If you’re looking to live your best life, shop til you drop, stay at some of the best hotels in Houston, and eat some of the most delectable dishes in the city, this guide to the most excellent restaurants in Uptown, Houston, will exceed your expectations.
I’ve been visiting Houston for over half of my life, generally sightseeing, visiting loved ones, or something more mundane such as being sent here for something work-related.
Given my extensive knowledge of the area and all its splendid districts, I thought, why not make myself useful and advise others on the best places to get food, stay over, or even find the most entertaining activities in Houston.
No matter your reason for being in the city, finding great places to eat is a staple for any trip, vacation, or even day out. I have put together this informative guide of the best tried and tested restaurants in Uptown Houston.
Best Restaurants in Uptown Houston For Amazing Food
So, at the end of a long day, after exploring the famous shopping malls and checking out the hot spots such as the Gerald. D. Hines Water Wall, you’ll be on the lookout for somewhere great to dine.
I have compiled a collective list of my favorite places to eat in Uptown Houston; whether you’re looking for a casual lunch or a fine-dining dinner, I’ve covered it all.
I’ve considered various budgets, so there’s something at the lower end of the scale and some places more suited to special occasions.
A good selection of restaurants also caters to different tastes, specifications, and dietary requirements.
Let’s take a closer look.
|Address||9655 Katy Freeway, Suite 190, Houston, TX 77024|
|Food||Shellfish, oysters, mussels, steak, chops, foie gras|
|My Recommendation||Wakame Crusted Tuna|
To start my guide, I decided to review one of the most iconic restaurants in the whole of Houston, never mind just in Uptown.
It has reached its popularity and become a staple of Houston because of its attentive service, outstandingly fresh food, and extensive wine list. And when you combine these three factors, you’ve found yourself in a practically perfect dining setting.
The menu here is elaborate, and so are the prices. However, the dishes are worth every dime, and if you’re celebrating a special occasion, then I wouldn’t think it would be a problem for most.
One of the dishes I would recommend the most if you like spice and seafood is the Wakame Crusted Tuna. This is served with wasabi potatoes, Asian broccoli and edamame beans, pickled apricots, cucumber, and char siu. This cost me $42.00, just to give you a rough idea of how the entrees are priced.
There are lower-cost options. For example, they have a raw bar with plenty of choices, such as Coconut Mussels with Miso Vinaigrette, which is only $14.00. There’s also Spicy Tuna and Shrimp Rolls for $15.00.
Some of the seafood do vary in price depending on when you visit due to market value.
If you’re looking for vegetarian options, the entrees are lacking in selection. However, there are items such as Tempura Mushroom Rolls and a West Coast Spinach Salad with macadamia nuts and honey mustard sauce. The Heirloom Tomato Salad is also flavorsome and refreshing.
|Address||2200 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 160, Houston, TX 77056|
|Food||Mexican, seafood, pork ribs, empanadas, lobster tortilla, mussels|
|My Recommendation||Pescado Zarandeado|
If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food and an escape from the humdrum of fajitas, tacos, and enchiladas, you’ve found your next destination to dine in.
The name is Caracol actually means “snail” in Spanish. The owners decided on this name for their restaurant due to the chef’s memories of cooking snails when he lived in Mexico.
The dishes on this menu showcase food from all along the coast of Mexico, covering sixteen states, so you can sample cuisine from across the entire country.
There is quite a lot of emphasis on seafood on this menu, and if you’re dining with a large group, I would suggest sharing the Torre De Mariscos. This colossal sharing dish consists of mussels, oysters, ceviche canario, lobster tails, campechana, crab fingers, clams, aioli, canario mignonette, and a homemade sauce. It’s priced at $140.00, so definitely, one to divvy out between a group.
My recommendation is the Pescado Zarandeado, a delicious marinated and grilled white fish, butterflied and served with talla sauce, garlicky and full of zesty, acidic flavors that complement the fish perfectly.
Oh, and be sure to head down on Saturdays between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm for their Crawfish Boil. You can get 2 lbs of crawfish for $18.00.
