For Houston foodies, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. The city's Restaurant Week kicks off on August 1st and lasts through Labor Day Weekend, completing its run at the beginning of September. The month-long program benefits the Houston Food Bank, donating a portion of meals purchased at participating restaurants during the upcoming weeks. The 2021 lineup of restaurants has been released with menus published online, but, the struggle is all too real… Where to go?
With coursed out lunch, dinner and weekend brunch menus offered at more than 250 restaurants throughout the 5-week window, there are plenty of opportunities to pack fabulous meals into your schedule. And if you’re having a hard time settling on which, consider our list of the top 10 to look out for, ranging from tried and true to exotic and new.
With style, sophistication and top notch service, any one of Berg Hospitality’s concepts (BB Lemon, The Annie, NoPo Café) are a treat to visit during HRW, but B&B Butchers and Restaurant tops the list. The boutique steakhouse boasts a number of options on its 2-course, $20 lunch and 3-course, $49 dinner menus including the B&B “steak” salad with filet mignon and 3-onion jam, Snake River Farms pork chop, pan-seared salmon and New York-style cheesecake. 1814 Washington Ave. 713-862-1814
Newly opened in the Heights, Da Gama Canteen brings a touch of spice to HRW with its 2-course, $20 lunch menu. The restaurant — from the creative minds behind Oporto Fooding House & Wine — showcases a menu inspired by Portuguese and Indian flavors and offers plenty of vegetarian eats too. Find gazpacho and yucca croquettes with chutney to start followed by entrees like lamb keema tartine served with house-made naan. 600 N. Shepherd Dr. Ste. 520. 281-888-7806
Find oysters and so much more on the HRW brunch, lunch and dinners menus at Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette. Dinner serves up four courses, boasting starters like a chargrilled oyster sampler and black truffle Hamachi, followed by indulgences like “Manhattan” clam chowder, Texas redfish on the half-shell and red velvet cheesecake. Insider tip: Visit the Memorial location on Friday or Saturday evening and enjoy live music from local artists in the dining room from 6 to 10 pm. 4224 San Felipe St. 713-622-1010
In the way of HRW newbies, Fegen’s, a buzzy neighborhood gem which opened in the Heights this year, serves as a stellar choice, notably for its 3-course $35 dinner menu. Classic old-school eats like deviled eggs with fried chicken, grilled salmon paillard and fruit crostada will have you feeling all kinds of nostalgic. And for a real blast from the past, find grilled liver and onions with mushroom-brown gravy on the 2-course $20 lunch menu. 1050 Studewood St. 713-993-6427
The spaghetti al tartufo at Potente is legendary, and the truth is it comes at a hefty price, so visiting during HRW when the highly sought-after dish is offered alongside two other courses for $49 is highly recommended. Begin with fluffy burrata or diver scallop with corn risotto and then indulge wholly in the spaghetti with summer truffle shaved fresh tableside. In lieu of pasta, there are plenty of proteins to choose from too. Opt for fire-roasted sea bass with garden vegetables, the petite NY strip with marble potato or soft-shell crab with basil tabouleh and Meyer lemon tartare before settling in with a slice of Hill Country cheesecake. 1515 Texas Ave. 713-237-1515
Christine Ha’s newest concept Xin Chao with Tony J. Nguyen has earned plenty of praise since opening just off the Washington Corridor in late 2020, making it a must-visit destination during HRW. The focus here is on modern Vietnamese cuisine and picture-perfect plates are just as delicious as they are eye-catching. The 3-course, $35 dinner menu is a bargain and features enticing dishes like lightly battered soft-shell crab and braised pork with crispy rice. Desserts are equally mouthwatering with choices like coconut bread pudding with dulce de leche and taro pound cake presented with ube ice-cream. 2310 Decatur St. 832-740-4888
This iconic River Oaks restaurant from James Beard award-winning chef Hugo Ortega makes available a brunch, lunch and dinner menu during HRW, and all are worthy of indulging in. The 2-course, $20 lunch menu is reflective of Backstreet’s diverse menu featuring items like gazpacho, duck confit, grilled salmon tacos and eggplant pappardelle, while dinner allows guests to journey through four courses for $49. Not up to dining in the restaurant? Backstreet Café has a 4-course HRW to-go menu for $49. 1103 S. Shepherd Dr. 713-521-2239
Nothing beats an HRW meal with a view, and few places impress like dining at Rainbow Lodge. In a log cabin-style setting, this white table cloth restaurant with a focus on wild game is situated along the banks of White Oak Bayou, offering picturesque views throughout. Carnivorous cravings will surely be fulfilled here, as the 3-course, $49 dinner menu boasts hearty plates like smoked duck gumbo, wild boar dirty rice arancini and slow-roasted hen with pasta. Visit for brunch and enjoy the 2-course, $20 menu which features dishes like braised buffalo short rib benedict.
Katy residents can take advantage of HRW right in their hood, as popular Malaysian street food restaurant Phat Eatery is offering a 4-course dinner menu for $49… and it’s available to-go too. Start off with Indian flat bread and curry lamb shoulder, then try the 13-spiced salt and pepper calamari. Featured entrees include Malaysian chicken curry with jasmine rice, sizzling tofu and a surf and turf pairing curry beef banana shank with jumbo sea scallops. 23119 Colonial Pkwy. 832-913-6382
Located at Discovery Green within the grand Marriott Marquis hotel in Downtown, Hugo Ortega’s Xochi is a Houston foodie bucket list destination, lauded for its contemporary take on Oaxacan cuisine. During HRW, guests can partake in a 4-course meal for $49 (available for both dine-in and to-go) and choose between items like the toasted blue corn masa pancake with salsa verde, pork ribs in mole sauce and braised beef cheeks with creamy corn rice. 1777 Walker St. Ste. A 713-400-3330