River Oaks is the wealthiest, most luxurious part of Houston. It’s renowned for its celebrity appearances, breathtaking green lands, staggering mansions, and impressive estates.
So, it won’t surprise me to learn that when it comes to restaurants in River Oaks Houston, there are some exceptional spots.
However, you won’t be swarmed with Michelin restaurants and world-class eateries on every corner. While they have plenty of these, there are also some incredible casual dining spots.
River Oaks was developed during the 1920s and has since become the place for many visiting Houston who want to experience its charm and lavish attractions.
There are also many great places to stay in Houston, so if you still need to solidify your abode for your trip, check out my recent reviews of the best Airbnbs in the area.
Best Restaurants in River Oaks Houston
I will take you through my favorite River Oaks restaurants throughout this listicle.
I’ve covered an excellent selection of cuisines, from Italian pizza to loaded burgers and everything in between.
I have looked at places suitable for the whole family, including the kids, and some better suited for a romantic date.
I have also made a few notes on pricing on some of the locations, so you can get an idea of what you’ll be spending before you visit. It’s always good to have a heads-up in this department.
Ok, let’s take a look.
1. Hopdoddy Burger Bar
|Address||4444 Westheimer Road Ste H100, Houston, TX|
|Food||Burgers, loaded brussel sprouts, kids meals, shakes, salads, fries|
|My Recommendation||Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich|
I promised you something casual amongst all the luxury and fine dining, so that’s where I will start. First, however, make sure to let this burger bar fool you, it might be laid-back in terms of the food, but the flavors are premium quality.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar serves some of the best burgers I’ve eaten for an even greater price.
Don’t get me wrong; I love a beef burger; however, the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich is my favorite on this menu. Crispy fried spicy chicken, served on a toasted bun with kale slaw, house sauce, avocado mayo, and pickles. It’s the perfect sandwich.
They also have a great selection of sides, and I urge you to check out the fries menu. You’ll notice the hot honey and sage fries, amongst many other options, but I highly recommend these.
Suppose you want something a bit healthier than fries. In that case, they have a menu dedicated to loaded Brussels sprouts with toppings such as parmesan truffle, bbq ranch, buffalo, and blue cheese.
This place is enjoyable and great for dining with the whole family; the kids will love it. You can get a decent kids’ meal for just $7.50, with fries and a drink.
The burgers here are around the $10.00 mark, a bargain if you ask me.
2. La Griglia
|Address||2002 West Gray Street, Houston, TX 77019|
|Food||Italian pizza, caviar, scallops, muscles, ahi tuna|
|My Recommendation||Wedding Soup and Pepperoni Pizza|
Italian is up there with some of my favorite cuisines, possibly my all-time favorite. I can’t get enough of pizza and pasta when I’m not preparing it at home.
So, when I stumbled across this quaint Italian restaurant in River Oaks, I was in my element.
The restaurant has been in business for over 30 years, offering authentic Italian cuisine and excellent service.
It’s quite an upmarket establishment, but it still has that welcoming, laid-back vibe you look for when dining out, and the staff is just fabulous.
I’ve recommended the pepperoni pizza because I always think less is more when it comes to Italian pizzas, so I often order something classical. It was perfectly spiced, the tomato base was fresh and homemade, and they used high-quality mozzarella cheese.
I also shared a portion of the Wedding Soup, mainly because we were intrigued by it, but it was an excellent decision. It was a light yet rich-tasting chicken broth with chicken meatballs, crunchy vegetables, and tubetti pasta.
The Pepper-Crusted Ahi Tuna also comes highly recommended if you’re craving seafood.
You can get great deals if you head down during Happy Hour between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm in the bar area and patio. Dishes from this menu include Crab Devilled Eggs, Short Rib Sliders, Arancini, Pizza, and a nice sharing board that you can pair with a selection of drinks.
3. Brasserie 19
|Address||1962 W Gray Street, Houston, TX 77019|
|Food||Charcuterie, oysters, lobster, caviar, steak tartare, octopus, pasta, steak|
|My Recommendation||French Onion Soup and Beef Filet Carpaccio|
If you’re looking for somewhere truly classy that will make you feel extra special or looking for the perfect spot for a special occasion, then Brasserie 19 is ideal.
I’ll be honest with you if you’re a first-timer here, you’re going to struggle to select something because the menu alone has your mouth watering before anything even emerges from the kitchen.
The French Onion Soup is easy to overlook, but I recommend that you don’t. It will blow your mind if you have it as a main course or are hungry enough to enjoy it as a starter. You can taste every bit of the ingredients, the sweetness from the caramelized onions, the rich, savory flavors of the beef consomme, and the saltiness of the gruyere cheese. It was also only $11.00.
The Beef Carpaccio is perfect and fresh, and the arugula and chimichurri complement it perfectly. It only set me back by $23.00, which was reasonable.
Overall, the whole menu is priced respectably. Everything is reasonable, and you can quickly get a great main course for under $25.00. Considering this is fine dining, it is marvelous.
Also, suppose you’re not in a fine-dining kind of mood. In that case, you have dishes like the Brasserie 19 Cheeseburger with lettuce, onion, pickles, and some fantastic skinny fries.
4. State of Grace
|Address||3256 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77098|
|Food||Oysters, pasta, seafood, steak, chicken|
|My Recommendation||Denver Steak|
Suppose you’re looking for great food shots to upload to your instance or want somewhere super on-trend to check into on Facebook and make your friends and family jealous. In that case, the State of Grace is undoubtedly the place.
