Two things are certain: There’s never been a better time to dine in this historic neighborhood, and by the time you read this list of its newest restaurants, a handful of others will have already opened their doors.
This tidy little restaurant in a converted bungalow boasts an equally smart menu, wherein chef Travis Lenig puts his own spin on the surf-and-turf tradition. (Get it? Field and Tides?) For an appetizer, pair fresh Gulf oysters with roasted Texas quail; for supper, look for Southern favorites such as pork chops with hoppin’ john and pecan-crusted trout with succotash.
This is definitely not the place to soothe any cravings for the long-gone Oxheart. Instead, BLT is where chef Justin Yu and partner/cocktail slinger Bobby Heugel let loose in their interpretation of pub grub. Dishes such as chilled octopus slices in a Tunisian hot sauce are best enjoyed on the casual patio, along with a seasonal Pimm’s Cup in a tall, icy glass.
A giant sheet of butcher paper by the kitchen pass encourages guests to submit their own favorite childhood dishes for menu consideration, the first hint that this boisterous bistro specializes in the nostalgic comfort food of your youth. The second hint is the menu itself, filled with everything from Salisbury steak with butter mashed potatoes to a side of, yes, “Pasghettio’s” complete with chopped-up 44 Farms hot dog.
Not your average ice cream slinger, this dessert shop offers a taste of Houston in a waffle cone with varieties like cafe sua da; lime and Ceylon cinnamon; mango sorbet; and toasted rice. Chef Chris Leung’s famous banana split continues to captivate, too, in this second location.
For a city that loves its breakfast foods, Houston has always had a dearth of good bagel shops. This new destination joins stalwarts like New York Bagels in Meyerland and Hot Bagel Shop in Montrose as the town’s newest purveyor of plain, poppyseed, and everything-in-between bagels. And because this is the new millennium, you can get yours topped with nova lox or turned into avocado toast.
This casual, taverna-style cousin to the original Helen Greek Food & Wine in the Village offers a shareable selection of small and large plates, including all the favorites: gyro, moussaka, avgolemono soup, and flaming halloumi cheese.
There really is something for everyone here. Master crêpe-maker Sean Carroll offers vegan and gluten-free options as well as salads, sandwiches, and a variety of other desserts. But let’s be honest: You’re here to try a Szechuan chicken crêpe followed by another one stuffed with Brie and homemade jalapeño jam.
Just try to pass this inviting patio on your way down the Heights Hike & Bike Trail without resolving to come back for, what was that? Ricotta French toast with strawberries? Vegan chili con queso? Whatever it was, you know owner Benjy Levit sourced the ingredients from the closest purveyors possible.
The former Asia Market has a new Thai tenant, and the food has enjoyed a makeover to match the spiffy new interior. You’ll want to order one of everything, but we recommend starting with the esarn sausage, spicy larb, and eye-opening tom yum goong.