Top 10 Restaurants in Far Northwest Houston

Categories: Top 10


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First off, it is important that I define what I mean by "far Northwest Houston." It is not Spring, Cypress or The Woodlands. It is bordered on the north by Tomball and to the south by Beltway 8. To the east, I've used Kuykendahl Road to divide north and northwest and to the east, it stops at the eastern border of Cypress. Those areas all deserve to be covered independently.

Now that some boundaries are defined, I am happy to say that despite what many seem to think, this suburban area is not completely ruled by chain restaurants. I live out here, so I've always got my ear to the ground for unique places. There are decent representatives of most cuisines in this area these days, too, so whether you need a green curry fix or a good bowl of phở, this guide should be able to help.

10. Peli Peli

Also considered: Perry's Steakhouse, Texas Land & Cattle

This is the hot bimbo of this competition because it made into my list almost on looks alone. Peli Peli is a gorgeous restaurant that I think everyone needs to see...once. It has a 12 Tribes theme that lends itself to some stunning and ornate carved walls. There's a giant acacia tree in the center of the restaurant. I was mightily intrigued to find out what South African cuisine was like. It turns out that it's a little like Malaysian cuisine, but here's the problem: I don't want a steak covered in sweet sauce. However, the dried beef and sausage are good bets, and the bizarre thing is that I had a very tasty chicken-fried steak here that was a lunch special. Go figure. Don't be surprised if the chef shows up to tell you off-color jokes. That's part of the appeal.

waza_sushi_counter_sm.jpg
Phaedra Cook
The sushi counter and chef at Waza
9. Waza Sushi & Robata Grill

Contender: Hido

I fully expected Hido to make it into this list. I've had a few successful business lunches there and found the sushi, sashimi and miso to be the best in the area (although, granted, they are no Kata Robata). On a repeat visit with friends, we had stellar appetizers and then Hido totally blew it with rolls rendered almost inedible with too much sauce, mayonnaise and other unnecessary accoutrements dumped on top. It was just gross.

waza_interior_sm.jpg
Phaedra Cook
The gorgeous entrance hall at Waza
Waza has a few flaws of its own. For example, I thought the tuna sashimi had an "in the refrigerator with the veggies" off-flavor. What put Waza over the top? The service is not just good; it's warm and friendly. The restaurant is beautiful. Salmon here was especially rich, soft and buttery and I had dobin mushi for the first time. It's a soup with seafood and chicken served in a little teapot and while the meats got a bit tough, the dark dashi was a tastebud teaser.

The cocktail menus at both places are just goofy...full of cutesy names, vodka and syrups. Stick with sake and hot tea.

8. Redfish Seafood Grill (249 location)

Contender: Bonefish Grill

Alas, I'm not sure there are any great sushi rolls in this part of Houston. Redfish Grill has some gigantic ones for a great price, but they also suffer from too-much-sauce-and-stuff-on-top syndrome. However, I had the best fried shrimp in my life here. It's super-fresh and butterflied. The fish here is also very fresh and I like the dishes that have low-key preparations. Just a little lemon, butter and herbs can sometimes elevate good ingredients to greatness. For your pals that aren't in a fishy mood, there is grilled duck, steak and veal.

Cypress residents might be happy to know that there's another Redfish Seafood Grill just off of 290. With that being said, new kid down the block Bonefish Grill also has great fish dishes and is breathing a bit on Redfish Grill's heels. Competition is good for us consumers.

Location Info

1252 Tapas - CLOSED

110 Vintage Park Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pho Thanh Long

21542 State Highway 249, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mango Tree Thai Bistro

10130 Grant Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Peli Peli

110 Vintage Park Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Waza Sushi & Robata Grill

6927 FM 1960 Road W., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Redfish Seafood Grill

19550 State Highway 249, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Drew's Pastry Place

10300 Louetta Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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37 comments
ManLovesFood
ManLovesFood

Fascinating and extremely helpful - thanks for all the good ideas. We live in Spring and consider ourselves serious foodies, but you've still found a couple place that we've missed or hadn't gotten to yet, so now we have our marching orders!

