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A person grating cheese over a bowl of wild boar ragu pasta.
Wild boar ragu at Rosalie
Rosalie/Facebook

The 17 Hottest New Restaurants in Houston, October 2021

Find excellent Sichuan eats, tacos from James Beard Award winner Hugo Ortega, a newly-reopened Italian spot, and so much more at these exciting newcomers

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Wild boar ragu at Rosalie
| Rosalie/Facebook

Even though the coronavirus pandemic continues on, brand new restaurants are still debuting on a near-daily basis in Houston. Considering the circumstances, these restaurants have proved themselves as masters of adaptation, and are truly shining in this brave new world of dining.

This summer, the onslaught of new establishments have continued. From much-loved Jamaican cuisine to Mexican street food from James Beard Award winner Hugo Ortega, these 17 hot new Houston restaurants offer a slew of seriously delicious ways to kick off the fall.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Lao Sze Chuan

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510 Mason Rd Suite H
Katy, TX 77450
(281) 665-3668
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A Chicago export considered one of that city’s best Chinese restaurants, Lao Sze Chuan has quietly opened its doors in Katy. Juicy soup dumplings and entrees like perfectly lacquered Peking duck await, plus a dim sum selection perfect for snacking.

2. Heartbeet

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14714 Memorial Dr
Houston, TX 77079
(832) 617-8278
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The family behind Mediterranean fave Hungry’s has spun off the former’s vegetarian menu section into an entirely new plant-based restaurant, serving up meals like seitan gyros, gluten free chickpea pastas, vegan Philly cheesesteaks and fresh-pressed juices.

3. Dave's Hot Chicken

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12161 Westheimer Rd Suite 100
Houston, TX 77082
(832) 975-0244
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This Nashville-style hot chicken joint, founded in Los Angeles, and now transported to Houston, is widely credited with bringing the hot chicken trend to the West Coast. Often imitated, one thing that sets Dave’s apart from other hot chicken joints is the restaurant’s large, sharable trays of fries and tenders drizzled with a zig zag of sauce.

4. ReikiNa

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799 Town and Country Blvd Suite 200
Houston, TX 77024

This chic CityCentre restaurant from former Uchi cook Thomas Stacy offers a seriously intimate dining experience — only 20 diners are served at each seating, and the menu changes every two months. For now, diners can look forward to plates like oysters with sake vinaigrette, smoked buttered eggplant with honey and char siu pork with cherry bao and pickled fennel.

5. Feges BBQ

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8217 Long Point Rd
Houston, TX 77055
(346) 319-5339
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This barbecue spot, which got its start in the food court of Greenway Plaza, has expanded to Spring Branch, where pitmaster Patrick Feges and chef Erin Smith can now sell their expertly-smoked brisket and creative sides on evenings and weekends. This location is family-friendly — the 1,800-square-foot outdoor patio includes a playground for the kiddos.

6. JOEY Uptown

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5045 Westheimer Rd Suite X-01
Houston, TX 77056
(346) 646-5639
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A Canadian export, Joey brings a sprawling patio and diverse menu to the “Jewel Box” at the Galleria. The lengthy menu boasts everything from dumplings and sushi to cauliflower tacos and lobster-shrimp ravioli, plus plenty of steak options for the carnivores in the group.

7. Urbe

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1101 Uptown Park Blvd Suite 12
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 726-8273
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Chef Hugo Ortega’s newest eatery is now celebrating the street foods of Mexico in Uptown Park. At this fast-casual spot, Ortega’s famed tlayudas and gorditas are topped with slow-braised meats like birria de res, plus there’s an extensive selection of pan dulce and breakfast tacos in the morning.

8. Concura

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4340 Westheimer Rd Suite 150
Houston, TX 77027
(832) 997-4220
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If a trip to Italy is out of the cards right now, consider a trip to Concura instead. Here, diners can sip Aperol spritzes and indulge in plates of seafood carbonara prepared by chef Angelo Cuppone, a native of Italy.

