Here it is, folks. Our definitive guide to the best restaurants in the Woodands area. Guided by over 30,000 foodies in the Woodlands Area Foodies group, our anonymous review panel consumed countless meals in search of the very best.

Restaurants are ranked in groups by number of stars; within each group, the restaurants are listed alphabetically.

The Short List

The Best Restaurants in the Woodlands

Four Star

Among the best restaurants in Texas

TRIS American, Burgers, Seafood, and Steaks

Four Star detailed listing >

Three Star

Notable on a statewide level

CorkScrew BBQ BBQ

Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar American, Brunch, Burgers, and Steaks

Three Star detailed listing >

Two Star

Among the best restaurants in the Woodlands Area

Baja Sur Fresh Mex Mexican

Fielding’s Wood Grill American, Brunch, and Burgers

Fu Manchung Vietnamese

Papa Amadeus Italian

RC’s NYC Pizza & Pasta Italian and Pizza

Rita’s Cantina Mexican

The Kitchen American, Brunch, Burgers, Salads, and Sandwiches

Truluck’s American, Seafood, and Steaks

Via Emilia Italian

Zanti Cucina Italiana Italian and Pizza

Two Star detailed listing >

One Star

Notable in the Woodlands area

Baja Cantina Brunch and Mexican

Black Walnut Cafe American, Burgers, and Sandwiches

Buldogies American and Sandwiches

Casa Medina Mexican

Del Frisco’s Grille American, Brunch, Seafood, and Steaks

EAD Vietnamese Restaurant Vietnamese

Eden Cafe American

Fogo de Chao Latin American and Steaks

Jax Burgers, Fries & Shakes Burgers and Sandwiches

Johnny’s Italian Steak House Italian and Steaks

La Cocina de Roberto Mexican

Off The Hook Seafood Burgers and Seafood

Pappasito’s Cantina Mexican

Tejas Burger Joint Burgers

The Olive Oil Greek

The Republic Grille American, Burgers, and Salads

Tony’s Italian Deli Sandwiches

One Star detailed listing >

Four Star

Among the best restaurants in Texas.

Raising the bar for dining in the Woodlands

TRIS

🌟🌟🌟🌟 — Among the best restaurants in Texas.

🥇 Best American
🥇 Best Burger
🥇 Best Happy Hour
🥇 Best Seafood
🥇 Best Steak

Chef-driven restaurants are rare in The Woodlands, but Chef Austin Simmons demonstrates how successful they can be. Formerly known as Hubbell & Hudson Bistro, TRIS features innovative cuisine, and everything from the outstanding burgers to the most elaborate entree shows the kind of attention to detail that is the hallmark of a great restaurant.

Not only does Tris butcher their own beef, but they’ve created their own hybrid breed of cattle (Gyulais, a wagyu/charolais hybrid) that meets the chef’s exacting standards.. Chef Austin has the uncanny knack of combining diverse and unique ingredients into dishes that surprise and delight, while maintaining the integrity of the cuisine.

Steaks are a strength; from USDA prime to Texas wagyu to their own Gyulais herd to Japanese A5 (Miyazaki) for the true connoisseur. Each is cooked with the technique that will bring out the unique flavor of the breed and cut of beef.Β Seafood is another specialty, and it’s handled superbly. A deep dive into the appetizers can bring great rewards, from the now-iconic Korean butter-poached crab to the ethereal hamachi sashimi.

Many establishments slip a notch when the name on the door isn’t in the house, but not Tris; Simmons has created a well oiled machine. Chef Courtney helms the kitchen in the maestro’s absence, and we can’t detect any difference at all. That is the mark of an outstanding organization, and Tris exemplifies just how good a restaurant can be with a great team and a creative genius at the helm.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$$ and $$$$ | American, Burgers, Seafood, and Steaks
Catering, Full Bar, Good for Vegetarians, Happy Hour, HRW2020, HRW2021, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, and Upscale

24 Waterway Avenue | The Woodlands 77380
281-203-5641
| Map | Review
Website | Menu | Order Online

Three Star

Notable on a statewide level.

Iconic Craft BBQ

CorkScrew BBQ

🌟🌟🌟 β€” Notable on a statewide level.

🥇 Best BBQ

When Will Buckman quit his job with the phone company to focus on barbecue, some thought he was crazy. Our first taste of Will’s brisket, served from a trailer on Budde road, convinced us he was crazy like a fox. Along with wife Nichole, Buckman has built Corkscrew BBQ into one of the best BBQ joints in the world – Texas Monthly named them to their prestigious Top 10 list in 2017. From the superlative brisket to the gargantuan beef ribs (Saturday only) Corkscrew’s meats do not disappoint. But don’t skip the sides, or Nichole’s remarkable cobblers. And get there early. Corkscrew routinely sells out by mid-afternoon, and the line starts an hour or more before opening.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | BBQ
Outdoor Dining

26608 Keith St | Spring 77373
832-592-1184
| Map
Website

Modern American bistro in an upscale park setting

Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar

🌟🌟🌟 β€” Notable on a statewide level.

