From now through September 7, Houston Restaurant Weeks will present special prix fixe menus (proceeds go to the Houston Food Bank) — brunch ($25 per person), lunch ($20 per person) and dinner ($35 or $45 per person) — at restaurants from The Woodlands to The Galleria. While many of the featured spots require some advanced planning to snag a seat, we pulled together a guide for our more spontaneous diners. Check out eight restaurants where reservations aren't required (and see all our HRW recs here).
Serving: Dinner, brunch
Why you should go: The casual East End cafe highlights the cooking of South America, going from Ecuador to Peru. Don't miss the signature ceviches.
Details: 2311 Canal St.; 832-659-0063
Why you should go: The Montrose neighborhood hangout has great New American fare, along with gaming areas for bocce, beanbags, Ping-Pong and mini-croquet.
Details: 601 Richmond Ave.; 713-527-4440
Why you should go: The playful bistro features a revolving menu of American fare, including a can't-miss Asia fried cauliflower (bonito flakes, pine nuts, scallions and miso dressing) that's earned a permanent spot on the menu — so you can enjoy it during HRW and beyond.
Details: 1972 Fairview St.; 713-523-7667
Why you should go: Expect globally influenced Southern fare that highlights locally sourced ingredients at this Upper Kirby spot.
Details: 2502 Algerian Way; 713-360-2002
Serving: Dinner, lunch, brunch
Why you should go: This game-centered American restaurant is housed in a log cabin on the banks of the bayou. Once you set foot into the wood-paneled dining room, you'll forget all about your city-life troubles.
Details: 2011 Ella Blvd.; 713-861-8666
Why you should go: This elegant dining spot offers top-notch, contemporary American eats. Dine alfresco on the covered patio or in the expansive bar area with an elevated fireplace.
Details: 1753 Post Oak Blvd.; 713-355-1975
Why you should go: Grab a corner table and escape the city at this Italian eatery in West University. A Tuscan paradise boasting charming aged walls and woodwork, it's the ideal spot for a snug rendezvous
Details: 2311 Bissonnet St.; 713-521-1155
Why you should go: There's always a buzz at the see-and-be-seen River Oaks neighborhood restaurant, known for its Italian-inspired power lunch
Details: 2002 W. Gray St.; 713-526-4700