The most popular thing to do in Houston, apart from shopping, is eating. With the variety of restaurants, food that cheap and that good, eating out several times a week is nothing bad. Check the best places to eat in Houston, also on a budget. Attention, lots of food photos there – don’t start reading without dinner!
Houston is a perfect place for every type of traveler. If you want to splurge on a delicious dinner, stay in a rooftop hotel in Houston, or shop in fancy shops – you can. But if you’d rather stay in a motel, eat in the cheaper (but still delicious) restaurants, and shop in TK Max – you can do that too. In this post, I share with you the range of Houston restaurants – from the more expensive ones to the cheaper options.
I stayed in Houston for 4 weeks and I’ve eaten out almost every day (it was a business trip, you know ;)) . The restaurants were mostly in the Galleria area, but I also tried some in other parts of the city. The selection is based on a moderate budget, usually not exceeding $50 with drinks and desserts.
What are the best places to eat in Houston? Where to eat the best steak and the most delicious seafood? Let’s check out!
FUN PLACES TO EAT IN HOUSTON
WHERE TO EAT IN HOUSTON – MEXICAN RESTAURANTS
There are so many good Mexican restaurants in Houston, and all of them have great food, as they are run by true Mexicans. It’s hard to just choose one. Once you are in Texas, you have to try Margarita – they have the best Ritas in the whole USA! You can find the original ones, frozen or on the rocks, as well as flavored ones, mixed with other cocktails. One of the best ones, that I had was in San Antonio in Tex Mex restaurant by the river (Riverwalk) – Acenar. They have good food, too.
WHERE TO EAT IN HOUSTON – STEAKS
Remember, you are in Texas – steak is a must here! It’s hard for me to say which one is the best steakhouse in Houston, but the ones below are definitely worth trying.
Tango Malbec, an Argentinian restaurant in Galleria is really nice, a bit more on the “fancy” side, restaurant, that serves Argentinian food and types of steaks. It is a little pricey – steaks are from a range $35-$70 and on your plate, you get only steak and side. However – it really is delicious!
Papa Bros Steakhouse
Papa Bros Steakhouse is a real steakhouse, where you can choose from different types of steaks and you eat as much as you can!
I didn’t manage to go because it was always too busy, but many of my friends recommended it – good steaks but not only!
WHERE TO EAT IN HOUSTON – BURGERS
A burger is definitely something, that you have to try at least once when you are in the USA. And I’m talking about real, juicy burgers (not McDonald “burger“). There is a big selection of good places to eat in Houston, selling great burgers.
Bubbas Burger Shack
Bubbas Burger Shack got voted the best burgers in Houston. It’s just a little shack at the side of the road but it’s good. You can have a decent burger starting from $4.75 and a full one for around $10. They also have buffalo burgers. I can recommend Buffalo Vegas burger with Monterey Jack Cheese, Bacon, Avocado, Egg, BJ’s for $11,25 – mouthwatering! Try Lonely Star, Texas beer, with it and you will be in heaven, just by the highway!
Cheesecake factory is a chain restaurant, but they have good food and I adore their burgers! A few years ago I had amazing Kobe (massaged cow meat) burger with avocado, bacon, and cheese there and it stayed in my memory for many years. Unfortunately, when I was there in Houston they didn’t have the same one. However, when I asked they added what I wanted and it was delicious. They also have awesome cheesecakes! But be aware – some of them are extremely sweet (and hard to finish).
Grand Lux Cafe
Grand Lux Cafeis similar to the Cheesecake Factory, but a bit better and with a nicer atmosphere – as they say, “casual global cuisine in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere”, great burgers as well!
WHERE TO EAT IN HOUSTON – JAPANESE RESTAURANTS
We went to a few good Japanese restaurants in Houston. Here are three of them:
Guy Kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant
Guy Kaku Japanese BBQ restaurant is a great place in Midtown. It’s a traditional Japanese grill, where you have the tables with the barbecues inside, you order fresh raw meat and vegetables and you grill them by yourself. The choice is huge, with many appetizers and different tastes available. Good drinks menu.