🥇 Best American
🥇 Best Brunch
🥇 Best Burger
🥇 Best Happy Hour
🥇 Best Steak

Housemade is a term you’ll hear at Fielding’s Local. Owner Cary Attar is passionate about the details, and his customers are the beneficiaries. His partner, Chef Edel Goncalves, has created a tightly edited menu featuring local, all-natural, and organic ingredients.Β This chef-driven approach to the food delights and surprises, be the dish based on pan-roasted chicken, housemade bacon, or 44 Ranch beef.

Chef Edel’s creativity always impresses, be it a vibrant starter with shimmering flavors and textures or a soulful entree with a clever surprise. His European outlook and mastery of classic technique is reflected on every plate. But Local is not pretentious; steak lovers will be pleased to discover that the steaks stack up against the best steakhouses in town, and there’s always a killer burger on the menu.

The airy, modern bar doesn’t disappoint, with their talented staff concocting superb craft cocktails from an impressive collection of spirits. Beers are sourced locally and internationally to stock the rotating selection of taps, and featured bar menus are created on a regular basis. This is easily the top bar in the Woodlands.

Service is professional and friendly. The building is stunning, with glass overlooking the expansive patio and Creekside green beyond. Fielding’s Local is a true destination restaurant, and worth a spot on any foodie’s short list.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$$ and $$$$ | American, Brunch, Burgers, and Steaks
Brunch, Catering, Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2020, HRW2021, Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Scenic View, and Upscale

26400 Kuykendahl Rd | Tomball 77375
281-351-2225
| Map | Review
Website

Serious Steaks from a Master Chef

Killen’s Steakhouse

🌟🌟🌟 β€” Notable on a statewide level.

🥇 Best Seafood
🥇 Best Steak

When Ronnie Killen announced he was coming to the Woodlands, locals stood up and took notice. Why? Because this Cordon Bleu trained chef has developed a reputation for serving some of the best beef in Texas – wet aged and dry aged, and sourced from the US, Australia, and Japan.

Classic steakhouse vibe packs in hungry carnivores. Service is polished and professional, but approachable. Ronnie Killen’s reputation brings foodies in the door, and the expertly prepared steaks and seafood bring ’em back for more.

Info and Photos >>

$$$ and $$$$ | Steaks
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Private Room, Romantic, and Upscale

1700 Research Forest Dr | Shenandoah 77381
281-323-4004
| Map
Website

World class BBQ, outstanding specials, unique sides

Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue

🌟🌟🌟 β€” Notable on a statewide level.

🥇 Best BBQ

World class craft barbecue is the draw at Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue, a classic Texas barbecue joint located just off Main Street in Tomball. It’s also one of the best on the planet; in 2017, Texas Monthly ranked them #6 in the nation in their prestigious list. We agree. Pitmaster Scott Moore, Jr. and his brother (and chef) Greg smoke some of the best brisket, ribs, and sausage to be found in the state. Thursdays are a special treat, when housemade pastrami is added to the mix; don’t miss it. Wednesdays have become a big deal with the appearance of the Smoked Burger on the menu; it’s a destination burger worthy of a trip. (Update: The burger spawned its own restaurant.)

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ | BBQ
Outdoor Dining

200 N Elm St | Tomball 77375
832-761-0670
| Map | Review
Website | Menu

Two Star

Among the best restaurants in the Woodlands area.

Authentic Mexican and outstanding Tex-Mex in a sleek, sophisticated setting

Baja Sur Fresh Mex

🌟🌟 — Among the best restaurants in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Mexican

Tex-Mex restaurants are in no short supply in the Woodlands, we’re happy to report that Baja Sur brings something different. Chef Coco (who is also the restaurant’s General Manager) reaches beyond typical Tex-Mex, and brings a sophisticated palate and an eye for detail to the kitchen. We were impressed with the results. From the soulfully spicy table salsa (complimentary, of course) to the excellent Aguachile Ceviche to the outstanding Mexican Flag Enchiladas, our expectations were easily exceeded by Chef Coco’s talented kitchen. Both the Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes impressed. Bar service didn’t disappoint; this is a true craft cocktail bar, with plenty of comfortable indoor and outdoor seating in a sleek, sophisticated setting. A very polished concept, locally owned and operated.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ and $$$ | Mexican
Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2021, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, and Upscale

26435 Kuykendahl Rd. Suite #900 | Tomball 77375
832-761-5199
| Map | Review
Website | Menu

Burgers and American favorites, chef-driven and scratch made

Fielding’s Wood Grill

🌟🌟 — Among the best restaurants in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best American
🥇 Best Brunch
🥇 Best Burger
🥇 Best Happy Hour

Gourmet burgers cooked over a wood grill are the centerpiece at Fielding’s Wood Grill, the original member of the Fielding’s family of restaurants. Founder Cary Attar sweats the details, and believes in making everything in-house, from the custom grind of 44 Ranch Beef to the house cured bacon. Culinary Director Edel Goncalves takes these ingredients and creates unique burgers and an evolving menu of appetizers and entrees that keep the regulars coming back for more. The appeal of Fielding’s extends past the burgers; a very popular weekend brunch features creative spins on brunch classics, and the bartenders pull mugs from a great selection of locally brewed beers when they’re not slinging craft cocktails. Service is brisk and efficient.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ and $$$ | American, Brunch, and Burgers
Brunch, Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2020, HRW2021, and Upscale

1699 Research Forest Dr | Shenandoah 77380
832-616-3275
| Map | Review
Website | Menu | Order Online

Enticing Asian fusion in a cozy, family-run nook.

