Owner: Tracy Vaught
When it comes to visionary female restaurateurs in Houston, few are as successful or well-known as Tracy Vaught. A four-time James Beard Award semi-finalist for Outstanding Restaurateur, Vaught is the driving force behind H-Town Restaurant Group (a collection of restaurants that include Hugo’s, Caracol, Xochi, and Backstreet Cafe), which she runs alongside her husband, chef Hugo Ortega. Backstreet is where everything started 38 years ago. In 1983, Vaught quit her job as a geologist to become a restauranteur, turning a 1930s-era River Oaks home and its lovely Oak tree-shaded backyard into one of the most enduring and beloved restaurants in Houston. Brunch here is legendary, but then again, every meal at Backstreet, which serves Houston-inspired American fare, is a delight. From the crab cakes to the fork tender braised short ribs, to lobster risotto or shrimp and grits, you can’t go wrong.
How to order: Open for dine-in and patio seating, with online ordering for delivery or pick-up.