Restaurants / Openings

New All-Day Cafe Brings Pastries and a Patio to a Houston Neighborhood in Desperate Need of Interesting Restaurants — NoPo is Here

Your Sneak Peek at Ben Berg's Latest

BY // 06.09.21

The day before it’s official opening on Thursday, the NoPo Café, Market & Bar was bustling. A sprinkling of diners were already in for breakfast while the kitchen hummed as staff perfected the avocado toast and the breakfast tacos that Berg Hospitality culinary director Jose Hernandez declares as his morning favorites. This charming boîte on North Post Oak Boulevard brings a much-needed infusion of sophisticated cafe fare to the neighborhood.

In fact, the restaurant came from the suggestion of developer Robert Clay, who owns the complex at 1244 N. Post Oak Road and who wanted an appealing place for tenants to grab a bite or a drink (there is a full bar) without having to take a drive. NoPo anchors a corner in the office development and Berg Hospitality headquarters is right next door.

Not surprising,  Ben Berg‘s team is the first at the counter for the to-die-for croissants and scones, both of which are part of NoPo’s allure — breads and pastries are made in house.

Passing through the bright and airy dining room, which seats 35, we received a thumbs-up from diners who had made an early visit. In the grab-and-g0 section, which also has a handful of tables, workers from neighboring offices stopped in for coffees, fresh juices and perhaps a breakfast quesadilla. Hernandez and NoPo managing director Ruth Messele, who headed Center Court at The Houstonian for 25 years, ensured that the budding operation was on track.

Photo Jun 08, 7 47 57 AM
NoPo Café, Market & Bar opens on North Post Oak with indoor and patio dining. (Photo by Carly Shuttlesworth)

“I’m excited to create a fresh neighborhood dining experience for a rapidly growing area that is really underserved by restaurants and bars,” Berg says in a statement. “Jose and our culinary team really took their time creating these menus while Ruth visited every Houston famers market and met with several local retailers to handpick each item for the market, and I am proud of the end result.”

NoPo’s Menu

The menu is user-friendly with morning favorites including omelettes, crepes, steel cut oatmeal, bacon and eggs, yogurt with berries and the like. Lunch brings an array of sandwiches — buttermilk fried chicken, mortadella, steak — salads and a healthy dose of substantial entrees. Chicken paillard, pork ribs, ricotta tortellini and shrimp tagliatelle are among the midday offerings. Seven varieties of pizza are available for lunch and dinner.

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The dinner menu features an array of appetizers such as burrata salad, baked oysters and frito misto while main courses include steak frites, beef ravioli, seared salmon and items from the lunch menu. In honor of the landlord, the menu features the R.H. Clay Salad comprised of jumbo shrimp, blue crab, young lettuces, cucumber, hearts of palm, tomato and jicama with a lemon vinaigrette.

The all-day American restaurant is open for table service and grab-and-go from 7 am to 9 pm, Mondays through Fridays, and 3 pm to 9 pm on Saturdays. Closed Sundays. Dining is offered on a quaint patio, covered with faux grass and topped with umbrella-covered bistro patio tables overlooking North Post Oak.

Unfamiliar with “NoPo”? Berg coined the acronym as a playful combination of North Post Oak for the area east of  Spring Branch, north of I-10 and west of The Heights. Check out the massive NoPo sign on the side of the building.

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