New & Notable
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 IN OCTOBER
East End Backyard
Experience colorful art, a huge dog-friendly outdoor patio, a wide selection of drinks, and the best of Houston’s food trucks at East End Backyard. Owner, Houston Dynamo legend Brian Ching wanted to create a laid-back outdoor space with enough room for people and their dogs to safely socialize with friends.
Houston Botanic Gardens
Drift away in the midst of exotic and native plants, flowers and trees complimented by butterflies, birds and other wildlife that make up the Houston Botanic Garden. It is easy to discover and connect with the beauty and splendor of nature in the Garden’s 132 acres surrounded by Sims Bayou in what once was a public golf course.
OPENINGS IN SEPTEMBER
White Elm Cafe & Bakery
Four hospitality veterans have combined their talents to stir up a cafe and bakery concept that is sure to please Houston foodies. Guests can spend the entire day at White Elm Cafe & Bakery, from waking up in the morning to oven fresh baked breads and pastries to having lunch or dinner at the full-service, dine-in cafe or walk up counter.
Street to Kitchen
Look out Thai lovers, there’s a new reason to celebrate. Street to Kitchen is spicing up Houston’s East End with traditional Thai dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. Self-described as unapologetically, authentically Thai, Chef Benchawan Painter uses family recipes from her grandma’s neighborhood kitchen in Thailand where she grew up and enhances them with techniques she learned in some of Houston’s top restaurants. East deliciously meets west at Street to Kitchen.
Diners can take their taste buds on a food journey with Chef, now restaurant owner Aaron Bludorn. His namesake, Bludorn Restaurant is the Netflix Final Table stars’ first solo venture, and it’s located in Houston’s historic Fourth Ward neighborhood.
OPENINGS IN AUGUST
White Elm Cafe & Bakery
White Elm Cafe Bakery is a reflection of the best of its four owners: Christopher “Chico” Ramirez of Dinner Table Investments, Tasos Katsaounis, owner of Bread Man Baking and Chez Nous owners Scott and Stacy Simonson.
Street to Kitchen
Look out Thai lovers, there’s a new reason to celebrate. Street to Kitchen is spicing up Houston’s East End with traditional Thai dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.
Diners can take their tastebuds on a food journey with Chef, now restaurant owner Aaron Bludorn. His namesake, Bludorn Restaurant is the Netflix Final Table stars’ first solo venture, and it’s located in Houston’s historic Fourth Ward neighborhood.
Killen’s of the Heights
Good news for his longtime fans, the barbecue guru from Pearland is expanding his food empire. Ronnie Killen is opening a second Houston-based restaurant, he calls Killen’s inside Loop 610. Inspired by memories of his grandmother’s home cooking and family dinners, his newest venture focuses on southern comfort dishes, although some recipes are a throwback to his five other restaurant concepts.
OPENINGS IN JULY
Make way for Goode Bird—the newest addition to the popular Houston family of restaurants. You may be able to guess by the name, Goode Bird focuses on chicken, southern-inspired fried chicken that spends an entire day soaking in a mix of sea salt, thyme, seasoned buttermilk, and Texas honey before it hits the hot grease.
State Fare Kitchen & Bar (Sugarland)
A repeat performance for State Fare Kitchen & Bar, this time in Sugar Land Town Square. The restaurant known for its Southern comfort food in its second location will offer what it calls “upbeat Southern cuisine.”
OPENINGS IN FEBRUARY
Adair - Downtown
As children of the founders of Skeeter’s Mesquite Grill and Los Tios Mexican Restaurants, siblings Nick Adair and Katie Adair Barnhart have long dreamt of the day they would open their own restaurant concept and their vision came to fruition with Adair Kitchen.
Highland Village, home to lots of Houston’s upscale shopping spots, is also home to authentic South American dishes thanks to Alma.
Foodies can indulge in A5 Wagyu from Japan, dry-aged steaks, and filet mignon prepared at their table at BORI in Spring Branch. Serving Korean BBQ, BORI is the first of its kind in Houston.
The Burger Joint - Heights
Head to the Heights and sink your teeth into a hand-crafted, locally-sourced burger at The Burger Joint. From classic to offbeat, the menu offers a wide variety of burgers to satisfy any palate.
The Federal Grill - Memorial
The Federal Grill’s second location in Memorial continues the reputation of the American restaurant by offering an impressive whiskey collection and plates of delectable comfort food.
Local Group Brewing
Foodie-approved bites and craft beer is a winning combo at Local Group Brewing in the Houston Heights.
