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Roasted oysters at Caracol

Image: Kate LeSueur

Caracol

Chef Hugo Ortega’s psalm to Gulf seafood has garnered nothing but praise since opening in 2013, with worship-worthy, wood-roasted oysters and fish, plus a heaven-sent happy hour.

Little Liberty

Though it has a smaller menu and footprint than its big sisters, the two Liberty Kitchen locations in the Heights and River Oaks, the baby of the family is the first spot in Rice Village to offer poké bowls, which are all but set to take over as Houston’s next culinary obsession. Fans of the ever-expanding Liberty chain (there’s one in Austin now, too!) will also want to hit the brand-new Liberty Kitchen location in Garden Oaks, which—yes—also serves those excellent poké bowls.

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Octopus carpaccio at Saltair Seafood Kitchen

Image: Saltair

Lotus Seafood

What began as a “you buy, we fry” on Braeswood in the ’90s has expanded into a cult favorite with three locations. The newest, in Westchase, lacks the long lines of the original and offers a hip dining room in which to devour your crawfish fried rice with “crack sauce.”

Saltair Seafood Kitchen

Travel the world without leaving Upper Kirby by sampling chef Brandi Key’s plates of Moroccan-spiced red fish, Mediterranean octopus carpaccio and New England fried clams.

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