Fu Manchung

🌟🌟 — Among the best restaurants in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Asian
🥇 Best Vietnamese

Delightfully quirky family-run Asian fusion spot with an enticing slate of unique and memorable dishes. These family recipes surprise and delight; highlights are the deep, rich pho, surprising noodle dishes, superb curry, and a slate of tasty and clever appetizers. Don’t skip the beverages; CafΓ© Su Da and Thai Milk Tea are both among the best we’ve sampled.

Calling the staff friendly does them a disservice; Paul and his team are incredibly personable and charming. Service is professional, with a delightfully personal touch. The setting is cozy, comfortable and spotless.

Info and Photos >>

$ and $$ | Vietnamese
Good for Vegetarians

3416 FM 2920 Suite 210 | Spring 77388
832-791-5873
| Map
Website

Handmade contemporary Italian cuisine

Papa Amadeus

🌟🌟 — Among the best restaurants in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Italian

Don’t be fooled by the modest strip center location. Papa Amadeus crafts some of the finest Italian food in the Woodlands area. Chef Arturo Huerta’s meticulous personal approach delivers delicious results. Everything is handmade in house; from the pastas to the balanced, classic sauces, to the more innovative dishes featured in the evenings. The classics are beautifully executed; we keep getting drawn in by the flawless chicken parmigiana and the light, pillowy gnocchi. Well priced, curated wine list.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Italian
Catering, Private Room, Romantic, and Upscale

432 Sawdust Rd. | Spring 77380
Behind Herb & Beet
713-389-5975
| Map
Website

Brooklyn-style pizza with a Texas accent

RC’s NYC Pizza & Pasta

🌟🌟 — Among the best restaurants in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Pizza
🥈 Recommended Italian

The Woodlands has no shortage of great pizza places. But one name comes up over and over when asked for recommendations. RC’s NYC Pizza & Pasta serves honest-to-Vito New York street pizza, either traditional (cheese only) or with your choice of toppings. They’re serious about pizza: RC himself travels around the nation competing against the best pizza makers in the country, and has repeatedly brought home the hardware.

RC’s goes beyond pizza, with outstanding wings, delicious calzones, and great plated entrees. This isn’t your average pizza spot, which is why it earned a spot on our list.

Info and Photos >>

$ and $$ | Italian and Pizza

501 Sawdust Rd | Spring 77380
281-298-4663
| Map
Website | Order Online

Superb Tex-Mex in an unassuming strip center

Rita’s Cantina

🌟🌟 — Among the best restaurants in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Mexican

When WAF member Bob Frasier dines at the same restaurant several times a week, it’s worth investigating. And we’re glad we did. Rita’s Cantina, located in a nondescript strip center off Hwy 249, is a restaurant we’d have driven by without noticing. But now we’re in on the secret.

Inside Rita’s is some of the best Mexican food in the Houston area. From beautifully composed combination plates to the sizzling fajitas, Rita’s food is several steps above the typical Mexican restaurant in the area. Both flavors and presentation are superb; chef Javier Gonzalez is one of the most talented in the city. His wife Judy oversees the comfortable dining room, filled with regulars who are in the know.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ | Mexican
Full Bar and Happy Hour

32015 TX-249 | Pinehurst 77362
(About 10 minutes from Woodlands Pkwy and 2978)
346-248-5097
| Map | Review
Website

Serious chef-driven comfort food in a fast casual setting

The Kitchen

🌟🌟 — Among the best restaurants in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best American
🥇 Best Brunch
🥇 Best Sandwiches
🥈 Recommended Burger

Fast casual meets upscale cuisine at The Kitchen, the laid-back cousin of the award-winning Tris. Don’t let the counter service fool you; Chef Austin Simmons has created a serious menu full of creative dishes. We’re especially fond of the Greek Chicken and the new Steak Salad. Burgerphiles love the Kitchen as well; Chef Austin knows his burgers. Wine drinkers rejoice… the Kitchen sells wine at retail prices (not restaurant prices) so you can get a great bottle for as little as $10. Carefully curated craft beer selection. Service surprises for fast casual, GM Austen Goodwin and his team are raising the bar in this segment.

