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A platter of lobster sitting on ice with side dishes of sauces, with a side of vegetables served with burrata, plus a bottle of wine.
Little’s Oyster Bar is among the new restaurants to know.
Arturo Olmos

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Fourteen Houston Restaurant Openings to Know Right Now

From fast casual Korean bbq and ramen to a new crop of vibe dining restaurants, here are the openings to note this spring

With the spring comes a wave of new restaurant openings. The city is abuzz with new places to dine, drink, and lounge around on the patio should the unpredictable Houston weather allow for it. From beloved neighborhood gems adding new outposts in the suburbs to original concepts offering fresh dishes and prepared family meals, there are lots of worthy additions to add to your 2023 hit list. Here are the Houston restaurant openings you need to know about right now.

Trill Burgers

Bun B has already built a name for himself in the world of music, but in the past few years, burgers have been the focus. After years of managing a traveling burger pop-up, the Houston hip-hop artist puts down some roots for Trill Burgers, opening a temporary brick-and-mortar in Houston’s Montrose area on Wednesday, June 4. The restaurant, located at 3607 South Shepherd Drive — the former location of Houston’s oldest James Coney Island outpost, will serve up its signature burgers, including the OG Burger, which is made up of two smashed all-beef patties and topped with pickles, caramelized onions, American cheese, and Trill sauce, plus a vegan version made with vegan cheese and mayo and a Baby G burger for kids. The burger joint, which is painted in a bright yellow with black accents, is a fun celebration of Bun’s career, with various illustrations and murals, including a dedication to his fellow UGK rapper, Pimp C.

A smash burger topped with cheese and grilled onions sits atop fries in a cardboard Trill Burgers box.
Trill Burgers’ classic smash burgers are now available daily in Montrose.
Dylan McEwan

Citizens of Montrose

The Australian coffee shop opens its first outpost outside of New York in Houston’s Montrose, offering beer and coffee available from self-serve taps, cocktails, specialty drinks, like the classic flat white coffee — an Australian favorite, and all-day breakfast, with items like Banana Bread French Toast with miso butterscotch, barbecue pulled pork Benedicts using cheddar biscuits, and cast-iron chorizo baked eggs.

Roswell’s Saloon

Restaurateur Shawn Bermedez’s newest establishment is like stepping into another world. From floor to ceiling, the black-lit Montrose bar is decorated in neon, intergalactic-themed decor with cosmic cocktails. Find zodiac-inspired sips, Crop Circle formation-topped drinks mixed with homemade elote syrup, the Earthy-y Pale Blue Dot that’s served in a planet-like sphere glass, and Lithium Crystal shots that glow bright orange in iridescent space capsule-shaped glasses. Here, you can also trade in the traditional happy hour for “sunset hours, watching the bar transition to night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. with half-priced cocktails, and draft beer, wine, and bubbles for $2 off.

The black-lit bar area of Roswell’s Saloon, with a ceiling decorated in hanging neon planets and a floating astronaut.
Roswell’s promises an out-of-this-world drinking experience.
Becca Wright

Little’s Oyster Bar

After years of the space being void, the Montrose location of the now-shuttered Little’s Pappas Seafood House finally has a replacement. Pappas’ newest restaurant Little’s Oyster Bar is offering an upscale menu of seafood fare. Chef Jason Ryzcek brings a touch of California starting with solid appetizers like oysters and entrees like a buttery Yellowedge grouper and lobster ravioli. The caviar service, is also top-notch, using roe that the chef harvests from his six California white sturgeon and pairing it with radish butter, creme fraiche topped with chives and onion jam, and warm, pillowy fried dumplings for the perfect bite.

Chef Jason Ryczek holds a platter of lobster, oyster, and clams.
Pappas’ newest restaurant Little’s Oyster Bar offers a variety of swanky seafood dishes.
Arturo Olmos

Th Prsrv

James Beard Award-winning chef Benchawan “G” Jabthong Painter, of Houston’s Street to Kitchen, and eculent chef David Skinner have teamed up to open a new Thai and Native American tasting menu that takes diners on what feels like an archeological excursion. With a menu organized in chronological order, diners start at 2400 BCE where ancient cooking techniques like pickling and fermenting and Indigenous and foraged ingredients are in full display. A platter of pickled ferns, peppers, and green beans, is soon followed up by items like Chef G’s Gaeng curry made with seasonal fish, and Skinner’s dry-aged duck with wild greens and a Wojapi sauce. As colonialization makes its mark, different flavors are imparted, making for meals that span the ages. Diners can also indulge in an optional pairing of Indigenous wines, led by Street to Kitchen co-owner Graham Painter.