I would suggest a few other places that didn't make the cut: For sushi, I'm increasingly impressed with Akaihi (Louetta at Stuebner Airline). I've already written Carl about it and I think it holds up well against many sushi restaurants in the city. Maybe not Top10 Houston, but Top 10 Far Northwest for me. I prefer it to Waza. 

I missed seeing Mezzanote - perhaps it's not on the map, I'll check again. I believe this to be easily the best restaurant on the far northwest side, always excellent in every category. We are also big fans of Brix in Vintage Park. I know it's a wine bar but their food is amazing - try the truffle fries or even the not-so-simple sliders.

Thanks again for paying attention to us far-northsiders. Well done.

jeffdzz
jeffdzz

For those looking for a good asian place in NW Houston, try Mosa Asian Bistro at West Rd. and the Beltway.  I had driven by it many times and finally went there and was impressed.  I'm a sushi novice, but found the Mosa roll delicious and the smoked salmon sashimi very fresh and tasty.  Also, my kids really enjoyed some of the other typical dishes (like Mongolian Beef).  The hot and sour soup was very good, better than than the typical generic kind.  Give it a try.

tvw61
tvw61

Right on review of Season's Harvest! You will find that the food is worth the "wait" because it is NOT pre-packaged, processed stuff....the staff is working hard to prepare your meal just for you! Also, it's a great place for folks with food allergies or special dietary needs---the owners will work with you to make your dining experience pleasant! Outstanding!

jeffpoppe
jeffpoppe

I would have to disagree with the Pho Thanh Long review. I love Vietnamese cuisine and have eaten at many different restaurants throughout Houston. When i first moved out to North West Houston some years back i would try any Vietnamese place i could find. I went to Pho Thanh more than a couple times and did not have a very good experience there. Their pho is so-so. One time i got their "Special" fried rice and it really seemed like the entire dish was previously frozen. Terrible. 

The best Vietnamese in the area i believe is Pho An 2. The pho is amazing as well as many of their other dishes. Anyone in the Willowbrook area that wants killer Vietnamese, Pho An 2 is the place to go.

scottmoorejr
scottmoorejr

Right on about Soto's.  I was on them before they moved into their own new place.  Juan Soto and his brothers work their tails off.  I think their salsa is the best and their fajitas are tremendous.  They use the outside skirt steak whereas most places use the inside cut.  Much better.  Suggest you check out Ganache Dessert Bar on Spring Cypress Road a few miles east of 249.  Chef Michael was trained in Houston and has some very creative desserts.  They make some delightful sandwiches, serve coffee, and great wine.  Been open now about 3 months.  Relaxing place with small plate options to enjoy with a good wine.

mag1124
mag1124

Peli Peli, Mango Tree and Drews' are my favs.  I have been impressed with the lunch trio at Mia Bella.  Still need to check out 1252 and a new restaurant opened at the beltway and gessner that is on the list too.  I tried "Kung Food".  With a name like that I just had to check it.  Its ok, but I'm still looking for a great chinese restaurant in the area.....

Carlitos Way
Carlitos Way

I may be getting the locations wrong, but I think the Indian Wok is closed.

FRL713
FRL713

Any opinions on Santa Fe Flats?  Houston is strangely devoid of New Mexican food (aside from Chuy's) and I've been considering making the trek out there for some green chile fare.

CarlRosa
CarlRosa

Phaedra, allow me to take a moment to congratulate you on your choice - Redfish.  If anyone in Houston is a big fan of fusion sushi rolls and interested in a unique place the visit, Redfish Seafood Grill is the place.  Most importantly, the owners are the type of people who roll up their sleeves and clean the table side-by-side with the wait staff.  The customer truly comes first.  Personally, I am not necessarily a big fan of Waza, so I was delighted to see Redfish on the list.  :)

Carl Rosa

j_glover
j_glover

Can't wait to try these new gems! Thanks for doing the research, Phaedra! 

Craig Kendall
Craig Kendall

I've heard good things about Waza, but usually go to Matsu just down the road for my sushi fix.

brettsinger1
brettsinger1

Top pizza is Paul's Pizza on Louetta and Stuebner Airline across from Klein High School. BBQ chicken, buffalo chicken, and Alfredo pizzas are all a must.

