Dying for dining inspiration? The weekend is just a few short hours away, and if you still need a place to eat brunch, lunch, or dinner this weekend, Eater’s got your back.
As part of this brand new series, Eater editors and contributors will choose a group of brand new spots and reliable standbys every Friday that will provide a guide to everything you need to know about eating and drinking this weekend.
Go forth, and enjoy the city’s hottest new restaurants.
Friday, July 27
To enjoy one of the best new eateries in the country in your own backyard: Theodore Rex
Eater’s national food critic, Bill Addison, loves Theodore Rex, and we can’t blame him. The more casual spin-off restaurant from Chef Justin Yu’s award-winning Oxheart has been turning heads since popping onto the scene. What better time to enjoy the eatery’s famous tomato toast than right on the heels of it being named one of the country’s best restaurants?
For soul food with a side of social critique: Indigo
Trek out to Lindale Park for pop-up wunderkind Chef Jonny Rhodes’ new permanent fixture. It’s a neo-soul eatery from the Oxheart cook that features two nightly seatings Wednesday through Saturday. Rhodes just launched the restaurant this week with dishes like a watermelon broth that takes a jab at racist stereotypes.
To worship at the altar of beer: St. Arnold’s
One of Houston’s favorite breweries just unveiled its brand new space: a cathedral devoted to bubbly, sudsy brews with gothic-inspired architecture and mural-painted chapels for the beer devotee in all of us. While there, take a tour of the brewing operations or just sink into an Adirondack chair and enjoy sights of the Downtown skyline.
For a weather-appropriate meal: Ramen Tatsu-ya
A bowl of ramen isn’t traditionally considered the perfect summer dish, but Tatsu-ya offers a chilled ramen that is perfect for beating this ungodly heat. Made without broth, the cold noodles, cucumbers, and soy-marinated egg offer a great alternative to hot ramen. For more splendid summer dishes like Xochi’s scallop and cucumber crudo, check out this map.
To never be bored again: Tea + Victory
This board game den promises drinkers will never run out of diversions with more than 500 games in its library. For $5, play all day and snag some refreshments like sandwiches, local craft beer, wine, coffee, and loose leaf teas. Plus there’s a full brunch on weekends. For more physically demanding gaming options, check out our map of fantastic bars to unleash your competitive side.
Friday, July 20
To say goodbye to a Montrose margarita-slinging standby: El Tiempo 1308 Cantina
This longtime neighborhood spot will soon be demolished to make way for apartments. Before that happens, diners have until the end of the month to pop in for its Tex-Mex standbys, or they’ll have to trek to one of El Tiempo’s other seven locations.
For a Mediterranean food fix in Montrose: Cedars Tapas
The family behind Lebanese baked goods outpost, Cedars Bakery, just launched a tapas eatery inspired by their yearly trips to Lebanon. The restaurant promises a classier atmosphere than many of the buffet-style Mediterranean joints around the city, featuring cuisine from Spain, Turkey, Greece, and of course, Lebanon.
To chow down on chocolate before it closes for good: Kegg’s Candies
The 72-year-old confectioner is finally throwing in the towel due to undisclosed reasons, but fans of the handmade chocolate purveyor have until July 31 to stock up on Kegg’s goods at 25 percent off at its Meyerland location (until supplies last).
For H-Town’s best homemade brews: Lone Pint Brewery
Trek out to Magnolia on Saturday for a $10 tour of the Lone Pint brewing operations, then kick back with a tall seasonal brew to beat this ungodly South Texas heat. If inner city options are more your speed, check out one of Houston’s other fantastic breweries on our map.
To score sweet happy hour deals on the weekend: BCK Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures
This Heights haunt is serving up its childhood-inspired eats and drinks at a discounted rate during happy hour, which, get this, was extended to Saturdays. Snag negronis and old-fashioneds for $7, or go full-out with a Berry Crunch milk punch featuring Buffalo Trace whiskey and Cap’n Crunch-infused milk. For other awesome happy hour options, peep our map (and keep it bookmarked for this coming week).
Friday, July 13
For build-your-own pasta bowls in the ‘burbs: Mona Fresh Italian Food
Chef Sidney Degaine has resurfaced after the closure of Cafe Azur, and he’s slinging build-your-own pasta bowls at a new spot in Katy. Dishes from Cafe Azur are also on the menu, including a pasta bowl called the Mona that involves caramelized onions, paoched egg, mushrooms, alfredo sauce, and shaved parmesan.
Mona Fresh Italian Food, 19355 Katy Freeway
For classic Mediterranean food in a brand new location: Aladdin
This stalwart of Houston’s restaurant scene has officially opened its second location in Garden Oaks, which means that it’s now much more convenient for many Houstonians to eat their weight in pita and hummus.
Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine, 1737 West 34th Street
To drink cocktails by a pool: El Segundo Swim Club
This hot new pool bar just opened its doors, and it’s definitely going to be a Space City summer destination. Sip palomas or vodka-spiked coconut water while enjoying excellent people-watching and a chilly pool. Before making the trip, score a day pass on El Segundo’s website.
El Segundo Swim Club, 5180 Avenue L
To eat empanadas just like Andrew Zimmern: The Original Marini’s Empanada House
Feast on Argentinian cuisine just like the celebrity chefs do. Andrew Zimmern was in Houston this past weekend filming for his show The Zimmern List, and a stop at this popular empanada destination was on the itinerary. Priced at less than $3 each, these meat or sweet-stuffed empanadas are a must.
The Original Marini’s Empanada House, 3522 South Mason Road in Katy or 10001 Westheimer in Houston