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A bowl holds scallops in a white sauce, flanked with carrots, tomatoes, and microgreens.
A scallop fit for a king at Belly of the Beast
Belly of the Beast

The 13 Hottest New Restaurants in Houston, February 2024

Explore the city’s newest Italian and Tex-Mex restaurants, a Basque-inspired space with a pedigree, and more

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A scallop fit for a king at Belly of the Beast
| Belly of the Beast

To some, Houston is considered a culinary capital, offering an onslaught of cuisines and restaurants that keep local diners and visitors alike hungry for more. And with a nonstop list of new openings, the question remains each month: Where to dine now?

Fortunately, Eater Houston has you covered — publishing some of the hottest and buzziest new restaurants each month.

Establishments like Gold Tooth Tony’s, Coastline Pizzeria, Mamajuana Cafe, Mi Cocina, Barcelona Wine Bar, Nonno’s, Buena Vista, and Street to Kitchen (which has can be found on Houston’s Eater 38), have been rotated out, making way for recent openings like Belly of the Beast, Baso, La Griglia, Mi Tierra, Lombardi Cucina, and more.

Happy dining.

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

Monarca

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This new Woodlands restaurant gives local diners a glimpse of Monterey’s dining scene. With a focus on grilled proteins, the menu offers beefy cuts of filet mignon and boneless rib-eye, plus proteins like branzino, and intriguing dishes like savory shrimp churros and chorizo mussels. Solidify the experience with pre- or post-dinner tequila drinks at the restaurant’s hidden speakeasy, Gus.

Belly of the Beast

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This Mexican-inspired restaurant made a triumphant return to Spring after closing during the pandemic, but now in a new location. Chef Thomas Billie brings cuisines from around the world into his dishes, with a base in Mexican-style food. That can be a saag paneer with spinach mole verde, pozole dumplings, or Peruivan-style scallops tiradito.

A bowl holds scallops in a white sauce, flanked with carrots, tomatoes, and microgreens.
Scallops prepared a la Belly of the Beast.
Belly of the Beast

Mi Tierra Mexican Kitchen

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Searching for a new Tex-Mex spot? This should be your first stop. Order a margarita and plan to stay awhile for pork belly tostadas, chicken tinga enchiladas, and mahi mahi tacos. The light, modern interiors make it somewhere to see and be seen as well as enjoy some incredible bites that shake up the Tex-Mex typical.

Comalito

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Underbelly Hospitality’s newest restaurant and taqueria Comalito brings a taste of Mexico City to the Houston Farmers Market, with freshly made tortillas and a pleasing lineup. Proteins, here, like its pork ribs, pastor, sirloin, skirt steak, and vegetarian options like mushroom al pastor shine in dishes like its tacos, quesadillas, and of crispy, cheesy costras. Diners can also indulge in aguas frescas, mojitos, and cocktails on the outdoor patio area.

The Heights gains a Basque-inspired restaurant run by a pair of chefs with impressive resumes. Jacques Varon and Max Lappe met working at the celebrated Los Angeles restaurant Angler and the pair came together in Houston to create a Spanish-food restaurant with a heavy fire cooking component. Caviar and bread service are available, as is a menu full of Texas-sourced proteins and vegetables.

Lombardi Cucina

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Dallas-based restaurateur Alberto Lombardy splashes into Houston with an Italian restaurant set in a 9,000 square foot space. Dine on prime beef carpaccio, classic pasta dishes, and a branzino that offers a high roller level of luxury.

La Griglia

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Is moving a restaurant to a new location a mile away a big deal? When that restaurant is La Griglia, then yes. This institution went from River Oaks to Montrose and now features a retractable roof and a million dollar patio, and it seems the elite who wine and dine there have followed. It’s a great time to splurge at the new location and oogle the rich and infamous.

