Ready to dine outdoors? The restaurants on our list can help you. Restaurants on this list all offer places to eat outdoors. If you’re looking for outdoor dining with the best views, we’ve got another list: Restaurants with Scenic Views.

Featured Restaurants with Outdoor Dining in The Woodlands

Notable craft BBQ in a cozy backyard spot near the Woodlands

3rd Coast BBQ & Catering

🌟 — 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
Family-Run Small Business and Outdoor Dining

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

A comfortable food truck park on Tomball's Main Street

403 Eats

Tomball’s Main Street has its own food truck park, and there’s a lot to like about it. Called 403 Eats, and developed by Michael & Gretchen Fagan, the park offers a nice variety of trucks, a central bar with covered patio, and plenty of comfortable spots to sit on the expansive, paved patio. There’s even an astroturf play area for kid. Trucks range from traditional hot dogs to cajun/creole to Latin American to Transylvanian… and no, we’re not kidding. Monday happy hour specials ($5 items from all the trucks, plus bar specials) is perhaps the area’s best value on dining’s toughest night.

Info and Photos >>

$ and $$ | American (Traditional)
Food Trucks, Happy Hour, and Outdoor Dining

403 E Main Street | Tomball 77375
281-330-4538
| Map

Seafood by Lake Conroe

Amore Seafood

🥇 Best Seafood

Amore specializes in expertly prepared seafood that ventures beyond the Gulf and brings in great flavors from the East Coast. Seared tuna steak was a highlight; a slab of beautiful sushi-grade tuna delicately seasoned and seared rare. Fried calamari was among the very best we’ve tried; exquisitely tender, and accented with deep fried red and jalapeño peppers. Standards like fried shrimp are outstanding as well; unique Italian breadcrumb crust compliments the large, tasty shrimp. Don’t let the casual, charming setting fool you; this is serious seafood.

(Formerly The Original Tony & Al’s Seafood Shack)

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Seafood
Family-Run Small Business, Happy Hour, and Outdoor Dining

14860 TX-105 | Montgomery 77356
936-582-1053
| Map

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

Amrina

🌟🌟🌟 — Notable on a statewide level.

🥇 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.

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

A well priced, elevated spin on traditional southern favorites

Back Table

🥈 Recommended Burger

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 a modern 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.

Info and Photos >>

$$ and $$$ | American (New), Brunch, Burgers, and Charcuterie
Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2022, Live Music, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Scenic View, and Upscale

2301 N Millbend Dr | The Woodands 77380
281-364-6400
| Map
Website

Cali-Mex Cuisine in a festive spot on Waterway Square

Baja Cantina

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Mexican
🥈 Recommended Tacos

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.  Just don’t come looking for Tex-Mex; Baja Cantina is a whole different state of Mexican food.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Brunch, Mexican, and Tacos
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

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

South-Texas-Style BBQ served from a food truck

BBQ Godfather

🥈 Recommended BBQ

Do you like your barbecue with a little kick? Then BBQ Godfather has you covered. Award-winning competition pitmaster Tony Faour brought his South Texas style ‘Q to Deacon Baldy’s food truck park, and the locals have been lining up ever since. Each meat gets a unique rub, and the perfect sauce is available for those who prefer it. From the delicious pork ribs to spicy brisket, BBQ Godfather offers unique versions of all the Texas BBQ classics. Sides are top notch as well; don’t miss the sweet potato casserole or the mac & cheese burnt ends. Sandwiches come on a crusty Italian loaf… just don’t call it French bread, or you risk the ire of the Godfather himself.

Info and Photos >>

$ and $$ | BBQ
Family-Run Small Business and Outdoor Dining

5447 Fm 1488 Rd | Magnolia 77354
713-828-5960
| Map
| Order Online

Big mesquite-grilled burgers, fast casual service

Beck’s Prime

🥈 Recommended Burger

Mesquite is the thing at this popular Houston-based burger chain. Thick, beefy burgers grilled on an open mesquite flame carry the wood’s distinctive flavor, and keep hungry locals coming back for more. The menu goes beyond burgers; it may be the only place in Texas where you can order a mesquite-grilled ribeye steak through the drive-through. (Please don’t eat it in traffic.)

