Good Food And An Even Greater Time? These Restaurants In Downtown Houston Are The Places To Be!

March 14, 2023
jason wolfe
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Downtown Houston has a lot to do and after a full day of shopping and sightseeing, you might be in the market for a place to sit and a plate of some really good food. With the city’s many restaurants, picking the right one can be a tad bit overwhelming, so we thought we’d help out by finding the best restaurants in Downtown Houston!

And if you’d like to go back home or to the hotel instead of eating out, you can also order take out- (and/or delivery) to and enjoy some delicious food in your own space. From casual to classy, there’s something for everyone on this list, so let’s get started!

If you’re in Houston for an upcoming event or celebration and are trying to find the perfect gift but are having a difficult time on what to choose then we’ve got you covered. Sometimes, it’s the simpler things in life that make the biggest difference, so consider purchasing them a virtual GiftYa card! GiftYa has thousands of e-gift cards to your favorite restaurants, online stores, local shops, and more. You can purchase up to $100 and within seconds, you can text or email your loved one a virtual gift card to their favorite spot. 

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1. Hearsay Market Square

A popular downtown restaurant where contemporary cuisine meets old school dining.

Their indoor decor really makes them one of the best places to eat in downtown Houston! Image courtesy of the Hearsay Gastro & Lounge Instagram page.

218 Travis St | Houston | hearsaygastrolounge.com

At Hearsay Market Square, you can expect to find the perfect blend of contemporary sophistication and old-fashioned charm. They boast about their “chic antique” design, which features a unique mix of historic architectural elements with modern pieces displayed around- (you can see a sneak preview in the photo above). 

On the menu, you’ll find a fine selection of upscale plates and craft cocktails. They serve lunch, dinner, and brunch favorites. Just some of the best dishes on the menu are their Crunchy Ahi Tuna Tacos, the Hearsay Impossible Burger, Bread Pudding French Toast, and the Artisan Bread Board. The drink menu offers special cocktails, beer, and wine to enjoy alongside your meal. 

Hours are from 11am to 11pm Mondays through Thursdays, 11am to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11am to 10pm on Sundays.

“We were here for 4days and this is by far the BEST place we dined!! Customer service was awesome and the food was absolutely delicious!! I recommend this pub, I promise you won't regret it!!  Carlos and the bar tender Omar made us feel very welcomed, we will be back soon!!” -Yelp Review

2. Niko Niko’s

This rustic restaurant venue is known for its amazing Greek and American dishes.

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“Voted Best Greek Food”- and just from how these gyros look, we might just agree! Image courtesy of the Niko Niko’s Greek & American Instagram page.

2520 Montrose Blvd | Houston | nikonikos.com

Tired of the typical Tex-Mex and New American restaurants in Houston? Try Niko Niko’s! This popular trio of Greek restaurants are known for their fresh dishes and modern dining space. Guests can order curbside pick-up or eat inside in their spacious dining room. Outdoor patio seating is also available if you’re in the mood to enjoy the fine Houston weather.

On the menu, you can find a decent mix of breakfast dishes, appetizers, sandwiches, and platters. Some of their most popular dishes include the Gyro Sandwich, Char-Grilled Pork Chops, and Lamb Kabob. Soft drinks, carafes, smoothies, tea, cocktails, and beer are also available to help quench your thirst after a hearty meal.

Niko Niko’s is open from 10am until 9pm every day of the week at this location.

“Been driving past this place for months and finally decided to go. Lots of parking in midtown which is rare, and place was busy! I got the Falafel sandwich, and a side of rice. Food was solid and not a lot wait either!” -Yelp Review

You can Purchase a GiftYa Gift Card to Niko Niko’s here!

3. Bungalow Downtown Dining

Their “fresh scratch kitchen” serves some of the best food in downtown Houston!

So many different flavor combos can really change the way you think about food! Image courtesy of the Bungalow Downtown Dining Instagram page.

