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Brasserie 19
Brasserie 19
Brasserie 19

Where to Eat and Drink in River Oaks

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Brasserie 19
| Brasserie 19

When it comes to Houston neighborhoods, it's hard to get any tonier than historic River Oaks. On these 1,400 acres sits one of the wealthiest communities in the nation. Little surprise, given the lowest-priced home in the neighborhood will set you back about a million bucks.

Don't have that, you say? No worries. Maybe you're priced out of the real estate market in this little enclave, but the restaurant scene is yours for the taking. We listed a few beloved neighborhood picks for you check out, arranged in no particular order.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Backstreet Cafe

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1103 S Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 521-2239
Visit Website
Cozy, intimate and always inventive, Backstreet is a winner for ambiance and great comfort fare with nods to both old school offerings and a Texas spin. The vegetable plate is one of the best anywhere, a huge portion of daily selections guaranteed to make carnivores think twice about their lifestyle choice. The pecan-crusted chicken is one of the most popular menu items, a decidedly comfort-food portion that’s been on the menu since day one.

Backstreet Cafe. [Photo: Backstreet Cafe]

2. Armandos

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2630 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 520-1738
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Southwestern-tinged Mexican cuisine, this River Oaks address is a gorgeously appointed, clubby space with excellent cuisine to match. The housemade queso flameado is a standout, gooey and yummy, served with soft flour tortillas. We like Lulu’s, a cheddar cheese enchilada that comes with two chicken or beef tacos and chili con queso.

Armando's. [Photo: Armando's Official Site]

3. Corner Table

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2736 Virginia St
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 568-9196
Visit Website
The thing about this small River Oaks spot is it elevates paleo and gluten-free from fads or necessary lifestyle choices to gorgeous cuisine. There’s a passionate commitment to fresh ingredients and exquisite preparation. Salads, pastas, and fare from land and sea dot the menu; there’s a Korean steak and frites that sets the French original on its ear, paleo noodles tossed in red wine and braised beef, and a lovely kale and quinoa salad.

Corner Table. [Photo: Yelp/Ling W.]

4. Américas

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2040 W Gray St
Houston, TX 77019
(832) 200-1492
Visit Website
Right on the eastern edge of River Oaks is this Houston favorite. Head here when you’re looking for kicked-up Latin cuisine that’s fun but still feels familiar. There’s an excellent happy hour, serving up mini portions of angel wings and a ceviche Palomar, as well as drink specials under $8. For dinner, the paellas are great sharing options, and the signature Churrasco steak is always a winner. For dessert, savvy diners know to choose the tres leches every time.

Americas River Oaks. [Photo: Official Site]

5. Brasserie 19

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1919 W Gray St
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 524-1919
Visit Website
This River Oaks hotspot tops all sorts of lists for its see-and-be-seen vibe. Classic French meets modern furnishing to create a dining experience unlike any other in the city. The escargots are exquisite. The Wednesday daily special of dover sole is elegantly simple and perfect. You’ll dig the duck confit, which arrives with Brussels sprouts and Lyonnaise potatoes. Add to it all a killer wine list, and you have the making of a great evening.

Brasserie 19. [Photo: Brasserie 19]

6. Frank's Americana Revival

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3736 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 572-8600
Visit Website
Dinner at Frank’s is like a combination of home cooking and hanging out with your best friends. The easy atmosphere in this space on Westheimer is part steak house, part backyard chilling out. The Sunday meatloaf special is home cooked comfort food at its best. The Gulf shrimp and white cheddar grits showcase our geographic flavors. And the buttermilk fried chicken is – look, it’s buttermilk fried chicken; it’s awesome. Just eat it.

Frank's Americana Revival. [Photo: Facebook]

7. Harwood Grill

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2300 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 360-7757
Visit Website
Beef is the star of the show at this River Oaks newcomer and it’s easy to see why. Topping the list of must-trys on the appetizer menu are the meatballs, Akaushi ground beef and roasted vegetables that dances with an explosion of Italian-infused flavor, and the lobster bisque, rich and wonderful. All of the Akaushi steaks are stunningly prepared, the beef tender and gorgeously, simply seasoned. But make sure you check out the rib-pulled pappardelle, house-made pasta topped with Akaushi braised pulled short ribs, that’s done up in veal stock and topped with Parmesan cheese.

