October is here! Need a lunch or dinner recommendation? Here’s where you should eat right now in Houston.
Newly open in Rice Village is Coppa Osteria, the casual sister of Coppa Ristorante. Fans of the talented chef Brandi Key will be thrilled that the Osteria’s menu features many of the same exceptional dishes you can get at the Washington Avenue location, along with some newbies like sandwiches and salads. We love the Scamorza pizza (a supped-up version of the classic margherita), house-made pastas, and spicy fennel sausage.
The Dosa Factory
The Dosa Factory takes Indian food into fast-casual. Entirely vegetarian, the menu concentrates on dosas, idlis, and vadas. Order at the counter, grab some soup and chutney from the self-service bar, and moments later your steamy dishes arrive. Big thumbs-up go to the palak paneer dosa and the manchurian idlis. This one is on Richmond at Fountain View — but look out: the team has big expansion plans.
Cloud 10 Creamery
Pastry chef Chris Leung’s much anticipated ice cream shop is now open in Rice Village. If you’ve enjoyed his creative Cloud 10 desserts at places like Hay Merchant and the Sundance Cinema, you’ll be glad to know you can now get a wider variety. Stop by for a waffle cone of ice cream in flavors like toasted rice, nutella marshmallow, café sua da, and PB&J. Or try the five-star banana split.
Big & Juicy Juice Bar
Great news: Big & Juicy Juice Bar opens at the end of this week inside Big Yoga on Allen Parkway and Waugh. Big & Juicy offers fresh-made juices and smoothies, plus a small menu of light bites (like a kale-avocado salad, beet ravioli, and pumpkin-kuzu pudding) — all vegan, raw, and gluten-free. Juices are made almost entirely with organic, local produce, and there’s a creative combination to satisfy any taste bud. Staying for yoga? Pre-order your juice for a post-yoga high.
Katy's La Balance bills itself as a French restaurant with modern twists. While the strictly French menu items are truly top notch — we love the escargot and the prosciutto-tomato tarte — the twists come in the form of things like paninis, pastas, and salads that are given a French makeover. Thus, it has a sort of universal feel to it. Even still, if you're not into it, there's always l'hamburger.
New to the White Oak restaurant row (in the Heights) is City Oven. Pizzas are the restaurant’s staple — and while those are OK for a try, our favorite is the menu’s selection of giant meatballs with various stuffings and flavors. Gimmicky? A little. But also good. With a full bar, a nice selection of craft beers, and an upbeat atmosphere, City Oven is a great spot for happy hour, game watching, or a casual dinner with friends.
A holdover from last month, Osteria Mazzantini remains a place to see, be seen, and eat. The sister restaurant to Mockingbird Bistro has added lunch, brunch, happy hour, and late-night service (along with dinner, of course) in its Galleria-area home. The Italian menu concentrates on pizzas, pastas, and paninis at lunchtime, with more elegant options appearing later in the day.
We’re thrilled to see creative chef German Mosquera doing so well at Restaurant Cinq (inside La Colombe d’Or). If the positive detailed reviews from both the Chronicle and Houston Press haven’t gotten you over there yet, perhaps this short one will: the food is awesome. It is pricey, though, so save it for a date night or special occasion meal.
Relish Fine Foods
Relish (on San Felipe near Willowick) has quietly become a go-to spot for a consistently nice casual bite. Stop by at lunch for a made-to-order sandwich, or pick up an order of salmon and a side of quinoa for dinner. Relish also offers various market items (like Nisha’s Indian dishes, Caphin Vietnamese iced coffee, Fat Cat ice cream, and more) and is now open for breakfast as well — think tacos, yogurt parfaits, and the like.
Weren’t able to make it to the Cape — or Greenspoint — this summer? You’re in luck. Maine-ly Sandwiches has expanded to a second location on Shepherd near Richmond. After some opening struggles, the sandwich shop is now going strong, offering that same deli menu with the buttery lobster roll. And if you haven’t had one of their signature Whoopie Pies yet, you best hurry on over.
Need more recs? Try our where to eat right now lists from previous months: