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Cottonwood’s spacious dining room.
With impressive eats and a great selection of cocktails and beers, Cottonwood is perfect for groups dining out.
Gary R Wise

15 Houston Restaurants That Are Great for Groups

With sharable dishes, spacious dining rooms, and delicious drinks, these crowd-pleasers are a go-to for gatherings

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With impressive eats and a great selection of cocktails and beers, Cottonwood is perfect for groups dining out.
| Gary R Wise

The Houston dining scene is by no means lacking in options, but grabbing a bite with a group can make any brave soul leading the pack feel stressed. After all, reservations, wait times, and split checks are all necessary considerations whether you’re looking for a casual brunch or a celebratory dinner.

Fear not, though. Clutch City is abundant in offering crowd-pleasing options, whether seeking a more casual dining experience with your best buds or an intimate option for a group of loved ones on a special occasion. Here are the 15 spots that are sure to please a crowd.

Pro-Tip: If you’re dining with 6+ people and do not have a reservation, be sure to call ahead. Everyone loves a good heads up.

Is your favorite go-to restaurant for groups 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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Cottonwood

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With deck games, more than 30 taps, an outdoor bar, and 55-inch LCD screens, Cottonwood remains a popular spot in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest for groups. The food is also understated, with burgers, like the crawfish fondue burger, bursting with unique toppings, and appetizers like truffle pretzels that make for great conversation starters. Seating is typically first-come, first-serve, so get there early or send a trusted scout to scope out the spot on busy weekends and game days. Check Cottonwood’s Facebook page for updates on special events like crawfish boils, game tournaments, and live music, which will require more planning for snagging a space for the crew.

Cedar Creek Bar & Grill

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This counter-to-table spot features 25 beers on tap, sandwiches, bar food classics like Frito pie and fried pickles, and frozen mimosas in a laid-back setting, making it ideal for friendly gatherings. Sit back with your crew and watch a game on one of their many TVs, or enjoy the patio when the weather’s nice. Stop by between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekends for $20 buckets of mimosas and $7 frozens for brunch.

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co

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Buff Brew has some of the best downtown views, with a rooftop deck, a sprawling dining area,  local brews, and a menu boasting everything from wings and burgers to creative pizzas. The restaurant also offers budget-friendly party packages available for larger groups looking to plan ahead.

Bravery Chef Hall

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Fitting for a group that cannot decide on what to eat, this food hall eliminates the worry of splitting checks or deciding on one cuisine that satisfies everyone. Various stalls include diverse options like Vietnamese gastropub The Blind Goat’s spin on traditional dishes like tofu bibimbap and dry chicken pho, Kororo’s daily crudo specials and super fresh nigiri, and Marguax’s oysters. Check out Secret Garden for a cocktail or cup of coffee.

The Rustic

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With its central location, a big, bustling dining room, and live music held there any night of the week, The Rustic is a prime option for groups looking to stay entertained. The smoked queso and margaritas are a perfect way to start dinner no matter how big your party, and the various bars that pour up frozen cocktails and feature more than a dozen beers and wines on tap ensure quick service. Call ahead for groups over 8 people or to inquire about large-scale events.

Georgia James Steak

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One of the best steakhouses in the city, Georgia James found its new home in Regent Square earlier this summer and continues to be a top-tier option for diners en masse. Case and point – the Baller Board. This off-the-menu spectacle of a platter is piled high with steaks and sides customized for your group by the chef and easily takes the pressure off ordering. You’re likely to see some of their famous sides like their charred corn or creamed collard greens make the cut alongside their sumptuous cast iron, butter-basted steaks. Reservations can be made on Resy for up to 8 people before needing to call their reservationist.

Backstreet Cafe

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A Houston classic known for its diverse menu, cozy outdoor patio, and classic Sunday brunch, Hugo Ortega’s whimsical restaurant will have you and your friends feeling like you are the main characters in a rom-com. If you have to wait, grab some duck spring rolls and Gulf Coast beignets to accompany your favorite cocktail at the bar. Reservations for up to 8 people are made easy online, but for larger parties or private events, be sure to call to inquire about available tables.

Rodeo Goat

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A stone’s throw away from the many bars that line St. Emmanuel Street, this EaDo joint is the great pitstop after having a few drinks with friends for a burger. With sprawling high-top tables indoors and a covered patio with comfortable seating outside, Rodeo Goat offers endless combinations with 16 house-ground burgers and five different-styled patties (vegetarian and vegan options included).  Stop by for happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays for discounted drinks.

Brennan's of Houston

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Offering classic New Orleans cuisine in Houston since the 1950s, Brennan’s never disappoints. The luxe aesthetic makes it a prime option for special occasions, while its charming courtyard, which hosts live jazz performances for Sunday brunch, offers built-in entertainment. The food, however, is an obvious highlight – with signature items like turtle soup, Shrimp Chippewa, and bananas foster that’s set aflame tableside. Book a reservation online for up to eight people, or inquire about their private event spaces that can accommodate anywhere from 24 to 130 guests.

