Isn’t Texas all about spare ribs and BBQ sauce? Hold off the clichés for a second. Texas has actually turned into quite the foodie destination. Even though Austin’s food trucks are leading the foray when it comes to Instagram photos, Houston and Galveston aren’t far behind.
Houston’s Culinary Map of the World
Of course, Houston will treat you to traditional deep fried Southern dishes and Tex-Mex for days on end. True Houston delights are whipped up at Harold’s In The Heights or Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts. Try everything Cajun with a cocktail on the side and in particular dig into the crispy duck in soy-ginger sauce. But of course not everything is so clearly separated nor should it be. Adventurous tastebuds can be satisfied at holleyshouston.com through their exciting fusion of Southern and Asian foods.
However, Houston itself is a multicultural city and as such it offers a variety of ethnic cuisine. It makes perfect sense to find Mexican dishes everywhere as well. After all, Texas and Mexico are neighbours. Stop by Hugo’s for a modern touch of Mexican bites that are all hand-made. Alternatively, take a seat at Montrose, sip a cocktail and dig into your tacos.
Mediterranean dishes are popular all over the world and it’s not a surprise to find them here as well. A local favourite is Benjy’s with their wood-fired pizzas and elaborate brunch menu. I’ve heard they serve mean pistachio-crusted goat cheese. Or try fresh pasta in the large in-house garden of Coltivare Pizza & Garden.
The list of ethnic foods could go on and on, ranging from Pakistani-Indian at Himalaya, over South African food at Peli Peli to Japanese sake at Izakaya. There is just so much to discover. Classical French staples, such as foie gras and beef tartare are served in Etoile Cuisine at Bar. But even with all these choices, a definite must is seafood, including crabfish, as well as yellowtail, filet, or salmon plates.
Must-Try Texan Food
- Southern comfort food: brisket, anything deep fried, Chicken-fried steak, Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits
- Dippings: chips and salsa/queso, Texas Caviar (it’s a bean dip)
- Mexican influenced: enchiladas, no-bean chili, puffy tacos, fajitas, Frito Pie filled with chili and fries
- Seafood: crawfish
- Bread-based: Kolaches (like a Czech hot dog with jalapenos), Texas Toast (gigantic slices of bread)
Galveston’s Foodie Hot Spots
I had no idea that there is an island city in Texas! All the more reason for me now to visit Galveston now. Just like Houston Galveston boasts multicultural food experiences as well. The range covers everything from American, Asian, Indian, Italian, Mediterranean and Mexican dishes. Being close to the sea, seafood restaurants are just as prominent as are steakhouses, typical for Texas.
Here’s a fun fact: Palermo-born chef Tony Lavoi is often said to have invented the muffaletta, a New Orleans staple. His grandson then brought the sandwich to Galveston and you can still dig in at Maceo Spice and Import Company. Staying with the Mediterranean style cooking, why not try Greek food next to the seaside? Both the Olympia Grill on the Seawall and the Pier 21 will serve up authentic Greek salads, gyros, lamb as well as fresh seafood.
Of course, the hipster trend has invaded Glaveston as well and you can find coffee shops galore. A local favourite is the MOD Coffee & Tea House. Log into the free wifi and sip on your coffee while eating your banana, peanut butter and granola wrap. For a laid back jazzy atmosphere, the Eatcetera is recommended. Try the Cuban bread and butter spread.
This still being Texas, a steakhouse is never too far away. For starters, snatch up a seat at the Saltgrass Steakhouse and treat yourself to a typical Texan blend. Who not go for the steak and shrimp combo? And even though cheesesteak is a Philadelphia staple, you can get it in Galveston nonetheless! For this, visit the Brick House Tavern + Tap.
How to explore all these amazing restaurants in Houston and Galveston?
Houston itself is just so big, you need a few days to see it all. And that doesn’t include the sightseeing in Houston nor Galveston. Your best bet is to look into a nice stay at a Houston hotel and then maybe take a day trip into Galveston. The ride is only about an hour. Of course, you could do it the other way round in you’d rather stay in a hotel by the beach in Galveston.
Have you checked out any of these restaurants in Houston and Galveston? Which one would you like to try?
I would like to Thank Trip.com for sponsoring this post.