Open Road

Try These Editor-Approved Restaurants And Spas In Houston

Houstonia Editor-In-Chief, Nandi Howard, shares her favorite places in Houston.

By Nandi Howard January 6, 2022 Published in the Winter 2021 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Try these editor-approved restaurants and spas in Houston.

Image: Julie Sofer

The last time I lived in Houston was in 2013, so as you can imagine, everything is different. As most readers know by now, Houston is continuing to grow at a record pace. From the bustling dining scene, which I can shamefully admit has me in a chokehold, to luxury spas and optimal  staycation spots – is there any reason to leave this city? 

While I do understand my newfound addictions may be old news to some, maybe there’s a few Houstonians returning back home (like me) that need a re-introduction to the city. 

Allow me to be your tour guide: 

FOOD 

 

La Lucha 

There’s nothing bad to say about La Lucha except, I wish they were open for lunch hours during the week. This restaurant, located in the Heights, has become one of my favorite spots. From when my friends are looking for a place to lunch, to dinner meetings and Sunday brunches, I can never go wrong with La Lucha. My favorite items on the menu are the Grilled Snapper Collards, Crawfish Bread, the House Margarita, and of course, their oysters. 

Nobu Happy Hour 

Although I knew there was a Nobu in Houston, I wasn’t expecting it to become my go-to for happy hour. When I leave the Houstonia office, a drink is sometimes needed, (don’t tell my staff) and Nobu’s daily menu between 6-7pm is the most affordable if you’re looking to not break the bank, but want to enjoy your time-off from work in luxury. Known as the Tanoshi Hour, my favorites on the menu are the Seared Salmon, Wagyu Beef Cheek Tacos, and Lychee Colada. 

 

Musaafer, an upscale Indian restaurant, has the best butter chicken. 

Image: Julie Sofer

Musaafer 

One thing Houston is known for is its diversity, and it’s showcased in the delightful food selections. Right across from Nobu is Musaafer, an upscale Indian restaurant, that I may add has the best butter chicken. Whenever I am looking to introduce my network to a traditional restaurant, this is the spot. From the decor with dim lighting to the amazing service, Musaafer feels like a quick escape from Houston. 

Rosalie - Hotel C Baldwin 

Prior to my move to Houston, Hotel C. Baldwin and its restaurant inside, Rosalie, was already on my must-try (and stay) list. And since I have moved downtown, it has been conveniently a place to grab dinner. When entering C. Baldwin the space is a utopia with women as the inspiration. C. Baldwin, named after the “Mother of Houston,” Charlotte Baldwin, and the restaurant, Rosalie, named after the Chef’s grandmother, makes the location the ultimate safe space to grab a bite to eat.  

Gatsby’s 

Now if you haven’t been to Gatsby’s, stop what you’re doing and make a reservation. I do like to indulge in a steak every once in a while, and as I have made my rounds to many steak houses in the city, Gatsby’s is at the top of my list. The ambiance is romantic with red leather booths, and if you’re an oyster feen like me, you can create a tower of up to 100. Although I normally start with the usual dozen, you’re sure to leave Gatsbys with a to-go plate, or two. Perfect for a date-night or celebration dinner. 

Rosie Cannonball

As I was asking Houston foodies, before I turned into one, about spots I should try – everyone said Rosie Cannonball, and it was worth the hype. From the pizza to the pasta, it’s definitely a cheat day meal, and I don’t feel bad about any bite. Some of my favorites include the pepperoni pizza, Focaccia Di Recco flatbread, and the Cavatelli Alla Bolognese. 

Lucille’s 

Lucille’s has been a Houston staple for over 10 years, and I am just now getting around to being obsessed –but maybe that was for the better. If you’re looking for an upscale southern twist to classic dishes, this is your spot. While I could eat mostly anything on the menu, you can catch me in Lucille’s weekly grubbing on their Fried Green Tomatoes, and sipping on a Mango Margarita.  

Uchi

Finally, I was able to get into Uchi as the restaurant has reservations that are almost impossible to grab. Although Uchi has been in Montrose for years (so I have heard), the place is packed daily like it’s the newest restaurant on the block. I was completely in awe over how good the food tasted, considering I can be rather picky when eating raw foods, as anyone should. Be careful with the Lychee Natsu, it may taste like juice, but it is NOT. 

 

Jerk Chicken at Traveler's Table.

Image: Jenn Duncan

Traveler's Table 

Living in New York City, I was exposed to Caribbean culture and food, which has now become a community that I love. My move to Houston was not complete until I had the jerk chicken from Traveler's Table. I can admit, I was a little nervous ordering jerk chicken from someone other than my friend’s aunt, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. The rice & pea hash mixed with collard greens was a surprising touch that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

SPA  

 

Posh interiors at Lush Rx.

Krystal Roney

Lush Rx

I don’t know how I managed to not visit a spa in 10 years, but it was absolutely time to take care of myself after my big move from NYC to Houston. As I get older, my skin is getting more mature and a facial was needed to rebalance. I received a low lift HydraFacial that not only left my skin glowing, but I walked out of the chair feeling a sense of relief that I put myself first. Practitioner Krystal Roney, walked me through each step and was a great support system to have. 

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