Five Foods You Miss Long After You Leave Houston

Categories: On the Road

8503206.87.jpg
Photo from VoicePlaces
Places like Gatlin's put Houston on the barbecue map.
2. BBQ 
'Cue is not unique to Houston. But damn, y'all do it well. And you don't have to pay out of your rump for it either.

Houston is loaded with great barbecue joints -- Pizzitola's, Virgie's, Gatlin's -- but the magic is that the unspectacular spots are still better than almost anywhere else in the country. Even the sterile cafeteria underneath the Exxon building downtown has a three-meat platter that'll sate your desire for sauce. And don't get me started on the shade tree options.

houston-food-shipley-02.JPG
Photo by Keith Plocek
Ain't no doughnut like a Shipley's doughnut.
1. Shipley Do-Nuts
Shipley's is very easy to take for granted when you live here. But as someone who has loved and lost, let me exhort you to take a Shipley's doughnut in your arms and tell it how much you love it every single day. You never know which bite will be your last of glazed perfection, so savor each and every moment.

There are other doughnuts in this world. There are some fine cake and buttermilk offerings in Los Angeles. But Shipley's does glazed like nowhere else, and even the different Shipley's across town have subtle variations for the refined palate. The Shipley's on North Main is so proud of their glazing they even put it on the chocolate iced doughnuts too.

A glazed doughnut is best served warm and sticky, but in a pinch you can even pop a Shipley's in the microwave and get a slightly more rubbery version of perfection. But you never have to do that so long as you live here. Treasure that privilege, Houston. Don't take another day for granted.

Location Info

Star Pizza

2111 Norfolk, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Counter

4601 Washington Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Christian's Tailgate Grill & Bar

7340 Washington, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Rudyard's

2010 Waugh, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Hickory Hollow

101 Heights Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Kelley's Country Cooking

8015 Park Place Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pizzitola's Bar-B-Cue

1703 Shepherd Dr., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Virgie's Bar-B-Que

5535 Gessner Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Gatlin's BBQ

1221 W. 19th St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Shipley Do-nut Shops

3932 N. Main, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
36 comments
linvillelane
linvillelane

I thought the Houston Press shut down years ago......guess I didn't know it was back..........haven't lived in Houston for years.......don't know how I came upon this site.

linvillelane
linvillelane

Just spoke today to a former Texan now living in New York, she just returned to New York after a 3-week vacation in Houston and other South East Texas locales....and the funny thing is she too speaks of missing Shipley's.....the donuts and the Boudin Kolaches (or any Boudin), and of course Texas Barbeque.  Other former Texan friends tell me they cannot find Blue Bell ice cream in their states.

jsyers
jsyers

Totally agree on Shipleys, kolaches and all. We make sure to hit it at least once whenever we are in town.  On the CFS, I never had Kelley's but I sure miss the Hickory Hollow. We've never been able to squeeze in a visit, but I've never forgotten...

Sean Stoner
Sean Stoner

As a fellow Houston ex-pat who also moved to LA 4 years ago (time flies!), I can concur with the sentiments here. The main missed cuisines are BBQ and proper, original Ninfa style tex-mex. I definitely agree with the statements made about whataburger and star pizza. Luckily I'm a pretty serious cook so I can recreate good southern comfort food like chicken fried steak and a proper queso (not the Velveeta kind). I definitely enjoy the tailgate mentioned burgers, but one of my original discoveries upon moving to LA was how insanely awesome the burger scene was so I've not been wanting in that department.

Marcus Quinn
Marcus Quinn

I agree. I've lived in Florida for 10 years and nobody has ever heard of a kolache. That should be on this list.

Melissa Menendez
Melissa Menendez

I can only agree with #1. There is nothing like a Shipley's donut!

Courtney Paulding-Zelaya
Courtney Paulding-Zelaya

I moved from Hoston to Rhode Island a little over 2 years ago and I weekly yearn for Whataburger and simple Tex-Mex. I have only been home twice since I left and the first place I hit is the Whataburger drive-thru.

Noelle A. Perry
Noelle A. Perry

I miss Krispy Kreme. I know that's heresy for a native Houstonian. IDGAF.

Sheri Hennings
Sheri Hennings

I had no idea kolaches were a Texas thing until I moved. The world is missing out!

Sheri Hennings
Sheri Hennings

Yes, on all counts. I moved to the SF-area two years ago after growing up in Houston. I miss all of these things and have looked to create several of them myself to get my fix. Nothing quite compares. I think Shipley's and enchiladas top my list.

Stephanie Elena Suarez
Stephanie Elena Suarez

oh man I can only go to Kelly's once a year, its sooooo gluttonous, the mashed potato mounds they give you look like volcanoes erupting with gravy D= !

Vanity Kyller
Vanity Kyller

I've got to call bullshit on Shipley's. The best thing they have going is that most locations are open 24 hours. It has never lived up to the hype. There are so many independent donut shops (Christy's and Queen) that have better donuts and Kolaches. Hell, Shipley doesn't even do old fashionds!

Joel Hopkins
Joel Hopkins

I think Sparkles Hamburger should have been on this list for burger joints.

Jane Cooley
Jane Cooley

CFS hasn't been the same since Dirtys closed..sniff.

Jessica Reyes
Jessica Reyes

EVERYTHING!!! From kolaches to real Mexican and Colombian food. Vietnamese food is on my list too.

LoveHouston
LoveHouston

I am surprised crawfish isn't on this list... especially the ones made by Asian restaurants.

Mr505
Mr505

¡Verdad! I moved away a month ago, and I'm cravin' all that and a banh mi. Compared to the DC Metro, Houston is culinary nirvana.

Jason Moseley
Jason Moseley

I'm going to miss the Shipleys on Ella and 34th, so much when I move in September. Mike and his crew make the best glazed donuts in town.

James Gallien
James Gallien

I kept reading wondering if Shipley's would make the list. Appropriately it's #1. I never come into town without stopping by Shipley's. With all the donut shops across America, why can't anybody else get it right?

johnnybench
johnnybench topcommenter

Don Jose is the platonic ideal of the neighborhood tex-mex joint.  Their cheese enchiladas are perfection. 

Jason Jacobs
Jason Jacobs

Kolaches should have been on the list. Lived in Indiana almost 8 years now and miss them every day.

Francisco Rubio
Francisco Rubio

Lmao Jimmy Rubio!!! I'll have to get some done then.

paval
paval topcommenter

Living outside of Houston sounds like it is going to be a lot healthier, without fatty enchiladas, blood-sugar-spiking-sweet and fatty shipley donuts and heart clogging hamburgers with American cheese or CFS with gravy. 

Not that those choices are bad necessarily if eaten from time to time, but remembering those as the memorable food choices of Houston probably says a lot about how unhealthy Houstonians can eat if they want to. 

As my time in Houston comes to an end I will probably remember the eclectic selection on restaurants and food trucks, the sheer amount of meat available at all prices, be it in Fajitas, Churrasquerias or Steak Houses, the Mexican and Latino food offering right next to African and Asian in the grocery stores, the presence of so many hole in the wall places (something I actually never had seen in other cities I lived in. I guess size matters!). 


drazil9999
drazil9999

@linvillelane  The Houston Press, as a regular newspaper that you could get a subscription of, did close down years ago.  Not many people even remember it existed, unless you're my age.  The Houston Press that exists now is a free newspaper that you can pick up just about anywhere that has some serious articles but mostly entertainment and pop culture news.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@johnnybench I'm around the corner in Oak Forest and have heard that numerous times. That foodtown is sketchy though.

Now Trending

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...