2018 was quite the year in Houston food. The reputation of the city's culinary scene continued to grow nationally with praise in national publications, while hospitality companies and restaurateurs doubled down with new concepts and locations. Katy is hot, the GOOF is warming up, and of course, there's a lot of action in EaDo and Midtown.

And yet, our list of the most popular food stories of 2018 below reveals that readers want a game reset on the Houston food scene. Despite all the new and flashy restaurants, the underlying theme is essentiality. Where are the places and what are the foods that define who we are as Houstonians? Things may be changing in the Bayou City, but we clearly want to remember where we came from. 

Image: Marco Torres

1. The 28 Tacos In Houston You Must Eat Before You Die

By Marco Torres

Houston loves tacos. Marco Torres knows his tacos. This is necessary reading.

2. The Definitive Guide to Houston's Farmers Markets

By Alice Levitt, Abby Ledoux, Catherine Matusow, and Katharine Shilcutt

Here's hoping that we see even more farmers market activity in 2019. 

Image: Alice Levitt

3. 9 Heights Restaurants We Love (Right Now)

By Katharine Shilcutt

These pieces always run the risk of becoming dated once one of them closes, but we're happy to say that all nine are still going strong! 

4. 6 Overlooked Restaurants You Need To Know About

By Alice Levitt

Look, we really like Street Food Thai Market. It's honestly one of the best American Thai food experiences I've ever had, and if you haven't yet been, get there!

5. 10 Spots That Are All That And Dim Sum

By Mai Pham

Dim sum is one of the best ways to spend a Saturday morning, though we're happy to tell you that dim sum can happen any day of the week. Just believe it, and it'll happen.

6. Required Eating: 11 Restaurants in Asiatown You Can't Miss

By Mai Pham

While we weren't breaking any new ground in this piece—part of our summertime extravaganza about Asiatown—there's no doubt that, if you want to do Houston right, you must sit down to dan dan noodles at Mala Sichuan Bistro and—duh—crawfish at Crawfish & Noodles.

7. The Best Restaurants with a View in Houston

By Brooke Viggiano

Whether glancing out at Buffalo Bayou from the Kitchen at Dunlavy or checking out the bustling Discovery Green activity from your seat at Brasserie du Parc, these are the places to see (and maybe be seen) throughout the city.

8. The New Eats at Minute Maid for the 2018 Astros Season

By Cory Garcia

Who needs peanuts and Cracker Jacks when you can shove BBQ funnel cake and a cinnamon bun sundae down your throat? Just wash it down with a be—sorry, a barbacoa burger.

9. 8 Houston Restaurants That Will Never Let You Down

By Gwendolyn Knapp

Sadly we're down to seven here, with Kitchen 713 shuttering late in 2018. But these are the bucket-list restaurants for Houstonians: Crawfish & Noodles, Kenny & Ziggy's, Coltivare, Kata Robata, The Original Ninfa's on Navigation, Hugo's, and Himalaya. If you've been here for a year, you should have eaten at all of 'em once.

10. Houston's Essential 25 Restaurants

By Gwendolyn Knapp

Our top stories of 2018 were basically all lists. This makes sense, since we're creatures that crave helpful information that ease the burdens in our lives. Or, to put it succinctly, we need to know where to eat. Here, we have a pretty important list of the 25 restaurants that give any and everyone an introduction to the unbelievable cuisine found in this here city. Where should you eat? Start here.

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Editor’s Pick


$ Indian, Pakistani 6652 Southwest Fwy.

Kaiser Lashkari might be the most famous restaurateur in Little India—for his garrulous personality, his signature office desk in the middle of the restauran...

Editor’s Pick


$$$ Mexican/Tex-Mex 1600 Westheimer Rd.

Hugo’s chef/owner Hugo Ortega has been a finalist for the James Beard Award three times; no surprise, as his Montrose restaurant has been the city’s top choi...

Editor’s Pick

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation

$$ Mexican/Tex-Mex 2704 Navigation Blvd.

The matriarch of Tex-Mex in Houston is still going strong in its original home on Navigation, where Mama Ninfa Laurenzo started a 10-table restaurant in the ...

Editor’s Pick

Kata Robata

$$$ Japanese, Sushi 3600 Kirby Dr.

Kata Robata is, quite simply, the best sushi restaurant in Houston. Sitting at chef Manabu Horiuchi’s counter and ordering the omakase—Japanese for “I’ll lea...

Editor’s Pick


$$ Italian 3320 White Oak Dr

Morgan Weber, who, along with chef Ryan Pera, also owns Revival Market a few blocks down the street, designed Coltivare’s handsome worn-wood interior. Outdoo...

Editor’s Pick

Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen Restaurant

$$ Deli, Sandwiches Multiple Locations

Ziggy Gruber says that his Galleria deli on Post Oak, Kenny & Ziggy’s, is “the best New York deli in America,” and he isn’t kidding. The once-proud fixtu...

Brasserie du Parc

$$$ French 1440 Lamar St.

The team behind Étoile Cuisine et Bar takes a casual turn with this Downtown brasserie. Visitors to Discovery Green can stop by the crêpe window, while diner...

Editor’s Pick

The Kitchen at the Dunlavy

$ American/New American 3422 Allen Pkwy.

Dine under 39 chandeliers of all shapes and sizes at this breakfast and lunch spot specializing in Southern Californian cuisine. At dinnertime, the gorgeous ...

Editor’s Pick

Crawfish & Noodles

$$ Cajun, Seafood, Vietnamese 11360 Bellaire Blvd., Ste 990

The mudbugs at Crawfish & Noodles are served one way—with plenty of garlic and butter. The seasoning range may be limited, but the restaurant compensates...

Editor’s Pick

Mala Sichuan Bistro

$$ Chinese Multiple Locations

Born in China and educated at the University of Texas at Austin, Cori Xiong, the young co-owner of Mala Sichuan, played it safe when the restaurant first ope...

Street Food Thai Market

$$ Pan-Asian, Thai 1010 W. Calvacade St. #D

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