Category : Houston Food

The Three Best Spots for Sushi in West Houston

When you’re in the mood for sushi, nothing else will do. The Japanese delicacy is one of the most popular cuisines in Houston, and there’s even a 17,000 member club dedicated to sushi. You can get it from places as diverse as high-end restaurants to strip mall storefronts. There are several options to satisfy your cravings for maki, nigiri, and sashimi. If you’re looking for the freshest and tastiest, these are the three best spots for sushi in West Houston.

Aka Sushi House
For lunch or dinner in a quaint neighborhood spot, visit Aka Sushi House. They’re known for offering sustainable seafood, and their menu features all the standard rolls you’ve come to expect. They also offer ramen, made at their sister restaurant Tiger Den. They’re probably best known, however, for their generous happy hour. From 3 pm to 7 pm and from 9 pm to close during the week, and all day on Saturday and Sunday, they offer an extensive selection of discounted items.

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Kata Robata
Generally acclaimed as the best sushi restaurant in Houston, Kata Robata is helmed by a James Beard-nominated chef. Their fish is flown in directly from Japan multiple times a week, and you can also get locally-sourced soft shell crab. For the complete experience, get a seat at the sushi bar and try the omakase menu. This prix fixe extravaganza is considered one of the best dining experiences in the city.



Teppay Japanese Restaurant
This tiny spot is a perfect place for an intimate dinner. Teppay Japanese Restaurant offers an authentic Japanese dining experience. Sushi is the star, but they also offer traditional dishes like tonkotsu ramen and udon. Be sure to ask what’s been flown in fresh, as they also get deliveries from Japan several times a week.

There are so many great places for sushi in West Houston, and these are just a few of our favorites. Each has their own appeal so you can find one that suits your tastes. Let us know your favorite sushi restaurants in Houston on Twitter and Facebook.

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Best Brunch in Uptown Houston


When the weekend arrives, you’ve got one thing on your mind: Brunch. This mix of breakfast and lunch is perfect for relaxing with friends and indulging in treats like French Toast and eggs benedict. Whether you prefer mimosas, bloody marys, or fair-trade coffee, here are some of the best places for brunch in Uptown Houston.

Caracol
Get a fresh start to your brunch routine with fresh seafood. Caracol, little sibling to the much-vaunted Hugo’s, specializes in Mexican coastal cuisine, and that means an abundant selection of fish, ceviches, and oysters on-the-half-shell. Saturday brunch is a la carte, and Sunday is buffet day. In addition to seafood, you can also load up on chilaquiles with eggs, migas, huevos a la Mexicana, tostadas, chile rellenos con huevo, and more.


Dish Society
If you like your brunch old-school, then Dish Society is your classroom. They’ve got standards like shrimp and grits, beignets, and a traditional breakfast of three eggs, two pieces of bacon, toast, and fresh fruit. Want some Texas flavor in your brunch? Then get the brisket n’ eggs, a dish of smoked and pulled brisket with tomatillo relish, two sunny-side eggs, smoked gouda grits, and a house buttermilk biscuit.


Peli Peli
Break out of the standard breakfast routine with a visit to Peli Peli. Specializing in South African cuisine, their menu invites you to dig into kitka french toast, chicken schnitzel, and deep fried waffles. Their Filet Medallions and South African Eggs Benedict is a must-try, made with tenderloin, baby spinach, and eggs benedict South African style on an English Muffin and served with red potatoes.

La Table
Day drinking is de rigueur at brunch, which is one of the many reasons to visit La Table. It’s a Parisienne-style cafe that offers your choice mimosas, bellinis, and bloody marys with your buffet. You can indulge in eggs benedict, prepared traditionally; egg white frittatas, a classic Caesar salad, and more.

These are just a few of the many places you can have brunch in Uptown Hosuton. For more delicious ways to begin your weekend mornings, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Get Your Sugar Fix at the Best Dessert Places in West Houston

Whether you think every meal should start with dessert, or you only occasionally indulge in sweets, there’s no sense in getting less than the best. When you need to get that sugar fix, we’ve found the best dessert places in West Houston.

