The Required: Houston

The Required: Houston

A definitive guide to Houston's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

July 27, 2020
The Required: Houston

The Required: Houston

A definitive guide to Houston's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

July 27, 2020

Houston, We've Landed.

The Required is our expert version of a "best list," comprised of the stand-out restaurants that have garnered the all-time most recommendations from our expert community. That's 5000+ all-star chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, and more–no black box of food editor committees or user surveys, just plain, crave-able cred.

Read on to plan your next trip—or just to be sure you've checked all the boxes on your home turf. 

Nobie's

The Story: Nobie’s is a New American eatery from husband and wife team Martin and Sara Stayer, located in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood. Chef Martin puts his Michelin star experience to use in their curated and constantly evolving menu.

What to Eat: The menu involves 20-25 daily items focusing on seasonal ingredients from fresh produce to Gulf coast seafood. Ask your server about what’s best that day. It should be noted that with dish titles like “Wu-Tang Clam Ain’t Nothing to Shuck With” and “Don’t Worry Brie Happy” they’ve got an unapologetic maker of adorably corny Dad Jokes in house.  

What to Drink: Domestic and Imported beer, wine, a fine selection of Whiskey and Tequila, and daily specialty cocktails. 

The Vibe: Located in a funky brick house, with mid century stereo gear, and furniture Mac-Gyvered from wood pallets, the welcoming atmosphere at Nobie’s is very much that of going to a dinner party in someone’s home. The staff all appear to love each other and to be having a good time while still taking their jobs seriously, which makes this an exceptionally fun place to hang, dine, and drink.    

When To Go: Open daily for dinner service with slightly varying closing times, you’ll want to check their website for their hours and what’s good on the daily menu. They also offer weekday specials like Whiskey Wednesday, where all of their whiskey is half off, and Thirsty Thursday with half off all bottles of sparkling wine. 

Nobie's
Spot
Montrose, Houston
$$$, Happy Hour, Outdoor Seating, Full Bar, New American
3 Recommendations

Pinkerton's BBQ

The Story: Grant Pinkerton is one of Texas’ youngest and most celebrated pit masters. He was the first ever pit master to be honored on Forbes’ 30 under 30 Food and Drink list. Pinkerton started barbecuing out of a trailer back in 2014 and has since opened a brick and mortar in Houston’s Heights neighborhood. 

What to Eat: Brisket, Ribs, and dreamy Boudin Blanc smoked in the Texan tradition: slow and low over aged post oak and sun dried mesquite in offset pits. While classic BBQ sides like Mac and Cheese and Coleslaw are on offer, our Experts also love Chef Pinkerton’s more creative additions like Jalapeño Cheese Rice, and Duck Jambalaya. 

What to Drink: Microbrews and specialty cocktails.

The Vibe: Hardwood and stonewalls with heads of game mounted to them and communal seating, gives Pinkerton’s a contemporary yet classic Texas feel. 

When To Go: Open from Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., you can expect lines at peak times. We’re of the opinion that getting tantalized by the scent of mesquite and meat is fabulous for your appetite and a great way to bond with your fellow line mates over the sweet smoky torture y’all are enduring together. 

Pondicheri

 

The Story: Tucked away in a large shopping center in the Upper Kirby district, Expert Anita Jaisinghani's Pondicheri offers creative interpretations on Indian street food classics as well as a fabulous breakfast menu that is thankfully served all day. 

What to Eat: For breakfast, our Experts say the Rice and Almond Flour pancakes with Fresh Coconut and Jaggery Caramel and the Avocado Smoked Salmon Dosa are winners. For lunch: the Muscovy Duck Kofta seasoned with Cardamom and Black Pepper with a Caramelized Onion, Chili and Coconut Sauce are to die for. For dinner: Kerala Fish Curry with Coconut, Ginger, and Cashews and the Cauliflower Masala with Carrot Roti are where it’s at. For dessert: get the Chai Cream Pie with Parle G Cookie Crust and Mango Kulfi with Cardamom and Clove. 

What to Drink: Craft cocktails with Indian spices, wine and beer. 

The Vibe: A modern bistro with counter service, high ceilings and upholstered booths. 

When To Go: Open seven days a week with brunch from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. you’ll probably be able to sneak a couple of visits in to Pondicheri while in Houston. If you can only go once, try to bring as many friends who like to share as possible so that you can try all of the things.

Pondicheri
Spot
Southwest Houston, Houston
$$, Happy Hour, Outdoor Seating, Indian, Full Bar, Breakfast
3 Recommendations
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