Family Meals

Finding That Hometown Restaurant Feel In Houston

We all have family that like their food simple. Here's where to take them.

By Cory Garcia December 22, 2017

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Look at the size of that chicken fried steak. Glorious.

Image: Cory Garcia

Choice is a good thing, and living in Houston means you'll always have plenty of options when it comes to food. If there's a type of cuisine you love, odds are good there are plenty of places for you to indulge in your favorite dishes. But just because you have a progressive palate doesn't mean everyone in your family does; we all have at least a few family members too skeptical to ever truly embrace bibimbap just because of the name alone.  

And that's OK. You love your family because of who they are and not what they eat. You have 51 other weekends to explore new culinary horizons a year; do them a solid and don't try to push them too far out of their comfort zones.  

If your family is the type that likes to keep things simple or are more comfortable somewhere with a little bit of small town charm, Houston has you covered. Like I said, this city has plenty of options for everyone. 

Pappy's Cafe 

Yes, the food at Pappy's is good, but it's the ceiling tiles that remind me of the restaurants of my hometown. It's the type of place you'll eat well then visit for a spell. The menu is loaded with comfort food favorites, from tender baskets and burgers up to seafood and steaks so salads and veggie plates, so there should be something for everyone.  

Star Pizza 

There's so much good pizza in Houston that you could eat a slice a day and go a long while before needing to repeat restaurants. Star Pizza gets the nod here because, in addition to just being a Houston tradition, they really have perfected the humble, hand-tossed pizza. The dough is killer and the toppings are top notch. If all you need to make people happy is a pepperoni pizza, Star will hit the spot and then some. 

Dairy Queen 

Oh, you laugh, but name me a fast food place more emblematic of small town Texas life than Dairy Queen. You can't because there isn't. Dairy Queen is what a town gets when it's still too small for a Whataburger. I know you thought you left the Dairy Queens of the world behind when you packed up and moved to the city, but you're never too cool for a Blizzard. So yes, use your family as an excuse to eat a steak finger basket.  

Fountain View Café

You need a good, solid breakfast before your family drags you to the Galleria, because that's a thing that's going to happen no matter how many times you try to explain to them that it's a bad idea. Embrace your fate and embrace a stack of some of the best pancakes in the city, some seriously good hash browns and your old friend bacon. It'll all stick to your ribs, and give you something fond to look back at as you enter hour three of clothes shopping. 

Hickory Hollow 

Sometimes you just have to eat a chicken fried steak the size of a bike tire. OK, maybe the large CFS at Hickory Hollow isn't quite that big, but it's pretty damn close. Portions at Hickory Hollow are huge no matter what you order, so if you're trying to steer everyone toward a nap it's your best bet; it'll leave everyone pleasantly stuffed and ready to lay down for a few minutes. With their country décor, it'll feel like every meal you had at a BBQ spot growing up. 

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