Tucked away in the Grogan’s Mill Village Center, the inviting restaurant boasts wrap-around decks and even hidden tables beside Lake Harrison. Counter service is friendly and efficient.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Burgers
Outdoor Dining

2120 Buckthorne Pl | The Woodlands 77380
(in the Grogan's Mill Village Center)
281-367-3600
| Map
Website | Order Online

A broad array of modern comfort food in a sleek setting

Black Walnut Cafe

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

🥇 Best American (New)
🥇 Best American (Traditional)
🥇 Best Brunch
🥇 Best Burger
🥈 Recommended Happy Hour
🥈 Recommended Sandwiches
🥈 Recommended Tacos

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. These rival pasta dishes at dedicated Italian restaurants; they’re that good. Tacos are another surprise; the expanding menu of tacos (including some impressive new birria tacos) is also worth exploring.

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

Info and Photos >>

$$ | American (New), American (Traditional), Burgers, Sandwiches, and Tacos
Brunch, Full Bar, Good Desserts, Happy Hour, HRW2022, Outdoor Dining, and Private Room

9000 New Trails Drive | The Woodlands 77381
Also at the Conroe Airport
281-362-1678
| Map
Website | Menu | Order Online

A neighborhood pub in the Grogan's Mill Village Center

Blue Lion Pub

🥇 Best Happy Hour
🥈 Recommended American (Traditional)
🥈 Recommended Burger

Woodlands residents have been clamoring for more spots to relax with a cocktail, and the Blue Lion Pub delivers. Owners Wes Cordova and Kristi Sides have created a cozy, stylish haven for thirsty patrons looking to beat the heat day or night. The food was a pleasant surprise; the tightly-edited menu features a superb Sonora dog that was our favorite bite. Bacon-wrapped all-beef dog topped with fresh veggies and perched on a pretzel bun resulted in one of the best hotdogs we’ve had south of Buldogies. Fresh grilled Brussels sprouts were another great surprise; a beautifully executed version of this healthy snack.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | American (Traditional)
Family-Run Small Business, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Live Music, Outdoor Dining, and Romantic

2230 Buckthorne Pl Suite 150 | The Woodlands 77380
In the Grogan's Mill Village Center
832-205-0817
| Map

🥈 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

Scratchmade salads and salad-stuffed sandwiches that exceed expectations

Bread Zeppelin

🥇 Best Sandwiches

CityPlace has a hot new spot for picking up a quick, satisfying lunch or convenient dinner. Called Bread Zeppelin, the concept tosses high-quality, fresh ingredients with a plethora of homemade dressings to create a satisfying salad. But that’s just the start: The staff then (optionally) stuffs the made-to-order salad into a cored-out BreadMan Baking French baguette. The result is surprisingly delicious; the crunch of the baguette, just enough of the soft, pillowy bread, and a cool, fresh flavorful salad all in one bite. It’s the best of a salad combined with the best of a sandwich, all in one. We sampled several of their signature creations, and were particularly  impressed by the NOLA (Fried Shrimp, tomato, red onion, pickles, provolone, iceberg, remoulade) and the Plymouth Rock (roasted turkey, cranberries, beets, blue cheese, caramelized pecans, spring mix, cranberry poppyseed dressing).

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$ and $$ | Salads and Sandwiches
Catering, Good for Vegetarians, and Outdoor Dining

1700 City Plaza Dr #100 | Spring 77389
346-336-3001
| Map | Review
Website

Airy sports bar with surprisingly good food

Buffalo Run

🥈 Recommended American (Traditional)

Rayford Road gets a cool new sports bar with the opening of Buffalo Run. The open, airy room features tall ceilings, lots of TVs, and no smoking or vaping. Food surprises; the experienced chef turns out superb buffalo wings, big sandwiches and burgers, and terrific NY strip steak. Buffalo Bills fans congregate here during their games; it’s a little bit of upstate New York in the Woodlands Area.

