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The “Best” Restaurants in Houston

August 11th, 2011 2 Comments

If you’re local or just soooo curious about what you’re missing out on.  The places mentioned here are the classic Houston spots, which is exactly where you should be going if you’re visiting.

Listed are the official winners and my favorites.

Best Caffeine Fix

Winner: Agora

Finalists: Agora, Antidote, Catalina, Inversion, Paulie’s

MARY’S FAVORITE: CATALINA COFFEE

Best Breakfast

Winner: Buffalo Grille

Finalists: Barnaby’s, Buffalo Grille, Empire Cafe, 59 Diner, the breakfast klub

MARY’S FAVORITE: BARNABY’S

Best Hamburgers (No Frills)

Winner and Mary’s Favorite: Becks Prime

Finalists: Becks Prime, Christian’s Tailgate, Lankford Grocery, Pappas Burgers, Prince’s Hamburgers

Best Hamburgers (Creative)

Winner: The Burger Guys

Finalists: Bernie’s Burger Bus, Branch Water Tavern, Hubcap Grill, Max’s Wine Dive, The Burger Guys

Best American

Winner: Barnaby’s Cafe

Finalists: Barnaby’s Cafe, Benjy’s, Ruggles Green, Max’s Wine Dive, Beaver’s

MARY’S FAVORITE: RUGGLES GREEN

Best BBQ

Winner AND Mary’s Favorite: Goode Co. Barbecue

Finalists: Demeris, Goode Co. Barbecue, Luling City BBQ, Otto’s, Pizzitola’s

Best Crawfish

Winner: Ragin Cajun

Finalists: Bayou City Seafood, Danton’s Seafood, Mardis Gras Grill, Pappadeaux, Ragin Cajun

Best Chinese

Winner: Fung’s Kitchen

Finalists: Cafe Chino, Dragon Bowl, Fung’s Kitchen, Gigi’s Asian Bistro, Kam’s Fine Chinese, Shanghai River

Best French

Winner AND Mary’s Favorite: Cafe Rabelais

Finalists: Bistro Le Cep, Brasserie Max & Julie, Cafe Rabelais, Le Mistral, Philippe

(For a more affordable option, Mary seriously loves La Madeline)

Best Gulf Coast Cuisine (Casual)

Winner AND Mary’s Favorite: Brennan’s

Finalists: Brennan’s, Danton’s Gulf Coast Kitchen, Ouisie’s Table, Ragin’ Cajun, Tony Mandola’s

Best Indian

Winner: Indika

Finalists: Bombay Brasserie, Indika, Khyber North Indian Grill, Kiran’s, Red Lion Pub

Best Italian (Casual)

Winner AND Mary’s Favorite: Carrabba’s

Finalists: Carrabba’s, Collina’s, D’Amico’s, Damian’s, Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino, Prego

(Although Pasqual was not mentioned and Damian’s is not casual in my opinion.)

Best Italian (Upscale)

Winner: La Griglia

Finalists: Da Marco Cucino e Vino, Grotto, La Griglia, Nino’s, Vincent’s

MARY’S FAVORITE: DA MARCO

(La Griglia should be under casual and I would choose Carrabba’s over LG.)

Best Latin

Winner: Churrascos

Finalists: Amazon Grill, Americas, Churrascos, El Meson, Julia’s Bistro, Mi Luna, Tintos

MARY’S FAVORITE: AMERICAS

Best Mediterranean

Winner: Niko Niko’s Greek

Finalists: Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine, Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet, Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill, Niko Niko’s Greek, Yia Yia Mary’s

MARY HATES NIKO NIKO

Best Mexican

Winner: Ninfa’s on Navigation

Finalists: Chuy’s, Cyclone Anaya’s, El Tiempo, Hugo’s, Ninfa’s on Navigation

MARY’S $$ FAVORITE: ESCALANTES IN HIGHLAND VILLAGE (then El Tiempo or Cantina)

MARY’S CHEAP FAVORITE: CHUY’S ON WESTHEIMER

Best Pizza (Traditional)

Finalists: Antonio’s Flying Pizza, Candelari’s, Collina’s, Fuzzy’s Pizza, Star Pizza

Winner: Star Pizza

MARY’S FAVORITE: PALAZZO’S

Best Pizza (Nontraditional)