Th Prsrv’s dining room, decorated in leaves, flowers, and colorful lighting.
Th Prsrv is a dining experience for the ages.
Annie Mulligan/Eater

The Chelsea Bistro and Bar

One of the newest additions to Houston’s Montrose Collective, the Chelsea invites diners in for an experience that’s inspired by the owners' travels to Europe, according to a report by Culturemap. The menu starts with a selection of raw bar eats, snapper and salmon crudo, and a shrimp and scallop verde, made with coconut tiger milk, Thai basil, cilantro, chili crisps, black sesame, and Persian cucumbers. Small, easy-to-share plates follow, with charred octopus and jambon iberico, plus larger entrees like the seafood pot pie, Thai-curry poached lobster, and steak frites.

Ojo de Agua

An import from Mexico City, this all-day cafe and restaurant opened in the River Oaks District on May 17, offering a colorful and massive menu of Mexican fare, with its hallmark being fresh ingredients. Find fresh juices, fruit-packed acai bowls, and a robust breakfast menu, featuring everything from its guava pancakes and chilaquiles, available in rojos or verdes, to a cinnamon roll French toast. Lunch and dinner are also a treat, with tacos with grilled proteins, like tender rib-eye coated in chimichurri, or its curry-marinated lobster topped with mango — all of which is served with mini jars of smoky salsa, plus a creative offering of sandwiches, salads, and drinks, including frothy dragonfruit wine margaritas, Micheladas, and so much more. Those looking for a quick bite can also take advantage of their coffee service, ready-made pastries, and the onsite mini market.

Ojo de Agua’s chilaquiles topped with a fried egg, cilantro, onions, and verde salsa, with an acai bowl topped with fresh fruit on the side.
Channel Mexico City while dining on chilaquiles and sipping on cocktails made with fresh juices at River Oak’s Ojo de Agua.
Jennifer Hasbún

Lady M

After years of hosting pop-ups in Houston, Lady M is finally here to stay with its first Texas location now open in Houston’s Galleria. The boutique bakery is serving its delicate, multi-layered mille crepe cakes (by the slice and whole), in around 10 flavors, including green tea, guava, chocolate, and its popular signature — a true classic.

Lady M’s mille crepe cake are the definition of decadent.
Lady M Cake Boutique/Facebook

Lankford’s Bellaire

This iconic Houston burger joint recently expanded, opening its second location in Bellaire on May 15. The new spot is serving up the same fan favorites, including juicy burgers like the macaroni-and-cheese-topped Grim Burger, milkshakes, and fries, but has added some new tech. Lankford’s Bellaire now offers a self-serve tap system, with more than 20 beers, ciders, and wines to choose from.

Nauti Crab

This Viet-Cajun casual restaurant, which opened on June 3, hails from New Jersey, bringing an East Coast spin to a city cuisine staple. Find seafood fried rice, crab fries, po’ boys, crab cakes, crab cake sandwiches, and buckets of boiled seafood, including crawfish, shrimp, and crabs, drenched in sauces with seasonings of your choice — ranging from Nauti Cajun to lemon pepper and Old Bay. The Briar Forest restaurant also offers a sports bar with plenty of cocktails and beers to enjoy.


This River Oaks Italian restaurant opened on May 15, with a patio prime for drinking and dining al fresco, pasta dishes like a rich tagliatelle carbonara, entrees like a whole roasted branzino plated in salt, and perfect-for-summer drinks like Negronis and peach nectar bellinis.

Big Casino’s Bar

By day, this new Downtown bar offers a chill hangout spot with wines, beers, and Texas-focused small plates made for sharing including chicharrones served with caviar creme fraiche, clams casino, and chicken skewers — all of which can be enjoyed on its 3,600-square-foot patio, which is outfitted with its own bar, lounge, and massive 16-by-10-foot video wall that’s perfect for game watching. By night on Fridays and Saturdays, the Big Casino transforms into a late-night destination with bottle service and a live DJ.

Thunderbirds HTX

Chef Sunny Vohra helps fulfill Houston’s fried chicken sandwich fascination, adding some Sichuan spices to the mix. Located in the Railway Heights Market, the restaurant offers chicken sliders, sandwiches, loaded fries, wings, tenders, and more — all of which are complemented by a chile oil infused with Sichuan peppercorns, dried chiles, cumin, white pepper, and star anise.

Rockhouse Southern Kitchen

Formerly home to Billy Blues and the Diablo Loco Sports Bar, Rockhouse Southern Kitchen opened in March, offering a new destination for live music and Southern cuisine. The venue features an outdoor patio, a large bar area, and an outdoor stage that will welcome live musicians. Diners can indulge in a fusion of dishes like oxtail egg rolls, creole pizza, Cajun rib-eyes topped with a creamy sauce, and soul food staples like fried chicken or catfish with sides like smoked collard greens, mac and cheese, and dirty rice. The cocktail menu, too, takes notes from the venue’s music and Southern themes, offering an Apple Pie Old Fashioned and its Lady Sings the Blues cocktail, made with Bacardi Superior, Hennessy VSOP, blue curacao, toasted coconut, and pineapple.