House of Pies
Need pie and nothing else will do? It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is, you can get a slice at this old-school diner that’s open 24 hours. House of Pies has been serving up baked goods since 1967. Stop in for some Bayou Goo, Bavarian Chocolate, or French Silk if cream pies are your thing. If you prefer fruit but are watching your sugar, they’ve got sugar-free apple and cherry. You can get one piece or the whole pie, and if you need some cookies on the side, they’ve got those, too.


Ooh La La Dessert Boutique
Chef Vanessa O’Donnell has been taking care of sugar cravings since 2007. That’s when she opened Ooh La La Dessert Boutique, after graduating from the Art Institute of Houston’s Baking and Pie program. You can find just about anything your sweet tooth desires, from from-scratch cakes to dessert bars and more. They’ve even got a gluten-free menu featuring cookies and cheesecakes.


Dessert Gallery
Dessert Gallery also has a full menu of treats, but what they’re really known for is cake. They’re serious about their retro-style, from the decor to the Old Fashioned Diner cake. It’s layers of golden cake topped with buttercream chocolate frosting. Their petit fours are popular holiday gifts. If you can’t make it into the location, they’ll ship all over the country.


Cacao & Cardamom – Galleria
Sometimes only handmade chocolates will do, and that’s when it’s time to visit Cacao & Cardamom. They make all of the truffles and chocolate bon-bons in-house with natural spices and fruit purees. You can get these treats by the piece or by the box. If your sugar craving is in overdrive, you can get some drinking chocolate, too.


When you need a sugar fix, you can’t go wrong with these dessert places in West Houston.

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Go Low-and-Slow with the Best BBQ in West Houston

Texas is known for barbecue, but up until recently, Houston didn’t get the respect it deserves. That’s all changed, and the Bayou City is now receiving lots of recognition for its quality ‘que. In fact, there are so many great choices it can be hard to narrow down where to get your brisket and ribs, so we’ve found the best bbq in West Houston for you. Check out these four finger-lickin’ spots next time you’re in the mood for some of that smokey goodness.

Roegels Barbecue Co.
When a place lands on Texas Monthly’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints in Texas list, you know it has to be good. Makes sense, since Roegels Barbecue Co.’s Russell Roegel built his resume at Bodacious BBQ and Baker’s Ribs before opening a place with his name on it. They offer daily specials, like pork belly on Wednesday and pastrami beef ribs on Friday, to go along with their menu of meats by the pound and plates, which come with two sides. Be sure to save room for dessert, because you won’t want to miss their homemade bourbon banana pudding.


The Brisket House
The meats at The Brisket House are smoked overnight in a Southern Pride smoker and they add both oak and pecan to give it a unique flavor. This means you get a nice, tender brisket with that smoky flavor barbecue aficionados crave. It’s a given that you’ve got to get the brisket, but you’ll also want to try some of their jalapeno sausage and beef short ribs.


Pappas Bar-B-Q
Pappas Bar-B-Q has several locations in the Houston area, including a few on the west side. Their first spot downtown grew to be so popular they had to expand, and now it’s one of the largest family-owned and -operated restaurant companies in the country. Their wood-burning bbq pits keep the meat rotating continuously so it comes out evenly cooked. They use mesquite and hickory, so expect a bit of sweetness with that smoke.


Rudy’s Bar-B-Q
Rudy’s Bar-B-Q may have originated out of Leon Springs, but it’s one of Houston’s favorite spots for low-and-slow. All of their meats are wood smoked over oak instead of mesquite since oak burns a little slower. They’re known for their special dry rub and their famous tangy “Sause.” Stop in for some tasty smoked turkey and brisket and a side of Rudy’s beans.

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Since you’re craving some barbecue now, be sure to let us know where you’ve gone on Twitter and Facebook.

