Summer may be in our rearview, but we’re still dreaming of allllll the new food and drinks that the most brutal days in Houston brought us. Thankfully, fall -- the official season of "going to all the awesome places that opened this summer and doing so with at least 50% less back sweat" -- is here. So go check out these 13 worthwhile newbies:

Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar

Midtown
The space formerly inhabited by Sushi Raku is now occupied by a new kind of fish joint. With multiple dining rooms – including a more casual one with an oyster shucking station, this eatery dishes out seafood done the Southern way. Think "Texas-style" shrimp with chipotle mop sauce, crispy redfish with bourbon-smoked short rib agnolotti, and a muddled stew with braised pork belly and pretty much everything you could want from the sea. Finish it all with an oyster shooter and be happy.

Stone's Throw

Stone’s Throw 

Montrose
There's a badass new bar in town and it's just a stone's throw away from Montrose heavy hitters (and sibling ventures) Boondocks, Royal Oak, and Pistolero’s. The moody speakeasy stirs up vintage libations and brews their own ginger beer, but there’s no need to put on your fancy pants -- this NKOTB is as laidback as any other bar in Montrose. Hit it up for Progressive Happy Hour, when the price of drinks match the time. That’s $4 drinks at 4pm. $5 drinks at 5pm. Now keep doing math until you get to 7.

The Honeymoon

The Honeymoon Café & Bar

Downtown
The guys behind Boomtown Coffee teamed up with the dudes behind Lei Low, Bad News, and Grand Prize Bar (among others) to bring us this Main St hangout that’s part coffee house, part cocktail bar, and part awesome. The kitchen slays with breakfast and lunch dishes like oyster BLTs and beignets, while the bar slings serious coffees and libations – all made with top flight ingredients, of course. It’s like living in NOLA, but without the stank of Bourbon St.

Pax Americana 

Pax Americana 

Montrose/Museum District
RIP Thai Sticks. But we can't say that we're THAT sad to see you go... because a new kid is in town, and well, he’s brought some realllllyyy good food. Small plates and high-concept cocktails are the name of the game at this progressive, modern American resto. The menu constantly changes, but expect a selection of shareables and large plates like grilled honeydew salad, Vietnamese-style gulf shrimp, and 9-spice brisket. Feast, then unbutton your jeans. You’re having pain perdu and foie gras ice cream for dessert.

True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen

Galleria/Uptown
Healthy food that doesn't suck has made its way to Houston... and let's be honest with ourselves, we probably need it. Hit TFK for fresh/local/sustainable eats that hit all the doctor's checkpoints. For real, there’s a doctor that approves of you eating all the grass-fed umami burgers, Texas red fish tacos, and gluten-free chocolate cakes you could want. Plus there are cocktails. We kinda like this doctor.

Julep

Julep

Washington
So we may have jumped the gun on this one last time, but Julep’s now here for real. To quote ourselves, "If you love Anvil, you’ll love Julep, the bourbon-centric cocktail bar from former Anvil GM Alba Huerta and the Clumsy Butcher team. The bar has an old-school, punky Southern charm that we haven't seen the likes of in Houston before (think big back porch and a copper-accented historic space). Come for masterfully crafted cocktails and cold seafood dishes from former Pass & Provisions Chef Adam Garcia."

Bourbon & Bacon

Bourbon & Bacon

Washington
This whiskey-and-pig-centric pop-up popped up permanently inside the new location of Little J’s Bar – housed in the old Blue Moose Lounge – last month. They serve things like bacon truffle mac n’ cheese and bacon funnel cake (with maple-bourbon syrup), soooo we’re pretty psyched. 

Glazed

Glazed The Doughnut Café

The Medical Center
A 24/7 doughnut shop, just what the world’s largest med center needs. The sweetery may be brand-spanking-new, but it’s already considered one of the best in town. Come here for franken-treats like the maple-cream, bacon-topped "macon", or one that’s basically a banana split on a doughnut.

Bosta

Bosta Wine & Coffee

Museum District
Mid-June brought us this sleek coffee/wine/beer bar hybrid. The light, contemporary space is open ‘til midnight, so get your fix of espressos, pinots, and lagers all day long. There’re delicious things like charcuterie, panini, and homemade biscuits, too. So seriously, you can stay there all day.

The Springbok

The Springbok

Downtown
It’s about time we had a South African restaurant in Houston. Come to this international sports bar to throw back a few brewskies and gorge on global pub fare like peri-peri wings, Guinness stew, and something called biltong -- which is pretty much South African’s way better take on a Slim Jim. Also, do all of this while watching futbol (both kinds), rugby, and cricket.

Bernie's Burger Bus

Bernie's Burger Bus Stop

Bellaire
This beefed-up mobile eatery opened up its first brick-and-mortar stop this summer. But don’t worry, you’ll still get Houston’s baddest burgers and fries straight out a big yellow school bus (it houses the restaurant's kitchen). Only this time, there are waiters, seating, milkshakes, wines, and beers on tap. We'd say that's a win.

RED Dessert Dive & Coffee Shop

RED Dessert Dive & Coffee Shop

Heights
This funky bakery on E 11th serves some seriously good baked treats (like beer and bacon bread) along with Boomtown coffee, craft brews, and wine. Most importantly, it introduced us all to the "Debusker" – a chocolate fudge brownie with a crazy moist and chewy M&M cookie baked right on top. And for that, we thank them. Our diabetes doesn't. But we do.

