clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Mala Sichuan probably won't be flooded with Valetnine's Day diners
Mala Sichuan probably won't be flooded with Valetnine's Day diners
Gary R Wise

12 Mostly Low Key Valentine's Ideas, Mapped

View as Map
Mala Sichuan probably won't be flooded with Valetnine's Day diners
| Gary R Wise

On Valentine's Day, it can be tempting to pick the prix fixe at a popular restaurant, but that decision is likely a path to regret. Prices get jacked up, servers feel harried, kitchens are slammed. Although cooking at home is a tempting option, for those who still want the sense of occasion that comes with dining out (or just don't want to do dishes on a supposedly romantic evening), here are a few, mostly low key options. What these restaurants lack in the sort of atmosphere that draws in Valentine's Day diners, they make up with good food, reasonable prices and a relaxed vibe that should make Thursday night more pleasant.

For people who want the full experience, this post nicely summarizes just about every restaurant that's issued a press release in the last three weeks. Skim and enjoy. Or take that 5:30 reservation at Tony's from the twelfth spot on the map. That's a guaranteed winner.

· Valentine's 2013: The Best Deals/Dinners in Houston [29-95]
· All Maps on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]

Read More
Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe

Copy Link
This casual Tex-Mex spots serves some of Houston's most consistently excellent fajitas. The micheladas are also worth trying, but probably not conducive to post-meal smooching.

Paulie's Restaurant

Copy Link
Counter-service restaurants are a good refuge on Valentine's, and Paulie's well-executed menu of Italian-American classics is always a winner. On Thursday, the restaurant serves osso bucco as a special. Call ahead to reserve one; they always sell out.

Vinoteca Poscol

Copy Link
Yes, this place will be crowded, but it's usually crowded. They're used to it. The menu of reasonably priced sharable plates combined with the solid wine list won't leave anyone feeling ripped off.

BRC Gastropub

Copy Link
If you're both beer nerds, BRC looks like the best option. For $65, there's a three-course beer pairing dinner featuring an ultra-rare keg of Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #2.

Mala Sichuan Bistro

Copy Link
When white people flood the city's restaurants, smart people seek refuge in Chinatown. Sampling the menu of authentic Sichuan dishes is half the fun of going to Mala, so round up a group and enjoy.

Pho Binh By Night

Copy Link
A quiet dinner over a couple bowls of pho with a side of tasty, sexy bone marrow is a nice alternative to the Valentine's crowds. Taste the reason this place is typically the first stop for chefs who've been away from Houston for awhile.

Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca

Copy Link
Pizza may not be romantic, but when they're this good, maybe it should be. The restaurant seems rejuvenated since reopening after a fire, and the reasonably priced Italian wines help establish the proper mood.

The Brewery Incubator

Copy Link
The UnValentine's Day party offers a selection of 10 different stations with beers and food to sample. Every 30 minutes, diners are forced to get up and move from one table to another. See the events's Facebook page for all the details. $45 per person

Eatsie Boys Cafe

Copy Link
The brick and mortar outpost of the popular food truck is earning raves for dishes such as matzah ball pho and a roast beef sandwich called the "maestro." Also works as an after-dinner spot for ice cream and coffee.

Pizaro's Pizza

Copy Link
The city's best Neapolitan-style pizzeria probably doesn't have the atmosphere to draw Valentine's Day crowds, but, thanks to being BYOB, it could be the perfect spot for a quiet meal and a nice bottle of wine.

Aladdin's Mediterranean Cuisine

Copy Link
It's reasonably priced, and the menu is vegetarian-friendly, which most prix-fixe menus are not. That makes it perfect for couples who are divided about eating meat. The lamb shank is always a good choice, and the kebabs are good, too.
If you absolutely must go to a fancy restaurant, might as well go with a place with an impeccable reputation for service that won't be overwhelmed by the crowds. As of Monday afternoon, they still had tables available at 5:30 and 9:45 for $95 per person. Tony's/Facebook

Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe

This casual Tex-Mex spots serves some of Houston's most consistently excellent fajitas. The micheladas are also worth trying, but probably not conducive to post-meal smooching.

Paulie's Restaurant

Counter-service restaurants are a good refuge on Valentine's, and Paulie's well-executed menu of Italian-American classics is always a winner. On Thursday, the restaurant serves osso bucco as a special. Call ahead to reserve one; they always sell out.

Vinoteca Poscol

Yes, this place will be crowded, but it's usually crowded. They're used to it. The menu of reasonably priced sharable plates combined with the solid wine list won't leave anyone feeling ripped off.

BRC Gastropub

If you're both beer nerds, BRC looks like the best option. For $65, there's a three-course beer pairing dinner featuring an ultra-rare keg of Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #2.

Mala Sichuan Bistro

When white people flood the city's restaurants, smart people seek refuge in Chinatown. Sampling the menu of authentic Sichuan dishes is half the fun of going to Mala, so round up a group and enjoy.

Pho Binh By Night

A quiet dinner over a couple bowls of pho with a side of tasty, sexy bone marrow is a nice alternative to the Valentine's crowds. Taste the reason this place is typically the first stop for chefs who've been away from Houston for awhile.

Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca

Pizza may not be romantic, but when they're this good, maybe it should be. The restaurant seems rejuvenated since reopening after a fire, and the reasonably priced Italian wines help establish the proper mood.

The Brewery Incubator

The UnValentine's Day party offers a selection of 10 different stations with beers and food to sample. Every 30 minutes, diners are forced to get up and move from one table to another. See the events's Facebook page for all the details. $45 per person

Eatsie Boys Cafe

The brick and mortar outpost of the popular food truck is earning raves for dishes such as matzah ball pho and a roast beef sandwich called the "maestro." Also works as an after-dinner spot for ice cream and coffee.

Pizaro's Pizza

The city's best Neapolitan-style pizzeria probably doesn't have the atmosphere to draw Valentine's Day crowds, but, thanks to being BYOB, it could be the perfect spot for a quiet meal and a nice bottle of wine.

Aladdin's Mediterranean Cuisine

It's reasonably priced, and the menu is vegetarian-friendly, which most prix-fixe menus are not. That makes it perfect for couples who are divided about eating meat. The lamb shank is always a good choice, and the kebabs are good, too.

Tony's

If you absolutely must go to a fancy restaurant, might as well go with a place with an impeccable reputation for service that won't be overwhelmed by the crowds. As of Monday afternoon, they still had tables available at 5:30 and 9:45 for $95 per person. Tony's/Facebook

Related Maps