Houston, Texas is one of the biggest cities in the United States and it’s home to many restaurants and bars. There are so many food options to choose from. If you want to try its signature Texas BBQ, you can find many good places that serve it. If you want to try cultural food from around the world there are many restaurants that can open your taste buds.
Below is a list of restaurants and bars that I had experienced and tasted during my Houston Press Trip with Houston First. Have a look and see which restaurants you want to explore and experience. Please note that this list is displayed in alphabetic order.
And of course, if you have any recommendations, be sure to reach out and let me know coz I am definitely going back to Houston to try more restaurants and bars in the near future.
Amorino – Gelato
Are you craving for some nice dessert? What about some cool looking gelato? I have never seen such a beautiful ice cream as it resembles a rose. It’s such great art!
Located in the River Oaks District, along the shopping plaza, you will find Amorino.
Check out all the flavours and decide what you like.
Badolina – Bakery & Cafe
Badolina is such a cozy and relaxing spot. There are in-door dine-in area but I recommend you to sit outside the patio area, it’s more spacious and perfect for people watching especially on a sunny day. They made fresh bakery daily with many of its items super colourful and artistic looking. I luv the freshly brewed coffee so much that I bought a bag of coffee beans back to Canada so I can enjoy a nice cup of joe every morning.
Overall, I like this Rice Village area, it’s chic, modern and just nice walking around.
Bombay Sweets – Indian Vegetarian Restaurant
There are so many Indian sweets to choose from at Bombay Sweet. They are all made in-house. Not even sure what to choose and where to start coz there are just so much variety. Luckily, one of the journalists on our Houston Press Trip knows what to order, it was so cool we get to share and try different sweets as a group.
And I fell in luv with the Chai Tea, luv the aroma, the flavour and the texture. Perfect combo with the sweets. If you are looking for a great Indian restaurant that serves vegetarian items, Bombay Sweets Houston is da place!
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co – Craft Brewery
Do you luv craft beer? Houston is home to many craft breweries. In fact, the BEST way to get to know these breweries is by joining a bike tour such as Tour de Brewery that has a bike tour that cater to your preference. Whether you only want to bike for 2 hours or 4 hours, the tour will customize to your time.
Well…for our bike ride, we started at The Post, then took a nice bike ride along the Buffalo Bayou Park and then after a leisure bike ride, we had arrived at Buffalo Bayou Brewing. This place is massive with multiple floors. You can pick anywhere you like to enjoy an ice cold, whether it’s at the ground level patio, or taking the stairs to 2nd and 3rd floors, but my favourite spot is at the rooftop.
This rooftop has one of the best views overlooking the skyline of Houston. This is da spot! Luv the beer, the view and the vibe.
Cajun Kitchen – Vietnamese Seafood Fusion
I am super excited dining at Cajun Kitchen as this restaurant serves lots of fresh seafood dishes with a nice twist using unique Vietnamese ingredients, spice and sauces to elevate the seafood game.
In particular, I luv oysters. At Cajun Kitchen, they chargrilled the local fresh oysters from the Gulf Coast with garlic, green onions, butter. That char!!! Oh my! That aroma, super juicy. I am in seafood heaven right now!!!!
LUV it! And good value with good price.
Clarkwood – Chic Bar
Clarkwood has just recently open and it has already garner a lot of buzz and popularity. This is a hopp’in spot that you surely don’t want to show up late or else you wouldn’t gain access or a spot to sit.
Cool cocktails, cool vibe with nice music to enjoy a Friday night or weekend.
Da Gama – Portuguese-Indian Cuisine
Da Gama is a very unique restaurant offering Portuguese-Indian dishes, plus wine & cocktails. It’s located in a new chic shopping plaza with a beautiful patio and modern & vibrant interior dining experience.
We luv the vibe, the food & the overall ambience of this upscale restaurant.
