Rest of the Best 2013: The Top 10 Late-Night Restaurants in Houston

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Photo by Gary J. Wood
Eat great, even late. Wait, no, that's Wendy's...
Our 2013 Best of Houston® winners have been announced, but in many cases picking the best item in any category was no easy task. In order to show off all the culinary greatness Houston has to offer, we'll be rounding up the "rest of the best" in some of our favorite categories during the next several months. Bon appétit!

It's 2:15 in the morning. The bar has just closed, and you know you're going to be in trouble tomorrow unless you find somewhere with food that will help soak up all the booze you inadvertently gladly consumed. Where do you go?

In the past, we've rounded up the best late-night restaurants in Houston, but this year, we're taking it a step further. We're compiling a list of the best restaurants that stay open even after the bars have closed. You think midnight is late? Amateur. Some of these restaurants are open until 4 a.m. or, better yet, 24 hours.

And the best thing about this list? These eateries are all over town. No matter where you find yourself hungry in the middle of the night, there's bound to be a surefire spot nearby, ready and waiting to serve up some hangover-healing grub.

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Photo by Jason Kerr
Smothered, covered, scattered or capped, Waffle House hash browns could be the cure for all that ails you.
10. Waffle House
What is there left to say about Waffle House that hasn't already been said? It's open 24 hours, around the clock. The events that go down there after hours are the stuff of legends. People from all walks of life, all neighborhoods, all ethnicities and in varying degrees of undress make their way into WaHo (as I affectionately call it) after lesser establishments close for the evening. I've been to WaHo at 4 a.m. and found a 30-minute wait for a table; that's how popular the purveyor of mediocre waffles and awesome hash browns is in the middle of the night. Don't be fooled by the late hour. It's a tight space, and the efficient servers aim to get you in and out in as short a time as possible.

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Photo by Andreas Praefcke
It glows like a beacon in the night.
9.Whataburger/Taco Cabana
My two favorite fast-food restaurants are grouped together because that is how I recall visiting them late at night in college in San Antonio. There was a Taco C on the way home from pretty much anywhere (the original Taco C, I might add), and a Whataburger down the street another mile or so in the direction of my house. Inevitably, someone in the group would want queso and someone else would want fries. And then someone would decide that he wanted fries and queso and a milkshake and a quesadilla. Trust me, it's a great combo at 3:15 a.m. I would also swear by Taco C queso and tortillas as guaranteed hangover killers.

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Photo courtesy Katz's Deli
What goes better with the wee hours of the morning than a pot roast sandwich?
8. Katz's Deli
If you're in the mood for something a little more upscale and...um...kosher than fast food, give Katz's a try. The sign outside is true: Katz's "never kloses." So if you're hungry, you can get bagels and lox or a corned beef and cabbage sandwich any time, day or night. In addition to truly massive sandwiches, Katz's offers great comfort food like matzoh ball soup, spaghetti and meatballs and breakfast served all day and night. Oh, and if you're feeling truly adventuresome, check out the dessert case. "World's tallest 7-layer chocolate cake"? Don't mind if I do.


Location Info

Mai's Restaurant

3403 Milam, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pi Pizza Truck

, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pho Binh By Night

12148 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Spanish Flower Mexican Restaurant

4701 N. Main, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Ruchis Taquerias El Rincon De Mexico

3202 S. Loop W., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Dot Coffee Shop

7006 Gulf Freeway, Houston, TX

Category: General

House of Pies

3112 Kirby, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Katz's Deli and Bar

616 Westheimer St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
27 comments
Jim Rassinier
Jim Rassinier

Who is manning this? It made much more sense two hours ago. Who is thinking "I'll eat after 3:00?" Here's a hint: Nobody.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

When I first read this I thought Waffle House?  Taco Cabana? Here we go again...   While these are good places to get late night grub, they should hardly make any top ten list.  But the list got slowly more interesting and even included some places I didn't know were open that late.  Good list overall, although I too would have to either omit Mai's entirely, or at least put it towards the bottom.  That said, it's a shame you weren't here back when Mama's Cafe was around, though apparently if you go back to San Antonio, they have a location there.  Huevos Hofbrau!

Erik V
Erik V

What about Chapultepec!

jennytulltx
jennytulltx

Yawl need to go to bed and quit running the streets so late.  Ain't nuttin but trouble out there!

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Spanish Flowers? I thought it was singular..

FRL713
FRL713

Chacho's and Fu Fu Cafe

paval
paval topcommenter

one of my favorite late night spots, when i was still eating late night is the Venezuelan Food Truck on Fondren. Open till 4am it serves excellent cachapas, arepas and even tacos, though i would never venture that far out of my comfort zone in a Venezuelan food truck.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Spanish Flower is a great for late night eats and people watching--truly a cross section of Houston. It's the only thing I miss about living in Lindale.

Sonnenkind
Sonnenkind

Mai's??? Maybe fifteen years ago. There are so many better options than Mai's, especially the new pricier version. 

houtxfoodluv
houtxfoodluv

Best place to go for better food has always been Max's on Washington ave - they cook until 2am on the weekends and it's awesome for mac and cheese or fried chicken after a night of partying.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

I do when I'm out on the weekends....

james.brock
james.brock

@FattyFatBastard Your comment illuminates one of the beauties of food and eating: every human being is an individual. One man's feast is another woman's junk food. 


Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

@paval Sabor Venezolano! The patacon, a ham sandwich except the bread is fried plantains. Delicious.

fotriiliam
fotriiliam

@Sonnenkind Mai's has always been some of the worst vietnamese food in the city.  And somehow it got even worse after the fire!  Way overpriced, terrible service, and just plain bad food.  Somehow, the novelty of a vietnamese restaurant open late inside the loop made it a Houston icon to people that just don't know any better.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

And those options would be...? Share with the family.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@houtxfoodluv They are good, but this list only includes restaurants open later than 2 a.m.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@Glenda32 @KaitlinS @fotriiliam @Sonnenkind 

I'm kind of surprised no one has commented on the inclusion of Whataburger/Taco C. Left to my own devices, they'd be up at the top. Fortunately, I have editors and friends to tell me I'm crazy.

Glenda32
Glenda32

@KaitlinS @fotriiliam @Sonnenkind 

Mai's might win by default. I know of other better late night restaurants nearby Mai's, but maybe not Viet restaurants that stay open all night.

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