407 Main St | Houston | bungalowdining.com

If you’re looking for a more “upscale or classy night-out on the town experience” then you’ve definitely come to the right place at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Choose between their upbeat bar scene that specializes in all things craft cocktails, a beautiful gold accented dining room, private party spaces for something a little more intimate, or when the weather's right, a rooftop patio outlooking those gorgeous downtown views.

Steaks, entrees, appetizers, soups, and salads are the main attraction here. They serve dishes like Truffle Fries, Wagyu Meatballs, Greek Salad, Lobster and Shrimp Bisque, many different cuts of delicious steaks like the 16 OZ Prime Cajun Ribeye with many different steak toppings to choose from, and more!

Bungalow Downtown Dining is open Sunday through Thursday 4pm to 11pm, and Friday’s & Saturdays 4pm to 12am.

“Food, service and Ambiance was Spectacular ! Went for Velentines day and they truly made it feel special   drinks was STRONG  but refreshing. Make sure to reserve booths early  is all because they fill up fast ! 10/10 would definitely come back” -Yelp Review

4. Treebeards

Vibrant restaurant in downtown Houston offering classic Southern and Cajun dishes.

A warm bowl of soup can definitely be a mood booster, especially soup this good! Image courtesy of the Treebeards Restaurant Instagram page.

711 Louisiana St | Houston | treebeards.com

Since 1978, Treebeards has successfully delivered delicious Southern cuisine to the hungry residents of Houston, Texas. Treebeards offers a fun, laid back dining experience for guests who want to enjoy a nice cold drink and a hearty Southern dish. And their location boasts about their sprawling garden and elegant architecture for guests to admire. 

On the menu, you can find a wide selection of soups, salads, sides, and entrees. Some of the dishes you can expect to see are their classic Red Beans & Rice- with or without Link Sausage or vegan, Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, and Meatloaf. Treebeards also offers daily specials Monday through Friday, with Fried Catfish being a favorite that pops up often.

Hours at Treebeards are from 10:45am to 2pm most days of the week, check in to see if they are open before heading over.

“Treebeards has some mighty DELICIOUS food!!! The shrimp etouffee is my favorite. We had an event there today in their semi-private room and the staff was AMAZING from start to finish.” -Yelp Review

5. Potente

An upscale, modern Italian restaurant featuring dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients!

When the food looks this good and tastes this good? A+! Image courtesy of the Potente Instagram page.

1515 Texas Ave | Houston | potentehouston.com

Offering a top-tier upscale experience, Potente in Downtown Houston is going to be your new favorite restaurant. This contemporary Italian restaurant features a sleek and sophisticated dining space perfect for celebrating special occasions or even just catching up with loved ones. 

Only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients are used to cook Potente’s dishes. Whenever possible, the restaurant also sources local ingredients for their award-winning meals. Guests can order a la carte or enjoy a specially-priced three-course dinner if they arrive between 5pm-7pm. Some of their dishes include the Ostriche Gratinate (southern roasted half shell oysters, artichoke, and Dimmit County Olive Oil) and the Branzino (cast iron seared sea bass, farmer’s vegetable confetti, and petite pea sprout). A full wine and dessert menu are also available to help round out your meal at Potente.

Potente is open from 5pm to 10pm on Mondays through Thursdays and from 5pm to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. They are closed on Sundays.

“Our server Emily was fantastic. Everything she recommended was on point: the carpaccio, oysters, octopus, truffle pasta, steak bolognese pasta. SOOOOOO GOOOOD. Even the bread rolls so warm and fresh melt in your mouth. Will definitely come again.” -Yelp Review

6. Irma’s Southwest Grill

Fajitas, tacos, and more classic Tex-Mex dishes await you at this popular eatery.

So much delicious food to fill up your plate makes for a great afternoon downtown! Image courtesy of the Irma’s Southwest Yelp photo page.

