Top 10 Restaurants Near Hobby Airport

Categories: Top 10

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Photo by photomajik
Frank's Diner on Telephone Road
One of the questions I get most frequently from friends who travel is this: Why isn't there anywhere to eat around Hobby Airport? To which I say: There are lots of places. You're not looking hard enough.

Hobby is in one of those parts of town that require a finer-toothed comb than, say, the Montrose or Upper Kirby areas, where good restaurants are on prominent display. But this just makes finding truly great spots that much more rewarding.

Moreover, some of the genuinely best restaurants in Houston in their categories can be found in the neighborhoods near Hobby: Frank's Grill, where time in the old diner seems to stand still; Shuttle Burgers just south of the airport on Almeda-Genoa; Dot Coffee Shop in the massive Gulfgate shopping complex, an old-timer amidst a thicket of boring chain restaurants; 888 Chinese, where old-school American-Chinese cuisine has never gone out of style; and even an outpost of James Coney Island, Houston's oldest and most beloved hot dog joint.

And that's not even cracking the Top 10.

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Photo by Troy Fields
C&D Burger Shoppe specializes in classic Texas roadside burgers and Frito pies.
10. C&D Burger Shoppe

If you're on the way to Hobby from down south, C&D Burger Shoppe is an easy stop. Equidistant from Beltway 8 and I-45 at the corner of Beamer and Fuqua, this former Dairy Queen has been a mainstay in South Houston since the early 1980s. It turns out better burgers than you'd get at a fast-food joint, for the same price. And here, you can get a Frito pie and a grape Kool-Aid to go with your cheeseburger, along with a heady dose of nostalgia. At lunch, it's a working man's destination, but it's all sleepy small-town vibes at night -- perfect for stopping in for a meal and decompressing on your way home.

9. Mannie's Seafood

As with another favorite, Joyce's Seafood and Steaks, Mannie's serves a hybrid of Mexican and Cajun food -- two cuisines that have historically employed seafood to great acclaim. Mannie's is the only place I know where you can order horchata and gumbo, micheladas and fried frog legs. It's as reliable for its fresh seafood such as cheap Gulf oysters as it is for its fried shrimp and fish platters. And in the grand tradition of other Mexican seafood joints such as Tampico and Connie's, those fried platters usually come with a side of fried rice.

8. Airport Italian Deli

Located just north of Hobby on Airport Boulevard, the aptly named Airport Italian Deli is the closest dining destination on this list. But that's not all this Italian-Cajun deli has going for it. Try the New Orleans-style muffulettas on soft, squishy bread or the homemade lasagna if you're not in too much of a hurry. You'll notice, however, that most people take their po-boys and sandwiches on freshly baked bread to go. Both the price and the food itself will make the idea of stopping by a Subway on the way out of town simply anathema.


Location Info

Frank's Grill

4702 Telephone Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Dot Coffee Shop

7006 Gulf Freeway, Houston, TX

Category: General

888 Chinese Restaurant

403 Winkler Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

C & D Burger Shoppe

10606 Fuqua St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Thai Jasmine Restaurant

10900 Kingspoint Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Tel-Wink Grill

4318 Telephone, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Burger Park

6704 Martin Luther King Jr Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

City Cafe

513 College Ave., South Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pho Binh

10928 Beamer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Airport Italian Deli

8101 Airport Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mannie's Seafood

8520 Gulf Freeway, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
31 comments
dana.tabor
dana.tabor

I have always taken this blog seriously until trying a restaurant from this list. I will be more timid in trusting the lists after visiting Mannie's. There is nothing Cajun about the place and not a single item we ordered was edible. I have had better fried shrimp from the grocery freezer section.

shannon.mcnair1
shannon.mcnair1

Yay for Airport Deli love. Wonderful fresh bread, lasagna and meatballs that are homemade. And poboy bread that is the real deal.

adambevo
adambevo

Glad to see Airport Italian Deli get some love.  I go here at least every other week and the amount of Subway I eat has dwindled to zero.  That muffaleta is amazing.

aperezece
aperezece

I can't begin to describe how happy it makes me to see C&D on this list! I grew up in that neighborhood and I make it a point to grab a burger there whenever I visit my parents.

TexasToast
TexasToast

What? No, Kelly's Country Kitchen? This is the best top ten list so far, I want to try all of them. Except Tel-Wink, already been there.

Peggy Lane
Peggy Lane

I merely give you a challenge worthy of your talents and perseverance.

timblack2
timblack2 topcommenter

Isn't there a Pho Binh at Westhiemer and Fountain View now?

RLDavies
RLDavies

And please don't forget about the Original Kolache Shoppe on Telephone Road! Best, most authentic kolaches in Houston. Made from scratch every day. By nice people. :-)

Every time I come home to Houston, I stop in on my way back to the airport and pick up a dozen to bring to my husband.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Now this is a useful list. Airport food always seems a tad expensive and not all that good. These places sure as hell beat a depressing airport lounge.

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

There are a ton of taquerias in Hobby area.  A ton.  I've tried as many as I can (nowhere near all of them) and two of them stand out.  Taqueria La Catarina and Taqueria Favorita.  Both have homemade corn and flour tortillas.  Catarina has the best chilaquiles I've tried (and I've tried the ones at La Guadalupana, which are very good).  Catarina serves them five different ways.  Try the Yucatan style ones.  They come in a bright yellow habanero sauce. They are a touch on the hot side but that's what you'd expect from a habanero based sauce. Get them with a couple fried eggs.

smkyle
smkyle

The original kolache shoppe is a great place to get a quick breakfast if you have an early morning flight. I'm sure someone will argue this, but they have the best kolaches I've yet to try in Houston.

Anne Perkins
Anne Perkins

You missed Central Texas BBQ right across the street from the airport. Excellent BBQ but only open for lunch and not open on weekends.

danistillman
danistillman

Another great pre- or post-Hobby stop: Taqueria Del Sol on Park Place at I-45.  Cheap breakfast served all day, hot salsa and an attached panaderia next door for that empanada de queso fix.

Jordan Paul Smith
Jordan Paul Smith

Proud to say that I have eaten at most of these places! However, "near" is a subjective term :-p

e_sandler
e_sandler

@timblack2 It's the Godfather 3 of Pho Binh locations. Pretending it doesn't exist makes it easier to appreciate the greatness of its siblings.

texmex01
texmex01 topcommenter

@Danelle Gebhardt Yep, hard to beat Spanky's, best pizza in the area!

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editortopcommenter

@Bruce_Are I'm partial to Taqueria Taconmadre myself and, as @smkyle mentioned below, Taqueria del Sol.

ragazza_007
ragazza_007

Central Texas BBQ's bread pudding is one of the most decadent bread pudding  you've ever eaten!

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

@danistillman  

I ate there once and was disappointed that they did not use homemade corn tortillas.  Maybe it was an off day. Otherwise I thought the food was OK.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editortopcommenter

@Jordan Paul Smith Near-ish?

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

@kshilcutt

I've been to most places on this list. I really like the Fish on Fire at Mannie's. I don't see the appeal of del Sol other than that it's accessible and not scary.  Drive past del Sol and try La Catarina. Have you ever had habanero based chilaquiles? They rock.

yllennoc
yllennoc

@kshilcutt So, the question still remains, why are there so few decent places to eat near Hobby Airport?  Yes, there are plenty "on the way", but very few actually near.

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