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The CCQ Queso at El Tiempo
El Tiempo Cantina/Facebook

Where to Eat Cheesy, Melty Chili Con Queso in Houston

Is there anything better than a bowl of melty, spicy cheese?

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The CCQ Queso at El Tiempo
| El Tiempo Cantina/Facebook

A quintessentially Texas combination of processed cheese, chiles, and spices, queso is one of the state’s most beloved dishes. And for good reason — there’s nothing more comforting in the world than a bowl of cheesy, melty queso paired with chips and plenty of margaritas.

But where does one find the best queso in Houston? Fortunately, it’s easy — head to one of these 13 establishments where the queso is constantly flowing, and often used to make dishes like tacos, fries, and burgers even better.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Superica

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Houston native Ford Fry’s Heights restaurant Superica is perfect for folks who like to customize their queso. Keep it classic, or add proteins like chicken and chorizo. There’s also the “compuesto” option, which adds picadillo beef, guacamole, and sour cream to the mix, and a couple of customizable queso fundidos that are served with warm tortillas.

Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe

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Spike a bowl of classic, neon-orange queso with seasoned ground beef or fajita meat at this beloved Mexican eatery, or try the Monterey Jack-based queso fundido that’s served with freshly made tortillas.

Tacos A Go Go

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Is there anything better than queso that’s inside a taco? Absolutely not. The tater taco, stuffed with Mexican tater tots, black beans, bacon, queso, and pickled jalapenos, is an incredible hangover cure. Otherwise, order the queso quintero — a rich, cheesy option that’s topped with chorizo, pico de gallo, and scallions.

BB's Tex-Orleans

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BB’s takes cheese fries to a whole new level with its Tex-Cajun fries, shoestring potatoes topped with hot melty queso, gravy, and New Orleans-style roast beef debris. Think of it as an East Texas take on poutine.

El Tiempo Cantina - Washington

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With multiple Houston locations, El Tiempo always offers a convenient way to satisfy a queso craving. Four different size options are on the menu, from a small four-ounce ramekin to a giant “large” that costs $18, and the real draw here is the CCQ Joseph, a bowl of queso mixed with picadillo beef.

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation

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There’s nothing fancy about the chili con queso at this Houston Tex-Mex icon, but it is damn good. Order a large if you’re sharing with a crowd — no one wants to be fighting over the last scoop before the restaurant’s famed fajitas arrive.

For something completely different, try the queso de rancho at Xochi. Here, chef Hugo Ortega’s cheesy dip is made with queso de cincho and served with red huaxmole sauce, chicharrones, and a selection of roasted insects — a Oaxacan delicacy — for dipping.

The Burger Joint

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Slather queso on a burger, hot dog, or order of fries at this popular Montrose burger spot. As a bonus, it’s open until midnight on the weekdays and 4 a.m. on the weekends, which means that it’s possible to cure a queso craving basically any time of the day or night.

Korny Vibes

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Looking for a completely vegan bowl of queso? Head to this Montrose newcomer, which serves its cheese-free “queso” over a plate of crunchy flautas. Diners who want to try other options on the menu can order a side of queso to dip their fries here for a buck.

La Grange

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Fans of white queso need look no further than Montrose bar La Grange, where the cheesy dip is accented with green chiles and pico. Want something more substantial? Add spicy shrimp, chorizo, or smoked brisket for a few extra bucks.

Molina's Cantina

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This stalwart Houston Tex-Mex spot has perfected queso during its decades in business, and it’s impossible to go wrong with “Jose’s Dip,” a bowl of queso that’s mixed with spicy taco beef. Order a side of fresh tortillas for dipping, and be transported to Tex-Mex paradise. Of note: during Happy Hour, which runs from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, diners in the bar can score free queso and chips alongside budget-friendly drink specials.

Candente

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For a seriously rich queso, head to this Montrose newcomer. Candente’s queso is pretty traditional, and diners can zhuzh it up with smoky chopped brisket, fajita meat, and Texas red chili for a couple bucks more. Spoiler alert: it’s totally worth the upgrade.

