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Go classic for Houston Restaurant Weeks: The seven don't-miss restaurant institutions

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Backstreet Cafe's patio Photo by Paula Murphy
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The interiors at Tony's Photo by Julie Soefer/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
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Brennan's of Houston Photo by Jay Stevens
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News_Tony's, interior
News_Brennan's_Houston

Sure, there are plenty of spanking-new restaurants to try out for Houston Restaurant Weeks. But the month is also a great time to catch up on Houston restaurant favorites.

Whether you've been waiting on a dining deal or just living under a rock, there's no better time to try these notable restaurants.

Tony's

August isn't the best time to enjoy Tony's for its parade of one-percenters — there are too many other rubberneckers like yourself, plus much of the regular crowd spends August in places like Maine or Aspen. But executive chef Grant Gordon's thoughtful take on Italian and that famous wine list make this a must-go no matter what.

Ouisie's Table

Yet another classic that hasn't been around all that long — less than 20 years! — but it feels impossible to remember a time without Elouise Adams Jones' signature crispy crab cakes or shrimp and grits, which are both on the restaurant's Houston Restaurant Weeks menu.

RDG + Bar Annie

This restaurant stills feels pretty new, but as the successor to the legendary Cafe Annie, its worth a trip to taste Robert Del Grande's innovative Southwestern fare that put Houston food on the map 20 years ago.

Brennan's of Houston

Truly the grande dame of Houston dining, Brennan's upscale menu of Southern and Creole favorites holds court in a stately 1936 building that looks even better after the lengthy post-Ike renovation.

Feast

When it arrived in 2008, Feast signaled the beginning of a Lower Westheimer foodie corridor, eschewing mainstream trends to create traditional nose-to-tail British food that made a splash both locally and nationally — Frank Bruni was awed by it in 2009. If you still haven't seen what all the fuss is about, now's the time.

Backstreet Cafe

It's one year shy of its 30th birthday, but Backstreet Cafe feels like a stately legend that's been around forever, serving unforgettable food both inside the intimate dining rooms and on the lush, lovely patio, one of the best in town.

Christie's Seafood & Steaks

With a start in Galveston in 1917, Christie's claims to be the oldest family-run restaurant in Houston, and the HRW menu includes both the 95-year-old seafood gumbo recipe and the restaurant's famed fried shrimp with fried catfish at lunch and with a rib eye at dinner.

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