Houston is a beautiful city packed with rich and diverse culture. Of course, a big part of that culture is the city’s delicious and, more often than not, comforting food. If you want the proper introduction to Southern food, Houston is the place to start.
When visiting Houston, you’ll find eateries that cater to all kinds of food lovers. Whether you’re craving fall-of-the-bone smoked ribs or a classic crawfish boil, you’ll always find something mouthwatering to try in this bustling city.
So what are you waiting for? Read our Houston food guide to make your visit even more delicious and satisfying.
1. Tex-Mex Tacos
There’s no doubt that Tex-Mex tacos are a culinary gem in Houston, Texas. Its flavors are in the name itself, combining the wonderful tastes of Texan and Mexican cultures. If you’re into delectable, handheld food, Tex-Mex tacos are a must-try. They’re made from seasoned meats, such as beef, pork, or chicken, perfectly grilled and nestled in soft, warm tortillas. But, of course, they’d be incomplete without the toppings of fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and shredded cheese. It’s the perfect balance between smoky, spicy, and savory, so you’ll never be disappointed.
2. Smoked Ribs
Smoked ribs, a true barbecue delicacy, hold a special place in Houston’s culinary scene. Whether you opt for beef or pork, these succulent slabs of meat are cooked slowly and meticulously for hours beforehand. It’s what gives them a smoky, tender, and flavorful profile. The best part about smoked ribs is their tasty crust formed by a blend of spices and rubs. When in Houston, make a trip to the Blue Agave restaurant. You’ll find their specialty Agave Smoked Ribs on https://blueagavehouston.com/menu/. Their baby back ribs are coated in their homemade BBQ sauce for a mouthwatering meal.
3. Gulf Coast Seafood
Gulf Coast seafood defines the coastal culinary scene in Houston, Texas. The city is conveniently located alongside the Gulf of Mexico, making it home to a wide variety of fresh and flavorful seafood. That includes mouthwatering delicacies like succulent shrimp, plump oysters, tender crabs, and a variety of fish species. The best part? The food is always fresh! When in Houston, you can taste the ocean’s influence in every bite of your perfectly grilled redfish or creamy bowl of seafood gumbo.
4. Vietnamese Pho
If you’re looking for comfort in a bowl, look no further than Vietnamese Pho when visiting Houston, Texas. This aromatic and flavorful soup has found a special place in the hearts and palates of locals and visitors alike. Its base is a clear, fragrant broth infused with herbs and spices. Pho also contains thin slices of beef or chicken and rice noodles. Garnish includes fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and chili peppers. If you’ve never tried it before, you’re in for a flavor-packed and delicious ride.
5. Crawfish Boil
A crawfish boil is a beloved communal dining tradition in Houston. If you want to feel like you’re part of the city’s community, partaking in a crawfish boil is the way to go. It’s the ideal testament to the city’s Cajun and Gulf Coast influences. Of course, the star of the show is the crawfish. It’s boiled with potatoes, corn, and other ingredients and seasoned with delicious Cajun spices. Once cooked, the crawfish boil is served directly on the table and spread out on newspaper or plastic wrap. Diners gather to crack open the crawfish and enjoy a festive atmosphere.
6. Southern Comfort Food
Of course, there’s no place like Houston, Texas, to find Southern comfort food to soothe your soul. Whether you’re looking for crispy fried chicken or a warm bowl of mac and cheese, there’s always an eatery open to satisfy those late-night cravings. You’ll also find buttery biscuits and succulent shrimp and grits at any hour of the day when roaming Houston. These dishes are seasoned with a touch of nostalgia and a dash of hospitality, creating a sense of home in every bite. This comforting food has brought the people of Texas together for many decades past.
Kolaches is a delightful pastry with Czech origins that has slowly found its way into Houston’s food culture. They’re made from a soft, slightly sweet dough and filled with a variety of ingredients. That includes sweet options like fruit preserves, cream cheese, and poppy seed filling, as well as savory choices like sausage, cheese, and jalapeños. That means you can have Kolaches any time of the day, whether it’s for breakfast, brunch, or snacking. However, locals tend to enjoy it primarily for breakfast, followed by a hot cup of coffee.
8. Texan Chili
You may have had chili before, but it’s an entirely different experience when you’re having it in Houston, Texas. This hearty and spicy stew has held a special place in the hearts of Houstonians for many years. The chunks of beef, chili peppers, and tomatoes are seasoned with cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Then, it’s slow-cooked to perfection, allowing the flavors to meld together and the beef to become succulent and tender. Texas has many different chili variations, such as the Bowl of Red, which also includes red beans. Locals prefer to enjoy chili with cornbread or hot dogs.
9. Craft Beer and Breweries
Craft beer and breweries are a vibrant part of the city’s culinary culture. You’ll find tons of breweries in the city where you can taste different variations of the state’s beloved craft beer. From hoppy IPAs and rich stouts to crisp lagers and sour ales, you’ll be surprised at all the types of craft beer out there.
10. Food Truck Delights
Of course, you can’t leave Houston without trying one of the city’s many food trucks. You’ll find them at nearly every stop along the way, serving delicious, comforting, and affordable food. Whether you’re craving tacos, gourmet burgers, Korean barbecue, authentic Mexican street food, or a bowl of mac and cheese, you’ll find a food truck that can satisfy your taste buds.
From Tex-Mex delights to Gulf Coast seafood or BBQ that’s second to none to Vietnamese pho that warms the soul, Houston offers a culinary journey like no other. When visiting this wonderful city, you’ll find a delicious and diverse food scene to keep your taste buds satisfied. So once you arrive, you can use our guide to guarantee a flavorsome visit.