You like eating lunch, right? But does that usually consist of you Googling “lunch near me,” only to realize there’s a Whataburger really close so you put down your phone and hit the drive-thru for the third time that week? Because if it does, then this is the guide for you:
Fat BaoAddress and Info
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.
Bernie’s Burger BusAddress and Info
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 PagolacAddress and Info
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.
The Honeymoon Café & BarAddress and Info
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 SuiteAddress and Info
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 CafeAddress and Info
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’sAddress and Info
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.
Garden Oaks/Oak Forest
Shepherd Park Draught HouseAddress and Info
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.
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 MarketAddress and Info
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.
Pappa Geno’sAddress and Info
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 & GrilleAddress and Info
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 + MeasuresAddress and Info
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).
Lankford GroceryAddress and Info
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 BigsAddress and Info
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 GastropubAddress and Info
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 FoodsAddress and Info
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 19Address and Info
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.
Hubcap GrillAddress and Info
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 EatsAddress and Info
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 BurgersAddress and Info
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.
Café PitaAddress and Info
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).
1. Cafe Pita10890 Westheimer Rd, Houston
2. Bernie’s Burger Bus Stop5407 Bellaire Blvd, Houston
3. Saigon Pagolac9600 Bellaire Blvd #119, Houston
4. The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar300 Main St, Houston
5. Tout Suite2001 Commerce St, Houston
6. Andes Cafe2311 Canal St Ste 104, Houston
7. Kenny & Ziggy's2327 Post Oak Blvd, Houston
8. Shepherd Park Draught House3402 N Shepherd Dr, Houston
9. Revival Market550 Heights Blvd, Houston
10. Pappa Geno's Steak & Cheese1801 Ella Blvd, Houston
11. Perry's Steakhouse & Grille9730 Cypresswood Dr, Houston
12. Weights + Measures2808 Caroline St Ste 101, Houston
13. Lankford Grocery & Market88 Dennis St, Houston
14. Little Bigs2703 Montrose Blvd, Houston
15. BRC Gastropub519 Shepherd Dr, Houston
16. Local Foods2555 Kirby Dr, Houston
17. Brasserie 191962 W Gray St, Houston
18. Hubcap Grill1133 W 19th St, Houston
19. Fat Bao3419 Kirby Dr, Houston
20. Urban Eats3414 Washington Ave, Houston
21. JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers3501 W. Holcombe Blvd, Houston
Prepare for a truckload of homestyle Bosnian eats better than your baba made at Cafe Pita, a warm and inviting strip-mall spot serving up authentic plates like béchamel-smothered musaka, heaping gyro platters, and hadzijski cevap, a traditional dish of beef kabob and sausage swimming in a rich tomato cream sauce. The star of the menu, though, is the cevap sandwich: beef sausage links mixed with flavorful spices and served with fresh onions and kajmak on doughy lepinja bread.
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.
This Chinatown spot's Vietnamese cuisine is authentic, with hot pot, skillets, and whole roasted fish all included on the menu. The local favorite is the bò 7 món, or beef seven ways.
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.
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.
Andes Café is a casual dining concept that gathered roots from South American home cooking inspiring tasters with more than a sense of nourishment, but a sense of culture.
Kenny & Ziggy's is a shining oasis of Jewish deli goodness right in Uptown Houston. Whether you get a sandwich, burger or knish, expect it to come in the kind of colossal portion only a Brooklyn grandmother would force on you. But that probably won't stop you from ordering sides of matzo ball soup and pastrami cheese fries, two too-good-to-ignore menu staples.
This amazing space, nestled in Garden Oaks, features a modern-pub feel, adorned with an incredible collection of punk, pop, and rock memorabilia from the private collection of owner/executive chef, Ken Bridge. Shepherd Park boasts an amazing full menu, including an incredible pick of Texas Wagyu Kobe beef burgers. You can also enjoy a wide variety of Texas craft beers, wines, and specialty drinks on the beautiful wrap around patio.