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Get your Caffeine Fix at these Coffee Shops in Woodlake/Briar Meadow


If coffee is the most important part of your morning routine, you’re in luck because Houston’s coffee scene is booming. If you can’t start your day without a great cup of joe, check out these great Houston coffee shops in Woodlake/Briar Meadow.

Minuti Coffee
Go old school with a visit to Minuti Coffee. Serving 100% Italian coffee, it’s the only place in the U.S. that you can get Molinari Caffee. They pride themselves on offering organic and fair trade beverages, and their coffee roasters create custom blends just for them. You can sip one of their many choices of espresso while relaxing on their fat and comfy sofas, or pick up a bag of beans to go. If you’re hungry, they’ve got a menu of salads, sandwiches, paninis, pastries, and more.


Java Coffee and Tea
Java Coffee and Tea is not your traditional coffee shop. There are no tables, although you can pick up a drink to go. Instead, this place is a quaint retail shop that’s been serving and selling freshly roasted coffee since 1979. You can pick up many of the accouterments while you’re there. In addition to blended, flavored, and dark roast coffees, they also offer rare and fancy coffees, including beans from Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and New Guinea. When you can’t make it into the store, you can order online.


Shipley Do-nuts
What goes better with coffee than doughnuts, especially when they’re Shipley Do-nuts? The chain, which began in Houston, has been serving their gourmet doughnuts since 1936. They’ve got sixty varieties and also serve kolaches and made-to-order beignets. You won’t get a cappuccino or Americano at these pastry shops, but you can get a cup of freshly-brewed coffee, and everyone knows that doughnut shop coffee is the best coffee.


Start your day at these three coffee shops in Woodlake/Briar Meadow and let us know which one is your favorite. You can join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

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Treat Your Pup to the Top Pet Friendly Bars in Houston

Your dog is panting. Super thirsty. They’ve had a long day. They just need somewhere they can go to relax, knock back a couple of shots, maybe sip on a nice glass of pinot grigio, lap up a light lager. Okay, so we’re assuming pet-friendly bars don’t actually serve your pet. And by pet, we assume dog, because everyone still freaks out and takes pictures when they see a cat on a leash. They’re that rare. And no one likes a ferret in public. We also assume they won’t card your dog, where you have to remember how many human years are dog years. Because something else no one likes is math, especially when you’re trying to drink.

But here are our favorite pet friendly neighborhood joints to bring your four-legged friend.

Mike’s Ice House
It’s an ice house. It’s going to probably be hot. But your dog doesn’t want to get dressed up, and just wants to unwind to some live music. This dive bar is the place. Plus the burgers are nice and big, chances are a piece of meat might just fall to the ground, and your living vacuum will eagerly fulfill their housekeeping duties. And don’t miss out on the karaoke for your dog to howl along to.


Sonoma Wine Bar
The opposite of the ice house. A little fancier, for sure. But they have what they call a “pup friendly patio.” Not only do these guys love dogs, they also love giving back to the community. On average, they share five percent of their net profits to various local charities and fundraisers.


Revelry on Richmond
Dogs love sports because dogs love balls. Which means dogs, of course, would love a sports bar. And this is the best sports bar in Houston for your dog. Plus, while your furry friend can eat the same thing every day and not complain, you like variety. With their 40 rotating local and craft beers on tap, this is the best sports bar in Houston for you. Lots of happy hours, and can’t miss daily specials throughout the week.



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Let’s Taco ‘Bout the Best Mexican Food in West Houston

One of the best things about living in Houston is our close proximity to Mexico. And with that close proximity, it’s easy to find delicious, authentic Mexican food in the city. Here are the top Mexican restaurants in West Houston.

Fonda Santa Rosa Mexican Cuisine
Serving up traditional Mexico City-style cuisine, Fonda Santa Rosa Mexican Cuisine is a mouthful to say, and a mouth full of delicious food. Dive into the classics, like enchiladas or chile relleno, or try something new like the molcajete mixto. On the weekends, you can enjoy a traditional Mexican buffet, or if you are hosting an event, enjoy catering by Fonda Santa Rosa.


