Top 10 Restaurants in the Third Ward

Categories: Top 10

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Photo by Troy Fields
Ribs in Bobbie Patterson's famous sauce at Bobbie Que's.
7. Bobbie Que's

Chef Bobbie Patterson moved to Houston from Akron, Ohio in 2006, but despite his Yankee pedigree knows plenty about meat. His barbecue sauce line has won awards at food shows and barbecue conventions and sells very well at retail stores and online. Patterson opened the barbecue restaurant on Scott as a sideline to the sauce business. The creamy potato salad, homemade coleslaw, macaroni and cheese and fluffy cornbread are all outstanding. Patterson also prides himself on his fried catfish and his fresh-ground, hand-formed hamburger, but it's his ribs that we like most.

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Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Enchiladas a la Taylor at Spanish Village.
6. Spanish Village

Spanish Village evokes everything people love about the comfort of Tex-Mex cuisine: a sprawling but cozy set of dining rooms that reminds you of your aunt's house at Christmas with all the cousins and the noise and family photos and the tacky colored lights strung from room to room; gooey cheese that wraps your stomach and your heart in warmth (and perhaps cholesterol, but who cares?); simply constructed guacamole salad without any fuss or pomp, served with idiosyncratic bits of carrot and celery stuck on top; a hot plate of enchiladas with nothing else but ground beef, plenty of cheese and raw white onions telling you that even if everything else in the world is in a state of disarray and chaos, this one thing will always be here and always be the same and you'll be okay.

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Photo courtesy of This Is It
Catfish and grits for breakfast at This Is It.
5. This Is It

This Is It, one of Houston's oldest and most recognizable soul food restaurants, started in Midtown but has since picked up and moved down the street from Texas Southern University. Originally opened in 1959 under Frank and Mattie Jones, This Is It is run today by grandson Craig Joseph Sr. and his wife. The family-run restaurant still turns out classic Southern comfort food and still makes my favorite plate of oxtails in town, stewed until the tender, fatty meat falls from the bones with a breath. It's packed to the plate glass windows at lunch, and good luck finding a parking spot along Blodgett. My advice: Wait until the lunch rush is over around 1 p.m., or head out early and get there when it first starts serving at 11 a.m.

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Photo by Troy Fields
Vegetable sandwich at Doshi House.
4. Doshi House

This Third Ward coffeehouse/art space also offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, most of it vegetarian and all of it delicious. Along with Conscious Cafe and Green Seed Vegan, it's one of the increasing number of vegan or vegetarian options in a part of town not historically known for such granola pursuits. Breakfast at Doshi features Greenway coffee, pastries and other goods from local bakers (including gluten-free options), while lunch offers a small selection of panini, soups and salads. Dinner offers a rotating selection of one filling, vegetarian meal per night -- a Thai red curry one night or Indian butter "chicken" the next -- and is always inexpensive. Fresh juices and smoothies are available throughout the day, and the cozy space invites you to kick back, relax and enjoy the calm, quiet atmosphere.


Location Info

Venue

Map

Alfreda's Cafeteria

5101 Almeda, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Conscious Cafe

2016 Scott, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Bobbie Que's Rib Shack

3602 Scott, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Spanish Village

4720 Almeda, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

This Is It Soul Food

2712 Blodgett St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Doshi House Cafe

3419 Dowling St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Cream Burger

3481 Elgin St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Green Seed Vegan

4320 Almeda Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Frenchy's Chicken

3919 Scott St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
32 comments
christiantuck
christiantuck

That's the "Flower Man" my friend Mr. Cleveland Turner, a 3rd Ward Icon.  Why did the Vegan Cafe miss this list?  It is surely one of 3rd Ward's bestesest!!!

christiantuck
christiantuck

That's the "Flower Man" my friend Mr. Cleveland Turner, a 3rd Ward Icon.  Why did the Vegan Cafe miss this list?  It is surely one of 3rd Ward's bestesest!!!

