Top 10 Restaurants in the Galleria

Categories: Top 10

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Photo by Menno5D
Long the bastion of boring chain restaurants and overly expensive hot spots, the Galleria has seen a resurgence in the past few years when it comes to food. Chef-owned-and-driven restaurants are upping the ante along Post Oak Boulevard, while places like E-Tao and White Oak Kitchen + Drinks are showing shoppers that it's possible to have a great meal inside the massive mall itself without splashing out or trudging through the subterranean food court.

And in the surrounding blocks around the Galleria, brand-new eateries like family-owned Adair Kitchen and low-key French bistro Etoile Cuisine et Bar are drawing new fans to the area each day. And while there are still plenty of terrific, inexpensive options to stretch your dining dollar -- Zabak's, Jenni's Noodle House, Cafe Mawal, Chacho's and Jake's Philly Steaks spring to mind as just a few -- today's list of Top 10 restaurants in the Galleria has changed quite a bit since the last time we tackled this part of town...in 2010.

And considering that holiday shopping season is right around the corner, getting reacquainted with some good places to fuel your shopping spree isn't a bad idea.

Disclaimer: Because "the Galleria area" can apparently encompass anything from Highland Village to far-flung stretches of Westheimer, we've tightened up the boundaries for the purposes of this list to keep it clean and compact. For purposes of this Top 10 list, the Galleria is defined as anything west of Loop 610, south of Woodway, east of Fountain View and north of Richmond Avenue.

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Photo courtesy of 1252 Tapas
Warm goat cheese with tomato, walnut , figs, honey and sherry relish at 1252 Tapas.
10. 1252 Tapas

The new Uptown Park location of this suburban import (the other two 1252 Tapas locations are in Cypress and The Woodlands) features a sleek, modern menu of traditional Spanish tapas and a much more urban vibe than its far-flung counterparts. Get the tabla alfonso x if you go with a group so that you can taste 1252's array of excellent Spanish cheeses and cured meats, or get experimental if you go on your own: morcilla (blood sausage) with apple and Dijon mustard sauce and pulpitos en su tinta (baby octopus sautéed in its own ink) are two favorites.

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Photo by Groovehouse
Meat is king at Tango & Malbec.
9. Tango & Malbec

Yes, the Galleria is full of steakhouses -- but none of them are quite like Tango & Malbec. The large, well-appointed restaurant features the cuisine and wines of Argentina and its neighboring South American countries, which means lots of meats grilled on a wood-burning fire. The extensive menu has some Italian influences -- items like the carpaccio, provoleta (grilled provolone), and various pizzas and pasta dishes are all expertly prepared. Meat lovers will adore the bife de lomo (filet steak) and the bife de chorizo (rib eye) as well as the Wagyu beef short ribs. Whatever you do, leave room for the magnificent desserts, such as the torta rogel (dulce de leche cake with meringue), the chocolate soufflé and the profiteroles.

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Photo by Minh T Truong
A dim sum platter at E-Tao.
8. E-Tao

In a shopping center saturated with middling fast food and ultra-expensive chains, E-Tao is a welcome happy medium: a low-key, low-cost restaurant with great food. Situated near Nordstrom in the Galleria IV, the newest of the expansions to the gigantic mall, E-Tao serves traditional Sichuan favorites that are far more authentic than one would expect for mall food. While it's gaining a following for its soup dumplings (xiaolongbao), the rice-and-pork-stuffed chicken wings are equally excellent. And if you can't deal with the drive out to Chinatown, E-Tao makes a surprisingly good replacement for the Bellaire Boulevard dumpling houses.


Location Info

1252 Tapas - CLOSED

1101 Uptown Park Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tango & Malbec

2800 Sage, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

E-Tao

5135 W. Alabama St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Oceanaire Seafood Room

5061 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tasting Room -- Uptown

1101 Uptown Park Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Kenny & Ziggy's Delicatessen Restaurant

2327 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

RDG + Bar Annie

1800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Ciao Bello

5161 San Felipe St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Philippe - CLOSED

1800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

5839 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
14 comments
tinyhands
tinyhands

Jenni's wasn't really on the list, just mentioned as part of the previous list. Good thing, since both it and Jake's Philly Steaks just aren't good anymore. And I think Chacho's was a joke to see who was paying attention.

 

Pho Binh, Chama Gaucha, and Burger Palace are all great. Mayuri and India's are good. Sylvia's and Cafe Lili are good, albeit overpriced for what they serve. And a certain sushi place that will go unnamed because I don't want a bunch of hipster innerloopers ruining it.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Chinese Cafe should be on this list; it sure isn't fancy but it is delicious and consistently so. Jenni's PTOOEY.; the post oak location is by far the worst...

theoshu1
theoshu1

Latin Bites technically falls in your border, but that probably is more Tanglewood.

 

The dining options sure look better than when I worked in the area 5 years ago.

del.martinis
del.martinis topcommenter

People complain about the congestion, but I'm all for densely populated built up areas of town..or what should have been our downtown.  The best neighborhoods and cities I've lived in have that feeling of everything being close and packed in.  Having said that, great list!  

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

I avoid the congested Galleria area at all cost, so it's not surprising that I've never been to or even heard of some of these places.  But I would point out that you included Oceanaire which is Landry's owned and therefore should not be on here IMO.  I dined there before the sale and it was good.  Natch though, the menu changed after the sale.

Occupy Food
Occupy Food

If they are not organic what is the point?

overmatt
overmatt

$80 for a bottle of wine is a "bargain"? Excuse me but LOL

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editortopcommenter

 @Jalapeno I've eaten at Oceanaire before and after the changeover and I honestly can't say I noticed a difference.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editortopcommenter

 @overmatt It's a bargain considering the rest of the wine list, for sure.  :)

tinyhands
tinyhands

 @Salvie  @del.martinis Nope. Oishii is already overcrowded and Sage 400 isn't so much of a sushi place as a "let's see what we can roll up in rice & seaweed and call it 'sushi' " place. Like Ra and Uptown.

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