Development never stops in H-Town! New restaurants, bars and attractions are opening all the time. Consider this your go-to guide for staying in the know in Houston.
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OPENINGS: JULY 2015
Attractions with a Spin
Attractions with a Spin offers one of the most dynamic entertainment experiences in the city. The company's top-of-the-line, 15-passenger party bikes are unlike any other, offering comfort and protection. Adjustable seats, seatbacks, personal misters, a six-speaker sound system, karaoke set-up and more make these vehicles the Cadillacs of the party bike set.
Chef Randy Rucker's highly anticipated return to a restaurant of his own, after his James Beard-nominated Bootsie’s, brings Houstonians cuisine executed with a deep love of Third Coast produce and cuisine, balancing Southern classics with modern techniques.
Boca2 Gastro Bar & Bites
Just off the I10 freeway and near Memorial Dr., Boca2 Gastro Bar & Bites offers exotic Spanish tapas meals with a modern twist. The menu offers authentic selections inspired by Spain's traditional favorites.
French expats Florelle and Rabih Salibi brought a little piece of Paris across the pond with the opening of their French bakery and cafe. The Galleria-area space promises authentic traditional baguette sandwiches, crepes and pastries in a casually-industrial-style space.
Just off Washington Avenue, the nightlife newcomer adds plenty of come-as-you-are appeal to the area’s after-dark scene. Fuego’s promises more than just signature cocktails and more than two-dozen craft beers, but also premium bar food and a space to unwind after the work week.
Helen Greek Food and Wine
Helen Greek Food and Wine is Houston's first modern Greek restaurant. The city has featured Greek diners, Gyros, and traditional restaurants, but it's not often that you find a modern Greek taverna outside of NYC or Greece itself. Helen Greek Food and Wine also boasts the second largest all-Greek wine menu in the country.
Sushi fans were relieved when Alex Kinjo, co-owner of MF Sushi and his chef-brother Chris Kinjo reopened their celebrated Houston sushi restaurant in mid-summer 2015. After operating in the Galleria area—and closing in October 2014—the pair has relaunched in a stunning Museum District space.
Rice Box started off as a wildly popular food truck serving the Montrose nightlife and University of Houston students for lunch. But owner John Peterson recently created a brick-and-mortar location in Upper Kirby's Greenway Plaza food court to compliment their signature on-the-go meals.
OPENINGS: JUNE 2015
The comfort food experts behind Jus’ Mac unveiled their much-anticipated sibling restaurant in June. The casual, Oak Forest spot serves a mix of breakfast and lunch options, showcasing the company’s signature biscuits. The homey, counter service restaurant promises more than a dozen biskit sandwiches, waffles (including a fried chicken-topped option), as well as omelets.
Crescent City Beignets
After closing its River Oaks doors in 2014, Crescent City Beignets relocated and reopened in June, much to the delight of longtime fans. Located on the fringe of The Galleria area, just east of Voss, the Louisiana-inspired eatery turns out New Orleans-style beignets and authentic creole food.
Dripped Nail Salon
If you want to treat your nails, and yourself, to something more than your typical in-and-out assembly line salon, head to the artists at Dripped. The manicurists at this modern salon are sticklers for detail, focusing on hand-painted designs, nail wraps and customer service.
Houston Visitors Center
The city's official visitors center moved to a new, temporary spot on Avenida de las Americas on June 1 before a more permanent home is established in the Convention District.
La Grange features coastal Mexican flavors with an expansive outdoor patio. The restaurant and bar is located in a former horse hospital from the 1930s that later became EJ's, a popular bar from 1974-2014. Sara and Rob Cromie of Cottonwood enlisted the help of head chef Daniel Ajtai to create a menu that exudes a fresh coastal take on Tex-Mex.
Lawless Spirits & Kitchen
The corner of Travis St. and Texas Ave. was the site of the Capitol of the Republic of Texas from 1837-1839. Lawless Spirits & Kitchen now sits in the original space under the historic Rice Hotel and features one of Houston's best patio views.
Lincoln Bar & Kitchen
Washington Ave. offers a booming mix of eclectic bars, laid-back lounges, and acclaimed restaurants. Lincoln Bar + Kitchen takes the best of both worlds and combines a hip fusion restaurant with a lively patio bar.
Mala Sichuan Bistro - Montrose
The much loved staple of Chinatown, Mala Sichuan Bistro, has opened a second location in Montrose. Owner Cory Xiong strived to develop a Chinese restaurant in Houston that would set her apart from the rest, and with rave reviews the newly opened Montrose location offers many of the bistro's signature dishes alongside new Sichuan-style bites.
Pho Binh - White Oak/Heights
Long a staple for Vietnamese families, pho has become popular among American diners looking for true Asian cuisine. And few places in Houston match the flavor you'll find at Pho Binh, which is why more locations continue to pop up around town.
The Ginger Mule Tonics & Meals
The Ginger Mule Tonics & Meals has all of the ingredients for a night out on the town. The American gastropub whips up classic comfort foods from scratch alongside craft cocktails. Though the Ginger Mule is new to the area, the interior exudes a lived-in and welcoming feel. The pub is lined with dark wood, worn in chairs and all of the makings to be a local's regular hangout.
Tod's (The Galleria)
The Italian shoe and accessory brand has opened a location in The Galleria offering its luxury men’s and women’s designs. The 2,000-square-foot shop is located between Tourneau and Mezlan on Level 1.
Dallas-based Velvet Taco expanded its upscale taqueria concept in summer 2015, opening a fourth location along Houston’s Washington Avenue. Situated in the former home of The Rig, the spot turns out globally-inspired tacos in everything from crisp tikka chicken tacos and Annatto shredded pork tacos to a flank steak and shrimp and grits version.
