Help the Greater Houston Visitors and Conventions Bureau Update Its List of 15 Iconic Houston Meals

Categories: Local Spotlight

If we were to send visitors out for a steak in Houston, it'd be to Vic & Anthony's.
Whether or not you agreed with our own recent list of our 100 Favorite Dishes in Houston, most residents have their own very definite ideas of what essential Houston meals are. Perhaps it's barbecue at Thelma's or oysters at Gilhooley's. Maybe it's crispy-skinned snapper at Reef or Vietnamese crawfish at Wild Cajun. Either way, every Houstonian has at least one meal or one restaurant they guide visitors to when they want to dine in the Bayou City.

Last week on Twitter, the Greater Houston Visitors and Conventions Bureau asked for help in updating its own list of 15 Iconic Houston Meals. The list as it currently stands includes:

Personally, we'd sub out the steak at Taste of Texas for one at Vic & Anthony's, and the pancakes at Buffalo Grille for those at Fountain View Cafe. And there should be at least one food truck meal on there, for which we'd probably sub out Barnaby's.

What changes would you make? Let the GHCVB know on Twitter: @VisitHoustonTX.

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Location Info

Thelma's Bar-B-Que - CLOSED

3755 Southmore, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Gilhooley's Raw Bar

222 Ninth St., Dickinson, TX

Category: Restaurant


2600 Travis St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Wild Cajun Crawfish

6533 Wilcrest Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


1701 Shepherd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Buffalo Grille

4080 Bissonnet, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


2055 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

El Rey Taqueria

910 Shepherd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Frenchy's Chicken

3919 Scott St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Fung's Kitchen

7320 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Goode Co. Texas Bar-B-Q

8911 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Les Givral's Kahve - CLOSED

801 Congress St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Original Ninfa's On Navigation

2704 Navigation, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Ragin Cajun

4302 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Star Pizza

2111 Norfolk, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Taste of Texas Restaurant

10505 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse

1510 Texas St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Fountain View Cafe

1842 Fountainview, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Chase Thorn
Chase Thorn

Totally missed Gatlins BBQ...How is that even possible?

Michael Terry
Michael Terry

a little bit of everything throughout the day!


Burger - Bernie's Burger Bus

Breakfast - Tel Wink Grill

Pan Fried Pork Dumplings at 888 off of Woodridge

Drunken Noodles at Vieng Thai

Mac n Cheese at Jus' Mac

Special Garlic Tofu at Mai's

Cheesecake Shake at Katz's Deli

Saddle Blanket Chicken Fried Steak at Hickory Hollow BBQAunt Etta's Chocolate Cake at The Chocolate Bar

Gnocchi at Piola

Any pie at the House of Pies


burger at mockingbird bistro

fajitas at ninfa's

churrasco beef at churrascos or americas

crab cake at vic & anthony's

crab meat tostadas at rdg (cafe annie)

lobster taco at hugo's

crab-stuffed quail at fuad's  (black forest beef rolls are fantastic too)

indian-chutney glazed halibut at ibiza (one of the best things i have ever eaten)




blueberry tart at mark's

tres leches at americas

fluffer nutters from fluff bake bar

dessert rosa from carrabba's



I was looking their website last week for some reason: it's pretty clueless about food. Think they also do a print brochure and simply recommend their advertisers when it comes to restaurants, which is why no one with an ounce of sophistication would use it.

William Pora
William Pora

iconic of houston? in that case shouldnt there be at least 1 mickey D's or burger king in there?


@EatingOurWords @VisitHoustonTX Dessert: Bananas Foster at @BrennansHouston and take Ragin Cajun off the list for crawfish! Bleh!

FattyFatBastard topcommenter

If someone was coming into town for a week, and wanted suggestions on what they should try, my thoughts would be:


Vietnamese egg rolls at Hollywood

Fajitas at Pappasitos

Felafel at Zabak's

Pork Chop at Reef

Cajun coleslaw at Tony Mandola's

Tex Cajun Virgin at BB's

Oysters at Gilhooleys

Fried egg sandwich at Max's

Shrimp & grits at Laurenzo's

Boudin Kolaches at Shipleys

Cheese enchilada & tamale plate at El Real (and pray it's on a good night.)