(Formerly Hubbell & Hudson Kitchen)

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ | American, Brunch, Burgers, Salads, and Sandwiches
Brunch, Good Desserts, Happy Hour, and Outdoor Dining

4526 Research Forest Dr | The Woodlands 77381
281-203-5650
| Map | Review
Website | Menu | Order Online

Seafood, Crab, and Steaks at Hughes Landing

Truluck’s

🌟🌟 — Among the best restaurants in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Seafood
🥈 Recommended American
🥈 Recommended Steak

The popular seafood and steak chain has landed at Hughes Landing, and locals have already made it a preferred destination. Crabs are front and center, and Truluck’s does them well. Chef Shane Flynn is a master of seafood, and his menu reflects this expertise. Those wanting something less aquatic head for the selection of prime steaks and choice filets. Cocktail Hour at Truluck’s is a scene; the half-priced cocktails and nice selection of seafood appetizers satisfy those looking to see and be seen at the stylish bar.

Info and Photos >>

$$$$ | American, Seafood, and Steaks
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Romantic, Scenic View, and Upscale

1900 Hughes Landing Blvd, Suite 600 | The Woodlands 77380
281-465-7000
| Map
Website

Upscale Italian in a cozy, romantic setting

Via Emilia

🌟🌟 — Among the best restaurants in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Italian

Great upscale Italian food can be tough to come by in the Woodlands, but Via Emilia is an exception to this rule. Tucked away in a strip center on Kuykendahl and Woodlands Parkway, Via Emilia prepares northern Italian specialities with verve and aplomb, and the gracious staff provides flawless service in the lovely dining room. Skillfully prepared seafood, meats, and pastas are great choices, and be sure to save room for the stellar limoncello cake.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$$ | Italian
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Private Room, Romantic, and Upscale

10700 Kuykendahl Rd | The Woodlands 77381
281-465-9555
| Map | Review
Website | Order Online

Modern Italian in a chic, upscale setting

Zanti Cucina Italiana

🌟🌟 — Among the best restaurants in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Italian
🥇 Best Pizza

Upscale Italian cuisine comes to the Northwest Woodlands with the opening of Zanti Cucina Italiana, the brainchild of three brothers who bring extensive food & beverage background to this new endeavor. Outstanding housemade pastas, Neapolitan pizzas, and strict attention to detail are the draws here. You don’t have to drive downtown for a great Italian meal anymore… or even to the front of the Woodlands.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ and $$$ | Italian and Pizza
Happy Hour and Private Room

10000 Research Forest Drive | The Woodlands 77354
281-259-1300
| Map | Review
Website

One Star

Notable in the Woodlands area.

Notable craft BBQ in a cozy backyard spot near the Woodlands

3rd Coast BBQ & Catering

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best BBQ

There’s a new rising star on the north side craft BBQ scene, and their name is 3rd Coast BBQ. Pitmaster Troy Mulligan is a Houston native, and has mastered his art after driving around Texas and sampling ‘Q from dozens of the state’s top pits. His dedication and research is paying dividends: The centerpiece is superb brisket; remarkably moist, beautifully rendered, and with a cravable bark created by his top secret rub.

Other proteins aren’t shortchanged; the pork ribs are savory masterpieces, with a plucky texture and effortless pull from the bone. Sausage should’t be overlooked; Troy makes an outstanding boudin, with perhaps the best meat/rice balance that we’ve come across. For those eating lighter, turkey is beautifully smoky and tender. Attention to detail shows in the sides (all made in-house, don’t miss the gently spicy street corn or the excellent buns and breads (all Slow Dough, the local baking wizards.) Open Thursday through Sunday, and they’re typically sold out by 4pm.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | BBQ
Outdoor Dining

25219 Oakhurst Dr | Spring 77386
713-545-0718
| Map
Website

Cali-Mex Cuisine in a festive spot on Waterway Square

Baja Cantina

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Mexican

Baja is the region of Mexico south of California, and Baja Cantina brings California’s spin on Mexican food to the Woodlands. A talented team has come together to bring this lighter take on Mexican cuisine to the business types who congregate at lunch, families at dinner, and the millennial party crowd on weekends. We think all groups will enjoy such specialities as the spectacular tuna soft taco, the huge nacho tower, and the unique pork belly and mint salad. Cocktail program looks promising; their margarita was smooth and flavorful, with unique herbal accents that aren’t usually found ’round these parts. House made aqua frescas will keep the designated driver delighted. Β Just don’t come looking for Tex-Mex; Baja Cantina is a whole different state of Mexican food.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Brunch and Mexican
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor Dining, and Scenic View

24 Waterway Ave Suite 160 | The Woodlands 77380
Waterway Square
832-432-2252
| Map
Website | Menu

A broad array of modern comfort food in a sleek setting

Black Walnut Cafe

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best American
🥇 Best Brunch
🥈 Recommended Burger
🥈 Recommended Happy Hour
🥈 Recommended Sandwiches

Update (July 2021): The secret is out: The Masked Chef who’s been making over the menu at Black Walnut is none other than Chef Austin Simmons, mastermind behind the award-winning Tris, Cureight, and the Kitchen. The result: Black Walnut has been seriously upping their culinary game. New menu items are appearing regularly, and they show a new viewpoint and a very skillful touch. We’ve been very pleased to see an established brand elevate their offerings like this, and can’t wait to see what’s next.

