Houston is nothing if not delicious. You cannot visit the city without becoming at least a little jealous of our prowess when it comes to the culinary arts. So, if you’re hungry, get here soon!
I like to tell people that you can literally find any style of food in Houston, from Vietnamese to Ethiopian and everything in between, and it will be authentic and probably among the best you’ve ever had.
If not the best.
It is true, by the way.
That’s probably because of our status as the most diverse city in the United States. So, get ready, because this is my personal guide for you on some of my favorite places to eat in the Bayou City. A caveat before we get started. I selected these spots because they are the places I enjoy hanging out with friends and family the most. Some of them are more formal. Others you can show up to in flip flops and shorts, and you’ll fit right in just like you’re at home. Ambience for me is just as important when it comes to picking a great spot to connect with someone over a meal. That also played a major role in my selections.
To kick things off let’s make a quick stop at Mexico’s Deli. Nestled unassumingly in southwest Houston in the Alief area, this family-owned restaurant offers the best selection of tortas (Mexican sandwiches) in the city. They easily have more than 30 different kinds of tortas on the menu and all the ones I have tried so far have been pretty amazing. The family that owns the deli is originally from Mexico City and you can tell from the menu and their friendly service. The Chilango spirit is very much alive. They also make a killer avocado and spinach soup, as well as all the regular taco selections you’d expect at a reputable Mexican food establishment.
My other favorite Mexican food restaurant is Taqueria El Alteño. Even though it is now a chain of restaurants in Houston, I practically spent the latter part of my 20s ordering the #4 on the menu after hours. That’s the quesadilla grande, which, to this day, is my go-to selection when I’m feeling nostalgic. Quesadillas are very simple to make so the fact that theirs is so memorable says a lot. They also have great pozole and menudo soups on weekends, along with live music and karaoke in Spanish. It’s usually people from the neighborhood belting out their favorite corridos or rancheras. Very charming indeed.
Just a few miles down the road is a Houston and Tex-Mex food staple, Irma’s Original. Irma opened her restaurant when there was literally nothing in downtown Houston. She’s kept adding on since then and today her restaurant, which is more like a collection of houses attached to each other next to the Houston Astros home stadium, is a hot spot for business meetings and power player lunches and dinners before a big game. The decor is very eclectic and feels like you’ve just walked into your grandmother’s home. Irma doesn’t have a menu. Instead she or one of the friendly servers will tell you what they have prepared for the day. Don’t worry, regardless of what you order it will be delicious. A word to the wise. Save room for dessert. The tres leches is to die for.
Since we’re talking Latino dishes, let me just tell you about Andes Cafe. Named after the Andes Mountains in Peru where the award-winning chef-owner David Guerrero is from, this trendy spot serves up a delicious selection of dishes from all over Latin America. You can order an arepa with a side of salchipapas, or a lomo saltado entree or a Colombian hamburger. Whatever you choose, you can bet it will be delectable and maybe even surprise you. I highly recommend the salchipapas. They are my favorite. The selection of international cocktails and beverages, as well as freshly squeezed juices, at Andes Cade is quite impressive. This is a great spot for bringing clients.
On the other side of town closer to Mexico’s Deli is another Latin American classic, Mi Pueblito. This Colombian restaurant serves up traditional dishes from Colombia, including the famous bandeja paisa. It’s basically a sampler platter with several meat choices, rice, beans, plantains, avocado slices and a corn patty. You can order the full size of the bandeja paisa if you’re extra hungry or if you’re sharing. Otherwise the medium size is plenty. The coffee is also really good here. On most days you will also be asked if you’d like to hear a song by one of the local musicians who perform from table to table. A little Colombian cumbia is always fun!
I could go on and on about Houston restaurants, but this list I feel will give you a delicious experience for certain. Other honorable mentions you might want to check out are Hugo’s, Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland, Maharaja Kebab and Grill Restaurant, and Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine in the Montrose area.
Choose to stay at a Best Western Hotels & Resorts location in Houston, where you’ll be able to start and end your day comfortably with all the amenities that make a hotel stay relaxing. There are many Best Western Hotels & Resorts to choose from in Houston, many of them near our restaurant selections. You can use a shared ride service to get around if you don’t have a car. That’s a big deal in Houston!