Info and Photos >>

$ and $$ | American (Traditional) and Burgers
Happy Hour and Outdoor Dining

440 Rayford Road #115 | Spring 77386
832-813-8619
| Map

Latin cuisine with a Texas flair

Churrascos

🥈 Recommended Steak

The Woodands outpost of Michael Cordua’s successful empire has hit its stride in the scenic waterway district. Delicious latin-influenced cuisine including Cordua favorites like the chimichurri-topped churrasco steak and the iconic tres leches are present and accounted for. New lighter options are available as well, all are skillfully executed by the well-managed staff.

Beautiful waterfront location with one of the most scenic patios in the Woodlands is perfect for happy hour; the bar is a hotspot after work. Well priced brunch is also turning heads.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$$ | Brunch, Latin American, and Steaks
Brunch, Catering, Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2020, HRW2021, HRW2022, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Romantic, Scenic View, and Upscale

21 Waterway Avenue | The Woodlands 77380
281-367-1492
| Map | Review
Website | Menu

Well priced Tex-Mex in a funky setting

Chuy’s

🥈 Recommended Mexican

The Woodlands outpost of this Austin original has been satisfying local guests with well priced Tex-Mex (with a New Mexican accent) favorites. We’re big fans of the Elvis Presley Memorial Combo, with beef, chicken, and cheese enchiladas, a taco, and all the accoutrements. Popular happy hour, funky environment.

Info and Photos >>

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

18035 I-45 S | Shenandoah 77385
936-321-4440
| Map
Website | Order Online

Boutique bakery and cozy café in a chic, urban setting

Common Bond Café & Bakery

🥈 Recommended American (Traditional)
🥈 Recommended Brunch

This popular Houston bakery has ventured north to CityPlace at Springwoods Village, and has expanded from their roots of award-winning pastries, breads, and bistro cuisine. Now sporting a full bar, Common Bond is a happy hour destination as well as a great spot for breakfast, lunch, or brunch. Our sneak peek at the new menu was filled with pleasant surprises, like the spicy Nashville Hot Fried Shrimp and the savory Charcuterie Baguette. Beautiful small cakes perfect for special events; call ahead or pick up one that’s already ready.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ | American (Traditional), Bakery, Breakfast, Brunch, and Burgers
Happy Hour, HRW2020, HRW2021, and Outdoor Dining

1700 City Plaza Drive, Suite 150 | Spring 77389
In CityPlace / Springwoods Village
281-975-2300
| Map | Review
Website | Menu

Iconic Craft BBQ

CorkScrew BBQ

🌟🌟🌟 — 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
Family-Run Small Business and Outdoor Dining

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

Casual gastropub featuring southern cuisine

Craft Grill

🥈 Recommended American (Traditional)
🥈 Recommended Burger

This back-of-the-Woodlands/East Tomball restaurant has become a favorite for locals seeking out hearty Southern comfort food in a relaxed, casual setting. Families love the big burgers and creative favorites, like Shrimp & Grits, Chicken ‘n’ Waffles, and a variety of fried favorites. Beer lovers can get their geek on in the Tap Room, with a wall of craft beers on tap, as well as a good wine list and solid cocktail service.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | American (Traditional) and Burgers
Happy Hour and Outdoor Dining

25219 Kuykendahl Rd Ste G110 | Tomball 77375
281-255-2396
| Map
Website

Local Pizza Chain with Numerous Locations

Crust Pizza Co

🥈 Recommended Pizza

Freshly cut toppings on a Chicago-style thin crust (yes, that’s a thing) are the draw at this local chain of pizza spots. From the original location, Crust has spread out all over the Woodlands area, bringing its popular gourmet pizzas, big salads, and Italian entrees to hungry families. Each Crust location has a different feel, but all share the same focus on fresh ingredients (dough is made several times a day, and never frozen or refrigerated) and great customer service.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Pizza, Salads, and Sandwiches
Outdoor Dining

4775 W. Panther Creek Drive Suite 530 | The Woodlands 77381
(also Alden Bridge, Rayford Road, and Creekside Park locations)
281-298-8844
| Map
Website

Quality steaks and seafood in a scenic lakeside location

Del Frisco’s Grille

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best American (Traditional)
🥈 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 (Traditional), Brunch, Seafood, and Steaks
Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2020, HRW2021, HRW2022, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Romantic, Scenic View, and Upscale

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

Modern American bistro in an upscale park setting

Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar

🌟🌟🌟 — Notable on a statewide level.