OPENINGS: MAY 2015
Barnaby's Cafe - Museum District
Museum District residents and patrons were happy to welcome another full-service restaurant to the neighborhood with the May 2015 opening of Barnaby's Café. The popular dog-friendly restaurant has several locations sprinkled throughout central Houston.
B&B Butchers & Restaurant
B&B Butchers brings a traditional butcher shop and an upscale steakhouse together under one roof on Washington Avenue. The dual concept is housed in the historic Dittman Bakery built in 1924.
Bollo Woodfired Pizza
Bollo Woodfired Pizza mixes the best imported and domestic ingredients to create authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. Owner and Chef Ray Salti, formerly of Sorrel Urban Bistro, uses imported Caputo "00" Italian flour and DiNapoli San Marzano-style tomatoes to shape his specialty pies.
Bovine and Barley
Downtown welcomes a new gastropub where meat and beer are king. Bovine and Barley might best be known for its appearance before you ever set foot inside. A large wall-sized lit up letters reading "HTX" is spread across the exposed-brick walls.
This is not your ordinary burger joint. Buffburger delivers high quality, natural ingredients from local farmers and bakeries. The makers of these all-natural burgers, Paul "Buff" and Sara Burden, focus on local, natural and sustainable without sacrificing flavor.
The Commoner + The Boulevardier
Downtown Houston has a new bar with a split personality. Conveniently nestled along the light rail on Main Street, The Commoner + The Boulevardier has something for everyone.
Del Frisco's Grille - The Woodlands
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House established itself as the go-to spot around the country for quality steak in a traditional atmosphere. Now, the company behind that chain has brought its newer and slightly more casual concept, Del Frisco's Grille to The Woodlands.
El Tiempo 1308 Annex
The second Montrose-area location of El Tiempo Cantina's wildly popular Tex-Mex concept opened along Lower Westheimer in spring 2015. The sibling restaurant is the seventh in the Laurenzo family's culinary empire, which is known for its signature fajitas and margaritas.
Fluff Bake Bar
Fluff Bake Bar has been a long time vision for Pastry Chef Rebecca Masson. The Midtown spot, which marries a bakery and bar concept, opened in late May 2015, making Masson's dream of owning her own sweet shop a reality.
Looking for a new neighborhood café? Try GrindHouse, a coffeehouse/bakery in the Independence Heights neighborhood. From apple fritters and sandwiches to smoothies, frappes, and coffee creations, the small café makes everything fresh with local ingredients.
Texas flavor meets Lousiana creole at Gumbo Jeaux's. The Cajun restaurant, which opened its first Houston location near IAH Airport in 2010, has developed a faithful following among north Houston residents.
The menu at Harwood Grill, formerly 60 Degrees Mastercrafted, is built around generous offerings of hard-to-find akaushi beef, a breed of Japanese cattle that are raised in America. Fritz Gitschner, the former longtime executive chef of Houston Country Club, bills his new restaurant as "ranch to table."
Jackson Street BBQ
The pits are fired up and ready to barbeque at Jackson Street BBQ in downtown Houston near Minute Maid Park. The joint venture is the brainchild of Houston BBQ legends Bryan Caswell, Bill Floyd and Greg Gatlin. Their combined expertise will surely satiate the hunger of any barbecue lover in a laid-back environment with counter service and good vibes.
Le Cakery Boutique
A little piece of Paris found its way to west Houston with the opening of Le Cakery Boutique. Set in a strip center along I-10, the bakery quickly developed a following with Memorial and Spring Valley residents for its picture perfect cookies, cakes, cupcakes and pastries.
Peli Peli - Galleria
Peli Peli (also known as Piri Piri or Peri Peri), which means Bird's-Eye Chili, is a spice that was discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th Century on the plains of Southern Africa. Now the South African fusion cuisine at Houston's Peli Peli features delicacies from that region along with American steak, chicken and seafood favorites.
Revival Market (Update)
Beyond its grocery staples, the market has recently expanded its services to provide daily breakfast, lunch and dinner service, more seating for diners, as well as a wine and cocktail menu. Enjoy tasty options like smoked lamb sausage with heirloom grits and mustard green jus, or roasted pastured half-chicken with sweet potato, thyme and caramelized lemon.
Rustic Oak Gastro Pub & Wine Bar
Celebrity chef and Texas native, Wendell Price, has opened his most authentic restaurant concept to date. Rustic Oak Gastro Pub & Wine Bar is a heart-felt tribute to Price's passion and roots. The cozy Montrose restaurant features a "rustic chic" menu of Americana-themed dishes with a French creole twist.
STAG Provisions for Men
STAG Provisions For Men is a modern day general store for every man. The clothing store also sells antiques, accessories, gifts, and other fashion for the modern gentleman.
OPENINGS: APRIL 2015
Located in historic Downtown, the classic, speakeasy-style bar and lounge recently made the move from the old Barringer Norton Tailors building to its new home, a few blocks away. There, owners Robby and Chieko Cook offer up beer and wine with live music.
Houston Watch Company
The Houston Watch Company channels the rich history of Houston into its cool modern feel. Housed in the old Southern Pacific Railroad Building across from the Bayou Lofts, the bar gets its name from the 1912 Houston Watch Company that once called the space home.
Hugs & Donuts
You may just want to hug the creators behind the gourmet donut establishment Hugs & Donuts.Matt Opaleski and Jason Hill are sweetening the pastry game in Houston with unique donut flavors like Crème Brulee, Lemon Meringue Pie and Devils Food Cake (topped with chocolate glaze and pretzels).