America's is my top choice for the northwest area.

donovan
donovan

@jeffpoppe I've had some Vietnamese customers of mine recommend the Pho Resteraunt in the Hong Kong Market shopping center @ Veterans Memorial and Bammel North Houston. 

phaedra.cook
phaedra.cook

@scottmoorejr Scott, is Ganache using Tejas Chocolate, by chance?


They have a Spring address... I sense a Top 10 in Spring might be coming up in the future. Y'all are making my list for me. ;) 

phaedra.cook
phaedra.cook

@mag1124 I think we're ALL still looking for great Chinese in this area. :( Hong Long ostensibly has Chinese, but it's so hit-and-miss that I couldn't see including it here. Let me know if you find anything good. Is the new place that new Turkish Grill? Some friends and I tried to hit that up on a Sunday and found, contrary to what their web site said, they were closed.

phaedra.cook
phaedra.cook

@Carlitos Way I was just there about two weeks ago. The one I'm referring to is by the Aerodrome on the 249 feeder next to Itz. They may have had a previous location that they closed down.

J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

@FRL713 It's been a long time since I've been there but it was, last I visitied, very good casual new mexican food. The odd counter service/wait staff mix was weird but I have no idea if that is still the case.  And even so...it's no big deal.  We expected them to cave and go more traditional Tex-Mex early on but they stuck with it and it's been probably almost 10 years now.

ecnordstrom
ecnordstrom

@FRL713 I was pleasantly surprised the first time I went. I was in the area, it was late, and SFF was the only option. We closed the place down that night. Found myself in the area again last weekend, suggested SFF for dinner. Everyone enjoyed.  If green chiles are your thing, give it a go. 



phaedra.cook
phaedra.cook

I had some good red chile enchiladas there (with a fried egg on top) and tried several of their salsas. They were good. I haven't been compelled by the experience to return. I'm glad there is a New Mexican option in the area, though and I'm sure I'll give them another shot someday.

phaedra.cook
phaedra.cook

@CarlRosa Thanks, sir. I am baffled that we don't hear more about Redfish. It's a very nice restaurant and I do adore their seafood and fish. The rolls are very generous... just a bit overwrought for me sometimes.

J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

@brettsinger1 Paul's is a pretty hollow shell of what it used to be.  Unless they got their crap back in order after the divorce, it was a complete mess last time 3 times I was there.  It's just a very dirty, decent local chain now.  hardly the gem it was 6 or 7 years ago.  Go to Mellow Mushroom instead.

phaedra.cook
phaedra.cook

@donovan @jeffpoppe I've gotten some mixed feedback on Pho An 2 so they didn't get a visit this time around, but I will definitely check them out. Donovan, what are your thoughts about that Hong Kong Market location in general? Is it as good as the one on Bellaire or at least a good smaller version of it?

scottmoorejr
scottmoorejr

@phaedra.cook Chef Michael is getting his plan together to incorporate some of chocolate bars into his place so soon we hope, and thank you.  Top Ten Spring is a great idea.  Some of my favorites are: Olivit Mediterranean on Louetta; Jax Burgers on 2920; Kim Long on Kuykendahl, and Italian Cafe on Kuykendahl

donovan
donovan

 I wond up looking in that general directions since my office is a couple of miles east of 249 on the beltway. If you go to Kabob Korner with someone try the Iraqi Kabob, it's great but too much food for one person. 

mag1124
mag1124

and what did you think of the Mellow Mushroom?

donovan
donovan

@phaedra.cook It's an older shopping center, I've not been in the store just the Pho Restaurant outside of it. As far as the Bellaire location, I've never been there so I can't compare them.  Though as an overall the area is nicer then some of the strip centers to the south at Greens and Veterans. 

J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

@mag1124 funny you should ask, I wrote it up here not too long ago.  I've been there 3 more times since I wrote it up and I enjoy it a lot. It's a bit pricey if you eat alone but a reasonable couple could split a small and get out super cheap. Go with 3 or 4 and get a bigger pizza and its priced perfectly fine. Best craft beer lineup on the entire north side of Houston bar none.

http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/2012/11/_at_first_glance_the.php

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