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Aug 15, 2012 12:59 PM

solo diner looking for recs - staying downtown w/ car

I'm coming into town shortly and looking for a few dinner recommendations where a solo diner wouldn't feel too out of place.

Love all food types. Traveling from Los Angeles so I can get most things here but if it's great - tell me about it.

Not really looking for "fancy" - ethnic is great, as is Tex-Mex, BBQ, and Viet. Not a HUGE Chinese food fan so I'm ok with skipping that.

thanks in advance

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  1. I will recommend:

    Brennan's for Cajun/Creole

    El Real for Vintage Tex-Mex; Try the Enchis and/or Puffy Taco


    BBQ Inn for Chicken Fried Steak or Fried Chicken, but NOT the BBQ. Add a shrimp and/or oyster!

    Not really my part of town, and you will probably get more specific and trendy reccs but I like these.

    Enjoy your visit.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DoobieWah

      you had me at Fried Chicken...thanks for the recs...keep 'em coming!

    2. Well, I love Feast, so I have to throw it out as an option, although they don't have a bar area (I personally prefer grabbing a seat at the bar when dining solo).

      Tex Mex-wise, agreed that El Real is quite good, despite the sometimes mixed reviews. I also like El Tiempo (prefer the Washington location), and they have a bar which makes solo dining easy.

      For Vietnamese, I like Huynh (especially the duck salad), although for a solo dining experience, Mai's might be better. I'm not the Mai's fan that some people are, but I do enjoy the bo luc lac.

      Brennan's is great, and I love their bar area. Oh, another in that area that I really enjoy is Jeannine's Bistro (Belgian beer & moules frites).

      1. Forget the BBQ, you are not in prime BBQ real estate. I third El Real for a taste of old school Tex-Mex and Feast for an unforgettable nose to tail meal. There are in excess of 230 Vietnamese restaurants and the Houston area is known for that food. My fav is Van Loc near downtown, but others could point you to more places since my experience is limited that area. If you want to do your own searches by area of town and/or cuisine, use the interactive which is local to Houston and has consumer reviews much like Yelp and probably about as reliable. I eat out by myself all the time and don't feel awkward about it, but these are not date night places so you should feel comfy. I see solo diners at Feast everytime I go, probably out-of-towners checking out the place that caused so much buzz around the country when it opened a few years ago. Enjoy!

        1. I'll agree that Brennan's is great. If you just want something cheap and cajun for lunch, there's always Treebeards which is probably within walking distance of your hotel. It's in the tunnels under 1100 Louisiana.

          I've always been fond of Indika - upscale Indian food slightly fusiony. I prefer their vegetarian dishes best. Not your cheap and cheerful Indian. Upscale decor and prices.

          For Thai food, my favorite is Kanomwon on Telephone Road.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kagemusha49

            I really enjoy Indika also. The goat brain masala is quite good and otherwise the vegetarian dishes tend to be where it shines (although I had a good venison dish the last time I was there, admittedly a while ago). My favorite at Kanomwan is the tom ka gai.

          2. lolabelow, did you come? What did you try?

            If you haven't yet arrived for your Houston visit, I want to put in a plug for the Sunday Brunch at Hugo's. Not Tex/Mex, it's world-class interior Mexican food, and the Sunday Brunch Buffet is spectacular. There's always live music and, since it's a buffet, you can taste lots of things, even though you're dining on your own.

            I'm a single gal "of a certain age," and I've been to that brunch several times by myself. It's utterly perfect for that. And it's an exquisite taste of something that you cannot get very many other places, outside of Mexico City's swankiest eateries.


            Like I said... Perfect.