Urban South Brewery
New Orleans and Houston have at least one thing in common — Urban South Brewery. Nestled between the Houston Heights and Rice Military in Houston Sawyer Yards, the brewery offers New England style and European style IPAs and other craft beers.
Wing-lovers living or traveling near West University Place will rejoice to know wings can be delivered in a sealed bag, hot and ready to eat right to your door, wherever that may be.
OPENINGS IN JANUARY
Houston is in every detail at Eighteen36 in Upper Kirby, named for the year the city was founded, down to the Houston-themed cocktails served alongside Greek-American dishes.
A little West Texas flair made its way to West University Place in early 2020 by serving up hand-pressed tortillas, fresh salsas and even from-scratch pastries.
The Gordy, a 66,850 square foot three-theatre campus is nestled on the outskirts of Montrose as a venue built to entertain Houston and its visitors.
Mutiny Wine Room
A fine wine tasting room in the Heights known as Mutiny Wine Room opened in 2020 for Houstonians and visitors with sophisticated wine taste.
Shiny, sparkling drinks and donuts is the delectable combo that makes up Sugar Room in the Heights.
Sunset, where cocktails are created with sunsets in mind in a space where visitors can view Houston’s finest while sipping them, is located in East Downtown Houston.
The Turkey Leg Hut - Galleria
Houston's Galleria area is the home to the stuffed turkey leg and other innovative food items, The Turkey Leg Hut.
A Portland-original donut shop opened in 2020 in the Heights with its first drive-thru location. VooDoo Doughnuts is decked out with graffiti murals, serves a variety of interesting flavored donuts and is open 24 hours a day.
OPENINGS IN DECEMBER
Antone's - Med Center
A local favorite for nearly fifty years, Antone's still makes their "original" po' boys using the same recipe and quality ingredients that its founder used. The menu includes a tasty array of other sandwiches, New Orleans style po' boys, salads, pizzas and sides.
Famously known for their peking duck and soup dumplings, Bamboo House serves high-quality Chinese food for lunch and dinner near Greenway Plaza.
The shoppable studio located in Rice Village showcases all of Christina Greene’s semi-precious jewelry as well as clothing, purses, home décor and an assortment of gifts.
Common Bond - Heights
Located on historic 19th Street in the Heights, Common Bond bakery and cafe offers an impressive savory menu as well as a vast array of viennoiserie, pastry, bread, gelato and more.
Halal Guys - Garden Oaks
Made famous by their wildly popular food cart in New York City, the Houston outpost for Halal Guys brings quintessential Mediterranean street food to their brick-and-mortar location in the Heights area.
Jeni's - Heights
Grab a spoon for a taste of a delectable treat on historic 19th Street in the Heights at Jeni’s, an ice cream shop serving scoops of uniquely smooth-textured ice cream in an assortment of flavors.
Fresh sushi quality fish is flown daily to the Heights at Moku Bar, a poke bowl, fast, casual restaurant.
The Houston Heights is home to Sticky’s Chicken, a food-truck-turned-restaurant serving an array of chicken coated with mouth-watering sauces.
OPENINGS IN NOVEMBER
Buffalo Bayou Brewing
The brewery upgraded to a new location in 2019 featuring a three-story, 28,000-square-foot facility. Hosting a capacity of 50,000 barrels a year the restaurant seats 200 and serves more than 70 beers on tap.
Guard and Grace
A modern steakhouse concept called Guard and Grace lives in One Allen Center in Downtown Houston and features a complete charcuterie station and raw bar.
East Downtown is home to Koffeteria, an upscale bakery dishing out pastries, coffee, ice cream, and plated desserts.
Uptown Park is home to Merus Grill, the first of its name in the restaurants owned by J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. The seafood and steakhouse serves a variety of classics that frequenters of the J. Alexander’s eateries will recognize as well as some fresh dishes whipped up specifically for this concept.
Politan Row offers a twist on the food hall concept in Rice Village with shareable dishes and big community tables to encourage the beauty of eating together.
Pop Up Shop - Galleria
Next to Nordstrom’s at The Galleria Mall, there is a Pop Up Shop featuring an array of Houston’s entrepreneurial spirits working to grow the small business scene in the big city.
Popfancy Pops - Chinatown
Sweet treats in Chinatown are plentiful, but PopFancy is a popular spot for an icy goodies. Serving up fresh-made popsicles, the sweet shop’s treats are made using fresh produce hand-selected at the peak of season, so the flavor menu changes often.
Rice Village has boots that Texas locals love, and visitors can snag them at Tecovas. Tecovas makes handmade, high quality boots and advertises them at reasonable prices.
