7 Unique Restaurants in Houston You Need to Visit

December 28, 2020
GiftYa
jason wolfe

Houston is home to a diverse and lively food scene. You can find everything from authentic ramen bowls to Tex-Mex cuisine inside this up-and-coming city. If you’re looking for a new and exciting restaurant to try, we have you covered. Check out our top 7 unique restaurants in Houston now! 

The holiday season is just around the corner! Surprise your loved ones with a virtual GiftYa card. Your friends and family members can use GiftYa cards on a number of different restaurants around Houston, including the ones we featured below. Whether they are in the mood for some hearty Southern comfort food or a plate of savory tacos, they can find all of these and more in Houston. 

1. Hobbit Cafe

Local restaurant that was inspired by the hobbits created by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit Cafe is known for both its rustic scenery and savory sandwiches. Image courtesy of Google Business.

2243 Richmond Ave. | Upper Kirby | hobbitcafehtx.com

Since 1972, the Hobbit Cafe has served as a top destination in Houston for flavorful sandwiches and delicious drinks. Along with its savory cuisine, the Hobbit Cafe also features a large wooden deck with a giant oak tree. This spacious deck is perfect for warm nights in the summer and fall. Live music is also featured. Past musical guests include Mama Cass, Peter Max, and Neil Young. 

As for the menu, you’ll find everything from black bean nachos to fire-roasted burgers. Stopping by for brunch? We recommend the Smoked Turkey Benedict and Portobello Mushroom Fajitas and Eggs. Fun fruit smoothies make the perfect finishing touch for your meal! 

“The food is amazing. I had the bacon cheeseburger with sweet potato fries. I know how good a burger is by how many napkins are in my used napkin pile- I had a big pile! The burger was large, full of flavor and matched with cheddar cheese and perfectly cooked bacon.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Hobbit Cafe. 

2. Brenner's on the Bayou

Elegant two-story bar with a romantic waterfall and rustic foliage

Feeling a little chilly? Take a seat next to a fire pit while you sip on your cocktail. Image courtesy of Yelp

1 Birdsall St. | River Oaks | brennerssteakhouse.com

Since 1936, Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou has served as a top destination for relaxing Happy Hour get-togethers and sizzling steak. If you’re looking for a place to “treat yourself,” you’ll love Brenner’s Steakhouse. 

Some of its most popular dishes include the Pan Roasted Salmon, Akaushi Strip Steak, and Renaissance Farms Roasted Chicken. Cold and hot appetizers are also available for you to enjoy alongside your drink. Speaking of drinks, Brenner’s Steakhouse serves wine, beer, and specialty cocktails. If you’re planning to just mingle with friends and grab a couple of drinks, you can sit out by the fire pits! Whatever you choose, you’re sure to have an enjoyable experience at Brenner’s. 

“Well we were very impressed the minute we entered Brenner the ambiance was perfect. We had the best time and it was thanks to our amazing waiter Max!!! He was so nice and made us feel very comfortable and had great menu suggestions. We will be back :)” -Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Brenner's on the Bayou. 

3. Ritual

Rustic southern bar known for its fun and flavorful dishes

The Pig Mac is one of the most popular dishes in the restaurant. Image courtesy of Yelp.

602 Studewood St. | The Heights | ritualhouston.com

“The food and cocktails are delicious! Be prepared to be filled. The portions and sides are enormous and will leave you going home with a fat n' happy expression on your face. My personal favorites are the Angry Bird and the OMGBLT. One of the best sandwiches in town for a great price.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Ritual. 

4. Lucille's

Casual restaurant in the Museum District known for its delicious Southern cuisine

Try the Catfish & Grits the next time you come in. Image courtesy of Yelp

5512 La Branch St. | Museum District | lucilleshouston.com

While the city of Houston is home to a number of great restaurants serving delicious Southern comfort food, Lucille’s often stands out from the rest. Co-founded in 2012 by two brothers, Lucille’s honors the legacy of their beloved great-grandmother, Lucille. Many of the restaurant’s dishes are inspired by Lucille’s most popular recipes.

