Houston's Best Restaurants

April 28, 2015
by Zagat Staff

Presenting our top restaurants in Houston.  

Japanese · Montrose · $$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

It’s "always an adventure for the palate" at chef Tyson Cole’s Montrose outpost of his Austin original, plating "sushi creations" that are "music in your mouth" plus plenty of other "innovative, delectable" Japanese options that don’t involve raw fish; the scene – amid soft lighting and warm woods – is "impossibly hip" , and the tabs are "expensive" but "worth it" ; P.S. it’s "hard to get a reservation" because most of the seats are saved for walk-ins.
Chama Gaúcha Brazilian Steakhouse
Brazilian · Briargrove · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

Regulars know to "pass on the salad bar" and save room for the seemingly endless parade of "superb" skewered meats at this Briargrove Brazilian churrascaria "favorite" , which also offers an "awesome" wine list in a "smart, sophisticated" white-tablecloth setting; sure, the "prices are a bit high" , but it’s "totally worth it.
Brennan's of Houston
Cajun · Midtown · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.8

An "way to visit New Orleans" without leaving town, this "peerless" Creole classic in Midtown combines "impeccable old-school service" , an "elegant setting" in a structure designed to evoke the Vieux Carré and "outstanding" food that includes – but goes well beyond – the "holy trinity of turtle soup, eggs Benedict and bananas Foster" (plus cocktails that'll "knock you off your barstool" ); the prices are "expense-account heaven" , but hey, "it’s more than just a meal, it’s an experience.
Da Marco Cucina E Vino
Italian · Montrose · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.6

It’s "almost like being in Italy" coo legions of fans of this Montrose Italian, a longtime "Houston treasure" known for its "outstanding" fare – "the butternut squash ravioli is to die for" , the "truffle anything is fantastic" – and "excellent" wine list that’s "extensive in Italian offerings" ; the "warm, intimate" setting is tended by a "superb" staff, all adding up to an experience that’s "pricey, but worth the cost" ; P.S. beer and wine only.
Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse
Steakhouse · Downtown · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.5

A block from Minute Maid Park sits "one of those classic steak places" , complete with "perfectly seasoned" meats, "seafood so fresh you might have to slap it" , an expansive wine list and "one of the nicest bars in Downtown" ; the decor is requisitely masculine and there’s "standout" service too, so no wonder it’s "always busy.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
Steakhouse · Briargrove · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

"Everything you would expect in a quality steakhouse" is found at this classy, masculine Briargrove flagship of the Pappas empire that features "amazing beef and seafood" , "delicious" desserts ( "if you have room after a wonderful meal" ) and an "exceptional" wine list; sure, it’s "expensive" , but throw in "impeccable" service, and no wonder some say it’s among the "best steakhouses in Houston."
Seafood · Galleria · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

Touted as "excellent in every respect" , this "top-tier" Galleria-area New American offers "varied selections" of mains and more including game and "unusual fish species" that "always taste fresh out of whatever sea they came from" ; "reasonably quiet for a Houston restaurant" and sporting a contemporary look with clean lines and muted colors, it’s a "great choice for an expense-account dinner" or "special occasion."
Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse
Briargrove · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

A "multitude of skewered meats" "just keeps coming" at this Briargrove Brazilian steakhouse chain link that also has options for non- "carnivorous cavemen" thanks to an "exceptional salad bar" and "sides that delight" ; the gaucho-attired staff provides "impeccable service" , but note that you "gotta go hungry to get your money’s worth.
Seafood · Greenway Plaza Area · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

Tony Vallone’s "timeless Houston classic" in Greenway Plaza is "still at the top of the game" thanks to "spectacular" New American and Italian creations featuring "fresh, high-quality ingredients in thoughtful and delicious combinations" ; sure, it’s "pricey" , but with "unmatched" service and a setting adorned with abstract works from boldface artists, it’s the "epitome of fine dining in all aspects."
Damian's Cucina Italiana
Italian · Midtown · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

Expect an "old-fashioned dining experience" at this upscale Midtown Italian that’s been turning out "wonderful" meals made with "fresh ingredients" for three decades; "low noise levels" are "great for dinner conversation" , and "one huge plus: they have a shuttle to the Theater District."