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Hugo’s Is Still One of the Country’s Best Restaurants

It’s been a banner year for Chef Hugo Ortega

Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

In roving Eater critic’s latest assessment of the country’s best restaurants, Houston’s own Hugo’s is still one of the country’s finest places to dine.

Addison released his newly-updated list of the 38 essential American restaurants on Wednesday, the result of traveling hundreds of miles across the country and dining in dozens of American cities. Hugo’s also represented Houston in Addison’s rankings in in 2016, and is just one of two Texas restaurants on this year’s list, joining Franklin Barbecue in Austin.

“Hugo’s is, simply put, a Houston treasure — and, by extension of the city’s on-fire dining scene, is it also a national treasure,” Addison said of Hugo’s place on the 2016 list. “There’s a heartening trend of incredible, upscale Mexican restaurants run by natives of Mexico opening around the country: Cosme in New York, Cala in San Francisco, Bracero in San Diego. Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught beat them all to their success, over a decade ago.”

Of course, this isn’t the only award Ortega and Vaught have taken home this year. In July, Addison added the duo’s Downtown restaurant Xochi to his list of the 38 best new restaurants in America. And then there’s that James Beard Award for Best Chef - Southwest that Ortega brought to Space City back in May.