Winner: Pink’s Pizza

Finalists: Bombay Pizza, Cafe Pita, ERA, Pink’s Pizza

MARY’S FAVORITE: TINY BOXWOOD’S

Best Seafood(Casual)

Winner: Goode Co. Seafood

Finalists: Eddie V’s, Goode Co. Seafood, Masraff’s, Pesce, Reef

MARY’S FAVORITE: EDDIE V’S (OR PESCE)

(However, Goode Co. is the only casual one on the list. The other ones are upscale and $$)

Best Steakhouse

Winner AND Mary’s Favorite: Pappas Bros Steakhouse

Finalists: Fleming’s Steakhouse, Pappas Bros Steakhouse, Perry’s Steakhouse Taste of Texas, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse

WAIT!  IT’S A TIE: I REALLY LOVE VIC AND ANTHONY’S TOO! (They’re on opposite sides of town.  Let geography decide.)

Best Susi

Winner and Mary’s Favorite: Kata Robata

Finalists: Azuma, Blue Fish House, Kata Robata, Oishii, RA Sushi, Sushi King

Best Thai

Winner: Thai Cottage

Finalists: Asia Market, Nidda Thai, Padthai Thai, Thai Cottage, Vieng Thai

Best Vietnamese

Winner: Mai’s Restaurant

Finalists: Huynh Restaurant, Kim Son Restaurant, Les Givral Cafe, Mai’s Restaurant, Van Loc Restaurant

Best Service

Winner and Mary’s Favorite: Brennan’s

Finalists: Brennan’s, Hugo’s, Mark’s American Cuisine, Mockingbird Bistro, Tony’s, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse

Best Fine Dining

Winner and Mary’s Favorite: Brennan’s

Finalists: Brennan’s, Hugo’s, Mark’s American Cuisine, Mockingbird Bistro, Reef

Best Vibe

Winner and Mary’s Favorite: Backstreet Cafe

Finalists: Backstreet Cafe, Benjy’s, Brennan’s, Max’s Wine Dive, Ninfa’s on Navigation

Best Vibe Newcomer: Up

Best View

Winner: Rainbow Lodge

Finalists: Arista, Beck’s Prime (Memorial Park), Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou, Rainbow Lodge, The Grove

MARY’S FAVORITE: BRENNER’S

Best Food On Wheels

Winner: Bernie’s Burger Bus

Finalists: Bernie’s Burger Bus, Eatsie Boys, Htown StrEATS, Fusion Taco, Melange Creperie

MARY’S FAVORITE: EATSY BOYS

Best Newcomer

Winner: El Real Tex-Mex

Finalists: Ava Kitchen & Wine Bar, Brasserie 19, El Real Tex-Mex, Philippe, Pondicheri

MARY’S FAVORITE: BRASSERIE 19

Best Patio

Winner and Mary’s Favorite: Backstreet Cafe

Finalists: Backstreet Cafe, Brenner’s on the Bayou, Cedar Creek, Onion Creek, Tiny Boxwood

Best SLGT (Support Local Grow Together)

Winner and Mary’s Favorite: Haven

Finalists: Haven, Laurenzo’s, Revival Market, Stella Sola, T’afia, Zelko Bistro

Best Farmers’ Market

Winner: Urban Harvest Farmers Market

Finalists: Canino’s Produce, Houston Farmers Market at Rice Village, Midtown Farmers Market/T’afia, Revival Market, Urban Harvest Farmers Market

Best Dessert

Winner: The Chocolate Bar

Finalists: Amy’s Ice Cream, Cheesecake Factory, Crave Cupcakes, Dessert Gallery, The Chocolate Bar

MARY’S FAVORITES:

  • Chocolate Cake: La Griglia (have them heat it until it melts)
  • Bananas Foster: Eddie V’s
  • Bread Pudding: Brennan’s
  • Pecan Pie: Goode Company
  • Cupcakes: Crave
  • Cookies: Tiny Boxwoods

 

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  • Jamie

    Seriously, how can you hate Niko Niko’s?
    Even if it’s not your favorite, why single it out and declare your hatred of it?
    Such a strange place to voice intense dislike, and it kinda invalidated the rest of the list for me.

    • http://morethanmary.com Mary Rambin

      Because I truly didn’t like the experience. We waited it line. There was no where to sit. The food is over-priced for what it is, in my opinion. My lunch wasn’t very good. What else can I say?