3. Truluck’s Ocean’s Finest Seafood and Crab – Houston
|Address||5350 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77056|
|Food||Crab claws, oysters, lobster bisque, lump crab, sandwiches, seared tuna, steak|
|My Recommendation||Sushi Grade Tuna|
This is a highly refined seafood restaurant, one of the best in the area. As a matter of fact, at least, I think so, and so do hundreds of other seafood lovers who frequent this high-end restaurant.
One of the primary things you look for when dining on seafood is how fresh it is, right? Well, you won’t get much fresher than this, as every item brought to the plate was in the sea less than 24 hours prior.
It’s not just the superior fish; it’s the whole package. All ingredients used are locally sourced, seasonal, and as fresh as can be, and they don’t skimp on the portions either, considering the quality.
On top of all the exceptional food factors, the service is up to par with the rest of it, if not better. The staff is on hand and will ensure your glass is never empty and your every whim is catered for.
My recommendation might not be to everyone’s taste, as raw fish isn’t for everyone. However, if it’s something you’re into, I highly suggest you give this melt-in-your-mouth fish a try.
However, if you want something a little more substantial, then you simply must try the Jalapeno Salmon Bearnaise, served with blue crab and shrimp.
Let’s say you’re not quite the fine-dining, seafood kind of eater; not to worry, there are some perfectly acceptable dishes for you, too, such as a cheeseburger, albeit a pretty expensive cheeseburger at $19.00 a pop. There’s also steak, crab cakes, and chicken stroganoff, amongst other things.
If you’re looking for some with less meat, perhaps the plant-based meatballs or roast cauliflower steak will tickle your fancy.
They also have an impeccable cocktail menu. I recommend the Pretty in Pink with mashed strawberries, vodka, almond syrup, mint, and fresh lemon.
4. Grotto Ristorante
|Address||4715 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77027|
|Food||Italian, meatballs, scampi, soups, pasta, pizza, seafood, veal, parmigiana|
|My Recommendation||Meatzza Pizza|
Italian food is by far my favorite cuisine, and you’ll already know that if you’ve read any of my other restaurant guides, I simply can’t get enough. The classical flavors, the simple cookery, the clean, fresh flavors of Italian ingredients, and Grotto combine all these factors perfectly, alongside impeccable service.
One thing I love about authentic Italian restaurants, it’s how they feel so timeless, the decor, the music, the tableware. It all has a way of making you feel you’re in the middle of Italy, and this place offers all that.
Grottos offers authentic Italian food to dine in or take away. Personally, I would always recommend eating in to get the full experience.
Of course, I had to order the pizza to my usual standard. However, I did steer away from my usual Margarita or Pepperoni this time and opted for the Meatzza. Pepperoni with meatballs, pancetta, and Italian sausage. It was absolutely stunning. I still think I prefer the more classical toppings; that’s just me loving the simplicity of Italian pizza; some might say mundane, but I say definitively.
The menu offers much more than just pizza and pasta. Some options include Chilean Sea Bass, Crusted Red Snapper, Parmesan Veal, and Chicken Parmigiana.
Grotto is staying up there with the higher-priced restaurants I’ve spoken about so far, but they do come in slightly cheaper. The pizzas average around $20.00, pasta is about the same, and the other entrees will cost you between $24.00 and $49.00, the latter being for the filet steak, so that’s only expected.
5. True Food Kitchen
|Address||1700 Post Oak Boulevard, Houston, TX 77056|
|Food||Ramen, lasagne, burrata, thai tuna, poke, salad, noodles, paninis, pizza, burgers, pasta|
|My Recommendation||Bone Broth Chicken Ramen|
This place is a little confusing, or at least the menu is. It’s hard to tell precisely what cuisine this is. I mean, you’ve got Thai fish dishes, Korean BBQ, and Italian pesto pasta to a smoked cheese turkey burger?
So, what’s it all about?
Despite the labyrinth of cuisine, when you learn more about their vision, it all starts to make sense.
The chefs and owners at True Food Kitchen aren’t focused so much on food culture and one style of food. Instead, they concentrate on good, wholesome food that provides nourishment, flavor, and wellness.
Their central vision here is to provide guests with a meal sourced via sustainable methods, contains tons of health benefits, such as antioxidants and vitamins, and, more importantly, uses ingredients that pack a punch in terms of flavor and satisfy a craving. So whether you want a hot bowl of Asian soup, fresh Italian-style pasta, or a juicy burger, you’ve got it all in one place, made healthily.