Harwood Grill. [Photo: Facebook]

8. La Griglia

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2002 W Gray St
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 526-4700
Visit Website
Start off dinner at this bouncy, eclectic West Gray Street space with a trip to the antipasti bar, where you can custom design your plate with an array of cheeses, meats and vegetables. Diners love the bread basket with its little pizza strips, but save room for a menu awash in great options, including the duck ravioli (lauded in online reviews of its shallot, chianti and sage flavors), which is a specialty of the house.

La Griglia. [Photo: Facebook]

9. Mockingbird Bistro

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1985 Welch St
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 533-0200
Visit Website
This River Oaks standout infuses classic cuisine with deft, modern Texas touches. The burrata salad with heirloom tomatoes and arugula is gorgeous. Ditto the range chicken, paired right now with a summer carrot flan and roasted garlic au jus. The rack of lamb is a great option, and the wine list here is worldly, eclectic and perfect for the unfussy fare that showcases how simplicity and elegance and lead to explosive flavor.

Mockingbird Bistro. [Photo: Facebook]

10. Landmark River Oaks Theatre Bar

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This River Oaks icon has been a staple in the ritzy neighborhood since 1939. This Art Deco movie house offers more than indie-films and Rocky Horror Picture Show re-enactments, it's got a killer bar too. On the second floor is a full-bar with strong drinks and a sexy dimly lit vibe.

River Oaks Theatre. [Photo: Afar Magazine]

11. The Blue Bar at Brenner's on the Bayou

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1 Birdsall St
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 868-4444
Visit Website
Neighbors to the historic Bayou Bend Mansion and tucked away off Memorial Drive is the posh Brennan's River Oak's bar, The Blue Bar. The patio offers prime people-watching, stunning views and $10 cocktails. The bar bites menu includes standouts like their veal and ricotta meatballs, mini gyros and handout truffle fries.

The Blue Bar. [Photo: Facebook]

12. River Oaks Donut Shop

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3601 Westheimer Rd Ste A
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 961-9458
Visit Website
Gourmet donuts with a drive through? We're in. Specials change often, but choices are creative and decadent, like their fruity pebbled topped donut, s'mores donut and Nutella filled cronut. Try and have just one.

River Oaks Donuts. [Photo: Yelp/Chris C.]

13. Marfreless

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2006 Peden St
Houston, TX 77019
Rumors abound about this notorious bar with dim lighting and a discrete blue door, but regardless of the whispers Marfreless remains a romantic spot for a drink in River Oaks. Wednesday nights are half-off bottles of wine and champagne.

Marfreless. [Photo: Official Site Marfreless]

1. Backstreet Cafe

1103 S Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77019
Cozy, intimate and always inventive, Backstreet is a winner for ambiance and great comfort fare with nods to both old school offerings and a Texas spin. The vegetable plate is one of the best anywhere, a huge portion of daily selections guaranteed to make carnivores think twice about their lifestyle choice. The pecan-crusted chicken is one of the most popular menu items, a decidedly comfort-food portion that’s been on the menu since day one.

Backstreet Cafe. [Photo: Backstreet Cafe]

1103 S Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77019

2. Armandos

2630 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098
Southwestern-tinged Mexican cuisine, this River Oaks address is a gorgeously appointed, clubby space with excellent cuisine to match. The housemade queso flameado is a standout, gooey and yummy, served with soft flour tortillas. We like Lulu’s, a cheddar cheese enchilada that comes with two chicken or beef tacos and chili con queso.

Armando's. [Photo: Armando's Official Site]

2630 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098

3. Corner Table

2736 Virginia St, Houston, TX 77098
The thing about this small River Oaks spot is it elevates paleo and gluten-free from fads or necessary lifestyle choices to gorgeous cuisine. There’s a passionate commitment to fresh ingredients and exquisite preparation. Salads, pastas, and fare from land and sea dot the menu; there’s a Korean steak and frites that sets the French original on its ear, paleo noodles tossed in red wine and braised beef, and a lovely kale and quinoa salad.

Corner Table. [Photo: Yelp/Ling W.]

2736 Virginia St
Houston, TX 77098

4. Américas

2040 W Gray St, Houston, TX 77019
Right on the eastern edge of River Oaks is this Houston favorite. Head here when you’re looking for kicked-up Latin cuisine that’s fun but still feels familiar. There’s an excellent happy hour, serving up mini portions of angel wings and a ceviche Palomar, as well as drink specials under $8. For dinner, the paellas are great sharing options, and the signature Churrasco steak is always a winner. For dessert, savvy diners know to choose the tres leches every time.