Johnny's Gold Brick
Head to your Heights home away from home at Johnny's Gold Brick.Brought to you by the same folks that run Downhouse and D&T Drive Inn, expect the same crafted cocktails and friendly service as its sister shops.
PESKA Seafood Culture
PESKA Seafood Culture, the fish-market-slash-restaurant, blends fine dining and shopping in the Uptown area. Step inside to find display cases of fresh produce and seafood flown in fresh from around the world.
Pizaro's Pizza - Montrose
Hand-tossed dough, San Marzano tomatoes, Bufala mozzarella, imported Italian olive oil and other authentic ingredients go into every pie at Pizaro's Pizza. The pizzas are then cooked in wood-fired brick oven built in Naples, Italy for 90 seconds at 900 degrees.
Love cycling? One of Houston's most popular boutique cycling studios just opened its third location in River Oaks. In addition to offering its signature "Revolution Ride" experiences, the newest outpost will add yoga classes to the mix.
Anvil Bar & Refuge alum Chris Frankel has unveiled his Midtown cocktail emporium. Perched above Cook & Collins, the spot promises a well-edited selection of craft cocktails in an intimate space.
Rice Village offers countless dining options with fare from all over the world. Sud Italia transports diners to the coast of Southern Italy. Owner Shanon Scott and Chef Seles Romero draw inspiration from their many years refining Italian cuisine.
Ula's Mexican is the creation of owner and chef Ulises "Ula" Gonzalez, a native of Chiapas, Mexico. Its famous fajitas and authentic enchiladas have caused the Tex-Mex grill to create a new location off Washington Ave, one of Houston's premiere foodie destinations.
OPENINGS: MARCH 2015
Named one of Zagat's Top 5 New Patios in Houston, Añejo is already making waves on the west side. The Tex-Mex restaurant pays tribute to traditional Texan favorites with what it calls "Elevated Tex-Mex".
Grab a friend, or a book, and head over to EQ Heights coffee shop. Tucked in the heart of the historic Heights neighborhood, EQ was once a small bungalow along the main boulevard. Today, the renovated space still has that "welcome home" feel as visitors congregate for hours with a cup of Joe.
Jinya Ramen Bar
There's no shortage of noodle spots in Houston, but there's always room for more. Jinya Ramen in Midtown offers affordable, hearty Japanese soup. A must try? The rich Tonkatsu Black, a creamy, pork-based broth paired with earthy dried mushrooms, crispy garlic chips, a healthy dollop of chili and a subtly smoky poached egg.
From handmade pasta and pizza to modern takes on traditional classics, North Italia brings the spirit of an Italian taverna to the Uptown area. After a decade in business, the Arizona-based restaurant has opened a location just a few blocks from the Galleria.
Situated in a landmark building, as designated by The Houston Historical Society, The Astorian is an industrial-chic, 28,000-square-foot event venue located in The Heights area of Houston. Conceived by Andria Design, the private loft space and rooftop takes inspiration from New York City’s infamous Grand Central Station.
The Commoner is downtown's latest hot spot to open its doors and welcome guests to sit back and enjoy simple, straightforward drinks. The low-key lounge offers a relaxed environment ideal for winding down after a long day, or catching up with friends.
The Republic Smokehouse & Saloon
Authentic Southern BBQ gets an upscale spin at The Republic Smokehouse & Saloon. The Midtown restaurant, which is a collaboration between pit master Cedric Williams and the talent behind Hearsay on the Green, opened in March 2015, delivering fall-off-the-bone ribs to the masses.
OPENINGS: FEBRUARY 2015
The West Coast transplant recently settled into an art deco space at Fairview and Taft, near Bar Boheme. On the menu, Akamaru skips the Americanized-style offerings in favor of classic sushi, nigiri and sashimi selections.
Beckrew Wine House
At Beckrew Wine House, expect a quality wine list paired with a wide variety of Italian-style bites.
Trained at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute, Michael Sanguinetti was previously the executive chef at Artisans in Midtown. Now at the upscale-casual Commonwealth, he's blending Gulf Coast flavors with dishes like chargrilled oysters, fried green tomatoes and seafood gumbo.
Henke & Pillott
Named after the Houston grocery store chain that occupied the space over 150 years ago, downtown's Henke & Pillot's patrons should add to their grocery list craft cocktails and delicious dishes.
Located along the south side of I-10, near the Antoine intersection, the no-frills shop brings the area a much-needed destination for well-made espresso, cappuccino, lattes and teas.
Spring Water Cafe
East Coasters looking for their bagel fix were excited for the opening of Spring Water Cafe in West Houston’s Energy Corridor. The spot, which opened in early 2015, quickly garnered a local following for its New York-style bagels and deli offerings.
Located inside Tanglewood's much-anticipated HEB store, Table 57 is more than a grocery store restaurant. The sit-down outpost is the first of its kind in the company and boasts a full-time executive chef and a menu inspired by one of the city’s most-loved chefs, Randy Evans.
OPENINGS: JANUARY 2015
Big Eyed Fish
It’s hard to miss the cerulean colored building near the intersection of Washington Avenue and Henderson Street. Inside, a come-as-you-are crowd digs into comfort food classics, local beer and wine.
The Highland Village-set Capone's Bar & Oven has moved, replanting its roots on Richmond Avenue and bringing with it the same gourmet pizza that's been drawing crowds since 2008.
