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16 Classic Houston Greasy Spoons, Mapped

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Last week, Eater readers submitted their favorite Greasy Spoons via Twitter, Facebook, an Open Thread and the tipline. The results, as seen below, cover just about every neighborhood Inside the Loop. What do they have in common? Friendly service, reasonable prices, killer breakfasts and, in most cases, a really solid chicken fried steak.

As always, feel free to sound off in the comments if there's a personal favorite that's missing.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Andy's Cafe

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1115 E 11th St
Houston, TX 77009
(713) 861-9423
Frankly, whether one cares for this long-time Heights Tex Mex spot probably depends on (a) the length of time one has been patronizing the restaurant and (b) one's BAC. Been going here for years or need the cheese enchiladas to soak up a belly full of beer? Andy's hits the spot. Newcomers may be better off at Spanish Flowers.

2. Avalon Diner

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2417 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 527-8900
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When even the "new" location is 20 years old, Avalon has earned the right to be called a Houston classic. Anything from the classic soda fountain is a good place to start here, especially the Blue Bell milkshakes.

3. Avenue Grill

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1017 Houston Ave.
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 228-5138
Now featuring iconic Houston server John Katsimikis, Avenue Grill is a favorite of the HPD officers whose headquarters is just across Houston Avenue. The grits and house-made biscuits are highly recommended as an accompaniment to eggs.

4. Bellaire Coffee Shop

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5422 Bissonnet St
Bellaire, TX 77401
(713) 667-8667
Naturally, the breakfasts, particularly the fluffy waffles, are a solid option here, but it's the liver and onions that are an underrated reason to patronize this Bellaire institution.

5. Chapultepec Lupita

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813 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 522-2365
Another late night, greasy Tex Mex spot with friendly service and a killer atmosphere. While some readers may recall Chapultepec as being amenable to serve margaritas to underage patrons, it's the basic tacos and excellent table salsa that are must eat.

6. City Cafe

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513 College Ave
South Houston, TX 77587
(713) 944-3710
The location in the city of South Houston means smoking is still allowed at this old-school spot. A favorite of Houstonia food editor Katharine Shilcutt, she recommends the grits and anything that comes with cream gravy.

7. Dot Coffee Shop

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7006 Gulf Fwy
Houston, TX 77087
(713) 644-7669
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While some might dislike the Pappas restaurants in general, Dot Coffee Shop's retro dining room and friendly service make it easy to love. At breakfast, the gigantic biscuits are irresistible. For dinner, the chicken fried steak is among the city's best.

8. House of Pies

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3112 Kirby Dr
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 528-3816
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Although the free swinging, "House of Guys" days may more memory than reality, this 24 hour spot is still regularly packed on weekends with a mix of college students and late night revelers. The signature bayou goo pie is mandatory, as is anything that comes with the home fries.

9. Harry's Restaurant

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318 Tuam St
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 528-0198
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Whether one orders from the menu during breakfast or goes through the cafeteria line at lunch, Harry's is part of a long-chain of Greek-owned Houston diners that offer something for everybody. Go with whatever looks good from the steam table; there are very few missteps here.

10. Kelley's Country Cooking

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8015 Park Place Blvd
Houston, TX 77087
(713) 645-6428
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At its seven locations across the city, this diner empire serves gigantic portions at eminently reasonable prices. The chicken fried steak could easily be split between people and proves that, as long as an entree comes with eggs on the side, anything can be considered a breakfast option.

11. Lankford's Grocery & Market

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88 Dennis St
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 522-9555
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Just because it's known for its burgers, doesn't mean that's the only thing Lankford Grocery does well. The Wednesday special is some of the best, old-school Tex Mex enchiladas anywhere, and the Saturday-only biscuits & gravy are worth getting up early for.

12. Mama's Oven

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9295 Main St
Houston, TX 77025
(713) 661-3656
This soul food restaurant may not exactly qualify as a greasy spoon, but the lunch time meat and three from a rotating list of specials is essential stuff. Order the oxtails, collard greens and whatever else looks good. Then go to Hank's next door for ice cream.

13. Tel-Wink Grill

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4318 Telephone Rd
Houston, TX 77087
(713) 644-4933
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This classic spot has been serving big portions at low prices for generations. Eggs cooked to order are the way to go here, particularly when paired with a chicken fried steak.

14. Texas Cafeteria

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2400 N Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX
(713) 862-5958
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For a couple generations, it's been a go to spot for Heights residents. Stick to the basics here: eggs, bacon and biscuits are solid, but other options, like the chicken fried steak, may be bland. Nothing a little hot sauce can't fix.

15. Theo's

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812 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 523-0425
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24 hour diner One's a Meal lives on as Theo's. During breakfast, the waffles and Greek omelet are always reliable. At dinner, a calzone from the restaurant's pizza oven is always a good option, especially when it's filled with gyro meat.

16. Triple A Restaurant

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2526 Airline Dr
Houston, TX 77009
(713) 861-3422
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A favorite of Heights residents who regularly pack the place, Triple A's wood paneled dining room may provide diners with a time warp sensation. In addition to breakfast, the chicken and dumplings special, served for dinner on Tuesday and Saturday, is the standard by which other versions are measured.

