponzu are spot-on.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Cane Rosso 1835 N Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77008

Cane Rosso is a hip, Dallas-born pizzeria that really delivers (but not literally) when it comes to hand-crafted pizza. The specialty here is Neapolitan pies made with fresh dough scorched at high temperatures and decked out with toppings like spicy soppressata, bacon marmalade, prosciutto crudo, and fresh basil. You definitely won't want to skip the cheese, since like most things at Cane Rosso, the mozzarella is made in-house. From the dough to the flavors everything about this airy, woodfired oven-adorned pizzeria is authentic.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Conservatory 1010 Prairie St, Houston, TX 77002

Conservatory, an underground beer garden and food hall in Downtown, Houston, has everything you could possible want to consume and imbibe. Descend the Art Deco staircase into a lofty warehouse space and you’ll find a modern, open food hall filled with things like a wall bejeweled with 60 taps for craft beer and wine, rotating food stands like Melange Creperie, El Burro & The Bull, and Samurai Noodle, and a verdant under-the-steps greenhouse.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Killen's Burgers 2804 S Main St, Pearland, TX 77581

There’s no doubt chef Ronnie Killen was already “killen” it (sorry) with his steak and barbecue game, so it’s no surprise he’s ventured into the last of the holy trinity of Texas beef: burgers. The space is decked out like a 1950s-style diner complete with milkshakes and an old-fashioned soda fountain. In addition to the thick, griddled cheeseburgers, you should absolutely tack on a side of fried cheese curds or crisp, crinkle-cut fries.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Toulouse Cafe & Bar 4444 Westheimer, Ste E 100, Houston, TX 77027

Treat yo’self to a fancy but unsnobby French meal at this sophisticated Dallas import from Lombardi Family Concepts. “French Cowboy” Philippe Schmit is wrangling things in the kitchen, bringing Houstonians a touch of the Parisian bistro experience through Pernod butter-soaked escargot, spot on l'orange-style duck confit, and a croque madame that you definitely want in your mouth right now. And because we're in Houston, not Paris damn it, this eatery comes with a covered patio and a friendly waitstaff that is the epitome of Southern hospitality.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Taverna 4444 Westheimer Rd Ste A120, Houston, TX 77027

Toulouse’s sister eatery is a posh, brick-walled beauty that wants to feed you Northern Italiano classics. Hint: you should let them. Come with a crew so you can hit all the marks, starting with the risottos for which they are known and moving on to burrata pizzas and meat-heavy entrees. We guess you could throw in some greenery, too. Since it's located in the River Oaks District, Taverna is a place where you’ll want to come dressed to impress, even at brunch, as the people-watching is top-notch.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Morningstar 4721 N Main St Ste M, Houston, TX 77009

Morningstar is making donuts cool again. While Boston cream and strawberry-frosted donuts have lost their luster, Morningstar, the brainchild of top bakers and baristas from Houston's own Greenway Coffee and Blacksmith's, is creating something a little different. These donuts are matcha-iced, honey glazed, and pomegranate cream filled. They are served with pork sausage and brisket, and filled with corn pudding. The non-donut fare at Morningstar is equally inventive, with smoked pork over popcorn polenta, or brisket kolache with raspberry sauce. And if donuts are not your cup of tea (which is weird), you can have an actual cup of loose-leaf herbal tea or some grade-A single origin coffee in the trendy little Heights cafe' instead.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Edgar's Hermano/Part & Parcel 1700 Smith Street, Houston, TX 77002

This Downtown restaurant is tucked inside Sotherly’s historic Whitehall hotel and boasts a menu of what it’s dubbed “Mexi-South” cuisine, fusing Tex-Mex and Southern comfort food together in unique dishes like Texas corncakes with pork chicharrón and mac and queso with chipotle-grilled Gulf shrimp. Outside, the courtyard bar Part & Parcel shows off Mexi-South-inspired street eats like deviled eggs, fried oysters, and candied bacon, and a mix of classic and original cocktails jazzed up with Sotherly’s own private label bourbon, Edgar’s Truth.

Clickbait

close

Learn More