Oxtail egg rolls served over a creamy sauce at Rockhouse Southern Kitchen.
Rockhouse Southern Kitchen is one of Houston’s newest live music venues.
Raydon Creative



Andiron’s bar area with a 28-foot chandelier.
Houston’s newest steakhouse Andiron gives diners a full preview of how their steaks are prepared.
Julie Soefer

From the founders of barbecue joint Pit Room and its neighboring Tex-Mex sister Candente, Andiron, a swanky wood-burning steakhouse, finally got its opening day. Hospitality group Sambrooks Management Company opened the Allen Parkway restaurant on April 19, welcoming diners to a steakhouse experience like none else in Houston. Led by Michelin star-experienced chef Louis Maldonado, the steakhouse takes grilling seriously, giving its dining room a full preview of its 22-foot live-fire grill as it prepares its nightly bevy of steaks, including Australian and Japanese wagyu steaks, seafood, and vegetables. The menu entices with items like oysters and bluefin tuna from the raw bar, a classic wedge salad amped up with black truffle and grilled A5 wagyu short rib and foie gras from the robata, plus complimenting sides, like whipped potatoes, white asparagus, and caramelized onion tarts. Looking to try a fan favorite? Try the pristine-looking wagyu sandwich.

Passerella Italiano

Helmed by Houston’s Gr8 Plate Hospitality, Passerella’s second location will open on Tuesday, May 9, at 6011 Washington Avenue. Taking over The Union Kitchen’s former space, the restaurant will offer its standout dishes, like its mushroom tart, stuffed flounder with smoked lemon butter, and its fan-favorite lobster mac and cheese. The restaurant will also be firing up its woodstone pizza oven, offering four styles of pies, including a classic margherita, a prosciutto and pear, and fungi. Dessert will be a decadent affair, with the chef’s dessert lasagna, a 10-layered, caramel drizzled situation featuring cream cheese, brown sugar, pecans, and vanilla sauce. Passerella’s extensive wine offerings will also continue, with $5 glasses and $15 bottles offered during happy hour.

Dante’s River Oaks

Dante’s cocktail and a plate of pasta with meat and red sauce.
Dante’s bringing a touch of Italy to River Oaks.
Dante’s River Oaks

Replacing the former restaurant Concura Italian Bites, Dante’s will open on May 16, bringing the flavor of Italy to a quaint and intimate space in River Oaks. The restaurant, which can seat roughly 80 people indoors and 30 on its patio, offers a classic spread of antipasti, with items like charcuterie and cheese boards, tartare, and Mediterranean-style octopus, plus salads that take inspiration from some of the most popular regions of Italy. The menu would not be complete without pasta, which includes pappardelle bolognese and a rigatoni cacio e pepe, plus tender rib-eyes, duck breasts, and a catch of the day. Summer at Dante’s will also bring on exciting specials, with staff gifting each diner with a complimentary spritz with lunch orders, plus a monthly board and bottle special from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Albi’s spinach and feta bulema, surrounded by greens and topped with flowers.
New Mediterranean restaurant Albi brings the romance to Houston’s West Gray corridor.
Michael Antony

Joining restaurants like Zanti Cucina Italiana and Brasserie19 on West Gray’s buzzy corridor, Albi opened its doors on May 4. Named after the popular Arabic phrase that translates to “my heart,” Albi is dishing out Mediterranean cuisine in a romantic and intimate setting. The 220-seat restaurant, which is housed on the second floor of its building, is replete with deep and moody jewel tones, glistening chandeliers, and red, silk shade lamps that set the mood, plus an indoor-outdoor terrace that offers a charming setting day or night.

Albi’s dining room, with plus red banquets and hints of green and gold on and surrounding the tables.
Albi is the latest restaurant to join the buzzy West Gray corridor.
Michael Antony

The restaurant seeks to bridge the cultures and cuisines of Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece, with dishes like shrimp falafel with tarator sauce, beets bil tahini — a combination of salt-baked beets and yogurt topped with tahini powder and pickled berries, a king trumpet mushroom shawarma with tzatziki and charred lemon, and jidori chicken roulade that’s stuffed with homemade chicken sausage and a rice dish inspired by Lebanese biryani. Albi’s drink menu and pastries will also pay homage to the Levant region, with a sesame-based lemon halvah tart served with a lemon-olive ice cream, and a pistachio tiramisu.


Pronounced “friends,” FRNDS, a tapas-style restaurant and cocktail lounge, recently opened in Rice Village and is already dishing out flavorful fare and flirty cocktails to match. Dishes run the gamut of cuisine, ranging from coconut curry shrimp skewers and truffle pasta, to baby back ribs and Greek meatballs. Cocktails are also festive with a fruity Pineapple Patron and a popcorn cocktail that comes with a sidecar of kernels. This new hangout spot is the latest from the Alife Hospitality Group, which also owns several restaurants, bars, and late-night spots throughout the city, including Prospect Park restaurants, Fourth Ward’s Lost & Found, Kamp Houston, Bungalow in Downtown, Southside Sporting Club, and Stick Talk Cajun-Hibachi.

