Most anticipated openings of 2024
The ultimate list of more than 70 Houston bars and restaurants opening in 2024
By any measure, the past year has been a great one for Houstonians who enjoy trying new restaurants. Houstonians had almost limitless new options clamoring for their attention.
The trend shows no signs of slowing down. As illustrated by the list below, more than 70 more new restaurants are on track to open across the city in 2024. It includes a range of cuisines, price points, and parts of town. Some are new locations of existing concepts, while others are new projects from familiar names. Hospitality groups from out of town will introduce more new establishments, including several in the mixed-use developments that are opening all over the place.
To make things a little easier to digest, we’ve broken things down into five categories:
- 15 restaurants and bars that we’re the most excited about
- Two prolific restaurant groups that are opening multiple concepts
- Five mixed-use developments that are coming online or expanding in 2024 — each of which will add multiple restaurants
- 20 expansions of existing concepts and restaurants with locations in other cities
- Nine more establishments we’re tracking
Before diving in, keep in mind a couple of caveats. First, all projected timelines are subject to shift for any number of reasons. Like a weather forecast, restaurants that are farther away are more uncertain. Also, this list is comprehensive, but it isn’t complete. Other projects could pop up that are just as worthy of attention as anything listed below.
Top 15 most anticipated restaurants of 2024
The Marigold Club
Goodnight Hospitality will build on the success of March and Rosie Cannonball with this new restaurant in the former Goodnight Charlie’s space. Former Tony’s chef Austin Waiter has spent time in London preparing for the restaurant, which will serve a modern take on Continental cuisine. Expect a high style interior by New York’s Parts & Labor and Texas Architects FoxFox Studios, music from a baby grand piano, polished service, and an extensive beverage program. Fingers crossed that Houstonians will be sipping martinis on its patio no later than late spring or early summer.
Aaron Bludorn and his business partners have claimed the former Jonathan’s the Rub space (9061 Gaylord Dr.) for the first restaurant outside the loop. Led by executive chef Alexandra “Allie” Peña, the restaurant will serve the group’s take on comfort food in a lively atmosphere meant to capture the spirit of the bar at Bludorn. Memorial-area diners should also expect sandwiches on the lunch menu when this restaurant opens in the spring.
The owners of Traveler’s Table will bring this global street food concept to the former Pronto Cucinino space this summer. As a fast casual restaurant, Traveler’s Cart will offer a lower price point and a more relaxed environment than Traveler’s Table, while still offering well-executed dishes and a comprehensive beverage program. Gin Design Group is creating a space that takes inspiration from outdoor markets and street carts.
Goode Company Restaurants president Levi Goode will open these two concepts in The McKinley at Memorial City luxury high-rise under his own brand — separate from the company founded by his father Jim Goode. Credence is described as a South Texas ranch-inspired eatery that will utilize live fire cooking, while Sidebar is a steakhouse and cocktail bar devoted to classic American fare. Expect to be dining on dry-aged meats and fire-roasted seafood towers sometime this summer.
Restaurateur Benjy Levit has partnered with chef Tony Luhrman on this new concept for the former El Topo space in West U. Scheduled for a spring opening, chef Seth Siegel-Gardner told CultureMap that plans include adding fish tacos to El Topo’s existing roster. The restaurant will also have a new look and service style.
The West African fast casual restaurant at the Post HTX food hall has claimed the former Seafood Connection space on lower Westheimer for its first brick-and-mortar location. Operating in a larger space will allow founder Ope Amosu to add both a dedicated brunch service and cocktails. Gin Design Group is crafting the interior. Look for a summer opening.
A fast casual concept from Ford Fry (State of Grace, Superica, and La Lucha), Little Rey serves a Northern Mexican-inspired menu centered around wood-roasted chicken al carbon along with street tacos, queso, smoked chicken wings, and soft serve ice cream. The restaurant’s location near River Oaks District (2345 Mid Ln.) will feature a covered patio. Look for a February or March opening.
Lucille Hospitality Group’s concept in Midtown’s the Ion building is finally on track for an early 2024 opening. With the departure of chef Dawn Burrell, Lucille’s founder Chris Williams has switched the concept from Afro-Asian to Afro-Mexican. Look for more details as the opening becomes more imminent.
Dallas’s Vandelay Hospitality Group has claimed the former Underbelly space for its retro-styled luxury steakhouse. Known for its posh design that features a colorful mural depicting Hollywood stars past and present, Drake’s serves steaks, pizzas, and the same “World’s Coldest Martini” that’s already been a hit at Hudson House. Houstonians are expected to dine in Drake’s red leather booths beginning in February.
Leo’s River Oaks
Former GJ Tavern chef Tim Reading will lead the kitchen at this restaurant in the River Oaks Shopping Center. Operated by Culinary Khancepts (State Fare, Liberty Kitchen), the fine dining restaurant will serve steaks and seafood in an elegant atmosphere.
The acclaimed Austin bar will open a Houston outpost in EaDo at 2910 McKinney St. Expect the bar’s familiar “Rust Belt Chic” aesthetic as well as a secondary bar that’s devoted exclusively to rum and a kitchen serving dishes like sliders, wings and fries. Owner Travis Tober tells Chron.com that he expects to as soon as this month.
Formerly the executive pastry chef for Goodnight Hospitality, the chef will handle both sweet and savory duties at his new restaurant. Although the Tastemaker Award winner has been tight-lipped about specifics, he has signed a lease in the Heights for a new restaurant that will open this year. With a resume that includes time at multiple Michelin-starred restaurants, whatever he does should be greeted with considerable fanfare.
Hospitality veterans Chase LoVullo (Pour Behavior) and Roveen Abante (Be More Pacific, The Chelsea) have teamed up to open this food hall in the former Roxy space near the Galleria (5353 West Alabama). The 12,000-square-foot venue will house two bars and more than 10 food vendors, including Seoul Side Wings, Wokker, Bird Haus Chicken, Luv ‘Em Leches, Black Market Birria, and Rollin Phatties. After more than two years in development, it will open as early as this month.
The Medical Center area hotel will welcome MoLiHua in February. Created by acclaimed chef Ho Chee Boon, the restaurant, named for the Chinese word for “jasmine,” will serve both sushi and dim sum-style small bites. Chef Boon will open two other establishments on the property, including one devoted to Peking duck.
Restaurant Group growth spurts
The prolific restaurant group will follow up opening three new projects in 2023 — Benny Chows, Annabelle Brasserie, and Tavola — with at least six more that will roll out throughout 2024.
- Buttermilk Baby: a retro-styled soda fountain in the Heights M-K-T development that will serve burgers, biscuits, and Carvel ice cream (Summer)
- Canopy Social: a British Caribbean rooftop bar located above Benny Chows (Summer)
- Dune Road: a New England seafood restaurant in downtown’s Texas Tower high-rise (Late summer)
- Prime 131: a live fire steakhouse in Lazybrook/Timbergrove with elevated seating that will look into the open kitchen (March)
- Turner’s Cut: a luxurious steakhouse that will join Annabelle Brasserie in the Autry Park mixed-use development (April)
- An unnamed restaurant opening in the former La Table space that will be led by Tavola executive chef Luca Di Benedetto (Timing to be announced)
Team Burger Joint
Chef Matt Pak and entrepreneur Shawn Bermudez have several projects that will come to fruition this year as they expand their existing concepts and introduce two new ones.
First up will be Happy Go Lucky. Located near the Heights locations of The Taco Stand and The Burger Joint, it will serve Hawaiian-style shaved ice and frozen cocktails for both dine-in on its patio and to-go via a drive-thru. Expect a spring opening.
Construction will soon begin on a Webster location of The Taco Stand. Located near The Burger Joint at 118 El Dorado Blvd., it will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner for both dine-in and to-go via a drive-thru.
This fall will bring the Kirby Dr location of The Burger Joint and The Pizza Place, a new restaurant in the Heights. As its name implies, the restaurant will serve pizzas, pastas, salads, and gelato, all of which will be made in-house.
The Noble 33 restaurants are:
- Toca Madera: a Mexican-inspired steakhouse serving prime, wagyu, and Japanese steaks that should open in March or April
- Meduza Mediterrania: an Eastern Mediterranean concept with a rooftop patio that should open in late fall.
Las Vegas-based hospitality company TableOne Hospitality will open three restaurants in the hotel:
- Sol 7: a casual restaurant on the pool level that will open with the hotel
- Chardon: a French brasserie that will open in the spring
- Buck 40: an upscale supperclub that will open in the summer
They’ll be led by chef Alexandre Viriot, a Dallas native who has worked for three of the world’s most accomplished French chefs — Guy Savoy, Joël Robuchon, and Alain Ducasse.
