The Most Underrated Restaurants in Houston...According to You

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Photo by Jeff Balke
I love House of Pies #sorrynotsorry
Recently, we stumbled across CultureMap's article about the most overrated restaurants in Houston. In it, Eric Sandler called out Uchi, Underbelly, Mark's, Mai's, Haven, The Breakfast Klub, Torchy's Tacos, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, Houston's and Reef as restaurants whose "execution doesn't quite match their rhetoric or commensurate level of hype."

Ouch.

As one might expect, the article created a lot of hubbub, but it also got people talking and engaged in infantile intelligent online conversations. While we're choosing to stay mum on what we might consider overrated restaurants in Houston (Why can't we all just get along?!), it got us thinking: What would Houstonians consider to be the most underrated restaurants in town? Which hidden gems do folks wish would get their proper due?

No, really, tell us!

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Logo from Bloody Underrated podcast
It's your turn, underrated restaurants!
We want to know which local eateries are, in your opinion, deserving of a little more credit for being so awesome. Leave us a note in the comments here or on Facebook, or Tweet at us to let us know what you think and why.

Later, we'll tally up your answers and come up with a great, crowdsourced list of the best restaurants in Houston that nobody talks about.

Keep in mind that we're looking for underrated spots. Don't tell us Oxheart is your favorite underrated restaurant. It can be your favorite spot, but clearly it ain't underrated. The national media has already been all over that.

But feel free to suggest chain restaurants or spots that you think other people might find gross. For instance, I happen to love House of Pies. We all know this; I've made no secret of it. But this isn't about me. It's about you.

So say it loud, and say it proud: Which restaurants in Houston are the most underrated?

Location Info

Uchi

904 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Underbelly

1100 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mark's American Cuisine

1658 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mai's Restaurant

3403 Milam, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Haven - CLOSED

2502 Algerian Way, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

the breakfast klub

3711 Travis St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Oxheart

1302 Nance St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

House of Pies

3112 Kirby, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Torchy's Tacos

2411 S. Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

5061 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Reef

2600 Travis St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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108 comments
erichenao
erichenao topcommenter

Stalla's Greek Grill. Niko Niko's gets all the glam, but Stalla's seriously does greek food right. Amazing lunch spot. Off 290 and Mangum.

thequesoqueen
thequesoqueen

Triple A Grill is so underrated. Best diner in the city (although I do love House of Pies).


Last Concert Cafe - yes, a Houston institution - but it is never on any best TexMex lists. The food here is always solid.


Coppa - Brandi Key has done a stellar job with the Coppa restaurants, yet she never gets as much respect as she deserves. Beautiful dishes with carefully curated ingredients and stellar service. 


Nippon - a fantastic Japanese restaurant, especially the noodle dishes. 


Sushi Miyagi - best sushi in the city (in the shadow of Uchi, Kata and MF pre-fire)

curseofleisure
curseofleisure

Someone mentioned Carrabba's, making sure to specify the original, non-chain location, which is a familiar mantra.


I vote for the CHAIN Carrabba's as being underrated. Everyone always says the original location is so much better, and I used to believe them. I worked near the original and frequently went there for lunch with coworkers and business associates. 


Then I went to one of the suburban chain locations and was pleasantly surprised. The service was just as good. The bread was warm instead of cold. The food was the same, possibly better. The chain Carrabba's is a popular place to deride because of the flashy television commercials and un-hip locations, but they are turning out food and service just as good as the flagship.

bodl
bodl

Underrated Restaurants - Northwest Edition:

Taiko - Mom & Pop traditional (non-sushi) Japanese

Matsu - small sushi place in Champions

Juanita's - tex-mex on Louetta - everything is simple & delicious

Mango Tree Thai Bistro - best Thai in the northwest

Redfish Seafood Grill - get whatever fresh fish they have on special

Santa Fe Flats - the Tex-Mex is good, but you are here for the New-Mex

Gentian
Gentian

Believe it or not, The Colorado Bar and Grill, yeah, that one with the big sign on SW Frwy. This is some of the city's best bar food and the place itself is fascinating. And that's even before the entertainment starts!

racmann
racmann

Apologies if this double-posts because i dont see my comment, but my vote is for:

Natachee's Supper N Punch in Midtown (next to Continental Club)

Perfect lunch spot, great at any time though. Southern comfort food (fried green beans, meatloaf sandwich, burgers, chicken fried steak, etc.) plus booze-y punch. Cheap. Good. Fast. You can play trivial pursuit from the 60s and 70s while you wait. There's astros memorabilia and Beyonce pop art on the walls, what's not to love?

usualsteve
usualsteve

Jamie Fain over at Fainmous BBQ on Post Oak is doing some of the best BBQ in town.  Try the turkey leg.  Also Oishii sushi on Richmond does a great job.  There is a reason its so hard to get in.  

kelsey
kelsey

India's

Fadi's 

Lucio's byob


...and of course your own talent in the kitchen. cooking is pretty simple once you have the courage to start doing it.

jelem1477
jelem1477

Firkin and Phoenix on Westheimer. It is a bar, but has good food that is not your usual bar fare. Their fish and chips are the best, hands down!

HollaAtYourBoy
HollaAtYourBoy

Yummy:

Island Grill - Never Rated

Mi Luna - Underrated

Queen Vic 

Brasil - Never Rated

Lola - Never Rated

Fadi's - Never Rated


Sucks:

UnderBelly

Reef

El Real

Torchy's Taco

Soma Sushi

Anna Hill
Anna Hill

Qin Dynasty on Buffalo Speedway

andriasward
andriasward

London Sizzler (Indian) is just wonderful! We continually go there and even order take out for special occasions and when company is in town. Jeera wings are a must and they have a great happy hour.

We also appreciate Benjy's, Ninfa's on nav and Truluck's, as well.

As far as larger chains we will take Lupe Tortilla :) Yum!

golferslk230
golferslk230

I'd go with Jonathon's as a seriously good place.  Barnaby's is a gem.

Charlaux
Charlaux

Hungry's Cafe on Memorial

justthefacts
justthefacts

Arpi's of Phoenicia fame on Westheimer.  Mexico's Deli Tacos y Tortas on Dairy Ashford.  Hollister Grill on Hollister.    Orleans Seafood on Katy Freeway in Katy.  Vietnam Coast on Westheimer.  Live Oak Grill in Sugarland on Dairy Ashford near 90.  Hoggs and Chicks on Highway 6 in Missouri City. 


Most of these people have never heard of and are gems, which is the point... right?

H Newcomb
H Newcomb

KC's Seafood, Telephone Rd; Cue's Burgers & More; Post Oak Ranch BBQ, S. Post Oak; Tradicao Brazillan Steakhouse, SW Freeway; Samurai, Bissonnet.

Ariane Rae Navarro
Ariane Rae Navarro

Gorditas Aguascalientes on Irvington. Best authentic Mexican restaurant in Houston.

big.red.guy
big.red.guy

Cleburne Cafeteria. You have it mentioned at least twice a week in this blog, but somehow when recognizing good places to eat, it rarely gets mentioned. Seems like an afterthought. "well, if you need to go to a cafeteria, there is always Cleburne"

Erica Murphey
Erica Murphey

Rudy's on I-45 in Spring has some of the best brisket I've ever tasted. Go there for great BBQ.

bambi.jen
bambi.jen

McGonigal's Mucky Duck and Red Onion are both so yummy!

Valerie181
Valerie181

Another vote for Aladdin. Also Giacomo's and Maria Selma. Love the avocado enchiladas and quesadillas at the latter. 


And add to the list Bellissimo (sp?) on Airline.

jmbrath
jmbrath

I'm going to have to echo Jonathan's The Rub in Memorial, amazing. City Oven on White Oak, fast becoming my favorite pizza spot. Ranch 99's Pho Quynh, best pho.  Laredo Taqueria on Wash, never see it on here but the line out the door every morning proves it's no secret.

amnblack
amnblack

I know it's in Katy, but there is a taco place inside the Stripes at the intersection of Mason and Clay that's awesome and cheap.  Worth the breakfast stop!

robinvtx
robinvtx

Beef n Bun on Long Point, best brisket in Houston!!!

DJMark8
DJMark8

Mi Pueblito on Richmond. And who doesnt love Hollywood @ 3am? :)

Ray Hadfield
Ray Hadfield

For value,and for seniors on a budget,it has to be Golden Corral...All you can eat buffet for $7.00 +tax. Great choice of foods.....always good (at least on 45 South)...

Salvie
Salvie

French House on Westheimer, Barnaby's, Green Seed Vegan, Juicy in the Sky, Onion Creek (Food not amazing, but way better than it needs to be), The Downtown Phoenicia, Doozo Dumplings (not underrated with the downtown crowd, but unknown to the rest of Houston), the small menu at OKRA, Zabak's, and Shepherd Park Draft House are all underrated in my opinion!

Giusy
Giusy

@Gentian  I've always thought that a topless bar food report would be interesting, but apparently the editors' prudish, puritanical side prohibits such fun. Even today.

thequesoqueen
thequesoqueen

@Valerie181  

Went to Maria Selma's in December and holy crap, it was so good! And Bellissimo's is also great!

snowboardwaxer
snowboardwaxer

@jmbrath really? City Oven's pizza is terrible. They may be a candidate for the most short-lived business on the White Oak (Washington North) corridor.

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