The Waffle Bus
Breakfast connoisseurs and lovers must head to the Heights to try Houston food truck The Waffle Bus’s first brick and mortar restaurant. The food truck has been operating since 2012, but the first store opened in 2019.
OPENINGS IN OCTOBER
Annie's Cafe & Bar
This chic Galleria restaurant serves no-frills Texas-inspired American cuisine with a hefty wine list and cocktail area for those looking for a fun night out.
This Rice Village hotspot has gotten a makeover but still keeps all the charm and fabulous cuisine Houstonians have come to expect.
A lively bar and fresh seafood make this Gulf Coast restaurant a must-visit for any fish lover.
Rosalie is a classic Italian restaurant located in the ultra-chic C. Baldwin hotel. Fresh pasta and pizza are standouts on the menu from chef Chris Cosentino.
Comforting and inviting, this Heights-area restaurant serves up European food with an inventive cocktail list.
Take a trip around the world at this eclectic restaurant showcasing dishes from different parts of the globe.
Universal Standard 1:1
This intimate shopping is a revolutionary way to spend some cash. Part store, part community space, Universal Standard 1:1 offers stylists, hot merchandise and community space for events.
OPENINGS IN SEPTEMBER
From the team who brought Houston The Pit Room comes this Tex-Mex restaurant serving up staples like tamales, enchiladas and of course, fresh margaritas.
Deemed Houston’s “retro space saloon,” this Midtown bar offers food and drinks that are sure to make everyone smile. Oh, did we forget to mention the indoor slide?
One Dim Sum
Located in Midtown, this dim sum hotspot is open seven days a week offering sum-thing different with dim sum specialties and authentic Chinese favorites.
The second Postino, located where Montrose Mining Company once was, dishes up "snack things," as well as craft beer and wine.
Chef Adam Garcia has created a little piece of Italy in the heart of the Montrose district. With high-quality flatbreads, charred vegetables and an array of pasta dishes, this charming restaurant is casual dining at it's finest.
The Toasted Coconut
Get toasted at this new tiki-inspired restaurant and bar featuring a fun patio, indoor lounge and adult sandbox. Sip on specialty cocktails as you munch on small bites like thai crispy rice, skewers and delectable dumplings.
Wings of Houston
Grab your bros and head to this Houston wing joint for some of the best and most creative wings in the city. With more than 20 different sauces, Wings of Houston serves up wings that will make any game day much more exciting and flavorful.
OPENINGS IN AUGUST
Cambria Hotel Houston
Cambria Hotel in Downtown Houston is a beautiful part of Choice Hotels’ upscale Cambria Hotels & Suites collection that offers contemporary style and convenience for the modern traveler.
Davis Street at Hermann Park
Chef Mark Holley closed two Museum District restaurants in 2017, but has since combined the favorite menu items of each and added more to re-open Davis Street at Hermann Park. Located inside the Mosaic hi-rises on the edge of historic Hermann Park, Davis Street at Hermann Park serves New American dishes.
Mama Ninfa's Tacos Y Tortas
One of Understory’s treasures in Downtown Houston is Mama Ninfa’s Tacos Y Tortas. Serving Mexican street-style tacos, tortas and traditional Tex-Mex fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Mama Ninfa’s is a spinoff of The Original Ninfa’s, a Houston Tex-Mex favorite.
Montrose Cheese & Wine
Montrose Cheese & Wine features 12-15 cheeses and 125 wines in a small but darling 800-square-foot store in Montrose. The charming spot is both retail shop and café, offering cheese, wine, charcuterie, pastries and coffee.
In Montrose, guests can top off the morning with an espresso or cap off their night with a glass of wine at Penny Quarter. Self described as an “all day café and bar,” Penny Quarter pours fresh brews and wines from an extensive wine selection from 7 a.m. to midnight or 2 a.m. on weekends.
Chinatown is home to a “DIY” teppan style Japanese restaurant called Pepper Lunch. Meals at Pepper Lunch come out piping hot on iron plates so you can “sizzle it your way.”
Tikila’s, a tiki-themed tequila bar in the Heights features palm trees and cabanas in addition to the obvious — margaritas, mojitos, an array of frozen drinks and plenty of other cocktails to choose from.
Houston’s Downtown tunnel system got bigger, better, lighter and brighter when Understory changed the scene in 2019. The space includes 10,000 square feet of retail and 20,000 square feet of public space, making it a spacious entryway to the tunnel system.
OPENINGS IN JULY
AC Hotel Houston
The AC Hotel by Marriott Houston Downtown (AC Houston) is the first AC hotel in Houston and only the second in Texas. Developed by NewcrestImage, the property is an adaptive reuse of a historic 1914 building in downtown Houston.
