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: 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
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.
Julep (pictured above)
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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