—-

Black Walnut is perhaps the biggest success story for restaurants originating in the Woodlands. Founded by serial restaurateur George Pallotta, the organization has spread statewide under the Black Forest Ventures umbrella. Why? Big portions of chef-created comfort food, served in an upscale, fast-casual setting. Sandwiches are a big deal here, and the broad menu offers something for everyone. We’re especially fond of the terrific pasta dishes; some proven recipes that have been popular for years, and some brand new ones.

Don’t skip brunch; it’s very popular. And save room for dessert.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | American, Burgers, and Sandwiches
Full Bar, Good Desserts, Outdoor Dining, and Private Room

9000 New Trails Drive | The Woodlands 77381
281-362-1678
| Map
Website | Menu | Order Online

Flawlessly Executed Carnival Cuisine

Buldogies

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best American
🥈 Recommended Sandwiches

Foodies in search of the best hot dogs around make the hike up to Highway 105 to drop in at Buldogies. Inside they’ll find handcrafted versions of the food that’s found at a state fair… but prepared far better. Huge hot dogs made from quality ingredients and assembled with attention to detail are the centerpiece, but the excellent sandwiches, carnival favorites, and indulgent desserts delight kids and adults alike. Foodies jump right to the City Crafted Dogs or the Outlaws, each of which is a well-balanced dish with expertly layered flavors. This isn’t James Coney Island; you don’t need to order three, although you may want to try them all.

Info and Photos >>

$ | American and Sandwiches

14543 TX 105 #406 | Conroe 77304
936-588-6688
| Map

Quality Tex-Mex and outstanding margaritas

Casa Medina

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Mexican

Solid Tex-Mex entrees and big margaritas are the main attraction at this family-owned Tex-Mex spot. Owner Adan Medina and his family differentiate their place with delicious flavored margaritas; we’re partial to the Avocado Margarita, which is smooth and delicious. Service is prompt and professional in both the big dining room and the cozy bar.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Mexican
Full Bar and Happy Hour

28777 I-45 | Spring 77381
281-298-9866
| Map
Website

Superlative Thai cuisine in a jewel-like strip-center setting

Charm Thai Bistro

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Asian
🥇 Best Thai

A wide variety of expertly crafted Thai dishes is on the menu at Charm Thai Bistro, and we were impressed with every single one we sampled. From the cool, tangy, refreshing Som Tum (papaya salad) to the delightfully complex Tom Kha (coconut soup) to the soulfully rich Panang Curry, we were blown away by the obvious care that went into every dish. Even the de rigueur Pad Thai was the best we’ve found ’round these parts.Β Chef Adam Gorelick is not a native of Thailand, but you’d never know by the food that flows from his talented kitchen. Modern, comfortable setting, featuring artifacts imported from Thailand, and a huge mural of a Thai lion overseeing the dining room. Service is warm, friendly and professional.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Thai
Good for Vegetarians and HRW2021

2203 Spring Steubner Rd #100 | Spring 77389
281-516-5555
| Map

Quality steaks and seafood in a scenic lakeside location

Del Frisco’s Grille

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended American
🥈 Recommended Burger
🥈 Recommended Seafood
🥈 Recommended Steak

We love the patio at Del Frisco’s Grille; the view over the lake is perhaps the best in The Woodlands. The food satisfies too; from the legendary Del Frisco steaks, to the enticing flatbreads, cheesesteak egg rolls (believe us, it works), and well executed entrees. At lunch, we’re especially fond of the Grille Prime Cheeseburger, a double-patty creation worthy of any burger lover’s attention.

The well-trained staff anticipates patrons’ needs and provides excellent service. Chef Brian McNamara serves up outstanding specials; call ahead to see what magic he’s worked today.

Info and Photos >>

$$ and $$$ | American, Brunch, Seafood, and Steaks
Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2020, HRW2021, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Romantic, Scenic View, and Upscale

1900 Hughes Landing Blvd #500 | The Woodlands 77380
281-465-0300
| Map
Website | Menu

Elevated Vietnamese Cuisine

EAD Vietnamese Restaurant

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Asian
🥇 Best Vietnamese

This hidden gem is an offshoot of Huynh, one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in Houston, so we were excited to hear of its opening. Upon visiting, our high expectations were exceeded.

Soups are superb; the pho is rich and flavorful, and the chicken wonton is light years ahead of what you’ll find at a typical Chinese spot. But don’t miss the plated entrees; they are created with an eye to bold flavors and careful attention to detail.

