Express Inn & Suites Houston

Now that a sense of normalcy is slowly — but surely — returning to Houston's dining scene, it's time for a full-scale update of the Eater 38, a guide intended to answer the eternal question of “Where should I eat out tonight?”

As more and more Houstonians get access to the COVID-19 vaccine and feel comfortable dining in restaurants, this map highlights the city's top eateries across a diverse array of cuisines and price points. And keeping in mind that there are still plenty of diners who aren't ready to dine indoors just yet, many of the establishments on this list are still offering robust takeout menus packed with exciting dishes.

From perfect tacos to creative new American cuisine and everything in between, these 38 restaurants are crucial additions to your dining routine. But because this pandemic is not yet over, diners should still plan to mask up, tip generously, and stay safe out there while navigating this brave new world of dining.


Copy Link 632 W 19th St
Houston, TX 77008 (832) 834-7362 Visit Website

A strong selection of small, shareable plates await at Squable, ranging from gougeres served with green garlic gravy to marinated mussels served with calico beans and bonito aioli. As far as the larger plates are concerned, consider the bolognese lasagna with pickled collards, or the restaurant's famed French cheeseburger, which is showered in raclette cheese.

Phat Eatery

Copy Link 23119 Colonial Pkwy suite b-2
Katy, TX 77449 (832) 913-6382 Visit Website

Malaysian street food is the star at this Katy dining destination, but its menu is wide-ranging. Right now, the curry-sauced crawfish is big and juicy, and dishes like sizzling black pepper beef, Hainanese chicken with a trio of sauces for dipping, and grilled whole snapper in sambal sauce shine every single time.

Xin Chao

Copy Link 2310 Decatur St
Houston, TX 77007 (832) 740-4888 Visit Website

Chefs Christine Ha and Tony Nguyen have teamed up for this modern Vietnamese restaurant that pays homage to both chefs' heritage alongside Texas and Gulf Coast cuisine. Find dishes like smoked beef rib flat rice noodles made with 44 Farms ribs, or lemongrass-buttermilk fried chicken with pandan rice, pickled cucumber, beef tallow aioli, and hot saté honey.

Bludorn Restaurant

Copy Link 807 Taft St
Houston, TX 77019 (713) 999-0146 Visit Website

After opening in the midst of the pandemic, chef Aaron Bludorn's namesake restaurant is already a local favorite. The dishes here are thoughtful and balanced, including gnocchi with morel mushrooms and english peas and decadent sea urchin spaghetti. The starters menu is equally compelling, with options like foie gras served with pineapple and a macadamia brioche doughnut, on offer.

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation

Copy Link 2704 Navigation Blvd
Houston, TX 77003 (713) 228-1175 Visit Website

This iconic Tex-Mex spot has its takeout system dialed in, which makes it easy to order up a truly epic feast of fajitas, queso, and margaritas. Order queso flameado, the always-classic Mixta Ninfa fajitas, and mango-habanero margaritas, all available for dine-in, takeout, or delivery.

Tony Mandola's

Copy Link 1212 Waugh Dr
Houston, TX 77019 (713) 528-3474 Visit Website

Melding classic Italian with Tex-Mex, Gulf Coast and Cajun cuisine, Mandola's menu includes dishes like drunken shrimp in tequila-lime butter over linguini, snapper Martha, topped with crawfish and jumbo lump crab, and good old-fashioned spaghetti and meatballs. The lovely patio, which feels like a European terrace, is perfect for social distancing and al fresco dining.


Copy Link 1777 Walker St Ste A
Houston, TX 77010 (713) 521-2239 Visit Website

The dining experience at Xochi is pretty much back to normal, and chef Hugo Ortega's destination for Oaxacan cuisine is as strong as ever. Consider the memelas, served with roasted pork rib and tomatillo-avocado sauce, or a crispy tlayuda topped with grilled skirt steak and mole negro.

Pizaro's Pizza Napoletana

Copy Link 1000 W Gray St
Houston, TX 77019 (832) 742-5200 Visit Website

Pizaro's is serious about Neapolitan pizza — so serious that it earned certification from the prestigious Vera Pizza Napoletana organization, which governs “authentic” pies from the region. Keep it classic with a margherita pie, or order the Calabrese, topped with pepperoni, sopressata, fresh mozzarella, and Parmesan. Order takeout or delivery via Pizaro's website .

Eugene's Gulf Coast Cuisine

Copy Link 1985 Welch St
Houston, TX 77019 (713) 807-8883 Visit Website

Formerly known as Danton's, Eugene's really shines in its new(ish) home. Its focus is on Gulf Coast cuisine, evidenced by plates like crab-stuffed redfish, blackened catfish enchiladas, and steaks slathered in shrimp etouffee or poblano sauce.


Copy Link 2050 Dunlavy St
Houston, TX 77006 (713) 324-9288 Visit Website

One of Houston's most compelling new neighborhood eateries, Ostia brings creative-yet-unfussy cuisine to the Montrose. Share tuna crudo with shallot, capers, and sour orange and lamb shoulder gnocchi, or feast on heartier offerings like roasted chicken with lemon and salsa verde or New York strip served with hazelnut romesco.


