Types of Restaurants
Due to the cultural diversity in Houston, you will find a large selection of local and international foods. Some of the local food include Tex Mex, Cajun, Mexican, Seafood, Barbecue, and burger places. On the international side, almost anything is present; for example Italian, Greek, French, German, Japanese/Sushi, Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Korean, Vietnamese, and South American (Brazilian, Argentinean, etc.). There is certainly no shortage of food selections in restaurants in Houston, for every taste and culture.
There are many chain restaurants and while some are actually Houston-born such as the Pappa’s restaurants, don’t overlook the ones that are family-owned or unique. Houston also has some longstanding restaurants, such as the 30-year old, family-owned Greek restaurant, Niko Niko’s, or the 40-year old Brennan’s downtown which burnt down during hurricane Ike but was rebuild and reopened.
Houstonians eat out a lot. Generally speaking, they frequent restaurants in their immediate area of living or work, but sometimes venture outside of their immediate area for a highly recommended establishment. It is not uncommon to go to a restaurant or some type of eatery for lunch every day, taking advantage of lunch specials, and even for dinner on a daily basis. For this reason, there is an abundance of restaurants and opening hours are usually all day until late at night with a so-called rush hour for lunch and dinner.
Restaurants range in all price classes and offer every ambiance from salad bars and buffets all the way to fine dining. Unless you will be fine dining, the dress code is very casual.
Reservations are generally not needed unless it is a large group (about 5 or more people requiring special seating), some type of holiday or Valentine’s Day, or one of the finer restaurants.
Finding a Restaurant
To search good and recommended local restaurants, be sure to pick up a copy of the newspaper Houstonpress, available at convenience stores, cafes, grocery stores as well as many restaurants next to the door. Houstonpress outlines all of the newest hotspots and features a yearly ‘Best of …’. The Houston Chronicle, the city’s main newspaper, is also a great source of information on local eateries and local festivals serving a variety of food types.
Restaurants will also often publish coupons in the community paper or send coupons in the mail. It is a great way to scope out local spots at a discount.
Some of the best local websites to research and compare restaurants include: