Show Houston Off: We Share Our Favorite Places to Bring Out-of-Towners for Food & Drinks

Categories: Local Spotlight

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Photo by Theodore Scott
It's not hard to make guests fall in love with this city.
Early spring may just be one of the nicest times to visit our city. It's usually when the influx of family and friends trying to escape their drawn-out winters get a quick hello in before the sun scorches the Houston earth for the unforeseeable future.

And for me, one of the most important things about seeing friends and family (besides spending time together and making memories and shit), is figuring out where to take them to eat. It's the perfect chance to show off what our city has to offer and keep them coming back for more.

I asked the Eating ... Our Words team to tell us their favorite bars and restaurants when it comes to taking out-of-towners. Here's how they answered:

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Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
It may not be seaside, but Danton's ain't so bad.
John Kiely: Most visitors expect seafood, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. What they get is Danton's, overlooking the freeway. Always a hit. If the guests are boisterous, then Goode's Seafood Company. It's like a party, with fish.

We take every breakfast visitor to La Mexicana for Tex-Mex and an agua fresca de melon in a lovely Montrose setting.

For a drink, Goro & Gun, 'cause I like it there, that's why.

I'm related to some jet-setters, so last month we took them to Coppa in the Village for dinner, those awesome house bellinis, and espresso next door at Fellini. They jetted off happy.

Minh Truong: I have good friends from Houston who have moved away and every trip back home must include visits to Wild Cajun for the crawfish and Saigon Pagolac for the whole baked catfish.

Mai Pham: It really depends on where the out-of-towner is from and what they like to eat. Killen's Steakhouse is a must for a steak lover. To me, it personifies what a Texas steakhouse should be. It's upscale without being too stuffy. It has the warmth of a mom and pop, but then wows you with a great wine list and some of the best meat you'll find anywhere.

Another favorite is Hugo's. Mexican food -- traditional Mexican, not Tex-Mex -- of the upscale variety like the kind you get at Hugo's -- deep, rich moles, and traditional preparations like conchinita pibil -- is hard to find outside of Mexico proper, and Hugo's always does an amazing job, not to mention their fantastic Sunday brunch.

I like to surprise people with the quality of sushi we have here in Houston -- for that, it's a visit to Kata Robata for their omakase with chef Manabu Horiuchi. I also like Tiny Boxwood's for an afternoon lunch, or weekend breakfast.

I'll hit Bellaire Boulevard for pho at Pho Dien, or Cantonese food at Shanghai Restaurant (9116 Bellaire Blvd) or Hong Kong Food Street. For Tex-Mex, we frequent Lupita's in Sugar Land for their sizzling fajitas.

If it's crawfish season, I like to show off our Viet-Cajun contingent. Crawfish & Noodles is great for garlicky crawfish, cua rang muoi, or salt and pepper blue crabs, and their turkey neck.

This story continues on the next page.

Location Info

Danton's Gulf Coast Seafood Kitchen

4611 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Goode Co. Seafood

10211 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

La Mexicana

1018 Fairview, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Goro & Gun

306 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Coppa Osteria

5210 Morningside Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Himalaya Restaurant & Catering

6652 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Wild Cajun Crawfish

6533 Wilcrest Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Saint Arnold Brewery

2000 Lyons Ave., Houston, TX

Category: General

Moon Tower Inn

3004 Canal, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Karbach Brewing Co.

2032 Karbach St., Houston, TX

Category: General

El Rey Taqueria

910 Shepherd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Max's Wine Dive

4720 Washington Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Spanish Village

4720 Almeda, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

BB's Cafe

2710 Montrose, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pizzitola's Bar-B-Cue

1703 Shepherd Dr., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Gatlin's BBQ

1221 W. 19th St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Original Ninfa's On Navigation

2704 Navigation, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tacos Tierra Caliente

1919 W. Alabama, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Hay Merchant

1100 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Adair Kitchen

5161 San Felipe St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

West Alabama Ice House

1919 W. Alabama, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Saigon Pagolac

9600 Bellaire, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Killen's Steakhouse

2804 S. Main, Pearland, TX

Category: Restaurant

Crawfish and Noodles

11360 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Hugo's

1600 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Kata Robata Sushi & Grill

3600 Kirby, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tiny Boxwood's Cafe

3614 W. Alabama St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pho Dien

10623 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Shanghai Chinese Restaurant

9116 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Hong Kong Food Street Restaurant

9750 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
Melissa Powell
Melissa Powell

Miss my home where people cook real food instead of pulling it out of a freezer, half prepared from a factory and then fry it to death.

Jacob Bocanegra
Jacob Bocanegra

oh God at least were not defined by our oil and service jobs...

Closinhtown
Closinhtown

As a Houston native I always say 'nothing to do here but go out to eat and drink'. Amazing selection of restaurants in this town.

Ryan Landis
Ryan Landis

Why doesn't benjys on Washington or benjys in the village get any love!!!???

ManLovesFood
ManLovesFood

As a north sider, we tend to stick around here. It's a blast to take folks to Bluewater Seafood, Captain Tom's and Ma Bien, all on FM 1960. We also love Jimmy G's in Greenspoint for some of the best Gulf Coast/Louisiana seafood in town. Each place has amazing food that's unique to Houston or the Gulf Coast, and all feature a great cross-section of cultures, classes and colors, which is part of what makes Houston so special.

Houstess
Houstess

I wish Himalaya had a beer/wine license at least.  That delicious food cries out for a cool beer or cold wine.  I know it's byob, but I'm not big on schlepping over there myself and drinking it tepid.

wdellinger
wdellinger

Interesting stuff, and useful.

Note to Mai: Killen's cannot possibly 'personify' what a steakhouse should be. Probably couldn't 'embody' it either. Try 'exemplify' or 'typify' or 'epitomize' if you're going to go all word-fancy on us.


mauriciocastillo
mauriciocastillo

How about Cuchara? Their food is awesome and the place is really beautiful

Jp Williams
Jp Williams

The black walnut, Barnabys, chedders

Kathy Stabe
Kathy Stabe

The Hobbit Café for Sunday brunch. So cute, and those pancakes!

Barbara Muirhead
Barbara Muirhead

Perry's for their pork chop, Jus Mac, Captain Toms for Oysters, Hubcap Grill, Central TX BBQ (but might change to Killen's BBQ if I can ever get in to taste some!!!), Food Truck Park, Kelley's Country Cookin' for a breakfast the size of the heads - we tend to go for the 'different' things they can't get at home.

vicksburg
vicksburg

@Houstess  

Many would say Himalaya is overrated. Yes yes I know it's a hole in the the wall but it's rec'd an inordinate amount of press.  One indication of quality? Check the ingredients in their Biryani....not many goodies, and not that superb. 

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