9. Jamaica Pon Di Road

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2213 S Victory Dr
Houston, TX 77088
(832) 328-5220
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A former food truck, Jamaica Pon Di Road opened to a great deal of fanfare and lengthy lines of fans seeking its jerk sandwiches, braised oxtails, and fish fritters. Craving a burger? Try the “Insane Bolt,” which involves a jerk-spiced burger patty, cheese, and special sauce on a sweet bun.

10. Agnes

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2132 Bissonnet St Suite 100
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 714-0078
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This Mediterranean-inspired cafe and grocery offers casual breakfast and lunch, and tableside dinner service, with dishes like lamb kofta, duckfat potatoes, breakfast mezze platters, and baklava granola, plus take-away dishes. On the retail side, Agnes sells local and imported goods, including cheese from Houston Dairymaids and infused olive oils.

11. Da Gama

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600 N Shepherd Dr #520
Houston, TX 77007
(281) 888-7806
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Portuguese and Indian cuisine come together at this Shepherd Drive newcomer, where dishes like pani puri with guacamole, lamb rib mattar, and Goan fish curry await. Don’t forget to save room for dessert — options like sticky date cake and mango kulfi ice cream make for a seriously sweet finish.

12. Casa Nomad

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600 N Shepherd Dr Suite 499
Houston, TX 77007

This intimate spot in the M-K-T development in the Heights is modeled after the tropical seaside cafes and fresh cuisine of Tulum, Mexico. Dishes include tuna crudo tostadas, elote corn “ribs”, roasted bone marrow with guajillo marmalade, and drinks like the Cenote, made with green chartreuse, elote liqueur, and pineapple juice.

13. Fegen's

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1050 Studewood St
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 993-6427
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Chef Lance Fegen, who founded Liberty Kitchen at 1050 Studewood Street a decade ago, returns to the Heights — and the same address — with a brand new restaurant inspired by his Italian-American heritage. Find dishes like Neapolitan-style pizza, clam linguini, and meatballs alongside a late night bar menu and occasional raw oyster specials.

14. Rosalie

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400 Dallas St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 351-5790
Visit Website

This critically-acclaimed Downtown restaurant has reopened after a year-long pandemic closure, during which time its head chef, Sasha Grumman, left to compete on reality cooking competition Top Chef. Jacob Coronado, formerly the chef de cuisine at Nobie’s, has taken over the kitchen, serving Texas takes on Italian dishes like blue crab manicotti, Texas wild boar ragu, and red snapper with wild mushrooms and arugula.

15. Common Bond Brasserie & Bakery

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800 Capitol St Suite P1-01
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 343-2255
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Common Bond has gone all-in with its on-the-go concept in the past year, but the beloved Montrose bakery has recently switched gears, opening its first full-service restaurant, Brasserie, downtown last month. At the chic new spot, diners can look forward to dishes like french onion soup, wild mushroom and goat cheese flatbread, a croque madame sandwich, coq au vin, smoked duck rillettes, raw oysters, seafood towers and more.

16. Georgia James Tavern

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777 Preston St
Houston, TX 77002
(281) 846-6938
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Described as a more casual offshoot of chef Chris Shepherd’s Montrose steakhouse Georgia James, Georgia James Tavern is still a solid spot to score a gorgeous hunk of meat. In addition to the indulgent Tavern burger and cast-iron-seared wagyu ribeye, find shareable snacks like baked pimento cheese dip and Viet-Cajun chicken wings, plus a killer line-up of desserts.

17. Ixím

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409 Travis St Suite A
Houston, TX 77002
(281) 653-6767

This new spot for regional Mexican cuisine just made its debut inside Downtown’s Bravery Chef Hall. Helmed by chef Tim Reading, the kitchen turns out stunning dishes like fideo de mariscos, shrimp aguachile, and albondigas fritas, or fried lamb and pork meatballs with chipotle, avocado, queso fresco, and cumin.