Americas River Oaks. [Photo: Official Site]

2040 W Gray St
Houston, TX 77019

5. Brasserie 19

1919 W Gray St, Houston, TX 77019
This River Oaks hotspot tops all sorts of lists for its see-and-be-seen vibe. Classic French meets modern furnishing to create a dining experience unlike any other in the city. The escargots are exquisite. The Wednesday daily special of dover sole is elegantly simple and perfect. You’ll dig the duck confit, which arrives with Brussels sprouts and Lyonnaise potatoes. Add to it all a killer wine list, and you have the making of a great evening.

Brasserie 19. [Photo: Brasserie 19]

1919 W Gray St
Houston, TX 77019

6. Frank's Americana Revival

3736 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027
Dinner at Frank’s is like a combination of home cooking and hanging out with your best friends. The easy atmosphere in this space on Westheimer is part steak house, part backyard chilling out. The Sunday meatloaf special is home cooked comfort food at its best. The Gulf shrimp and white cheddar grits showcase our geographic flavors. And the buttermilk fried chicken is – look, it’s buttermilk fried chicken; it’s awesome. Just eat it.

Frank's Americana Revival. [Photo: Facebook]

3736 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77027

7. Harwood Grill

2300 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098
Beef is the star of the show at this River Oaks newcomer and it’s easy to see why. Topping the list of must-trys on the appetizer menu are the meatballs, Akaushi ground beef and roasted vegetables that dances with an explosion of Italian-infused flavor, and the lobster bisque, rich and wonderful. All of the Akaushi steaks are stunningly prepared, the beef tender and gorgeously, simply seasoned. But make sure you check out the rib-pulled pappardelle, house-made pasta topped with Akaushi braised pulled short ribs, that’s done up in veal stock and topped with Parmesan cheese.

Harwood Grill. [Photo: Facebook]

2300 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098

8. La Griglia

2002 W Gray St, Houston, TX 77019
Start off dinner at this bouncy, eclectic West Gray Street space with a trip to the antipasti bar, where you can custom design your plate with an array of cheeses, meats and vegetables. Diners love the bread basket with its little pizza strips, but save room for a menu awash in great options, including the duck ravioli (lauded in online reviews of its shallot, chianti and sage flavors), which is a specialty of the house.

La Griglia. [Photo: Facebook]

2002 W Gray St
Houston, TX 77019

9. Mockingbird Bistro

1985 Welch St, Houston, TX 77019
This River Oaks standout infuses classic cuisine with deft, modern Texas touches. The burrata salad with heirloom tomatoes and arugula is gorgeous. Ditto the range chicken, paired right now with a summer carrot flan and roasted garlic au jus. The rack of lamb is a great option, and the wine list here is worldly, eclectic and perfect for the unfussy fare that showcases how simplicity and elegance and lead to explosive flavor.

Mockingbird Bistro. [Photo: Facebook]

1985 Welch St
Houston, TX 77019

10. Landmark River Oaks Theatre Bar

Houston, TX
This River Oaks icon has been a staple in the ritzy neighborhood since 1939. This Art Deco movie house offers more than indie-films and Rocky Horror Picture Show re-enactments, it's got a killer bar too. On the second floor is a full-bar with strong drinks and a sexy dimly lit vibe.

River Oaks Theatre. [Photo: Afar Magazine]

11. The Blue Bar at Brenner's on the Bayou

1 Birdsall St, Houston, TX 77007
Neighbors to the historic Bayou Bend Mansion and tucked away off Memorial Drive is the posh Brennan's River Oak's bar, The Blue Bar. The patio offers prime people-watching, stunning views and $10 cocktails. The bar bites menu includes standouts like their veal and ricotta meatballs, mini gyros and handout truffle fries.

The Blue Bar. [Photo: Facebook]

1 Birdsall St
Houston, TX 77007

12. River Oaks Donut Shop

3601 Westheimer Rd Ste A, Houston, TX 77027
Gourmet donuts with a drive through? We're in. Specials change often, but choices are creative and decadent, like their fruity pebbled topped donut, s'mores donut and Nutella filled cronut. Try and have just one.

River Oaks Donuts. [Photo: Yelp/Chris C.]

3601 Westheimer Rd Ste A
Houston, TX 77027

13. Marfreless

2006 Peden St, Houston, TX 77019
Rumors abound about this notorious bar with dim lighting and a discrete blue door, but regardless of the whispers Marfreless remains a romantic spot for a drink in River Oaks. Wednesday nights are half-off bottles of wine and champagne.

Marfreless. [Photo: Official Site Marfreless]

2006 Peden St
Houston, TX 77019

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