Kipper Club
Radio Milano
The chicken ranch restaurant
William Hardin
Paul's Kitchen
Doc's Bar & Grill
Mad For Chicken
Robard's Steakhouse
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1. Main Kitchen 806 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

Chef Erin Smith's restaurant at the JW Marriot Downtown offers a small plate, family-style dining experience. Local purveyors provide fresh, seasonal ingredients for a frequently changing menu that always remains globally inspired. You can expect everything from elevated seafood entrees to quirky burgers. Save room for pastry chef Sharon Gofreed's deconstructed deserts, which are as much a visual masterpiece as they are a delicious one.

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2. Kipper Club Test Kitchen 4400 North Yale St, Houston, TX 77018

This supper club hosts a different pop-up and guest chef dinner every week. The 3-5 course, booze-paired dinners – where you interact with the chefs and feast at a communal table – sell out on the regular, so get in there fast!

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3. Radio Milano 800 Sorella Ct, Houston, TX 77024

Manned by chef Jose Hernandez (formerly of big guns Philippe Restaurant + Lounge and La Balance), this fine-dining Italian restaurant, housed in the Hotel Sorella, dishes out modern, inspired eats – think house-made tagliatelle with lobster and uni cream and 44 Farms rib eye with bone marrow sauce – alongside killer cocktails.

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4. The Chicken Ranch 6500 N Main St, Houston, TX 77009

Good-as-hell fried chicken, Johnny Cash chicken wings, and crispy fried chicken livers are allllll on the menu at this Southern-style chicken shack. As are the city’s most heavenly buttermilk biscuits, which you should definitely, definitely get.

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5. Prohibition Supperclub & Bar 1008 Prairie St, Houston, TX 77002

This sultry, '20s era supper club doubles as a cabaret, featuring The Moonlight Dolls on Thurs-Sat, making sucking down Oysters Rockefeller, crispy stuffed pig trotter, and garlic butter lobster twice the fun. Add a couple of old-fashioned cocktails to reach nirvana.

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6. Paul's Kitchen 2502 Algerian Way, Houston, TX 77098

These two Pauls (one of Osteria Mazzantini, one of Union Kitchen) are the kinda Pauls you want to know. Why? Because they teamed up to sling farm-fresh eats like braised goat empanadas, smoked Berkshire pork belly, and juicy fried chicken straight into your belly.

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7. Doc’s Motorworks Bar & Grill 1303 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006

Austin import Doc's is a great neighborhood bar with a relaxed vibe and zero pretension save for the impressive 50 taps of craft brew, which we'd never object to. This Montrose spot also has a 100-seat patio and plenty of Tex-Mex-inspired pub fare. It's the kind of place where you can kick back and watch the game with friends, go on a casual date or just show up by yourself for a beer with some friendly strangers at the bar.

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8. Gino’s East 25657 Interstate 45, Woodlands, TX 77380

Houston has true Chicago-style deep dish pizza thanks to this Chi-Town import’s first Texas expansion. The legendary pizza shop mixes classic sausage and tomato pies with Texas-inspired dishes like BBQ brisket pies and deep dish nachos.

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9. Tout Suite 2001 Commerce St, Houston, TX 77002

This 7,000-square-foot draws a busy yet quiet lunch crowd via scratch-made pastries, entree options like Vietnamese steak and eggs, and a coffee program curated by none other than Greenway Coffee’s David Buehrer, making it easily one of the best in the city. Including espresso-based classics, the lineup runs the gamut from flat whites and nutty cortados to a creamy ca phe sua da, which is also available by the bottle.

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10. Dak & Bop 1801 Binz St Ste 120, Houston, TX 77004

Twice-fried, seriously crisp Korean fried chicken is the name of the game at this Park Binz spot. Co-owner Jason Cho trained under NYC’s Mad For Chicken before opening up this shop (which is a separate entity but shares some recipes). The chicken’s good plain, but we suggest getting it smothered in soy-garlic or hot-and-spicy sauce.

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11. Robard’s Steakhouse 125 Autumnwood Way, The Woodlands, TX 77380

Named after Texan hero Howard Hughes (whose middle name was Robard), this upscale Prohibition-era steakhouse boasts an in-house butchery and dry-aging room alongside an impressive wine and cocktail program. Start with candied bacon & blue cheese toasts and a chilled seafood tower before going absolutely insane on a big and beefy dry-aged steak.