You should have your credit card handy for this one, as the food will cost you an arm and a leg. You want to order the cheapest thing on the menu here because there are many unique dishes.
The restaurant is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. I’d recommend the Denver Steak or the Diver Scallops if you visit in the evening.
They have some delightful starters, too, such as roasted octopus with garlic, radish, and peanuts. Grilled strawberries with fennel, greens, and goat’s cheese are also a treat for the tastebuds.
If you want to splash out on an early brunch, you’ll have the choice of delicacies such as pork jowl, beignets, roasted oysters, and hushpuppies with blue crab and syrup butter.
There are also some stunning pasta dishes, such as Pacchetti with Crawfish and beef cheek bolognese, which is to die for.
You won’t get food quite like this anywhere else in the area, and not only is it unique, it’s all cooked and presented beautifully.
If you were wondering how much this high-end restaurant would cost for a meal, it depends on when you go. The brunch menus are reasonable, with many dishes between $20.00 and $40.00. However, when you come for the dinner menu, you should expect to spend more than $40.00 plus on a single course.
5. Graffiti Raw
|Address||1001 California Street, Houston, TX 77006|
|Food||Seafood, caviar, shrimp cocktail, salad, spaghetti, pork ribs|
|My Recommendation||Charred Octopus|
Graffiti Raw is a brand-spanking new, vibrant, and refreshing restaurant on the scene in River Oaks, which guests are going crazy for, and it’s not hard to see why.
The first thing that jumps out here is the amazing menu; they have some dishes I’d certainly never seen anywhere before, which I love; keeping food contemporary and fresh is what it’s all about.
I’ve eaten nothing bad here and could name several dishes as my favorite. Still, the one that sticks in my mind the most is the grilled octopus with chimichurri and chorizo. However, the caviar and chips and the seafood stack were also outstanding.
If you want something to share, you get a good taste of everything; then there are a couple of combo dishes for under $30.00, which are excellent. For instance, the Campechana includes lump crab, avocado, shrimp, onion, jalapenos, capers, olives, and a lovely homemade sauce.
One dish I have noticed is prevalent here is the Spaghetti Rustichella, which is flavored beautifully with lemon and chili and something called Santa Barbara Uni; if you’re unsure what Uni is, it’s the role of sea urchins, which is extremely hard to harvest, and not often seen on menus.
The vibe is relaxed, the decor is contemporary and simplistic, and it has a pure yet casual luxury feel.
So if you want to sample some of the best Californian food in the US, this is the best place to head. You won’t find anything else like it in Houston.
6. Sixty Vines
|Address||2540 University Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005|
|Food||Pizza, pasta, salad, cheese boards, meat platters|
|My Recommendation||Burrata Sharing Plate|
Sixty Vines has successfully served the people of River Oaks and guests from all over since the late 90s.
They offer woodfired pizzas and delightful pasta, but they’re most well-known for their immense wine selection. They have a feature wall loaded with 60 plus taps and over 100 wines available to purchase.
My favorite aspect of this restaurant is the open kitchen, where you can see the pizzas being fired through the oven.
The menu is extensive and the perfect place to gather with friends and family as many sharing options exist.
For example, my recommendation of Burrato comes with pesto, ciabatta, balsamic dip, and tomato and garlic confit.
The pizza menu is extensive regarding topping choices, such as mushroom and kale with goat’s cheese and spicy sausage with pickled fresno and fennel. The shrimp and smoked bacon are also pleasurable, with scallions and lemon.
Regarding price, you sure do get a lot for your money regarding food quality, quantity, and presentation.
7. Backstreet Cafe
|Address||1103 S Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX 77019|
|Food||Oysters, gumbo, crab cakes, meatballs, spring rolls, tacos, grilled chicken sandwich|
|My Recommendation||Jalapeno Fettuccine|
This stunning little restaurant has been operating for around forty years inside the setting of a 1930s house, making it packed full of historic character. You’ll notice features such as a marble var, a beautiful patio area, and a banqueting space.
The outdoor seating area makes this place special and worthy of making it to the list. It’s also the thing it’s most well-known for. Covered with blissful trees and surrounded by flowers and shrubbery, it’s a stunning dining place.
Some delightful dishes are on the menu, such as Pecan Chicken served with mashed potato and spinach in a pepper sauce. My recommendation is the Jalapeno Fettuccine which is topped with ricotta. I opted for this cause I like my food with a bit of heat, and it hit the spot perfectly.
Other dishes include salmon tacos, a perfectly crispy grilled chicken sandwich with red pepper remoulade, onion rings, arugula, and potato salad.
The service here is impeccable, and they have a great selection. There’s something for everyone, including vegetarians who can opt for dishes like whole roasted cauliflower. Also, the chef here is happy to reward each guest for meeting their requirements, so if you have any concerns or requests, they’ll be glad to assist.
The prices here were reasonable. The main courses are priced between $15.00 and $30.00, and the sides are around $9.00 each. Although the portion sizes aren’t huge, you get plenty for your money, it certainly fills you up, and most importantly, everything is made using fine ingredients and cooked to an extremely high standard.
To Sum Things Up
Those were my top picks for the best restaurants in River Oaks Houston; you’ve got your fair share to pick from, or why not work your way through them all? That’s what I did. If you’ve found this guide helpful and are planning to visit other parts of Houston, look at the best restaurants in Midtown and then look up some things to do during your trip.