🥇 Best American (New)
🥇 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. 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 (New), Brunch, Burgers, and Steaks
Brunch, Catering, Family-Run Small Business, Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2020, HRW2021, Live Music, Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Scenic View, and Upscale

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

Brazilian Steakhouse on Lake Woodlands

Fogo de Chao

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

Well-executed Gulf Coast seafood in an upscale, casual setting

Goode Co Fish Camp

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

🥇 Best Seafood

Levi Goode has brought his outstanding take on Gulf Coast seafood to the Woodlands with his new Goode Co Fish Camp concept. Diners can expect expertly crafted seafood dishes (do not miss the iconic campechana) served in a casual but classy room that pays homage to the Texas Gulf Coast. Polished service, friendly staff.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ and $$$ | Seafood
Catering, Full Bar, Good Desserts, Happy Hour, On the Radar, Outdoor Dining, and Upscale

8865 Six Pines Dr Suite 100 | Shenandoah 77380
281-947-9120
| Map | Review
Website

Upscale Tex-Mex from the iconic Houston family

Goode Co Kitchen & Cantina

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best 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

New York pizza from a coal fired oven

Grimaldi’s Pizzaria

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, this high-end pizza chain boasts a coal-fired oven and old school New York-style pizza. The craft approach uses great ingredients (don’t pass up the Italian sausage) and an artisan sensibility to put together pricey pizzas that appeal to refined pizza palates. But bumpy experiences aren’t uncommon: too frequent reports of poor service and inconsistency. The hot coal oven requires constant attention, and too often the pizza is either undercooked or over done. But when they’re on, they’re superb, and at these prices, they should be. Do you feel lucky, punk?

Info and Photos >>

$$ and $$$ | Pizza
Outdoor Dining and Scenic View

20 Waterway Ave #100 | The Woodlands 77380
281-465-3500
| Map
Website

Family favorite for upscale Tex-Mex

Guadalajara Hacienda

The Woodlands has no shortage of Mexican food, but Guadalajara Hacienda has been an area favorite for decades, thanks to its great service and a dependable kitchen. Seafood dishes stand out; the seafood enchiladas are unusual and lush. Ceviche is another standout, and looking around the dining room, you’ll see no shortage of the well-crafted margaritas. Stylish, upscale setting, ample parking.

Info and Photos >>

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

27885 I-45 | The Woodlands 77380
281-362-0774
| Map
Website

Fresh and Healthy

Herb & Beet

🥇 Best Salad
🥈 Recommended American (New)

Garden fresh salads, hefty sandwiches, and well conceived appetizers (try the avocado beet toast) are the draw at this Sawdust area restaurant featuring healthy ingredients from local sources. The modern, inviting room is a relaxing space to enjoy. Fast and friendly counter service makes it a perfect spot for a quick lunch.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ | American (New), BBQ, Salads, and Sandwiches
Family-Run Small Business, Good for Vegetarians, and Outdoor Dining

448 Sawdust Road | The Woodlands 77380
at Budde
832-791-2338
| Map | Review
Website | Menu | Order Online

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

Mac & Cheese and more in Creekside Village Center

I Heart Mac & Cheese

I Heart Mac & Cheese has arrived at Creekside Square, with a broad selection of bowls (pasta based an healthier options) and grilled cheese sandwiches. Hungry cheese lovers can either build their own bowl or sandwich, or choose from the recommended creations. Options range from a basic $7 grilled cheese sandwich to a decadent $20 lobster mac & cheese. For those keeping fit, sub the macaroni for quinoa or cauliflower for a healthy(er) option. Bright, Insta-ready Creekside Forest setting, expect lots of teens at peak times.