Caracol
For those who didn’t take Spanish in high school, Caracol means “snail” en Español. This seafood restaurant takes its inspiration from the nearly 6,000 miles of coastline Mexico enjoys. Mexico borders the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico, providing a variety of marine life to choose from for the robust Caracol menu. Chef Hugo Ortega creates a dining experience that brings home the various customary tastes of many of Mexico’s coastal states. This is complemented by a lush dessert menu by Executive Pastry Chef Ruben Ortega and a carefully curated wine list by Sommelier Sean Beck.


Laurenzo’s El Tiempo Cantina
El Tiempo Cantina has a long history with Houston and is a classic American success story. The Laurenzo family saga began with Ninfa and her Italian husband Thomas’ unique Mexican-Italian food blend. They owned a food manufacturing company until Thomas’ death in 1969. Then Mama Ninfa’s Tex Mex restaurants were born. These went strong until their bankruptcy in the 90s. Undeterred, Mama Ninfa’s son Roland Laurenzo built El Tiempo Cantina from the ashes of his mother’s restaurant empire. Now, there are eight Houston locations serving up delectable comida and absolutely scrumptious margaritas. Everything is made in-house, from the salad dressings to the tortillas. This Houston family-owned chain is a great place to enjoy quality Mexican food in a fun atmosphere!

Tacos Tex-Apache
Sometimes you want to get a street taco on the street. That’s where Tacos Tex-Apache comes in. Located on the corner of Richmond and Dunvale, this taco truck has won the hearts of thousands. It is exactly what you would expect from a taco truck: street tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas. But one bite and you’ll understand what all the fuss is about.

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Grab a Slice of the Best Pizza in West Houston

Houston has an amazing food scene. With some of the best bbq in the country, and international chefs vying for a place at the proverbial Houston table, you have your pick of delicious delicacies. But sometimes you want to go with the old standby: pizza. It’s so simple, yet so versatile. And there’s not a person alive who doesn’t like it. Here are the best local pizza places in West Houston.

Barry’s Pizza and Italian Diner

Let’s just start out this list by saying that when we say pizza, we aren’t talking Dominos or Papa Johns. We mean real, fresh, handmade pizza made by local companies with local ingredients. And Barry’s fits that description. Barry’s is a family-owned establishment that has been serving the Houston community for over 35 years. They are a staple of the neighborhood, with a popular happy hour, game day events, and kids night complete with face painting and balloon animals.


Tastee Pizza

This unique pizzeria blends the traditional pizza flavors of Italy with the bold spices of South Asia into a flavor combination that must be tried to be believed. Tastee Pizza serves up such singular slices as the Chicken Bihari pizza, which is covered with chicken marinated in spices from the Bihari region of India, then topped with onions and jalapenos. Or try the Chapli Kabab pizza, which is halal beef marinated in Peshawari Chapli Kabab spices with onions and jalapenos. Basically, there are a lot of onions and jalapenos involved. Delicious!


Jenny’s Pizza and Pasta

What they lack in technological savvy (they appear to have two different websites, here and here), they make up for in just good, straightforward pizza. There’s plenty of special deals for the budget minded, although to be honest, the prices are pretty dang low to begin with.


Antonio’s Flying Pizza and Italian Restaurant

Antonio’s is a true American success story. Antonio was born and raised in Sicily, Italy. He eventually took the journey that so many before him had and came to America in 1959. Once here, he set up a restaurant in Brooklyn selling pizza at 15 cents a slice. In 1971, he made his way to Houston, longing to bring the authentic taste of southern Italy to the Lone Star State. His children now own and operate the restaurant based on Antonio’s original recipes and ideals. You won’t find a more original Italian pie in the city.

Too tired to make dinner? Now you’ve got plans. The beauty is these places all deliver. Pizza’s here!
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The Best Vegan Restaurants in Houston, TX

A plant-based diet is more than a popular trend. It’s actually a pretty good idea. The health benefits are more than Google-able, they’re evident. And Houston’s greatest culinary minds are cooking up healthy vegan dishes that any brisket-biting Texan would gladly make his supper.

