Handicapping Houston Restaurant Week: Your Guide to the Best Deals and Meals

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by Troy Fields
Swank dining rooms like the ones at Philippe will soon be filled with hungry HRW diners.
UPDATE: In grand Houston Restaurant Weeks tradition (which used to be just "Houston Restaurant Week," no plural at the end), HRW has been extended once again this year. The month-long dining-for-charity eatstravaganza will run through Labor Day weekend. The last day to get your $20 lunches and $35 dinners will be Monday, September 3. Make your reservations now...

With so many restaurants participating in the month-long Houston Restaurant Weeks this year (more than 150 at last count), it can be difficult to choose which ones to tackle. And since you want to make reservations at nearly all of the participating HRW spots, you'll want to start planning now.

That's why we've put together a handy guide to handicapping Houston Restaurant Weeks. Which restaurants offer four-course dinners for the cost of a $35 three-course dinner? Which ones offer brunch specials? Which ones will take care of your vegetarian friends? Which ones will dazzle your date with an amazing view or extraordinary wine list?

All of those categories are covered in our guide and more, so read on and start making your reservations now. And remember how it works:

  • Two-course lunch menus are $20; $3 of that goes to your area food bank
  • Three-course dinner menus are $35; $5 of that goes to your area food bank
  • You can also donate an additional $10 by texting "HRW" to 20222

Important reminder: These servers are making far less money per tab for an entire month (a month in which they have to pay rent, car notes, phone bills and more) while we all enjoy cheap meals for a good, charitable cause. So consider your servers while dining out for HRW, too; treat them kindly and leave a generous tip.

All links below take you to the menus for the individual restaurants listed.

Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Eggplant involtini -- one of our 100 Favorite Dishes -- is on the HRW menu at Giacomo's.
Bang for Your Buck:
These five restaurants are offering four courses at dinner instead of the typical three-course menus. Come hungry.

RDG + Bar Annie
Ciao Bello
The Fish
Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
Max's Wine Dive

Room with a View:
All five of these restaurants offer stunning views -- some from up high and some from down on the banks of the bayou.

Brenner's on the Bayou
Rainbow Lodge
The Tasting Room - King's Harbor

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My Voice Nation Help

A group of friends always blocks out each Thursday in August for HRW.  Typically we make a 6:30ish reservation and as we get off work, meet at the bar for a drink prior to seating.  So far we have been to Hearsay (review -- "ok, not great.  Service was spotty"), Ibiza (review -- enjoyed food and wine.  Surprised that there is no bar) an Sorrel (review - wish I had chosen differently on my 1st course as I wished the corn "chowder" had a bit more "umph".  Pecan whiskey tart was good, but ice cold).  This week, L'Olivier, next Phillipe.  All in all, I would re-visit our choices so far, except for Hearsay --

Ashley Elaine Stewart
Ashley Elaine Stewart

The Capitol at St Germaine is not offering a 4 course menu... May wan to call and ask before going.


We tried to eat at the Capitol at St Germaine last night. We went based on this article. Well, my party of 5 was presented with 2 different menus, a 3 course and a four course. They said they are offering the 3 course menu and the 4 course was supposed to be removed from HRW website. I will say, the supervisor Tina was so rude and questioned when I made the reservation to see if she had to honor the 4 course. I told her it didn't matter, I came here because of the menu online. We ended up walking out after the way she spoke to my table. The owner, John Nguyen, did come talk to us after we returned to get our cars from valet (we walked over to Line & Lariat and ate) and sincerely apologized and gave us $100 gift card to return. I'm still a little skeptical and not sure if we will. They place was pretty empty, and John said the kitchen was slammed because they were short 2 cooks. we also heard waiters arguing over who was going to take a table. And the women's restroom was pretty dirty. It took us 40 minutes to get our drinks. All in all, a bad experience. I've never been spoken to my a "supervisor" that way. Has anyone been there recently who can convince me I should go back and use the gift card?


Did my part at TQYLA for lunch and had a delicious southwestern wedge salad followed by a tender and well cooked carne asada of surprisingly large portion.  


I am surprised you did not mention Tradicao Brazilian Steakhouse. It seems to me like a 12 course menu because they have 12 different meats, salad bar, lots of sides and dessert. If I am not mistaken both of their locations are in restaurant weeks for dinner.


conebaby topcommenter

 @AES77018 Wow, I am SHOCKED to read that review. My husband and I went (before HRW) and had a terrific meal, service & food & all. I'd go back if I had $100 of their money to blow. We went in late July and truly enjoyed our experience.

kshilcutt moderator editor

 @AES77018 Eeek. Sorry to hear that. How was Line & Lariat?


@kshilcutt - Yes.  General consensus was it was OK, but nothing stood out that would make you want to overlook the service to return.  BTW -- should have mentioned that there was also another "over salt" issue at Sorrel with one of the appetizers.  Love HRW for the very reason that you can find out some of these issues without spending a chunk of change, unless, of course, you are like my group and embelish with several bottles of wine!


 @kshilcutt Last night was L'Olivier -- INCREDIBLE.  So far it gets my vote as "most favorite meal" in this year's HRW experience!  I could sit at the bar, eating the pate and toast points for hours!

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