Food & Drink

The Best Lunch Spot in 21 Different Houston Neighborhoods

Published On 11/25/2015 Published On 11/25/2015

Upper Kirby

Fat Bao

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Stuffed with things like braised pork belly, curried beef, and soft-shell crab, it’s easy to take down FB’s soft, yeasty bao buns in two bites. So you’ll definitely want at least three of them. Get the lunch special, which comes with twiggy frites and a fountain drink.

Courtesy of Kimberly Park/Bernie’s Burger Bus

Bellaire

Bernie’s Burger Bus

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Fact: BBB is better than Whataburger. Other fact: while you may be tempted to go for Bernie’s double-patty, double-cheese, grilled-cheese sandwich bun-ed Detention Burger, you probably have to go back to work after this. Stick to the classic Principal burger, smothered with all the usual suspects and made in-house.

Saigon Pagolac

Chinatown

Saigon Pagolac

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Save the Bò 7 Món (that’s seven courses of beef, y’all) for dinner. Instead, hit the Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall in the back of the Dynasty Mall during lunch to get cheap as hell plates loaded with roasted Cornish game hen, char-broiled beef, and steamed pork cakes. Those goods will only run you $5 to $7.

Courtesy of Steven Garcia

Downtown

The Honeymoon Café & Bar

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The fact that you can finish your midday meal with beignets is only a small part of this café’s charm. The other part lies in the laid-back NOLA vibe, boozy cocktails, and standout selection of sandwiches filled with things like fried Gulf oysters and beet pickled eggs.

TOUT SUITE

EaDo

Tout Suite

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This massive, 7,000sqft warehouse was transformed into the kind of place you want to hangout all day. Most especially at lunch, because the crowd is quiet, the pastry case is full, and you can chase your Sriracha-aoili-smothered BLT and roast corn soup with a cupcake.

Andes Cafe

East End

Andes Cafe

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This vibrant cafe and juice bar boasts an all-star lineup of South American comfort foods. Go loco on Argentinean choripan, Peruvian tamales, or Equadorian Hornado -- a succulent roast pork leg smothered in pork gravy and served with addicting “llapingachos” (potato cheese cakes).

Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen

Galleria

Kenny & Ziggy’s

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Ziggy Gruber is the king of Brooklyn-style sandwiches bigger than your head. Get the triple deckers stuffed with crazy good corned beef, triple smoked pastrami, and roast brisket, all made in-house. But split them if you want any chance of finishing your matzoh ball soup and potato knish you “accidentally” ordered on the side.

Shepherd Park Draught House

Garden Oaks/Oak Forest

Shepherd Park Draught House

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This brewbar from the guy behind Pink’s Pizza serves up upscale pub eats with a Houston punch. Go madman on some drunken mussels soaked in creamy garlic-wine-butter, Texas-kobe beef pies, and Korean short rib tacos. Oh, and some craft beers if you’re not working that afternoon.

Revival Market

You still find a sign for The Mink hanging outside this discreet speakeasy. Though that spot has since closed, don’t let that st

Revival Market

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Grass-fed roast beef, Gulf fish salad, and Texas red hot lamb sausage are allllll on the menu at this newly renovated craft butcher and cafe. So is a standout house cured meat plate complete with whipped lardo and whiskey pate.

Lazybrook/Timbergrove

Pappa Geno’s

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Greasy-as-hell Texas-sized cheesesteaks with Whiz, gravy, and hot oil pepper blankets are what you want for lunch. A three hour long nap is what you want for after lunch.

Perry's Steakhouse & Grille

Memorial

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille

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You may be thinking, “Wait a minute, a steakhouse for lunch? What am I made of monies?” Well now you are. Because when you can get a lunch-cut of Perry’s famous, table-side carved, butter-drenched pork chop for under $20, you do... no matter what it takes. Pro tip: go on Fridays, when the lunch cut is only $13.95.

Weights and Measures

Midtown

Weights + Measures

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With foodstuffs ranging from house-cured pressed salumi sandwiches to roasted local carrot pizza, this bake shop, bar, and resto is a most-welcome addition to the hip neighborhood. BTW, the famed roasted carrot pizza also comes with creamy onion béchamel, Redneck cheddar, and dukka (an Egyptian condiment of herbs, nuts, and spices).

Brooke Viggiano/Thrillist

Montrose

Lankford Grocery

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It doesn’t matter how many newer, shinier spots flock to Neartown, Lankford’s sloppy-as-all-hell burgers and seriously good sandwiches will beat them every time. Get beef bombs loaded with accoutrements like mac and cheese, jalapeños, and all the stuff in a Frito pie. Just don’t forget your cash.

Little Bigs (Houston)

Museum District

Little Bigs

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What’s better than having a trio of sliders for lunch? Having a trio of sliders AND a boozed up “No Minors” milkshake for lunch. The old ‘trose favorite recently moved a few blocks south towards the Museum District, but with the new location came more space and a bigger menu. Choose from classics like the caramelized onion & beef or go for newbies like the “Freddy Fender” -- a hot dog wrapped in a fried tortilla and topped with all kinds of goodies.

BRC American Gastropub

Rice Military

BRC Gastropub

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Look for the Big Red Cock just a few blocks South of Washington Ave. That’s where you’ll find gut-busting eats, from appetizers to dessert. Start with a skillet of pork belly mac & cheese for the table, then absolutely smash one of their killer burgers, sandwiches, and salads (don’t worry, one of those has a burger on it, too).

Local Foods - Upper Kirby

Rice Village

Local Foods

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These sandwich kings clearly know what they’re doing, as evidenced by their salt & pepper roast beef smothered w/ horseradish aioli and curried cauliflower, or the refreshingly delicious shrimp and crab number, loaded with green goddess dressing, pickled onion, and tomato. Think you can handle two sandwiches for lunch?

Brasserie 19

River Oaks

Brasserie 19

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Sitting in this brasserie’s sleek dining room, you’ll forget you’re living in a city whose main waterfront is a swampy bayou. You’ll also forget you don’t fit in with the Lululemon-clad, freshly bandages ladies who lunch here. But that won’t stop you from chasing your croque monsieur with a glass or three of champagne.

Flickr/Kaleb Fulgham

Shady Acres

Hubcap Grill

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Chef Ricky Craig’s hand-formed, aggressively seared burgers are just as on point as the things that smother them. Everything comes stacked in custom-baked buns that can withhold all that burger juice, so don’t worry about holding out on the toppings. Go for the gold with Fritos, chili, and cheese, or stick to the classic Hubcap Decker, a two-stack with two kinds of cheese and house mayo.

Urban Eats

Washington

Urban Eats

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Grab gourmet salads and sandwiches in the market, or sit yourself down for a beer alongside a 3 Pig Truffled mac & cheese, and a flourless chocolate torte at the bistro. Both are good ideas. Do both.

JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers

West University

JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers

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There’s nothing shoddy about these JerryBuilt burgers. Get a full lineup of them plus dogs, salads, and sandwiches, all of which have serious street cred thanks to the joint’s attention to using humanely-raised, all natural beef & chicken, and locally sourced ingredients.

Cafe Pita +

Westchase

Café Pita

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At lunch, $7.99 can get you a truckload of homestyle Bosnian eats better than your baba made. Get everything from a béchamel-smothered musaka, to heaping gyro plates, to hadzijski cevap (a traditional dish of beef kabob and sausage swimming in a rich tomato cream sauce).