Food and Drink Guide to Houston
It’s no secret that Houston and I have an “on again, off again” type relationship. In the dead of winter while the rest of the country is huddled indoors waiting out the snow, Houstonians are sitting outside at their local wine bar enjoying the fact that they almost never have to worry about their pipes freezing. On the other hand, in the dead of summer, you will find us indoors clinging to the AC and praying for Fall to come as quickly as possible.
However even with my up and down relationship with Houston’s temperatures, one aspect that I find undeniable is Houston’s FOOD SCENE is amazing. I find that some people seem surprised when we talk about how good the food scene is but people….. Houston is the 3RD largest city in the United States! We have endless possibilities and choices.
From casual to bougie, from your classic American brunch to authentic Mediterranean, we really do have it all. I’m sharing all my favorites places below along with a brief description of what to expect. Happy eating everyone! (note: I’ve included some places that I’m not able to frequent anymore due to my celiac diagnosis. I wanted to include them because if you’re not gluten free then they’re worth a visit. I’ve noted how gluten free friendly each place is.) I hope you enjoy this Food and Drink Guide to Houston
Slow Pokes: A great little café (with a super unique interior) to grab coffee or a simple breakfast/lunch. They have an amazing nitro-cold brew which I highly recommend. It’s located right next to Levy Park which is perfect for people watching. (Gluten Free pastries and menu items.)
Common Bond: The parking can be a little tough but it’s well worth it! A great spot for coffee or a simple breakfast/lunch. It’s also a bakery so you can’t go wrong with any of their baked goods/fresh baked bread loaves. Their lavender latte is my absolute favorite! (Not really any gluten free food.)
Anonymous: Recently opened Greek coffee shop/café. Super good Greek coffee drinks as well as a delicious dirty chai. I haven’t tried the food yet but it looks delicious and has great reviews. (Some gluten free items.)
Catalina: A great coffee shop located closer to downtown. Mainly just coffee with a few pastries. You really can’t go wrong with any of their lattes! (Pastries are not gluten free)
Tiny Boxwoods: The very definition of fancy/bougie brunch. Tiny Boxwoods has delicious brunch options like their Days Pastry Board and Chorizo & Egg Pizza. The outside seating is connected to a gorgeous plant nursery which makes for a very Instagram worthy setting. (Some gluten free options)
The Kitchen at The Dunlavy: A communal, order-at-the-counter, casual atmosphere. Gorgeous interior with big chandeliers and windows that overlook the Bayou Park. Very trendy (and delicious) menu. (Some gluten free options)
Dish Society: Casual farm to table, order-at-the-counter style. Traditional American brunch but with super fresh delicious ingredients. I recommend the gluten free pancakes with a mimosa! (Tons of gluten free options.)
Other notable brunch spots:
Backstreet Cafe (On the fancy side. Some gluten free options)
Liberty Kitchen (Somewhat fancy. Some gluten free options)
Hungry’s (Pretty casual. Plenty of gluten free options)
Local Foods: Honestly one of my favorite places to eat in Houston! (there are several locations in Houston). The menu mainly consists of sandwiches and salads, but this is not your regular sandwich shop. All of the ingredients are always so fresh and the menu is so unique! Some of my favorites include: the Quinoa Burger, the Avocado BLT, and the Vegan Taco salad. (Tons of gluten free options and all sandwiches can be switched to a gluten free wrap)
Bellagreen: A super great healthy lunch or casual dinner spot. A pretty big menu with sandwiches, tacos, salads, pizza, etc. I’m personally a fan of their paleo spaghetti squash bolognese and the curry chicken salad. (Plenty of gluten free options.)
Vibrant: Definitely the “healthiest” on this list. Gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, corn free, and peanut free. Sunny Socca (basically a breakfast pizza) and sweet potato hash are some of my favorites. Definitely a very “Instagramable” spot. (All gluten free)
Benjy’s: It’s no wonder that I like Benjy’s because it’s owned and operated by the same people as my favorite lunch spot Local Foods. It’s a little on the fancy side but the menu is very unique and the cocktails are delicious! (gluten free options)
Rim Tanon: Contemporary Asian street food served in a wooden replica Thai house. A bit of a hole in the wall but the Pad Thai is amazing! (plenty of gluten free options, just check with your server)
Paulies: Alas, Paulies has got to be the restaurant I miss the most since having to be gluten free. I DREAM about their housemade pasta like their Bucatini all’Amatriciana. If you love pasta you must go here! Casual order-at-the-counter type of atmosphere. (Not really any gluten free options)
Ambrosia: A delicious Asian fusion shareable style restaurant. It’s a very small cozy restaurant that you would probably miss if you drove past it. Perfect for a date night, especially when the weather is cool enough to sit outside. The brussel sprouts are to die for! (some gluten free options).
Urban Eats: Honestly this place is good for brunch, lunch, dinner, or happy hour! The downstairs has a cute little market to shop from while the upstairs has a fun rooftop patio. Plenty of shareable options or individual options. I recommend their Rosemary Chicken Confit (plenty of gluten free options)
Kata Robata: On the expensive/fancy side for sushi but it is so fresh and delicious. They have house-made soy sauce that is gluten free! Definitely worth it for a nice date night. (plenty of gluten free options.)
True Food Kitchen: Not unique to Houston but it’s definitely worth a mention if you don’t have one at home. Farm to table style, the menu rotates to stay in season. Really fresh and unique options. I recommend the Inside Out Quinoa Burger. (Tons of gluten free options)
The Rustic: Kitchen. Backyard. Bar. Live Music. Super fun fun (and sometimes loud) atmosphere. I recommend the Cedar Plank Fish. (some gluten free options)
Cloud 10: Honestly we don’t go out for dessert just that often but when we do it’s always to cloud 10 for ice cream! Delicious homemade waffle cones and really unique ice cream flavors to choose from. They also rotate new flavors so you never know what you’re going to get (my favorite that I’ve tried was Strawberry Tarragon but I’ve never been able to catch it again)
Happy Hour/Other Bars
Tacos – yes they get their own category because this is Houston.
Beer Garden / Brewery category
Obviously I can’t drink beer myself but beer gardens and breweries are very big in Houston so here are some recommendations from my sister:
I hope you enjoyed this Food and Drink Guide to Houston!