Top 10 Restaurants in Far Northwest Houston

Categories: Top 10

drews_pastry_place.jpg
George Payne
Patrons peruse the case of goodies at Drew's Pastry Place
7. Drew's Pastry Place

Andrew "Drew" Rogers, formerly of Houston Country Club, and his mom run this pasticceria (Italian pastry shop) and it would be just as at home in Upper Kirby as it is in its little spot off of Louetta near Vintage Park. Don't miss the pignoli (pine nut) cookies or the thin-crust pizza with sliced, anise-spiked meatballs -- and you'll be sorry if you don't take home some kind of goodie, like cake, cheese or amaretto cookies, to snack on later. Drew's also puts together some great cookie platters sprinkled with Jordan almonds that I've taken to more than one office meeting.

6. Soto's Cantina

Bless Alison Cook for reviewing this gem near my house, or I would start to believe there is nothing but mediocre Mexican food to be had out here. (Okay, I confess...the fajitas at Lupe Tortilla are awfully tasty. But don't tell anyone I said that.)

Soto's isn't always perfect, but it's often wonderful. The cheese jalapeño tamales, the queso and the veggie enchiladas are some of my favorite things. For the health-conscious, look for an emphasis on lower-calorie options here. There are many shrimp dishes as well as some interesting salads, like the cactus (nopales) avocado salad.

(Another Tex-Mex possibility is the El Tiempo location in Vintage Park. I've only been there once for a very good Mexican breakfast. More investigation is needed.)

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Chuck Cook Photography
Fried banana cheesecake at Mango Tree Thai Bistro
5. Mango Tree Thai Bistro

When I discovered there was good Thai in this part of town, I was so happy. Then I spent the next three visits browbeating this place into giving me something actually authentic. (On the other hand, a friend of mine was probably cursing my name for bringing him his first Thai cuisine on spice level "3." Mango Tree goes up to "5." He's one of those guys that don't "like spicy," but I give him props for trying something new.) When I made a deliberate visit to review it, things were kind of shaky, but things seem to have leveled out a bit since then.

The fish cake appetizers? Yeah, get them. These seared little beauties have no resemblance whatsoever to their pale cousins that you might find in phở. Once I got the owners acclimated to "No, I'm white but I really mean it!" the green curry with pork at spice level 4 is a heaven-sent lunch. (When I have them convinced that I'm dead serious, "5" is a little much, even for me. The first time I ordered something at a "5" here, the server told me he'd never taken an order for that heat level before.) Mango, when in season, and sweet rice is a perfect ending to a great meal, or try the crunchy and creamy fried banana cheesecake.

4. Phở Thanh Long

We food writers are probably less dynamic when we're not working, but "the proof is in the pudding" regarding what we consider good and spend money on regularly. My family and I end up at Phở Thanh Long often. Yes, you can order the phở here, and it's a good bet, but don't limit yourself to it. The place has a sizable menu. I've had thrilling experiences with Vietnamese-style crepes and had nui xào bò lúc lắc on my last visit. It is "Vietnamese shaking beef" with macaroni, a comforting dish that works very well during this time of the year.

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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