Verde Garden

Verde Garden’s indoor space, with leather and suede coaches and ceiling decorated in puebla print.
Tex-Mex beer garden Verde Garden features lush greenery and indoor space intended to be just as relaxed as its outdoor patio.
Dustyn Zenner

This Tex-Mex beer garden is the first restaurant to open in Montrose’s Harlow District, the dining quarter that’s expected to welcome even more establishments, including a coffee shop and the sushi restaurant Katami. Offering a dozen made-to-order frozen margaritas, an extensive beer list, Tex-Mex staples like tacos, enchiladas, and ceviches; plus a 10,000 square-foot patio equipped with both fans and heaters, Verde Garden could be the Montrose area’s newest year-round hangout.


Joining fellow dining establishments like Marmo, Van Leeuwen, La La Land Kind Cafe, and Graffiti Raw, Austin’s latest health-conscious shop opened on April 24 in Montrose Collective, slinging lunch, dinner, and all-day brunch in the mixed-use space. Find items like starters, salads, bowls, and mains, with the option to add superfoods and adaptogens, like CBD or the Lion’s Mane additive for focus, to your meal. Brunch items include the Picnik benedict, which layers sugar-free bacon, organic cream cheese, and Vital Farms on a homemade biscuit, and lunch brings the ever-popular bacon jam burger, composed of a grass-fed beef patty topped with organic raw cheddar and bacon jam on a homemade sesame bun. The restaurant also offers a well-rounded beverage menu, with beer, local cider, hard kombucha, cocktails, and zero-proof zips.

Postino Woodlands

Postino Woodlands patio, with an outdoor bar, befitted with seating and umbrellas.
Postino’s patio in the Woodlands overlooks the areas lake, providing a prime space to wine and dine.
Jenn Duncan

Offering another way to wind down in the Woodlands, restaurant and wine bar Postino opened its sixth location in the Houston area on April 24. Like other locations, the most-Northern outpost will offer its charcuterie and bruschetta boards, and its famous happy hour, with $6 glasses of wine and pitchers of beer daily until 5 p.m. What’s different? Located in the Hughes Landing mixed-use district, the wine haven takes notes from some of its Woodlands neighborhood. The restaurant features an endearing, shaded patio that’s steps away from Lake Woodlands, and beverage director and sommelier Brent Karlicek has set out to create a beer, wine, and cider list tailored to residents. This most recent location also plans to unveil a summertime wine list with 30 new bottles and options by the glass this May.


A little brother to Upper Kirby’s Tex-Mex restaurant Armando’s, Mandito’s second location arrived in Bellaire on April 13, offering a slew of scratch-made Tex-Mex classics, like cheese enchiladas and fajitas, crispy tacos, and its “world famous” burrito bowls. Most impressive are Mandito’s agave spirits offerings, which include raicilla, bacanora, and mezcals; sotol from Chihuahua and Durango; and 18 different types of tequila from the Los Altos and El Valle regions of Mexico. Diners and imbibers can make the most of this by ordering from the frozen menu or customizing their experience through the “Make it a Margarita” option, which allows them to pick any agave spirit or sotol on the menu for their marg, plus one of its five specialty salts to line the rim. Be sure to catch a glimpse of Mandito’s state-of-the-art BE&SCO press and oven. Visible by all guests, the machine produces 900 tortillas per hour.

Padre’s Wine Shop

This boutique wine shop opened this past April, offering Houstonians a chance to experience wines from around the globe, with selections from South America, France, Italy, the United States, and pours from lesser-known regions, including family-owned wineries with sustainable operations. Though this boutique wine shop is known for selling wine by the bottle, visitors can also enjoy its menu of light bites, including a variety of bread from local bakery Cake & Bacon, a cheese and charcuterie board, and its fried beef bologna sandwich that’s served with a white balsamic aioli.

Echoes Cafe

Echoes’ spread of fried zucchini, pita bread and dips, tzatiki sauce, and more.
Echoes Cafe’s kitchen is now open and serving a combination of Greek and Mexican cuisine.
Rebekah Flores

With chefs Armando Ramirez and Ana Stanciu at the helm, this Montrose cafe and bar takes notes from Echoes owner Georgeos Kazilas’ Greek and Mexican heritage, offering sharable bites that merge the two cultures. Find spanakopitas made of buttery phyllo stuffed with fresh spinach and feta, souvlaki plates and skewers, and potato croquettes, alongside rib-eye tacos and Mexican brunch favorites, like chicken chilaquiles. The restaurant will also offer a steak night every Tuesday, featuring a 10-ounce rib-eye, served with creamed spinach and fries with a side of salsa verde.

