Downtown
Okra Charity Saloon

Just a feel-good kind of bar. Buy a drink, and know it goes to a good cause.  Proud to be on the founding board of this amazing organization that has donated more than $1 million to local charities.

924 Congress
Houston, Texas 77002

friedokra.org

Okra Charity Saloon
Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Saint Arnold is just one of our really cool breweries doing really cool things. Take a tour of any one of our local breweries, and get some knowledge. (a.k.a. beer)

2000 Lyons Avenue
Houston, TX 77020

Saintarnold.com 

Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Public Services Wine & Whisky

A beautifully run bar by the Justins (Vann and Yu). They have a great whisky selection, but I think the hidden gem there is the Madeira selection and the snacks. 

202 Travis Street, #100
Houston, TX 77002

PublicServicesBar.com 

Public Services Wine & Whisky
Huynh

Huynh is one of the most delicious spots on the East side of downtown. It’s a small, casual restaurant that produces some of the best Vietnamese food out there. Friendly service, good technique, bold flavors. Try the grilled short rib and the goi vit. 

912 Saint Emanuel Street
Houston, TX 77003

HuynhRestaurantHouston.com 

Huynh
Montrose/Midtown
Cali Sandwich

What all other sandwich shops strive to be—perfect. They’ve been rocking banh mi sandwiches since the ‘80s. Order the cha gio (Vietnamese egg rolls), and don’t forget to add a fried egg to your banh mi.

2900 Travis
Houston, TX 77006 

Cali Sandwich
Blacksmith

David Buehrer changed the coffee culture in Houston. He was the first to go out to restaurants and explain why coffee is so important. You will find me at Blacksmith several times a day.

1018 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006

BlacksmithHouston.com 

Blacksmith
The Pass and Provisions

Seth and Terrence are smart, amazing chefs. They have a brilliant perspective on food that’s different from anyone else in the city.

807 Taft
Houston, TX 77019

PassAndProvisions.com 

The Pass and Provisions
Anvil Bar and Refuge

Where it all began. Sit at the bar and talk to your bartender. Learn something. Little known fact: Underbelly was conceived on a bev nap at Anvil.

1424 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006

AnvilHouston.com 

Anvil Bar and Refuge
Brennan's of Houston

This is classic Houston. Opened in 1967, this is where I learned about family in the restaurant business. I worked nine years there. It’s the place that started to shape me, where I started to learn creative freedom.

3300 Smith Street
Houston, TX 77006

BrennansHouston.com 

Brennan's of Houston
Aladdin

Houston’s version of a meat and three. It’s walking distance from our restaurants, so it’s a staff favorite for a quick, delicious, affordable lunch.

912 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006

AladdinsHouston.com 

Aladdin
Poison Girl

Small, slightly hidden spot right in the center of Montrose that has arguably the best bourbon selection in the city. 

1641 Westheimer Rd B
Houston, TX 77006 

Poison Girl
Pho Saigon

The OG pho spot in Houston with locations across the city, but the one in Midtown is my favorite. The Tran family is always willing to share stories with me and help me with ideas along the way.

2808 Milam Street, Suite D
Houston, TX 77006

PhoSaigonNoodleHouse.com

Pho Saigon
Goodnight Charlie's

I never thought a honky tonk would be one of my favorite places to hang out, but this bar is run by some great people. I don’t dance, but I definitely will drink their bourbon. 

2531 Kuester
Houston, TX 77006

GoodnightCharlies.com 

Goodnight Charlie's
Hugo's

It’s inspiring to see someone tell their own amazing story through their food—where they’re from, who they are. Hugo is a good man. And I love to eat his food. 

1600 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006

HugosRestaurant.net 

Hugo's
Hay Merchant

Want to talk beer? The staff at Hay Merchant knows so much. I’m also pretty happy they serve cocktails now. 

1100 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006

HayMerchant.com 

Hay Merchant
Cecil's

Classic Houston institution. It’s a cook’s bar, and you’re likely to encounter industry folk when you’re there. 