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1. Lao Sze Chuan

510 Mason Rd Suite H, Katy, TX 77450

A Chicago export considered one of that city’s best Chinese restaurants, Lao Sze Chuan has quietly opened its doors in Katy. Juicy soup dumplings and entrees like perfectly lacquered Peking duck await, plus a dim sum selection perfect for snacking.

510 Mason Rd Suite H
Katy, TX 77450

2. Heartbeet

14714 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77079

The family behind Mediterranean fave Hungry’s has spun off the former’s vegetarian menu section into an entirely new plant-based restaurant, serving up meals like seitan gyros, gluten free chickpea pastas, vegan Philly cheesesteaks and fresh-pressed juices.

14714 Memorial Dr
Houston, TX 77079

3. Dave's Hot Chicken

12161 Westheimer Rd Suite 100, Houston, TX 77082

This Nashville-style hot chicken joint, founded in Los Angeles, and now transported to Houston, is widely credited with bringing the hot chicken trend to the West Coast. Often imitated, one thing that sets Dave’s apart from other hot chicken joints is the restaurant’s large, sharable trays of fries and tenders drizzled with a zig zag of sauce.

12161 Westheimer Rd Suite 100
Houston, TX 77082

4. ReikiNa

799 Town and Country Blvd Suite 200, Houston, TX 77024

This chic CityCentre restaurant from former Uchi cook Thomas Stacy offers a seriously intimate dining experience — only 20 diners are served at each seating, and the menu changes every two months. For now, diners can look forward to plates like oysters with sake vinaigrette, smoked buttered eggplant with honey and char siu pork with cherry bao and pickled fennel.

799 Town and Country Blvd Suite 200
Houston, TX 77024

5. Feges BBQ

8217 Long Point Rd, Houston, TX 77055

This barbecue spot, which got its start in the food court of Greenway Plaza, has expanded to Spring Branch, where pitmaster Patrick Feges and chef Erin Smith can now sell their expertly-smoked brisket and creative sides on evenings and weekends. This location is family-friendly — the 1,800-square-foot outdoor patio includes a playground for the kiddos.

8217 Long Point Rd
Houston, TX 77055

6. JOEY Uptown

5045 Westheimer Rd Suite X-01, Houston, TX 77056

A Canadian export, Joey brings a sprawling patio and diverse menu to the “Jewel Box” at the Galleria. The lengthy menu boasts everything from dumplings and sushi to cauliflower tacos and lobster-shrimp ravioli, plus plenty of steak options for the carnivores in the group.

5045 Westheimer Rd Suite X-01
Houston, TX 77056

7. Urbe

1101 Uptown Park Blvd Suite 12, Houston, TX 77056

Chef Hugo Ortega’s newest eatery is now celebrating the street foods of Mexico in Uptown Park. At this fast-casual spot, Ortega’s famed tlayudas and gorditas are topped with slow-braised meats like birria de res, plus there’s an extensive selection of pan dulce and breakfast tacos in the morning.

1101 Uptown Park Blvd Suite 12
Houston, TX 77056

8. Concura

4340 Westheimer Rd Suite 150, Houston, TX 77027

If a trip to Italy is out of the cards right now, consider a trip to Concura instead. Here, diners can sip Aperol spritzes and indulge in plates of seafood carbonara prepared by chef Angelo Cuppone, a native of Italy.

4340 Westheimer Rd Suite 150
Houston, TX 77027

9. Jamaica Pon Di Road

2213 S Victory Dr, Houston, TX 77088

A former food truck, Jamaica Pon Di Road opened to a great deal of fanfare and lengthy lines of fans seeking its jerk sandwiches, braised oxtails, and fish fritters. Craving a burger? Try the “Insane Bolt,” which involves a jerk-spiced burger patty, cheese, and special sauce on a sweet bun.

