Top 10 Restaurants in Downtown Houston
New restaurants and bars are opening in downtown Houston faster than we can keep up, thanks to a renaissance around the Market Square Park area that's bringing new life to downtown's north side. But that's not the only part of downtown that's blossoming -- nor are those new restaurants the only game in town.
Photo by telwink
Note: For the purposes of this post, downtown is defined as the 1,178-acre area bounded by I-45, Highway 59 and I-10.
Photo by Troy Fields Niko Niko's in Market Square Park.
Treebeard's, for holding it down with badass red beans and rice since 1978; Hearsay, for helping lead the revitalization charge on Market Square and concocting delicious cocktails; Niko Niko's, for offering pitas in the park; Mia Bella, for hosting the best brunch on Main Street; Macondo, for serving excellent Colombian cuisine and coffee; Kobecue, for bringing Korean fusion to the heart of downtown; and Spindletop, for boasting the best view in the city.
Because these two restaurants are still so new, it's risky to put them any higher on the list, but they both deserve a lot of credit for bringing something bold and new downtown. Batanga offers a modern take on tapas and a beautiful patio to enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner on Market Square. Goro & Gun is the city's first full-scale ramen shop, but also offers a menu of pan-Asian-inspired dishes and a cocktail program to rival that at Anvil, plus outdoor seating on this newly-busy stretch of Main Street.
9. MKT Bar
MKT Bar by night.
Dining inside MKT Bar is slightly akin to an out-of-body experience. You're in a familiar Houston institution (Phoenicia Speciality Foods, which adjoins MKT Bar) and those are definitely Houston's streets outside, but there's an urban European feel to the scene that's unusual and appealing. Credit the long, sleek marble bar and its eccentric wine and beer selection, or the gelato case and menu of Lebanese-inspired pizzas. Grocery shopping in the Phoenicia -- the United Nations of food -- only adds to the fun, while live music in the evenings and specials like MKT Bar's popular steak night keep it busy every night.
These two restaurants in plush downtown park Discovery Green are both owned by the Schiller-Del Grande group, although they each offer different experiences. Enjoy an upscale dinner inside the architecturally stunning Grove, which provides a beautiful view onto the park by day or night. For something far more low-key, get a burger and fries from the fast-casual Lake House and take in fun from the sprawling lakeside deck.