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One night/ two days in Houston - where should we go?

My husband will be in Houston for business the end of Nov/ beginning of December. I am flying in on Saturday afternoon and leaving Sunday evening to visit him for his birthday. This is my first trip to Texas and although it is a short one, I would love some insight on some great places to go to in Houston. We love all kinds of food and since the hotel and flight have been taken care of budget isn't an option. Thanks!

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  1. If budget is no issue, then I would definitely do Hugo's for upscale interior Mexican. Also recommend Cafe Annie for high end dining.

    Houston has a large Vietnamese population so the Viet food is some of the best in the country. Search these boards and you'll get lots of recs.

    1. One of my favorites is Churrasco's -- it's South American. There is one at Shepherd and Westheimer and another at Gessner and Westheimer. Magnolia Grill on Richmond for Cajun, Qin Dynasty on Buffalo Speedway & Westpark for Chinese, also Hunan's on Post Oak, Pappadeaux for seafood (several locations). That's just a few. Enjoy your stay.

      1. I am a native Houstonian and can say without a doubt that the place to dine on Saturday night in Houston is at Pappas Brothers Steakhouse on Westheimer not far from the Houston Galleria. Celebrate your husband's birthday at Sunday Brunch at Brennan's Restaurant www.brennanshouston.com. Brennan's is a New Orleans style restaurant with a jazz treo during Sunday brunch. They will treat your husband like a king, so let them know it is his birthday. Have a bloody Mary, a delicious brunch and top it off with bananas foster, their specialty. This is near downtown on Smith Street. Both of these restaurants are superb! My family loves these places for special occasions. Bon apetite.

        2 Replies
        1. re: umujmw

          Brennan's looks amazing! Thank you.
          How does Pappas Brothers Steakhouse compare to Vic and Anthonys (which my husband raves about from his earlier to trips to Houston)?

          1. re: njhound

            IMO Pappas Brothers and Vic and Anthonys are the two top steakhouses in town. Go to Pappas so your husband can compare.

        2. This is a good choice for some more exotic food. It's very good and is in a quaint location with beautiful scenery.


          1. I second Churrasco's, you can cut the steak with a fork, plus they have other wonderful menu items.
            I also like Qin Dynasty and if you're downtown try China Garden. They have the best egg rolls and lemon chicken I've ever eaten.
            Luling City on Richmond at the Galleria area has great BBQ.

            1. Upscale gourmet Italian: Da Marco (montrose area)
              sophisticated seafood with excellent wine: Reef (midtown)
              Tasting menu: 17 at the Alden Hotel (downtown)

              1. Here are some ideas

                1. Use the Houston dining website www.b4-u-eat.com

                2. Upscale restaurants - to consider
                - Da Marco's
                - Marks
                - BICE
                - REEF

                3. Foodie but not pretentious

                - Shade
                - Tafia
                - Gravitas

                3. My personal favorite
                Fab food, nice but not pretentious, excellent wine

                Order the crabfingers and the oven beefsteak tomato salad and you not need any entrees - yummy


                4. An interesting popular Houston place
                Americas - nice restaurant, great food, loud though. owned by Cordua family. Great food if you like beef. Family also owns Churrasco's

                5. Alot of people like Hugo's - I can't stand it. Interestingly it is owned by same group that owns my favorite restaurant - Prego

                1. It would be helpful if we knew what type of food you prefer. I don't agree with Pappas as being a "great steakhouse". There are a lot of places in Houston to get a great steak and Pappas is one of them, if you don't mind paying the bill. Personally I prefer Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in the Woodlands. Great atmosphere, fabulous service, wonderful steaks and a world class wine list. Also, though still expensive, you will have a smaller check. It is north of Houston and a little drive, but it is in one of the newer and most posh areas of Houston. The Woodlands area and Market Square are a destination worth visting even without Flemings.

                  If you enjoy classic French cuisine we have one of the top, in my opinion, French restaurants in the world in the little suburb of Humble on the northeast side of Houston. I love french cuisine and have been lucky enough to eat in some great establishments throughout the world (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Montreal, Paris, Tours, Orleans, New Orleans and Sydney among others) which were all world class and wonderful restaurants. But my favorite, hands down, is the petite restaurant Chez Nous in Humble Texas. If you are in Houston do yourself a favor and have dinner there. Another bonus with Chez Nous is that although you will experience world class cuisine and service, you will not have a heart attack when the check arrives. When placing your dinner order, ask you waiter to place an order for the "Trois Souffles" for desert. It is three small souffles (one chocolate, one raspberry-Lemon and one grand marnier) that in most cases will serve as desert for two. You must give the Chef enough time to prepare them and that is why you need to order with your meal. If you and your husband want a romantic night to remember this would be my recommendation.

                  If you like Vietnamese food, or would like to try something new, Kim Son would be the place to go. It is on the eastern side of downtown Houston not far from the Toyota Center. It's a little noisy and gets pretty crowded, but the service is great and the food again is world class. The vietnamese eggrolls are the best I have ever had. If you like shrimp, they have a dish that is not on the menu but is fabulous. Just ask for sizzling shrimp. They are lightly battered in Pecan flour, fried and served on a sizzling platter with butter sauce, jalapenos, onion and bell peppers. They usually serve a bakers dozen and my wife and I split a plate. This is another Houston establishment that not only has great food but is also very reasonably priced.

                  Have a great time while in Houston.