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Houston’s 20 Best Inner Loop Restaurants by Neighborhood

  • March 21, 2017
  • By admin
Houston’s 20 Best Inner Loop Restaurants by Neighborhood

Over 20 of the best restaurants around neighborhoods in Houston’s Inner Loop

Houston is the most culturally diverse city in America and all that diversity comes along with a fusion of food flavors. If you’ve never traveled around the world then Houston’s food scene is ideal for most any kind of world cuisine you crave!

Modern HTX has compiled a list of over 20 inner-loop restaurants that are local favorites in some of Houston’s most trendy neighborhoods. From Tex-Mex to authentic Vietnamese, I’m sure you’ll agree that these popular spots are worthy of repeat visits and recommendations to your foodie friends.

______________ NEIGHBORHOOD  –  FIRST WARD ________________

Beaver’s Houston
Offering a great variety of American pub fare, these American kitchens impress with a fantastic mac and cheese selection, barbecue, burgers and even amazing cocktails. The Washington Corridor original location has a funky vibe while its much larger Westheimer spin-off features a fire pit and an outdoor bar housed in a repurposed trailer. 2310 Decatur

Photo courtesy of Cafeza

Imagine yourself sipping a cup of artisan coffee, enjoying homemade churros y chocolate, and sampling an assortment of tapas or street-style tacos, as a steady flow of easy rhythms and the pleasant buzz of laughter and conversation floats above and around you.  That’s Cafeza. Cafeza is the original “Cafeceria”, a concept inspired by the cafés of Barcelona and Buenos Aires, as well as the neighborhood cervecerias and refresquerias that are ubiquitious in the diverse Hispanic communities in and around downtown Houston.  Cafeza combines the best of both worlds, along with an infusion of Texan hospitality, to create a completely new and unique experience. Cafeza offers an easygoing, vibrant atmosphere with design elements juxtaposing art nouveau and street art aesthetics.  Music is ever present, and evenings will feature performances by local musicians. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Cafeza is more than just a neighborhood coffee shop to study or have a quick meeting.  Cafeza is a destination, so come, breathe easy, and enjoy yourself! 1720 Houston Ave

______________ NEIGHBORHOOD  –  DOWNTOWN ________________

Bombay Pizza Co.
Not your typical pizza place, with unique flavors and lots of tasty options from sliders to pizza. This quick-serve spot for fusion pies featuring Indian toppings such as tandoori chicken & saag paneer. 914 Main St

Photo courtesy of Hearsay

Located in the twice reconstructed W. L. Foley building, the original Hearsay Gastro Lounge seamlessly blends elements of Houston’s robust history together with modern features to create an atmosphere both elegant and unpretentious at once. Their talented team of chefs have constructed an equally impressive menu with flavorful renditions of American classics. Interiors feature a sweeping chandelier and modern industrial light fixtures throughout. Its menu includes both Hearsay staples and dishes uniquely crafted for its downtown patrons. 218 Travis

______________ NEIGHBORHOOD  –  MONTROSE ________________

One Fifth Houston
Upscale steakhouse in a onetime church serving locally sourced meat & fish, plus wine and cocktails. Chris Shepherd (Underbelly) expands his presence in Montrose with this swanky steakhouse serving a nose-to-tail menu of steaks and chops, sides, wood-fired seafood and raw bar items alongside wine and craft cocktails. A dark palette of mahogany, zinc, red and steel blue accentuates the circa-1927 former church, while 19 custom art pieces appear throughout the space, which also includes a choir loft for service and private events. If you want a more interactive experience, try sitting at the raw bar and watch the chefs prepare your meal. 1658 Westheimer

Photo courtesy of Brasil

Brasil Cafe
With minimal signage, this hidden gem has tasty food and great outdoor seating. Brasil’s menu always features local ingredients, and they also try to utilize local services whenever possible. Opened in 1992 as the first specialty coffee establishment in Houston. The intention was to provide a venue that embodied quality design, products, people, and interaction. Houston has always been a diverse city, yet Brasil was the first establishment to welcome and encourage a connection between different groups. The details of the interior, the landscape, the music, the artwork, the staff, and the menu were designed to create interaction in an atmosphere of casual sophistication.  2604 Dunlavy St