Hongdae 33 Korean BBQ

Opened in April, Bellaire’s newest Korean barbecue spot is all-you-can-eat and very hands-on. For $33, diners score all the sides, including kimchi and seafood pancakes, and proteins like brisket pork jowl, and baby octopus — all of which can be grilled and enjoyed at their table, which is equipped with a gas grill. Looking to kick it up a notch? The restaurant offers the option to upgrade the experience, with prime meat selections, like New York strip, ribeye, and American wagyu beef from R-C Ranch for an added price, plus a bevy of South Korean spirits and cocktails. The only catch is diners only have a 90-minute window per reservation, so be sure to pace yourself.



A new outpost of this popular Montrose coffee shop is now open Downtown, taking up residence in the former home of Hubcap Grill on Prairie St. Visitors looking to escape the mundane setting of their corporate offices can take to the well-appointed open-air patio for coffee, or a full meal. Like its Montrose counterpart, Campesino serves up Katz coffee and offers a large menu of specialty drinks like a cafe Cubano, horchata, and a Maya mocha latte, among others, plus a food menu with Latin flair. Find Salvadorian-style tamales, breakfast tacos, and sandwiches like the choripan — pork sausage on a bolillo, served with plantain chips.


This Austin-based Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant opened its first Houston outpost in the Heights this month, with more locations planned for the future. The original kimchi fries, topped with meat, caramelized kimchi, shredded cheese, onion, cilantro, Magic Sauce, Sriracha, and sesame seeds, are the restaurant’s call to fame, but the menu also features customizable bowls built with a base of rice or japchae noodles, salads, ssams (wraps), and homemade agua Fresca. Choose your own adventure, or pick from an option from the menu of curated bowls.

Three loaded bowls with meat and vegetables.
Chi’Lantro is known for its menu of customizable bowls, wraps, and original kimchi fries.

Eau Tour

Benjy Levit’s hip new French restaurant opened last month in the same Rice Village development that houses his Local Foods and Local Foods Market concepts. Helmed by chef Kent Domas, Eau Tour features a seafood-heavy menu with dishes prepared in the restaurant’s wood-burning Josper oven. Find dishes like tuna tartare, Parisian gnocchi, a gruyere cheeseburger, and seared duck breast with celery root and pistachio, alongside a bevy of wines and cocktails.

Tuna tartare with romesco, toasted almonds, beef fat emulsion, bottarga, and endive at Eau Tour.
Tuna tartare with romesco, toasted almonds, beef fat emulsion, bottarga, and endive at Eau Tour.
Jenn Duncan

The Heights Social

As the first fully enclosed bar to open on West 20th St., the Heights Social combines a chic and sexy, chandelier-bedecked space with a playful cocktail program that includes espresso martinis served on tap. Guests can look forward to live DJs performing late into the night, a hearty menu of pizzas and sandwiches, plus a spirited weekend brunch.

The white walls and floors of the Heights Social with plush blue furnishings.
The Heights Social is newly opened on West 20th St.
Dylan McEwan


The seats have hardly had a moment to cool at Kyuramen since opening its first Houston outpost last month in Asiatown. The popular ramen chain restaurant has drawn in the crowds in recent weeks and is known for its three styles of ramen: Hokkaido miso, Central Japan’s Tokyo Shouyu, and southern Japan’s Kyushu Shio. Go for the ramen, but stay and explore the attractive space, which features a wishing tree, complete with well-wishes written on note cards, hanging from its branches.


Sundown Entertainment (Sugar Room, Sporting Club, Todos Santos), along with chef-partner EJ Miller, opened MUSE in the West Dallas space that previously housed Emmaline last month. The restaurant has been completely transformed and boasts a sexy, dimly-lit dining room dotted with cherry blossom trees. Miller strays from tradition with a dynamic menu, including standouts like caviar service accompanied with brown butter potato madeleines; grilled pork belly, served cold, with marinated cucumber, melon, Fresno chili, peanuts, and fresh herbs; and a post-oak grilled RC Ranch bone-in-ribeye, presented with chili eggplant. Desserts are paid equal attention with several hard-to-resist offerings, like a yuzu tart built atop sesame shortbread; and a jujube cake topped with grilled pear and served with pine nut brittle and pear sorbet.

A dining room with half-circle banquettes and bar seating, dotted with cherry blossom trees.
The whimsical interior at MUSE.
Adrian Barboza

Oheya by Uchi

Hai Hospitality’s new 12-seat omakase counter opened in an intimate space neighboring Uchi in Montrose last month. The restaurant offers two seatings per night, priced at $175 per person, during which guests can enjoy a 15-course omakase experience. The menu changes often, as a different Hai Hospitality chef helms the kitchen each month. The guest chef works in tandem with Uchi Houston’s in-house talent, chef de cuisine Stephen Conklin and head sushi chef Kevin Le, resulting in a menu made up of hot and cold dishes, with a focus on hyper-seasonal and hyper-local ingredients.