A plate holds a filet and broccolini. Gravy drips down from above onto the filet.
La Griglia is back on the must-dine list.
La Griglia

Cocody Restaurant and Bar

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This new River Oaks restaurant has made a dazzling debut, with its glamorous, pretty-in-pink decor and a menu rooted in French techniques that promise pristine presentation and robust flavors. The pan-seared foie gras, plated with gingerbread and poached pears in black currant sauce, makes for a fine introduction before diving into other dishes like the roasted Colorado lamb, the spaghetti alla chittara with clams and a vongole sauce, or the Atlantic cod filet, which comes with blue flower leek ravioli and jumbo lump crab. The restaurant is also open for Sunday brunches, where pastry baskets, mimosa flights, and creative egg dishes can help you savor the last of the weekend.

Cocody’s oval-shaped bar, with oblong bar seats.
A new stunning restaurant where you can also eat with your eyes.
Start Concepts

HiWay Cantina Tex Mex Bar & Grill

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This new East Downtown Tex-Mex restaurant by Agricole Hospitality offers staples that Houstonians know and love — fresh corn and flour tortillas, chicharrones with chile con queso, guac, and plenty of entrees for a true feast, including chipotle-glazed shrimp brochette, enchiladas, chimichangas, and grilled fajita al carbon. The bar stays true to Texas and Mexico traditions with mezcal-, rum-, and tequila-based cocktails, plus a host of margaritas, Bloody Marys, micheladas, palomas, Ranch Waters, and aqua frescas. Find classics like Mexican martinis made with tequila, Rio Grande orange, clarified lime, and spicy olives, to more inventive drinks like the Dulce de Leche Old Fashioned or the rum and mezcal-loaded Yucatán Sling, made with a honey and guanabana liqueurs, orange and lime juices, mango, and simple syrup.

A spread of fajitas, tortillas, rice and beans, and guac, tortillas, and tres leches from HiWay Cantina Tex-Mex Bar & Grill.
Find some of Houston’s favorite Tex-Mex dishes at HiWay Cantina.
Mikah Danae

Houston restaurateur Benjamin Berg follows up the French, Chinese, and Cuban-themed establishments he recently opened, with a new Italian sister that serves up fresh and classic pasta dishes like lasagna bolognese, pappardelle made with a wild boar ragu, cacio e pepe agnolotti, and pacherro Pomodoro. Dinner offers dishes perfect for coursing out your experience, with appetizers like the warm, homemade focaccia and the oyster carbanora — nice starters before diving into an entree like the veal Milanese. Lunch keeps it simple with a selection of salads and paninis.

Rumi's Kitchen

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Helmed by Iranian chef and co-owner Ali Mesghali, this Atlanta-born restaurant offers an elegant atmosphere for Persian cuisine. Try the tender Wagyu Zabuton Kabob, Warm up with the Ghormeh Sabzi, a scallion and beef stew made with red kidney bean, dried lime, and saffron basmati; or if dining in a group, the three-bone pomegranate short rib dish is a feast for three to four people. Cocktails here also shine, with a proper showcase of Persian flavors, with a whiskey-based Maydan that blends black lime, Persian tea bitters, and saffron.

Plates of labne charred tomato, crispy potatoes, corn ribs, kunefe, kabob torsh, and pomegranate short rib at Rumi’s Kitchen in Houston.
Rumi’s Kitchen serves Persian cuisine in an opulent atmosphere.
Rumi’s Kitchen

Lukkaew Srasrisuwan, the restauranteur behind Heights Thai restaurant Kin Dee, brings her most lavish establishment yet with MaKiin. The restaurant puts an emphasis on fine dining, with recipes served within the kitchens of Thai royal families. Try the Award-winning Chicken, composed of deboned chicken wings and stuffed chicken lollipops with Massaman curry-doused veggies and a dusting of gold, or the Flavors of Siam, a sugary seared wagyu steak served with charred eggplant, lemongrass, and Thai-style sauces. End with the otherworldly Dessert Wonderland, made with rich chocolate soil, lychee rosewater sorbet, edible moss, and a chocolate tree with tufts of cotton candy.

crispy delights in a hand-painted bowl, served with curry and rice.
MaKiin brings the royal treatment to Thai cuisine.
Sean Rainer

Norigami

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Evolved from a monthly pop-up hosted at its sister restaurant Hidden Omakase, this new neon-lit and origami-themed hot spot dishes out creative hand rolls and delicate crudo in an electric atmosphere. Start with the hamachi crudo before delving into its hand roll menu, which features standouts like the spicy scallop roll and the Menage Fois Grois, a decadent roll packed with toro, foie gras, uni, A5 wagyu beef, and a sparkle of gold flakes. The cocktails are also stellar. Order at the bar, or dip into the next-door speakeasy, Hidden, for a stellar drinking experience.