I opted for something a little on the lighter side, not because I wasn’t hungry, I’m always hungry, but because I love Ramen. I make quite a lot at home and make my master stock from scratch, so I’m always eager to try out other people and see how it’s done.
I wasn’t disappointed in this rich chicken broth with roasted mushrooms, boiled egg, and spicy chilis. I’d definitely go back for more.
There are literally tons of options here, so no matter what your preferred style of food is, you’ll find something to appease your taste, without a doubt.
Regarding the price, we’re still on the grounds of $20.00 – $25.00 for a main course. These days it’s nearly impossible to find a budget restaurant in Uptown, Houston, if you want to eat well.
6. House of Pies
|Address||6142 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77075|
|Food||Chicken pot pie, chicken tenders, sandwiches, fried chicken, spaghetti, fish and chips|
|My Recommendation||Chicken Pot Pie|
You might have been working your way through my guide thinking, “Where’s the cheap eats at” considering I promised to have something for all eventualities. Well, here’s the low-cost restaurant you’ve been waiting for in Uptown, Houston.
While I still can’t say it’s considerably “cheap” as such, you can get a substantially large entree for just $15.00, not so bad, I say.
The menu here is pretty extensive, so you might want to allow yourself an extra half an hour upon arrival to scout the menu (or do what I do and spend the night before scrutinizing every dish online).
This menu is full of staple dishes you expect to see here in the States, like chicken fried steak, beef fajitas, French Dip, tacos, and my favorite, the chicken pot pie. I felt obliged to order this because, after all, it’s called the House of Pies, and if I’m honest, this was the only pie I saw on the menu; a little confusing, but I’m not complaining.
They have an excellent sandwich menu, which has around 35 sandwich selections. They literally have everything you can think of, from BLT, cheeseburgers, tuna melts, and Po-boys. You can pick some of these sandwiches up for under $10.00, a bonus.
Considering the size of this menu, I was pretty surprised at the lack of vegetarian options. Not that it matters to me, but anyone who doesn’t eat meat, they might find themselves a little restricted. There are a couple of items, such as a baked potato or cottage cheese with peaches, but it’s really limited.
7. Roostar Vietnamese Grill
|Address||5551 Richmond Avenue, Chimney Rock, Houston, TX 77056|
|Food||Banh Mi, build-you-own boxes, pork belly, chicken wings, ribeye|
|My Recommendation||Yellow Beef Curry|
I’ve ended this guide on another casual dining, low-cost restaurant in Uptown, Houston, where you can easily get a bang for your buck regarding portion sizes and flavor.
This place offers a very minimalist menu, focusing mainly on Banh Mi sandwiches and DIY boxes.
The build-your-own boxes have a choice of protein, a base, a sauce, and a side (if desired). For example, I chose the yellow beef curry with white rice. I opted not to have a condiment or side on this occasion; the curry was saucy enough.
However, if you choose dryer meat, such as pork belly, grilled pork, or chicken, you can select ranch, sweet chili, fish sauce, or jalapeno cilantro cream.
There is a starter menu that includes items such as pork belly slaw, pate garlic toast, curried fried, and garlic bread.
There’s also a varied menu of chicken wings in marinades like lemon pepper, sriracha, garlic butter, and sweet chili. Oh, and the spring rolls are awesome too.
Probably the best thing about this restaurant is the fact that the prices are so reasonable. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always sit down to a fancy pants meal; sometimes, I am more than satisfied with great flavors and straight-up down-to-earth grub.
The boxes here, with protein, base, and sauce, can be bought for as little as $12.00. The chicken wings are $3.50 for two or $12.90 for eight.
Without a doubt, the star of the show for me at Roostar is the Banh Mi. Personally, I like Vietnamese ham with pork pate. You can also get a combo deal on these, where you get half a sandwich and a side or a cup of soup. The Creamed Corn and Thai Chicken Soup are both highly recommended.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my personal favorites and the most excellent restaurants in Uptown Houston, and fingers crossed, you’ve found your next destination for some great food in this incredible part of the city. If you’ve found this article helpful, I’ve got many other guides for you to look over, such as the best restaurants in Midtown Houston and the best restaurants to celebrate a birthday in Houston.