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Goode Co. Fish Camp’s Gulf shrimp and crab fettuccine.
The Woodlands’ restaurant scene is emerging with new dining destinations, like Goode Co. Fish Camp.
Caroline Fontenot

14 Essential Restaurants in the Woodlands

Tandoori leg of lamb, tapas, fresh seafood, and more

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The Woodlands’ restaurant scene is emerging with new dining destinations, like Goode Co. Fish Camp.
| Caroline Fontenot

Once a cast away in the greater Houston food scene, the Woodlands has quietly become a destination that restaurateurs and diners alike are flocking to. Located 30 miles north of Houston, this affluent suburb is becoming home to more than just chain restaurants and uninspired dining options, meaning it’s more than worth the drive.

From exciting new Indian cuisine spots to chef-driven steakhouses and some of Houston’s best barbecue, The Woodlands area’s dining selection is now more than just an afterthought for those heading to Lake Conroe or seeing a show at Cynthia Woods Pavilion. Whether you live in the Woodlands or are in for a getaway or weekend staycation, here are the area’s most essential restaurants.

Is your favorite restaurant in the Woodlands missing from this map? Shout it out in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Via Emilia Italian Restaurant

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The flavors of Northern Italy shine here through classic dishes such as the veal Milanese and squid ink fettuccine. Expect creamy plates of pasta, grilled fish, steak, and pork mains, traditional Italian appetizers such as calamari just like Nonna made it, and decadent limoncello cake and tiramisu to cap off a great meal.

Killen's Barbecue

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The second outpost of pitmaster Ronnie Killen’s Pearland institution, Killen’s continues to churn out some of the best barbecue in the state. Signature favorites such as the brisket, beef ribs, turkey, pulled pork and sausages are diner favorites, but daily specials such as the wagyu burnt ends, available on Saturdays only, are worthy ways to mix things up. Beyond just great smoked meats, the sides, like the creamed corn, and dessert options, like the carrot cake, are also musts.

A meat tray with brisket, sausage, a beef rib, and pork ribs, surrounded by sides, including mac and cheese, creamed corn, beans, barbecue sauce, and trays of jalapenos and onions.
The Woodlands’ Killen’s Barbecue promises the same quality of juicy brisket and smoked meats as its Pearland flagship.
Kimberly Park

Goode Co. Fish Camp

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The Goode Company group has another hit on their hands with their new Gulf Coast seafood joint. Slurp fresh oysters and devour starters such as the fried oyster BLT sliders and the deviled and baked crab cakes. Mains include a variety of grilled fish options and raw offerings from Gulf snapper to yellowfin tuna. Be on the lookout for a variety of changing seasonal offerings such as the crawfish hand pies or whole grilled preparations of the freshest seasonal catch.

Goode Co. Fish Camp’s Gulf Royal Red Shrimp dish.
Seafood abounds at Goode Co. Fish Camp.
Caroline Fontenot

State Fare

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Overlooking Lake Woodlands, this third outpost of Memorial City’s State Fare Kitchen brings fun Southern fare and a lively brunch to the area. You won’t find any turkey legs here, but chow down on the H-Town fried chicken, the chicken fried rib-eye, crab cakes, and more. The brunch is one of the best in town, where you can down griddlecakes that are larger than your plate, banana French toast, and more. Pair everything with a frozen cocktail flight, and watch the sunset on the restaurant’s scenic patio.

Schilleci's New Orleans Kitchen

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For some down-home Southern cooking head to Schilleci’s. Family-owned for decades, this rustic wholesome dining room is the go-to spot for Cajun and Creole specialties such as gumbo, crawfish etouffee, po’ boys, and pillowy beignets.

Mozambik

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Houston is not short of great African restaurants, and Mozambik proves this further, bringing bright, colorful South African flavors to life in dishes like peri-peri chicken, Cape Malay curry, and a variety of other Cape-influenced curries and stews. Don’t leave without trying their Moz Pot Pie or rib-eye Marina — riffs on comfort food classics with coastal African spices.

At the helm of chef Austin Simmons, Tris has become the go-to upscale steakhouse in town. Expect elevated steakhouse fare with a unique flair inspired by Simmons’ travels throughout the years. Dry-aged steaks, carefully sourced seafood preparations, and elegant sides like the kimchi crab pancakes are all great options here when you are in the mood for a white tablecloth experience.

More than just a restaurant, this newly opened stunner brings to life bold Indian flavors, a lounge open until 2 AM, and a street food-chaat tasting menu experience. Chef Jassi Bindra showcases traditional Indian cuisine with a contemporary touch through stunning a la carte mains such as the Tandoori leg of lamb, jackfruit biryani, and ostrich kebabs alongside roti, chutneys, and freshly baked flatbreads like the butter chicken kulcha. The rich flavors keep coming with desserts such as the masala chai cake or the cardamom chocolate mousse drizzled with 24-carat gold.

