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

Indian cuisine meets French technique at this luxe location near the waterway

Amrina

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

🥇 Best Brunch
🥇 Best Happy Hour
🥇 Best Indian
World-class Indian cuisine from noted chef Jassi Bindra meets French technique in this swanky location near the Woodlands Waterway. GM Giorgio Ferrero has assembled a spectacular wine list (first growth Bordeaux, anyone?) to complement the luxurious, beautifully crafted cuisine. Spare-no-expense interior design is the backdrop for a special night out; those looking for an upscale scene need look no further. Amrina is piling up the awards: Not only have they been recognized by TWTX one of the best restaurants in Texas, but they were Eater Houston’s Restaurant of the Year 2022 for Houston. At this rate, they’re going to need a bigger trophy case.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$$ and $$$$ | Indian
Brunch, Family-Run Small Business, Full Bar, Good Desserts, Good for Vegetarians, Happy Hour, Late Night, Live Music, On the Radar, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Romantic, and Upscale

3 Waterway Square Pl #100 | The Woodlands 77380
| Map | Review
Website

Authentic Mexican and in a sleek, sophisticated setting

Baja Sur Fresh Mex

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

🥇 Best Mexican
🥇 Best Tacos

Baja Sur was already one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in the Woodlands, but the recent pivot away from Tex-Mex to more traditional Mexican cuisine was a very pleasant surprise. Even more pleasant was the news that Chef Thomas Bille (of the late, lamented Belly of the Beast) was taking over the cuisine. Of course, Chef Thomas’s superlative Birria Quesotacos are represented, and at $12 for two, they’re a steal. Other outstanding dishes include delectable Bay Scallops on the Half Shell (dinner only) and a killer Pork Tamal. Full bar with a seriously extensive tequila list.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ and $$$ | Mexican
Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2021, HRW2022, On the Radar, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, and Upscale

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

Cozy wine bar with well priced charcuterie

Boardough Vino

🥈 Recommended Happy Hour
🥈 Recommended Pizza

Research Forest gets a new, tucked-away wine bar offering a peaceful hideaway from the day’s stresses. Boardough Vino offers a curated wine list along with well priced bites ranging from pizza and sandwiches to charcuterie. We were pleasantly surprised by the reasonably priced 18″ pizzas featuring cracker crusts, high quality toppings, and nicely balanced sauces; they’re one of the best thin crusts pizzas in the Woodlands. Expansive bar, comfortable seating, and a cozy patio make for a great happy hour spot or romantic getaway with that special someone. Casual atmosphere, friendly staff.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Charcuterie and Pizza
Full Bar, Happy Hour, On the Radar, Outdoor Dining, and Romantic

4223 Research Forest Dr Suite #100 | The Woodlands 77381
281-719-8938
| Map

Modern American cuisine in a sleek, contemporary setting

Cafe Express

🥈 Recommended American (New)

Cafe Express offers a broad menu of American favorites in a sleek, contemporary setting. Big burgers, lush salads, sandwiches, soups, and plated entrees are all made from scratch in house. This Houston-based restaurant group previously had a location at Market Street.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ | American (New), Burgers, and Sandwiches
Catering, Happy Hour, and On the Radar

3091 College Park Dr #290 | The Woodlands 77384
(832) 404-2451
| Map | Review
Website

Gourmet cinnamon rolls with hundreds of options

Cinnaholic

🥈 Recommended Sweet Shop

The Woodlands area has a fun new spot for sweet treats and desserts. Cinnaholic bakes fresh cinnamon rolls, then cranks them up to 11 with your choice of frostings, toppings, fresh fruits, and nuts. There are hundreds of possible combinations, but fortunately the clever staff has a selection of predefined choices that are enticing and delicious. Catering for business and group events. The shop is bright, clean, and inviting, and the staff is smiling; you would be too if you were surrounded by cinnamon rolls all day.

Info and Photos >>

$ | Sweets
Catering, Family-Run Small Business, Good Desserts, Good for Kids, and On the Radar

27630 Interstate 45 N | Oak Ridge North 77385
281-719-5327
| Map
Website

Gourmet burgers from the Austin-based group

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Burger

Hopdoddy, the wildly successful Austin-based burger group, has opened its long-awaited Woodlands location. Diners flock to manageably-sized signature burgers, with a variety of chef-designed toppings. Beef is a custom grind, buns are made in house, and toppings and sauces are created by their executive chef. Vegetarians and the gluten sensitive aren’t left out – specific options exist for both. Fries are cut in house and very good; they sweat the details and use the correct two-step cooking process that’s necessary for fresh cut fries. Comfortable location with a large patio, ample parking.