This craft butcher and cafe in The Heights offers breakfast, lunch and full-service dinner and even has an in-house charcuterie program. Most of what Revival sells is made in-house, from all of the butchered meats to bottled jams, pickled vegetables and condiments. What is not made from scratch is sourced from other local and artisanal vendors.
The cheesesteak exists beyond the confines of its birthplace. In fact, it’s got quite a reach… all the way to Texas. By the looks (and taste) of the cheesesteaks at Pappa Geno’s Steak & Cheese, you’d swear you were actually there -- or at least somewhere within Pennsylvania’s borders. Pappa Geno’s showcases Philly-inspired cuisine with classic cheesesteaks, cheesesteaks with a Texan twist, hoagies, burgers, and cheese fries. And with multiple locations across the city, you can readily get your Cheez Whiz fix, no flight necessary.
Award-winning menu set in comfortable, casual elegance. Hand-selected, USDA-aged prime beef cut fresh daily. An incredible dining experience featuring Perry’s Famous Pork Chop, chateaubriand and flaming desserts – each with a tableside presentation. Amazing soups, salads, fresh seafood and more. A spectacular selection of world-class wines.
Weights + Measures in Montrose is a restaurant, bakery, and bar triple threat that delivers exceptional and inventive takes on meals and drinks. The 70s-esque decor contrasts with the industrial exterior, and the huge space can accommodate bar-goers and diners all in one open space. Stop by in the morning for daily-baked breads, pastries and coffee, or swing by at night for a more relaxed meal.
This Houston institution on Dennis St has been in business since 1939, selling groceries to locals alongside old-fashioned tuna melts and huge burgers. Everything is made to order, so the service takes time, and you simply pay at the counter when you're finished eating. The space itself is kitschy and quaint with shaded picnic tables outside for some greasy al fresco dining.
Head here to stuff your face with as many Sriracha mayo-loaded beef, pulled pork, chicken, and chili-cheese-smothered hot dog sliders as you can. The calories totally don’t count because they’re so small.
This spunky bar and kitchen in The Washington Corrider is named after a big red cock (truthfully) and serves as haven for beer and comfort food lovers. Burgers and mac and cheese are always in the menu, in addition to other pub grub favorites and over 20 taps of craft beer. If you're an adult but a kid at heart, order one of their boozy milkshakes for dessert.
A gourmet selection of sandwiches, salads, and prepare meals with local ingredients.
Brassiere 19 is true to its roots, serving French classics like Croque Monsieur, steak tartare, and creme brulee. The best part about this trendy River Oaks date spot, besides the excellent French press coffee, badass champagne selection and stellar fare, is that you can feel like you’re brunching in Paris without having to deal with actual French people.
Hubcap Grill, which has a couple of locations across Texas, is known for its burgers and sandwiches. When faced with one of its incredibly juicy, crispy seared patties, the logical next step is to get another. The counter-serve also pours craft beer, which you order at the window before taking your food out to the massive, colorful patio. The space features games like ping pong and horseshoes so you can burn off all that grease to the tune of the outdoor jukebox.
The Kirby outpost of this Asian Fusion bao mini-chain is known for its fresh-cut fries with kimcheenaise and pork belly. Creative baos include curry beef, "Big Byrd" (fried chicken and sweet basil sauce), and "New Yorker" (house smoked salmon, avocado, green onions, and cream sauce).
From sit down to grab-and-go, Houston dines out; it’s a part of our culture. In the city that always eats, Urban Eats crafts modern, comfy gourmet delicacies and epicurean carry-home to meet your needs. Urban Eats is inspired by family culinary treasures, crafted in house, procured locally, and delivered in three innovative dining experiences; our full service Bistro + Bar, fast-casual eatery, and gourmand market.
This sleek, industrial-style spot serves up burgers and dogs that are Texas-sized and made with all-natural, humanely raised beef. A must-try is the build-your-own-dog, which adventurous eaters can top with add-ons like chili, fried egg, and jalapeño cream cheese. Or, go with the house cheeseburger, grilled over an open flame and topped with American cheese, griddled onions, and Ernie’s sauce (mayo, ketchup, and relish). Another fresh pick? The bacon avocado burger. No matter what, pair your choice with a thick, hand-spun milkshake.