Culture / Restaurants

Houston’s 80 Best Restaurants for Super Bowl Week: What’s New, What’s Hot and What’s Open

BY // 01.29.17

With more than 10,000 restaurants permeating Houston’s dining scene, navigating the flavor-packed landscape is no easy feat. Cut through the fat during Super Bowl LI with our PaperCity Playbook, the definitive guide to where to dine during the biggest sporting event of the year.

From fine-dining meccas and grab-and-go stops to international haunts and craft-cocktail juggernauts, you’ll find the best Houston restaurants listed in alphabetical order here. These are the local hotspots that showcase the city’s diverse culinary DNA.

51fifteen, Galleria, 5175 Westheimer Road, Saks Fifth Avenue’s in-house restaurant, tucked away on the second floor in The Galleria mall, combines New American cuisine with ultra-chic surrounds.

Américas River Oaks, River Oaks Shopping Center, 2040 W. Gray St., Vibrant Latin flavors fill the diverse menu, highlighting premium ingredients native to the Americas. The stylish ambience reflects the modern menu.

Anvil Bar & Refuge, 1424 Westheimer Road, Anvil is Houston’s first-ever bar devoted solely to classic cocktails. For the first-timer, order from Anvil’s Top 100 list — a culmination of the bar’s favorite classics.

Arcodoro, 5000 Westheimer Road, The traditional Sardinian fare will transport you to the Mediterranean. This is the only restaurant in Houston offering cuisine from the storied Italian island.

Armandos, 2630 Westheimer Road, Refined Tex-Mex isn’t the only standout at this Houston restaurant faovrite. Thursday nights, Armandos welcomes a live DJ, packed dance floor, and its namesake taco truck.

Arthur Ave, 111 Studewood St., Named for the famous street in the Bronx, Arthur Ave channels the Italian immigrant spirit via upscale digs in Houston’s Washington Corridor. Expect hearty portions of classics such as spaghetti and meatballs in red sauce, chicken parm, and pizza pies.)

Bayou & Bottle at Four Seasons Hotel Downtown, 1300 Lamar, This sparkling new bourbon-centric restaurant promises to be one of the best places to meet during Super Bowl. It’s a short stroll from Discovery Green and the heart of the action.

B&B Butchers & Restaurant, 1814 Washington Ave., Previously home to a vintage bakery, this restaurant gives a contemporary twist to an old-fashioned steakhouse menu. Beef is sourced from B&B’s in-house butcher shop, and a covered rooftop patio offers exceptional downtown views.

Steaks reign supreme at B&B Butchers and Restaurant.

Backstreet Café, 1103 S. Shepherd Dr., A quaint 1930s house is the headquarters for this New American restaurant from acclaimed chef Hugo Ortega. The home-style menu draws a packed house, especially during brunch. Al fresco dining is encouraged.

BCN Taste & Tradition, 4210 Roseland St., A 1920s home sets the stage for gastronomic masterpieces inspired by the cutting-edge cuisine of Barcelona at this restaurant.

Beaver’s, 2310 Decatur St.; 6025 Westheimer Road, Icehouse meets gastropub to sling whimsical cocktails and such Texas-inspired fare as fried pickles, barbacoa empanadas, and Texas deviled eggs. The new Westheimer location also has a sprawling green space dubbed Beaver’s Backyard.

Bebidas, 2606 Edloe St., The hip grab-and-go juicery showcases fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, matchas, coffee, and light bites in Houston’s Inner Loop.

Benjy’s, 2424 Dunstan Road; 5922 Washington Ave., Farm-to-table ingredients are transformed into modern American dishes for lunch, dinner, and brunch. Happy hour shines with hearty apps and a global wine list.

Bernie’s Burger Bus, 5407 Bellaire Blvd., A bold yellow school bus sets the stage for this burger haven, which gets top marks for its whimsical gourmet burgers, hand-cut fries, and homemade condiments.

Bistro Menil, 1513 W. Alabama St., This wine-focused restaurant serves European fare in a refined minimalist space on the famed Menil Collection campus.

Start your meal at Bistro Menil with the tuna and mussel appetizer.

Brasserie 19, River Oaks Shopping Center, 1962 W. Gray St., See and be seen at this bustling French brasserie, which touts one of the city’s best wine lists.

Brasserie du Parc, 1440 Lamar Street. A walk-up crepe window is just one of the highlights. Stationed at One Park Place high-rise Downtown — less than half a mile from the George R. Brown Convention Center — this new French restaurant is right in the middle of the Super Bowl action.

The Breakfast Klub, 3711 Travis St., Expect a line at this H-Town staple in Midtown, but the soul-food breakfast — chicken and waffles, catfish and grits — is worth the wait.

Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith St., Come here for a taste of New Orleans — decadent Creole staples such as turtle soup, seafood gumbo, New Orleans BBQ lobster, crispy boudin balls, blue crab corn nachos, and shrimp and tasso corndogs.

Café Annie, 1800 Post Oak Blvd., The flagship restaurant of acclaimed chef Robert del Grande delivers Southwestern eats with a side of elegance. Rooftop seating yields first-class views.

Cane Rosso, 1835 N. Shepherd Dr.; 4306 Yoakum Blvd., Whimsical wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas fill the menu. The patio at the Montrose location on North Shepherd is dog friendly, too.

Caracol, 2200 Post Oak Blvd., Award-winning chef Hugo Ortega serves up Mexican seafood in a vibrant art-filled space just minutes from the Galleria. Secure a reservation for some of the city’s best grilled oysters.

Coltivare, 3320 White Oak Dr., This Italian-American restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but if you’re lucky enough to secure a table, the ever-changing menu features wood-fired pizzas and entrees crafted with vegetables from the eatery’s garden.

Common Bond Café & Bakery, 1706 Westheimer Road, Expertly crafted baked goods are always in rotation at this Montrose-area bakery. Grab a succulent pastry to go, or enjoy savory lunch and brunch staples in-house.

Conservatory, 1010 Prairie St., The underground beer garden and food hall offers everything from ramen and crepes to barbecue and gyros, with 60-plus craft beers on tap. Closing time is 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Cooking Girl, 315 Fairview St., Can’t make it to Chinatown? Cooking Girl offers some of Houston’s most authentic Chinese food in Montrose. The Sichuan menu showcases traditional dishes, while American-Chinese selections offer more mainstream options for less adventurous diners.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Galleria, 5061 Westheimer Road, This modern steakhouse is known for its vibrant social scene. For a more casual vibe, visit sister restaurant Del Frisco’s Grille in Upper Kirby’s West Ave development.

Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale St., Whiskey, beer, and tacos collide at this upscale icehouse. Rare bourbons take center stage; other libations include frozen, carbonated, and made-to-order cocktails. Unique tacos, quesadillas, nachos, and more are dispensed from the on-site food truck.

Don’t leave Eight Row Flint without a taste of the Brussels sprout taco.

Good Dog Houston, 903 Studewood St.; 1312 W. Alabama St., These gourmet hotdogs pair Texas-made franks with local artisan buns. Top your dog with house-made sauces and toppings.

Goode Company Barbecue, 5109 Kirby Dr., Goode Company has served authentic Texas barbecue since 1977. Menu favorites include smoked brisket, jalapeño pork sausage, pork ribs, pralines, and pecan pie.

Grotto, 1001 Avenida de las Americas; 4175 Westheimer Road, Stationed in the Avenida Houston development adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center — in the thick of the Super Bowl festivities — Grotto’s new Downtown location offers a modern take on its signature Italian fare.

The Grove, 1611 Lamar St., It’s like dining in a treehouse. The Grove’s sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows offer a unique aerial view of Downtown’s Discovery Green.

The Hay Merchant, 1100 Westheimer Road, Celebrity chef Chris Shepherd captures a casual bar vibe in this space adjacent to his more upscale restaurant concept, Underbelly. Watch Super Bowl LI on The Hay Merchant’s flat-screen TVs, while enjoying craft beers and bar bites such as PB&J wings, sweet and spicy pig ears, and crispy tacos.

Helen Greek Food and Wine, 2429 Rice Blvd., Voted one of the best new restaurants in America, Helen dishes out modern Greek fare with an equally Hellenic wine list. (It’s from the same team as Arthur Ave.)

The Original Hubcap Grill, 1111 Prairie St., At this down-home burger joint Downtown, try the classic flat-top cheeseburger — or maybe a specialty spin, such as the Cheeto-burger.

Hugo’s, 1600 Westheimer Road, Celebrity Chef Hugo Ortega strikes again with his namesake restaurant, where you can indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine and some of the city’s best hand-shaken margaritas. On Sundays, come for the sprawling brunch buffet.

Jinya Ramen Bar, 3201 Louisiana St., Why leave the Downtown area for standout ramen? The evening wait at Jinya averages 45 minutes, but you’ll leave smitten with the signature tonkotsu broth.

Kata Robata, 3600 Kirby Dr., Behind its unassuming façade, Kata Robata dishes out some of the best sushi in town. Specials often include fish flown in same-day from Japan.

Killen’s STQ, 2231 S. Voss Road, Smoke rules at Ronnie Killen‘s newest restaurant — the barbecue master’s first outpost inside Houston’s city limits. (His other famed concepts, Killen’s Barbecue and Killen’s Steakhouse, are in Pearland.) Killen’s culinary-competition background shines in STQ’s elevated meat-centric dishes.

Kolache Shoppe, 3945 Richmond Road, Kolaches may have originated in Czechoslovakia, but the pastry roll has morphed into a time-honored Texas staple. Head to the Kolache Shoppe for sweet and savory renditions.

Kolache Shoppe’s newest kolache pairs crumbly breakfast sausage with Lee’s Fried Chicken and Donut’s jalapeño cream gravy.

La Table, 1800 Post Oak Blvd., Channeling an elegant chateau, La Table showcases delicate French-American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. An in-house bakery and Assouline bookstore heighten the French vibes.

Les Baget Vietnamese Café, 1717 Montrose Blvd., This pint-sized Montrose haunt serves up flavor-packed Vietnamese breakfast, pho, and banh mi sandwiches.

Le Colonial, River Oaks District, 4444 Westheimer Road, Classic Vietnamese cuisine gets an upscale jolt at this two-story,French colonial-themed restaurant. For scenic dining, head to the rooftop patio or private second-floor dining room, or opt for a nightcap in the bustling upstairs lounge.

Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts, 601 Heights Boulevard, leesfriedchickendonuts.comThe ultimate savory and sweet mash-up at Lee’s pairs crispy fried chicken with fresh glazed donuts iced in Mexican chocolate, praline bacon, and birthday cake.

Liberty Kitchen Oysterette, 4224 San Felipe St., This cozy neighborhood restaurant creates Texas-inspired dishes with an emphasis on fresh seafood (especially oysters), both raw and cooked.

Local Foods, 2555 Kirby Drive; 2424 Dunstan Road; 5740 San Felipe St.; 420 Main St., Local seasonal ingredients are at the forefront of Local Foods. In addition to signature sandwiches, seasonal soups and salads, the new Downtown location on Main Street features a raw seafood bar.

Lucille’s, 5512 La Branch Street, Global southern cuisine takes center stage in the Museum District where modern plates receive a down-home twist. Don’t leave without a taste of the bone marrow and oxtail.

Marriott Marquis, 1777 Walker St., The brand-new Marriott Marquis is home to more than a Texas-shaped lazy river. It also houses six restaurants, most notably celebrity chef Hugo Ortega’s Oaxacan-themed Xochi, as well as the upscale sports bar Biggio’s, named for Houston Astros Hall of Famer Craig Biggio.

Max’s Wine Dive, 4720 Washington Ave.; 214 Fairview St., Fried chicken and champagne collide at Max’s, which is known for pairing gourmet comfort food with worldly wine offerings.

MF Sushi, 1401 Binz St., Modern Japanese cuisine is the star of this Museum District eatery. Indulge in sushi or a multi-course omakase dinner.

One Fifth, 1658 Westheimer Road, Five years, five concepts — that’s the plan for acclaimed chef Chris Shepherd’s newest restaurant. One Fifth Steak, Shepherd’s take on a steakhouse, is in full swing now.

Oporto Fooding House and Wine, 125 W. Gray St., This European kitchen and wine bar showcases innovative Portuguese-inspired plates. On Saturdays and Sundays, pop-up bake shop Natas whips up sweet and savory Portuguese baked goods.

The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, 2704 Navigation Blvd., A Houston staple since the ’70s, The Original Ninfa’s still offers some of the best Tex-Mex in town. Fajitas prepared on a wood-fired grill are a specialty.

Whimsical vegetable dishes await at Oxheart.

Oxheart, 1302 Nance St., Don’t wait: Executive chef Justin Yu, a 2016 James Beard Award winner, concludes his vegetable-centric tasting menus next month, when he closes this acclaimed restaurant in an industrial setting.

The Pass & Provisions, 807 Taft St., This venue offers two restaurants in one modern setting: The Pass, an intimate fine-dining, open-kitchen experience, and Provisions, where inventive New American dishes are presented in a more casual setting.

Paulie’s, 1834 Westheimer Road, This neighborhood cafe specializes in Italian salads, paninis, pizzas, and pasta. Next door, the casual wine bar Camerata serves beer, cider, and wine until 2 am.

Pax Americana, 4319 Montrose Blvd., Contemporary art fills the walls at Pax-AM, where prime local ingredients fill revolving brunch, dinner, and cocktail menus. Complement your meal with a selection from the all-American small-producer wine list.

Peli Peli, Galleria, 5085 Westheimer Road, This upscale Galleria restaurant offers a taste of South Africa via continental delicacies fused with Dutch, Portuguese, and Asian influences.

Peska Seafood Culture, 1700 Post Oak Blvd., Peska’s refined Mexican seafood dishes are prepared by Mexico-bred chef Omar Pereney — one of the city’s youngest chefs — from its own in-house fish market.

Pi Pizza, 181 Heights Boulevard, pipizzahtx.comHead to the Heights for Pi Pizza’s nontraditional pies topped with everything from bacon-braised collard greens and blackberries to lemon-roasted cauliflower and macaroni and cheese. Saturdays and Sundays feature late night delivery until 2 am.