Arnaldo Richard's Picos Restaurant

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This longstanding Houston restaurant has queso down pat. Both a traditional Tex-Mex queso and a gooey queso flamado, which involves melty Chihuahua cheese mixed with chorizo, are on the menu, and they’re both perfectly paired with a fluffy tortilla or crunchy chip.

Superica

Houston native Ford Fry’s Heights restaurant Superica is perfect for folks who like to customize their queso. Keep it classic, or add proteins like chicken and chorizo. There’s also the “compuesto” option, which adds picadillo beef, guacamole, and sour cream to the mix, and a couple of customizable queso fundidos that are served with warm tortillas.

Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe

Spike a bowl of classic, neon-orange queso with seasoned ground beef or fajita meat at this beloved Mexican eatery, or try the Monterey Jack-based queso fundido that’s served with freshly made tortillas.

Tacos A Go Go

Is there anything better than queso that’s inside a taco? Absolutely not. The tater taco, stuffed with Mexican tater tots, black beans, bacon, queso, and pickled jalapenos, is an incredible hangover cure. Otherwise, order the queso quintero — a rich, cheesy option that’s topped with chorizo, pico de gallo, and scallions.

BB's Tex-Orleans

BB’s takes cheese fries to a whole new level with its Tex-Cajun fries, shoestring potatoes topped with hot melty queso, gravy, and New Orleans-style roast beef debris. Think of it as an East Texas take on poutine.

El Tiempo Cantina - Washington

With multiple Houston locations, El Tiempo always offers a convenient way to satisfy a queso craving. Four different size options are on the menu, from a small four-ounce ramekin to a giant “large” that costs $18, and the real draw here is the CCQ Joseph, a bowl of queso mixed with picadillo beef.

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation

There’s nothing fancy about the chili con queso at this Houston Tex-Mex icon, but it is damn good. Order a large if you’re sharing with a crowd — no one wants to be fighting over the last scoop before the restaurant’s famed fajitas arrive.

Xochi

For something completely different, try the queso de rancho at Xochi. Here, chef Hugo Ortega’s cheesy dip is made with queso de cincho and served with red huaxmole sauce, chicharrones, and a selection of roasted insects — a Oaxacan delicacy — for dipping.

The Burger Joint

Slather queso on a burger, hot dog, or order of fries at this popular Montrose burger spot. As a bonus, it’s open until midnight on the weekdays and 4 a.m. on the weekends, which means that it’s possible to cure a queso craving basically any time of the day or night.

Korny Vibes

Looking for a completely vegan bowl of queso? Head to this Montrose newcomer, which serves its cheese-free “queso” over a plate of crunchy flautas. Diners who want to try other options on the menu can order a side of queso to dip their fries here for a buck.

La Grange

Fans of white queso need look no further than Montrose bar La Grange, where the cheesy dip is accented with green chiles and pico. Want something more substantial? Add spicy shrimp, chorizo, or smoked brisket for a few extra bucks.

Molina's Cantina

This stalwart Houston Tex-Mex spot has perfected queso during its decades in business, and it’s impossible to go wrong with “Jose’s Dip,” a bowl of queso that’s mixed with spicy taco beef. Order a side of fresh tortillas for dipping, and be transported to Tex-Mex paradise. Of note: during Happy Hour, which runs from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, diners in the bar can score free queso and chips alongside budget-friendly drink specials.

Candente

For a seriously rich queso, head to this Montrose newcomer. Candente’s queso is pretty traditional, and diners can zhuzh it up with smoky chopped brisket, fajita meat, and Texas red chili for a couple bucks more. Spoiler alert: it’s totally worth the upgrade.

Arnaldo Richard's Picos Restaurant

This longstanding Houston restaurant has queso down pat. Both a traditional Tex-Mex queso and a gooey queso flamado, which involves melty Chihuahua cheese mixed with chorizo, are on the menu, and they’re both perfectly paired with a fluffy tortilla or crunchy chip.

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