These are the 9 best restaurants in Houston for 2021
With the Tastemaker Awards days away, it’s time to celebrate the nominees for Restaurant of the year. In a city full of exceptional restaurants, these 10 nominees are a little taller than the rest.
Beyond these individual elements, they have also been successful in overcoming the challenges of surviving a global pandemic. Like many of their peers, these restaurants have understood how to serve their take-out, have developed protocols to protect their staff from infection, and have adapted to the challenges of sometimes inconsistent supply chains.
They overcame these hurdles while maintaining high service standards and creating new dishes, cocktails and other offerings that keep diners coming back for more. Any of them would deserve this title.
Who will win? Find out on July 22 at the Tastemaker Awards party. We’ll be eating bites from this year’s nominated restaurants before emcee Bun B reveals the winners.
Houston is home to plenty of steakhouses, but none of them look like Doris Metropolitan. Instead of serving conventional dishes like creamed spinach and a shrimp cocktail, Chef Sash Kurgan takes inspiration from modern Israeli cuisine to deliver a lighter, fresher approach to crisp flavors that contrast with the richness of the steaks. Doris’ dry-aged. Pastry chef Michal Michaeli oversees some of the best breads in town as well as inventive desserts that use modern techniques in inventive ways. First-rate service ensures that each guest leaves as a VIP.
Patrons turn to this Upper Kirby restaurant for precisely cut and seasoned nigiri and sashimi – many of which use imported fish from Japan – but what sets Kata apart are the specialties that appear on both the sides. raw and cooked from the kitchen. One day it will be a lobster sando on homemade milk bread, while another it may be an Insta-worthy barnacle dish. Kata also deserves credit for figuring out how to run her kitchen for take-out diners and for her extensive safety protocols that kept staff and customers safe during the pandemic.
After slipping under the media radar for a few years, Chef Chris Williams’ Museum District restaurant has reasserted itself in a major way over the past year. First, Lucille’s hosted a special lunch between then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and George Floyd’s family, and then he hosted a series of pop-ups which both provided good income. needed by unemployed bartenders and raised money for Williams’ Lucille’s 1913 nonprofit thousands of meals to hungry Houstonians. Meanwhile, the restaurant remains one of the city’s most satisfying Southern-inspired eateries, producing the shrimp and grits that everyone else is judged against and hosting one of the liveliest brunch scenes in the city. city.
After winning the Tastemaker Awards Best New Restaurant tournament last year, owner Ignacio Torras and chef-partner Luis Roger’s energetic restaurant in the River Oaks district fall into the main category. The restaurant has undergone many changes over the past year, especially within its management team, and physical changes will soon increase its seating capacity while retaining all of the elements that have made it a favorite place for selfies. What remains consistent is MAD’s menu which is packed with both whimsical dishes that use modernist techniques and more classic dishes that satisfy every visit.
Since opening in late 2016, Nobie’s has attracted diners with its eclectic menu, creative cocktails and friendly service, but its success transcends each of these individual elements. While it’s easy to praise such staples as Texas tartare, nonno pasta, and “winner, winner chicken dinner,” the reality is that Houston’s restaurant professionals have made it so. ‘one of their go-to haunts because of its unique combination of food, service and atmosphere – fueled by its vintage stereo and all-vinyl soundtrack – that makes even the dinners of the week feel like an occasion. special. Plus, pies are life changing in a way.
Chef Alex Au-Yeung has drawn diners from across the Houston area to this Malaysian spot in Katy. From corned beef rendang to crispy roti, rely on Phat Eatery for well-executed staples that transport customers the world over. Beyond staples, Au-Yeung’s relentless creativity means that even frequent visitors will find something new to try, from dim sum bites inspired by his time in Hong Kong to curried crayfish that bring new life. twist with viet-cajun flavors. Hopefully the coming year brings a new indoor loop location for the all too brief ghost kitchen experience.
Chef Ryan Lachaine’s Montrose restaurant remains one of the city’s most vibrant restaurants, drawing heavily on Houston’s immigrant communities and Lachaine’s Canadian and Eastern European heritage. Executive Sous Chef Peter Nguyen has added his own twist to the menu, from smash hits like Chinese-inspired Honey Crawfish with nuts to more recent additions like Mussels in Ginger-Miso Broth. Bartender of the Year nominee Derek Brown brings the experience of some of New York’s best restaurants to Riel’s bar program, which means the drinks are as exciting as the food.
Goodnight Hospitality’s Southern European restaurant offers plenty of comforting bites in one of the city’s most elegant dining rooms. Whether it’s a wood-fired pizza or a vegetable dish made with ingredients sourced from Goodthyme Farms (also owned by partners of Goodnight Bailey and Peter McCarthy), Rosie’s dishes have quality. effortlessly hiding the precise techniques needed to produce them. An extensive wine list, seasonal cocktail list (with alcoholic and non-alcoholic options), and service that offers both a friendly attitude and in-depth menu knowledge further enhances every meal there.
When Squable opened in 2019, the focus was on its owners, award-winning chef James Beard, Justin Yu, and Anvil owner, Bobby Heugel. As the restaurant has evolved, attention has shifted to Executive Chef Mark Clayton’s menu, which uses local ingredients to create European-inspired dishes, and the Director’s beverage program. General Terry Williams, who draws on an eclectic mix of wines and cocktails that complement Clayton’s cuisine. Staple foods like French cheeseburger and pickled mussels anchor the menu, but new dishes – summer melon with puffy shisitos turned out to be the highlight of a recent visit – mean even frequent visitors could find a new favorite.