BB Lemon - Montrose
B&B Butcher’s more casual offshoot, BB Lemon, was inspired by the simple joys of meat maestro Benjamin Berg’s childhood in New York.
Bellaire Food Street
The heart of Houston’s Chinatown hosts a center known as Bellaire Food Street, featuring food-truck-turned restaurants, fusion food stops and an array of dessert shops.
Bravery Chef Hall
Downtown Houston became cutting edge in the culinary world when Bravery Chef Hall opened on Travis Street in 2019.
Fat Ni BBQ
Nothing says Chinatown in Houston like a Chinese street food and BBQ menu combo, and that’s exactly what Fat Ni BBQ has to offer.
Taiwanese teas, treats and desserts arrived in Chinatown in 2019 when Meet Fresh opened on Bellaire Food Street. The restaurant originally opened in Taiwan in 2007 and has since expanded to America, Canada, Japan and Vietnam.
A slice of California arrived in Texas in 2019 when Mendocino Farms opened in Rice Village. The sandwich shop first opened in downtown Los Angeles and, after expanding to several other California cities, made its way to Texas with Houston first one the list.
Serving up Vietnamese street food in Chinatown, Migo Saigon Food Street was one of the first restaurants to open in Bellaire Food Street.
Monkey’s Tail, a Mexican-American bar near the Heights, features craft cocktails, a creative bar food menu, dog-friendly patio and a pool table.
OPENINGS IN JUNE
Houston’s Chinatown is home to the “world’s best creampuffs” with Beard Papa’s. With more than a dozen cream puff options, Beard Papa’s offers guests the opportunity to create their own combination of shell and cream for a customized mouth-watering treat.
C. Baldwin Hotel
An anchor for The Allen Center at the gateway to Downtown, C. Baldwin honors the brash and fiercely independent Charlotte Baldwin Allen, The Mother of Houston. Convenient sky-bridges connect the hotel to the Allen Center buildings and Heritage Plaza.
Flower & Cream
West University got a little sweeter when Flower & Cream opened in 2019. Destined for Instagram sensationalism, Flower & Cream serves up fancy desserts in a picturesque shop just waiting for ice cream taste-tester models to stroll in.
Sometimes there’s nothing better than fresh oysters, towering seafood displays and good drinks. Anyone looking for an upscale seafood experience should visit Loch Bar in the River Oaks District. This iconic Baltimore establishment is the third location of its kind and hosts plenty of ways to indulge in delicious fare.
Montrose is known for hosting an array of unique restaurant and bar concepts, and Lotti Dotti is no exception. A patio bar serving craft cocktails and bar food, Lotti Dotti gets Houstonians and visitors outside even in the hottest months of the year.
Tapas, a Madrid menu and authentic Spanish cocktails and nightlife are just the highlights at MAD Houston in the River Oaks District. With a menu focused on tapas and paellas, MAD will keep the flavors coming to the table all night long.
The Mediterranean arrived in River Oaks District when Ouzo Bay opened in summer 2019. With a Greek wine list, handcrafted cocktails, small batch whiskeys and seafood caught around the world, the menu is sure to wow guests and take their taste buds to another continent.
Shake Shack - Downtown
New York’s “roadside” burger stand sprouted from a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park back in 2001, quickly developing a cult following that lined up daily for double stack burgers, cheese fries and frozen custard. In the years since, Shake Shack has planted permanent roots throughout the Big Apple and the rest of the U.S., so area fans were elated to find that the fast food biz would be expanding to Houston in fall 2016.
With the highest vantage point in Downtown Houston, Strato 550 offers seasonal Mediterranean-influenced lunch dishes, perfect for the business-traveler on the go.
The Original Ninfa's Uptown
All the locals know the original Ninfa’s is the best location for fajitas, queso, margaritas and homemade tortillas, so rather than opening another franchise location, the owners brought the original to Uptown.
OPENINGS IN MAY
In the ever-growing Energy Corridor in Houston, B.B. Italia and B.B. Pizza To Go have made a home for themselves as an Italian restaurant with a fresh-take on the traditional cuisine.
Cloud 10 Creamery - Montrose
Touted as one of Houston’s best dessert spots, Cloud 10 Creamery’s location in Montrose, right on the border of Upper Kirby, may surprise even the most discerning frozen treat connoisseur.
Magnol French Baking
Just outside the loop in Spring Branch, Magnol French Baking serves pastries and fresh baked organic bread to patrons and wholesellers alike.
Visitors and locals alike can take a little snooze in the middle of the day in Houston’s Rice Village at Nap Bar, which is just what it sounds like — a local establishment for tired passersby to take a break from the hustle with their eyes closed.