Info and Photos >>

$ and $$ | Burgers
Full Bar, Good for Kids, Good for Vegetarians, On the Radar, and Outdoor Dining

2417 Research Forest Drive Suite A | The Woodlands 77381
281-907-9001
| Map
Website | Menu | Order Online

The iconic SoCal burger joint serves well priced, high quality burgers

In-N-Out Burger

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended Burger

In-N-Out Burger has been a Los Angeles icon for decades, and they’ve slowly expanded to select cities across the nation. The Woodlands location carries on the brand’s focus on a tightly edited, high quality menu. You won’t find gimmicks here, just fresh beef, melty cheese, and fresh traditional toppings. Fries can disappoint; order them well done, or skip them entirely. While lesser burger joints often hide a mediocre patty behind countless toppings, In-N-Out sticks to a purist approach, and we’re fans of the results. Being open late is an added bonus: Until 1am during the week, and 1:30 on weekend nights.

Service is friendly and professional; the brand new restaurant is spotlessly clean. Expect lines for the first few weeks.

Info and Photos >>

$ | Burgers
Good for Kids, Late Night, On the Radar, and Outdoor Dining

1717 Lake Woodlands Drive | The Woodlands 77380
North edge of Woodlands Mall
800-786-1000
| Map
Website | Menu

Authentic Shanghai cuisine in a tidy strip center location

Noodle Kitchen

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

🥇 Best Chinese

Kuykendahl road has a great destination for serious Chinese food. Called Noodle Kitchen, this small, family-run Chinese spot features hand-pulled noodles, superb xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and a nice selection of well-prepared Chinese favorites. North siders who are craving authentic cuisine from the Shanghai region now have an option that doesn’t involve a drive down to Bellaire, and for that, we are forever thankful. Friendly service from new staff that can be overwhelmed; showing a little grace and patience will be greatly rewarded.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Chinese
Family-Run Small Business, Good for Vegetarians, and On the Radar

18363 Kuykendahl Rd | Spring 77379
346-463-8078
| Map
Website

Skillfully executed Italian classics in a comfortably boisterous setting.

North Italia

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended Italian
🥈 Recommended Pizza

Hungry Inner Loopers have raved about North Italia, the upscale Italian concept from serial restaurateur Sam Fox. Now the concept has taken root in the Woodlands, and local residents are learning what the fuss is about. From housemade pastas to wood fired pizzas to expertly crafted entrees, North Italia brings mom-and-pop craftsmanship together with polished service and a capacious, beautiful room. Extensive bar, lots of seating overlooking the Waterway. Don’t write this one off just because it’s part of a national chain.

Info and Photos >>

$$ and $$$ | Italian
Brunch, Catering, Full Bar, Good Desserts, Happy Hour, On the Radar, Private Room, and Scenic View

1201 Lake Woodlands Dr | The Woodlands 77380
281-292-6935
| Map
Website

Modern Italian in a sleek urban setting

Porta’vino

🥈 Recommended Italian
🥈 Recommended Pizza

The Grogan’s Mill / Town Center area gets an outpost of the hugely popular Washington Avenue Italian hotspot… Porta’vino.

Combining moderately-priced pastas, entrees, and appetizers with BYOB wines (and a reasonable corkage fee), Porta’vino brings a new, modern Italian offering to hungry Woodlands foodies who love wine but don’t want to pay restaurant prices for it. Tucked away at the entrance to the tony East Shore neighborhood, Porta’vino offers a full Italian menu, from sharable and pizzas to salads, pastas, entrees, and desserts.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ and $$$ | Italian and Pizza
Catering, On the Radar, Outdoor Dining, and Private Room

207 E. Shore Dr #130 | The Woodlands 77380
346-237-5380
| Map | Review
Website

Iconic Chicago pizza chain

Rosati’s Pizza

🥈 Recommended Pizza

Chicago expats and others looking for Chicago-style pizza have a new option: Rosati’s. Offering both Chicago-style deep dish and tavern-cut thin crust, this local Rosati’s franchise is bringing the taste of the Windy City to the Woodlands area. Carry out and delivery only.

Info and Photos >>

$$ and $$$ | Pizza
On the Radar

4150 Farm to Market Rd 1488 Suite 120 | Conroe 77384
936-266-0278
| Map
Website

Unique wines and innovative cuisine in an expansive, energetic space

Sixty Vines

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended American (New)
🥈 Recommended Pizza

This Dallas import expands the concept of a wine bar to include ample seating (including festive community tables) and an experience that’s more vineyard than bar. Sixty varieties of wine on tap, complimented by a clever menu that’s full of surprising dishes. We were delighted by a fork-tender, incredibly flavorful pork chop, and the innovative pizzas are top notch. Boisterous, energetic setting.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ and $$$ | American (New), Charcuterie, and Pizza
Brunch, Full Bar, Happy Hour, On the Radar, Private Room, and Upscale

9595 Six Pines Dr | The Woodlands 77380
On the square in Market Street
| Map | Review
Website

Burgers and more from this southern California concept

The Stand

🥈 Recommended Burger

This long-time Southern California favorite bursts beyond the borders of the Golden State and lands at Hughes Landing. Fresh creations from high-quality ingredients are the focus. From burgers and sandwiches to salads and wraps, The Stand delivers healthy quick service food without getting preachy about it. Save room for dessert, and don’t forget to peruse their curated collection of beer and wine.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$ and $$ | Burgers, Salads, and Sandwiches
Catering, Good for Kids, Good for Vegetarians, On the Radar, and Outdoor Dining