600 W. Gray Street
Houston, TX 77006

CecilsPubHouston.com 

Cecil's
Heights
Coltivare

One of the best restaurants in Houston.  Small, quaint, precise.  Ryan Pera is a great chef and dear friend.  I call him “The Oracle.” Try the chicken wings. Arguably the best cacio e pepe ever.

3320 White Oak Drive
Houston, TX 77007

AgricoleHospitality.com 

Coltivare
Eight Row Flint

Tacos and whiskey! Tacos and whiskey! Tacos and whiskey! And patio. Ask about the ring toss. 

1039 Yale Street
Houston, TX 77008

AgricoleHospitality.com 

Eight Row Flint
Gatlin's BBQ

Fantastic ribs and an even better family. Mama makes the sides—they’re the best around.

3510 Ella Boulevard
Houston, TX 77018

GatlinsBBQ.com 

Gatlin's BBQ
Southwest Houston
Mala Sichuan

Amazing young couple doing amazing things by staying true to their style of cuisine. Try the red oil dumplings or the mapo tofu and cool off with the cucumber sticks. I'm also stoked that they chose to open their second location in Montrose at 1201 Westheimer.

9348 Bellaire Boulevard
Houston, TX 77036

MalaSichuan.com 

Mala Sichuan
Saigon Pagolac

One of the oldest Vietnamese restaurants in the city.  Go for an interactive, family-style experience. Order the Seven Courses of Beef.

9600 Bellaire Boulevard
Houston, TX 77036

SaigonPagolac.com 

Saigon Pagolac
Crawfish and Noodles

A true measure of what Houston is all about—cultures blending. Take a Southern crawfish boil and blend it with Vietnamese flavor.  Add stir-fried blue crabs and braised turkey necks, and you have one hell of a meal.

11360 Bellaire Boulevard
Houston, TX 77072

CrawfishAndNoodles.com 

Crawfish and Noodles
HK Dim Sum

Best dim sum around. Don’t expect traditional cart service.  All dishes are made to order.  My favorites? Pork spare ribs and shrimp dumplings.

9889 Bellaire Boulevard #110
Houston, TX 77072

HKDimSumCity.com 

HK Dim Sum
Pho Binh by Night

Best broth around. There are a few locations around Houston, but this one is open late. Ask for the bone marrow on the side.

12148 Bellaire Blvd #101
Houston, TX 77072

PhoBinh.com/By-Night

Pho Binh by Night
Hai Cang

This is my favorite restaurant for live seafood and delicious treats. Don’t miss the tamarind Dungeness crab, shrimp and scrambled eggs and the spicy green beans. 

11768 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77072

HaiCangRestaurant.net

Hai Cang
Van Loi

I stumbled across this spot searching for fresh rice noodles and discovered they also serve one of the best Banh Xeos I’ve had. It took me back to Vietnam. 

12319 Bellaire Blvd #100
Houston, TX 77072

Van Loi
London Sizzler

My Indian family.  This restaurant is one of my favorite places to eat, and the masala bhindi might be my favorite dish in the city.

6690 Southwest Fwy
Houston, TX 77074

LondonSizzler.com

London Sizzler
Al Aseel

They serve arguably one of the best baba ghanoush that I’ve tasted, along with their fire-roasted breads. The standout dishes: anything grilled over live fire. 

8619 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77063

Al Aseel
Longpoint Road
Kong Ju

Makers of Korean rice specialties and Houston’s best kimchi.  These are the guys that make the rice sticks for our goat and dumplings (now available at Hay Merchant).

10082 Long Point Rd
Houston, TX 77055

Kong Ju
Vieng Thai

The place that started it all for me.  They told me “no” when I ordered the Yum Nhean, which made me want to explore my city and learn more about other cultures and cuisines.

6929 Long Point Rd
Houston, TX 77055

ViengThai.com

Vieng Thai
Korea Garden

One of the best places for a mix of traditional dishes and barbecue. The staff is always so helpful and will walk you through your experience.

