Best Restaurants 2018

5 Chain Restaurants We Whole-Heartedly Welcome to Town

These buzzy eateries have recently set up shop in the Bayou City, and we're thrilled.

By Mai Pham August 17, 2018 Published in the September 2018 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Image: Jenn Duncan

This crop of buzzy national and international restaurants brings much to Houston's table. 


  • Why It’s a Big Deal: The original London location has been Michelin Star–rated since 2005.
  • What to Get: Lobster dumplings, roasted duck pumpkin puff, and crispy prawn cheung fun at dim sum.
  • Fun Fact: Yauatcha is a play on words, combining the founder’s last name, Yau, with yum cha—“to drink tea” in Cantonese.

Image: Jenn Duncan

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

  • Why It’s a Big Deal: Breakfast, brunch, and boozy cocktails. What’s not to like?
  • What to Get: The fish-sauce-and-Sriracha-infused Bangkok Bloody Mary, pineapple upside-down pancakes, and Juan’s breakfast tacos.
  • Fun Fact: Every Earth Day, Snooze plants one tree per employee at its partner coffee farm, Godoy’s Coffee in Guatemala.

Image: Jenn Duncan

Fig & Olive

  • Why It’s a Big Deal: The French Riviera–inspired menu, which substitutes heart-healthy olive oil for butter, is a favorite of celebs including Reese Witherspoon.
  • What to Get: The crostini trio, Fig & Olive salad, seafood paella, and olive oil cake.
  • Fun Fact: CEO Shaun Smithson is such a huge fan of SoulCycle, it inspired the restaurant’s Soulflower gin cocktail.

Image: Evan Sun

Shake Shack

  • Why it’s a Big Deal: Made-to-order burgers, crinkly fries, and “concrete” milkshakes have a cult-like following.
  • What to Get: The classic Shack Burger with fries and a Vietnamese Coffee & Donuts concrete, made with "Cop" donuts from Morningstar and cafe sua da marshmallow sauce.
  • Fun Fact: This empire started out as a New York hot dog cart and didn’t even sell burgers until three years in.

Nobu Houston

  • Why It’s a Big Deal: The international chain is a world-famous joint venture between chef Nobu Matsuhisa and actor Robert De Niro.
  • What to get: Splurge with an omakase, or chef’s tasting menu, but don’t miss the tiradito “Nobu-style,” bluefin toro tartare, or black cod miso.
  • Fun Fact: De Niro pursued Matsuhisa for four years before the chef agreed to open Nobu New York in 1994. 
Show Comments