The Top Eats in Houston: Southern Specialties You Must Try

Houston’s prime attractions include as many restaurants as museums. If you’re in town for a taste of the local highlights, you can’t miss these favorite picks. Such popular restaurants often have big menus, so make a note to order these particular dishes so you can get a bite of the top eats in Houston.

Crispy Thai Shrimp at Davis St. Hermann Park


Once you're done riding this gigantic Ferris Wheel, take your Texas-sized appetite to restaurants that offer the top eats in Houston

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Open less than three months prior to the competition, Davis St. Hermann Park made a big impression at the 2015 Houston Rodeo’s Best Bites Competition. The Crispy Thai Shrimp won the Trailblazing Appetizer Award and second place for People’s Choice. The delectable shrimp was served with three sauces at the best bites competition including a jalapeno cilantro cream, Sriracha aioli, and Sriracha sauce with honey, lemon, and apple cider vinegar.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding at Joyce’s Seafood & Steaks

Joyce’s Seafood & Steaks opened in 1997 and quickly became a neighborhood favorite for bistro dining. Another popular dish at the 2015 Houston Rodeo Best Bites Competition, the White Chocolate Bread Pudding won the Tasty Traditions award and earned second place for Two-Stepping Bread/Cheese/Dessert. Served with pecans and a bourbon sauce, this is a decadent end to any meal.

Turtle Soup at Brennan’s of Houston

Brennan’s of Houston has proudly served its signature Turtle Soup for over 40 years. It’s widely recognized as the most popular dish at the restaurant, and the uniqueness of the dish makes it the perfect pick for visitors who want a distinctive local taste. The restaurant uses freshwater farm-raised turtle from Louisiana Foods as well as onion, spinach, bell pepper, and hard-cooked eggs to create a rich stew. Visitors will find Brennan’s conveniently located near several Houston hotels.

Certified Angus Beef Tenderloin at Taste of Texas

The Certified Angus Beef Tenderloin earned the Taste of Texas second place for the Tasty Traditions Award at the 2015 Best Bites Competition. Head to this well-known steakhouse and order the single Certified Angus Beef Tenderloin for a party of three or four. This 32 oz. cut is prepared with the restaurant’s own special Roast Seasoning. This local landmark has served stellar steaks since 1977.

Fried Chicken at Al Aseel Grill & Café

Al Aseel Grill & Café is a Mediterranean restaurant, but it’s best known for a southern specialty. The fried chicken is crispy, juicy, and spicy. Southern Living included it on its 2013 list of the South’s Best Friend Chicken. Reviewers rave over the specialty. Known for affordable prices and generous portions, this is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a big southern meal on a small budget. Paired with cheap flights to Houston and an affordable hotel, this pick will help you keep all your travel costs low.

Enjoy a rich taste of Houston’s flavor with a stop at one, some, or all of these well-loved picks. You’re sure to find as many locals in these hot spots as you do tourists, because even Texans know these dishes are worth a special night out.