Five pieces of nigiri.
Nigiri features at Oheya by Uchi.
Oheya by Uchi


Chef Philippe Schmit, aka “the French Cowboy”, and Houston hospitality veteran Sebastian Laval opened PS21 last month in the former Queen Vic space in Upper Kirby. A standout among the menu’s classic French offerings is the raclette experience for two, which is a table-side presentation of warm raclette cheese showcased on fingerling potatoes and served with salad crudité and charcuterie. Save room for even more cheese, with desserts like the cheese monger board, or something rich and decadent like the Grand Marnier souffle.


Newly opened in Upper Kirby, Se7en combines a menu of Asian-Mediterranean cuisine with a vibey dining room, complete with live entertainment and an extensive beverage program. Guests can explore the dinner menu, which features sushi and hand rolls, and a 45-day aged 42-ounce tomahawk, or they can linger around during the late night hours for bottle service, while a live DJ plays on.

The Se7en Roll, made with toro, king salmon, hamachi, prawn, madai, and fresno.
The Se7en Roll, made with toro, king salmon, hamachi, prawn, madai, and fresno.


The Blind Goat

After shuttering the Blind Goat food stall at Downtown’s Bravery Chef Hall, MasterChef champ, Christine Ha, has reopened the restaurant as a brick-and-mortar in Spring Branch. At Blind Goat 2.0, Ha has the advantage of a much larger kitchen, and as a result, she’ll be introducing guests to new offerings, not previously available at Bravery. Expect whole roasted turmeric fish, crawfish and noodles, and a curated list of cocktails. While operating a much larger restaurant in a new neighborhood will undoubtedly come with its own set of challenges, it isn’t the only thing Ha is juggling at the moment. Along with her business partner Tony Nguyen, Ha has been nominated for a James Beard in the Outstanding Chef category for her restaurant Xin Chao, and she is gearing up for the opening of Stuffed Belly, a sandwich shop that will also debut in Spring Branch later this season.

Steamed buns with saucy fried meat and cucumbers.
Christine Ha’s the Blind Goat has reemerged in Spring Branch.
The Blind Goat Facebook

Jun by Kin

One year after appearing on Bravo’s Top Chef, Evelyn Garcia opened Jun by Kin in the Heights earlier this month. The 1950s-era washateria was revamped by Gin Braverman, the lauded hospitality designer of the Gin Design Group, and serves as a cozy, ultra-sleek destination in which to explore the small, but mighty menu created by Garcia and her culinary partner Henry Lu’s. Drawing inspiration from their diverse upbringing, offerings include whole fish, lamb curry, and fried chicken.

An archway leading to the dining room.
Jun by Kin boasts Tulum-inspired interiors designed by Gin Braverman of the Houston-based Gin Design Group.
Claudia Casbarian

The Crack Shack

Popular Southern California-based fried chicken chain, the Crack Shack opened its first Texas outpost in Katy’s LaCanterra shopping development this month. The family-friendly restaurant, known for its golden-fried birds, is working with local purveyors, including using artisan-baked sandwich bread from Bread Man Baking Co. and shakes made with Amy’s Ice Cream, to showcase the freshest ingredients possible. Linger around after you eat — the Katy location has a dog-friendly patio and serves up local brew from Eureka Heights and Saint Arnolds.

A tray of fried chicken with sauces, sides, and fries.
The Crack Shack’s first Texas outpost has opened in Katy.
The Crack Shack

Eight Row Flint

A second outpost of Agricole Hospitality’s popular Heights patio bar has opened in the East End. While guests can expect to see familiar cocktails like the bar’s many ranch water and old-fashioned choices, this location differs from the Heights in that it is spread over two levels and offers Downtown views from its rooftop patio.

The rooftop patio at night.
Eight Row Flint in the East End has a rooftop patio with downtown views.
Mikah Danae


Beatriz Martines, the former corporate chef and culinary director of H-Town Restaurant Group (Hugo’s, Caracol, Xochi) has opened Xalisco in the Woodlands. Operating her restaurant has long been a dream for Martines, who previously worked as a cafeteria lunch lady at Cy-Fair ISD in Houston, and now it has come to fruition. The large, 5,500-square-foot restaurant is neatly appointed and attractive with furnishings brought in from Mexico. On the menu, Martines takes a modern approach to traditional eats, with her pride and joy being the Trompito al Pastor, a mini vertical rotating spit showcasing adobo-marinated pork.

A mini trompo with adobo-marinated pork on a wooden board.
The mini trompo al pastor at Xalisco.

