Hidden Restaurants Revealed

Hidden Food Gems: Houston's top chefs reveal their favorite under-the-radar restaurants and bars

Houston chefs reveal their favorite under-the-radar restaurants, bars

Houston's most under-rated dining experiences graphic January 2015
Justin Basye, left, Manabu Horiuchi, center, and Ryan Hildebrand all contributed to First We Feast's list of under-the-radar Houston restaurants.  FirstWeFeast.com

Houston diners are always looking for tips on where to eat. Beyond the usual publications, some people turn to the city's chefs for inspiration.

At least, that's what national food website First We Feast did when it asked 14 Houston chefs to provide their favorite under-the-radar bars and restaurants. 

The participants are a who's who of the city's culinary community: Everyone from The Pass & Provisions chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan to Underbelly chef Chris Shepherd and Caracol's Hugo Ortega. Their recommendations are based around casual spots that serve consistently tasty food.

 Not surprisingly, well-executed Asian food of all varieties ranks highly. 

Gallivan, Siegel-Gardner, Eleven XI's Kevin Bryant and Reef chef Bryan Caswell all cite bars as their go-tos. Pick includes iconic dive bar Alice's Tall Texas, the West Alabama Ice House, craft beer spot D&T Drive Inn and Montrose institution Catbird's. 

Not surprisingly, well-executed Asian food of all varieties ranks highly. Whether it's Korean restaurant Bon Ga, Thai staple Asia Market or three different Vietnamese restaurants, Houston chefs find it hard to resist a well-priced bowl of noodles. Oxheart's Justin Yu cites EaDo fixture Long Sing supermarket's $6 lunch plates or roast pork and duck as his favorite. Hong Kong Food Street is Asiatown's representative. 

Those seeking Persian food can follow Michael Cordua's suggestion of Garcon. Rounding out the options are Mexican picks from Ortega, Monica Pope and Ronnie Killen.