By John Egan
Eat your hearts out, America. Houston is the country's No. 1 city for foodies, according to readers of Travel and Leisure magazine.
In praising the sizzling fare in Houston, Travel+Leisure trumpeted: "The business-travel hub staged a Texas-sized upset this year, winning the food category by offering an irresistible combination of refined tastes and downhome comfort."
The magazine says its readers ranked Houston the top US food city in three categories: burgers, brunch and specialty food shops. Houston came in at No. 3 for wine. Travel+Leisure pulled the food rankings from its latest America's Favorite Cities survey, with readers rating various qualities of 38 places.
In its 2015 article about the Bayou City, Travel+Leisure highlighted four eateries:
● Revival Market "where local gourmands stock up on artisanal cheeses, charcuterie and house-made pickles and jams." On its website, the owners call Revival Market "our interpretation of a responsible 21st century market."
● Dak & Bop, which serves "Korean-style fried chicken with spicy sauces, paired with blackberry chili margaritas." A review on Zagat.com says Dak & Bop "offers made-to-order dishes from cage-free meat, twice-fried to ensure a crispy crust and juicy meat. The process takes about 20 minutes, so regulars know that patience is a virtue, and craft beer helps to ease wait times."
● Lankford Grocery & Market, where you can dig into "old-school, mustard-laced big boys"-AKA burgers. This eatery has been featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, with host Guy Fieri recommending Lankford's Firehouse Burger, basted with cayenne butter and smothered with hot-sauce mustard.
● Little Bigs, known for its 3-ounce sliders. The burger joint has become so popular that it recently moved from its tiny home in the Museum District to bigger digs in the Montrose area.
Food aficionados may recall that Travel+Leisure isn't the only publication to recently give kudos to Houston's cuisine scene. In the magazine's March 2015 issue, GQ restaurant critic Alan Richman declared Houston "America's next great food city." Richman cited five Houston-area restaurants: Killeen's Barbecue, Oxheart, Pax Americana, Uchi and Underbelly.
"The thing I love about Houston's food scene is the opportunities. Most importantly, for the dining guest there's the opportunity to experience one of the most exciting times in Houston's food scene," Seth Siegel-Gardner, founder of Houston's The Pass & Provisions, told Thrillist.com last year.
Learn more about the evolving Houston Convention District at visithouston.com/meetings/.
Travel+Leisure Readers Serve up Top Rating for Houston Food
By John Egan