The Underbelly Hospitality team brings a true native Texas experience to the newly finished Houston Farmers Market. Culinary director and chef-partner Nick Fine (One Fifth, Georgia James) takes a deep dive into the diversity that makes the Lone Star special, using a custom-built live-fire grill with some help from fellow HFM vendors. The menu features local vegetables flash fried ’till crisp and tossed in mole from Los Cavazos, R-C Ranch Wagyu done CFS-style with a cowboy-inspired bacon poblano gravy, Bellaire Campechana swimming with crab, shrimp, and spiced tomatillo, and Crispy Pork Shank and späetzle to pay homage to Central Texas’ German heritage. It’s a taste of Old Texas, chef’d way up.
An extreme makeover of the historic Barbara Jordan Post Office, the fresh-faced Post HTX hosts a concert hall, super dope skylawn, and ace food hall featuring a roster of culinary heavyweights, from Top Chef winner Paul Qui to beloved local chef David Guerrero, who apprenticed at Lima’s famed Maido, ranked as one of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and now wows at his South American stunner, Andes Café. For his part, Qui helms a few outposts at POST, including Japanese street eats concept East Side King (which just launched a new omakase menu), Filipino favorite Soy Pinoy, and perhaps his most ambitious venture, Golfstrømmen, a can’t miss Nordic-bent Gulf seafood experience in collaboration with Norwegian chef Christopher Haatuft and one of the only players here that takes reservations. You’ll certainly want to check those out, plus comrades like Southeast Asian and Latin American street food concept Hawker Market, hot chicken slinger Lea Jane’s Hot Chicken, and modern West African joint ChòpnBlọk, too.
How to book: Dine-in, takeout, and delivery options vary by concept.
After gaining fans at the since-closed Blackbird Izakaya and continuing to impress at Hidden Omakase, chef Billy Kin opened this omakase experience in the former Golden Bagels locale on White Oak, along with former Degust chef Brandon Silva. A more casual izakaya, Tesseract, is set to join the space next. With high quality ingredients flown in weekly from Japan’s Toyosu Market, expect flawless preparations of fatty otoro (tuna belly), A5 Wagyu, tako (octopus), and fresh uni. Speaking of uni, if you’re lucky, the night will include a bite of Kin’s incredibly silky Uni Pasta, a redux of his famous Blackbird Izakaya Uni Carbonara. Bring your own booze and gear up for a good time.
Is it just us, or does this playful date night (and late night) staple just keep getting better with age? Executive Chef Martin Stayer takes inspiration from his grandmother, Nobie, to put out masterful, locally kissed plates and bountiful shareables that’ll keep you coming back for more. Pretty much everyone starts with an order of Dilly Bread, puffy pull-apart milk bread that you can (and should) pair with smoked trout roe, but don’t let the harissa-spiced Beer-battered Sweet Potato Tots fly under the radar. One dish that definitely doesn’t fly under the radar? Nonno’s Pasta—the tagliatelle bolognese is a staple on the ever-changing menu. Get some of that, and some of whatever’s in season, whether that be Truffle Butter King of Mushroom Gnocchi or the ‘Nduja Wanna Scallop with citrus and Calabrian chili. It’s all ending with one of the best damn pies you’ve had in your life, regardless.
How to book: Reserve via Tock.
Every hustlin’ and bustlin’ city should have an outpost or two that matches its lively energy. For H-town, that’s Nancy’s Hustle. This buzzing bistro has only been around for a little over two years, yet has attracted a loyal following among both Texas- and non-Texas-based crowds. Emphasis on the word “crowd”—if you want to witness the well-deserved hype, be prepared to squeeze. Absolutely start with the Spicy Beef & Butter Dumplings and namesake Nancy Cakes (fluffed up johnnycakes finished with smoked trout roe and cultured butter), chow down on flaky Roasted Tilefish with melted tomatoes and sweet corn puree, and grab a glass of good wine at the bar as you hop between bites of crispy, gooey Cheeseburger on english muffin brioche, thick-cut Fries and a housemade Pickle Party.
This casual little sibling to Underbelly Hospitality’s Georgia James brings Old Hollywood vibes and local charm to the ground floor of Market Square Tower. New executive Chef Tim Reading (Caracol, Ixim) has revamped the menu and is now running the kitchen. Gorgeous hunks of perfectly Seared Bavette Steak ride alongside diverse everyday fare driven by high-quality ingredients and technique. Slurp down a Gulf Coast Oyster Bake dripping in Calabrian chile butter and herby breadcrumbs, pair Roasted Bone Marrow with Crispy Duck Fat Potatoes, and dig into large plates like Roasted Gulf Fish, gorgeous Brick Chicken, and a 44 Farms Tavern Burger made punchier with horseradish sauce.