Restaurants / Lists

Houston’s 10 Hottest New Restaurants for a Cool Fall — From Heights Finds to Tex-Mex Twists

Where to Eat Right Now

BY // 10.16.19

Editor’s note: The Houston restaurant scene is constantly changing, with new hotspots, must-try places and major food events coming along on a daily basis. Even the most dedicated foodie can have trouble keeping up. Don’t worry, PaperCity has you covered.

The weather may finally be cooling down, but the Houston restaurant scene is only heating up. There are more reasons to dine out than ever, with recently unveiled offerings running the gamut from long-awaited spots with coveted wine lists to brand new, Lone Star State-worthy Tex-Mex havens and even an oasis for dessert that looks like it’s straight out of the Houston Rodeo.

The foodie scene is only getting more crowded, but there’s always room for more restaurants in Houston — and more food in your belly. Check out these new spots. You may just find yourself a new favorite.


You don’t need a lot of savoir-faire to know you should check out this brand new, chef-driven spot in The Heights. You can delight in seasonal, from-scratch eats with carefully curated ingredients sourced from the finest local farmers and purveyors.

While the ribeye cruda with black garlic balsalmic, tandoori fajita with house-made roti, and grilled shrimp with pea and mint risotto will definitely steal your heart away, the wine list may well be where Savoir truly shines.

The new hot spot boasts one of the most extensive wine programs in Space City, spanning from vintages that will make a novice’s jaw drop to selections that’ll satisfy even the most discerning critic or connoisseur. It’s time to wine and dine.

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UB Preserv

This innovative Underbelly spin-off is a must-visit for any and every month, but it’s recently gotten some major attention from culinary bible Food & Wine. The gourmand-writer chose to focus in on UB Preserv’s most creative meal — its dim sum-style brunch.

Food & Wine stakes the claim that UB Preserv might just have “the most interesting brunch” in the entire country, thanks to the insights and inspiration of one Nick Wong, long-time Chris Shepherd compatriot and Momofuku veteran.

The sheer, delicious diversity of Wong’s between breakfast-and-lunch options brought the wow factor: souffle pancakes, Thai spiced fish dip, Nebraskan hot pockets and so much more. If you haven’t basked in this glorious mix-and-match, there’s no time like the present.

UB Preserve’s boudin siu mai takes brunch to another level. (Photo by Julie Soefer Photography.)


Fact: there can never be too much Tex-Mex. Houstonians have always been, and always will be, in the market for queso —whether we’re talking con carne, flameado or beyond — fajitas, enchiladas, ceviche. The list goes on and on.

And when a new Tex-Mex mecca opens, you know a true Texan just can’t resist — especially  when there’s a twist. That’s definitely been the case at the recently opened Candente. The Sambrooks Management Company stunner is turning heads and tantalizing tastebuds in Montrose.

The group just had to blend their Pit Room barbecue mastery with their love of all things Tex-Mex, yielding delights like grilled redfish on the half shell, brisket nachos and smoked half-racks of ribs.

Oh, and 45 agava-based spirits don’t hurt, either.

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

This new Heights location of a Katy favorite is causing quite the stir. The crazy-popular chain brought all of the islands’ favorite delicacies to the mainland thanks to their expertly crafted plate lunches, or the “state food of Hawaii.”

L&L’s Asian-American mash-up spin on traditional plate lunches break down the basics through a mouth-watering lens: two servings of rice, one serving of macaroni salad, a fresh catch, a chicken entrée and an alternate protein. It’s all about balance.

The classic loco moco is an all-star, hamburger patties topped with gravy and eggs. Spam musubi is a sushi version of the Hawaiian staple, and savory garlic shrimp and juicy chicken katsu round out the protein menu. Say aloha to a combo plate like you’ve never seen.

l&l hawaiian barbecue
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue is an inspired take on island food.


Sixty Vines

Pore over the menu for this haven of pours, the new wine-heavy hit in Rice Village. Sixty Vines threw open its doors not too long ago, inviting diners to sip on eco-friendly wines on tap.

It makes for a personalized touch, with each crisp or bold glass served at the perfect temp, and perfect for pairing with a menu of wine country-inspired eats. Watch it all unfold in the open kitchen.

Snack on shared plates like crispy zucchini with shishito peppers, munch on fig and prosciutto flatbreads or tuck in for some short rib papardelle. And don’t forget “tappy hour,” when a selection of top-notch wines are available at unbelievable steals — by both the glass and the bottle.


Down-South-inspired Preslee’s has just kicked things off down 19th Street in the last few days, promising an endless supply of comfort food and bourbon galore to the former Shady Acres space.

Food for the soul is the name of the game. Think chicken fried steak, brisket tacos and hearty mac and cheese, to name a few.

The ambience can’t be beat, with rope swings, ping-pong tables and giant swinging hammocks spread out over the 150-foot-long patio that can seat a whopping 300. Add in a massive Astrodome mural and a sculpture of The Blues Brothers, and you’ve got a hit on your hands.

Studewood Cantine

Come one, come all to Studewood Cantine, a Tex-Mex-meets-solid-American-fare paradise where friends become family, and building a community is the core mission. Chill out on the patio, Modelo in hand, for as long as you want — and never, ever leave unsatisfied.

Start off with table-side guac made just how you like, or a light, bright Campechana that may just rival the iconic Goode Company’s. Charred flank steak, smoked salmon beef fajitas in cucos sauce are a must.

But if you’re trying to watch your diet, you can take on Mexi-Lite options, like the Cantina salad with cilantro ranch or the Mexican Bowl. There’s something for everyone at Studewood Cantine.

Bird Haus

Conservatory, the food hall that started it all, is throwing its hat into the contentious fried chicken sandwich ring. Watching the fight between Popeyes and literally everyone else has been quite the nail-biter. And now, this crunchy chicken’s here to fight.

Nashville-style hot chicken comes to play — and win — served up with a heavy dose of Southern hospitality. You can get it with the hot rub, or, if you dare, Reaper-style. To put it plainly, that version’s so hot that you have to sign a waiver.

It’s no joke, and you’ll be chowing down on the perfectly salted fries to cut out some of that blessed, relentless heat. One thing to note — Bird Haus uses dark meat instead of white for its sandwiches. Those of you who are into breast meat might just get converted.

bird haus slaw
Bird Haus brings the heat.

Momo House

If you’re a fan of authentic Nepalese and Himalayan dishes, Momo House is the place for you.

The brightly colored restaurant on Hillcroft does traditional right, especially its namesake momo — steamed dumplings that are truly a regional delicacy.

Goat Bhutan and chow mein are other superstars you’ve just got to try for yourself.

Churroholic & Hiccups

This dessert wonderland gained renown throughout the Lone Star State early on, with locations from San Antonio to Richmond and soon, New Braunfels. With a bevy of desserts in a kaleidoscope of color, it’s no mystery why.

Parent company Hiccups, experts in pan-Asian dishes and a massive array of boba drinks branched out into Spanish-inspired churros, fusing together cultures in a way your sweet tooth will never forget.

The churro sundaes come with super-sized, light and fluffy churros and tons of ice cream. You can get the traditional cinnamon or spice it up with flavors like chocolate dusted in almonds. All the treats are pretty as a picture, and you can’t help but to Instagram.

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