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Restaurants / Lists

Houston’s Best New Restaurants — Where to Eat Right Now

10 Emerging Hotspots Any Self Respecting Foodie Needs to Know

BY // 03.13.19

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.

It feels like spring has finally sprung, so it’s the perfect time for new beginnings — especially with new Houston restaurants. You’ll feel that extra pep in your step. Let it lead you right to one of these excellent eateries.

Taste of Nigeria

Ayo and Tiffaney Odewale are spicing up The Galleria food scene with Taste of Nigeria, a tribal-centric eatery with a robust menu of 50-plus dishes. You can expect a bevy of authentic dishes, especially Nigerian soups. Like catfish pepper soup with whole catfish in a spicy broth, banga, a palm nut soup with beef, dry fish and crayfish.

You’ll want to take on plate after plate, diving into halal goat or oxtail plates by the forkful. Many dishes are served with a healthy heaping of white rice and plantains.

Veegos

Your jaw might drop when you read about this one, but for the adventurous are still likely to be intrigued. Veegos is a vegan Mexican restaurant. It puts a creative spin on the Lone Star State classic, but it’s far from bland or flavorless.

Think taqeuria-style, with jackfruit tacos, vegan al pastor tacos that go far beyond merely mimicking meat, and unbeatable sopapillas. Stellar service doesn’t hurt, either.

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veegos
You’d better believe you can make Mexican cuisine vegan-style.

Corky’s BBQ

Memphis barbecue, meet the Texas trinity. The Tennessee born-and-bred Corky’s has opened its first-ever Houston area location with a brick and mortar over in Katy. It boasts some beefy goodness with perfectly smoked brisket, ribs and sausage. But it’s truly pushing pork.

That looks like your classic pulled pork, pulled pork nachos over crunchy chips or even a hot pit pulled pork and spaghetti dinner. Or go for a sweet tea-fried chicken sandwich — if you’re not chicken, that is.

Killen’s TMX

You should trust the mighty Ronnie Killen with meat. And in the past, you might have thought that just meant burgers, steak and the almighty barbecue. But with Killen’s TMX, this meat master proves he can wow with Mexican-inspired meats, like barbacoa short ribs and chicharron pork belly.

Killen calls it “Mexican-inspired, Texas-fired” fusing the Tex-Mex genre his way. There are tons of classic plates with barbecue elements, scratch-made moles and house-ground corn tortillas.

killen’s tmx
Killen’s TMX proves Ronnie Killen’s skills know no bounds.

Verandah Progressive Indian Cuisine

Upper Kirby rejoiced last month with the arrival of Verandah, proudly boasting a menu bursting with modern Indian eats. The restaurant comes from Anupama and Sunil Srivastava, the owners of the now-shuttered Great W’Kana Café.

Kebabs abound, from potli, where the meat is cooked inside-out with hot coal in the middle, kind of like a pouch, soft minced meat, plantain and more. The offerings are rounded out with veggie dishes. Those ingredients will be grown in the Srivastava’s own garden.

Dectaur Bar & Pop-Up Factory

The old Beaver’s space has been completely transformed into a trendy, ambitious restaurant incubator. Decatur Bar & Pop-Up Factory serves as a home base for fledgling Houston restaurants looking to refine their menus and skills, working toward permanent restaurants in the future.

The current chef-in-residence is Evelyn Garcia, who’s dreamed up a Mexican-meets-Salvadoran four-course chef tasting menu with ceviche in ginger vinaigrette, Thai-flavored fried chicken and oysters with chili pearls.

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille

This staple Houston area steakhouse opened its newest outpost in the River Oaks Shopping Center last month. Signature dishes are showcased in the stylish digs, including steak tartare, seafood towers, tempura lobster tails and the Filet Terry wrapped in apple-smoked bacon and covered with jumbo lump crabmeat.

It’s Perry’s first location inside of the loop, and the group wanted to make it count. You can say they did, with a two-story palace complete with private dining rooms, a 150-seat bar and stunning lighting and chandeliers throughout.

perry’s steakhouse and grille
Perry’s has opened its first location inside the loop.

Uptown Sushi

Uptown Sushi is finally back in action after temporarily shuttering last year. The Japanese-fusion paradise is offering up its beloved sushi, sashimi, nigiri, Japanese black snapper and soft shell crawfish.

Elevated seating allows diners to watch the chefs at work behind the expansive sushi bar. You can pair it all with handcrafted signature cocktails and hot and cold sake.

Me’lange Vietnamese Restaurant

Authentic Vietnamese cuisine is at your fingertips at Me’Lange, where vermicelli bowls, fried rice, Singapore noodles and pho rule. Not to mention the classic Vietnamese dishes such as lemongrass chicken and Viet’s ginger chicken.

Expect huge portions at this little gem. This Houston restaurant is an excellent value.

Siu Lap City

This hotspot comes courtesy of the owners of the erstwhile Chinese Long Sing Supermarket in EaDo, a regular haunt of esteemed chef Justin Yu. The counter service style has room for roughly 25 diners, ready to chow down on meats — whole ducks and pigs are prepped right there in the restaurant.

Named for the word for “barbecue” in Chinese, Siu Lap City is heavy on the cuisine, with barbecue spare ribs, sour pork, beef tripe and more. Take on a bit of a taste test with the lunch special rice plate: two meats, a vegetable and steamed or fried rice.

Home, chic home.

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