Sweet water duck at Goode Co.

Breakfast tacos at Freebirds

Chicken Fried Steak at Ouisie's


And best burger?  That now goes to Hubbell & Hudson for their Wagyu burger.



@houstonpress We agree with you on that last bit of the article.. cc: @VisitHoustonTX

gossamersixteen topcommenter

La tapatia?!? Do they want to make people sick.?

jeffbalke topcommenter

No offense to them, but what a bland ass list. Breakfast Klub not on there for breakfast. Does anyone seriously think Buffalo Grille has a better breakfast? They best they could do for breakfast tacos was El Rey? Everyone who knows anything knows the Bahn Mi at Cali is the best in town. Taste of Texas??? RAJUN CAJUN???




Wow--where to start?! The only 2 that would make my list are fajitas at Original Ninfa's and fried chicken at Frenchy's.  Here's a rough effort at my list (assuming that places only be in Houston and have been around for at least 5 years, and that the dishes be breakfast/lunch/dinner plates):



Catfish, eggs, grits, The Breakfast Klub

Breakfast tacos, lemonade, pan dulce, Taqueria del Sol

Dim sum, HK Dim Sum, 9889 Bellaire

Khichiri and katakat, Indika (on brunch menu)



Grim burger (or any other, or enchiladas on Wednesdays), Lankford

Fried chicken, red beans/rice, gumbo, Frenchy's

Pho, Pho Binh Trailer

Stuffed Pljeskavice, Cafe Pita

Chicken fried steak, Ouisie's

Ribs and brisket, Burn's

Oxtails, This Is It

Half Slumdog/Half Gateway of India Pizza, Bombay Pizzeria

Huachinango a la plancha con camarones, Tampico

Border Quail, Goode Company Taqueria

Snapper Sheridan, Tony's


Extras (these should be on the list, too!):


Not around for 5 years:

Saag paneer omelette, Pondicheri

Gulf crab and shrimp sandwich, Local Foods



Pupusas at La Pupusa Alegre

Mouhamarra, Armenial tabouleh, Cafe Pita

Felafel, Zabak's

Hot glazed donuts and boudin kolaches, Shipley's

Bayou Goo Pie, House of Pies

Sweet corn or butter pecan ice cream, Hank's

Souffle, Tony's

Tres Leches, Americas


Out of Town:

Smoked oysters, Gilhooley's

Steak for 2, Bill's Steakhouse, Humble/Kingwood

Crawfish, Crawfish Shack, Croby


Fajitas--Lupe Tortilla....Crawfish--Seafood Shoppe.  Oysters--Gilhooly's.  Barbecue--Old Fashion Barbecue on Belfort.  Did I miss anything?

BobbyFreshpants topcommenter

 @erinhickscooks yuck, Crab, Crab, Lobster, Crab. Seafood in Houston is terrible.

A Houston list should be more about tacos and bbq, things that are done right. Just because the restaurant is expensive doesn't make the food good.


You're referring to H Press website right?

FattyFatBastard topcommenter

 @nechlaw1 Not sure you can call the felafel a "snack."  I can rarely finish the large in one sitting.

kshilcutt moderator editor

 @nechlaw1 I wish I could like this post a dozen times.


I think the commenter means the GHCVB's website, Jayne.

Funny, you strike me as one of those Undecided Voters I've been hearing about.


 @FattyFatBastardVery true--I just wanted to find a way to include more places on the list! I used to eat felafel from the parents of the current owners of Zabak--what a great Houstonian family.


 @jenwexley2 Guess round dese parts right chere, they ain't never heard of SAR-CASM. (big word right chere!)


FattyFatBastard topcommenter

 @nechlaw1 Mama's po boy.  Ate there since '88.  Oddly enough, the reason I tried it at all was from a SNL skit about felafels.  I had to know what the fuss was about.  Thank God I had this one first.  The other felafel places in town are awful.

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