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Guidebook for Houston

Joel

Guidebook for Houston

Food Scene
This is not a pizza place. It is a high end, yet totally casual food mecca to local ingredients and masterful prep, nod to Italian. Pop in and put your name on the list early, then walk down the street to Onion Creek to have drinks and wait for your table. They will text you when ready. No reservations, but worth every minute you wait. One of the finest places to eat in Houston.
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Coltivare Pizza & Garden
3320 White Oak Drive
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This is not a pizza place. It is a high end, yet totally casual food mecca to local ingredients and masterful prep, nod to Italian. Pop in and put your name on the list early, then walk down the street to Onion Creek to have drinks and wait for your table. They will text you when ready. No reservations, but worth every minute you wait. One of the finest places to eat in Houston.
House made gelateria. Do not skip the heady pistachio, filled with finely ground green beauties. Try the cake pops too, divine.
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Gelazzi
3601 White Oak Drive
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House made gelateria. Do not skip the heady pistachio, filled with finely ground green beauties. Try the cake pops too, divine.
Not for light meal, but indulgent Texas focus casual fare in a friendly if a little hipster environment. Amazing seafood, oysters, several mac and cheese dishes, gumbo, smoked brisket, and great cocktails. Nightly features can be fried chicken with house made "hot sauce syrup", fish tacos, and I don't recall what else. Wait can be long, but you can call ahead and they will put your name down and tell you about how long until your table is ready. LOVE that!
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Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar
1050 Studewood Street
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Not for light meal, but indulgent Texas focus casual fare in a friendly if a little hipster environment. Amazing seafood, oysters, several mac and cheese dishes, gumbo, smoked brisket, and great cocktails. Nightly features can be fried chicken with house made "hot sauce syrup", fish tacos, and I don't recall what else. Wait can be long, but you can call ahead and they will put your name down and tell you about how long until your table is ready. LOVE that!
Fantastic locally influenced dining. This is a nice Saturday night out. A bit pricey, and can be loud. Try to get a booth, which tones it down. Great service and creative menu.
Glass Wall Restaurant
933 Studewood St
Fantastic locally influenced dining. This is a nice Saturday night out. A bit pricey, and can be loud. Try to get a booth, which tones it down. Great service and creative menu.
The very best best best TexMex in Houston. Don't argue with me. Enough said. Cheap, delicious, perfect.
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Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe
1511 Airline Drive
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The very best best best TexMex in Houston. Don't argue with me. Enough said. Cheap, delicious, perfect.
Wonderful coffee and excellent house made tasty things served up by usually nice but sometimes attitude-y staff. Great place to begin a Saturday shopping stroll on 19th St. The Mayan Mocha is my favorite treat.
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Boomtown Coffee
242 West 19th Street
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Wonderful coffee and excellent house made tasty things served up by usually nice but sometimes attitude-y staff. Great place to begin a Saturday shopping stroll on 19th St. The Mayan Mocha is my favorite treat.
The venerable Heights reliable had a redecorating effort in early 2015, plus a menu revamp. They kept some of their monumental dishes (snapper with cucumber in thai curry broth) and added some amazing new ones (the burata toast with crispy brussel sprouts is to die for.) It's never too loud and always relaxing. Great wine list and cocktails. Service is kind.
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Shade
250 West 19th Street
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The venerable Heights reliable had a redecorating effort in early 2015, plus a menu revamp. They kept some of their monumental dishes (snapper with cucumber in thai curry broth) and added some amazing new ones (the burata toast with crispy brussel sprouts is to die for.) It's never too loud and always relaxing. Great wine list and cocktails. Service is kind.
While its success has turned it into a local chain, forget that. It's a reliable one and the food is consistently fantastic whichever location you visit. Try the bone marrow with baguettes (sourced from the unbeatable French Riviera Bakery on Chimney Rock.) Banh mi sandwiches are perfect. Vermicelli dishes are bountiful and super fresh. The pho is predictably lovely.