Fire Station 11
Matt Tabrizi, co-owner of the new Fire Station 11, brings the area a casual, farm-to-table venture that is more than just a pizza joint. Beyond outside-the-box pizzas, guests will also find daily-changing chef specials, gourmet panini options and fresh pastas.
iFly Houston - Memorial
Houston's first indoor skydiving facility is now open in West Houston. Guests from ages 3 and older can book a flight and feel the rush of freefall skydiving without the risk of jumping out of a plane.
Il Mascalzone - Shepherd
Fresh from London, Il Mascalzone has hopped the pond to Houston and opened its second location. Created by former Italian Olympic boxer Andrea Magi’s, the restaurant touts housemade pizzas and pastas, prepared using premium and (mostly) organic ingredients.
Located in the Houston Heights, Ladybird's is a family-owned neighborhood bar featuring craft beers, tasty cocktails and revamped bar food classics. Brothers Taylor and Darin Lee may be first-time bar owners, but they've recruited the help of Houston nightlife veterans Charles Bishop of Liberty Station and Cottonwood, and Lyle Bento, executive chef of the upcoming restaurant and bar concept Southern Goods.
Oporto Fooding House & Wine
From the creators of Oporto Wine Café and Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen, husband and wife team Rick and Shiva Di Virgilio have opened Oporto Fooding House & Wine in the heart of Midtown.
Sweet Paris Creperie & Cafe - CityCentre
After successfully launching their crepe business in Rice Village, Allison Young Chavez and Ivan Chavez have expanded with a second area outpost in West Houston's CityCentre. Head there for a mix of sweet and savory crepe options, as well as coffee and wine.
Foodies may have met their match at Urban Eats, the multi-purpose food shop offering up a fast-casual eatery, full service bar and gourmand market all in one.
Weights + Measures
Weights + Measures was once a name once given to government agencies that worked to ensure vendors were selling exactly what they were advertising. Now, four like-minded Houstonians have come together at Midtown's newest neighborhood restaurant, bakery and bar to provide hungry and thirsty patrons alike with the promise of quality food and drink.
OPENINGS: DECEMBER 2014
Christian's Tailgate - Energy Corridor
The latest incarnation of the burger-making empire, which sits in the shadow of TopGolf Houston West, is the largest location to date. The spot continues to deliver a casual atmosphere filled with flat-screen TVs and 45 brews on tap.
Dak & Bop
Head to Dak & Bop for a taste of Korean-style fried chicken, where the made to order wings and drums are double fried for extra crisp and three special sauces ignite the taste buds.
Gino's East - The Woodlands
Deep-dish lovers don’t have to travel to Chicago anymore to satisfy their pizza cravings now that Chi-town’s famous Gino’s East has opened a location in The Woodlands.
Lucchese, the 130-year-old El Paso-based company famed for handcrafted Western boots, opened its fourth store in the nation in Houston's Highland Village in December.
Patagonia Grill & Cafe
Located on the north side of I-10 West, in the same shopping center as Spec’s and Home Depot, the restaurant promises top-notch meats and fish dishes prepared on Patagonia’s genuine Argentinean grill.
Houston modern luxury meets conscious brand clothing at Wardrobe, the Montrose neighborhood boutique which opened December 2014. At this local Houston boutique, fashionistas can find American-made goods, globally conscious brands, and even sourced wares crafted from recycled materials.
Fans of Chef Clair Smith's Canopy and Shade can rejoice as Woodbar plants its roots in the Montrose neighborhood adjacent to Canopy. Start the morning with coffee and house-made pastries then segue into a full bar of craft cocktails and small-bites.
Relax, Imbibe and socialize with the knowledgeable staff at Wooster's Garden. Whether you're a beer novice or craft connoisseur, the friendly bar backs will guide drinkers through hundreds of draft and bottled beers.
OPENINGS: NOVEMBER 2014
Barnaby's - The Heights
Barnaby's has been a staple in Houston for years, serving up large portions at the right price for chow-hounds and healthful eaters alike. Most recently, the canine inspired diner has staked its claim in the historic Heights neighborhood.
The Chicken Ranch
Fried chicken fanatics can now rejoice thanks to the recent opening of The Chicken Ranch. Named after the infamous Texas bordello, guests can enjoy their fried chicken with a side of Houston history.
Gray's Public House
Enjoy cans and cocktails at Gray's Public House, the newest gastropub to hit Midtown. Though you can always expect to catch a game on a flat-screen, don't expect to find your typical sports and beer joint. Gray's interior is modern and elegant, with white tile walls, black concrete floors and a menu of upscale pub food that will attract even the most timid of sports fans.
Little Bigs (Moved)
After six years serving signature sliders at 2703 Montrose, Little Bigs got a little too big for its 20-seat space, forcing the team to make the leap to a bigger property. In November 2014, the retro burger concept reopened in its new home, minutes away, at 4621 Montrose.
Luna y Sol
Located in Midtown, the fast-casual dining restaurant offers guests regional, authentic Mexican food developed by a Le Cordon Bleu Executive Chef. On the menu, guests will find traditional burritos, enchiladas, tortas and flautas, all made with fresh ingredients using recipes straight from Mexico.
Moderno Tacos + Tex Mex
Find an upscale taste of Tex-Mex at Moderno Tacos & Tex Mex, located just outside the Beltway on Briar Forest. This casual, urban eatery is reminiscent of an upscale cantina complete with Oscar, the trophy elk hung center stage in the dining room.
The Nightingale Room
Mike Criss, the opening GM for Downtown’s OKRA Charity Saloon, has teamed up with the Clumsy Butcher group on a new venture. Located along Main Street, the shotgun-style space boasts an impressive 2,200-strong vinyl record collection and a stage to showcase a mix of local and traveling artists.