1475 Texas Ave | Houston | irmassouthwesthouston.com

Irma’s Southwest Grill is one of the top destinations in Houston for savory and creative Tex-Mex dishes. This popular spot is open for lunch and dinner as well as Saturday brunch! Irma’s “clean-cut,” modern dining space is also perfect for hosting private gatherings. Events like rehearsal dinners, corporate dinners, and other special events have been held here in the past. 

In terms of the menu, Irma’s serves interesting and appetizing dishes including the Wild Boar Tacos, Bacon-Wrapped Diablo Shrimp, and TX Angus Beef Fajitas. Handmade margaritas and cocktails are also served to help finish off your meal. And if you still have room for dessert, you should try the Homemade Tres Leches.

Irma’s is closed on Sundays, but Monday through Saturday the restaurant is open from 11am to 9pm.

“Amazing quality food. We were visiting from out of town. We were there as they opened on a slow day and they suggested customizations to try the different specialties of the restaurant. It's pretty expensive but worth it!  They have nice outdoor dining too.” -Yelp Review

7. Vic and Anthony’s Steakhouse

An award-winning steakhouse right in the heart of downtown Houston!

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Perfectly cooked steak is top tier at this nice restaurant in downtown Houston. We said it. Image courtesy of the Vic & Anthony’s Instagram page.

1510 Texas Ave | Houston | vicandanthonys.com

Vic and Anthony’s Steakhouse is an award winning restaurant with locations in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Lake Charles, and of course, Houston. This popular chain of restaurants offers world class food and drink that’ll definitely have you coming back for more.

If you’re looking for fine dining, you’ll find it here, and not just with the steaks! The selection of appetizers, soups, salads, and other entrees will make your mouth water just by looking at them.

Sundays through Thursdays, hours are from 5pm to 10pm Friday hours are from 11am until 11pm, while Saturday hours are from 5pm until 11pm. And the bar opens at 4pm every day of the week.

“Always good food here. The service was impeccable. The prime rib was perfect and the potatoes in duck fat were so yummy. I will definitely be coming back to try more delicious entrees.” -Yelp Review

You can Purchase a GiftYa Gift Card to Vic and Anthony’s Steakhouse here!

8. Grotto Downtown

Italian-inspired dishes in a classy setting with outdoor seating, perfect for lunch in downtown Houston!

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Nothing quite like a pizza right out the oven hot, fresh, and ready to serve! Image courtesy of the Grotto Ristorante Instagram page.

1001 Avenida De Las Americas Suite A | Houston | grottorestaurants.com

With both decor and dishes inspired by “Old World” Italy, Grotto in downtown Houston is all about the ambience. With colorful murals, brick arched ceilings, and amazing plate settings, you’ll feel like you’re not in Houston anymore. You can sit down to dine, order takeout online, or book a private event at any of their locations!

Grotto has an impressive selection on the menu, including signature dishes like the Herb Roasted Chicken Pizza, Veal Kickerillo, Pollo Milanese, and more! Choose a wine to accompany your meal and just enjoy the dining experience.

Grotto is open from 11:30am to 9:00pm Sunday through Thursday and 11:30am to 10:00pm Fridays and Staurdays.

“Overall good experience. It was a cute atmosphere and the food was decently priced for the quality. The drink selection and wine list was a nice and large variety. The outside area with fire pits was adorable.” -Yelp Review

You can Purchase a GiftYa Gift Card to the Grotto here!

9. The Nash

A restaurant and bar serving New American cuisine in a casual atmosphere making for the best lunch in downtown houston!

Some sliders, some fries, and a nice cold drink makes for a really great dinner plate! Image courtesy of The Nash Instagram page.

1111 Rusk St Suite 172 | Houston | thenashhouston.com

Located in the historic Star, The Nash is a restaurant and bar that’s all about offering good vibes and good times. Featuring a truly magnificent floor to ceiling bar and open kitchen, this place is for those who really wanna relax and enjoy the company of their loved ones.

You can dine inside or outside on their patio- (that’s dog friendly), or get take out. On their menu they have dishes including but not limited to Tater Tots, Shrimp Linguine, Atlantic Salmon, a Steak Salad, BLT, the ‘House Pizza’, and Filet Mignon!

The Nash is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11am to 4pm, happy hour is from 3pm to 6pm, and dinner is Monday through Thursday 4pm to 9pm, and Friday from 4pm to 9pm, and Saturday is 5pm to 10pm, while Sundays they are closed.

“This place was delicious! The food, the cocktails and the ambience were all 10/10. If you have the option definitely request to be served by Michele Cardozo, she was the sweetest and funniest waitress. She truly made this experience the best.” -Yelp Review

10. Perbacco

Great authentic Italian food at a restaurant that accommodates your needs!

Nothing quite like a good meal at the end of a long day exploring the town. Image courtesy of the PERBACCO Instagram page.

700 Milam St | Houston | perbaccohouston.com

Perbacco has been serving authentic Italian food for years, after its founder and owner— Vittorio Preteroti —moved to the United States from Capri Island in 1991. They pride themselves on their amazing customer service to go with their delicious food and wide selection of wine.

They serve a wide variety of dishes on their lunch and dinner menu like their Caprese Salad, Eggplant Parmigiana, Lasagna, and Salmone Alla Griglia. If you’re looking for truly good Italian dining, you’ll find it here!

Perbacco is open Monday through Friday 11am to 2:30pm, and Saturdays and Sundays they are open from 5pm to 9pm.

“Wow! This food was amazing. Service was fantastic! My favorite pasta spot near downtown Houston. My top recommendation is the seafood ravioli!! Super delicious, and the place is pretty clean. My friend food was also delicious.” -Yelp Review

11. Huynh Restaurant

Authentic, homemade Vietnamese cuisine served downtown Houston!

Delicious flavors come together to make a delicious dish! Image courtesy of the Huynh Restaurant Yelp photo page.

912 St Emanuel St | Houston | huynhrestauranthouston.com

Huynh Restaurant family-owned restaurant has been serving homemade, authentic Vietnamese food in Houston for over 10 years. The atmosphere is both comfortable and up-to-date, and their delicious food and great service has earned Huynh Restaurant a spot on many lists like this one!

They have a variety of dishes on the menu, some of the most popular are fresh spring rolls, rice plates, noodle bowls, and stir-frys!

They are open Monday through Friday from 11am to 3:30pm for lunch and 5:00pm to 9:00pm for dinner. And they are open Satruday’s 11am to 9pm, while Sundays they are closed.

“Ordered food after a long of shopping and was not disappointed. We got pho, fried rice and short ribs and everything was over the top delicious. When back in Houston we will stop by again.” -Yelp Review

12. The Rustic

A casual hip spot that’s all about good food, live music, and great times!

Shareables definitely make for an even better late lunch experience! Image courtesy of The Rustic Dallas Instagram page.

1836 Polk St | Houston | therustic.com

The Rustic’s focus has been simple: “Kitchen. Backyard. Bar. Live Music.” And it seems to have been really working for them as they are one of the top spots to go to for good grub in the downtown area. With farm-to-table ingredients and tasty drinks, this restaurant is great for a casual outing.

Using locally sourced ingredients, The Rustic has a ton of great food and a bunch of different menus to choose your food from. They have dishes including but not limited to Chicken Tortilla Soup, Texas Cheesesteak, Rustic Chicken Club Sandwich, and Spicy Tamale.

The Rustic is open Monday through Friday for lunch until 3pm and brunch is served Satrudays and Sundays 10am to 3pm.

“Fantastic Lives up to the namesake, great rustic ambiance, nice warm spacious layout, tasteful local talent on stage, great brunch 10/10 for variety and flavor (and portion size!)” -Yelp Review

There are so many restaurants in downtown Houston that have plenty of delicious dishes and a perfectly paired ambience that’ll definitely be a go-to next time you’re in town.

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