Editors’ Picks

These 14 Restaurants Will Crush Your Late-Night Cravings

A restaurant must be open past midnight to make our list of truly late-night spots.

By Amarie Gipson and Katherine Shilcutt Published in the December 2014 issue of Houstonia Magazine


Finding a good meal after midnight is sometimes challenging, especially during the week. But fast food isn't the only option. Whatever you’re hungry for, you can find it here in Houston. Tacos, pizza, a dozen oysters (yes), take your pick. We’ve rounded up some of Houston’s best late-night restaurants. 

1. Cantina Barba

Mexican | The Heights

If you’re craving a carne asada taco, Cantina Barba has you covered till 3 a.m. Right off I-45, a few skips from White Oak Music Hall in the Heights, you’ll find some of the best watermelon margaritas, tacos, and burgers. There’s also a secret Mezcal bar on the back patio. (But don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret.)

2. Frank's Pizza

Italian | Downtown

Frank’s is conveniently nestled in Downtown Houston on the corner of Prairie and Travis. Get a single (read: giant) New York-style slice and grab a seat at Market Square Park for some people watching at 3 a.m. or call in a whole pie and enjoy it on the sofa. 

3. Love Buzz

Italian | Montrose 

Image: Postmates

This late-night pizza pub is open until 2 a.m., so close your bar tab at that other place and Uber over for The Wake & Bake breakfast-inspired pie, a sandwich, or an order of “gnarlic gnots.” There’s also a full-service bar on site, but remember, drink responsibly. 

4. Loch Bar

Seafood | River Oaks 

A night at Loch Bar is worth the ride into River Oaks. It’s a great date night spot with a wide variety of raw seafood options and a kickass cocktail bar. The best part? There’s live music till 1 a.m as part of the restaurant's daily Live @ Loch series. 

5. La Tapatía

Mexican | Montrose, Bellaire, Chimney Rock, South Gessner, Sugar Land, Westchase 

Is it so wrong to have an enchilada plate after midnight? Four of La Tapatía’s Houston locations would say no. The menu is full of specials for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Start with one of the quesos flameados options and thank us later.

6. BB’s Texas Orleans 

Cajun | Montrose 

The cajun flair of Texas and New Orleans collide at BB’s. Get a shrimp or catfish po'boy, a link of boudin, and a daiquiri from the Montrose location, open until 4 a.m. You can sit on the patio or inside; whichever you choose, everything is served hot. And be kind to the staff; every night is a long night.  

7. Dot Coffee Shop

American | Golfcrest / Bellfort / Reveille

Image: Uber Eats

The restaurant that started it all—and by all, we mean the Pappas empire—opened its doors in 1967 and has rarely closed them since. Open 24/7, Dot serves comfort food made from scratch on site, with all the daily blue plate specials and soups du jour you’d expect in an old-school diner set-up. For breakfast, the Houston omelet comes with all the meat you can handle. 

8. FuFu Cafe

Chinese | Chinatown

Image: Uber Eats

The only days of the week this Chinatown staple isn’t open until 2 a.m. are Fridays and Saturdays—when FuFu Cafe is open until 4 a.m. The green onion pancakes and soup dumplings are ideal for soaking up whatever you’ve been imbibing, while the spicy ma po tofu will sober you up in a second.

9. Genji Japanese Restaurant

Japanese | Westchase

Image: Uber Eats

This Westchase haunt specializes in two things—Japanese bar food and karaoke—and it offers both until 2 a.m. every day of the week. You don’t have to sing for your supper, but there’s always entertainment in the main karaoke/dining room while you munch on chicken karaage, katsu curry, or tekka don. Private karaoke rooms can be rented, but where’s the fun in that?

10. House of Pies

American | Cypress, Katy, The Woodlands, River Oaks, Montrose  

As the name would imply, this is the place to get a slice of pie 24 hours a day. Of course, if you’re not there for a slice of Bayou Goo (our favorite, with a pecan crust topped by a layer of sweet cream cheese, vanilla custard, and chocolate chunks), you can also indulge in whipped cream–covered waffles or an open-faced chili cheeseburger.

11. Katz’s

Deli | Montrose 

You know the saying by now: Katz’s never kloses. That means you can get a deli sandwich roughly the same height as the two-story brick building that houses Katz’s on Lower Westheimer or a cheesecake milkshake (which, yes, contains an entire slice of cheesecake), 24 hours a day. Nothing tastes quite as good after a night on the town as a platter of Katz’s fried pickles. 

12. Mai’s

Vietnamese | Midtown

Mai’s is the grande dame of late-night dining in the Bayou City, the place where many Houstonians tried their first bowl of pho, the spot where Midtown clubgoers have descended for many a decade after a long night of drinking and dancing. In 1990, Mai Nguyen took over the restaurant her parents opened in 1978 and began the process of modernizing the old building, though the heart and soul—the Vietnamese comfort food—has remained intact.

13. Poppa Burger

Burgers, American | North Downtown 

You may not have known you needed a Flamin’ Hot Cheeto pie at 3 a.m., but when that realization hits you, Poppa Burger will be there for you. Open 24/7, 365 days a year (yes, even on Christmas), this family-owned, cash-only food stand has served the Northside for over half a century, turning out burgers, breakfast tacos, and burritos for a hungry crowd that never seems to abate.

14. Spanish Flowers

Tex-Mex | The Heights

This nearly 24-hour joint (it closes at 10 p.m. on Tuesday nights to clean and restock, before opening again at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning) is the place to go for your late-night Tex-Mex needs, whether it’s a hearty bowl of menudo for breakfast or a plate of cheese enchiladas for dinner. The $4.95 breakfast special—which varies, but often includes chilaquiles or huevos rancheros—is always a steal, offered from 4 until 10 a.m. daily.

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