Prohibition Supperclub & Bar
The burlesque and cabaret concept that built a following in the Galleria area recently made the move to a historic space Downtown in fall 2014. See performances by The Moonlight Dolls, enjoy craft cocktails and dig into chef-driven new American fare.
Whole Foods - Post Oak
Part grocery store, part community gathering place, the new Whole Foods Post Oak (located in the Uptown/Galleria area) is a foodie wonderland. From mountains of fresh, organic produce to the first-ever in-store brewery—the chain’s new Houston store is turning out to be a crowd pleaser.
OPENINGS: OCTOBER 2014
Cyclone Anaya's Mexican Kitchen - West University
Known as one of the more tasteful Tex-Mex restaurants in the city, Cyclone Anaya's Mexican Kitchen is now bringing its mix of margarita-fueled fun and upscale casual dining to Houston's West University. The local restaurant chain run by the offspring of the famed wrestler Jesus "Cyclone Anaya" Valencia is bringing more of its traditional tastiness to its fifth location.
Davis Street at Hermann Park
Located inside the Mosaic hi-rises on the edge of historic Hermann Park resides a New American restaurant with Culinary Institute LeNotre grad, and executive chef, Javani King at the helm. Davis Street at Hermann Park brings reimagined flavors to American comfort food favorites.
Hearsay on the Green
Hearsay Gastropub now has a sibling downtown known as Hearsay on the Green. Located within Downtown's Embassy Suites Hotel, the restaurant offers New American fare in an atmosphere similar to its sister restaurant.
Farrish Hall of Texas Wildlife - Houston Museum of Natural Science
The Farish Hall underwent a major renovation, reopening in October. With more than 425 specimens, representing well over 250 species on display, the hall offers the most species-rich assemblage of Texas wildlife anywhere. On display are a diverse array of species that one might encounter here in Texas, both presently and in the past.
Tucked away in the East End is the latest restaurant to pop up in the up and coming EaDo neighborhood. Kitchen 713 offers Southern food with a globally inspired twist. Think fried okra (with pickled chilies and tomato jam), chicken biscuit (with smoked jalapeno brown butter honey drizzle), and chicken & dumplings (with sweet potato gnocchi and crispy chicken skin).
Best known for its impeccable stock of items for the home, Kuhl-Linscomb also draws a loyal clientele with its masterful mix of sought-after items. With a dramatic expansion in fall 2014, the store now offers more than 80,000 square feet of display area, positioning it as the largest privately owned design and lifestyle store in Houston.
Along with the new JW Marriott downtown comes Main Kitchen and its 806 Bar & Lounge. The new eatery is led by executive chef Erin Smith and pastry chef Sharon Gofreed. Foodies are in for a treat with Smith's globally inspired, seasonal menus.
Pappas Meat Co
After taking on Tex Mex, seafood, barbecue, Greek and diner fare, Houston-based Pappas company expanded their restaurant empire again in fall 2014 with Pappas Meat Co. Set in East Houston, the casual spot celebrates traditional American and authentic Southern cuisine.
The brains behind Bellaire and Memorial’s popular Union Kitchen ventures has expanded his Houston offerings with Paul’s Kitchen. Located in the space that was most recently home to Haven, Paul’s Kitchen promises a chef-driven scratch kitchen that maximizes locally-sourced ingredients in a seasonally-changing menu line-up.
Don’t expect peace and quiet at Montrose’s Pax Americana, the recently-opened biz is abuzz with patrons digging into modern American fare in a Craftsman-style space. The restaurant is located in the former Thai Sticks spot.
Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop
Chef Anita Jaisinghani has expanded her sweet offerings at the acclaimed Pondicheri in Upper Kirby. The small counter space for baked goods and a few fresh juices is now a full-scale bake "lab" and shop just upstairs from the main restaurant.
Located inside Hotel Sorella, Radio Milano brings a Modern Italian experience to west Houston. Chef Jose Hernandez sends out Italian selections, made from the finest imported ingredients, with an infusion of Texas ranch and farm-to-table beef, produce and dairy.
The Gorgeous Gael
The legacy of Jack Doyle, aka “The Gorgeous Gael,” continues in Houston’s Rice Village. The nightlife venue aims to bring a new Irish bar concept to America. Located along Morningside Drive, the spot deviates from the traditional Irish bar set up, in favor of a sharper and more modern design, as well as a strong emphasis on food.
OPENINGS: SEPTEMBER 2014
Afterlaunching five other successful El Tiempo Cantina locations, as well asa specialty market, the team behind one of Houston’s Tex-Mex empires added a sixth West Houston location in fall 2014.
Locatedin Midtown Houston, GAGE Lounge—which stands for grapes, agave, grain and earth—is an upscale mid-century modern bar and lounge, featuring high-end spirits and wines, and savory food selections.
Gelazzi is the Houston Heights newest answer to beating the heat. The neighborhood gelato purveyor dishes out over 40 flavors of gelato. Still hungry? Gelazzi also offers a variety of pizzas, whole or by the slice.
Moving Sidewalk, inspired by ZZ Top guitarist and Houston native Billy Gibbons' first band, is the latest downtown drinkery. In the building where Goro & Gun once stood the owners have given the space a reboot, focusing on cocktails rather than ramen.
Museum Park Café
Museum Park Café is the first of its kind in the Museum District, and a welcome addition the Menil Collection's campus. The modern, open-air design of the building compliments the architectural gems surrounding it, while the open kitchen design creates a welcoming atmosphere.
