Set in a hundred-year-old log cabin on an acre of land along White Oak Bayou, Rainbow Lodge, which specializes in local fish and game, is one of the most charming restaurants in Houston. Owner Donnette Hansen’s passion for fly-fishing shapes the decor, from the outdoors-themed artworks (a painting of bears driving a motorboat is a classic) to the collection of antique boat motors in the lobby. The bar top—a thick piece of glass embedded with rocks and fish—looks like a mountain stream. At dinner, try the wild game mixed grill: perfectly cooked venison medallions, wild boar chops, and rosy whole roasted quail, served with an assortment of roasted mushrooms. House-made duck ham is a standout appetizer.
Lunch at the cabin-in-the-city allows for two distinct pleasures: a sunny, daytime view of the restaurant’s lush, rolling grounds and gardens, and the $15 business lunch special, which includes soup or salad, a choice of fish or pork tenderloin, and a daily dessert. On Fridays, you’ll want to make a special trip just for the weekly wild game burger special—it’s $13 and worth every penny.