As with the past several years that have preceded it, 2019 was a busy year in Houston dining. Over the past several months, Eater editors have been taking a hard look at the city’s best new restaurants and bars, and now it’s time to officially recognize the finest among these brand new contenders.
Back in November, we announced the finalists for the 2019 Eater Awards, and much deliberation went into selecting this year’s winners. Without further ado, read on for Eater Houston’s 2019 winners for Restaurant of the Year, Bar of the Year, and Most Gorgeous Restaurant of the Year.
Restaurant of the Year: Blood Bros. Barbecue
2019 was packed with strong contenders for Restaurant of the Year, but no new eatery in the city that better exemplifies Houston’s diverse culinary scene than Blood Bros. Barbecue. From its beginnings as a pop-up to a bona fide Space City phenomenon, Blood Bros. Barbecue has always exemplified the city’s distinct culinary ethos in a way that Houston can really be proud of.
Whether it’s green curry boudin or barky brisket or juicy pork belly burnt ends, the meats at Blood Bros. are always top-notch, and the lines that snake out of its building on Bellaire Boulevard are proof that its barbecue operation is really clicking. When combined with sides like brisket fried rice, pinto beans, and jalapeno creamed corn, this is the kind of meal that feels like going on a trip across the world without ever leaving the neighborhood.
Bar of the Year: Monkey’s Tail
In all of the chaos of 2019, a visit to Monkey’s Tail is a welcome respite from the terrible headlines and chaos that await outside its doors on Fulton Street. Its cocktail menu takes a great deal of influence from iconic Mexican drinks, with classics like the margarita and freshly fermented tepache on the menu paired with fun, inventive cocktails that make excellent use of clever techniques and quality ingredients.
And, with a weekday happy hour that lasts until 7 p.m. daily plus a menu of bar snacks like barbacoa-topped pizza, Sonora-style hot dogs, and vegan cheeseburgers, and an intimate vibe, Monkey’s Tail is the kind of spot that’s easy to find yourself going back to over and over and over again.
Most Gorgeous Restaurant of the Year: Rosalie
When superstar chef Chris Cosentino announced his first Houston restaurant, the stage was set for one of the city’s most beautiful dining rooms. Using vintage floral textiles, mixed woods, and unique architectural elements like built-in shelves filled with midcentury ephemera, the designers at Rohe Creative created a stunning dining room inside the glamorous C. Baldwin Hotel that’s totally on-theme without being too kitschy. Be sure to keep an eye out for the rose-printed pizza oven — it’s one of the space’s most gorgeous elements.