Info and Photos >>

$ and $$ | American (Traditional) and Sandwiches
Good for Kids, Outdoor Dining, and Scenic View

26400 Kuykendahl Rd | Spring 77389
In Creekside Forest Village Center
832-422-3360
| Map
Website

Steaks and Italian in a surprisingly fashionable hideaway

Johnny’s Italian Steak House

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended Italian
🥈 Recommended Steak

We never expected to find good food in a hotel 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. 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, HRW2022, Live Music, 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

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Mexican
🥇 Best Tacos

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 and Tacos
Family-Run Small Business, Full Bar, Happy Hour, and Outdoor Dining

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

Chef Ronnie Killen's BBQ is now in the Woodlands

Killen’s Texas Barbecue

🌟 — 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
Website | Order Online

A taco truck near the original Corkscrew BBQ location

La Hacienda Taqueria

🥈 Recommended Mexican
🥈 Recommended Tacos

La Hacienda serves very good Mexican tacos from a truck located on Budde Road. Birria is very popular here, as are breakfast tacos and more traditional offerings.

Info and Photos >>

$ and $$ | Mexican and Tacos
Food Trucks and Outdoor Dining

24930 Budde Road | The Woodlands 77380
832-403-9335
| Map

Lovers of Mediterranean cuisine have been frequenting this family run cafe, now in its second, larger location. A broad menu stretches from Greece to Lebanon, with favorites from both cultures well represented. We’re particularly fond of the rich, lush lamb stew, the flavorful schwarma (similar to a gyro), delicious housemade hummus and the bright, tasty tabouli. If you’re in the mood for something out of the ordinary, Lama is a great option.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Greek and Lebanese
Good for Vegetarians and Outdoor Dining

1644 Research Forest Dr #100 | Shenandoah 77381
281-292-5262
| Map
Website | Order Online

Craveable South African cuisine in a casual, mall-adjacent location

Mozambik

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

🥇 Best Brunch
🥇 Best Burger
🥇 Best Seafood

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. We think Mozambik hit the sweet spot for creative cuisine in the Woodlands; unique and different offerings (we’re drawn to the seafood, the South African Sampler, and the signature Espetadas) but within the wheelhouse of even the most non-adventurous diner. Friendly service. Bright, family-friendly setting.

Info and Photos >>

$$ and $$$ | Brunch, Burgers, Seafood, South African, and Steaks
Brunch, Catering, Full Bar, Good Desserts, Happy Hour, HRW2022, Outdoor Dining, and Private Room

1201 Lake Woodlands Dr Suite 304 | The Woodlands 77380
Outside the Woodlands Mall
855-626-6948
| Map
Website

An upscale cafe from the talented team behind Charm Bistro

Noe’s Cafe

🥈 Recommended Brunch

Noe’s Cafe brings combines an airy, modern setting with a carefully crafted menu, and the result is a delightfully upscale destination for breakfast, lunch, and brunch in Spring. Chef Adam Gorelick skillfully creates from high quality ingredients, and his expert technique results in some memorable dishes.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ | American (Traditional), Breakfast, and Brunch
Brunch, Family-Run Small Business, and Outdoor Dining

2120 Spring Stuebner Rd Ste. 610 | Spring 77388
In the Market at Springwoods Village
281-656-9999
| Map | Review

Sophisticated Indian cuisine in a cozy family-run setting

Palette Indian Kitchen

🌟🌟 — Among the best restaurants 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.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Indian
Family-Run Small Business, Good for Vegetarians, Outdoor Dining, and Private Room

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

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

Prime steaks in a comfortable suburban setting.

Red Flame Steak & Grill

🌟 — 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.

Info and Photos >>

$$$ | Steaks
Family-Run Small Business, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor Dining, and Upscale

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

Treetop views and a rooftop deck on the Woodlands Waterway

Rose Rooftop

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.

