30 Things You Need to Eat and Drink This Summer in Houston

By Marcy de Luna | May 19, 2015 By Marcy de Luna  |  May 19, 2015

There are 10 warm, sunny weeks of summer ahead, and you’ve got your work cut out on the eating and drinking fronts. We combed the city's best restaurants, bars, breweries and ice cream shops to come up with this list of 30 essential summer treats. Use it as your back-pocket guide for the coming hot, sweaty season and set yourself up for an awesome summer.

  • Original fish tacos at Berryhill Baja Grill

    Served on a corn tortilla, this warm-weather favorite calls for tempura-fried (or grilled) shrimp topped with crunchy cabbage, a sprinkling of pico de gallo, creamy special sauce and fresh chopped cilantro. Bonus: the salsa bar features free bottomless chips, an addictive cilantro ranch dip and crunchy Mexican-style pickled carrots.

     Multiple locations

  • Photo by: Jody Horton

    The Principal​ at Bernie's Burger Bus

    We not only love Bernie's alliteration-heavy name, but also the fresh-ground Angus beef patties, housemade condiments and school-themed burgers like The Principal, which combines cheese, mayo, mustard and ketchup with thin sliced onions, pickles, shredded lettuce and slow-roasted garlic tomatoes.

    5407 Bellaire Blvd.; 713-349-9400

  • Navigation margarita at Ninfa’s on Navigation

    There’s no better way to cool off than with a tasty margarita, frozen or on the rocks. The house version here, a tried-and-true recipe that dates back to 1973, uses top-shelf blend of tequila, Cointreau, fresh-squeezed lime juice and agave nectar.

    2704 Navigation Blvd.; 713-228-1175

  • Shrimp and peaches at Revival Market

    The Heights gem recently added dinner service to its repertoire, and this dish of pickled shrimp and Texas peaches, amped up by avocado​, queso fresco, serrano and smoked paprika, screams summer on a plate.

    550 Heights Blvd.; 713-880-8463

  • Photo by: Paula Murphy

    Soba noodles at Kata Robata

    It's far too hot for ramen, but you can still get your Japanese noodle fix. Dive into this plate of soba (buckwheat) noodles, which get a luxe boost thanks to foie gras and duck breast, plus green onions and a soy sauce vinaigrette spiked with wasabi and sake.

    3600 Kirby Dr.; 713-526-8858

  • Banana split at Cloud 10

    Kids — and kids at heart — will appreciate this decadent, nostalgia-inducing ice cream sundae. It all starts with a bottom layer of brown sugar crumble, followed by caramelized bananas and heavenly scoops of vanilla bean, chocolate and Nutella-marshmallow ice creams. The frosty treat is further lavished with milk chocolate Magic Shell, mixed berry jam, fluffy whipped cream, hot fudge, candied pecans and Nutella powder. 

    5216 Morningside Dr.; 713-434-6129

  • Photo by: Julie Soefer

    Crunchy chicken sandwich at Local Foods

    This satisfying sandwich — the restaurant's best-seller since day one — features nut-crusted chicken, green goddess dressing, romaine lettuce, tomato, housemade pickles and a slice of provolone cheese, all on a Slow Dough pretzel bun with a choice of two sides or a soup. It's a jam-packed summertime meal. 

    Multiple locations

  • Spike Tyson Rum Punch-Out at Anvil Bar & Refuge

    The island-inspired punch combines two styles of rum and freshly juiced lime and oranges with a spiced backbone of cinnamon syrup and Angostura Bitters. Your ticket to paradise gets a sweet finish from Punch alla Fiamma  (a Martinique Rhum-based liqueur infused with vanilla caramel) and spiced pineapple whipped cream.

    1424 Westheimer Rd.; 713-523-1622

  • Photo by: Deb Smail

    Fruit and flower salad at Peska Seafood Culture

    Cool down with this eye and stomach-pleasing salad of seasonal berries, chia seed-lime vinaigrette, spicy pecan meringue and a refreshing lemon-olive oil sorbet. 

    1700 Post Oak Blvd.

  • Mussels at Etoile Cuisine et Bar

    Take a trip to the French coast with mussels at Etoile, served one of two ways: Mariniere (with white wine, cream and parsley) and Saint Jean de Luz with chorizo, leek and piment d’espelette (a type of dried pepper popular in Basque country). Add a glass of sparkling rosé and your summer will be magnifique.

    1101-11 Uptown Park Blvd.; 832-668-5808

  • Grilled cantaloupe at Pax Americana

    You can't go wrong with this sweet and savory fruit platter at the popular Montrose spot. Cantaloupe — dressed in toasted hazelnut vinaigrette — is served with goat feta, wildflower honey and oregano.