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1. Andy's Cafe

1115 E 11th St, Houston, TX 77009
Frankly, whether one cares for this long-time Heights Tex Mex spot probably depends on (a) the length of time one has been patronizing the restaurant and (b) one's BAC. Been going here for years or need the cheese enchiladas to soak up a belly full of beer? Andy's hits the spot. Newcomers may be better off at Spanish Flowers.
1115 E 11th St
Houston, TX 77009

2. Avalon Diner

2417 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098
When even the "new" location is 20 years old, Avalon has earned the right to be called a Houston classic. Anything from the classic soda fountain is a good place to start here, especially the Blue Bell milkshakes.
2417 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098

3. Avenue Grill

1017 Houston Ave., Houston, TX 77007
Now featuring iconic Houston server John Katsimikis, Avenue Grill is a favorite of the HPD officers whose headquarters is just across Houston Avenue. The grits and house-made biscuits are highly recommended as an accompaniment to eggs.
1017 Houston Ave.
Houston, TX 77007

4. Bellaire Coffee Shop

5422 Bissonnet St, Bellaire, TX 77401
Naturally, the breakfasts, particularly the fluffy waffles, are a solid option here, but it's the liver and onions that are an underrated reason to patronize this Bellaire institution.
5422 Bissonnet St
Bellaire, TX 77401

5. Chapultepec Lupita

813 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77006
Another late night, greasy Tex Mex spot with friendly service and a killer atmosphere. While some readers may recall Chapultepec as being amenable to serve margaritas to underage patrons, it's the basic tacos and excellent table salsa that are must eat.
813 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77006

6. City Cafe

513 College Ave, South Houston, TX 77587
The location in the city of South Houston means smoking is still allowed at this old-school spot. A favorite of Houstonia food editor Katharine Shilcutt, she recommends the grits and anything that comes with cream gravy.
513 College Ave
South Houston, TX 77587

7. Dot Coffee Shop

7006 Gulf Fwy, Houston, TX 77087
While some might dislike the Pappas restaurants in general, Dot Coffee Shop's retro dining room and friendly service make it easy to love. At breakfast, the gigantic biscuits are irresistible. For dinner, the chicken fried steak is among the city's best.
7006 Gulf Fwy
Houston, TX 77087

8. House of Pies

3112 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77098
Although the free swinging, "House of Guys" days may more memory than reality, this 24 hour spot is still regularly packed on weekends with a mix of college students and late night revelers. The signature bayou goo pie is mandatory, as is anything that comes with the home fries.
3112 Kirby Dr
Houston, TX 77098

9. Harry's Restaurant

318 Tuam St, Houston, TX 77006
Whether one orders from the menu during breakfast or goes through the cafeteria line at lunch, Harry's is part of a long-chain of Greek-owned Houston diners that offer something for everybody. Go with whatever looks good from the steam table; there are very few missteps here.
318 Tuam St
Houston, TX 77006

10. Kelley's Country Cooking

8015 Park Place Blvd, Houston, TX 77087
At its seven locations across the city, this diner empire serves gigantic portions at eminently reasonable prices. The chicken fried steak could easily be split between people and proves that, as long as an entree comes with eggs on the side, anything can be considered a breakfast option.
8015 Park Place Blvd
Houston, TX 77087

11. Lankford's Grocery & Market

88 Dennis St, Houston, TX 77006
Just because it's known for its burgers, doesn't mean that's the only thing Lankford Grocery does well. The Wednesday special is some of the best, old-school Tex Mex enchiladas anywhere, and the Saturday-only biscuits & gravy are worth getting up early for.
88 Dennis St
Houston, TX 77006

12. Mama's Oven

9295 Main St, Houston, TX 77025
This soul food restaurant may not exactly qualify as a greasy spoon, but the lunch time meat and three from a rotating list of specials is essential stuff. Order the oxtails, collard greens and whatever else looks good. Then go to Hank's next door for ice cream.
9295 Main St
Houston, TX 77025

13. Tel-Wink Grill

4318 Telephone Rd, Houston, TX 77087
This classic spot has been serving big portions at low prices for generations. Eggs cooked to order are the way to go here, particularly when paired with a chicken fried steak.
4318 Telephone Rd
Houston, TX 77087

14. Texas Cafeteria

2400 N Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX
For a couple generations, it's been a go to spot for Heights residents. Stick to the basics here: eggs, bacon and biscuits are solid, but other options, like the chicken fried steak, may be bland. Nothing a little hot sauce can't fix.
2400 N Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX

15. Theo's

812 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006
24 hour diner One's a Meal lives on as Theo's. During breakfast, the waffles and Greek omelet are always reliable. At dinner, a calzone from the restaurant's pizza oven is always a good option, especially when it's filled with gyro meat.
812 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006

Related Maps

16. Triple A Restaurant

2526 Airline Dr, Houston, TX 77009
A favorite of Heights residents who regularly pack the place, Triple A's wood paneled dining room may provide diners with a time warp sensation. In addition to breakfast, the chicken and dumplings special, served for dinner on Tuesday and Saturday, is the standard by which other versions are measured.
2526 Airline Dr
Houston, TX 77009

Related Maps