Gen Korean BBQ House

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Serving up all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue, Gen is one of Midtown’s best spots for groups that want an active hand in their dining experience. Guests will delight in the abundance of banchan – or vegetable side dishes, while also grilling their own choice of protein, like pork belly, beef bulgogi, or spicy calamari – right in the middle of their table. Pair your feast with a draft Sapporo or pick from a list of Gen’s cocktails, which include bottomless sodas and mocktails for those skipping the alcohol. Weekends are sure to get busy, so call ahead for a reservation.

El Tiempo Cantina - S. Gessner

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With 13 locations throughout the metroplex serving up sizzling fajitas and pitchers of cold margaritas, El Tiempo is synonymous with Houston Tex-Mex. The Gessner location, in particular, is great for groups with a roomy, open dining area and the best-bang-for-your-buck Parrilladas, which can serve up to nine people with fajita combinations of beef, shrimp, chicken, lobster tail, chile relleno, and more, plus the usual accouterments.

Platter of quail fajitas from El Tiempo.
Fajita platters at El Tiempo are perfect for sharing.
Kate LeSueur

Capone's Oven & Bar

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Known for its brick oven pizza and live music, this Upper Kirby staple stays open late, serving food until 1:45 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday – meaning the party doesn’t have to stop early. Looking for more privacy? Book Capone’s private event space, The Hideout, which offers a cozy space where groups can catch up and graze on an affordable buffet of stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, and pizzas with your choice of toppings. Reservations are required for groups larger than 6 people.

Goode Company Armadillo Palace

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A place where Southern cuisine and Tex Mex convene, Armadillo Palace is a celebration of the Lone Star State with spacious seating throughout and cafeteria-style dining that makes dining with a group a breeze. Order a “Damn Goode” Margarita alongside your carne asada served with homemade tortillas, or if Southern fare is what you’re after, go for the pork chop served with tomato-bacon jam and a peach cobbler cocktail.  Online reservations can be made for up to 10 people, but the space can accommodate up to 175 people seated if you’re rolling deep. Call the restaurant for more private dining options, and don’t forget to have a slice of the beloved Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie.

Ocean Palace

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The Chinatown institution serves up some of Houston’s best dim sum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily,  with a sprawling, family-style menu, and dishes like har goa and pork shu mai served in lazy susans that make sharing plates all the more efficient and fun. Be sure to try the truffle xiao long bao, delicate dumplings filled with warm soup and topped with black truffle, and the roast duck rice noodle roll, a steamed sheet of rice wrappers filled with luscious roasted duck.  Though weekends are prime time for dim sum, large groups shouldn’t expect to wait more than an hour.

fried crab claws, har gow, egg tarts, stuffed rice noodles and more on a table at Ocean Palace.
Dim sum was made for groups.
Mai Pham

Gaido's

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Open since 1911, this white tablecloth seafood spot serves as a favorite celebration spot among groups gathering in Galveston. Offering consistent service and beach views, the restaurant offers up impeccably fried shrimp, grilled oysters, and a delicious wedge salad. Guests can book reservations online for up to 10 people. Otherwise, call in to ensure you get some of the best seating.

Cottonwood

With deck games, more than 30 taps, an outdoor bar, and 55-inch LCD screens, Cottonwood remains a popular spot in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest for groups. The food is also understated, with burgers, like the crawfish fondue burger, bursting with unique toppings, and appetizers like truffle pretzels that make for great conversation starters. Seating is typically first-come, first-serve, so get there early or send a trusted scout to scope out the spot on busy weekends and game days. Check Cottonwood’s Facebook page for updates on special events like crawfish boils, game tournaments, and live music, which will require more planning for snagging a space for the crew.

Cedar Creek Bar & Grill

This counter-to-table spot features 25 beers on tap, sandwiches, bar food classics like Frito pie and fried pickles, and frozen mimosas in a laid-back setting, making it ideal for friendly gatherings. Sit back with your crew and watch a game on one of their many TVs, or enjoy the patio when the weather’s nice. Stop by between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekends for $20 buckets of mimosas and $7 frozens for brunch.

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co

Buff Brew has some of the best downtown views, with a rooftop deck, a sprawling dining area,  local brews, and a menu boasting everything from wings and burgers to creative pizzas. The restaurant also offers budget-friendly party packages available for larger groups looking to plan ahead.

Bravery Chef Hall

Fitting for a group that cannot decide on what to eat, this food hall eliminates the worry of splitting checks or deciding on one cuisine that satisfies everyone. Various stalls include diverse options like Vietnamese gastropub The Blind Goat’s spin on traditional dishes like tofu bibimbap and dry chicken pho, Kororo’s daily crudo specials and super fresh nigiri, and Marguax’s oysters. Check out Secret Garden for a cocktail or cup of coffee.

The Rustic

With its central location, a big, bustling dining room, and live music held there any night of the week, The Rustic is a prime option for groups looking to stay entertained. The smoked queso and margaritas are a perfect way to start dinner no matter how big your party, and the various bars that pour up frozen cocktails and feature more than a dozen beers and wines on tap ensure quick service. Call ahead for groups over 8 people or to inquire about large-scale events.

