Houston is a big city with a big appetite, and local cuisine reflects Texas sensibilities. You’ll find an abundance of fantastic barbeque restaurants and some surprises. There’s a large Vietnamese community in Houston, and numerous restaurants offer both traditional and fusion Vietnamese dishes. Seafood is also popular, and you’ll find lots of options in the area.
What Food is Houston Known for?
Houston’s barbeque and Tex-Mex cuisine can’t be beat, but remember, this city isn’t too far from the coast, which means that some of the best food in Houston is from the sea. Vietnamese influence is also strong here: Many Houstonians love to make a meal of banh mi or a bowl of pho, while others enjoy Vietnamese-Cajun seafood specialties, such as spicy crawfish.
What to Expect from Houston Restaurants
Houston may surprise you with international influences on its Texas cuisine. Fine dining is certainly available, but you’ll also encounter many affordable, low-key establishments. Regardless of formality, expect large portions at most eateries. Houston isn’t far from Louisiana, so you can also find a Cajun influence on many local menus.
Best Restaurants in Houston
With a dining scene as varied as Houston’s, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Here are a few standouts offering the best food in Houston and the surrounding area:
Nancy’s Hustle: This popular wine/cocktail bar serves a pointed selection of small and large plates, as well as delectable desserts.
Cajun Craven: Started by a family of Vietnamese refugees, the Vietnamese-Cajun seafood boils and sides here are the favorite of many native Houstonians.
The Original Ninfa’s: The Original Ninfa’s started offering Tex-Mex cuisine in 1973 and claims to be the restaurant that launched fajitas in the United States. Locals and tourists love the cuisine and the high-octane Ninfarita.