Restaurants “On the Radar” are new, interesting spots that have caught our attention. Since they’re new, we’re keeping an eye on them to see if they can consistently deliver the kinds of experiences that will rank them among the very best. As with all new restaurants, we encourage you to visit, but expect occasional bobbles along the way as the staff is trained and procedures are learned.
Featured Restaurants On the Radar in The Woodlands
A well priced, elevated spin on traditional southern favorites
One of the Woodlands most scenic dining rooms has gotten a new concept and a total makeover. Back Table rises from the ashes of the late, lamented Robard’s at the Woodlands Resort, and has done so with an entirely new Southern American concept. The beautiful room feels far more casual; the private board room is now a game room for families to enjoy. The beautiful view is thankfully unchanged, and a second patio has been added with a waterfront view to the green. The food is Chef David Morris’s take on southern classics. Distinctly American charcuterie (think country ham instead of salumi), all-American burgers, and a variety of southern favorites are on the menu. Lots of impressive preparations and high end ingredients, but thoughtfully curated to keep prices moderate. We were taken by the large, delicious chicken sandwich, the soulful gumbo, and the aforementioned burger. We’re looking forward to exploring the dinner menu on our next visit. Service was friendly, informed, and very professional.
$$ and $$$ | American, Burgers, and Charcuterie
Full Bar, Happy Hour, On the Radar, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Scenic View, and Upscale
South African Cuisine in a family-friendly setting
The popular South African restaurant group travels across the Atlantic and lands in the Woodlands. CEO Ryan Stewart (previously with Peli Peli) brings an intriguing array of grilled meats, seafood, and other dishes designed to please the jaded palate. Opening Sept 10
$$ and $$$ | Seafood, South African, and Steaks
Full Bar, Good Desserts, Happy Hour, On the Radar, Outdoor Dining, and Private Room
🥈 Recommended Burger
Rose Rooftop is definitely a spot for those who want to see and be seen. Located on the Woodlands Waterway, the establishment features a downstairs lounge and restaurant, complete with a wraparound deck overlooking waterway square. From here, a tightly edited menu of upscale American favorites is served; we were particularly impressed by the flavorful Ceviche and the stunning Tuna Tartare. Lemon Pepper Salmon was another highlight; as was the substantial Rose Burger. On the roof, sceeensters dance the night away and enjoy a taco bar late through the evening. Friendly service.
$$ and $$$ | American and Burgers
Full Bar, Happy Hour, On the Radar, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Romantic, Scenic View, and Upscale
Popular local icehouse featuring live music and food until late
Sawyer Park is the new concept that’s taken over the old Papa’s Ice House space on Budde road. The space has been updated and transformed inside and out; it’s big, comfortable, and has some great amenities like a large inside stage and a huge outdoor performance space. This is an ice house first, so the vibe and the drinks are front and center, but the kitchen is punching above its weight class with food made from house-smoked BBQ. Friendly staff, large spaces.
$$ | American and BBQ
Full Bar, Happy Hour, On the Radar, and Outdoor Dining
South African cuisine from the chef behind the original Peli Peli
Proving that lightning sometimes strikes twice, Chef Paul Friedman returns to Vintage Park with his latest South African restaurant concept, The Chef’s Table. The mastermind behind the original Peli Peli brings his decades of experience and international sensibilities back to the kitchen. Chef’s Table brings the cuisines of South Africa’s melting pot of cultures together, focused through Chef Paul’s culinary lens.
$$$ | Seafood, South African, and Steaks
Brunch, Full Bar, Good Desserts, On the Radar, Outdoor Dining, and Upscale
Authentic Mexican cuisine in a cozy Alden Bridge corner
Uli’s Kitchen brings authentic Mexican cuisine to the residents of Alden Bridge. This cozy neighborhood spot features an interesting menu that offers both upscale versions of Mexican tacos, as well as pricier plated entrees. Menu looks promising, but the tacos we ordered were a mixed bag; Birria Tacos were beautifully presented but lacking in flavor (consommé recalled caldo de res); the signature Uli’s Tacos were bursting with medium rare ribeye, chicharron and veggies, but untrimmed beef had too much unrendered fat. We’ll give ’em another try soon. Friendly service, comfortable neighborhood setting. Full bar.
$$$ | Mexican
Full Bar and On the Radar
Historic Texas cafe reborn under new ownership
One of Old Town Spring’s historic cafes, Wunsche Bros., has been reborn under new ownership. Known for their Texas cuisine (chicken fried steaks, chicken, inch-thick burgers) the cafe opened over 100 years ago and is a landmark known to Texans young and old.
$$ and $$$ | Burgers
On the Radar and Private Room