Now that 2016 will officially come to an end this weekend, it’s time to look back at the biggest stories to come out of Houston’s dining scene in the last year. It may not have been as massive as the one that preceded it, but 2016 was an incredible year for the city’s dining scene, especially in terms of how it is viewed on a national scale.
Judging by this year’s 10 most popular posts, Houstonians were obsessed with Anthony Bourdain’s visits to the city, and the Parts Unknown episode that followed. The arrival of Shake Shack and The Halal Guys stirred similar excitement, along with cheap lunches and budget-friendly happy hours.
1. Anthony Bourdain Was In Houston Last Night Filming For Parts Unknown
Houston was ridiculously excited about Anthony Bourdain’s arrival in Houston, which we sussed out well in advance of the airing of the Parts Unknown episode that focused on Clutch City’s incredibly diverse culinary scene. Over the summer, we were on constant alert for Bourdain to pop up, and he did, eating at some of the city’s most interesting restaurants along the way.
2. 18 Killer Houston Lunches Under $20
What can we say? Everybody loves a cheap lunch.
3. Everything You Need To Know About Anthony Bourdain's Visit To Houston
As Bourdain made his way around Houston, visiting great spots like Himalaya, Udipi Cafe, and Burns Original BBQ, we knew that Parts Unknown episode was going to be a killer.
4. Blue Bell Unveils Camouflage Ice Cream, Because Texas
No matter how many times their confections are tainted with listeria bacteria, Texans can never get enough Blue Bell ice cream.
5. Get Ready For Chicken Over Rice: Halal Guys Announce Grand Opening
At the beginning of the year, The Halal Guys made their Houston debut. Since, they’ve made plans to expand, which means that Houston clearly has an appetite for white sauce-topped chicken & rice bowls.
6. Oprah-Approved Soul Food Restaurant Heads To Houston
If Oprah gives the stamp of approval, you know it’s gotta be pretty good. St. Louis-based soul food restaurant (and reality television star) Sweetie Pie’s is set to make its Houston debut at some point next year.
7. Shake Shack Confirmed For First Houston Location
It was the year of the import in Houston, and Shake Shack’s arrival was one of the buzziest. When it opened, burger enthusiasts lined up out the door to see what all the hype was about.
8. Gilmore Alert: 3 Houston Cafes Will Transform Into Luke’s Diner For One Day Only
Thanks to Netflix’s revival of the iconic television show, Gilmore Girls mania swept the country as Luke’s Diner took over coffee shops in Houston and beyond. Fans of the show (and free coffee) lined up at The Nook Cafe, Basta, and Honeymoon to score their cups emblazoned with quotes from the show and totally collectible Luke’s Diner sleeves, which now sell on eBay for upwards of $30.
9. Bun B’s Guide To Houston's Best Eats
In our most popular story of 2016, Eater Houston sat down with the original Trill OG Bun B to talk about his favorite spots for dining, drinking, and curing a hangover in Houston. We also learned that Bun B is an unabashed lover of the lemon drop cocktail, and doesn’t give a damn what you think about it.
10. Where To Booze On The Cheap: Houston's Best Happy Hours
Seriously, who doesn’t love cheap booze?