Superbowl Picks: My Top 5 MUST-EATs in Houston
As a food blogger and Houston food tour guide, people ask me all the time where my favorite places to eat are. I've lived in Houston my whole life and have been crazy about food my whole life, so I like to think that my credibility is somewhat sufficient? But just trust me on this...I wouldn't lead you astray.
We'll start this list as a countdown, going from least favorite, to most-favorite. But come on guys, these are my 5 favorite, any of these would be a great choice.
My choices are based on what I think a visitor should eat to understand Houston's food culture and just our culture as a city! You probably won't find any fine dining on this list, but you will find the essence of Houston in these places. We're a hugely international city, a city built on immigrants, so you'll probably see a lot of that reflected here. Here we go!
Because when you're in Texas, you gotta get barbeque, right? I'm sure a lot of you have the same thoughts.
Blood Bros. makes some mean meat. Their brisket is incredibly moist, fatty, and tender, and their beef ribs are FALL-OFF-THE-BONE good. If you're really hungry or have a group of friends to feed, you can opt for the Wilfork Platter and get a mix of everything they offer.
They pop up at bars around town, so make sure you follow their twitter to find their next destination. No lines, great energy, and AMAZING barbeque. I've had Franklin in Austin a couple of times, and I find that Blood Bros. is very comparable. Trust me, you want this.
Ever heard of a little thing called fajitas? Well Mama Ninfa not only popularized this famous dish, but she perfected the recipe. Houston=Tex-Mex, and the best place to get Tex-Mex in Houston is undoubtedly Ninfa's on Navigation (see how I said undoubtedly?!). Anything you get there will be incredible, but my personal favorite are the fajitas and the fajita burger (OMG).
Remember when I said that the Indian food in Houston was better than any of the Indian food I had during my month-long stay in India? Well, this place is why.
Houston has a huge Indian population, and you can find all of the hustle bustle in the Mahatma Gandhi District on Hillcroft Ave. Try any dish at Himalaya, and you'll be floating in a spice-filled flavor heaven for your entire day. Everything is perfectly spiced and seasoned. My favorites are the Chicken Karhai and the Goat Biryani- and don't miss the Garlic Naan!!!!
Okay, this one's a little further out, but if you're willing to drive a while to get the most amazing pho you will ever eat, and one of the best things that you will ever eat, then be my guest and visit Pho Binh Trailer.
This tiny trailer has no menus and doesn't speak much English, but you'll get exactly what you didn't even know you needed. Their pho is so flavorful and precise. You can taste all the individual ingredients that they so-lovingly put in the broth. In a city FULL (and I mean FULL), of amazing pho restaurants, this one beats out the rest in less than a heart beat. I mean it. This soup will change your life.
If you can't make the drive out, Pho Dien is worth a try as well. Just know that you're not going to be getting the same transformative experience as Pho Binh Trailer. And don't be fooled by the other Pho Binhs in the city, they may be the same group and they are delicious, but none of the other locations even hold a candle to the trailer.
And the Number 1 pick is............................
1. Crawfish and Noodles (or really any Vietnamese Crawfish restaurant!)
I cannot express this enough, if you're here visiting, whether it be for the Superbowl or whatever, you NEED to eat Vietnamese crawfish!!!!!!!
I asked myself for years, what is the one thing that you can get in Houston that you can't get anywhere else? The answer was right in front of me! VIETNAMESE CRAWFISH, Y'ALL.
Here's why: Houston has the 2nd largest Vietnamese population in the U.S. outside of California AND the strategic geographical location of being right next to our cajun brothers and sisters, Louisiana! What do you get when you mix the two together? A saucy, incredibly intriguing and flavorful batch of crawdads.
Crawfish and Noodles is my personal preference among the gajillion Vietnamese-style crawfish joints in the city because of their amazing sauce (and you gotta try their stir-fried salt pepper crab!), but if those lines are too long (the lines are so worth it though), you can also go to my close second, Cajun Kitchen (their Kitchen Special is so good). There's also Jenivi's Seafood Shoppe for a tangy twist, LA crawfish for their garlic flavored bugs, or Crawfish Cafe for awesome variety!
The Superbowl is smack dab in the middle of crawfish season, so I suggest you make this your priority. This is your Houston MUST.
And here's a couple of my close runner-ups:
- Coltivare (this was super close!!)
- Kata Robata
- Kasra Persian Grill
- Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine
Well, that sums up my Top 5 for Superbowl visitors. Tell me what you think, ask questions, anything. If there's anything I love, it's definitely talking about food.
May the ice cream be ever in you flavor. NOMaste.