Public Services Wine & Whisky Bar
Oxheart’sChef Justin Yu and the restaurant’s former sommelier Justin Vann have collaborated on a new nightlife concept, set in Downtown’s old 1884 Cotton Exchange building. The spot offers a global selection of whisky, wine, an edited cocktail line up and light bites.
Tout Suite Cafe
Thecompany that brought Sweet to CityCentre has expanded with an EaDo-set concept. The urban-chic spot (pronounced “toot sweet”) is quickly gaining a reputation for its brunch, baked goods and ample workspace.
Yellow Rose Distilling
This just-opened, 10,000-square-foot facility with tasting room is located adjacent to Uptown and Memorial Park, just north of Interstate 10. Founded in 2010, Yellow Rose Distilling locally produces four award-winning varieties of whiskey and a recently-launched vodka.
OPENINGS: AUGUST 2014
Big Blue Whale
For Big Blue Whale, a good old fashioned toy store is about creating a place for children and their families to come and feel happy. The independent shop stocks toys and other goods for curious kids as well as the adults who love them.
Longtime Pappas restaurant alum, Chris Smith, has set out on his own with a chef-driven Mexican-food concept in west Houston’s CityCentre. The quick-service restaurant is drawing fans with its scratch-made taco and enchilada offerings.
Fresh from London, Il Mascalzone has hopped the pond to Houston. Created by former Italian Olympic boxer Andrea Magi’s, the restaurant promises housemade pizzas and pastas, prepared using premium and (mostly) organic ingredients.
Explore the craft beer scene in Houston one pint at a time at Revelry on Richmond, the upscale sports and craft beer bar in the heart of Montrose neighborhood. The casual drinkery is ideal for grabbing a drink, watching your favorite sports team, and enjoying one of their relaxed outdoor patios.
Revolve Kitchen + Bar
The Galleria-area’s Hotel Derek has revamped its interior and its restaurant lineup with Revolve Kitchen + Bar. The upscale American restaurant, led by executive chef Shannen Tune, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a space that evolves throughout the day.
Ruggles Black Food Bar is a culinary collaboration of Asian cultures with French American cuisine. Led by Chef Bruce Molzan and restaurateur Neera Patidar, the menu also embraces the Paleo lifestyle and local food sourcing from area farmers.
Skinny Rita's Grille
Enjoy Mexican and Latin flavors in a healthier way at Skinny Rita's Grille. Skinny Rita's is the first restaurant in Houston to serve cactus tortillas, which are made fresh daily, are high in fiber and also gluten free.
Entrepreneur Shawn Bermudez continues to expand his reach in the Houston market, one Westheimer Curve spot at a time. His latest nightlife venture is set in a renovated beauty supply store and sends out specialty cocktails, local brew, wine and bubbles.
Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen - Eldridge
The Enchilada queen has expanded again. Full-service dining, featuring award-winning Tex-Mex and interior-of-Mexico cuisine, finds a home in the Energy Corridor. Chef and owner Sylvia Casares draws a faithful foodie following for her unique dishes made from homemade recipes and fresh ingredients.
OPENINGS: JULY 2014
Andiamo Fresh Italian
Located Downtown, steps from the METRORail, Andiamo Fresh Italian offers fast, fresh, homemade Italian food in a casual setting. The restaurant, whose name means “let’s go,” was founded by a longtime Carrabba’s alum and offers dine in, take out, local delivery, and catering services.
Bourbon on Bagby
Bourbon on Bagby is the newest place in Midtown for late night bites, patio hanging and of course, a solid mix of bourbon and scotch. The food-focused bar was developed by Matt Laterza, a former partner of the buildings previous tenant, OTC Midtown. Along with the help of Chef Kevin Campbell, the revamped menu will include items such as pulled pork, hamburgers, all-beef franks, as well as OTC favorites like their pizza, which have been tweaked and carried over to the new menu.
Cacao and Cardamom
Exotic handmade chocolates are what you'll find in Cacao & Cardamom, the sweetest new addition to the Centre at Post Oak. Located near Grand Lux Café and across from the Galleria, this decadent chocolate shop focuses on the art of chocolate with bold and innovative combinations.
Dosi, meaning "city", is a new restaurant and soju bar on Shepherd that puts a spin on classic Korean dishes. The Korean-inspired menu showcases a unique blend of Korean flavors with both chef's Southern roots. Head chef Jordan Asher - formally of Mark's, Pappas Seafood House, the Briar Club, Ibiza- will take the helm with former Just Dinner chef at his side.
Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar (above)
Chef Mark Holley has been a staple in the Houston culinary scene for years, paving his path in restaurants like Pesce and Brennan’s. Finally, with the opening of Holley’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Holley has a place to call his own.
Montrose brew lovers can enjoy their craft beer at home now that Jugs Draft is open. The shop, which offers growler fills, craft beer, kegs, supplies and 50 craft beers on tap specializes in non-packaged, local, hard-to-find and seasonal varieties.
While maintaining a strong emphasis on classic cocktails, Julep -- named after the iconic Southern cocktail -- embraces regional drinking culture.
Riondo's Ristorante Bar & Grill
Riondo's is the latest restaurant to flock to Galveston. The Italian eatery is located on the Strand District in one of the many historical buildings in the area. Classic dishes have been fine tuned here, with Chicken Parmesan, calzones, stromboli and pizzas taking center stage for lunch. Finer fare graces the dinner menu with dishes like grilled filet mignon, gamberi scampi and veal picatta.
