Top 10 Restaurants in Montrose

Categories: Top 10

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This ain't your average buffet; the Sunday brunch at Hugo's requires reservations.
3. Hugo's

Owner/chef Hugo Ortega has become a Houston legend alongside wife and restaurateur Tracy Vaught -- who also operates Prego, Trevisio and Backstreet Cafe -- and their longtime sommelier, Sean Beck. The Hugo's team established the interior Mexican restaurant as one of the finest restaurants in the city, period, and set the bar for modern Mexican food across the country with their success. Ortega has continued to turn out stunning food since opening in 2002, including his famous lamb barbacoa, mole poblano and the best Sunday brunch in town.

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Photo by Mai Pham
Shiro sake at Uchi: King ivory salmon, fennel, cataloupe, lemon and mustard seed.
2. Uchi

James Beard Award-winning Austin chef Tyson Cole's ultramodern Japanese import, Uchi, occupies the old building that housed Houston classic Felix Mexican Restaurant for half a century -- and the young restaurant is already just as popular, positioning itself as a neighborhood restaurant that emphasizes high-quality food and the city's best service. You'll have to make reservations for this dinner-only spot if you want to sit in the steely-chic dining room, but walk-ins can usually be accommodated at the cozy bar. A spot-on sake list (as well as beer and wine) accompanies a menu of "hot" and "cold" "tastings" along with more traditional Japanese items such as sushi, sashimi and rolls. Happy hour is every weekday and offers some of Uchi's favorites -- machi cure with smoked yellowtail, for example, and the skewers of pork belly called bacon sen -- for a drastically reduced price (and you don't need reservations for happy hour!).

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Photo by Troy Fields
The calm before the dining storm at Underbelly.
1. Underbelly

So many of what we've named Houston's best restaurants over the years have been in Montrose -- Da Marco in 2011, Feast in 2009, Da Marco once again in 2007 -- and Underbelly is no exception. The 2012 winner of Best Restaurant in our Best of Houston® issue made Time's list of places to eat prior to Armageddon before it was even open. Billed as "the story of Houston food," chef/owner Chris Shepherd's menu is heavy on the Mexican, Vietnamese, Korean, German, Middle Eastern and other ethnic influences that have shaped Houston's food scene in the last generation. It's heavy on meat, too, as befitting a chef known for his charcuterie, with a full butcher shop attached to the kitchen and a case full of cured meats as a focal point in the dining room. Lunch is quiet and the wood-toned wine bar inviting after work, but dinner services are consistently packed. And expect them to be even more crowded lately: We just named Underbelly's Korean braised goat and dumplings No. 1 on our 100 Favorite Dishes list and Houston Chronicle food critic Alison Cook just gave the restaurant a coveted four-star rating.

Check out our other Top 10 neighborhood lists:

Top 10 in the Heights
Top 10 in Rice Village
Top 10 on Washington Avenue
Top 10 in the East End
Top 10 in the Galleria
Top 10 in Midtown
Top 10 in Memorial
Top 10 in Upper Kirby
Top 10 in Greenway Plaza
Top 10 in The Woodlands
Top 10 in Spring Branch
Top 10 in Little India
Top 10 in Far Northwest Houston
Top 10 in Chinatown



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Location Info

Cuchara

214 Fairview St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Pass

807 Taft St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Hay Merchant

1100 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Music

La Guadalupana Bakery and Café

2109 Dunlavy St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mark's American Cuisine

1658 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

L'Olivier

240 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Indika

516 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pondicheri

2800 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Feast - CLOSED

219 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Da Marco

1520 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Hugo's

1600 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Uchi

904 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Underbelly

1100 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
43 comments
Wuwu
Wuwu

....Criminal  you list Underbelly numero uno....because I'm sure everyone wants to know my top 10 list I have included it....

 

10.  Nidda

9.  Njoy Thai, new place very nice and some of the best curry you will find.

8.  Danton's, nice spot always good service

7. L Oliver, needs improvement but shows promise for sure.

6. Maria Selma.....best tort soup in town.

5.  La Mexicana breakfast tacos, no on does it like them, no one.

4.  Da Marco, high end but worth every penny...

3.  Triniti...place is always solid.

2. Hugo's...that brunch, 'nough said....

1.  Uchi...come on folks this is not only the best restaurant in Montrose this is the best restaurant in the freaking state!  No one and I will repeat no one is in this league.

 

You will notice there is no mention of Underbelly, El Real, Marks, Dolce Vida, Feast or any of these over hyped places everyone has a hard on for.  So many better choices....