Diversion Cocktails – Immersive & Innovative Bar
Diversion isn’t your typical cocktail bar. It has a bit of Speakeasy vibe to it as it’s located at a building that has no windows and the only way to identify that you are at the right place is the small neon sign.
Once you are in there, you are either assign to the bar counter near the Mixologists who are mixing your drinks or you can sit at bigger tables away from the bar counter. You will have an incredible experience from any spot at the bar. There are many innovative cocktails that comes with a story or theme that will make you enjoy the drink as much as the immersive visual presentations that come with it.
Holler Brewing Co. – Craft Brewery
Houston is home to many craft breweries. In fact, the BEST way to get to know these breweries is by joining a bike tour such as Tour de Brewery that has a bike tour that cater to your preference. Whether you only want to bike for 2 hours or 4 hours, the tour will customize to your time.
During our bike ride, we visited at Holler Brewing Co. as our 2nd stop. We enjoyed the patio on a sunny day and the beer flights were fabulous.
Hong Kong City Mall – Asian Shopping Mall
Sometimes the best hidden gems are not in a restaurants or a bar, but at Asian grocery stores, or at the food court. At Hong Kong City Mall, it is an Asian shopping mall with 100+ stores from clothing to grocery store, tea shops, pastry shops and all kinds of interesting things. You explore, you will be rewarded with interesting finds.
During this Press Trip, we all participated to play a game. Each person has to explore this shopping mall and come up with a most interesting or unique item that is less than $5 USD. It was fun as we discovers so many items that are less than $5 USD and we all got to try the various food items that we each bought.
You should play this game with your friends and family. It’s definitely way to get to know your friends and family better!
Kâu Ba – Vietnamese-Cajun
Our Houston First PR brought us here at Kâu Ba and this was definitely one of my favourite highlights of this Press Trip. Kâu Ba is an award winning restaurant featuring some of the most delicious and incredible food items in the world.
Every item that we ordered were super tasty and delicious. But in particular, two items that are MUST ORDER are 1) Texas Style Smoked Brisket Pho and 2) Pho Loma Cocktail. Oh mine! This is Food Heaven for Foodies coz the I luv the BBQ aroma of the smoked brisket. You often had beef pho but this BBQ smoked beef is another level. So worth it.
Meanwhile, the Pho Loma is an award winning cocktail using pho spice syrup and other Vietnamese ingredients. Moreover, luv the unique ceramic tea cup presentation the cocktail and what’s more, there are strands of Vietnamese noodles inside the cocktail, surprise! A totally impressive cocktail experience!
Koffeteria – Cambodian Fusion Pastries & Coffee
Koffeteria is located in the up & coming area of East Village with owner being the 1st generation of Cambodian-American, chef integrated ingredients, unique flavour and Cambodian influence into the pastries.
I luv every one of these unique pastries. And I appreciate the chef pushing the limits to use ingredients that aren’t typical in our daily pastries but it works! It’s nice to open people’s minds and taste buds. They were so delightful to indulge. Coupled with the tasty hot beverage, this would be my favourite Sunday Funday spot coz I would just do nothing and just enjoy the sun, listen to calm music and eat and drink. C’est la vie!
Le Colonial – Vietnamese Cuisine
Le Colonial is Houston’s Famed Vietnamese Restaurant located in the upscale River Oaks District. The 2-floors restaurant looks amazing inside-out, filled with some of the great interior designs with French decor influence.
We were seated at the terrace area that overlooks the beautiful shopping plaza. What a beautiful private dining area, you felt like you have the whole space to you and your group.
Cocktails and food are phenomenal here! A MUST VISIT! An unforgettable evening filled with laughter, good vibes with excellent service here at Le Colonial.
Lucille’s – Southern Classics
Lucille’s is a popular place especially for brunch that I highly recommend you to make a reservation or else it will be a long wait time. Lucille’s is a modern takes on Southern classics being served in a cozy, vintage house that is fill with history and roots.