Dosi

Dosi Restaurant + Soju Bar

Upper Kirby
Children aren’t "recommended" after 7pm at this modern eatery. And we're totally cool with that; because we plan on going "Gangnam Style" on some soju – the slightly sweet, rice-based spirit that is like the Korean version of vodka – all night long. Take it down with shareable plates of Wagyu beef jerky, pork belly street dumplings, and hot-and-sweet gochujang-glazed fried chicken. Then thank the restaurant for that kid rule again.

Sign up here for our daily Houston email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar 3201 Louisiana St, Houston, TX 77006

With multiple dining rooms – including a more casual one with an oyster shucking station -- this Midtown eatery dishes out seafood done the Southern way. Chef Mark Holley is covering all the bases with crudo, ceviche, raw oysters, caviar service, and a bourbon program, too. The interior is sleek and modern, with dark wooden accents and big windows. The drinks produced through Holley's cocktail program are not to be missed either.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Stone's Throw 1417 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006 (Montrose)

This moody speakeasy stirs up vintage libations and brews their own ginger beer, but there’s no need to put on your fancy pants -- it's as laidback as any other bar in Montrose. Hit it up for progressive happy hour, where the price of drinks match the time. That's $4 drinks at 4. $5 drinks at 5. Now keep doing math until you get to 7.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar 300 Main St, Houston, TX 77002 (Downtown)

The guys behind Boomtown Coffee teamed up with the dudes behind Lei Low, Bad News, and Grand Prize Bar to bring us this Main St hangout that’s part coffee house, part cocktail bar, and part awesome. The kitchen impresses with breakfast and lunch dishes like oyster BLTs and beignets, while the bar slings serious coffees and libations – all made with top flight ingredients, of course. It’s like living in NOLA, but without the stank of Bourbon.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Pax Americana 4319 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006

Small plates and high-concept cocktails are the name of the game at this progressive, modern American restaurant in Montrose. The menu constantly changes, but expect a selection of shareables and large plates with a seasonal influence. Their all-American, small producer wine list represents many European varietals and the beer and cocktails lists are equally well-curated. The restaurant usually feels full but service is noticeably attentive.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. True Food Kitchen 1700 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056

Why, yes, there are delicious vegan restaurants in Houston, the land of BBQ meats. True Food Kitchen, with all of its fresh, local, and sustainable eats, is the perfect example: a Galleria spot serving up grass-fed umami burgers, Texas red fish tacos, and gluten-free chocolate cakes that'll have you wondering why you're still baking with flour. The space is full of wooden tables circled by green, white, and yellow chairs, plus green booth banquettes, giving the place a stylish, earthy look to match its food.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Julep 1919 Washington Ave Ste A, Houston, TX 77007

The bar has an old-school, punky Southern charm that we haven’t seen the likes of in Houston before (think big back porch and a copper-accented historic space). Come for masterfully crafted cocktails and cold seafood dishes from former Pass & Provisions Chef Adam Garcia.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Bourbon & Bacon 5306 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007 (Downtown)

This whiskey-and-pig-centric spot serves things like bacon truffle mac n’ cheese and bacon funnel cake with maple-bourbon syrup.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Glazed The Doughnut Café 1333 Old Spanish Trl, Houston, TX 77054

A 24/7 doughnut shop, just what the world’s largest med center needs. Come here for franken-treats like the maple-cream, bacon-topped “macon”, or one that’s basically a banana split on a doughnut.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Bosta Wine & Coffee 1801 Binz St, Houston, TX 77004

This light, contemporary space is open ‘til midnight, so get your fix of espressos, pinots, and lagers all day long. There’s delicious things like charcuterie, panini, and homemade biscuits, too. So seriously, you can stay there all day.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. The Springbok 711 Main St Unit 1, Houston, TX 77002

Come to this international sports bar to throw back a few brewskies and gorge on global pub fare like peri-peri wings, Guinness stew, and something called biltong that is pretty much South African’s way better take on a Slim Jim. Also, do all of this while watching futbol (both kinds), rugby, and cricket.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Bernie’s Burger Bus Stop 5407 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77401

Some of Houston's best burgers and fries come straight out of a big yellow school bus, otherwise known as the kitchen of Bernie's Burger Bus. Bernie's still has waiters and seating though, not to mention milkshakes, wines, and beers on tap. The gourmet burgers, all of which have school-themed names like "The Principal" and "Homeroom," are constructed from a blend of house-ground black Angus beef and served on locally-baked buns. Add in homemade condiments and you've got the best school lunch ever.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Red Dessert Dive & Coffee Shop 1045 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77008

This funky bakery on E. 11th serves some seriously good baked treats (like beer and bacon bread) along with Boomtown coffee, craft brews, and wine. It also introduced us all to the “Debusker” – a chocolate fudge brownie with a crazy moist and chewy M&M cookie baked right on top.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Dosi Restaurant & Soju Bar 2802 S Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77098

Children aren’t “recommended” after 7 at this modern eatery. And we’re totally cool with that; because we plan on going “Gangnam Style” on some soju – the slightly sweet, rice-based spirit that is like the Korean version of vodka – all night long. Take it down with shareable plates of wagyu beef jerky, pork belly street dumplings, and hot and sweet gochujang-glazed fried chicken.

Clickbait