Georgia James Steak

One of the best steakhouses in the city, Georgia James found its new home in Regent Square earlier this summer and continues to be a top-tier option for diners en masse. Case and point – the Baller Board. This off-the-menu spectacle of a platter is piled high with steaks and sides customized for your group by the chef and easily takes the pressure off ordering. You’re likely to see some of their famous sides like their charred corn or creamed collard greens make the cut alongside their sumptuous cast iron, butter-basted steaks. Reservations can be made on Resy for up to 8 people before needing to call their reservationist.

Backstreet Cafe

A Houston classic known for its diverse menu, cozy outdoor patio, and classic Sunday brunch, Hugo Ortega’s whimsical restaurant will have you and your friends feeling like you are the main characters in a rom-com. If you have to wait, grab some duck spring rolls and Gulf Coast beignets to accompany your favorite cocktail at the bar. Reservations for up to 8 people are made easy online, but for larger parties or private events, be sure to call to inquire about available tables.

Rodeo Goat

A stone’s throw away from the many bars that line St. Emmanuel Street, this EaDo joint is the great pitstop after having a few drinks with friends for a burger. With sprawling high-top tables indoors and a covered patio with comfortable seating outside, Rodeo Goat offers endless combinations with 16 house-ground burgers and five different-styled patties (vegetarian and vegan options included).  Stop by for happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays for discounted drinks.

Brennan's of Houston

Offering classic New Orleans cuisine in Houston since the 1950s, Brennan’s never disappoints. The luxe aesthetic makes it a prime option for special occasions, while its charming courtyard, which hosts live jazz performances for Sunday brunch, offers built-in entertainment. The food, however, is an obvious highlight – with signature items like turtle soup, Shrimp Chippewa, and bananas foster that’s set aflame tableside. Book a reservation online for up to eight people, or inquire about their private event spaces that can accommodate anywhere from 24 to 130 guests.

Gen Korean BBQ House

Serving up all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue, Gen is one of Midtown’s best spots for groups that want an active hand in their dining experience. Guests will delight in the abundance of banchan – or vegetable side dishes, while also grilling their own choice of protein, like pork belly, beef bulgogi, or spicy calamari – right in the middle of their table. Pair your feast with a draft Sapporo or pick from a list of Gen’s cocktails, which include bottomless sodas and mocktails for those skipping the alcohol. Weekends are sure to get busy, so call ahead for a reservation.

El Tiempo Cantina - S. Gessner

Platter of quail fajitas from El Tiempo.
Fajita platters at El Tiempo are perfect for sharing.
Kate LeSueur

With 13 locations throughout the metroplex serving up sizzling fajitas and pitchers of cold margaritas, El Tiempo is synonymous with Houston Tex-Mex. The Gessner location, in particular, is great for groups with a roomy, open dining area and the best-bang-for-your-buck Parrilladas, which can serve up to nine people with fajita combinations of beef, shrimp, chicken, lobster tail, chile relleno, and more, plus the usual accouterments.

Platter of quail fajitas from El Tiempo.
Fajita platters at El Tiempo are perfect for sharing.
Kate LeSueur

Capone's Oven & Bar

Known for its brick oven pizza and live music, this Upper Kirby staple stays open late, serving food until 1:45 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday – meaning the party doesn’t have to stop early. Looking for more privacy? Book Capone’s private event space, The Hideout, which offers a cozy space where groups can catch up and graze on an affordable buffet of stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, and pizzas with your choice of toppings. Reservations are required for groups larger than 6 people.

Goode Company Armadillo Palace

A place where Southern cuisine and Tex Mex convene, Armadillo Palace is a celebration of the Lone Star State with spacious seating throughout and cafeteria-style dining that makes dining with a group a breeze. Order a “Damn Goode” Margarita alongside your carne asada served with homemade tortillas, or if Southern fare is what you’re after, go for the pork chop served with tomato-bacon jam and a peach cobbler cocktail.  Online reservations can be made for up to 10 people, but the space can accommodate up to 175 people seated if you’re rolling deep. Call the restaurant for more private dining options, and don’t forget to have a slice of the beloved Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie.

Ocean Palace

fried crab claws, har gow, egg tarts, stuffed rice noodles and more on a table at Ocean Palace.
Dim sum was made for groups.
Mai Pham

The Chinatown institution serves up some of Houston’s best dim sum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily,  with a sprawling, family-style menu, and dishes like har goa and pork shu mai served in lazy susans that make sharing plates all the more efficient and fun. Be sure to try the truffle xiao long bao, delicate dumplings filled with warm soup and topped with black truffle, and the roast duck rice noodle roll, a steamed sheet of rice wrappers filled with luscious roasted duck.  Though weekends are prime time for dim sum, large groups shouldn’t expect to wait more than an hour.

fried crab claws, har gow, egg tarts, stuffed rice noodles and more on a table at Ocean Palace.
Dim sum was made for groups.
Mai Pham

Gaido's

Open since 1911, this white tablecloth seafood spot serves as a favorite celebration spot among groups gathering in Galveston. Offering consistent service and beach views, the restaurant offers up impeccably fried shrimp, grilled oysters, and a delicious wedge salad. Guests can book reservations online for up to 10 people. Otherwise, call in to ensure you get some of the best seating.

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