The gist: Since 2016, this mouth-watering gem has been polishing their Cantonese-style dishes with local ingredients and family tradition. Self-trained gourmand Elaine Won originally began Dumpling Haus as a pop-up with her daughters Amiley and Ashley, bouncing from flourishing farmers markets to holy grail watering holes around the city. It wasn’t long before customers realized that weekend-only servings of their plump dumplings and utterly delectable noodle soups weren’t enough, and this family-run eatery scored a brick and mortar spot in the ever-growing Sawyer Yards.
The food: Beloved (obviously) for their pillowy dumplings, guests can also score additions like steamy Braised Pork Belly and marinated BBQ chicken-laden Rice Bowls tossed with chili oil, and veggies, and aromatic protein-stuffed Wonton Soup peppered with green onions. Dip a spoon into the “haus favorite” Vegan Fried Rice stocked with oyster mushrooms, carrots and peas galore—or indulge in all three, it’s that good.
The cost: Dumplings $8, noodle soups $10 - $13, signature bowls $9 - $10, fried rice $10 - $12, soft drinks $1 - $3.50, sides $.50 - $4.50.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out via Toast.
The gist: Normally, approaching your favorite restaurant and spotting a line wrapping around the corner is a total nightmare—but for this star-studded haven, it’s well worth it. The Breakfast Klub boasts a breakfast drip so legendary that even Third Ward’s own Beyonce regularly stops by when visiting the city. If it’s Bey-approved, it’s definitely Houston-approved.
The food: Sprint, not walk, to this cozy establishment when hankering for a “cheezy” breakfast sandwich loaded with savory meats and scrambled eggs, buttery (and ridiculously creamy) grits paired with crispy chicken, or pillowy buttermilk biscuits doused in thick sausage-laden gravy. The lunch menu (served only after 11 am) is pretty delicious, too, decked out with familiar favorites like hearty salad and soup combos.
The cost: Plates $9.75 - $15.95, breakfast and lunch sandwiches $8.95 - $14.75, salads $13.50.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out via Toast.
The gist: Every hustlin’ and bustlin’ city should have an outpost or two that matches its lively energy. For H-town, that’s Nancy’s Hustle. This buzzing bistro has only been around for a little over two years, yet has attracted a loyal following among both Texas- and non-Texas-based crowds. Emphasis on the word “crowd”—if you want to witness the well-deserved hype, be prepared to squeeze.
The food: Chow down on flaky Grilled Rockfish served in an unforgettable butter bean puree and pickled peppers, or cleanse your palate between bites of Smoked Trout and thickly cut Fries with a small Green Salad drizzled with Dijon dressing and diced apples.
The cost: Starters and mains $5 - $29, cocktails $11 - $12, desserts $10 - $12.
The gist: This casual little sibling to Underbelly Hospitality’s Georgia James opened at the end of July, bringing Old Hollywood vibes and GJ’s beloved cast-iron steaks to the ground floor of Market Square Tower. Chef de cuisine Matthew “Tally” Coburn (an Underbelly alum) runs the kitchen while pastry director Victoria Dearmond crafts crave-worthy desserts.
The food: Gorgeous hunks of perfectly seared beef ride alongside classy everyday fare driven by high-quality ingredients and technique. Expect hearth-roasted oysters dripping in green garlic-chili butter, confit chicken wings with candied peanuts, and a Tavern Burger made with 44 Farms beef, house pickles, and smoked onion fancy sauce. Finish with Dearmond’s wood-fired apple crumble a la mode—topped with bourbon ice cream, obviously.
The cost: Starters and small plates $14 - $25, sandwiches $18 - $25, mains $36 - $85, desserts $6 - $12, beer and wine by the glass $5 - $20, cocktails $10 - $18.
How to book: Reserve via Resy.
The gist: Michelin star chef Alain Verzeroli, who worked under late culinary legend Jöel Robuchon for nearly 20 years, masterfully harnesses the power of peak-season ingredients at this artful French restaurant. Tucked away in the Museum of Fine Arts campus, guests can wine and dine in full view of the majestic sculpture garden.
The food: With Le Jardinier—French for “the gardener”—sporting a menu of well-balanced creations, guests with diverse palettes will have no problem scoring a dish overflowing with nutrients. Seafood lovers can bask in the buttery King Kampachi, emblazoned with squash and white sesame, while health nuts can slice into a grass-fed Tenderloin partnered with nutty ratte potatoes and gem lettuce. Pastry chef—and fellow Michelin Star recipient—Salvatore Martone’s desserts, like the Venezuelen Dark Chocolate Crémeux draped in salty caramel sabayon, are equally as stunning.
The cost: Seasonal tasting menus $130 - $240, a la carte starters $18 - $34, a la carte mains $30 - $48, a la carte desserts $15 - $25, a la carte cocktails and wine by the glass $13 - $34.
The gist: Uchi alum Thomas Stacy brings his culinary chops to life in a thought-provoking Japanese concept in CityCentre. Guests can book a seat at the 20-person communal table and marvel at eight-course presentations from the restaurant’s private tasting menu. Even though well-crafted cuisines are gorgeous to look at, that’s not the only supreme view eaters will have—the restaurant’s intimate interior is decked out with a backdrop of vintage vinyl tunes and a 105-foot-long gallery wall featuring works from local artists.
The food: Highlighting Asian flavors through a European lens, expect Stacy and team—including sous chef Jacob Larimore (MAD, BCN) and pastry chef Carla Briseño (MAD, BCN, Roka Akor)—to switch up the tasting menus every six to eight weeks. Past highlights include plates of Char Siu Heritage Pork Belly and Tart Cherry Bao, Octopus Carpaccio with yuzu vinaigrette, and “Duck Duck Goose” Dumplings in blueberry-spiked hoisin.
The cost: Tasting menus $150 - $246.50, a la carte cafe dishes $18 - $30, soft drinks $14, cocktails $12 - $16, beer, sake, and wine by the glass $7 - $25.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating at the cafe, Wednesday through Saturday from 4:30 to 10 pm.