    4319 Montrose Blvd.; 713-239-0228

  • Photo by: Kimberly Park

    Crab cake at Killen's Steakhouse

    Every delectable bite of the jumbo lump crab cake (topped with jumbo Gulf shrimp, no less) at this Pearland restaurant is extra luscious thanks to the lemon butter sauce.

    2804 S. Main St.; 281-485-0844

  • Photo by: DAK & Bop/Instagram

    Fried chicken at Dak & Bop

    Korean fried chicken is the specialty at this Museum District destination. The made-to-order wings and drumsticks are twice-fried, and each flavorful piece is individually sauced. The chicken bao, which stuffs chunks of the bird in a soft bun with cucumbers and slaw, is a definite can't-miss. It comes with your choice of two dipping sauces: our favorite is the half 'n' half, a blend of the soy garlic and hot and spicy.

    1801 Binz St.; 713-528-0280

  • Apple pie at Flying Saucer Pie Co.

    What's summer without apple pie? This family-owned and -operated spot has been turning out heavenly creations since 1967, including this apple variety on a hot flaky crust. Dare we say, it's better than our grandmother's.

    436 W. Crosstimbers Rd.; 713-694-1141

  • Duck-confit salad at Bistro Provence

    This dish — which hits the menu Memorial Day — begins with housemade duck confit, a 24-hour process. The ultra-tender bird is served with grilled slices of potatoes over mixed greens, sliced bell peppers and tomatoes. Dijon mustard vinaigrette, fresh herbs, crispy bacon and a poached egg are added on top. 

    13616 Memorial Dr.; 713-827-8008

  • Frozen push-pop cocktails at Reserve 101

    These boozy frozen treats at the Downtown whiskey bar comes in a multitude of flavors, including a must-try salted caramel and bacon and bourbon. 

    1201 Caroline St.

  • Froberg Farm strawberry shortcake at Brennan’s

    A sweet way to ring in the summer season is with the strawberry shortcake at Brennan's. A buttermilk biscuit is filled with Chantilly cream and sweet, ripe strawberries, then sprinkled with sugar. 

    3300 Smith St.; 713-522-9711

  • Photo by: Paula Murphy

    Squash blossom quesadillas at Hugo's

    The squash blossom menu at Hugo's is here and we can't get enough of the squash blossom quesadillas. Folded blue corn tortilla pockets (three per order) come stuffed full of squash blossoms and Chihuahua cheese. 

    1600 Westheimer Rd.; 713-524-7744

  • Vichyssoise soup at Mockingbird Bistro

    Chef John Sheely's roster of seasonal summer soups includes silky vichyssoise, an elegant cold French soup made from potatoes, leeks, cream and chicken stock. It's perfect for chillin' out on a scorching hot day.

    1985 Welch St.; 713-533-0200

  • Garden pea salad at Coltivare

    From the blend of English, sugar snap, purple snow and yellow snow peas to the arugula, prosciutto, mint and lemon vinaigrette, this dish boasts plenty of splendid summer flavor. 

    3320 White Oak Dr.; 713-637-4095

  • Summer Pils by Saint Arnold Brewing Company

    Whether accompanying your summer dishes or a solo act, there's nothing like an ice-cold beer on a hot day. A true bohemian-style pilsner, Saint Arnold Summer Pils has a delicate, sweet malt taste complemented by an abundant hop aroma and flavor. 

    2000 Lyons Ave.; 713-686-9494

  • Barbecue at Killen's Barbecue

    Great barbecue is the highlight of any summer. Killen's fires up the grill with finger-licking good ribs, brisket, sausage, turkey, pulled pork and more. Just add an ice cold beer and you're good to go.

    2804 S Main St.; 281-485-0844

  • Cebiche de pescado at Andes Cafe

    Ceviche is so good that its originating country of Peru created a national holiday in honor of it. This super-fresh version is a mix of lime juice-marinated corvina chunks, aji "limo" Peruvian hot peppers and cilantro. Corn and onions add the finishing touch to this raw dish, served on sweet potato bedding. 

    2311 Canal St.; 832-659-0063

  • Photo by: Andrew Hemingway

    Chi-town dog at Good Dog

    This rendition of the iconic summer ballpark fare is an homage to the Windy City. The tasty dog, dressed with pickled vegetables and homemade condiments, knocks it out of the park.

    903 Studewood St.; 832-800-3647

  • King cake snoball with cream at Mam's House of Ice

    Instead of plain crushed ice and standard sweet syrup flavors, this New Orleans-style snoball combines super fine ice with the tastes of cinnamon bread king cake and vanilla ice cream for a delectable, frosty treat.

