So you finally finished going to our entire list of the best new bar and restaurants of the summer? Wow, really!? Good for you! Well, now that you have some time on your hands, we thought we’d bring you some more excellent openings that crept up while you were busy eating. 15 of them to be exact:
Midtown got a whole lot cooler thanks to this Shake Shack-esque food stand in the newly renovated Bagby Park. Now, party-goers can get their fill of breakfast tacos, bacon cheeseburgers, loaded dogs, and chili cheese fries morning, noon, and night. Oh, and there’s beer, too. They know their market.
Treadsack’s modern British-American concept -- helmed by Executive Chef Richard Knight of the late and great Feast -- pairs adventurous plays on traditional British eats with an excellent cocktail and wine program from wine director Travis Hinkle and bar director Leslie Ross. Hit the 218 seater for all kinds of deliciousness including The Silver Salver, a platter loaded with house sausages, meat pies, “really” Scotch eggs, and other gentlemanly delights; or their crazy good Cake Stand pork chops, topped with pepper jelly and schmaltz, and served with mashed potatoes AND fries.
If you thought we were missing a Buddakan-style restaurant and lounge in Houston... it’s because we were. But not any more. Here you can share plates of NY strip & crispy Thai noodle “steak frits”; bright and beautiful hamachi tiradito; and Hong Kong-style shrimp & scallop noodles. But don’t miss the range of high-class cocktails, sake, wine, and desserts (like the exquisite pandan panna cotta).
This neighborhood resto -- from chef/owner Lyle Bento (formerly of Underbelly) and co-owner Charles Bishop (formerly of Cottonwood and Liberty Station) -- has all sorts of Southern swag. Start with pepper-jelly glazed “pig wings” and deep-fried “shrimp and grits croquettes,” then go big on braised beef shanks, burnt ends, and 18-day-aged pork chops, before finishing it all with bourbon balls.
Chef and fish-enthusiast PJ Stoops heads the kitchen at this brand-spanking-new farm-to-table Northern Thai spot, another hit from the Treadsack restaurant group neighbors Hunky Dory. Born and raised in Texas, Stoops lived in both France and Thailand before returning home, so you can expect ingeniously fresh Gulf Coast twists on Isaan and Lanna specialties. Burmese-influenced chicken and Chiang Mai noodles in coconut curry; Thai omelets loaded with Gulf oysters, shrimp, and pork; and mackerel stuffed sticky rice are all a part of the fun.
Traditional Vietnamese gets a new ‘do at this charming NKOTB. The buzzed about resto is already drawing a steady crowd thanks to seriously good $5 lunch specials, and eats like their signature fries (which get smothered in house sauce, sweet chili, cheddar cheese and chargrilled ribeye, BTW).
This buzzed-about “fine casual” concept from Studewood Hospitality Group boasts an unstuffy country-club vibe alongside modern American stunners from Chef Albert Vasquez. Get gnocchi tots in ale fondue, roasted fennel curry chicken, and a man-sized ribeye basted in funky sweet chili sauce.
After running a booming BBQ trailer at Jackson’s Watering Hole, pitmaster Wes Jurena has branched out into a brick-and-mortar of his own. Now you can appreciate the art of gorgeously burnt 44 Farms brisket, glistening pork ribs, peppery smoked turkey, and five-cheese mac on Jurena’s home turf. But it’s not just grade-A takes on the standards. You’ll find things like brisket tacos and Caribbean jerk-style tri-tip, too. Check it out to see why it was name on of Texas Monthly’s 25 Best New and Improved BBQ Joints in Texas.
Delicious Concepts Restaurant Group -- the guys behind Pink’s Pizza and Shepherd Park Draught House -- has revamped the former Witchcraft Tavern space once again; this time under a new brand and with a concept. Hit the Korean-style public house to get traditional Korean galbi (BBQ), sizzling dolsot bap (rice hot pots), and the famous twice fried K-chicken as you smash some infused soju (vodka’s delicious Korean cousin).
The former Woodrows Heights space on Shepherd has re-emerged as a bright and breezy Southern-Cajun eatery. With an equal focus on land and sea, veteran chef Don Schoenburg offers seasonal menus that make use of an on-site smoker and soon to come rooftop apiary, which will provide “honey on tap” next spring. Take down split boudin noir, loaded bayou gumbo, and truffle duck fat fries at dinner, and don’t miss the Bayou BBQ Saturdays, where you’ll find slow-smoked ‘gator andouille and Louisiana-style BBQ blue crabs.
