Restaurants / Lists

Where to Eat Right Now in Houston

10 New Must-Try Restaurants for the New Year

BY // 01.07.19

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’s the new year, which means it’s time for some all-new restaurants to try out, along with some oldies but goodies you just might see in a new light. These are the must-try restaurants for January to kick off your new year.

Blanco Tacos + Tequila

Take those two, add ‘em up and what do you get? Some elevated Tex-Mex with a homemade twist. This new restaurant just beneath Nobu will tell you straight up: Te Amo Tequila. Their drink menu displays that proudly — and then some.

From sizzling fajitas to creamy spiced street-corn-on-the-cob, they’ve got all the classics. But you can also expect homemade corn tortillas twice daily and the freshest produce around.

blanco te amo tequila
Te Amo Tequila is the name of the game.  


Here, local meets global, neighborhood meets big city. This globally inspired restaurant comes courtesy of a couple of former corporate career types. The Godoys are from Venezuela, and you can see it from the dishes to the restaurant’s name — it’s the word for a certain flowering plant.

The fare’s built on transparency, with classic Italian pasta-making techniques, yielding traditional Bolognese from casarecce pasta, and purple sweet potato-stuffed Agnolotti. The pastries also have the same kind of lovingly handcrafted pedigree. 


  • Bachendorf Finest Designer Jewelry
  • Bachendorf Finest Designer Jewelry
  • Bachendorf Finest Designer Jewelry
  • Bachendorf Finest Designer Jewelry
  • Bachendorf Finest Designer Jewelry
  • Bachendorf Finest Designer Jewelry
  • Bachendorf Finest Designer Jewelry

Edison & Patton

Here’s a bright idea – take in a meal at this hidden little hideaway with some unbelievable brunch. It’s a polished gastropub, if such a thing makes sense, with a spacious patio, brimming with 50 craft cocktails. Think ingredients from apricot liqueur to absinthe, Benedictine to yuzi-infused olives.

They’re the perfect pairings for dinner, with classic eats like burgers and salads. But brunch is where Edison & Patton truly shines, with a limited but robust menu of eats like blueberry cornmeal pancakes and barbacoa omelettes.

Flying Fish

The inventive Dallasite who brought you the hip, rugged Rodeo Goat burger joint is at it again. This time, the Flying Fish chain has come to Space City. Let your dreams take flight with fried fish galore — catfish and tilapia, for sure.

And why don’t you stick around for some mouth-watering hush puppies and gumbo? It’s a crispy-fried trip to the coast. Just without the traffic and gas money.

Blood Brothers BBQ

The name of this pop-up turned brick-and-mortar may be a little dramatic, but the barbecue group does pack quite the punch. They’ve come to Bellaire Boulevard bearing brisket, boudain and beef belly smothered in gochujang.

It’s all about unlikely beginnings, the brainchild of Glitter Karaoke’s owners. They’ve put their spin on the genre with the help of pitmaster Quy Hoang, bringing a mac ‘n’ cheese stuffed with sausage and roasted cream corn.

Latin Bites

This is the place for those desperately seeking refined South American and Peruvian cuisine. The interior is bold, intimate and romantic, but the food is great for any kind of occasion. Contemporary flair seasons every dish. The uninitiated can start off sipping a Pisco Sour to keep it familiar, but soon they’ll be after an order of limo saltado and Peruvian alfajores.

The restaurant lives up to its name, with flavor packed in every little bite — including the tequenos. People might naively suspect something on the scale of mozzarella sticks. Wrong. Order some, you’ll see.

Java Lava Brew

Hawaii’s tantalizing export, Poke, has been trending for years now. So it’s easy to forget all the other dishes the Aloha State has to offer. Enter: Java Lava Brew, the laid-back, upbeat cafe of Hawaii’s finest.

Su’s slow simmering stew with beef and daikon simmered in lemongrass comes highly recommended, as do the kona pancakes with a surprising macadamia nut batter and the aptly named volcano salad. Escape the everyday and get your island grub on.

Shinwari Afghan Restaurant

Houston’s wealth of ethnic food is well-known, but a superb Afghan restaurant is still a find. Shinwari fills the niche with a straightforward selection of dishes loaded with flavor.

Strap in for fluffy naan, chicken kahari and chapli kababs. Did we mention it all starts off with complimentary chicken soup? Now, that’s a good beginning.

Avondale Food & Wine

French bistro L’Olivier was reincarnated as Avondale Food & Wine. It’s a totally new feel, but it’s got the same conscientiousness and care. And, of course, an exceptional wine list. Gone is the hard liquor, making way for 30 delectable wines by the glass.

You can revel in updated American dishes such as sea bass grilled with golden beets and beans and local Black Hill Farm crispy pork belly with Yukon gold potatoes and arugula.

Elliot’s Table

Just a few details about Elliot’s Table: food made from scratch, great music, biodynamic wines. It’s a cozy spot over in The Heights, opened less than two months ago, making a name for itself with a focus on folks getting together.

Enjoy gulf shrimp and stone ground grits, fried turkey breast club or the inspired braised chicken with mole de Oaxaca and queso fresco.

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