Snowy Village in Chinatown serves up bingsu, Korean shaved ice for Houston locals and visitors to give the city a taste of Asian desserts.
A Heights favorite that started as a food truck for locals to grab a taco on their way to I-10 became a brick and mortar in 2019.
Near Upper Kirby, made-to-order dumplings come hot and fresh to tables at Trendy Dumpling. Offering soup dumplings and authentic sichuan cuisine, Trendy Dumpling
Just north of Rice Village, chips, queso and refreshing alcoholic beverages spiked with hibiscus await visitors at Tropicales.
OPENINGS IN APRIL
1751 Sea & Bar
Hop on over to 1751 Sea + Bar in the Heights for a unique dining and drinking experience straight out of the Gulf Coast.
AVEVA Rugby Stadium
In Central Southwest Houston, AVEVA Stadium is home to the Houston SaberCats Rugby team and is the first of its kind in Houston and the second in the United States.
Located just outside the loop is the first Middle Eastern-esque ice cream shop in town, Booza, home of the “stretchy ice cream.”
A piece of Greece in the Houston Heights called Daphne’s is serving up Mediterranean fare jam-packed with healthful benefits.
Upper Kirby is home to Mina Ristorante, a charming locale serving Italian inspired comfort food.
The Pink Elephant Room
On Washington Avenue in the Heights, there is a dive bar with a pool table known as The Pink Elephant Room.
The Smoking Pot
Located in Spring Branch, The Smoking Pot serves CBD oil-based products and coffee, without the THC that Texas prohibits.
Smack dab in the heart of the Houston Heights is a plant-based restaurant serving up vegan and vegetarian dishes popping with color.
OPENINGS IN MARCH
Common Bond - Medical Center
Located in the Medical Center, Common Bond bakery and cafe offers an impressive savory menu as well as a vast array of viennoiseries, pastries, breads, gelatos and more. Come for breakfast, lunch or a late afternoon pastry and cup of coffee.
Emerson Sloan - Memorial/Tanglewood
Emerson Sloan is a go-to modern party supply store in Houston. Catering to kids, teens, and adults, owner Kim Etheridge’s well-edited collection of clever, curated items never fails to delight those who walk through the doors.
Houston Cider Company
Located in the Greater Heights, Houston Cider Company is within walking and biking distance of all of the Heights communities. The cidery is Houston's first of its kind and serves minimally processed ciders.
Kubo's Sushi & Washoku
Between the Heights and Downtown, Kubo’s Sushi & Washoku treats sushi lovers to a delectable collection of Japanese cuisine.
After closing its original restaurant in Montrose, Les Ba’get opened for the visitors of Houston Heights on 34th Street. Known for their bahn mi sandwiches, this Vietnamese cafe is a local favorite.
Located in Montrose, the Penny Whistle replaced the infamous Harp Irish Pub but kept all the endearing favorites of Houston locals. Known for their Steak Night and Tallboy Tuesday events, the pub also has ping pong, jukebox, darts and foosball for diners’ entertainment.
Taste Bar + Kitchen
A Midtown lively, casual dining spot, Taste Bar + Kitchen whips up various versions of fried chicken and waffles, like General Tso’s Chicken & Waffles and even vegan chicken & waffles made with chicken fried cauliflower.
Unicorn Magical Dessert Bar
The Unicorn Magical Dessert Bar showers Montrose with scads of sparkly ice creams, lemonades, hot chocolates and other sweet treats.
OPENINGS IN FEBRUARY
Decant Urban Winery
Decant Urban Winery is nestled north of the Heights where guests can learn about the wine-making process and taste a variety of small-batch wines.
Hopdoddy - Heights
Right down the street from the shopping district on 19th Street in the Heights is a burger-lover’s haven — Hopdoddy.
Orange Artichoke Kitchen
A grab and go eatery in the Heights, Orange Artichoke Kitchen serves fresh food, made with whole ingredients for people in a hurry.
Slowpokes, a coffee and snack stop with two location in Upper Kirby and the Heights, describes themselves as a "community shop" where visitors can take time to relax.
Tropical's Colombian Restaurant
Tropical’s Colombian Restaurant in Montrose offers to-go Colombian food.
True Anomaly Brewing
Located in a transformed warehouse in EaDo, True Anomaly Brewing hosts a variety of beers designed to surprise taste buds and satisfy beer enthusiasts.
Verandah Progressive Indian Restaurant
Upper Kirby is home to Verandah, an upscale progressive Indian restaurant serving flavor-packed, authentic Indian lunch and dinner dishes.