Amrina’s cardamon chocolate mouse, topped with a 24-karat gold.
Amrina’s cardamom chocolate mouse is a luxurious way to end a meal.
Karen Henry

Mahoney's

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Grab a burger and a brew and two-step to live music at this Woodlands institution. Open all day, diners can expect comfort food staples with an Irish pub twist with an extensive list of beers on tap and entrees like the Shepherd’s Pie, chicken and dumplings, and tacos.

With creative offerings such as the New Texan roll filled with soft shell crab to the Ghost Rider roll encrusted with tempura and sweet potato crisp, sushi purists and casual sushi lovers alike can find an accord at Fukuda. For those wanting a more traditional experience, Fukuda offers a great selection of fish offerings in their nigiri and sashimi choices, traditional Japanese appetizers, soba noodles, and more.

The Olive Oil Restaurant

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For a quality Greek experience on this side of the Baltics, head to Olive Oil. Feast on a variety of different sampler plates that showcase the best of Greek cuisine from lamb to souvlaki,  grilled chicken, and gyros, all of which are tabled alongside fabulous mezze and pita bread. Per the namesake of the restaurant, all dishes feature olive oil imported from Greece. No meal is complete without an order of their delicate Baklava.

Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue

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Perhaps the only smokehouse that doubles as a craft chocolatier that uses sustainably-sourced cacao, find some of the best-smoked brisket, pork belly, sausages, and pulled pork in the area alongside savory sides like its stellar cornbread casserole. Head there on the weekend for specials like burnt ends and dinosaur-bone-sized beef ribs.

CorkScrew BBQ

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A perennial mainstay on most of Texas’ best barbecue lists, owners and pitmasters Will and Nichole Buckman have been shelling out top-notch smoked meats at this destination trailer-turned brick-and-mortar for almost a decade. Get the entire array of smoked meats, like brisket, pork, sausage, or turkey, and pair them with rib-tingling sides and desserts, like Corkscrew’s cobbler day of the day. Try to get there early. The favorites sell out quickly.

Plane & Level

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Sip unique wines from around the world, and snack on great bites such as the eggs and caviar, Iberico ham, and albondigas at this intimate tapas bar in Spring. Spanish classics such as grilled octopus, empanadas, and other tantalizing bites pair perfectly with arguably one of the best wine lists in all of Montgomery County. Don’t miss the Vasque cheesecake either — Plane & Level’s take on the rich Basque cheesecake.

Via Emilia Italian Restaurant

The flavors of Northern Italy shine here through classic dishes such as the veal Milanese and squid ink fettuccine. Expect creamy plates of pasta, grilled fish, steak, and pork mains, traditional Italian appetizers such as calamari just like Nonna made it, and decadent limoncello cake and tiramisu to cap off a great meal.

Killen's Barbecue

A meat tray with brisket, sausage, a beef rib, and pork ribs, surrounded by sides, including mac and cheese, creamed corn, beans, barbecue sauce, and trays of jalapenos and onions.
The Woodlands’ Killen’s Barbecue promises the same quality of juicy brisket and smoked meats as its Pearland flagship.
Kimberly Park

The second outpost of pitmaster Ronnie Killen’s Pearland institution, Killen’s continues to churn out some of the best barbecue in the state. Signature favorites such as the brisket, beef ribs, turkey, pulled pork and sausages are diner favorites, but daily specials such as the wagyu burnt ends, available on Saturdays only, are worthy ways to mix things up. Beyond just great smoked meats, the sides, like the creamed corn, and dessert options, like the carrot cake, are also musts.

A meat tray with brisket, sausage, a beef rib, and pork ribs, surrounded by sides, including mac and cheese, creamed corn, beans, barbecue sauce, and trays of jalapenos and onions.
The Woodlands’ Killen’s Barbecue promises the same quality of juicy brisket and smoked meats as its Pearland flagship.
Kimberly Park

Goode Co. Fish Camp

Goode Co. Fish Camp’s Gulf Royal Red Shrimp dish.
Seafood abounds at Goode Co. Fish Camp.
Caroline Fontenot

The Goode Company group has another hit on their hands with their new Gulf Coast seafood joint. Slurp fresh oysters and devour starters such as the fried oyster BLT sliders and the deviled and baked crab cakes. Mains include a variety of grilled fish options and raw offerings from Gulf snapper to yellowfin tuna. Be on the lookout for a variety of changing seasonal offerings such as the crawfish hand pies or whole grilled preparations of the freshest seasonal catch.