    1040 W Cavalcade St.; 832-265-1706

  • Pasta salad at DaCapo’s Pastry Cafe

    Chill out this summer with this pasta salad of artichoke hearts, black olives, bell peppers and sundried tomatoes doused in Dacapo's housemade sundried tomato vinaigrette.

    1141 E 11th St.; 713-869-9141

  • Salted lemonade at Huynh Restaurant

    Pucker up for this mix of sweet, sugary lemonade and tart Chanh muÿi (salted, pickled lime). The interplay of flavors is refreshing on a long, hot day.

    912 St. Emanuel St.; 713-224-8964

  • Ice cream at Eatsie Boys

    Cure your ache for a frozen summer indulgence with the "In A World Gone Mad Whiskey + Cereal" ice cream from Eatsie Boys. Made with Makers Mark Whiskey and Golden Graham's cereal, it's the breakfast of champions. 

    Check Twitter.

  • Chilled Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup at Kenny & Ziggy’s

    A family recipe, this addictive chilled soup is made with the likes of pitted sour cherries, sour cherry syrup, sour cream and half and half. While it will carry you through the hot summer months be forewarned: it goes on the menu as soon as the weather stays hot, then disappears around October.

    2327 Post Oak Blvd.; 713-871-8883

  • Summer orzo salad at Backstreet Cafe

    Perfect for a light summer dinner, this orzo salad is made with grilled shrimp, cherry tomatoes, roasted corn, grilled zucchini, haricot verts, avocado and purple onion. A bed of sliced heirloom tomatoes provides a delicious taste of the season.

    1103 S Shepherd Dr.; 713-521-2239

Places Mentioned

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Brennan's Houston

Creole Midtown
Food27 Decor28 Service28 Cost$61
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Mexican Montrose
Food26 Decor25 Service25 Cost$47
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Berryhill Baja Grill

Mexican Upper Kirby
Food20 Decor17 Service18 Cost$17
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Berryhill Baja Grill

Mexican West U
Food20 Decor17 Service18 Cost$17
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Berryhill Baja Grill

Mexican Galleria
Food20 Decor17 Service18 Cost$17
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Berryhill Baja Grill

Mexican Champions
Food20 Decor17 Service18 Cost$17
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Berryhill In the Heights

Mexican Heights
Food20 Decor17 Service18 Cost$17
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Berryhill Baja Grill

Mexican The Woodlands
Food20 Decor17 Service18 Cost$17
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Berryhill Baja Grill

Mexican Memorial
Food20 Decor17 Service18 Cost$17
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Berryhill Sugar Land

Mexican Sugar Land
Food20 Decor17 Service18 Cost$17
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Kata Robata

Japanese Upper Kirby
Food27 Decor22 Service24 Cost$51
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Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar

American Montrose
Food25 Decor23 Service23 Cost$57
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Revival Market

American Heights
Food21 Decor19 Service21 Cost$13
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Cloud 10 Creamery

Ice Cream Shop Rice Village
Food- Decor- Service- CostM
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Bernies Burger Bus

Burger Bellaire
Food24 Decor20 Service22 Cost$17
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Local Foods

American River Oaks
Food25 Decor20 Service22 Cost$19
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Local Foods

American Rice Village
Food25 Decor20 Service22 Cost$19
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Food26 Decor22 Service23 Cost$28
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Killen's Barbecue

Barbecue Pearland
Food26 Decor17 Service21 Cost$24
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Killen's Steakhouse

Steakhouse Pearland
Food26 Decor21 Service26 Cost$72
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Andes Cafe

Latin American East End
Food- Decor- Service- CostI
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Etoile Cuisine Et Bar

French Galleria
Food- Decor- Service- CostE
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Bistro Provence

French West Houston
Food24 Decor20 Service21 Cost$44
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Reserve 101

Bar Downtown
Atmo.24 Decor23 Service25 CostE
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Good Dog Houston

Hot Dog Heights
Food25 Decor18 Service23 Cost$15
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Anvil Bar & Refuge

Bar Montrose
Atmo.24 Decor22 Service22 CostE
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Huynh Restaurant

Vietnamese EaDo
Food25 Decor18 Service23 Cost$20
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Backstreet Cafe

Cafe River Oaks
Food26 Decor23 Service24 Cost$45
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Pax Americana Restaurant

American Montrose
Food- Decor- Service- CostM
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Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen

Sandwich Shop Galleria
Food26 Decor21 Service23 Cost$26
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Coltivare Pizza & Garden

Italian Heights
Food25 Decor21 Service20 Cost$42
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dak & bop

Chicken Museum District
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

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