Norigami’s restaurant features a 24-seat sushi bar.
When a sushi craving hits, consider Houston’s eclectic new hand roll restaurant Norigami.
Jenn Duncan

Monarca

This new Woodlands restaurant gives local diners a glimpse of Monterey’s dining scene. With a focus on grilled proteins, the menu offers beefy cuts of filet mignon and boneless rib-eye, plus proteins like branzino, and intriguing dishes like savory shrimp churros and chorizo mussels. Solidify the experience with pre- or post-dinner tequila drinks at the restaurant’s hidden speakeasy, Gus.

Belly of the Beast

This Mexican-inspired restaurant made a triumphant return to Spring after closing during the pandemic, but now in a new location. Chef Thomas Billie brings cuisines from around the world into his dishes, with a base in Mexican-style food. That can be a saag paneer with spinach mole verde, pozole dumplings, or Peruivan-style scallops tiradito.

A bowl holds scallops in a white sauce, flanked with carrots, tomatoes, and microgreens.
Scallops prepared a la Belly of the Beast.
Belly of the Beast

Mi Tierra Mexican Kitchen

Searching for a new Tex-Mex spot? This should be your first stop. Order a margarita and plan to stay awhile for pork belly tostadas, chicken tinga enchiladas, and mahi mahi tacos. The light, modern interiors make it somewhere to see and be seen as well as enjoy some incredible bites that shake up the Tex-Mex typical.

Comalito

Underbelly Hospitality’s newest restaurant and taqueria Comalito brings a taste of Mexico City to the Houston Farmers Market, with freshly made tortillas and a pleasing lineup. Proteins, here, like its pork ribs, pastor, sirloin, skirt steak, and vegetarian options like mushroom al pastor shine in dishes like its tacos, quesadillas, and of crispy, cheesy costras. Diners can also indulge in aguas frescas, mojitos, and cocktails on the outdoor patio area.

Baso

The Heights gains a Basque-inspired restaurant run by a pair of chefs with impressive resumes. Jacques Varon and Max Lappe met working at the celebrated Los Angeles restaurant Angler and the pair came together in Houston to create a Spanish-food restaurant with a heavy fire cooking component. Caviar and bread service are available, as is a menu full of Texas-sourced proteins and vegetables.

Lombardi Cucina

Dallas-based restaurateur Alberto Lombardy splashes into Houston with an Italian restaurant set in a 9,000 square foot space. Dine on prime beef carpaccio, classic pasta dishes, and a branzino that offers a high roller level of luxury.

La Griglia

Is moving a restaurant to a new location a mile away a big deal? When that restaurant is La Griglia, then yes. This institution went from River Oaks to Montrose and now features a retractable roof and a million dollar patio, and it seems the elite who wine and dine there have followed. It’s a great time to splurge at the new location and oogle the rich and infamous.

A plate holds a filet and broccolini. Gravy drips down from above onto the filet.
La Griglia is back on the must-dine list.
La Griglia

Cocody Restaurant and Bar

This new River Oaks restaurant has made a dazzling debut, with its glamorous, pretty-in-pink decor and a menu rooted in French techniques that promise pristine presentation and robust flavors. The pan-seared foie gras, plated with gingerbread and poached pears in black currant sauce, makes for a fine introduction before diving into other dishes like the roasted Colorado lamb, the spaghetti alla chittara with clams and a vongole sauce, or the Atlantic cod filet, which comes with blue flower leek ravioli and jumbo lump crab. The restaurant is also open for Sunday brunches, where pastry baskets, mimosa flights, and creative egg dishes can help you savor the last of the weekend.

Cocody’s oval-shaped bar, with oblong bar seats.
A new stunning restaurant where you can also eat with your eyes.
Start Concepts

HiWay Cantina Tex Mex Bar & Grill

This new East Downtown Tex-Mex restaurant by Agricole Hospitality offers staples that Houstonians know and love — fresh corn and flour tortillas, chicharrones with chile con queso, guac, and plenty of entrees for a true feast, including chipotle-glazed shrimp brochette, enchiladas, chimichangas, and grilled fajita al carbon. The bar stays true to Texas and Mexico traditions with mezcal-, rum-, and tequila-based cocktails, plus a host of margaritas, Bloody Marys, micheladas, palomas, Ranch Waters, and aqua frescas. Find classics like Mexican martinis made with tequila, Rio Grande orange, clarified lime, and spicy olives, to more inventive drinks like the Dulce de Leche Old Fashioned or the rum and mezcal-loaded Yucatán Sling, made with a honey and guanabana liqueurs, orange and lime juices, mango, and simple syrup.

A spread of fajitas, tortillas, rice and beans, and guac, tortillas, and tres leches from HiWay Cantina Tex-Mex Bar & Grill.
Find some of Houston’s favorite Tex-Mex dishes at HiWay Cantina.
Mikah Danae

Tavola

Houston restaurateur Benjamin Berg follows up the French, Chinese, and Cuban-themed establishments he recently opened, with a new Italian sister that serves up fresh and classic pasta dishes like lasagna bolognese, pappardelle made with a wild boar ragu, cacio e pepe agnolotti, and pacherro Pomodoro. Dinner offers dishes perfect for coursing out your experience, with appetizers like the warm, homemade focaccia and the oyster carbanora — nice starters before diving into an entree like the veal Milanese. Lunch keeps it simple with a selection of salads and paninis.

Rumi's Kitchen

Helmed by Iranian chef and co-owner Ali Mesghali, this Atlanta-born restaurant offers an elegant atmosphere for Persian cuisine. Try the tender Wagyu Zabuton Kabob, Warm up with the Ghormeh Sabzi, a scallion and beef stew made with red kidney bean, dried lime, and saffron basmati; or if dining in a group, the three-bone pomegranate short rib dish is a feast for three to four people. Cocktails here also shine, with a proper showcase of Persian flavors, with a whiskey-based Maydan that blends black lime, Persian tea bitters, and saffron.

Plates of labne charred tomato, crispy potatoes, corn ribs, kunefe, kabob torsh, and pomegranate short rib at Rumi’s Kitchen in Houston.
Rumi’s Kitchen serves Persian cuisine in an opulent atmosphere.
Rumi’s Kitchen

MaKiin

Lukkaew Srasrisuwan, the restauranteur behind Heights Thai restaurant Kin Dee, brings her most lavish establishment yet with MaKiin. The restaurant puts an emphasis on fine dining, with recipes served within the kitchens of Thai royal families. Try the Award-winning Chicken, composed of deboned chicken wings and stuffed chicken lollipops with Massaman curry-doused veggies and a dusting of gold, or the Flavors of Siam, a sugary seared wagyu steak served with charred eggplant, lemongrass, and Thai-style sauces. End with the otherworldly Dessert Wonderland, made with rich chocolate soil, lychee rosewater sorbet, edible moss, and a chocolate tree with tufts of cotton candy.

crispy delights in a hand-painted bowl, served with curry and rice.
MaKiin brings the royal treatment to Thai cuisine.
Sean Rainer

Norigami

Evolved from a monthly pop-up hosted at its sister restaurant Hidden Omakase, this new neon-lit and origami-themed hot spot dishes out creative hand rolls and delicate crudo in an electric atmosphere. Start with the hamachi crudo before delving into its hand roll menu, which features standouts like the spicy scallop roll and the Menage Fois Grois, a decadent roll packed with toro, foie gras, uni, A5 wagyu beef, and a sparkle of gold flakes. The cocktails are also stellar. Order at the bar, or dip into the next-door speakeasy, Hidden, for a stellar drinking experience.

Norigami’s restaurant features a 24-seat sushi bar.
When a sushi craving hits, consider Houston’s eclectic new hand roll restaurant Norigami.
Jenn Duncan

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