After opening nine restaurants in Atlanta, Houston native and chef Ford Fry has returned home, with plenty of high expectations preceding him. Though it’s very fresh, it looks like Fry’s first local concept will not disappoint. With former Ciao Bello Chef Bobby Matos manning the kitchen, this modern bistro dishes a fusion of Gulf Coast-inspired global eats, many of which come out of a giant wood-fired hearth. Expect elevated versions local favorites like queso fundido, a great oyster program, and a massive, butter-loaded T-bone.
After much anticipation, this handsome American bar and resto from chef and restaurateur Bradley Ogden (Funky Chicken, BFD) finally opened its doors in Gateway Memorial City in September. With a 40ft bar complete with 48 craft taps and a laundry list of gastropub eats (including everything from a pastrami cheddar-waffle sandwich to Mexican fried chicken thighs with elote) it’s the kind of place where you’ll want to stay a while.
What’s better than fried chicken and donuts separately? F.E.E.D. TX’s latest concept -- which pairs fried chicken and donuts TOGETHER. Get seriously crisp fried bird in pieces, salads, sandwiches, and sides alongside daily-made donuts and sweet and savory kolaches in crazy good combinations -- think glazed with praline Bacon and caramel icing or iced blueberry cake.
Located in the former Stella Sola, this sprawling 5Ksqft space houses a duo of restaurant concepts: Black, which has a darker, more intimate vibe, serving European and Mediterranean fine dining plates (shrimp ajillo, bouillabaisse, and slow-roasted duck); and White, a modern, brighter space with globally and Mexican-inspired seafood tapas (think octopus carpaccio, tuna carnitas, and seafood paella). Then there’s the bar, of course, which boasts a sick lineup of fancified cocktails, local brews, and a 140-label wine cellar. We have a feeling you may be dining here more than once.
The Heights is no longer a sushi abyss thanks to this PYT from Pak Tsui, owner of local favorite Fat Bao. Hit the dark and sultry dining room for trendy plates of sushi and nigiri, soul-satisfying oxtail ramen, and a variety of hot and cold offerings like miso eggplant, curry scallops, and Korean noodles.
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Brooke Viggiano is a Houston writer who can’t talk right now because she’s too busy eating at all of these restaurants. Follow her journey on Twitter @BrookeViggiano.
1. Rico's Morning + Noon + Night401 Gray St, Ste A, Houston
2. Hunky-Dory Tavern1801 N Shepherd Dr, Houston
3. Tarakaan2301 Main St Ste 200, Houston
4. Southern Goods623 W 19th St, Houston
5. Foreign Correspondents4721 N Main St Ste A, Houston
6. Saigon House3101 Main St, Houston
7. The Del6565 Del Monte Dr, Houston
8. Pappa Charlies Barbecue2064 Rusk St., Houston
9. Republic Diner + Sojubang1221 W 11th St, Houston
10. The Durham House1200 Durham Dr, Houston
11. State of Grace3256 Westheimer Rd, Houston
12. Pour Society947 Gessner Rd Ste B190, Houston
13. Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts601 Heights Blvd, Houston
14. Black & White1001 Studewood St, Houston
15. Ka Sushi1901 N Shepherd Dr Ste 1, Houston
With lots of outdoor seating available and a sprawling patio this spot is perfect for warm Houston nights. Kick back and enjoy one of their signature hot dogs like the H-town, or the bacon wrapped dog (on a pretzel bun), and their amazing truffle fries.
Built around a wood-fired hearth, this dark, sophisticated Heights restaurant serves British-American cuisine like black pudding, pork belly, and game pie in a romantic dining room. At the full-service bar, a shorter pub menu features steaks and chops along with a selection of wines and around a dozen specialty cocktails. Polished wood tables, classic white-rose centerpieces and low lighting makes Hunky-Dory the ultimate date spot -- just be sure to come hungry and ready to share because they don't fool around with portions here.
With one of the coolest looking bars— think exposed brick walls with floor to ceiling geishas painted over it, this spot not only has great Asian fusion cuisine (get the pad thai) but has a really beautiful and cozy atmosphere with custom cocktails like the Champagne Firecracker.