Primo Hoagies

Beloved South Philly sandwich restaurant, Primo Hoagies, has opened a location on Washington Ave., making it the second Texas outpost for the time-honored brand. Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, the casual restaurant serves up its iconic hoagies, layered with Thumann’s gourmet meats and cheeses, a secret blend of spices, and locally sourced vegetables on seeded rolls that are baked fresh throughout the day.

The Ranch Saloon & Steakhouse

Berg Hospitality’s Ranch Saloon & Steakhouse is officially back for its second year at the Houston Rodeo. Located at NRG Park on the southwest corner of NRG Astrodome near the Championship Wine Garden, the sprawling concept houses two restaurants under the same tent — the Saloon, a casual, first-come, first-serve restaurant with a bar and covered patio coined the Porch; and the Steakhouse, a more formal alternative that accepts reservations. This year, the Ranch boasts a new and improved layout, adding 80 additional seats, plus lounge seating for guests who want to partake in the “Ranch After Dark” — a late-night experience with live music and bottle service.

The tented dining room at the Ranch Saloon & Steakhouse with guests in western wear.
The Ranch Saloon & Steakhouse is the first ever restaurant to operate on rodeo grounds.
Jenn Duncan


Bayou Heights Biergarten

Five years after opening Heights Biergarten, the Kirby Group launched Bayou Heights Biergarten on Washington Ave., a sprawling concept made up of four buildings anchored by a large courtyard. Each building offers its dedicated beverage program, including wine and beer, cocktails, and coffees and teas. Chef Teddy Lopez led the charge on the culinary side, putting hard-to-resist items like house-made pretzels and a pulled pork sandwich on the menu.

A red cocktail in a tall glass pictured outside at Bayou Heights Biergarten.
The Funny Car cocktail at Bayou Heights Biergarten.
Dustyn Zenner

Brett’s BBQ Shop Katy

The new Katy location of Brett’s BBQ Shop is now open, holding court on Kingsland Boulevard in a space that is much larger than its previous locale on Mason Road, which shuttered last year. The lauded barbecue restaurant is known for its smoked meats and traditional sides, but the new location will likely have guests lounging around well after they’ve eaten. Brett’s 2.0 boasts bar games, a full bar, and a patio.

Cafe Express Woodlands

This Houston-based counter-service cafe is expanding its footprint in the city with a new outpost, open now, in the Woodlands, and another slated to open in Baybrook this summer. Like its newly remodeled River Oaks location, the Woodlands restaurant has an aesthetic reminiscent of classic European cafes, with Paris metro-style lighting, Italian furniture fabrics, and Spanish gold finishes. In addition to its all-day menu and happy hour specials, Cafe Express has family meals for four, with items like Mediterranean salmon and chicken pesto Alfredo pasta.

A family meal from Cafe Express featuring a large portion of pesto pasta, salad, and bread.
A family meal large enough for four from Cafe Express.
Michael Anthony

Graffiti Raw

The latest concept from Big Vibe Hospitality (Coppa, Gratify, Flora) is now open in the Montrose Collective. The all-day kitchen and bar offers a diverse, approachable menu, inspired by owners Grant and Jacy Cooper and Josep Prats’ world travels. Expect caviar with chips, an Angus cheeseburger, cod croquettes, shrimp fried rice, and margaritas in a relaxed, California cool-type setting.

Killen’s BBQ Cypress

Following its original location in Pearland and a follow-up in the Woodlands, Ronnie Killen opened a new outpost of Killen’s BBQ in the former Burro & Bull space in Cypress. Since opening at the end of January, the restaurant has drawn in crowds from Cypress and beyond with guests waiting in line for a taste of the brand’s signature beef ribs, brisket, and old-fashioned desserts.

Kriti Kitchen

This West U retail strip gem is helmed by chef Mary Cuclis, a native Texan who honed her chops at Alvin Leung’s three-Michelin star molecular Chinese restaurant Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, and as part of Pondicheri’s opening team in Houston. Cuclis draws inspiration for the menu from her Greek heritage, with the counter-service cafe featuring a mix of homestyle Cretan dishes and prepared meals. Highlights from the all-day menu include meat and vegetarian mezzo boards, wraps, and protein bowls, while a refrigerated section is stocked with family-size platters of dishes like chicken souvlaki and moussaka giving guests convenient takeaway options for weeknight dinners.

An overhead shot of vegetables, nuts, kebabs, and drinks from Kriti Kitchen.
Mezze and kebabs at Kriti Kitchen.
Ajna Jai

Local Table Cinco Ranch

Local Table’s revamped Cinco Ranch location is now the brand’s flagship and the first to feature a Local Table and Local Bar combo. The 14,500-square-foot building has a large patio, a private room that can accommodate up to 75 guests, and the Local Bar, which will likely be a hotbed for happy hours and game day watch parties. The menu is consistent with Local Table’s other locations, featuring several vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes, wood-stone pizzas, sandwiches, pitas, and more.

