Top 10 Restaurants in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest

Categories: Top 10

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Photo by Batli Joselevitz
Little Bitty Burger Barn's burgers are anything but little bitty.
3. Little Bitty Burger Barn

The name doesn't lie -- the place itself truly is little bitty, but the burgers aren't. Little Bitty Burger Barn is known for big, juicy, two-handed burgers and for its wings. Both the burgers and wings can be made with the scalding hot, housemade Nitro sauce, which will singe the hairs right off your chest (and once left me in tears for 30 minutes after eating only one wing). The wings are truly best here when tossed in the house-made here Buffalo sauce and cooled off with a thick chocolate malt. As an added bonus, if you're drinking a pint at Crazy J's across the street -- also owned by Little Bitty Burger Barn -- you can order food from LBBB and have it delivered to you for no extra cost.

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Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Beef stew at Petrol Station is made with Left Hand Milk Stout.
2. Petrol Station

Houston's first full-scale craft beer bar is still its most respected, if a little worn around the edges from years of cask-tappings and vertical tastings. And though it's greatly expanded from its initial days as a beer bar tucked into a converted neighborhood gas station, Petrol is still as friendly and cozy as ever -- even though the backyard and the menu have both grown. Under chef and partner Darren Greenwood, that menu is better than ever and includes new favorites like a grilled Gouda and crab sandwich and beef stew cooked with Left Hand Milk Stout.

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Photo by Troy Fields
Try one of the best burgers in town at Plonk.
1. Plonk Beer & Wine Bistro

Despite the departure of chef Erin Smith a few months ago, Plonk has remained at the top of our list for several reasons: Owner Scott Miller's tremendous wine list, its status as the unofficial clubhouse of Garden Oaks / Oak Forest and continually good food. A patio that beckons in hot or cold weather draws neighborhood residents every night of the week, while the quirky interior boasts two private dining rooms and a wine locker out of every oenophile's dreams. And oh, that food: pizzas straight out of its 3,600-pound stone oven, Cataplana mussels with freshly baked foccacia bread and one of the best burgers in the city.

Check out our other Top 10 neighborhood lists:

Top 10 in Montrose
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
Top 10 Restaurants in EaDo
Top 10 Restaurants in River Oaks



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Location Info

El Rey Taqueria

3330 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Roznovsky's Hamburgers

3401 W. T C Jester, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Facundo Cafe - CLOSED

3103 Ella, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Cottonwood

3422 N. Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Doyle's Restaurant

2136 W. 34th St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Shepherd Park Draught House

3402 N. Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Little Bitty Burger Barn

5503 Pinemont Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Petrol Station

985 Wakefield, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Plonk Beer & Wine Bistro

1214 W. 43rd St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
kingofbongo
kingofbongo

Everyone is clearly entitled to their own opinion and I very much respect the author's; however, to me, it is sad and surprising that Plonk is ranked as #1. Service is terrible. Unless you are part of the "regular crowd" you are in for a disappointing evening. The food is OK but does not make up for the lack of luster in service. This is known fact among area residents.

It is also surprising that Doyle's made it to the list (although t is almost an institution considering how long it has been open) but Cavatore's and Rainbow Lodge were left out. Granted they are a bit further out of the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest neighborhood area (or the "hood" as ReginaDupuis would have it) but, they are much better restaurants.

@ReginaDupuis - I would like to think you are kidding (your comment is kind of funny). If not, you really missed the target on the city, you should move to Dallas. You'll fit right in!

Ryan Johnson
Ryan Johnson

Frida Mexican kitchen is solid traditional mex.

Lizzy Alcala
Lizzy Alcala

I was wondering what that cottonwood place was...yes it is always packed good thing it has lots of space for parking

Houstess
Houstess

Rosnovsky's was a destination back in the 80s.  I loved the buttery griddled buns.  I wonder if it's the same ownership?

ReginaDupuis
ReginaDupuis

That entire area is far too run-down and dangerous to contemplate eating anywhere. My driver won't even venture into those neighborhoods. 

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

Yo Shilcutt, at some point you will be covering the Clear Lake area.  I'm generally a fan of yours, but the last time you made a Clear Lake list you really phoned it in. So before you publish a new Clear Lake list, here are some things to consider:

Korean BBQ needs to be on the list.  And one of the Indian places like Cuisine of India; their lunch buffet is excellent. King Chicken is a must.  Seabrook Classic Cafe is worth considering.  Maybe NASA Fast Food.  Maybe Boondoggle's.  Nobi Public House has great beer and decent sandwiches.

And don't include Sudie's or Egg & I (really?) , or places like Gilhooley's that are not even in the Clear Lake area.

aguilar.charlotte
aguilar.charlotte

Your report of the death of Mytiburger is premature. Although it did close briefly last summer, Shawn Salyers, who owns the Baskin-Robbins franchise down the block on 43rd Street in Oak Forest, rescued it. He spruced up the place, added special events and kids-eat-free nights, home delivers during big football games -- and the place is thriving. --Charlotte Aguilar, Editor, The Leader News

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@kingofbongo Cavatore's and Rainbow Lodge were simply outside the boundaries we used for this post, although I do especially love Rainbow Lodge.

H_e_x
H_e_x

@ReginaDupuisDriver? How pedestrian. I only travel on top of war elephants. No amount of danger is too great for my mighty pachyderm.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@Bruce_Are Hehehe. I heard that quite a bit last time. Truthfully, I don't get down to Clear Lake as often as I'd like to, so I'm really hoping that one of our more well-traveled EOW bloggers will pick that post up because it's definitely an interesting culinary landscape down there. Either that or I'll have to commit to a two-day food crawl in Clear Lake one of these weekends...

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

@FattyFatBastard @Bruce_Are  

Sure, Tookies qualifies as Clear Lake.  And a lot of people would put them in the top 10 in Clear Lake.  I haven't been there since they reopened under new owners so I can't offer an opinion.

T-Bone Tom's was featured on Diner's and Dives.  So maybe they warrant a look as well.

Spitzberg
Spitzberg

@FattyFatBastard @Bruce_Are 

 Let's just call it the South Plain and be done with silly designations. There are probably some good restaurants there, as it was settled by the Cajun Dutch

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