thatre4life
thatre4life

rays bbq shack on ost is the best bbq in 3rd ward/south park. their potato salad is out of this world. glad thelma's closed.  glad bobbyques closed.  bbq sauce tasted like syrup and the meat tasted like water.  sometimes i see a bobbyques truck on almeda sitting outside of the club. doshi's red beans dish is tasty because it is kind of peppery. food at breakfast club is good.  there is always a line wrapped around the building.  food at reggae hut is not tasty.  food at green seed is good some days, some days not.  kind of inconsistent. but, it always expensive. i hear people say they go to spanish village for the margaritas, not for the food. cream burger is good, so is frenchy's but of course can't really enjoy the food because of worries about too much fat. also, i have heard about a place called lucille's around here which is supposed to be good. i got the navy beans at conscious cafe.  the dish tasted funny, kind of bitter like all the vegetables they cook in the dish had been frozen and rewarmed several times.  did not like.  have not been back.  

kevin818
kevin818

"forced" integration?  I don't think there was anything forced about it.

major_delmac
major_delmac

HEY HOW COME THE VEGAN PLACE WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO GOT THE 'LIKE US ON FACEBOOK' SIGN IN THE BG?  WHY U NO LIKE LEGACY 3RD WARD CAFES ON FACEBOOK?

jvp3
jvp3

These are all great, but I can't believe you didn't include Thelma's BBQ, which moved from EaDo to the Third Ward (corner of Scott & Southmore; technically Riverside Terrace, but since Third Ward and Riverside Terrace are right next to each other and predominantly African American, many consider the entire area "Third Ward")! New digs (and more elbow room), same old wonderfully gruff attitude, and still some of the best BBQ you've ever had. Also worth a mention -  Reggae Hut on Almeda, just a couple blocks north of Alfreda's! Superb Caribbean cuisine and atmosphere! Plus, just a nit-picky little correction - Chief's Cajun Snack Shack is not on Southmore at Live Oak; it's on Live Oak, just south of Southmore.

James Gomez
James Gomez

I wish Frenchy's wasn't so proud of their chicken. My wallet says no, but my tummy says yes.

Larry Gabriel
Larry Gabriel

that burger has to be from chiefs!!!!! i just know it.

Ian Smith
Ian Smith

had no idea there were so many "alternative" eating spots around here. Frenchy's ftw!

Noelle A. Perry
Noelle A. Perry

my brain totally interpreted this as "top 10 restaurants in the third world".

Shayan
Shayan

You guys forgot to add this cool urban grocery/wine bar in the Third Ward called Nature's Market. I'm surprised that it was not on the Top 10. It too is also apart of the Third Ward community. 

jlwm
jlwm

I passed by Bobbie Que's today and it's boarded up. Looks like it's been gone for a while.

Danny Neumann
Danny Neumann

Come for the food, stay for the heart attack.

LaLainya Brown
LaLainya Brown

Think I'll just work my way down the list... with a couple stops at Frenchy's in between for sweet potato pie!

Benjamin George Ward
Benjamin George Ward

oh okay.. I was about to write this off until I saw Frenchy's was number one. You got that right!!!

Gail Singer
Gail Singer

Wow, not one mention of Blues legends that sprung from the Third Ward?

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

LOVE Alfreda's and Chief's. This Is It is just like Thelma's--the food isn't worth the mouth and I won't be talked to like I have four legs and a tail when I'm spending my money.

Mitsy Marshall Parton
Mitsy Marshall Parton

Thanks for this. We were driving around over there a couple of weeks ago and I just KNEW there must be great stuff.

Elouise
Elouise

Spanish Village all the way!!

christiantuck
christiantuck

That's the "Flower Man" my friend Mr. Cleveland Turner, a 3rd Ward Icon.  Why did the Vegan Cafe miss this list?  It is surely one of 3rd Ward's bestesest!!!

fidelio
fidelio

@jvp3  Thelma's closed or so I heard recently.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@jlwm NOOOOOOOOOO! I am devastated. I really had no idea. Are you sure you're not thinking of the one on Jones? Either way, thanks for the heads up; will try to figure out what happened.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@Danny Noman Except at the three vegetarian places noted on the list.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@Gail Singer This is a food blog. I'm sure the guys at Rocks Off, our sister music blog, would have lively contributions in that area however.

jlwm
jlwm

@kshilcutt it's not the one on Jones. I'm talking about the one smack dab in the middle of Third Ward on Scott and Alabama.

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