Dolce Vita Pizzeria Enoteca
Wood-fired pies, innovative antipasti platters & well-curated wines shine at this bustling eatery. The second establishment in the Chef Marco Wiles family, Dolce Vita aims to bring the taste of true authentic Neapolitan pizza to Houston. Located in the heart of Montrose, Dolce Vita’s casual atmosphere with its custom imported wood burning oven will bring the true taste of Italian pizza to you with the quality the Wiles family is known for. 500 Westheimer

Photo courtesy of Snooze Eatery

Snooze Eatery
Vibrant, retro chain serving a seasonal menu of creative breakfast & lunch fare, plus cocktails. Sustainably minded breakfast and brunch are the focus at this upbeat, Colorado-based diner in Montrose with retro booth seating, bright colors and a wide variety of pancakes, eggs Benedict, mimosas & Bloody Marys. *LOCAL TIP – If you see a line around the corner or if you’re told to wait longer than 30 minutes…don’t be discouraged, add your name to the waiting list and go explore the surrounding neighborhood. Snooze will call or text you 10 minutes prior to being seated! 3217 Montrose

______________ NEIGHBORHOOD  –  UPPER KIRBY _______________

Local Foods
Local Foods is a scratch gourmet sandwich shop showcasing local edibles and seasonal salads, fresh soups & home-made snacks for the taking. 2555 Kirby

Photo courtesy of Pondicheri

Industrial-chic spot for Indian combo plates & unique dishes inspired by the streets of Mumbai. This Upper Kirby outpost that serves fresh and flavorful breakfasts, lunches and dinners and does not skimp on spices. Located at West Ave shopping-condo development, it features an industrial-chic setting along with a bustling atmosphere. 2800 Kirby

State of Grace
While the modern world churns, here is a place where life slows down, stops, takes us back through memory. Opened in the classic, refurbished Lamar-River Oaks Shopping Center, State of Grace is a place pulled from recollections. Executive Chef Bobby Matos strums a jubilant medley of old favorites played with new spice, accent, and freshness: southern, American, Latin, Gulf Coast, German, and Asian. Welcome to Texas in another time. Game hangs from the walls. An oyster bar moons into one dining room. Elegant lighting colors leather, brick, and wood. Stop by. Say hello. This is a place of business and banter, family and friends. A place where memories are made. Life is about having fun. Being with people you love. And eating good food. 3258 Westheimer

___________ NEIGHBORHOOD  –  WEST UNIVERSITY ____________

Helen Greek Food & Wine
Quaint taverna offering creative & modern takes on classic Greek fare, plus Hellenic wines. There’s a Greek word – filotimo. It’s that feeling you get from doing good and taking care of your neighbors. That’s us. All of us at Helen love Greek food and wine. We love sharing that passion with you. We were drawn together over our excitement for these flavors, these recipes, these stories, and creating a space that was as welcoming as Yia-Yia’s house. There’s another Greek word – parea. It’s the company of good friends, of building a community through good times. That’s you. And together, we make Helen. 2429 Rice

Photo courtesy of Tiny No. 5

Tiny Boxwoods – Tiny’s No. 5
Whether at the River Oaks original or Tinys No. 5 in West University (and coming soon to Austin), these two restaurants demonstrate the merits of well-prepared classic bistro fare. Diners can come by for a croissant and coffee at breakfast, a salad or burger for lunch, or wood-roasted mussels at dinner and know that each visit will be consistent. Last year’s expansion, which provided a dedicated outlet for the signature chocolate chip cookies, which demonstrate the perfect balance of a crispy edge, soft middle, and just the right level of salt, as well as baked goods, ice cream, and beverages, only further enhances the brand. 3614 W Alabama; 3636 Rice

The original idea behind Hungry’s was to offer delicious, healthy comfort food at affordable prices. The menu’s diverse array of international cuisines is part of Hungry’s DNA, much like that of Houston. Hard-working immigrants, Fred and his partners came to the U.S. for opportunities in education, bringing their taste for Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fares. In Houston, they discovered mouthwatering Southwestern cuisine. From these crossovers between their culinary traditions and their new context, came dishes such as Anaheim Chicken with herb basmati rice and the Shish Kabob with grilled vegetables and couscous. 2356 Rice Blvd

___________ NEIGHBORHOOD  –  MUSEUM DISTRICT ____________

MF Sushi
Elegant eatery offering sushi, modern Japanese dishes & a multicourse omakase dinner. The new MF Sushi in the Museum District is like the bespoke version of the old MF Sushi. Sleek and contemporary and simply stunning in design, this restaurant, even at two weeks old, is destined for greatness. 1401 Binz