2000 Hughes Landing Blvd F-700 | The Woodlands 77380
In Hughes Landing
832-592-1135
| Map | Review
Website | Menu | Order Online

An authentic Italian bakery tucked away off Sawdust

Tosca Italian Bakery

🥈 Recommended Italian
🥈 Recommended Sandwiches

Tosca Italian Bakery brings the experience of an Old World Italian bakery to the Woodlands area. Owner Mario and his team have immigrated from Italy, and brought years of baking expertise with them. The result is a wonderful selection of breads, pastries, sandwiches and focaccia pizzas brimming with character and charm. If you’re looking for an authentic Italian experience, Tosca should be your destination.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ | Bakery, Italian, and Sandwiches
Catering, Family-Run Small Business, and On the Radar

25227 Borough Park Dr | Spring 77380
| Map | Review

Japanese and Chinese cuisine in a spacious Sterling Ridge location

Uptown Asian Fusion

🥈 Recommended Asian
🥈 Recommended Chinese
🥈 Recommended Japanese

Sterling Ridge residents now have a convenient option for well executed sushi and other Asian options. Uptown Asian Fusion is a small, family-run spot in a beautiful, spacious room, focusing on sushi and offering a variety of Chinese and Japanese dishes. Sushi was well executed and featured generous cuts of fish. Service was friendly but could be slow at time; a bit of patience will work wonders.

Info and Photos >>

$$ and $$$ | Chinese, Japanese, and Sushi
Family-Run Small Business and On the Radar

6700 Woodlands Pkwy | The Woodlands 77382
281-651-2542
| Map
Website

Destination Mexican Dining from an accomplished team

Xalisko

Chef Beatriz Martines and her husband Juan have brought a destination Mexican restaurant to the Woodlands. Chef Beatriz bring world-class experience (from Hugo Ortega’s kitchens to the legendary Can Roca in Spain) and it shows in her cuisine. We were seriously impressed by her tableside trompo service of Tacos al Pastor; these are easily the best version we’ve found in the Houston area. Modern, upscale setting with numerous touches that reference Mexican culture. This isn’t your dad’s favorite Tex-Mex spot.

Info and Photos >>

$$$ | Mexican
Catering, Full Bar, Good Desserts, Happy Hour, On the Radar, Private Room, Romantic, and Upscale

1335 Lake Woodlands Dr | The Woodlands 77380
| Map

Creative pizzas featuring high-spec ingredients and a fanatical focus on quality

Zalat Pizza

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Pizza

This Dallas-based chain rolls into the Woodlands offering their version of hand-tossed pizza. Beef-based pepperoni is a calling card, as are unique pizzas that stretch from the expected to the unexpected. Refreshing corporate culture (employees have stock options!) and fanatical dedication to quality (staff makes, tastes, and judges pizzas every week) makes this a pizza place to check out. As predicted, Zalat’s strong offering has been consistently delivered and has earned them a coveted spot on our “Best” list.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$ and $$ | Pizza
Catering, Good for Kids, Late Night, and On the Radar

1620 Research Forest Dr Ste 200 | Shenandoah 77381
832-621-0420
| Map | Review
Website | Order Online

All Restaurants On the Radar in the Woodlands

Amrina $$$ and $$$$ Indian   Waterway
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Baja Sur Fresh Mex $$ and $$$ Mexican   Creekside Forest West and Kuykendahl
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Boardough Vino $$ Charcuterie and Pizza   Research East
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Cafe Express $$ American (New), Burgers, and Sandwiches   College Park
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Cinnaholic $ Sweets   I-45 Corridor
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Hearsay on the Waterway $$ and $$$ American (Traditional) and Brunch   Waterway
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Hopdoddy Burger Bar $ and $$ Burgers   Research East
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP     💻 ORDER

In-N-Out Burger $ Burgers   Woodlands Mall
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Noodle Kitchen $$ Chinese   Kuykendahl
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

North Italia $$ and $$$ Italian   Woodlands Mall
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Porta’vino $$ and $$$ Italian and Pizza   Grogan's Mill
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Rosati’s Pizza $$ and $$$ Pizza   1488 West
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Sixty Vines $$ and $$$ American (New), Charcuterie, and Pizza   Market Street
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

The Cookshack $$ American (Traditional)   Kuykendahl and Outside the Bubble: Spring
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

The Stand $ and $$ Burgers, Salads, and Sandwiches   Hughes Landing
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP     💻 ORDER

Tosca Italian Bakery $$ Bakery, Italian, and Sandwiches   Sawdust
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Uptown Asian Fusion $$ and $$$ Chinese, Japanese, and Sushi   Sterling Ridge
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Xalisko $$$ Mexican   Woodlands Mall
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Zalat Pizza $ and $$ Pizza   Research East
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP     💻 ORDER