This Southern restaurant in Heights restaurant is a collaboration between former Underbelly chef Lyle Bento, BBQ guru Patrick Feges of Killen’s Barbecue fame, and the late Goro & Gun’s J.D. Woodward -- along with restaurateur Charles Bishop. Indoor or covered patio bar seating means you’re good to go no matter the weather, and a constantly rotating menu keeps things from getting boring. One mainstay, however, is the bourbon balls, a dessert you absolutely need to make room for.
The modern, hipster decor sets Heights' Foreign Correspondents apart from the homely styles of more traditional Thai restaurants. The menu’s got it all and a complementary sweet Thai herbal tea comes with your meal. FC also specializes in experimental house cocktails that are always fresh and deliciously strong, and they serve a large list of beer and wines by the glass as well. Cafe and patio seating make for a relaxed and enjoyable dining experience.
This restaurant offers your favorite Vietnamese and Asian inspired cuisines like drunken tofu and chicken lo mein. With their own special twist, this restaurant gets fusion right.
If you love Murica you’ll love The Del. This family-friendly neighborhood joint is serving up your favorite can’t-go-wrong American meals like burgers, sandwiches and salads. It’s a perfect spot to watch a game, catch up with friends, and just take it easy. Don't miss happy hour: it starts early at 3pm Monday through Friday and the cocktails can be made custom to how you like it. Cheers to an old fashioned with an extra dash of USA.
Opened by a native Houstonian, Pappa Charlies uses only minimally trimmed, choice or grade briskets, and the only seasoning used are salt and pepper so diners can enjoy the real meat taste. Unlike the orthodox low and slow BBQ method, Pappa Charlies makes its meat by cooking (on) high and fast. It’s harder to do, but the juicy taste is worth the effort. This is a proud Texas facility with state-inspired decor and live music from local artists.
When you come to this Korean fusion spot order the Ko burger, the bulgogi, and their loaded fries. Everything here is really delicious and unique. They also make refreshing cocktails like their cucumber melon cocktail.
If you’re hungry for some high-end European and Creole fare, stop in this cozy spot located conveniently off of the 10. With tasteful small plates like charred octopus and truffle duck fat fries, this spot is sure to satisfy your curious taste dubs. The Durham House also has refreshing cocktails with quirky names like He Went To Jared, 50 Shades of Earl Grey and A Finished Novel.
Atlanta restaurateur and Houston native chef Ford Fry has brought his culinary magic back home with this modern, globally and coastally inspired lodge. Former Ciao Bello chef Bobby Matos mans the open kitchen and the giant, wood-fired hearth, offering you not only great food but an entertaining and immersive experience. There's a great oyster program and an upscale, vintage feel to the space, with a marble bar and handsome wooden and leather furniture.
The only thing better than a six-layer dip is a seven-layer dip… served in a mason jar. Pour Society has every drink you could want and then some—choose from their extensive wine list, house-made craft cocktails (four on tap!) and 48 types of craft and Texas beer. We were going to come up with a pun about how this place doesn’t have a poor selection, but we’d hate us, too. This American pub should be your everyday hangout for good drinks and Southern-style fare.
Offering fried chicken and donuts under one roof, there's not much more could you ask for at this Heights Staple. Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts supplies Southern sides like creamed corn, gravy, and mashed potatoes, in addition to its claim-to-fame centerpiece: a golden brown, perfectly friend piece of bird flanked by two whole glazed donuts. There are also a number of daily-made donuts and sweet and savory kolaches in crazy good combinations -- think glazed with praline Bacon and caramel icing or iced blueberry cake.
Check out this contemporary, dual concept restaurant: one side of the menu features Mediterranean-inspired dishes (black) and the other offers grilled seafood cuisine (white). The restaurant itself is split in a similar way: the black side is a bit more formal with tablecloths and a quieter ambience, and the white is more casual. The coolest part, though, is that you can order from both menus on either side of the restaurant.
They have creative cocktails here that you should try like Midoriiro Dream, Hangover Cure, and Winter in Kyoto. Plus, they have amazing sushi rolls to choose from and innovative ramen dishes like their lobster ramen (it's got lobster claws emerging from the bowl—pretty cool).