2213 S Victory Dr
Houston, TX 77088

10. Agnes

2132 Bissonnet St Suite 100, Houston, TX 77005

This Mediterranean-inspired cafe and grocery offers casual breakfast and lunch, and tableside dinner service, with dishes like lamb kofta, duckfat potatoes, breakfast mezze platters, and baklava granola, plus take-away dishes. On the retail side, Agnes sells local and imported goods, including cheese from Houston Dairymaids and infused olive oils.

2132 Bissonnet St Suite 100
Houston, TX 77005

11. Da Gama

600 N Shepherd Dr #520, Houston, TX 77007

Portuguese and Indian cuisine come together at this Shepherd Drive newcomer, where dishes like pani puri with guacamole, lamb rib mattar, and Goan fish curry await. Don’t forget to save room for dessert — options like sticky date cake and mango kulfi ice cream make for a seriously sweet finish.

600 N Shepherd Dr #520
Houston, TX 77007

12. Casa Nomad

600 N Shepherd Dr Suite 499, Houston, TX 77007

This intimate spot in the M-K-T development in the Heights is modeled after the tropical seaside cafes and fresh cuisine of Tulum, Mexico. Dishes include tuna crudo tostadas, elote corn “ribs”, roasted bone marrow with guajillo marmalade, and drinks like the Cenote, made with green chartreuse, elote liqueur, and pineapple juice.

600 N Shepherd Dr Suite 499
Houston, TX 77007

13. Fegen's

1050 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77008

Chef Lance Fegen, who founded Liberty Kitchen at 1050 Studewood Street a decade ago, returns to the Heights — and the same address — with a brand new restaurant inspired by his Italian-American heritage. Find dishes like Neapolitan-style pizza, clam linguini, and meatballs alongside a late night bar menu and occasional raw oyster specials.

1050 Studewood St
Houston, TX 77008

14. Rosalie

400 Dallas St, Houston, TX 77002

This critically-acclaimed Downtown restaurant has reopened after a year-long pandemic closure, during which time its head chef, Sasha Grumman, left to compete on reality cooking competition Top Chef. Jacob Coronado, formerly the chef de cuisine at Nobie’s, has taken over the kitchen, serving Texas takes on Italian dishes like blue crab manicotti, Texas wild boar ragu, and red snapper with wild mushrooms and arugula.

400 Dallas St
Houston, TX 77002

15. Common Bond Brasserie & Bakery

800 Capitol St Suite P1-01, Houston, TX 77002

Common Bond has gone all-in with its on-the-go concept in the past year, but the beloved Montrose bakery has recently switched gears, opening its first full-service restaurant, Brasserie, downtown last month. At the chic new spot, diners can look forward to dishes like french onion soup, wild mushroom and goat cheese flatbread, a croque madame sandwich, coq au vin, smoked duck rillettes, raw oysters, seafood towers and more.

800 Capitol St Suite P1-01
Houston, TX 77002

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16. Georgia James Tavern

777 Preston St, Houston, TX 77002

Described as a more casual offshoot of chef Chris Shepherd’s Montrose steakhouse Georgia James, Georgia James Tavern is still a solid spot to score a gorgeous hunk of meat. In addition to the indulgent Tavern burger and cast-iron-seared wagyu ribeye, find shareable snacks like baked pimento cheese dip and Viet-Cajun chicken wings, plus a killer line-up of desserts.

777 Preston St
Houston, TX 77002

17. Ixím

409 Travis St Suite A, Houston, TX 77002

This new spot for regional Mexican cuisine just made its debut inside Downtown’s Bravery Chef Hall. Helmed by chef Tim Reading, the kitchen turns out stunning dishes like fideo de mariscos, shrimp aguachile, and albondigas fritas, or fried lamb and pork meatballs with chipotle, avocado, queso fresco, and cumin.

409 Travis St Suite A
Houston, TX 77002

Related Maps