The space is large, bright, and airy, with a sleek modern design. It’s quickly become our preferred Vietnamese destination in the Woodlands area.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Vietnamese
Good for Vegetarians

17947 Interstate 45 S | Shenandoah 77385
281-651-2208
| Map
| Order Online

Eclectic Family-Run Cafe

Eden Cafe

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended American

This family-run cafe has been making area diners happy with generous portions of eclectic, home-style cuisine. American favorites, Italian, and Cuban entrees are the highlights.

Owner Ulises Larramendi originally hails from Cuba, and he brings a gentle latin twist to American favorites. Service is friendly and reliable, and the family-friendly environment is filled with diners of all ages.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ | American
Full Bar, Happy Hour, and Private Room

33418 Egypt Ln #16 | Magnolia 77354
832-934-2800
| Map | Review
Website

Brazilian Steakhouse on Lake Woodlands

Fogo de Chao

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended Steak

Fogo de Chao is a carnivore’s delight. Bands of roaming gauchos patrol the dining room, offering diners slices from expertly roasted cuts of beef, pork, chicken, and more. But you won’t want to pass up the epic Market Table, an expansive display of charcuterie, cheeses, vegetables, and prepared creations. (It’s a filling meal by itself, and a bargain for lunch during the week.)

The Hughes Landing setting is upscale, airy, and comfortable. Service is professional without being stuffy.

Info and Photos >>

$$$ and $$$$ | Latin American and Steaks
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Scenic View, and Upscale

1900 Hughes Landing Blvd #400 | The Woodlands 77380
In Hughes Landing's Restaurant Row
281-498-4200
| Map
Website | Menu | Order Online

Upscale Tex-Mex from the iconic Houston family

Goode Co Kitchen & Cantina

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended Mexican

Top notch fajitas and seafood, solid margaritas, and cold beer are the draws at this Houston-area transplant. The food is more Tex-Mex than Mexican, but big plates and well executed food rarely disappoint. Beautiful upscale setting, great service, and a professional staff draw the regulars back for more, eye-opening prices can surprise newcomers.

Info and Photos >>

$$$ | Mexican
Happy Hour and Outdoor Dining

8865 Six Pines Dr Ste 150 | Shenandoah 77380
281-826-5150
| Map
Website

Big classic burgers in a modern malt shop setting

Jax Burgers, Fries & Shakes

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended Burger

Looking for a big, well-prepared burger without breaking the bank? Jax has you covered. This locally-owned restaurant chain specializes in half-pound burgers cooked the traditional way on a flat griddle. Execution is very good; the thick, juicy burgers are consistent and flavorful. Other options include third-pound burgers and an exceptional crispy chicken sandwich.

Jax has expanded from one location to several, and the quality has been maintained. Families and little league teams flock to Jax for a great burger at a great price, and it’s become a part of our regular burger rotation.

Info and Photos >>

$ | Burgers and Sandwiches

4334 FM 2920 | Spring 77388
(and other area locations - refer to website)
281-288-7711
| Map
Website | Order Online

Steaks and Italian in a surprisingly fashionable hideaway

Johnny’s Italian Steak House

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended Italian
🥈 Recommended Steak

We never expected to find good food in the Holiday Inn off Research east of I-45. So we were pleasantly surprised by Johnny’s Italian Steak House, a mid-priced steakhouse that also features some very good Italian dishes. We’re particularly fond of their happy hour offerings – well priced appetizers perfect for sharing.

Chef Brittany Briden’s kitchen does an outstanding job turning out steaks that won’t break the budget; the result is a wonderfully upscale meal without the upscale prices.

Service is attentive without being intrusive and the room is beautiful and cozy, making it perfect for a getaway with that special someone.Β Johnny’s demonstrates that you don’t have to pay a lot to enjoy a quality steak in a beautiful setting.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ and $$$ | Italian and Steaks
Catering, Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2021, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Romantic, and Upscale

19333 David Memorial Dr. | Shenandoah 77385
(Inside the Crown Plaza Shenandoah)
346-331-2060
| Map | Review
Website

Creative Mexican food and Tex-Mex favorites

Julio’s Mexican Grill – Magnolia

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Mexican

The original location of this growing restaurant empire (Julio’s Sawdust, Red Flame) is still packing ’em in. They’re drawn in by the impressive Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, which goes beyond the typical fajitas (although Julio’s are outstanding) to superb creations like the El Sabroso (lightly breaded chicken breast covered in a shrimp/poblano cream sauce). The menu is strong from top to bottom – street tacos are a don’t miss, and their al pastor may be the best on Houston’s north side. Service is friendly and professional.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Mexican
Full Bar, Happy Hour, and Outdoor Dining

33418 Egypt Ln #2759 | Magnolia 77354
281-259-4522
| Map
Website

Creative Mexican food and Tex-Mex favorites

Julio’s Mexican Grill – Sawdust

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Mexican

The best Mexican restaurant in Magnolia has opened a second location on Sawdust road, and savvy locals are already converging. They’re drawn in by the impressive Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, which goes beyond the typical fajitas (although Julio’s are outstanding) to superb creations like the El Sabroso (lightly breaded chicken breast covered in a shrimp/poblano cream sauce). The menu is strong from top to bottom – street tacos are a don’t miss, and their al pastor may be the best on Houston’s north side. Service is friendly and professional.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Mexican
Full Bar, Good Desserts, and Happy Hour