9501 Long Point Rd
Houston, TX 77055

KoreaGardenHouston.com

Korea Garden
El Hidalguense

You have to go during the weekend to see it in all its glory.  Spit-roasted goat and live music. Don’t expect Tex-Mex. It’s the real deal.

6917 Long Point Rd
Houston, TX 77055

El Hidalguense
H Mart

One of the nicest grocery stores I’ve ever visited.  It has the best food court around.

1302 Blalock
Houston, TX 77055

HMart.com 

H Mart
The Galleria/Upper Kirby
Cafe Annie

Robert del Grande is an icon in this city. He was one of the first to break out into regional cuisine.  He actually started the Southwestern cuisine movement and is still going strong.

1800 Post Oak Blvd
Houston, TX 77056

CafeAnnieHouston.com 

Cafe Annie
Kata Robata

A guiding light for Japanese cuisine. Chef Manabu (Hori) Horiuchi shows honor and integrity when handling his fish.  Just sit at the counter and dine omakase, and you’ll understand.

3600 Kirby Drive, Suite H
Houston, TX 77098

KataRobata.com 

Kata Robata
Hamilton Shirts

The Hamilton family has been making custom shirts in Houston since 1883. Nothing feels better than a Hamilton Shirt—the fit, the experience, the service. Ask for David.

5700 Richmond Avenue
Houston, TX 77057

HamiltonShirts.com 

Hamilton Shirts
Outliers
Atkinson Farms

Our biggest supplier of local produce. An amazing family—third generation farmers.

3217 Spring Cypress Rd
Spring, TX 77388

AtkinsonFarm.com 

Atkinson Farms
Knopp Branch Farms

Farming wizards.

11041 FM 822
Edna, Texas 77957

KnoppBranchFarm.com

 

Knopp Branch Farms
Blue Heron Farms

Find them at the farmers market or take a tour of their farm. They make amazing goat cheese, but don’t miss the feta.

BlueHeronTexas.com

Blue Heron Farms
Black Hill Ranch

Felix Flores is a wine guy turned swine guy. He takes great care of our pigs and goats.

BlackHillMeats.com

Black Hill Ranch
44 Farms

Know your rancher—these are the words that the folks at 44 Farms live by. We get the majority of our beef for all of our restaurants here. We have a personal relationship, and I know they’re raising their cows right. 

963 PR 44
Cameron, Texas 76520

44Farms.com

44 Farms
Near and Dear
Antonio Gianola

One of the smartest wine guys I know.  He can be found waltzing the aisles at Houston Wine Merchant. Go see him.  Now.

Antonio Gianola
Randy Evans

My brother. My longtime best friend. We learned together and have grown together. He moved to San Antonio to run the restaurants at HEB, and I miss him. 

Randy Evans
Mark Holley

My mentor and teacher. He taught me seasonality and how it reflects on a changing menu. He made me understand customer relations, and he made me be a presence in the dining room. 

Mark Holley
Jim Gossen

One of the most influential men for Gulf seafood. A true believer of all things Southern.  

Jim Gossen
Kellie Karavias

It’s not often that you meet people who are destined to make change. She’s teaching the next generation of cooks in her Cultivated Classroom. She’s teaching inner-city kids about fresh vegetables and knife skills and to think big. She’s making the world a better place. 

 

Kellie Karavias
Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse

What can you say about these guys? They are changing the bar scene of Houston on a daily basis. Just making it fun. I love the bourbon selection at Bad News Bar and the upstairs patio at Grand Prize Bar, but all their spots are great. I can't keep up. I can't wait for them to take me on a dive bar crawl.

Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse
HOUBBQ Collective

Most chefs will rise to the occasion when called. These guys (Seth Siegel-Gardner, Terrence Gallivan, Justin Yu and Ryan Pera) continue to give back. Not only do they run some of the best restaurants in the city, they have a true sense of community and make this city a better place. 

HOUBBQ Collective
Liz Fenton

I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t met Liz. She taught me Korean food. She took the time to teach me. Liz didn’t just change my life—she changed a lot of people’s lives. The world is a better place because she was in it for a while. I miss you. 

Liz Fenton