The hotel will also be home to a location of Maven Coffee + Cocktails, joining its outposts at Sawyer Yards, Minute Maid Park, and Toyota Center.
Already home to Annabelle Brasserie and Auden, the mixed-use development near Allen Parkway and Shepherd will add several more restaurants, including:
- Doko and Bar Doko: A new sushi restaurant and companion cocktail bar from Duckstache Hospitality, the group behind Kokoro, Handies Douzo, and Tastemaker Awards Best New Restaurant winner Aiko.
- Lick Honest Ice Creams: A second Houston location of the Austin ice cream favorite
- Mayahuel: A Mexico City-inspired restaurant and cocktail bar that unites Culinary Khancepts with Luis Robledo Richards and Atzin Santos, the chefs behind Comalito. Expected to open in the spring, the restaurant will serve dishes inspired by street food and classic Mexican cuisine alongside an extensive selection of agave cocktails.
- MF Lobster and Annam: a seafood restaurant and a Vietnamese restaurant, respectively, from MF Sushi owner Chris Kinjo.
- Turner’s Cut: a luxurious steakhouse from Berg Hospitality.
Phase One of Midway’s massive development near the intersection of Jensen Drive and Clinton Drive in Fifth Ward is on track to debut this year. It will be home to a number of food related concepts, including:
- Broham Fine Soul Food & Groceries: a grocery store with prepared foods from former Indigo chef Johnny Rhodes
- City Cellars HTX: a bigger location of the restaurant and wine bar that previously operated in the Museum District
- Kyuramen: a second Houston-area location of the global ramen restaurant known for its unique, honeycomb booths
- La Cantina by La Calle Tacos: a bar and restaurant from the growing local taqueria that takes inspiration from Mexico City
- Lick Honest Ice Creams: the Austin-based scoop shop
MarqE Entertainment Center
The Spring Branch area entertainment complex and shopping center will add a new locations of SeaSide Poke and Houston’s first location of Austin favorite Aviator Pizza & Drafthouse.
Post Oak Plaza
The Galleria-area shopping center has already been transformed into a dining destination with additions that include Kenny & Ziggy’s, Nando’s Peri-Peri, il Bracco, and Balboa Surf Club. They’ll soon be joined by healthy eating favorite Local Foods; Rakkan Ramen, a Japanese restaurant known for its vegan broth; and a second Houston location of Austin-based restaurant Tacodeli.
21 expansions and out-of-towners
This modern Japanese restaurant from Atlas Restaurant Group (Loch Bar, Marmo) will open this spring in the former Ouzo Bay space. Named for the Japanese word for “safe harbor,” the new space will feature an indoor-outdoor bar and a dedicated omakase room.
Bori - Montrose
The smash hit South Korean Steakhouse has claimed a former youth hostel at 501 Lovett Blvd. for its second location. It should build on the original location’s winning formula of high quality meats, polished serviced, and an extensive beverage program. Timing is uncertain, but a recent hiring announcement suggests it should arrive soon.
Cyclone Anaya’s - River Oaks
The popular Tex-Mex restaurant will open its seventh location at the site of the former Frank’s Americana Revival (3736 Westheimer) this spring. Like its siblings, this new location will feature the restaurant’s familiar menu of enchiladas, fajitas, margaritas, and more.
Dessert Gallery - The Woodlands
The Upper Kirby dessert institution has claimed a location in The Woodlands Waterway for its second store that will open in early 2024. It will serve most of the same treats as the original, including Chocolate Chunk cookies, Apple Brown Betty, and the Old-Fashioned Diner Cake.
Dough Zone Dumpling House
The Seattle-based Chinese restaurant will follow the opening of its Midtown location with two more locations. First up, will be a Galleria-area restaurant in the BLVD Place development that will celebrate its grand opening on January 29. A Sugar Land location will follow in May. The restaurant serves more than 50 items made with dough or batter, including soup dumplings, and Dan Dan noodles.
Duck N Bao - Rice Village
The Chinese restaurant’s has claimed the former Zoës Kitchen space in the Hanover Rice Village complex for its third location. Owned by husband-and-wife duo Grace and Leo Xia, the restaurant has built a devoted following for its Peking duck, soup dumplings, and Sichuan fare. The new location will feature new dishes built around luxurious ingredients, such as a caviar upgrade for the duck, shaved truffles on dumplings, and mapo tofu with lobster.
