Houston's Best for Group Dining

The more the merrier at these celebration destinations
November 22, 2017
by Zagat Staff

From celebratory dinners to brunch with the gang, these locales offer the best of group dining in Houston.

Killen's Steakhouse
Seafood · $$$

Le Cordon Bleu–trained chef Ronnie Killen has moved his award-winning Pearland steakhouse, known for such prime cuts as the signature Wagyu long bone-in rib-eye, to a larger and more luxurious spot, with personal wine lockers, a generous patio, private rooms and Frette linen–clothed tables sparkling with Riedel stemware.
State Fare Kitchen & Bar
Memorial · $$

From the Cherry Pie Hospitality Group (Petite Sweets, Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts) comes this hip Memorial outpost serving Southern fare such as beef chili Frito pie, pork chops and mac ‘n’ cheese, along with down-home desserts, cocktails and myriad craft beers.
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Bar · Near Northside · $

Seasonal brews and year-round classics are the draw at this veteran craft brewery (since 1994) just north of Downtown, also serving a weekday lunch of updated comfort food. The expansive hall is filled with communal tables, with tours and beer tastings available on weekends.
One Fifth Romance Languages
Mediterranean · Montrose · $$$$

Chris Shepherd (Underbelly) expands his presence in Montrose with this swanky European-inspired kitchen serving a nose-to-tail menu of Spanish, French and Italian dishes like pasta, paella and suckling pig plus raw bar items alongside wine and craft cocktails. Soft greens, blues and purples accentuate the circa-1927 former church, while 19 custom art pieces appear throughout and airy fabric drapes from above; the space also includes a choir loft for service and private events.
Roka Akor | Houston
Japanese · Greenway Plaza Area · $$

Robata-grilled prime beef and seafood headline this sleek Japanese steakhouse in River Oaks, a member of an upscale global chain, also offering a sushi bar, cocktails and housemade soju. A chic lounge anchors one end of the contemporary space, which is decked in pale woods and slate-colored walls, and includes a patio.
Liberty Kitchen at the Tree House
American · Memorial · $$

A sibling to Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar and Liberty Kitchen Garden Oaks, this cheerful Westside locale offers a seafood-centric menu including oysters, gumbo and poke alongside American comfort eats such as meatloaf, mac ’n’ cheese and fried chicken, plus weekend brunch, in a colorful space with a patio.
American · Rice Village · $$

A diverse selection of flavors is the hallmark of this relaxed American cafe in Rice Village, where dishes draw on Greek, Italian, American and Tex-Mex cuisines. Modern decor lends a fresh vibe to the spacious dining room and expansive patio, and there's an upstairs lounge for those over-21.
Fielding's Local Kitchen + Bar
American · $$

From the team behind Fielding's Wood Grill comes this expansive, 4,500-sq.-ft. New American in Tomball featuring dry-aged meats, housemade charcuterie and fresh pasta. The bright space has floor-to-ceiling windows, plus a full bar pouring wine and a rotating list of 20 craft beers on tap.
Mexican · Montrose · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

Definitely “not your typical Mexican restaurant” , this longtime, upscale Montrose hot spot showcases chef Hugo Ortega’s “imaginative” south-of-the-border cuisine that “consistently surprises you with interesting combinations and new flavors” ; the “excellent tequila, mezcal and wine lists” fuel the “fun, festive” atmosphere (hence the dining room can get “noisy” ); P.S. Sunday brunch is “fantastic” , so call ahead for reservations.
King's BierHaus
German · Heights · $$

Guests order from a large wooden barrel counter at this massive Heights-area tavern serving modern takes on such European classics as housemade sausages, schnitzel and Viennese goulash, plus American dishes like burgers and fried chicken. The sprawling, old-country setup features two bars pouring German beers (including two exclusive brews), craft cocktails and wine, and a dog-friendly biergarten offers a waterfall and yard games.
Steak 48
Steakhouse · Galleria · $$$

From the team behind Steak 44 in Phoenix comes this upscale River Oaks steak-and-seafood concept with a posh second-level lounge. Kitchen specialties include a raw-bar menu and fresh shellfish, prime beef and chops, plus classic appetizers and entrees (gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available).
American · Montrose · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

A “testament to multicultural Houston” , “innovative” chef Chris Shepherd’s “hip” , contemporary New American in Montrose puts forth an “ever-changing” , “creative” menu that runs the gamut from “amazing house-cured meats” to “Asian-influenced sauces” and beyond; regulars suggest “go with a group and share a variety of dishes” along with selections from the “playful” , “affordable” wine list, because the “thing about this place is that it’s just fun.”
French · Downtown · $$

Comfort fare with a global spin, including upscale takes on pizza, burgers and salads, joins craft beer and festive cocktails at this groovy Downtown gastropub that hugs Phoenicia Specialty Market (the two businesses share owners). A mix of tables and bar seating fill the high-energy space, which features live music and special events like karaoke.
Perry's Steakhouse & Grille
Steakhouse · Memorial · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

“Steaks cooked to perfection” are a given at this homegrown “high-end” chophouse chain, but it’s the signature pork chops doled out in portions so generous that “servers rightfully should wear lumbar support” that have meat-lovers uttering “one word: phenomenal” ; “sophisticated decor and ambiance” and “smooth, attentive” service are added perks, but the “pricey” tabs move it into “special-occasion” territory.
Yauatcha - Houston
Chinese · Galleria · $$$$

Refined Cantonese dim sum is the focus of this sleek, buzzy tearoom in the Jewel Box building at The Galleria (the first continental U.S. outpost of a global chain), which also serves intricate desserts, extended tea service and Asian-inspired cocktails. Muted midcentury furnishings are offset by colored glass wall panels throughout the contemporary space, while a large lounge offers intimate seating under a ceiling lit to resemble the night sky.