Goode Co. Fish Camp’s Gulf Royal Red Shrimp dish.
Seafood abounds at Goode Co. Fish Camp.
Caroline Fontenot

State Fare

Overlooking Lake Woodlands, this third outpost of Memorial City’s State Fare Kitchen brings fun Southern fare and a lively brunch to the area. You won’t find any turkey legs here, but chow down on the H-Town fried chicken, the chicken fried rib-eye, crab cakes, and more. The brunch is one of the best in town, where you can down griddlecakes that are larger than your plate, banana French toast, and more. Pair everything with a frozen cocktail flight, and watch the sunset on the restaurant’s scenic patio.

Schilleci's New Orleans Kitchen

For some down-home Southern cooking head to Schilleci’s. Family-owned for decades, this rustic wholesome dining room is the go-to spot for Cajun and Creole specialties such as gumbo, crawfish etouffee, po’ boys, and pillowy beignets.

Mozambik

Houston is not short of great African restaurants, and Mozambik proves this further, bringing bright, colorful South African flavors to life in dishes like peri-peri chicken, Cape Malay curry, and a variety of other Cape-influenced curries and stews. Don’t leave without trying their Moz Pot Pie or rib-eye Marina — riffs on comfort food classics with coastal African spices.

TRIS

At the helm of chef Austin Simmons, Tris has become the go-to upscale steakhouse in town. Expect elevated steakhouse fare with a unique flair inspired by Simmons’ travels throughout the years. Dry-aged steaks, carefully sourced seafood preparations, and elegant sides like the kimchi crab pancakes are all great options here when you are in the mood for a white tablecloth experience.

Amrina

Amrina’s cardamon chocolate mouse, topped with a 24-karat gold.
Amrina’s cardamom chocolate mouse is a luxurious way to end a meal.
Karen Henry

More than just a restaurant, this newly opened stunner brings to life bold Indian flavors, a lounge open until 2 AM, and a street food-chaat tasting menu experience. Chef Jassi Bindra showcases traditional Indian cuisine with a contemporary touch through stunning a la carte mains such as the Tandoori leg of lamb, jackfruit biryani, and ostrich kebabs alongside roti, chutneys, and freshly baked flatbreads like the butter chicken kulcha. The rich flavors keep coming with desserts such as the masala chai cake or the cardamom chocolate mousse drizzled with 24-carat gold.

Amrina’s cardamon chocolate mouse, topped with a 24-karat gold.
Amrina’s cardamom chocolate mouse is a luxurious way to end a meal.
Karen Henry

Mahoney's

Grab a burger and a brew and two-step to live music at this Woodlands institution. Open all day, diners can expect comfort food staples with an Irish pub twist with an extensive list of beers on tap and entrees like the Shepherd’s Pie, chicken and dumplings, and tacos.

Fukuda

With creative offerings such as the New Texan roll filled with soft shell crab to the Ghost Rider roll encrusted with tempura and sweet potato crisp, sushi purists and casual sushi lovers alike can find an accord at Fukuda. For those wanting a more traditional experience, Fukuda offers a great selection of fish offerings in their nigiri and sashimi choices, traditional Japanese appetizers, soba noodles, and more.

The Olive Oil Restaurant

For a quality Greek experience on this side of the Baltics, head to Olive Oil. Feast on a variety of different sampler plates that showcase the best of Greek cuisine from lamb to souvlaki,  grilled chicken, and gyros, all of which are tabled alongside fabulous mezze and pita bread. Per the namesake of the restaurant, all dishes feature olive oil imported from Greece. No meal is complete without an order of their delicate Baklava.

Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue

Perhaps the only smokehouse that doubles as a craft chocolatier that uses sustainably-sourced cacao, find some of the best-smoked brisket, pork belly, sausages, and pulled pork in the area alongside savory sides like its stellar cornbread casserole. Head there on the weekend for specials like burnt ends and dinosaur-bone-sized beef ribs.

CorkScrew BBQ

A perennial mainstay on most of Texas’ best barbecue lists, owners and pitmasters Will and Nichole Buckman have been shelling out top-notch smoked meats at this destination trailer-turned brick-and-mortar for almost a decade. Get the entire array of smoked meats, like brisket, pork, sausage, or turkey, and pair them with rib-tingling sides and desserts, like Corkscrew’s cobbler day of the day. Try to get there early. The favorites sell out quickly.

Plane & Level

Sip unique wines from around the world, and snack on great bites such as the eggs and caviar, Iberico ham, and albondigas at this intimate tapas bar in Spring. Spanish classics such as grilled octopus, empanadas, and other tantalizing bites pair perfectly with arguably one of the best wine lists in all of Montgomery County. Don’t miss the Vasque cheesecake either — Plane & Level’s take on the rich Basque cheesecake.

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