Info and Photos >>

$$ and $$$ | American (Traditional) and Burgers
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Romantic, Scenic View, and Upscale

20 Waterway Ave Ste #200 | The Woodlands 77380
832-341-5142
| Map
Website | Menu

Popular local icehouse featuring live music and food until late

Sawyer Park

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.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | American (Traditional) and BBQ
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Live Music, and Outdoor Dining

314 Pruitt Rd | Spring 77380
281-362-5907
| Map
Website

The tastes of New Orleans in an upscale, family-run establishment

Schilleci’s New Orleans Kitchen

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best Seafood

Schilleci’s brings Louisiana classics, from seafood gumbo to crawfish étouffée, shrimp creole and red beans & rice to the Woodlands. The family’s goal is to use many New Oreleans staples in the restaurant, including Gambino’s Bread, Blue Plate Mayonnaise, Community Coffee, and Abita Beer. Locals say they’re successful; it’s the closest thing to the French Quarter you’ll find in the Woodlands.

Info and Photos >>

$$$ | Cajun/Creole and Seafood
Family-Run Small Business, Full Bar, Outdoor Dining, and Upscale

9595 Six Pines Dr #1120 | The Woodlands 77380
In Market Street Center
281-419-4242
| Map
Website

Well-executed burgers, shakes and sandwiches in an airy, modern setting

Shake Shack

🥈 Recommended Burger

Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack is a decidedly New York approach to a burger joint, and now they’ve brought their Manhattan sensibilities to the Woodlands. Beneath the slick, polished exterior is a friendly, well-trained staff and a tightly edited menu. So how are the burgers? In a word, excellent. Cooked to order, nicely charred, juicy, and oozing with melty cheese. This isn’t a fancy, chef-ed up burger; it’s a traditional cheeseburger made with quality ingredients and without shortcuts. Don’t want a burger? Chicken and veggie options are also delightful. Danny Meyer is one of the nation’s great restaurateurs, and Shake Shack demonstrates what happens when this kind of attention to detail is applied to the humble hamburger.

Info and Photos >>

$ | Burgers and Sandwiches
Outdoor Dining

1201 Lake Woodlands Dr., Suite 3034 | The Woodlands 77380
Across from Peli Peli
346-220-4309
| Map
Website

A hidden gem known for outstanding breakfast tacos

Sofy’s Taqueria

🥇 Best Tacos

Breakfast tacos are what keeps in-the-know locals coming back again and again to Sofy’s, a taco truck tucked away off I-45 in Oak Ridge North. This small, family-run business creates authentic tacos using family recipes, and the results are delicious. Outdoor, covered seating.

Info and Photos >>

| Mexican and Tacos
Family-Run Small Business, Food Trucks, and Outdoor Dining

25403 Oakhurst Dr | Spring 77386
832-257-2609
| Map

Modern Italian in a chic hotel setting

Sorriso Modern Italian Kitchen

This casually ambitious Italian eatery bursts onto the Woodlands Waterway scene with a playful approach to Italian dining. Our first look at his food is promising. Well priced appetizers, pizzas, pastas, and desserts take center stage, and the completely rebuilt dining room is both modern and inviting. Excellent wine list.

Info and Photos >>
Full review >>

$$ and $$$ | Brunch, Italian, and Pizza
Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2022, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Romantic, Scenic View, and Upscale

2 Waterway Square Place | The Woodlands 77380
In the Westin Waterway hotel
281-419-4300
| Map | Review
Website | Menu | Order Online

Upscale Southern cuisine in a polished lakeside setting

State Fare

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best American (Traditional)

State Fare has arrived at Hughes Landing, and brings with it dedication to serving outstanding Southern cuisine. Chef Ray Hernandez’s kitchen turns out huge, crowd-pleasing portions like a beautifully executed chicken fried steak, moist and incredibly flavorful Airline Chicken, and the superb Mexican/Southern fusion that is Birria Grilled Cheese. The restaurant sweats the details; outstanding fresh cut french fried potatoes are the result of a kitchen that doesn’t skip steps in this surprisingly painstaking process. Friendly service from GM Ben Neumann’s staff, stunning Lake Woodlands location is a beautiful backdrop for a relaxing lunch or dinner.