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Pho Binh
2916 White Oak Drive
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While its success has turned it into a local chain, forget that. It's a reliable one and the food is consistently fantastic whichever location you visit. Try the bone marrow with baguettes (sourced from the unbeatable French Riviera Bakery on Chimney Rock.) Banh mi sandwiches are perfect. Vermicelli dishes are bountiful and super fresh. The pho is predictably lovely.
Reliably wonderful burgers, huge ultrafresh salads, baby back ribs, smoked chicken tostadas, meatloaf and mashers, grilled salmon, lasagne, steaks, crispy fries with not a speck of oil, humongous slices of cake which are as delicious as they are daunting. Breakfast is also wonderful. Get Bob's Healthy plate with whites, smoked chicken apple sausage, a fruit cup seriously worth eating, and toast. (Substitute the toast for biscuits if you want be a teeny bit naughty.) Colorful decor is an homage to the owner's childhood sheepdog pal.
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Barnaby's Cafe
2802 White Oak Drive
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Reliably wonderful burgers, huge ultrafresh salads, baby back ribs, smoked chicken tostadas, meatloaf and mashers, grilled salmon, lasagne, steaks, crispy fries with not a speck of oil, humongous slices of cake which are as delicious as they are daunting. Breakfast is also wonderful. Get Bob's Healthy plate with whites, smoked chicken apple sausage, a fruit cup seriously worth eating, and toast. (Substitute the toast for biscuits if you want be a teeny bit naughty.) Colorful decor is an homage to the owner's childhood sheepdog pal.
Best fried chicken you will ever eat in your entire life. Comfort classics meet an inspiring wine list. Their motto is "Friend chicken and champagne? Why the hell not?" Truffled house made potato chips. An indulgent BLT with friend egg. This is no salad spot. Beware. Skip the noisy and busy Washington location and head to the Fairview location for a shorter wait, more tables, and better service. If you don't mind the mayhem of the original, then go for it.
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MAX's Wine Dive
214 Fairview Street
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Best fried chicken you will ever eat in your entire life. Comfort classics meet an inspiring wine list. Their motto is "Friend chicken and champagne? Why the hell not?" Truffled house made potato chips. An indulgent BLT with friend egg. This is no salad spot. Beware. Skip the noisy and busy Washington location and head to the Fairview location for a shorter wait, more tables, and better service. If you don't mind the mayhem of the original, then go for it.
My favorite pizza in Houston. Starburst on thin whole wheat crust. Just get one. Salads are pretty good too. Delivery can be a little slow, but it always comes fresh.
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Star Pizza
77 Harvard Street
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My favorite pizza in Houston. Starburst on thin whole wheat crust. Just get one. Salads are pretty good too. Delivery can be a little slow, but it always comes fresh.
Best breakfast tacos ever. The most perfect corn tortillas ever made. Skip ordering and eating there, it's a nightmare. Order online and pay online. Then show up 5 minutes later than your "ready" time. Hustle up anyone running out a to go order and ask if it's yours. It's not, BUT he/she will go find yours promptly. No waiting in line. You're out in 3 minutes eating those little gems. Reliable barbacoa. Love the smoked sausage and egg.
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Chilosos Taco House
701 East 20th Street
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Best breakfast tacos ever. The most perfect corn tortillas ever made. Skip ordering and eating there, it's a nightmare. Order online and pay online. Then show up 5 minutes later than your "ready" time. Hustle up anyone running out a to go order and ask if it's yours. It's not, BUT he/she will go find yours promptly. No waiting in line. You're out in 3 minutes eating those little gems. Reliable barbacoa. Love the smoked sausage and egg.
Drinks & Nightlife
Sit outside where there are TONS of picnic tables. Good beer, decent wine, great cocktails. Bar food is creative and tasty. Everyone brings a dog or three. Live music many nights. This place is VERY popular with locals and has a huge parking lot. Be patient with service. They are kind but it can be a busy party.
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Cottonwood
3422 North Shepherd Drive
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Sit outside where there are TONS of picnic tables. Good beer, decent wine, great cocktails. Bar food is creative and tasty. Everyone brings a dog or three. Live music many nights. This place is VERY popular with locals and has a huge parking lot. Be patient with service. They are kind but it can be a busy party.