Guy Kaku course for two for $60 is very big (enough for 3 people for sure) and has a lot of different items – all delicious! It includes several starters, BBQ items with different types of meat, seafood and vegetables, and dessert which is S’mores (great idea for barbecue place!).
Good drinks menu and a bar, where you can have a drink while waiting for a table. Some of the minuses are that you can get tired of taking care of the grill instead of focusing on eating and after your visit, your clothes, hair and everything smells like barbecue, so it’s not good to go there before the party (which we actually did haha).
The Kona Grill
You can find The Kona Grill on the side of Galleria mall. It’s really nice, with a separate bar and restaurant places. They also have fresh sushi made on your sight. I ordered the best fish, that I’ve ever had – Miso-sake seabass, shrimp & pork fried rice, pan-Asian ratatouille for $27.75 –highly recommend! And the desserts are huge!
Sage 400 in Galleria is a nice place, with darken lights, that give it more chick look. They have a big choice of sushi, sashimi, rolls, and other dishes. Sushi is delicious! The cocktail selection is also good.
SEAFOOD RESTAURANTS IN HOUSTON
I’m a massive fan of seafood, so I was happy when we found good seafood restaurants in Houston.
Yia Yia Mary’s
Yia Yia Mary’s is a Greek restaurant. This lovely Greek restaurant has a real Mediterranean feel. With cute tables covered with striped cloth and fresh seafood on display, you feel like being in Greece again. There is a great variety of food and it’s hard to decide on something because everything looks tasty. I can recommend seafood pot and baklava for dessert!
Kemah Broadwalk restaurants
There are many nice restaurants by the ocean on the Broadwalk, but be prepared that all of them would be generally full and you’d need to wait for a table.
For Bubba Gump Shrimp Co (a seafood chain inspired by Forrest Gump movie) you probably need to wait for the longest.
You can try Bayou City Seafood and pasta – they have crawfish baskets and frog legs!
OTHER FUN RESTAURANTS IN HOUSTON
Studio Movie Grill
Studio Movie Grill is a cinema, where you can eat and drink while watching a movie on the big screen. You have a small table and a button to call a waiter if you wish. The food there is not the best in the world (it’s ok), but I love the concept. It was definitely one of the most interesting restaurants in Houstons, that I went to.
Thai Gourmet is the original Thai restaurant with a really nice owner (he greeted us in our table) and true Thai curry. Just be aware – if they say something is spicy it really is! You have three options of spicy – spicy, hot spicy and Thai spicy – the last one will burn you inside out, so be careful.
Little Sheep Hot Pot
Little Sheep Hot Pot is a Mongolian hot pot. I guess there is more than one hot pot in the city, I love hot pots, so if you do as well, it’s good! If you don’t know what it is and want to try, then you should go as well 😉 Check what hot pot is on the Little Sheep website. Fresh food, lots of choices, cheap prices.
I didn’t mention many others, which are also good, but those are my favorites. To be honest, it is really hard to find a really bad place to eat in Houston, as most of the restaurants are good. Just head to the fairy busy place and you’d love the food!
Mazaj – a Middle-East Hooka restaurant. They have tasty food, full of flavor, juicy meat, aromatic spices, nice patio with the lights and heaters in the winter and you can also rent hooka for the even nicer experience!
Arcodoro, a Sardinian restaurant, is classified as a fancy restaurant in Houston. However, it might be a bit overrated. It’s one of the few Italian restaurants in Houston, that I visited. Food was good and I loved their outdoor patio.
Note: Since I visited some of those places in Houston, I now stopped eating beef and reduced meat – for environmental reasons. The restaurants mentioned here are still worth a visit and they also serve vegetarian options.
Read more about the USA:
USA itinerary – 2 weeks American Southwest trip
Hidden and cheaper alternative for Antelope Canyon
Which one of the Houston restaurants would you try first? Let me know in the comments!
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