An overhead shot of Local Table’s offerings, including spinach dip, pizzas, and pita with hummus.
A colorful spread from Local Table.
Jenn Duncan

Sixty Vines Woodlands

A new outpost of this wine-centric restaurant is now open at Market Street in the Woodlands. Like its other locations, the menu is influenced by wine countries around the world, including shareable plates and entrees, and the beverage program includes beer, cocktails, and 60 wines on tap. Pours are available by the flight, half glass, full glass, or bottle. At more than 12,000 square feet, complete with private dining spaces, the new Woodlands locale offers lots of comfortable space to wine and dine to your heart’s content.



One of the most hotly anticipated Houston restaurant openings, Ciel combines fine dining with live entertainment. The River Oaks-area restaurant opened in mid-December in the floor-level space of a new boutique commercial building. It may look all business from the outside, but it’s a full-on party on the inside. A towering statue of Zeus holds court in the main dining room surrounded by marbled tables and banquettes conjoined together to create a stage where singers and dancers perform throughout the night. Under the direction of California native, chef Joseph Geiskopf, the menu is a mix of Japanese and French cuisines and incorporates fresh fish imported daily from Japan and New Zealand, prime steak cuts, and premium non-GMO caviar.

4411 San Felipe St Suite 101, Houston, TX 77027

A white plate with filet mignon.
Filet mignon at Ciel.
Julie Soefer

d’Alba Midtown

This Garden Oaks neighborhood gem has unveiled a new outpost in Midtown. Like its sister restaurant, this locale boasts a comfortable outdoor patio and a menu of all-day eats like wood-fired pizzas, handmade pasta, and Gulf oysters paired with wine and cocktails.

3304 Milam St, Houston, TX 77006

Gatsby’s Grill

Gatsby Hospitality Group continues its rapid expansion with the addition of a third new concept, following Gatsby’s Steakhouse and Gatsby’s Seafood, coined Gatsby’s Grill. The casual neighborhood restaurant opened days before the new year in the El Segundo neighborhood near iconic Houston restaurant the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation. The 7,000-square-foot space is fitted with TVs and boasts an expansive bar area that leads to an outdoor patio featuring lounge seating and fire pits. In addition to hearty staples like chef Erick Anaya’s sunny-side-up egg-topped burger, and chicken fried steak, the menu pays homage to the neighborhood with Latino-driven offerings like crab-avocado queso, street corn, and tacos.

2929 Navigation Blvd Suite 100, Houston, TX 77003

Dark green banquette seating agains a dark green and gold patterned background.
The dramatic interiors of Gatsby’s Grill, now open in the El Segundo neighborhood.
Raydon Creative

Gypsy Poet Heights

A second outpost of the wildly popular Midtown pizzeria, Gypsy Poet has opened in the Heights. The Gypsy Poet Studio, as it is known, moved into the building, which previously housed Fegen’s on Studewood. Like at its original location, guests can dine on artisan pies while taking in a live music rehearsal or jam session from local bands.

1050 Studewood St. Houston, TX 77007

La Diabla Retro Bar

The team behind La Calle Tacos opened La Diabla Retro Bar on Downtown’s Main Street. The late-night throwback bar puts the spotlight on Latino pop hits of the 80s and 90s, with live music acts taking to the stage every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

300 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

Little Hen

River Oaks District is now home to the first Texas location of dreamy Miami-based brunch boutique, Little Hen. Marble and gold tabletops with blue velvet bucket chairs, dark leather couches, floral prints, and blooming bouquets decorate the romantic, chandelier-bedecked space, and a 1,050-square-foot outdoor Champagne garden is set to debut this spring. Open daily at 8 a.m. Little Hen offers a full breakfast and brunch menu, along with an upscale afternoon tea service.

4444 Westheimer Rd Suite H-110, Houston, TX 77027

Two mustard-colored couches surrounded by floral arrangements at Little Hen.
Little Hen offers a floral and fun space in which to enjoy breakfast, brunch, and afternoon tea.
Little Hen

Money Cat

Money Cat, from the team behind Cinco Ranch standout Tobiuo Sushi & Bar, opened at Kirby Grove on January 7. Chef-owner Sherman Yeung and chef de cuisine Jiolo “Jio” Dingayan have coined the cuisine “new Japanese”, which is meant to reflect the interpretations of first- and second-generation Asian Americans with dishes meant to tickle all five senses. Steamed egg custard is presented with savory taiyaki made from corn and chive, and a dessert called the chocolate bonsai appears as if it is growing directly from the plate it is served on.

2925 Richmond Ave. Suite 140, Houston, TX 77098

A plate of dessert which is meant to look like a bonsai tree with flower petals appearing from its branches.
The chocolate bonsai at newly opened Money Cat.
Kimberly Park

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