Editor's Picks

12 Westchase Restaurants to Try Right Now

From Persian to ramen to Tex-Mex, this incredibly international part of town has you covered.

By Katharine Shilcutt January 12, 2016 Published in the January 2016 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Fried chicken in a taco? Head to Moderno.

The Bull & Bear Tavern & Eatery

Plain wooden tables and British beer signs are about it décor-wise inside this pub, but there are more than 50 beers on tap, including British, Irish and local drafts. Decent fish and chips, cottage pie and burgers pair smashingly with a football match. Weekends bring an extensive breakfast menu, with steak and eggs, corned beef hash and a full English breakfast with bacon and baked beans.

Cafe Pita

The cuisine at this little Bosnian restaurant proved so popular, the owners had to open a second location near the Galleria. Fan favorites include the chicken shish kebab, the cevap sandwich made with homemade spiced beef sausage, and the pljeskavice, which resembles a burger stuffed with cheese and served with roasted pepper sauce.

Kasra Persian Grill

Fourth-generation restaurateur Morteza “Morty” Parsa has run the city’s most popular Persian restaurant since 1999. Together with son Adam, Parsa serves massive platters of lamb shank and fesenjan—chicken tenderloin in a pomegranate, walnut and saffron sauce. Not only is the food fit for a shah, but the Parsas will treat you like family, too.

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Empanadas and vigilantes are what's for breakfast at Manena's.

Image: Todd Spoth

Manena's Argentinean Pastry Shop and Deli

This cute bakery offers a vast assortment of all things Argentinean: everything from pastries and espresso at breakfast and sandwiches de miga at lunch to a small grocery section. Don’t miss the excellent empanadas, which come baked or fried, in a variety of flavors—we’re partial to the humita stuffed with roasted corn.

Moderno Tacos + Tex-Mex

You may be lured in by the healthier Tex-Mex options such as fresh-made guacamole and shrimp ceviche, but you’ll find it tough to say no to the decadent Matamoros dip (chile con queso with ground beef, guac and sour cream) and the tampiqueña plate (steak fajitas and a fat cheese enchilada). Still trying to be good? Try the vegetarian-friendly ratatouille tacos. 

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Kim Vu makes more than just fantastic pho at Pho One.

Image: Todd Spoth

Pho One

The Vu family’s first two restaurants fell victim to uncontrollable circumstances—one in 1975 with the fall of Saigon, and the next with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. Now resettled in Houston, owner Kim Vu prepares her pho according to the exact recipe that her father used in Vietnam during the ’60s and ’70s The tiny café also serves bo luc lac, rice plates, vermicelli bowls and banh mi

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Tonkotsu is the ramen to get at Ramen Jin.

Image: Robb Walsh

Ramen Jin

Don’t go looking for that milky-white tonkotsu broth here; this version has more of a hearty roast pork flavor—no surprise, then, that the fatty chashu pork that tops it is succulent. Three other kinds of ramen round out the menu, and all are worth trying: rich, soy-based shoyu, sesame (a cold version) and miso (which also has a spicy option).

Rio Ranch

Sure, better steak houses may have come along in Houston since this one opened in the Westchase Hilton in 1993, but it’s still tough to beat Rio’s epic Sunday brunch buffet, complete with the traditional pancake and omelet stations and discount pricing for kids. At dinner, chef San Hemwattikit turns out excellent boneless buttermilk fried chicken and, yes, mesquite-smoked rib eyes.


Though this Spanish restaurant has the best paella in town, you’ll want to try a little of everything—after all, that’s what tapas are for. On the hot side of the tapas menu, the morcilla (Spanish blood sausage) with pear dip and chorizo meatballs are favorites, while on the cold side the delicate boquerones (anchovies marinated in vinegar and olive oil) aren’t to be missed.

Rudi Lechner's

The oldest of old-school experiences awaits inside this German restaurant, which has anchored its Westchase strip center since 1976. Come for dinner, especially on weekend nights when a live polka band takes over the dining room. The German sampler plate—piled high with schnitzel, pork loin, sausage, sauerkraut, red cabbage and addictive Austrian potatoes—accords adeptly with accordion.

Saldivia's South American Grill

This is not the South American steak house where giant skewers of meat are paraded around the dining room. It’s a far cozier environment in which to enjoy your churrasco-style rib eye or Uruguayan entraña—a juicy skirt steak served with Spanish rice and roasted potatoes. Vegetarians, take note: in true Argentinean pasta-making tradition, the restaurant serves excellent cheese ravioli and spinach-stuffed canellones

Yaal Tiffins

The lunchtime thalis (large sampler platters) here come filled with South Indian, Sri Lankan and even a few Malaysian favorites: chicken biryani, goat kulambu and the delicious fried noodles known as mamak mee goreng. Visit on a Saturday or Sunday for “banana leaf lunch,” when the restaurant serves its most popular dishes on real-deal banana leaf plates via buffet. 





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