Photo courtesy of PAX Americana

PAX Americana
Modern American cuisine in a quaint dining room with rotating contemporary art & a high-energy vibe. TEAM PAX-AM believes that true hospitality lies in the desire to better the lives of our fellow human beings. We hope to enrich our guest’s experiences via thoughtful and attentive service, by providing the freshest ingredients, prepared with care, craft and ingenuity and creating a sense of community and comfortable atmosphere to share these experiences with their friends, family and colleagues. 4319 Montrose

_____________ NEIGHBORHOOD  –  THE HEIGHTS _______________

Southern Goods
With its sprawling patio, well-priced cocktails, and creative menu, Southern Goods offers a lot of value to Heights residents. Although it doesn’t serve lunch, the restaurant does offer brunch and a late night menu on the weekends that would, at least theoretically, allow a diner to eat multiple meals there on the same day.  The menu changes regularly, but chef-owner Lyle Bento can be counted on to feature seasonally-appropriate, locally-sourced ingredients, backed up by a smoked item or two prepared by sous chef Patrick Feges. 632 W 19th

Photo courtesy of Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar
Breakfast, served Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., features brisket and potato hash; English muffin sandwiches; chicken sliders with cream gravy; chicken-fried steak with local hen eggs; fried oyster omelet; and mini breakfast donuts. Daily lunch and dinner offerings include fresh and charcoal grilled oysters; oyster stew and crab gumbo; grilled skirt steak Cobb salad; grilled fresh fish; grilled steaks; burgers (using daily-ground beef); fried shrimp and catfish sandwiches; My Dee Dee’s pies and soft-serve vanilla custard. 1050 Studewood

Barnaby’s Cafe – Heights
Colorful, upbeat eatery supplying heaping portions of classic American & Tex-Mex dishes. Serving large portions, this local chain with a relaxed, neighborhood vibe offers a varied menu that satisfy just about anyone; the pooch-themed digs are fun and eclectic. 2802 White Oak Dr

_____________ NEIGHBORHOOD  –  NEAR NORTHSIDE _____________

Asia Market Restaurant
Serving Thai, Laos. and Cambodian communities with import food products, fresh local vegetables and Authentic Thai food since 1980s, the only Thai market in Houston. Thai beers, local craft beers, wine, table service along with more varieties of food with the same great taste will make their new location as fun and as enjoyable for you. 4822 Fulton

Photo courtesy of Edison Houston

Edison Houston
A local Houston restaurant for people to step out of their busy lives and into a place where they can just be themselves, share stories, ideas, and just have fun. The Edison is first and foremost a watering hole for business people and artists, foodies and craft beer connoisseurs alike. The food is inventive, lively, and affordable. The bar appeases the palette of craft beer and specialty drink lovers. The community and spirt of Edison will begin and spread through hospitality and graciousness. 4203 Edison

_____________ NEIGHBORHOOD  –  EaDo ________________

Huynh Vietnamese Restaurant
Huynh is a family run restaurant that serves home-made Vietnamese food in a comfortable urban atmosphere. Huynh Restaurant has been in Houston for over 10 years. The EaDo location, just behind the convention center, is easily accessed from 59 or downtown. Their menu includes fresh spring rolls, rice plates, noodle bowls, stir-frys, hot soups, and other fresh traditional Vietnamese dishes. 912 Saint Emanuel

Photo courtesy of Ninfa’s on Navigation

Ninfa’s on Navigation
Ninfa’s could probably remain popular if it served nothing but fajitas, enchiladas, and margaritas, but recent renovations have the iconic restaurant flying higher than ever. An extensive kitchen remodel means the tacos al carbon are, for the first time, actually cooked over wood, which gives the grilled meats an appealing whiff of smoke. Customer comfort has also been increased with a new dining room and a dedicated waiting area (no more standing awkwardly around the hostess stand!). 2704 Navigation

Looking to buy or sell a home in one of these popular Houston neighborhoods?

Contact Modern Charm Realty today!

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1 Comment
  • Miskim Venice"Sam" Johnson
    March 21, 2017

    Very nice selection, I do like to visit Bombay Pizza, when I am not creating make to order custom Omelets and Waffles for Corporate, Automotive Service Department and Apartment communities. You should try our client retention services that we offer through our Brunch and Lunch action stations, which include Pasta Bowls and Mini Pizzas custom made to order at your location visit our website and place your order for tomorrow, today.

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