Myung Dong Kyoja (MDK) – Korean Cuisine
Myung Dong Kyoja (MDK) is a Korean restaurant that specializes in hand pull noodles that made in-house plus dumplings that are prepared fresh daily.
Pho Ben – Vietnamese Cuisine
Vietnamese is the 2nd largest Asian population in Houston, Texas, so there is no way I wouldn’t visit a Vietnamese restaurant coz I know I will find good Vietnamese food in Houston.
On the MOVE to Pho Ben. This place is super modern, clean, very chic and classy to enjoy Vietnamese cuisine. I was impressed of how massive this restaurant is. It serves comfort traditional food such as Beef Pho, Mango Slushie, Shrimp Spring Rolls or grilled BBQ Pork, etc.
POST Market (Food Hall)
POST Market is very unique food concept, transforming an old post office into a cool, vibrant venue with live concert hall in one section, upper rooftop for yoga as well as growing sustainable plants & food. Plus, a food hall filled with different cultural food offerings by local entrepreneurs.
What I like about this Food Hall concept is that…everyone can order something that they enjoy. If I like freshly shucked oysters, I can go to order them from a food vendor. If someone is vegan, they have vegan options. Everyone just ordered and dine together with the tables and chairs available, or they can bring the food up on the rooftop and enjoyed the food outdoors.
Railway Heights Market – Food Hall & Retail
Railway Heights Market is another cool concept featuring food halls, brewery and retail stores. This is a massive place that transformed an old railway building into a commercial building. You can still hear the trains passing through the railway tracks nearby.
During the Lunar New Year, they have festival celebrations, live performances and outdoor street vendors offering Asian signature street food.
Rendezvu (Inside Blossom Houston Hotel) – Bar Lounge
Rendezvu is located at the grand lobby inside the relatively new Blossom Houston Hotel. This bar lounge has nice interior decor and comfy chairs. They serve up some nice cocktails and a nice collection of Suntory Japanese Whiskey.
This is a great place to be especially if you happen to be near the Texas Medical Center.
Sao Lao Thai Cafe – Lao & Thai Cuisine
What started off with a food truck a few years back turned into a reality for the owners at Sao Lao Thai Cafe. They open a brick & mortar restaurant, providing Houstonians some of the most authentic Lao and Thai dishes. I really like every item here and they are all delicious.
In particular, I really like this Lao Chicken noodle soup. I luv anything with a flavourful broth and this is comfort food especially perfect during the cold weather. It’s made with hand made fresh rice noodles in a 8-hour slow simmered chicken broth along with the quail eggs, cilantro and green onions.
Space Cowboy – Cocktail Bar
Space Cowboy is a hip cocktail bar that makes its own gin in-house offering many of its signature cocktails. It’s also located at the Heights House Hotel. This is a nice casual eatery serving burgers, fries, beer and cocktails, it’s a chill place with a nice patio where people can watch sports on TV or Connect 4 or bean bag toss.
And did I mention this is a super Instagrammable spot?
The Pit Room – Texas BBQ
If you ever visit Texas, whether it’s Dallas, Houston, San Antonio or Austin, you got to try its famous Texas BBQ. During this Press Trip, with my free time, I visited The Pit Room. Amazing smoky beef brisket and ribs. The meat was just so tasty that I am speechless and I just let the food do all the talking.
Uchi – Japanese Cuisine
Uchi is a hidden gem. It serves innovative freshly made sushi & fusion plates at this upscale Japanese hot spot. From the hostess to the server to the chef, everyone is super friendly and makes you feel super welcome! Although it’s a upscale restaurant, the best time to come is during its “Happy Hours”, lots of great deals on drinks cocktails, snack bites. I ordered the Wagyu beef skewers and Blue Fin Tuna sushi were only $10 USD each, which is pretty decent. Luv the ambience. A perfect place on a date night!
The visit to the diverse city of Houston during this press trip was provided by Houston First. However, as always, the opinions expressed in this post is entirely my own.