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

Mark's is badly overrated.  It would not be on my list.

CNoyes
CNoyes

Jeannine's Bistro for moules frites, Belgian beer on tap and crepes. Perfect fall weather food!

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editortopcommenter

Other restaurants I wanted to include, but which we ran out of room for (ten spots is <i>not</i> enough for Montrose, not at all): Roost, Mockingbird Bistro, Dolce Vita, Vinoteca Poscol, Brasserie Max & Julie, Canopy and -- if it's still considered Montrose -- Danton's.

Serena Godwin
Serena Godwin

Katz yummmmmmy smoke 1st lol Then have Ruben !! Bloody Mary~~,, ! Cheese cake shake ! Fried Pickles... Then Bring a Pie Home......

Delano
Delano

One of these things is not like the others....

That would be Guadalupana. Where I personally love to linger for breakfast. But it's not in the same league grub-wise. Poscol, Nelore, Brasserie Max & Julie, Dolce Vita....I've experienced equally charming moments at all these places, and the food I daresay rises to the level of Mitt Romney's hair before a debate.

Heather Guidry
Heather Guidry

My girlfriend likes Indika, LOVES hugo's and cafe brazil. my vote is, Harry's for breakfast, baba Yega's for a light lunch and niko niko's for dinner.

Jessica Alexander
Jessica Alexander

i havne't lived in houston for 4 years now, and although I am very familiar with Uchi (also here in Austin), I would say Mockingbird, Rivas and i LOVE the mention of La Guadalupana Cafe and Bakery. that was my weekly go-to b-fast spot for years. I miss their pastries sooo much.

Nicholas Dion
Nicholas Dion

All these spots are good. But Uchi stands out to me.

Mo Naqvi
Mo Naqvi

Nicholas Deon, you know your shit sir.

Enidbette Ruiz
Enidbette Ruiz

I no longer go to Niko Niko's after discovering Aladdins right down the block. You should try it out Deana.

Deana Sampson Thibodeaux
Deana Sampson Thibodeaux

mmm good question! Haven't been to the area for awhile when my fave Greek spot changed, so It'll be interesting to see all the comments for new suggestions! Of course we always eat at Niko Niko's and Katz's.

Anthony Reynolds
Anthony Reynolds

Uchi or Underbelly. It's hard to have them against each other as Uchi is a much different dining experience than Underbelly.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

Happy meals at Lola's Depot.

Enidbette Ruiz
Enidbette Ruiz

That's a pretty nice line up. Haven't been to Hugo's in a while!

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

 @Wuwu I once liked Maria Selma a lot. It seems like it has gone downhill a lot in recent years. Cleanliness issues, food not tasting that great issues, a few lousy drinks. I don't even go anymore.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editortopcommenter

 @Wuwu We are truly spoiled for great choices in Montrose. Triniti, though, makes me ask that question once again: What are the boundaries of Montrose? I don't even know what neighborhood I'd put Triniti into...

EatingOurWords
EatingOurWords

@ParkerLewis2000 Thanks! Thinking of doing the Heights next. Any other 'hoods you want to see covered soon?

Delano
Delano

 @kshilcutt The Montrose conundrum again: where is it exactly? Mockingbird and Roost? But not Sorrel? I live around the area and there's so much no man's land, I'm always baffled about what's what.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

 @Delano Just the opposite, I think Guadalupana is perhaps the best. If I wanted to show someone a great example of Houston or Montrose rather than just a good restaurant for anywhere, I'd take them to Guadalupana, and in fact, I have.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editortopcommenter

 @Delano I figured some folks would take issue with La Guadalupana. I'll attempt to defend it by saying that the food and service are always consistent (at least in my experiences) and that it rings true to me as a treasure because it's also one of the few older, family-run places left in what's now a very gentrified neighborhood. That, and Trancito's cakes are just amazing.

Mai Pham
Mai Pham

@Keely Carter Aladdin! It's got my vote! Definitely Top 10. And where o where oh where is Eatsie Boys!!!???

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

 @kshilcutt  @Wuwu Hm, could use the Super-Neighborhood 24 boundaries. That puts Triniti in, but anything east of the Spur like Brennan's out. Seems reasonable.

ParkerLewis2000
ParkerLewis2000

@EatingOurWords west U/southside place/Bellaire. But good luck with that!

jimbo1126
jimbo1126

 @Delano  @kshilcutt I consider Montrose bounded by Shepherd, Gray, Bagby and Westheimer. That's really too much, but a good general description.

 

A great list that I agree could easily have been a Top 20.

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