With the Super Bowl taking over the Bayou City and thousands of people milling about, one question that’s bound to be on everyone’s mind is where to eat and drink. Houston’s restaurant game is strong and there is no shortage of places to visit for every budget and every style of dining. No matter the cuisine, choices are seemingly endless.
First and foremost, if you’re looking for a place to hang out and pop a few corks, check out this list of Can’t Miss Houston Wine Spots.
Hey its Texas, so of course you must indulge in a steak. And Houston definitely has its share of prime steakhouses. One of my favorite features about steakhouses? The excellent wine selection of course.
Located near the Galleria (of course you will shop at the Galleria), this is the place to unwind after that killer shopping spree. Whether you indulge in a dry aged long bone ribeye or go a bit smaller with a dry aged filet, you are sure to be treated to a succulent cut of beef. Better yet, start or end your evening in the swanky bar where there’s often live music and fantastic bar bites. Just be sure to enjoy a selection or two from the extensive wine list. The restaurant has a partnership with renowned winemaker Robert Foley and offers a proprietary blend – Sullivan’s Steakhouse “Private Reserve” 2014 Cabernet Napa Valley – for diners to sip on. CCTip: The Seafood Sampler (hot or cold) is a seafood lover’s dream and makes a great starter for the group.
Located downtown in the center of where many of the festivities will take place, III Forks is a prime spot to splurge on a little wagyu. The beautiful floor to ceiling glass wine cellar beckons you to order a bottle or two. The selection leans heavily American but delivers with some solid favorites as well as a few surprises. CCTip: The Wagyu Beef Cheek & Roasted Bone Marrow is to die for! Like buttah!
The Pappas family group of restaurants is akin to Texas royalty and their classy, high-end steakhouse is truly one of the best. And the wine list, with almost 4,000 selections (and has been awarded Wine Spectator’s highest honor, the Grand Award) is a thing of beauty with one of the most extraordinary selections you’ll ever come across. With locations in Downtown and the Galleria, you’re never far away from the center of the action. CCTip: It’s not on the menu, but ask if they have the Lobster Mac n Cheese. Drool worthy.
Because you’re on the 3rd coast, you have to experience Gulf Seafood and what makes it so special.
With a delicious focus on Southern cuisine and Gulf seafood, Bernadine’s is a must when visiting Houston. In addition to its varied selection of oysters, creative seafood cuisine dominates the menu. And while the non-swimmer selection is on point too (the duck is amazing) the seafood really shines. All of the seafood deliciousness is accompanied by a wonderful wine list that brings out the best in the cuisine. CCTip: It’s so wrong (being right is not as much fun), but the Ranch Dusted Pork Chicharrones are unlike any you’ve had before. Go ahead and make a mess and have a glass of bubbly while you make said mess.
Oysters (from all over), towering seafood towers, a raw bar, and a medley of other gulf coast seafood delights are front and center at State of Grace. Located in River Oaks, the airy and bright space is quite impressive and eclectic with large chandeliers and hunting trophies right alongside. The wine selection is varied enough without being overwhelming and really offers a nice selection of wines you don’t see everywhere. CCTip: Yes you’re there for the fantastic seafood, but do try the Koran Fried Chicken. Dee-liciois! And you’ll get a warm towel to clean your sticky hands afterwards.
Like it’s sister steakhouse restaurant from the Pappas family, Pappadeaux is an institution in the Houston dining scene. As the largest concept in the Pappas family restaurant empire with locations all around the city, the restaurant continues to serve diners by the masses. Whether you’re up for Gulf Coast shrimp or Texas blue crab, you’ll find a wide selection of seafood dishes to please every palate. CCTip: The Texas Redfish Pontchartrain with its brown butter wine sauce will seriously make you want to lick the plate clean.
Chef Mark Holley’s modern, elegant downtown restaurant is a dream for seafood lovers. With a noticeable Southern influence in many of the dishes, Holley’s offers up creative seafood dishes to please even the most discerning of diners. And while the wine selection pairs beautifully with the varied flavors of the menu, the extensive whiskey selection should not be missed. Definitely a must do for a nightcap. CCTip: Get the Thai-Style Fried Snapper for Two. It’s a game changer.
Because Houston embraces its Southern roots just as much as it does its Southwestern and Latin roots, a bounty of Southern cuisine is available throughout the Bayou City.
