Houston 24-Hour Travel Guide: The Best Places to Dine and Drink
The nation’s fourth largest and most diverse city, Houston is teeming with enclaves of multiple international communities, Texas BBQ purveyors, and award-winning chefs. Simply put, if you’re visiting Houston, a to have to having dinner.
As such, it’s no surprise that the millions of people who visit Houston each year for business or pleasure seek out the best restaurants in town. With thousands of dining destinations to choose from, sometimes it’s hard to choose. Consider this totally intense, choose your adventure itinerary for a taste of Houston’s unique culinary identity in just 24 hours.
7 a.m. — Breakfast
If you’re an early riser, stop by Midtown’s favorite breakfast spot, the Breakfast Klub, (3711 Travis Street) around 7am to avoid the queues that often wind around the corner. Otherwise, be prepared to wait. Either way, the Southern-style breakfast and dishes like crispy, well-seasoned wings and waffles, catfish and oatmeal are worth it. Flying through George Bush Intercontinental Airport in North Houston? Try your luck by stopping at his airport outpost near gate A7.
9 a.m. — Coffee
Any day of the week, local caffeine legend Blacksmith is a worthy stopover thanks to its perfect cortados, cappuccinos and assortment of freshly brewed teas. (1018 Westheimer Road), but if you’re in town Friday-Sunday before 2pm, head to Oso Coffee Co (2603 Navigation Boulevard) for a Horchata latte or caffeinated drink topped with a donut or conch. Sundays are perfect for strolling through the East End Farmers Market, which takes over the Esplanade from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
11:30 am – Go on an adventure in Asiantown
Spend a few hours browsing the malls of Asiatown, which line Bellaire Boulevard. First try a bowl of pho, Houston’s favorite hangover remedy, or a banh mi at Pho Binh. Then, set off on a dessert tour of Houston, stopping at Aqua S for a sea salt soft serve or a boba tea at one of the many shops. Then consider an abundance of small plates at Dim Sum King’s all-day dim sum or Korean BBQ at Honey Pig Korean BBQ. Don’t be surprised if a nap is needed before heading out for dinner.
3 p.m. — A beer in the afternoon
If you’re looking for a place to unwind, visit the Saint Arnold Brewing Company, where you can unwind with a local beer (delicious homemade rootbeer or sparkling water for non-drinkers) while enjoying stunning views of the city skyline from his beer garden.
Don’t miss admiring the East Ends murals on the ride, then check out the brewery’s eclectic art cars, which are often on display during the annual Art Car Parade. town. If you’re hungry for a snack, you can’t go wrong with the soft pretzels served with queso blanco or a wood-fired pizza to share.
5:00 p.m. — A Food Souvenir Pit-Stop
Texans swear Buc-ee’s — a Lone Star State convenience store, rest stop, and gas station — is the best ever. Renowned for having the cleanest bathroom, Buc-ee’s is also a great place to stop for breakfast tacos, brisket sandwiches, snacks galore, fun souvenirs and party favors. those waiting at your next destination. While Beaver Nuggets, Buc-ee’s sweet corn puffed snacks, are a definite signature, the rest stop also offers its own delicious varieties of beef jerky, crispy marshmallow rice treats, a wide selection of barbecue rubs and sauces and tons of gear, including its own collection of branded cups, bags and mugs that bare its cute deer-toothed beaver mascot Buc-ee. For more tips on what to buy, here’s a look at some of the best items. (Multiple locations)
Can’t come to Buc-ee? Head to El Bolillo Bakery (2517 Airline Parkway) to stock up on baked goods like Mexican sweet bread, pastries, tortillas, and jalapeño cheese bread as souvenirs.
6:30 p.m. — A real Tex-Mex dinner
Many Houstonians know that Houston is home to the Tex-Mex restaurant that introduced the country to what are now known as fajitas. Head to the Original East End Ninfas on the Sail (2704 Navigation Boulevard) to try sizzling platters of fajitas, endless fries and salsa, and margaritas – a favorite being its signature Ninfarita. Looking for a more contemporary take on Tex-Mex? Try Candente in Montrose, which fuses classics like enchiladas with tender smoky staples like beef brisket (4306 Yoakum Blvd).
8 p.m. — Evening cocktails
Known for its quick service, friendly bartenders and delicious cocktails, Bobby Heugel’s Anvil Bar & Refuge cocktail bar in Montrose is one of the best in town, with an extensive drink list and wide selection of spirits. (1424 Westheimer Road). But there are other top picks, including Julep, Houston’s quaint cocktail bar and the first local establishment to win a national James Beard Award. (1919 Washington Ave) — and eight-row flint (1039 Yale Street)the Ranch Water connoisseur who serves at least five interpretations of the sotol-based drink, a wide selection of margaritas, frozen, and more.
11:00 p.m. — Late-night snack
If you’re looking for a place that’s really open all night, there are a few places you can go. Yes, Whataburger (some locations) is a quick and easy choice if you’re looking for a casual bite to eat, but you can always opt for House of Pies for the full dinner experience with chicken fried steak and several pies to choose from, including pies. pecans and Dutch apple, or Katz’s Deli (616 Westheimer Road; 2200 N Shepherd Drive; or 19075 I-45, Shenandoah) which offers everything from New York-style cheesecakes to matzo ball soup and pastrami sandwiches.
Need (even) more restaurant recommendations? Discover Eater’s Cards Houston’s Hottest and most essential Restaurants.