Let’s order up some vegan vittles at the best vegan restaurants in Houston!

 

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GOVINDA’S

The menu at Govinda’s Vegetarian Cuisine uses the fresh ingredients and a variety of spices, giving each dish and a bite a unique flavor of India. The brunch scene is not to be missed. Govinda’s is a long hailed Houston institution, the launch pad of every Sunday Funday and the ultimate reward of sleeping in and missing breakfast. The all-you-can-eat buffet will make sure you don’t go home hungry.

Eater Houston praises the spot’s attention to detail: “All the dishes here, like barbecue tofu, okra & potato masala, and saag paneer are made from scratch with fresh ingredients, and the roti is top-notch.”

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BABA YEGA CAFE

Baba Yega is a friendly neighborhood restaurant in the Montrose area serving a great menu of tasty American favorites. They have a daily buffet available, as well as a full menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Enjoy the warm and welcoming atmosphere, with fireplaces, comfortable seating and a great patio area with flowers, plants and even a waterfall.

Eater Houston calls Baba Yega “one of Montrose’s most beloved eateries.” They recommend the black bean veggie burger.

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LES GIVRAL’S CAFE

Authenticity with a modern twist, Les Givral’s Kahve delivers fresh, fast, healthy and affordable Vietnamese cuisine.  With a contemporary design and an uncompromising approach towards the quality of food, Les Givral’s Kahve is prime for the masses.

“Tofu dishes are abundant at this Vietnamese eatery,” says Eater Houston, “including an iteration of pho that skips the meat.”

Make like a tree and leave for the best vegan restaurants in Houston!  

The Best Spring Festivals in Houston

It’s springtime on the bayou. The days are getting longer and warmer. Tulips bloom and allergies flair. It’s a good time to be alive in Texas. So what to do with all this vivifying energy? Head out to the streets and see fresh faces and old friends out and about in Houston!

These are the best spring festivals in H-Town.  

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HOUSTON BARBECUE FESTIVAL

Travel the world all you like. Nobody does BBQ like we do here in Texas. They’ve got brisket as big as boogie boards at the Houston Barbecue Festival. The meat fest takes place every April. It’s truly a showcase of the best that Houston has to offer. There’s an excellent video of the festival embedded on their website; they flagged down several attendees for on-the-spot interviews. The quotes do a better job of summing up the festivities than this blogging laptop jockey ever could.

“It’s about as fun and communal as it gets, and barbecue is all about both of those,” says one BBQ Fest reveler. Another adds, “It’s all about hot barbecue and cold beer, y’know?”

Oh, yes. We know.  

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MAC & CHEESE FEST

Maybe you’re a vegetarian? We know you’re out there. Even in Texas. So, if brisket doesn’t do it for you, lots and lots of melted cheese surely will. Mac & Cheese Fest is a new addition to Houston’s spring lineup. But there’s just something about the gooey cohesiveness of liquid cheddar that’s like the warm embrace of a long-lost friend. Am I right?

In the heart of Houston’s Washington Ave. Arts District at the lovely Silver Street events complex enjoys unlimited samples from over two dozen local Houston restaurants vying for your vote of Houston’s best mac & cheese!  

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HOUSTON POLISH FESTIVAL  

After you’ve eaten your fill, polka the night away! The Houston Polish Festival takes place in May at Our Lady of Częstochowa Parish and, boy, do they know how to throw a party. It’s the largest Polish festival in Texas, doncha know? The main stage will feature Polish music throughout the day from a number of local performers. CBS Houston recommends the delicious traditional Polish dishes available, including pierogi, kielbasa, and cabbage rolls. Yum!

It’s spring festival season. American poet ee cummings wrote, “sweet spring is your / time is my time is our / time for springtime is love time / and viva sweet love!” Viva Houston!