544 Sawdust Road | The Woodlands 77380
(by PetCo)
281-419-5441
| Map
Website | Order Online

Chef Ronnie Killen's BBQ is now in the Woodlands

Killen’s Texas Barbecue

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best BBQ

JJ Watt’s favorite barbecue is now available in the Woodlands. Chef Ronnie Killen has expanded his footprint in the Woodlands to include his incredibly popular craft BBQ spot, located at Six Pines and Research Forest. Craft is the key; Chef Ronnie is Cordon Bleu trained, and it shows in his approach to BBQ. Superb prime briskets, with savory, complex bark and expertly rendered fat. Ginormous beef ribs, sublimely tender and beefy. Picture-perfect pork ribs, well balanced between sweet and savory. And don’t miss the sides; Killen’s creamed corn has become a Houston legend, and for good reason. The expertise goes beyond traditional ‘Q joint favorites: Killen’s also serves the best chicken-fried steak we’ve found around these parts. The chef’s attention to detail is evident; even the pickles are housemade sweet and sour, and are expertly paired to the flavors of the rich, moist meats. As with all craft BBQ places, they sell out when they sell out, so get there early.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | BBQ
Catering and Outdoor Dining

8800 Six Pines Dr | Shenandoah 77380
| Map
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Great Tacos and Mexican dishes from a hidden gem

La Cocina de Roberto

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended Mexican

A hidden gem at the far west end of Sawdust (and now with a second location on I-45 just south of Woodlands Parkway), La Cocina de Roberto began as a cozy little taqueria, serving the Timber Ridge neighborhood. But the savvy owners have added more full-fledged entrees to the menu, making it one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in the Woodlands. Tacos are still delicious: Carne asada and camerΓ³n are the standouts. Don’t miss the bargain faijta / shrimp combo, or the excellent chicken enchiladas.

Alcohol is BYOB – bring your own liquor, and Roberto will provide setups. You can’t beat a bargain margarita made with premium tequila.

Info and Photos >>

$ and $$ | Mexican
Catering

26817 Interstate 45 N | The Woodlands 77380
832-813-8030
| Map
Website

Classic Italian, prepared skillfully from scratch

Nona’s Italian Grill

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Italian

Foodies in search of outstanding Italian food have a surprising new spot to try. Chef owned and recently relocated to the Woodlands, Nona’s Italian Grill shows the kind of carefully crafted cuisine that is the hallmark of a memorable restaurant.Β From classics like the excellent Chicken Parmigiana to creative combinations featuring pastas, seafood, and outstanding steaks, we were impressed by quality of the ingredients, the solid execution, and the classic flavors of the signature sauces.

Located in a strip center on Highway 242 just west of I-45, Nona’s modest yet upscale setting is cozy, quiet, and perfect for date night. Nona’a is an excellent addition to the surprisingly thin Woodlands Italian landscape. Full bar, professional service.

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$$ and $$$ | Italian
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Romantic, and Upscale

3091 College Park Dr #185 | The Woodlands 77384
936-224-3132
| Map
Website

Chef-prepared seafood in a modern strip-center location

Off The Hook Seafood

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Burger
🥇 Best Seafood

Rayford Road isn’t a haven for affordable, upscale food, but Off The Hook Seafood is doing its best to change that. Owner Alex Abdulwahab has created a comfortable, casual setting that delights foodies with seafood that goes far beyond the typical fried baskets… although those are present, and very well executed. From the gigantic Nashville Fried Fish Sandwich to the sublime Fried Calimari, with its light breading and cravable sauce, The kitchen demonstrates strong expertise with the fryer. The other dishes are even more delightful; a light, tangy seafood salad had us craving one more bite, the Tuna Poke po boy was another highlight. An entree of Monkfish and mushrooms shows a gift for complex, layered sauces, at a stunningly affordable price. We were even pleasantly surprised by the chef’s excellent cheeseburger, something we wouldn’t expect from a seafood spot.

Woodlands Area Foodies looking for great seafood need to put Off The Hook Seafood on their short list.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Burgers and Seafood
Catering, Happy Hour, and Outdoor Dining

2222 Rayford Rd Suite 105 | Spring 77386
Across Rayford from Kroger
346-331-2893
| Map
Website | Menu | Order Online

Sophisticated Indian cuisine in a cozy family-run setting

Palette Indian Kitchen

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Indian

Discerning foodies looking for a great Indian restaurant now have a solid local destination. Palette Indian Kitchen creates remarkably complex, subtly spiced dishes that will please the most demanding palate. From the scrumptious Chicken Popsicles, with their lush garlic lemon creme sauce, to the savory Lamb Seekh Kabob, boldly aromatic, herbal, moist and incredibly flavorful, there is a lot to love on the expansive menu. Surprises abound; we were tickled by the gently sweet Peshwari Naan (baked in the tandoori oven with coconut, nuts, and hints of cherry) and the Goan Shrimp Curry, a subtle curry with plump, beautifully cooked shrimp and layer upon layer of flavor. Don’t let the casual strip-center location fool you; this is a serious kitchen with serious food.

