Rest of the Best 2014: Houston's 10 Best Chicken-Fried Steaks

Categories: Best of Houston

chicken-fried-steak-photo.jpg
Photo by Jessica Spengler via flickr
Chicken-fried steak is a classic Texas dish.
Growing up, chicken-fried steak was my favorite meal. I always requested it on my birthday and when my family dined at Luther's BBQ (may it rest in peace), there was no doubt in my mind I would order the CFS with crispy onion strings, corn and Texas toast.

Ask any Texan what they think about chicken-fried steak, and they'll most likely respond with enthusiasm and joy while describing the battered and fried thin steak, served with a creamy gravy, an array of vegetables and mashed potatoes. There's nothing healthy about this meal, and that's why it is so good.

If you're going to spend your calories on a CFS, it might as well be an awesome one. Here are the ten best chicken-fried steaks in Houston. Happy eating, y'all.

canyon-creek-cfs.jpg
Photo by Molly Dunn
Canyon Creek's chicken-fried steak is topped with a mushroom gravy.
10. Canyon Creek
Canyon Creek's chicken-fried steak is much darker than most varieties -- a clear indication that it was fried a bit longer. But, despite its extra greasiness and possible longer cooking time, it is still an excellent steak. Canyon Creek is not a fancy schmancy restaurant, but it steps up its CFS by topping it with a savory mushroom brown gravy instead of the typical white cream gravy. Soft mushrooms, browned coating and tender steak make a winning combination.

9. Hughie's Tavern and Vietnamese Grille
Hughie's has received much praise for its chicken-fried steak, or "country fried chicken" as labeled on the menu. The steak is tender, but the batter, unlike a traditional CFS, doesn't stick to the meat. Peel off sections of the crispy, crunchy coating -- the frying oil just explodes in your mouth, and that's not a bad thing. In case you didn't have enough meat, the gravy includes sausage bits, adding an extra element of chew and spice. Make it a fusion meal with mashed potatoes and a spring roll, or top your CFS with a fried egg.

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Photo by Robb Walsh
You can get Ouisie's Table's CFS for breakfast, too.

8. Ouisie's Table
You wouldn't think that such a beautiful restaurant and wedding venue would be home to one of the best chicken-fried steaks in Houston, but it is. The CFC is a staple dish at Ouisie's Table and it's no secret why it is no longer a Tuesday special; customers showed their love and desire for this Texas classic and Ouisie's decided to add it to the every day menu (breakfast included). Thin, tender steak is coated in a crispy yet soft crust, and served with your own side of black pepper milk gravy. Ouisie's pairs its CFS with "the works," -- mashed potatoes, black eyed peas, mustard greens and Lucy's corn pudding. You know, the four Southern food groups: peas, greens, corn and taters.

This story continues on the next page.

Location Info

Canyon Creek Cafe

6603 Westcott St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Hughie's Tavern and Vietnamese Grill

1802 W. 18th St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Ouisie's Table

3939 San Felipe St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Republic Grille

4775 West Panther Creek Dr., The Woodlands, TX

Category: Restaurant

Frank's Americana Revival & White Star Bar

3736 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Beaver's

2310 Decatur St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Kelley's Country Cooking

8015 Park Place Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Max's Wine Dive

4720 Washington Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Hickory Hollow

101 Heights Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

BRC Gastropub

519 Shepherd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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61 comments
stokerrb
stokerrb

I just read this article and all I can say is...Not everyone lives in the Heights. Houston is almost 600 sq miles and the metro area is 1100 sq miles. Yet, 9 of your top 10 are in the Heights or within 5 miles. If you had written a Best of The Heights article it would have been appropriate. You must be a transplant that only knows your little corner of Houston.

Optimo Ram
Optimo Ram

It's all about that Hickory Hollow baby. That's real Texas chicken fried steak.

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah topcommenter

Just tried Hickory Hollows… it's ok, however Mia's is better

ex98G
ex98G

I can't believe you left the CFS from Glass Wall off the list.  It is a mainstay through menu revisions.  It ranks up there with Franks American Revival.  Yes, I've had them both various times.

jimbo1126
jimbo1126

To my knowledge, Monica Pope hasn't been associated with Beaver's in years. The place does, however, have a killer CFS. I also love BRC's. And while I agree with your assessment of the one at Hughie's, some people <ahem> at this very publication may not entirely.

Nick Spring Foodie Rama
Nick Spring Foodie Rama

Goodson's has gone way downhill in the past 10 years : My Top 10 Chicken Fried Steak better than the famous Goodson's Cafe in Tomball: #1 CC's Cafe - Tomball #2 Hickory Hollow - Houston #3 Neal's - Spring #4 The Mason Jar - Houston #5 Natachee's Supper 'n Punch - Houston #6 Humble City Cafe - Humble #7 Wunshe Brothers - Old Town Spring #8 Lankford Grocery - Houston #9 Beaver' s Icehouse - Houston #10 Texas Roadhouse - Houston Or if in Austin Threadgill' s (Chicken Fried Pork)

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Hickory Hollow's gravy sucks, I'll take Lola's or Lankford's over theirs any day of the week.

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah topcommenter

Went to BRC's website and didn't find a cfs on the menu….


txjboy
txjboy

Cleburne Cafeteria makes a very respectable CFS. 

anon
anon

Seriously, the ONLY thing Kelley's has going for it is size. It's bland as hell, just like the sides. Definitely the most overrated CFS in town.

austinraths
austinraths

Which place is the pic with the Mac n cheese from? :)

Henry Garza
Henry Garza

No T- Bone toms is no 1 with no guest ions ask the best

VineLover
VineLover

Let me guess... MAX's version kicks it into gourmet with a little truffle oil? LOL. JK, I've actually had it and the whole PLATE is dripping in grease. Lankford's version is way better! 

RoosterMcGee
RoosterMcGee topcommenter

Kelleys? Really?! Gross! I like LOLA's as well… not a top 5, but definitely a top 10.

anonymous
anonymous

Buy a car and try a few places outside of northwest 610. :-)

RoosterMcGee
RoosterMcGee topcommenter

I agree with your list but only half are in Houston. 

RoosterMcGee
RoosterMcGee topcommenter

sorry, Tomball is not Houston.

dnbosse
dnbosse

@gossamersixteen I agree with you 100%. Hickory Hollows is not very good. Their gravy is somewhat tasteless. The original owners of Hickory Hollow(when they had 1 local in NW Htown) had better CFS. They opened a place called Carriage House that is pretty good. Service is a bit slow but the place is like stepping back in time.

h_e_x
h_e_x

@anonymous Do you really want your favorite places swamped by yuppies? 

CL91
CL91

@anonymous Like Pappy's on I-10 at Voss. I grew up eating there multiple times per week, and more often than not it was a CFS. *drool*

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@dnbosse @gossamersixteen Completely agree the one by the Horsetrack has far better gravy.. I'm convinced the "Washington Ave" location probably uses mop water and flour for their gravy it just sucks to my taste buds.

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