A New Orleans transplant in downtown Houston since the late 60s, Brennan’s is the epitome of Southern fine dining. Whether you’re in the mood for old school Creole favorites, creative and updated interpretations of Southern cuisine, or a decadent brunch in the fabulous courtyard, Brennan’s is always a favorite amongst diners. The toughest choice is just trying to decide when to visit. Perhaps you can start with happy hour as the restaurant has rolled out a special happy hour menu just for the Super Bowl. And the wine selection, which features more than 800 bottles and over 80 selections by the glass, is just as grand as the food. CCTip: Everything is good so you can’t go wrong. Just don’t forget to pick up your complimentary praline candy on the way out the door.
A relative newcomer to the Houston dining scene, Lucile’s does a modern take on down home Southern cooking. Located in the museum district, the restaurant is not shy with its portion sizes and diners will generally waddle out the door. Case in point is The Yardbird, the restaurant’s fried chicken, which looks almost like an entire chicken on the plate. CCTip: Be sure you’re in for a leisurely meal and pack some patience as speed is not a hallmark of the restaurant. But it’ll be worth the wait.
AUTHENTIC MEXICAN & TEX-MEX
The influence of Texas’ neighbor to the south, Mexico, is undeniable in the Houston food scene. Whether you’re up for the state’s beloved Tex-Mex or the real deal, there are plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.
This upscale Galleria area spots boasts the ultimate in Mexican coastal cuisine. The menu is truly a culinary tour along the Mexican coasts. Whether you’re up for oysters, ceviche, or something wrapped in a tortilla, the menu’s diverse and creative offerings will have you coming back for more. The exceptional wine list is truly a wonder and features an oft-unseen collection of Mexican wines. There’s even a wine section devoted to oysters. CCTip: Try the Tamal de Langosta, a tamale with sautéed lobster. It’s fabulous!
Just on the other side of downtown, this classic and historic Tex-Mex eatery has legions of loyal fans. And for good reason as they offer up and pay homage to all of the classic Tex-Mex favorites – and do them well. Tacos, fajitas, tamales, guacamole – its all there. To quench your thirst, don’t stray far from one of the craft cocktails or fabulous margaritas. CCTip: Cheesy enchiladas.
With multiple locations around town, each touting a comfy ambiance in which to hang out with friends, El Tiempo has some of the best fajitas in the city. Try the beef tenderloin filet fajitas. The combination of seared beef, caramelized onions, and fluffy house made tortillas is seriously hard to beat. And while the margaritas are good, the Red Sangria shouldn’t be missed. CCTip: It’s a popular spot so be prepared for a bit of a wait. The good news is, it’s typically not as bad as it seems.
Have a group of people that just can’t decide or commit to a specific cuisine? Want something a bit more casual? Well, no worries as these spots have a little something for everyone.
Sister restaurant to Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Del Frisco’s Grille, located in the upscale West Ave complex in River Oaks, is a beautiful industrial chic spot that is equally casual and as it is sophisticated. And with a fantastic patio to watch all the action, it’s easy to while away the hours here. The restaurant’s creative and trendy take on American classics is perfect for sharing with a group. And the wine selection, highlighted by the gorgeous glass wine cellars, is led by Jessica Norris, a 2015 Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 honoree. Try a glass of the propriety Del Frisco’s Grille “Red Blend” 2013 California from winemaker Robert Foley. CCTip: Order the addictive Cheesesteak Eggrolls to get started. In fact, have them with a glass of the red blend.
Any restaurant with the slogan “Fried Chicken and Champagne?…Why The Hell Not?!” is sure to be a favorite amongst foodies and winos alike. This is the ultimate in gourmet comfort food and diners will be faced with some tough decisions when
trying to decide what to eat. And whether you try one of the wines on tap or go for the glass or bottle selection, you’ll find no shortage of wines to pair with the decadent cuisine. CCTip: Yes the fried chicken is truly amazing (don’t tell grandma) but the Fried Egg Sandwich with house made truffle chips will change your life. Just trust me. And don’t forget your stretchy pants.
Because sometimes you just can’t get out or would just rather host your own Super Bowl bash.
This fast casual restaurant is offering an amazing “buy one get one free” offer on Super Bowl Sunday on their famous chicken tenders when ordering 25 or more. Fans are sure to score big with the fresh hand-breaded or grilled (if you’re being good) tenders and over 12 homemade dipping sauces. This offer is good at all Houston-area locations. Just be sure to place your order ahead of time to ensure you get in on the deal.
Just be sure to pop open some bubbly to pair.