Sal y Pimienta Kitchen
West Houston’s CityCentre welcomed a new restaurant tenant in May 2014 with the opening of Sal y Pimienta Kitchen. Delivering South American fare, the spot offers a modern twist on traditional South American recipes using organic selections from land and sea.
Wet 'n' Wild SplashTown (new attractions)
Don’t miss the multimillion-transformation of Houston’s largest waterpark. Beyond increased parking, improved food and beverage offerings and more shaded lounge areas, Wet ’n’ Wild SplashTown unveiled three new exciting rides in 2014.
OPENINGS: JUNE 2014
Bernie's Burger Bus
Burgers so good they had to stop the bus. Bernie's Burger Bus now has a reserved parking space at its new brick and mortar restaurant in Bellaire, which means there's no need to chase down the bright yellow bus to sink your teeth into a juicy burger.
Bosta Coffee & Wine
Located in the heart of the Museum District, Bosta Coffee & Wine offers light-but-delicious eats alongside an extensive list of coffee and wine.
A major piece in the renaissance of the Downtown Historic District has opened at the corner of Main and Congress. The Honeymoon adds coffee, light bites and cocktails to the already bustling area near Market Square Park.
Pappasitos Cantina - Downtown
Pappasito's has opened its Downtown location inside the Hilton Americas hotel, bringing its award-winning menu to visitors in the Convention District.
Red Dessert Dive & Coffee Shop
Red Dessert Dive & Coffee Shop is a sweet addition to the historic Heights neighborhood, whipping up classic American treats like cupcakes, cookies, whoopie pies, brownies, cakes and more.
Modeled after a dive bar you might find on a drive along a Texas highway, Sage County brings all the fun of road-trip excursions to one convenient location in Midtown.
Solaro Urban Winery
It's true, great wines need room to breathe. But at Solaro's winery, packed in the dense urban environment of midtown Houston, a little room goes a long way with these custom wines.
Springbok Bar & Grill
Originally hailing from South Africa, Los Angeles restaurateur Peter Walker and Andrew Segal have launched Springbok Bar & Grill in downtown Houston, an authentic rugby bar showcasing diverse Southern Hemisphere foods.
OPENINGS: MAY 2014
Bayou City Theatrics
Bayou City Theatrics has opened its doors in a large, ornate space at Main and Capitol streets now dubbed The Kaleidoscope.
From pond to plate, Boil Houston brings authentic Louisiana crawfish to the Bayou City, tucked away in heart of the historic Heights neighborhood.
Buc-ees in Texas City
What do you call a store that's 60,000 square feet, has a beaver for a mascot, and serves as a sporting goods store, a Texas boutique, toy store, surf shop, deli, and miniature grocery store rolled into one building? Buc-ee's!
Chef Roy Shvartzapel has spent time in the kitchens of elBulli, Pierre Hermé in Paris, Cyrus and Bouchon in Beverly Hills. Now he and partners Brad Sanders and Kathy Sanders, along with a stellar lineup of culinary talent, have come together to create Common Bond in Montrose.
Gyu-Kaku recently made its way into the Houston market, bringing with it a style of barbecue most Texans aren't accustomed to but will surely appreciate.
Heights Candy Bar
Sometimes the door sticks (perhaps from all of the sweet treats inside) but give it a tug and go back to the days of being a kid in a candy shop. Nestled in the Heights, Heights Candy Bar offers an array of sweet treats.
Lillo & Ella
Chef Kevin Naderi, owner of the popular Montrose restaurant Roost, is opening up a new pan-Asian restaurant in the Heights. A departure from Roost, Naderi includes brunch and lunch as well as dinner on Lillo & Ella's menu.
Mio-boutique is a fresh addition to high fashion women's boutiques. Located in lower-Westheimer, this high-end shop carries unique and stylish clothes from casual to cocktail-ready attire.
Don't be alarmed by the bright yellow and blue flames on this truck, the only things Pepe's Grill is firing up are their unique twist on Latin American and American flavors. With a menu that includes BBQ ribs, enchiladas, and shrimp, everyone can find their favorite food for an affordable price at Pepe's Grill.
Red Ox Bar & Grill
From the culinary talents that brought Mexican fare to Montrose residents for nearly 15 years at Bocados, Terry Flores and Lily Hernandez are on to their next venture with Red Ox Bar and Grill. Patrons can still expect handmade salsas, Timothy's Favorite Flautas and fresh, in-shop corn, whole-wheat and regular flour tortillas. But with the opening of Red Ox, the chefs have expanded their culinary offerings to include more eclectic menu options like Chorizo burgers, blackened tilapia, Cuban sandwiches and walnut pear salad.
From a brewing technique perfected over 160 years ago, Siphon Coffee in Montrose brings a slow-brewed cup of joe only found in a handful of places in the U.S.
Table on Post Oak
Table on Post Oak offers a globetrotting menu in the trendy BLVD Place development near the Galleria. With a culinary team led by Chef Manuel Pucha, the menu reflects his own contemporary style and love of bold flavors.
OPENINGS: APRIL 2014
Head to the historic Heights neighborhood and settle in for a few hours at Boulevard Coffee with a cup of coffee, in house pastries and, if you're lucky, a casual concert by any number of talented local musicians. From singer song writers to Irish folk groups, Boulevard Coffee has quickly become a showcase for the quirky and the artsy known to reside in the Heights.
Bradley's Fine Diner
Bradley's Fine Diner was created by two-time, James Beard Award-winner, Chef Bradley Ogden, and his son Chef Bryan Ogden. The family owned diner may sound like a place to grab a quick burger, but don't let the name fool you. With a nod to the diner era, the restaurant is handsomely casual but the Modern American menu is focused.