Copy Link 1800 Post Oak Blvd. Entrance on, Ambassador Way
Houston, TX 77056 (713) 804-1212 Visit Website

This luxe restaurant is perfect for date night or a weekday splurge, thanks to dishes like creamy lobster bisque, beef carpaccio with king crab, and solid raw bar options. Caviar service is on offer for those who are really looking to ball out, while rigatoni in vegetarian bolognese and roasted branzino with white beans and preserved lemons serve as excellent entree choices.

Nancy's Hustle

Copy Link 2704 Polk St Ste A
Houston, TX 77003 (346) 571-7931 Visit Website

Still one of Houston's best restaurants more than two years in, Nancy's Hustle recently reopened its doors in EaDo and the menu is better than ever. Start with a “pickle party” served with Spanish chorizo and cheese and (of course) the famous Nancy cakes, then move onto grilled golden tilefish served with roasted beets and confit fennel, or squid ink linguine and Gulf shrimp in fermented chili butter.


Copy Link 1927 Fairview Street
Houston, TX 77019 (832) 831-9109 Visit Website

Technically, Eater Young Gun Ryan LaChaine is operating two restaurants out of his Montrose space right now. The first, a pickup and delivery only spot called Louie's, is a super fun sandwich shop serving up pizza subs, a riff on the classic Filet-o-Fish, and of course, LaChaine's famed butter burger sliders. There's also an excellent menu from Riel, boasting a Korean “crunch wrap” stuffed with blackened rice and skirt steak, mushroom empanadas, and crawfish rolls perfect for spring.

Cali Sandwich & Fast Food

Copy Link 2900 Travis St
Houston, TX 77006 (713) 520-0710

Banh mi is an essential Houston dish, and Cali Sandwich is one of the city's best destinations for a quick and killer sandwich. Whether you prefer your banh mi stuffed with beef, grilled chicken, barbecue pork, or meatballs, the options here are all excellent and under $5.

One Fifth Southern Comfort

Copy Link 1658 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006 (713) 955-1024 Visit Website

Now in its final months, James Beard Award winner Chris Shepherd's five-restaurants-in-five-years experiment is staying creative until the very end. Now focusing on a “Southern Comfort” theme, One Fifth is serving up Gulf-coast influenced dishes like smoked chicken and andouille gumbo, blackened redfish, and “scattered shrooms” over cheesy grits. Order takeout and delivery via One Fifth's website .

Rosie Cannonball

Copy Link 1620 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006 (832) 380-2471 Visit Website

There's nothing more comforting than a bowl of baked ziti or pizza with a perfectly blistered crust, and Rosie Cannonball is a worthy destination for both. Consider the cacio e pepe pie or classic pepperoni, and finish with a pint of white sesame gelato. Order online via Rosie's website .


Copy Link 1834 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098 (713) 807-7271 Visit Website

Classic Italian dishes are prepared with care at this Montrose staple, ranging from freshly made bucatini puttanesca to hearty rigatoni bolognese and chicken piccata. The baked goods, including Paulie's famed shortbread cookies and cream cheese brownes, are also not to be missed.

UB Preserv

Copy Link 1609 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006 (346) 406-5923 Visit Website

An evolution of Chris Shepherd's groundbreaking restaurant Underbelly, UB Preserv remains one of the city's most interesting dining destinations. Led by chef Nick Wong, the restaurant serves up a uniquely Houston slate of dishes, ranging from salt and pepper squid to Vietnamese short rib fajitas and whole-roasted snapper with calamansi brown butter. Desserts from pastry chef Victoria Dearmond, including ca phe sua da carrot cake and an “old-school” fried apple pie, are definitely worth saving room for.

State of Grace

Copy Link 3258 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098 (832) 942-5080 Visit Website

Home to one of Houston's best oyster bars, look beyond the bivalves on the menu at State of Grace for stunning, splurge-worthy plates like hearth-roasted octopus, cacio e pepe spaghettini showered in grana padano cheese, and bearnaise-slathered steaks.

Giacomo's Cibo e Vino

Copy Link 3215 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098 (713) 522-1934 Visit Website

This beloved neighborhood cafe keeps it homey without sacrificing on quality. Currently, Giacomo's is serving a limited menu of its greatest hits, including rustic, egg-topped ratatouille, gnocchi alla romana, and shrimp diavolo.

Street to Kitchen

Copy Link 6501 Harrisburg Blvd
Houston, TX 77011 (713) 428-1975 Visit Website

An “unapologetically Thai” restaurant, Street to Kitchen doesn't mince words about its commitment to staying true to its culinary roots. Look forward to rice bowls topped with crispy pork belly and pork Panang curry, super-fresh green papaya salad with dried shrimp and crushed peanuts, and stir-fried Thai basil beef.

The Breakfast Klub

Copy Link 3711 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002 (713) 528-8561 Visit Website

Don't let the line out the door be too intimidating — the chicken and waffles at this legendary Houston breakfast joint are not to be missed. Thanks in part to a stamp of approval from Beyonce, this Midtown staple is the perfect spot for wings and grits, cheesy breakfast sandwiches, and an excellent eggs Benedict served on a biscuit.

Tacos Tierra Caliente

Copy Link Alabama Ice House
Houston, TX 77098 (713) 584-9359

This beloved taco truck, parked next door to the West Alabama Ice House, is home to some of Houston's finest tortilla-wrapped delights. Score tender fajita, crispy pastor, lengua and more street-style tacos, or go for a torta or quesadilla. Either way, lunch will likely cost less than $10.