Nothing says Houston like spicy Viet Cajun-style crawfish, and this Asiatown staple introduced the dish to hungry residents before Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods and David Chang’s Ugly Delicious brought the larger world’s attention to chef Trong Nguyen, who’s earned a James Beard semifinalist nod. During crawfish season, it’s criminal not to order the namesake dish, a stir-fried buttery garlic delicacy with just the right amount of spice. Other worthy dishes include stir-fried blue crab, chicken wings, and bo luc lac, stir-fried beef with rice. No need to dress up for this casual West Houston spot; just take a group for maximum ordering capacity. Oh, and ask for a bib.
You might know about Houston’s food already, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s all just Tex-Mex. This is one of the most exciting culinary scenes in America (partly owed to its population of over six million), and the food is as diverse as its population.
So yes, there’s some of the best Tex-Mex and barbecue you’ll ever taste, but there’s also the fantastic Chinese food in Houston’s Chinatown, the fresh seafood from the Gulf Coast, and some rather decadent European fare too (yes, there is cods roe). Whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s something for you here. These are the best restaurants in Houston.
This article was written by Texas-based James Wong. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.