Pizaro’s Pizza, 1000 W. Gray St.; 14028 Memorial Dr., A Houston favorite for Neapolitan pizza. These delicate pies bake for just 90 seconds in Pizaro’s custom-made, Italian brick oven. Better yet, it’s BYOB.

Pondicheri, W. Ave, 2800 Kirby Dr., Pondicheri’s casual Indian cuisine transports you to the streets of Mumbai. After your meal, head upstairs to Pondi’s Bake Lab for innovative Indian treats.

Public Services, 202 Travis St., Art Deco prevails at this whiskey and wine bar, stationed in the 1884 Cotton Exchange building.

Reef, 2600 Travis St., Reef was once named Bon Appetit’s best seafood restaurant in the country. Celebrity chef Bryan Caswell gives seafood the Southern treatment by pairing the star proteins with everything from fried macaroni and cheese to pecan-shallot cracklins and collard greens.

Relish Restaurant and Bar, 2810 Westheimer Road, Relish’s sophisticated yet simple menu has Italian and Mediterranean flair — fried chicken paired with hot honey and maple Brussels sprouts, hot dogs with house-made relish, and unique pastas.

Riel, 1977 Fairview Street, A trio of cuisines takes center stage at this newly debuted restaurant. French Canadian fare meets Ukrainian cuisine and the Texas Gulf Coast with dishes like cane-brined duck breast, Canadian tourtieres, and chef Ryan Lachaine’s grandmother’s borscht recipe.

Salt Air Seafood Kitchen, 3029 Kirby Dr., Beach vibes fill this airy space, where the fresh seafood dishes are packed with global influence.

Southern Goods, 632 W. 19th St., This laid-back Heights haunt applies a modern take to Southern-cuisine classics such as beef belly burnt ends, fried green tomatoes, boudin balls, and cracklins.

State Fare, 947 Gessner Road, Authentic Texas eats fill State Fare’s vast menu — everything from dill-pickle dip, Texas pimento cheese, and queso with green chiles and crabmeat to creamed-corn hushpuppies. Don’t miss the frozen cocktails.

You can’t leave Texas without a taste of gumbo. Head to State Fare for some down home roux.

State of Grace, 3258 Westheimer Road, Flavorful Texas dishes and diverse oysters are mainstays at this Ford Fry-owned restaurant, with interiors designed by Elizabeth Ingram. The cocktail bar itself is almost as captivating as the menu.

Steak 48, River Oaks District, 4444 Westheimer Road, Reservations are always required at this upscale River Oaks District hotspot, which offers prime steaks and seafood. Come for the food but stay for the vibrant social scene.

Taverna, River Oaks District, 4444 Westheimer Road, Risotto is the star at this Northern Italian restaurant. Variations range from truffles and Parmigiano to bay scallops and homemade pesto. Pizza, pasta, and other Italian classics are also on the menu.

Tiny Boxwoods, 3614 W. Alabama St., Lush greenery engulfs this upscale casual cafe, where you can enjoy a meal on the patio or dine indoors. Be sure to try the famous chocolate chip cookies.

Tony’s, 3755 Richmond Ave., The ultimate fine-dining experience awaits at this Italian restaurant, where superior service guarantees an unforgettable meal.

Toulouse, River Oaks District, 4444 Westheimer Road, Dine in the heart of River Oaks District’s luxury ambience at this classic French bistro. An expansive outdoor patio makes for great gazing and grazing.

Triniti Restaurant, 2815 S. Shepherd Dr., Indulge in chef Ryan Hildebrand’s inventive menu or meet for cocktails at the cosmopolitan Sanctuari Bar. (For a more casual vibe, head down the road to Hildebrand’s new burger joint, FM Burger.)

Uchi, 904 Westheimer Road, Uchi’s contemporary, Japanese menu features everything from premium sushi and sashimi to modern Japanese small plates.

Underbelly, 1100 Westheimer Road, Chef Chris Shepherd embodies the diverse Houston experience with a revolving American Creole menu and an emphasis on locally procured beef, seafood, and produce. The Korean braised goat and dumplings are a must — if you’re lucky enough to snag a table.

A sea of pickled veggies is waiting at Underbelly.

Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse, 1510 Texas Ave., Go old school with this classic steakhouse Downtown, where prime meat and seafood abound.

Weights + Measures, 2808 Caroline St., In a chic yet industrial Midtown space, Weights + Measures churns out house-made bread, donuts, and pastries alongside full lunch, brunch, and dinner menus. We recommend ordering the russet chips and blue cheese followed by the roasted-carrot pizza.

Stay tuned for more Houston restaurant guides, including go-to stops for sweet treats, late-night eats, after hours hangouts, and cant-miss watering holes. 

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