It maye have cooled down — slightly — but Houston restaurants are still sizzling with summer specials. Need a lunch or dinner recommendation? Here are 10 hot places to try in September.
Some are new restaurants entirely, while others are more seasoned, but all are well worth a visit.
The biggest news in the past month has been Coppa’s opening in the old Catalan spot on Washington Ave. The new Italian place under chef Brandi Key is already earning high marks.
While there are still some kinks to work out, the spaghetti alla carbonara is a deliciously worthy meal.
Eatsie Boys Ice Cream Truck
Just when you became dependent on their goodness gracious gourmet truck, the Eatsie Boys have added a new concept: Ice cream. Stave off the heat with unique flavors like sweet corn shazam, “funky boss” fig and ricotta, “hello nasty” hazelnut and Arnold Palmer.
Follow the Boys on Twitter for a daily location.
Houston’s coffee revolution continues to grow with the new Café Luz on the eastern end of downtown. The small shop (run by Frank Freeman and Lucrece Borrego) offers outstanding coffees, old-fashioned sodas in the flavor combinations of your choice (strawberry-ginger, what what!), and an array of sweet and savory pastries.
Don’t miss the hatch green chili soft pretzels when available.
Chef Michael Kramer brings the new American style he honed at Voice to his new spot in Rice Village. While the menu may seem a bit disjointed, it’s already making waves in the food community, garnering praise for things like the lobster mac and cheese, authentic ceviches, and roast duck. We can’t wait to go back for the fried chicken & waffles.
El Gran Malo
New to the Heights is El Gran Malo. It’s firstly a casual bar offering infused tequilas, specialty margaritas and craft beers — but the place also has a snappy menu. Tacos are the menu’s staple, and these are kicked up with fancy-ish toppings like pomegranate salsa or pumpkin seeds. The queso with ground beef is gloriously reminiscent of the old Molina’s version.
Vegetarian and Mexican foods don’t generally go hand in hand, but the new Radical Eats is doing a fabulous job of proving otherwise. Stop by their new location (on Fulton near I-45) for a smattering of tacos filled with things like avocado or fried okra.
And don’t miss the tamales; our favorites are the black bean or caramelized onion with mushrooms.
Hit 'n Run
While we don’t endorse the name, the Hit 'n Run food truck serves some mean cuisine. The fish tacos and egg rolls are worthy choices, but the owners are most proud of the “killer” burger — a serious undertaking. The patty is topped with bacon, caramelized onions, chipotle mayo, and jalapenos. Follow them on Twitter for a location.
Nothing Bundt Cakes
While there’s nothing to dislike about cupcakes, we’re glad to see a new concept in town. Nothing Bundt Cakes recently opened (on Post Oak/Westheimer) offering a rainbow of beautifully cute cakes in various sizes.
The mini-est is ideal for one to two people, while the maxi-est serves quite a crowd. Flavors range from chocolate, lemon and red velvet to pecan-praline, cinnamon swirl and carrot.
The Blue Fish
Fresh off a downtown location, The Blue Fish strikes again, this time on Washington (near Benjy’s). It’s got the dark, clubby vibe we’ve come to expect from sushi places and offers a large space to accommodate quite a crowd. The sushi is fine, though nothing mind-blowing, but fills a nice need in the area.
Xuco Xicana seems to be the it place this summer, fitting the bill for just about any group: Couples, young families, happy hours, college kids, or even a casual date — vegetarians and meat lovers alike. The the recent addition of sous chef Brandon Fisch (who’s known for his tasty ceviche), makes the already fabulous menu even better — so if you haven’t yet had a meal there, we can only ask why.
Need more recs? Try our lists from the previous six months:
March – April – May – June – July – August