The hospitality group behind two popular restaurants in The Woodlands will open its third concept in the Novel River Oaks luxury apartment development. Slated to open in the fourth quarter, the restaurant will draw from Fielding’s Local Kitchen & Bar with a wide-ranging menu that includes freshly made pastas, pizzas, seafood, and steaks sourced from Texas ranch 44 Farms. Design details for the 6,000-square-foot space include a lounge area and two patios.
Hando - Spring Branch
The Heights hand roll restaurant will join Feges BBQ and The Blind Goat in the Spring Branch Village shopping center. With a little more room than the original, diners will find a 30-seat counter along with all of the cocktail offerings that have made Hando a neighborhood favorite.
This Marfa-inspired restaurant from the Dallas-based FB Society hospitality group (Whiskey Cake, Sixty Vines, Velvet Taco, etc) has claimed the former Vallone's space in Gateway Memorial City for its third Texas location. Slated for a spring opening, the restaurant will feature two stories — a cocktail lounge on the first floor and a main dining room serving steaks on the second — as well as an outdoor courtyard with a "party barn." The menu features dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients that are paired with an extensive beverage list that includes 400 bottles of wine and 200 whiskeys.
Hungry’s - Woodway
The popular Mediterranean restaurant will open its third location this spring in the former Tanglewood location of Le Peep (5750 Woodway). It will serve the same Mediterranean-inspired comfort food menu of pizzas, salads, sandwiches, kebabs, gyros, and more that have made Hungry’s successful since 1975. Diners will also find plant-based dishes imported from Heartbeet, its sister concept in the Energy Corridor.
Jonathan’s the Rub - East End
The Memorial-area favorite has claimed the former Acadian Coast/Gatsby’s Grill space on Navigation Blvd. for its third location. Chef-owner Jonathan Levine will add New York-style pizzas to his familiar menu of “new Houston” cuisine, Italian American dishes, and steakhouse fare.
KP’s Kitchen - Bellaire
Restaurateur Kerry Pauly has claimed a prime location near the Bellaire Triangle for a second location of his neighborhood restaurant. Slated to open in January or February, the restaurant has built a devoted following for its classic comfort fare that includes slow cooked baby back ribs, a Gulf crab cake, and the signature KP Burger. The new location will feature all of the same promotions as the original, including Kids Eat Free on Tuesdays, community givebacks on Wednesdays, and a Thursday steak night.
Leaf & Grain - Tanglewood
The locally owned sandwich and salad restaurant will open its first location outside the loop in early 2024. Gin Design Group is taking the lead on converting the former Zoës Kitchen into a destination worthy of Briargrove and Tanglewood.
Loro - Kirby
Construction continues to transform the former River Oaks Paint & Body into a second Houston-area location of this Asian-inspired smokehouse from Uchi founder Tyson Cole and Texas barbecue legend Aaron Franklin. It will build on the success of the Heights location that opened in 2022.
Mandito’s Tex-Mex - Katy
Palacios Murphy Hospitality Group has claimed the former Jax Grill location (9910 Gaston Rd.) for its second Houston-area outpost. Similar to the location that opened in Bellaire last year, the menu centers around burritos, enchiladas, flautas, and fajitas as well as the signature burrito bowl. Katy will seat more diners than the Bellaire location and offer a separate entrance for picking up to-go orders.
The Austin burger favorite will finally make its entrance into the Houston market with two locations, the Houston Chronicle reports. Known for its burgers and shakes served in restaurants with a retro design, a Richmond location is expected to open in May with a Spring outpost to follow in the fall.
Phat Eatery - The Woodlands
Katy’s smash hit Malaysian restaurant will open its second location in February. Located in a former Fuddruckers in Grogan’s Mill (2290 Buckthorne Pl.), the restaurant’s expansive, 7,800-square feet will allow chef-owner Alex Au-Yeung to expand his menu with more dim sum, Cantonese barbecue, and bian dang, described as a Taiwanese-style bento box. Beverage options will include wine, beer, sake, and cocktails.
The Pit Room - Memorial
The Montrose barbecue favorite will brings its barbecue, tacos, and sides to a second location near Memorial City Mall (10301 Katy Fwy). With considerably more space than the original, owner Michael Sambrooks will be able to expand the menu with amenities such as a sausage grinding station and an ice cream sandwich bar. Expect an opening this spring, which means plenty of time to enjoy the location’s expansive patio.