When you come, make sure you have an empty stomach. You’ll want to try one of the restaurant’s popular appetizers such as the Fried Green Tomatoes or Tennessee Hot Duck. Soup and salad are also available to enjoy before your entree. Speaking of the entree, you have a wide variety of options to choose from. Everything from the Catfish and Grits to the Chicken Stuffed Ravioli is sure to leave you filled and satisfied. 

“I have never had a dish here that I don't like. The fried chicken is the best in Houston...the BEST. Always fried to perfection, seasoned perfectly with a slightly sweet finish. I've also had the oxtails, mac and cheese, a few salads, grits, pancakes...all amazing.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Lucille's. 

5. Tacos Tierra Caliente

Neighborhood taco truck that serves some of the best plates in Houston

Stop by for a delicious barbacoa taco! Image courtesy of Yelp.

2003 W Alabama St. | Montrose | facebook.com/Tacos-Tierra-Caliente

Craving some tacos? Stop by Tacos Tierra Caliente. Located in Montrose, this popular food truck is perfect for a quick bite. Tacos Tierra Caliente has an extensive menu filled with mouthwatering options like the al pastor tacos, beef fajita quesadilla, and barbacoa tacos. All of the tacos are made fresh daily. If you’re feeling adventurous, we recommend trying the langua (beef tongue) taco!

“I love this place. I've only eaten the chicken and beef tacos but I can vouch for them both. My friend ordered the pork and liked that. Their meat is well seasoned and cooked to perfection. I've been back at least four times since I first discovered this truck and I look forward to going again soon.” - Yelp Review 

Purchase a GiftYa card for Tacos Tierra Caliente. 

6. The Union Kitchen

Popular restaurant in Houston known for its global cuisine

If you’re in the mood for an upscale dinner, try the filet mignon. Image courtesy of Yelp

12538 Memorial Dr. | Memorial | theunionkitchen.com

The Union Kitchen successfully blends different cuisine from around the globe to surprise and delight guests. Since 2010, guests have stopped by this contemporary restaurant for its laid back atmosphere and fun dishes. 

Coming with a group? We recommend sharing a plate of the lobster potstickers and fried asparagus di mare together. As for the main dish, The Union Kitchen offers pizza, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and savory entrees. Some of our favorite meals include the Pan Seared Chicken Piccata, Blackened Dynamite Chicken, and Country Fried Steak. 

“Perfect ladies lunch date.  $13 all you can drink Mimosas and you keep your wine glass. The bang bang shrimp was on their $5 menu and was delicious. Lobster grilled cheese = yumminess! Sandwich had fresh avocado and a good portion of lobster. Comes with chips and tomato bisque. Everything tasted great.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for The Union Kitchen. 

7. Batanga

1800’s style saloon serving up savory Pan-Latin dishes

Start your meal off on the right foot with some chicken empanadas. Image courtesy of Yelp.

908 Congress Ave. | Downtown, Fourth Ward | batangahouston.com

Batanga is home to one of the most gorgeous patios in Houston. Whether you’re looking to enjoy Happy Hour with co-workers or celebrate a birthday with friends, the outdoor patio is the perfect spot to get together. Batanga also offers live music and special events on a regular basis. Make sure you check the calendar on their website for upcoming events. As for the food, you can’t go wrong with any of the dishes. The Chicken Tinga Nachos Grande, Rajas Tacos, and Latin Chicken Wings are popular appetizers or dishes for sharing. Creative cocktails are also available to enjoy alongside these savory meals. 

“My favorite menu item is the patatas bravas, and I have not had better patatas bravas in Houston. Such a fun atmosphere too, especially when they have live music. There is great indoor and outdoor seating! Happy hour is also really good!” - Yelp Review 

Purchase a GiftYa card for Batanga. 

There are so many fun and unique restaurants in Houston! Which ones do you plan to visit next? Let us know!

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