If you missed the recent Where the Chefs Eat Jewish Culinary Tour with Chefs Matt Marcus and Justin Turner, you’re in luck. We’ve put together a list of the top Jewish and kosher restaurants in Houston. Whether you keep kosher or not, these restaurants are recognized for their authentic fare and they’re keeping alive culinary traditions important to the Jewish community. Ranging from traditional to modern interpretations of classic favorites, these restaurants are sure to have an option for the foodie in you.
For those not familiar with Jewish cuisine, “kosher” is a Yiddish word that means “suitable,” “pure,” and disease-free. Click here for more information about what it means to live up to such a certification. Bear in mind, not all of these Jewish restaurants are actually kosher, so if you are practicing, do your homework.
Sigmund, Sol, and Max Jucker came all the way from Poland after surviving the Nazi occupation to open Three Brothers Bakery here in 1949. Rising from humble beginnings, their bakeries have become iconic in Houston. There you can still find European style breads, pastries, cookies, and many other award-winning desserts.
This location opened in 2001 as a Kosher family-owned restaurant, and has expanded its menu in recent years to include a spectrum from pizza to Israeli favorites like babaganush and jachnun.
If you’re in need of a foodie fix after hours, Katz Deli & Bar is open 24/7. You can find their renowned towering Reuben or a creamy Cheesecake Shake in either of their two Houston locations: Montrose and the Woodlands. If you’ve been out having fun on the town, this is the place to wind down.
Ziggy Gruber and Kenny Friedman run one of the better known Jewish restaurants in the area, boasting favorites from potato latkes to matzo ball soup. Gruber’s family has run delicatessens for three generations, bringing the pride and flavor of their ancestral Hungarian roots to Houston. Kenny & Ziggy’s is a see-and-be-seen spot among the city’s Jewish residents.
Green Vegetarian Cuisine focuses not only to high-quality vegetarian and Kosher options, but also dishes for vegan and gluten-free diets. The restaurant also prides itself on striving for a small carbon footprint, with a bike rack, fair trade organic coffee, free range eggs, reused kitchen appliances, and an energy efficient thermal roof barrier.
Fans of Suzie’s Mediterranean Grill from Susan Goldstein (now closed) won’t want to pass up Genesis Steakhouse. Started by Goldstein’s son, Jason Goldstein, Genesis was the first Kosher steakhouse in the Southeastern United States. This restaurant has separate themed dining rooms ideal for all functions, from business luncheons to engagement parties.
My Pita is the only Glatt Kosher (higher standard than kosher) meat restaurant in Houston, and also functions as a full service kosher pareve (non-dairy) bakery. Their pita bread can be found in HEB, Belden’s, and Central Market grocery stores, but the restaurant location itself serves fresh varieties.
New York Bagels started in New York during the Post-War era of World War II. The family moved the shop to Houston in 1975, and have seen success ever since. Enjoy classic varieties like sesame or whole wheat, as well as some more unique flavors like sun-dried tomato and cranberry nut. They also have an extensive restaurant menu, featuring omelettes, sandwiches, burgers, as well as kosher hot dogs and knockwurst.
On February 28th, Houston will host a Kosher Chili Cookoff, which is the largest kosher food event in Houston. The Cookoff aims to celebrate Jewish community and raise funds for non-profit organizations within the community. There will be attractions like climbing walls, live music, a moonwalk, a silent auction, and of course- Houston’s best kosher chili.