Relish Restaurant & Bar - Town & Country
The River Oaks favorite will brings its cheeseburgers, fried chicken, and lobster rolls to the Memorial area this fall. With double the seating capacity of the original, owners Addie and Dustin Teague’s plans include more booth seating, a dedicated oyster bar, a chef’s table, and a central bar to showcase the restaurant’s cocktail program.
Slowpokes - Memorial
The fifth location of the coffee shop and cafe will open this month at 13210 Memorial Dr. Slowpokes has developed a devoted following thanks to its combination of coffee, beer, and wine that are paired with a diverse food menu built around sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, and breakfast items. Unique to this location is a walk-up window for expedited to-go orders.
The Austin-based pizzeria will open its first Houston-area location this February in the Memorial City area. Via 313’s Detroit-style deep dish pies have developed a cult following for their crispy, chewy crust. The pizzeria is part of Savory Fund, a venture capital fund that’s investing millions of dollars in opening restaurants in the Bayou City.
Nine more establishments of note
Frank’s Americana Revival
Closed since June, the upscale comfort food restaurant is on track to open this summer at its new location in the Alexan River Oaks (3015 Weslayan St.). Moving to a larger location means more space for The White Star Bar and all-new patio seating. In time, the restaurant will add a companion coffee shop that will be open in the morning.
Karbach Pizza & Pints
Pizza has always been a staple at Karbach’s brewpub, but it will have a dedicated home at this new restaurant. Chef Edward Hoyos has developed a Neapolitan-style crust that will serve as the basis for the restaurant’s pies. Scheduled to open in February, it will have enough cooking capacity to serve both the neighborhood and the brewery’s popular beer garden.
Katy Beer Garden
Beverage specialist Steven Salazar is bringing his experience operating bars for the Kirby Group (Heights Bier Garten, Holman Draft Hall, etc.) to this new project that’s part of The Dryer, a new mixed-use project located near Katy Mills Mall on the property of Katy’s historic Cardiff Rice Dryer. The bar will offer a 10,000-square-foot indoor space and a 15,000-square-foot outdoor patio and landscaped beer garden that’s shaded by 45-foot tall oak trees. Projected for a spring opening, its selection of drinks will include 100 beer taps, a 100 bottle wine list, and a wide range of spirits and cocktails.
Magdalena’s Pizza and Trattoria
Former Da Marco general manager Nicolas Nikic has claimed the former Pei Wei location in West U. for a new Italian restaurant. Expected to open in the coming weeks, the restaurant will serve pizzas, pastas, small plates, and entrees. Named for Nikic’s Italian mother, the restaurant will also feature a well-priced wine list.
Maven Coffee + Cocktails
Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. and his business partners will open the first standalone location of their coffee shop and cocktail bar at Silver Street Studios. Expected to open this spring, it will serve pastries, coffee, and a range of cocktails in a space that will transition from a family-friendly coffee shop during the day to an upscale bar in the evenings.
Located next to FM Kitchen & Bar, this sister concept will feature pickleball courts paired with an indoor/outdoor bar with TVs for watching sports. The menu will offer both smash burgers and healthier bites for those who want to power a workout on the court. First announced in 2022, it’s expected to open in March.
Inspired by their time with Dallas’ XOXO Dining Room, entrepreneurs Veeral Rathod and Obi Ibeto will bring this champagne-fueled concept to the former Del Frisco’s Grille space in the Shops at Arrive River Oaks development. Expected to open in February, the over-the-top decor is highlighted by pink everywhere and tables with doorbells labeled “Press for Champagne.” Chef Bryan Caswell (Reef, El Real Tex-Mex Cafe) will oversee the kitchen at this restaurant and lounge.
Gr8 Plate Hospitality, the company behind The Union Kitchen and Jax Grill, will add this retail wine shop and wine bar to its portfolio. Expected to open later this month, Vine will sell more than 200 bottles selected by Gr8 Plate owners Doris and Paul Miller with input from general manager Jim Harvey and master sommelier Guy Stout. Chef James Lundy has created a menu of light bites to pair with the selections.
Yia Yia Pappas
Pappas Restaurants' new Greek concept will offer a different experience than Yia Yia Mary's, the Galleria-area restaurant that closed in 2020. Potentially opening towards the end of this year in the former Pappasdeaux space on Richmond, current plans call for the new Greek restaurant to focus on mezes and small plates and only be open for dinner.