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$$ | Indian
Good for Vegetarians, Outdoor Dining, and Private Room

3559 Rayford Rd Suite 200 | Spring 77386
281-362-5999
| Map
Website | Order Online

Upscale Tex-Mex from the popular Houston chain

Pappasito’s Cantina

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Mexican

Houstonians love Pappas restaurants, and Pappasitos is perhaps their most popular brand. Huge margaritas, well executed Tex-Mex classics, large portions, and great service are hallmarks of this busy local chain. Prices can be a bit surprising to those who frequent small Tex-Mex joints, but regulars say that the quality, quantity, and experience make it well worth it. Insiders know about half-price fajita Wednesday, a great bargain.

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$$$ | Mexican
Full Bar, Happy Hour, and Upscale

18101 I-45 South | Shenandoah 77385
936-271-9777
| Map
Website

Prime steaks in a comfortable suburban setting.

Red Flame Steak & Grill

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended Steak

Serial restauranteur Julio Amer (Julio’s Mexican Grill, Julio’s Mexican Grill Sawdust) has another hit on his hands with Red Flame Steak & Grill. Brining top-quality steaks to the Magnolia area is an idea long overdue; locals pack in to the beautiful bar and casual dining room to enjoy flame-grilled prime steaks and other enticing entrees. Service is reliable, good wine selection and cocktails.

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$$$ | Steaks
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor Dining, and Upscale

7214 Farm to Market Rd 1488 | Magnolia 77354
281-521-5066
| Map
Website

Handcrafted burgers in a quaint small town setting

Tejas Burger Joint

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Burger

The burger at Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue was just too good to offer one day a week, so Scott Moore and his team opened Tejas Burger Joint, offering a variety of superb, handcrafted burgers every day. The flagship Smokehouse Burger (ground brisket, smoked and then seared on a griddle, topped with housemade bacon and smoky cheddar) is one of the best burgers in the Houston area. Cozy, casual setting on Tomball’s Main Street.

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$$ | Burgers

214 W Main St | Tomball 77375
832-349-6116
| Map
| Order Online

Greek Cuisine and Live Entertainment

The Olive Oil

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Greek

A classic Greek experience awaits hungry diners at The Olive Oil. Located in a huge strip center on Sawdust, The Olive Oil offers classic Greek cuisine, well prepared by the bustling kitchen. Favorites include the mixed grill (the marinade drizzles enticingly onto a bed of spinach beneath the meat) and the gyro. Families pack the restaurant on weekend nights, where belly dancers and musicians turn the dining room into a party.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ | Greek

373 Sawdust Road | The Woodlands 77380
281-367-0114
| Map | Review
Website

Contemporary Texas cuisine in a comfortably upscale room

The Republic Grille

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended American

The flavors of Texas are served up on a plate at The Republic Grille, a locally-owned bistro located centrally in the Woodlands (with a second location on the far west end, and a third on Rayford). Entrees like chicken-fried steak, shrimp & grits, pork chops, and fried chicken satisfy the appetites of hungry Texans, and the upscale casual setting (featuring historic photos of the early days of the Woodlands by noted photographer Ted Washington) serves as a comfortable backdrop for families, couples, and groups of friends. The chicken-fried-steak is getting a bit of a reputation; numerous publications have named it among the Houston area’s best.

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$$ and $$$ | American, Burgers, and Salads
Full Bar, Outdoor Dining, and Private Room

4775 W. Panther Creek, Suite 490 | The Woodlands 77381
(also 30340 FM 2978 Rd #800 / 281-789-7119)
281-789-7119
| Map
Website

World-class sandwiches in a strip center location

Tony’s Italian Deli

🌟 β€” Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Sandwiches

Outstanding sub sandwiches are the draw at Tony’s Italian Deli, a notable sandwich shop in a nondescript strip center across from the entrance to April Sound. Founded by the prolific Ron Nicoletta, perfected by Hootie and Mary Trant, the new owners are moving forward with the original concept, and producing huge, tasty sandwiches that satisfy the crowd. This isn’t Subway, folks.

Choosing from the wall of options is tough. New visitors should resist the urge to build their own and delve into one of the recommended creations; our favorites are the J. Gandolfini (cold) and the Lucky Luciano (hot). Expect a filling meal, and another one at home with the half you couldn’t eat in the store.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Sandwiches
Outdoor Dining

16235 TX 105 | Montgomery 77356
(Second location on Kuykendall south of Creekside Forest Drive)
936-588-4800
| Map
| Order Online