Houston Tastemaker Awards 2020
Cheers to the Tastemakers

Tastemaker Awards toasts the best Texas restaurants and bars right now

Tastemaker Awards toasts the best Texas restaurants and bars right now

The Charles Restaurant
The Charles Dallas, Dallas Restaurant of the Year. The Charles
Comedor taco
Comedor, Austin Restaurant of the Year. Photo by Hayden Spears
Meadow corn fritters San Antonio
Meadow, San Antonio Restaurant of the Year.  Meadow/ Facebook
Ellerbe bar
Ellerbe Fine Foods, Fort Worth Restaurant of the Year. Photo by Richard King
Himalaya chicken hara masala
Himalaya, Houston Restaurant of the Year. Photo by Shawn Chippendale
The Charles Restaurant
Comedor taco
Meadow corn fritters San Antonio
Ellerbe bar
Himalaya chicken hara masala

The mission of our annual CultureMap Tastemaker Awards is to shine a spotlight on the top restaurant and bar talent in Texas. This summer, we honored the best of the industry and celebrated their resilience with our first-ever virtual Tastemakers.

In true 2020 fashion, the Tastemakers transformed from an in-person party to an in-home tasting experience.

We kicked things off with the Austin and San Antonio awards on July 23, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth on July 30. We wrapped up in on August 6 with our Houston program, sponsored by Dripping Springs Vodka, Cigar City Brewing, Grandes Vinos, Topo Chico, H-E-B, and Houston Insider by Visit Houston.

Each event featured a streamed awards show hosted by the legendary Bun B, who first guided guests through the makings of the at-home party. Then, with the help of some special guests, he announced the local 2020 Tastemaker Awards winners. (If you missed the Houston show, you can watch it here.) 

Nominees for each city were selected earlier this year by CultureMap editors and local panels of industry experts, including past winners. The panels then selected the winner in each category, except for Best New Restaurant, which was chosen by readers in our bracket-style tournament. This year, we also added a special Hero Award to honor individuals in the industry who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.

Below, meet all of our 2020 Tastemaker winners, and join us in toasting them once again.

Austin

  • Restaurant of the Year: Comedor
  • Chef of the Year: Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley, Foreign & Domestic
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Edgar Ulysses Rico, Nixta Taqueria
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Jules Stoddart, Olamaie
  • Best New Restaurant: Rebel Cheese
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Foreign & Domestic
  • Best Queso: Eldorado Cafe
  • Bar of the Year: Kinda Tropical
  • Bartender of the Year: Laura Maddox, Small Victory
  • Wine Program of the Year: Bufalina
  • Brewery of the Year: Jester King
  • Hero Award: Derrick Chubbs, Central Texas Food Bank

San Antonio

  • Restaurant of the Year: Meadow
  • Chef of the Year: Esaul Ramos, 2M Smokehouse
  • Best New Restaurant: 225 Urban Smoke
  • Best Queso: Tlahco Mexican Kitchen
  • Bar of the Year: Little Death
  • Hero Award: Jason Dady, Jason Dady Restaurants

Dallas

  • Restaurant of the Year: The Charles Dallas
  • Chef of the Year: Justin Holt, Salaryman
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Toby Archibald, Georgie by Curtis Stone
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Diana Zamora, Lockwood Distilling
  • Best New Restaurant: Georgie by Curtis Stone
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Parigi Restaurant
  • Best Queso: E-Bar Tex Mex
  • Bar of the Year: Black Swan Saloon
  • Bartender of the Year: Josh Hendrix, Las Almas Rotas
  • Wine Program of the Year: Macellaio
  • Brewery of the Year: 3 Nations Brewing
  • Hero Award: Jacob Tindall, 5G Studio Collaborative

Fort Worth

  • Restaurant of the Year: Ellerbe Fine Foods
  • Chef of the Year: Tim Love, Lonesome Dove, Love Shack, Gemelle
  • Best New Restaurant: Hot Box Biscuit Club
  • Bar of the Year: Blackland Distillery
  • Hero Award: Mike Hoque, Hoque Global

Houston

  • Restaurant of the Year: Himalaya
  • Chef of the Year: Jason Vaughan, Nancy’s Hustle
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Felipe Riccio, Rosie Cannonball
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Julia Doran, Nancy’s Hustle
  • Best New Restaurant: MAD
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Les Ba’get
  • Best Pizza: Pizaro’s Pizza Napoletana
  • Bar of the Year: Monkey’s Tail
  • Bartender of the Year: Lindsay Rae, Two Headed Dog
  • Wine Program of the Year: Public Services Wine & Whisky
  • Brewery of the Year: Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company
  • Hero Award: Chris Shepherd, Southern Smoke Foundation