Top 5 Cheesecakes to Try in Houston

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Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Baklava Cheesecake at Cafe Pita

Cheesecake -- be it New York-style, Chicago-style, vegan or savory -- is a pretty wonderful invention and I wish I could kiss the Greek who came up with the first recipe. Because, seriously, cheese on its own is one of the best things in the world and praise the Lord someone managed to make it even more decadent. In honor of him/him and National Cheesecake Day (July 30), here are five to try in Houston.

5. Gorgonzola Cheesecake (Happy Fatz). There's no law that cheesecake has to be sweet, and the chefs at Happy Fatz wonderfully exploit this fact by offering a full menu of savory cheesecakes (in addition to some awesome sweet kinds, like Turtle and Oreo). I like the gorgonzola because different dimensions of its pungent flavor emerge depending on whether you eat it warm or chilled.

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Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Pumpkin Cheesecake at The Chocolate Bar

4. Pumpkin Cheesecake (The Chocolate Bar). I first tried this cheesecake while vetting candidates for my Top Ten Pumpkin Dishes To Try in Houston, and since then I eagerly await autumn and the return of this seasonal specialty. The layers of butter crust, creamy cinnamon-squash filling, and candied pecans give rise to a multi-textural eating experience and, I guarantee, will make you look forward even more to Thanksgiving.

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Photo by Lisa Gochman
Red Velvet Cheesecake

3. Triple Chocolate Cheesecake (Ooh La La Bakery). Sometimes I like to binge on baked goods alone in my study while watching Mob Wives (who doesn't?!). Now, thanks to Ooh La La Bakery, I know what will be the sweet object of my next feast. Although triple-chocolate-style desserts can often be too saccharine even for my tastes, the infusion of cheese fats works to mellow the rich striations of dark and milk chocolate, chocolate cookie crust, and glaze, such that you can easily finish a large piece. And even maybe top it with chocolate ice cream.

2. Red Velvet Cheesecake (Petite Sweets). One night, after a very filling dinner at BRC Gastropub, I demurred when our server asked if we had room for dessert. My friend, who is not a fool like me, ordered the red velvet cheesecake (supplied by Petite Sweets) and offered me a bite, which I accepted. Then she proceeded to talk to me about something semi-serious like campaign finance reform and all I could think of was the deep cocoa flavor of the scarlet filling, casually adorned with dollops of vanilla cream. Next time, I ordered my own slice.

1. Baklava Cheesecake (Cafe Pita). Given that I've gushed about this cheesecake in the past, you shouldn't be terribly surprised it's numero uno on this list. The flaky sweetness of the delicate baklava finds a firm complementary base in the thick vanilla cheesecake, and this conjunction of nuts and cream, dairy and phyllo makes you wonder why these two desserts, so fabulous in their own right, are ever eaten apart.

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15 comments
CathiM
CathiM

Elizabeth's pecan praline cheesecake at Ciao Bello is the best I have ever tasted.  Incredible texture.

guurl
guurl

Kenny & Ziggy's has the best cheesecake in town.  They have plain or topped with strawberries or blueberries.  The plain is the best!

MadMac
MadMac

Okay, red velvet cheesecake. Shows over. Really, shut down the interwebs, it's all done. Collect your things and go home.

Seriously, Ms. O'Leary, I'm on a raw-veggies-only plan this week and you're killing me, here. You do this one mo' 'gin and I'm packing my things and moving home to mother's.

Jenandtonic
Jenandtonic

The savory cheesecakes from Happy Fatz looks awesome, but trust me when I say to get the turtle cheesecake. I'm not really a sweets person but their desserts are absolutely delicious.

tugent
tugent

Kenny & Ziggy's. Much better and more authentic than the hipster crap listed here.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Here's a good secret:  Cheesecake is also one of the easiest things to make.  Only problem is that you have to chill it overnight before you can enjoy it.

brookeviggiano
brookeviggiano

omg baklava cheesecake? that makes me the happiest person alive

h_e_x
h_e_x

@tugent Something tells me you haven't been to Cafe Pita. 

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

@tugent  

K&Z's is all about hipsters. You must be a hipster because the hipster thing to do is to trash places for being too hipster. Hipster.

jsoleary
jsoleary

@tugent nothing listed here is "crap", fancy boy, and i am curious as to your definition of hipster, since that seems to encompass everything from mainstream vendors (Chocolate Bar) to veritable hole-in-the-wall ethnic joints (Cafe Pita).  By "hipster", do you mean anything that tastes good?

neilquan
neilquan

I havent been to K&Z's, though I have been meaning to go, What kind of cheesecakes do they serve? Exotic ones or just the standards?

MadMac
MadMac

"...the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules."

Which--along with my Mrs. determination that I should live to 50--is why I have to pay someone to make my cheesecake for me.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

@MadMac Considering I can make an entire cheesecake for under $8, I'll stick with making my own, especially when it takes me less than 20 minutes.

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