Kim Etheridge's carefully curated Rice Village boutique is full of “modern goods for happy occasions.” Inside, the cheery space is adorned in celebration-ready banners and pennants, birthday party materials and everything needed to outfit parties and other festivities.
House of Pies - Kirby
Five months after an extensive fire caused the Kirby-set House of Pies to close, the local institution returned in April 2014, boasting a fresh interior and a new patio space. Beyond the dessert-filled pastry cases, guests will still find the vintage menu boards hanging on the wall, as well as the diner-style bar seating and retro wallpaper.
Houston-based Lily Rain recently made the leap from online to brick and mortar with its first U.S. shop in Rice Village. The lifestyle concept, which launched in October 2013, stocks women’s clothing and accessories, as well as home decor from established and rising-star designers.
Piatto Ristorante- Heights
After the success of the first location in Uptown, Piatto has opened a second Italian eatery in the Heights neighborhood. John Marion Carrabba ensures that Piatto plates up colorful, Americanized Italian classics.
TopGolf Houston - North
In April 2014, North Houston welcomed the city’s second TopGolf entertainment complex, set between Downtown and The Woodlands. The tech-savvy entertainment venture boasts 102 hitting bays, an upscale restaurant and bars on all three levels.
OPENINGS: MARCH 2014
Midtown residents have another French-Vietnamese outpost to satisfy their banh mi cravings at now that Cafe Helene has opened along the METROrail. On the menu, customers will find a mix of vermicelli bowls and rice plates, along with pho and banh mi.
Embers American Grille
Tanglewood residents now have a new steakhouse to frequent. Embers American Grille, with its dark and inviting interior, is ideal for a bite after work or a casual date.
Local Foods- River Oaks
The second location of Benjy Levit's scratch gourmet sandwich shop has set up shop in Taco Milagro's old digs in River Oaks. Expect an always changing menu, locally-sourced products and a cheerful interior at his latest spot.
Coffee drinkers and shoppers of fine wine and cheese can rejoice thanks to the recent opening of Max Gonzalez's second Mercantile location. Gonzalez started out with Washington Avenue's popular Catalina Coffee and Amaya Roasting Company, then expanded on the coffee concept into the gourmet grocer realm.
Midtown Mobile Cuisine
Why pick just one restaurant when you can have an assortment of options come straight to you? Midtown Mobile Cuisine's Food Truck Park rolls in new food options daily, bringing with it an assortment of savory culinary provisions from breakfast to dinner.
Pimlico Irish Pub
Named after his family's Dublin-set pub from the 70s, Kevin McElroy's Pimlico unfolds in a two-story expanse that features a traditional bar set up downstairs and killer Downtown views from the second-story patio.
Punk's Simple Southern Food
Located next door to Rice Village's Coppa Osterio, Punks celebrates classic southern dishes pulled from the regions of the Gulf Coast up through the Carolinas. Inside the rustic meets mod space, guests can dig into everything from deviled eggs and pimiento cheese to shrimp and grits and peach cobbler.
OPENINGS: FEBRUARY 2014
Andes Café is the East End's newest spot. The laid-back eatery showcases food from the South American countries that run the span of the Andes mountain range: Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela.
Brooks Family BBQ
Third Ward residents craving smoked ribs, baked beans and brisket found a new place to indulge with the recent opening of Brook’s Family BBQ. Located across the street from the University of Houston, the family-run spot serves wallet-friendly barbecue and traditional southern sides.
Fish & The Knife
Four years after breaking ground, executive chef Bob Iacovone and sushi chef David Kim are turning out fresh catch at the highly anticipated sushi, creole and japanese-influenced concept. The breathtaking space, designed by New York-based architect Tony Chi, was worth the wait.
Flow Juice Bar
Increasing your health and happiness is the number one goal at Flow Juice Bar. Just ask one of the ambassadors on staff who are there to help educate you as you embark on your juice experience.
Johnny Carrabba's newest culinary venture pays tribute to his grandmother, Grace. The striking brick bungalow space sets the scene for family recipes and plenty of southern charm.
The Heights Lodge Gastropub
After closing for a reconception and remodel, Washington Avenue Drinkery has reopened with a new, food-focused vision. Expect locally-sourced "American Revival" fare served in a rustic chic space.
Kate Spade, Highland Village
Fans of Kate Spade's clean-lined bags and accessories no longer have to venture to The Galleria to peruse her punchy products now that the brand has opened a second flagship location in Highland Village.
West Houston continues to welcome new dining options as Kuu recently opened in the Gateway Memorial City Complex. The upscale Asian fusion concept serves artistically plated sushi, as well as hot and cold options.
Luigi's Pizzeria, Bellaire
This family owned and operated pizza joint has been such a fan favorite in Midtown that they recently opened a second location in Bellaire. At Luigi's Pizzeria you get crowd-pleasing New York style pizza from a wood burning oven at a reasonable price.
Upper Kirby has a lot to offer when it comes to fine dining, but a casual pizza joint? Thanks to Luna Pizzeria, a classic slice of pie is now a reality.
OTC Patio Bar
Think patio, games and grill. OTC Patio Bar is the place to be to catch Monday night football or boxing match on TV, play air hockey with a friend or grab happy hour after work.
The Les Givrals Kahve family has expanded their reach with an Upper Kirby set bakery shop. Find daily-made macarons, fruit tarts and cookies, as well as Illy coffees.
Want even more scoop on all of Houston's newest restaurants, boutiques and attractions? Check out our monthly breakdown of all the hot-spots that opened in the past year.
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