Info and Photos >>

$$ and $$$ | American (Traditional), Brunch, and Burgers
Brunch, Catering, Full Bar, Good Desserts, Happy Hour, HRW2022, On the Radar, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, and Scenic View

1900 Hughes Landing Blvd, Suite 200 | Th Woodlands 77380
In Restaurant Row
281-825-5368
| Map
Website

World class BBQ, outstanding specials, unique sides

Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue

🌟🌟🌟 — 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
Family-Run Small Business and Outdoor Dining

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

South African cuisine from the chef behind the original Peli Peli

The Chef’s Table

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.

Info and Photos >>

$$$ | Seafood, South African, and Steaks
Brunch, Full Bar, Good Desserts, Outdoor Dining, and Upscale

110 Vintage Park Blvd, Building J suite P | Houston 77070
In Vintage Park
832-559-7489
| Map
Website | Menu | Order Online

An Irish pub on the Woodlands Waterway

The Goose’s Acre

The Woodlands has a real Irish pub located on the Waterway, complete with a bar imported from Ireland. This two-story pub serves modern pub grub, and daily specials (including half-price burgers on Wednesday) pack in hungry diners. Signature salads, proper fish and chips, and hand-tossed pizza are solid choices on the broad menu. Beautiful Waterway location with scenic outdoor decks.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | American (Traditional), Brunch, and Burgers
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Live Music, Outdoor Dining, and Scenic View

21 Waterway Ave #140 | The Woodlands 77380
(On the Waterway)
281-466-1502
| Map

Serious chef-driven comfort food in a fast casual setting

The Kitchen

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

🥇 Best American (New)
🥇 Best American (Traditional)
🥇 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 (New), American (Traditional), 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

Contemporary Texas cuisine in a comfortably upscale room

The Republic Grille

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended American (Traditional)

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.

Info and Photos >>

$$ and $$$ | American (Traditional), Burgers, and Salads
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Live Music, 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

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

Casual Upscale overlooking Market Street's Green

Tommy Bahama

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥈 Recommended American (New)
🥈 Recommended Seafood

Tommy Bahama’s restaurant brings a tropical oasis to the middle of Market Street. Well prepared seafood (sure bets include ahi tuna tacos, crab bisque, and coconut shrimp) and solid American cuisine are the initial draws. The beautiful setting (complete with gorgeous, shaded patio) and professional service keep the upscale patrons coming back for more. Attached boutique is convenient if you feel underdressed. Bar executes tropical drinks well, and can be a bit of a scene.

Info and Photos >>

$$$ | American (New) and Seafood
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Live Music, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Romantic, Scenic View, and Upscale

9595 Six Pines Dr | The Woodlands 77380
(in Market Street)
281-292-8669
| Map
Website | Menu

World-class sandwiches in a strip center location

Tony’s Italian Deli

🌟🌟🌟 — Notable on a statewide level.

🥇 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

Raising the bar for dining in the Woodlands

TRIS

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

🥇 Best American (New)
🥇 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. 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 (New), Burgers, Seafood, and Steaks
Catering, Full Bar, Good Desserts, Good for Vegetarians, Happy Hour, HRW2020, HRW2021, HRW2022, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, and Upscale

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

Seafood, Crab, and Steaks at Hughes Landing

Truluck’s

🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.

🥇 Best American (Traditional)
🥇 Best Seafood
🥈 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 (Traditional), Seafood, and Steaks
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Live Music, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Romantic, Scenic View, and Upscale

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

Modern, multicultural tacos in a hip, energetic environment

Velvet Taco

🥇 Best Tacos

This successful chain of hip, multicultural taco joints has pulled into the Woodlands, and locals are buzzing about all the different taco options. Influences range from India to England to Lebanon, with lots of sources of inspiration in between. Unlike some other hip taco joints, food and sauces are created in-house, and hungry customers can taste the difference. Open late, a rarity ’round these parts. Friendly, energetic staff.

Info and Photos >>

$$ | Tacos
Catering, Late Night, On the Radar, and Outdoor Dining

9120 Gosling Rd | The Woodlands 77381
346-386-6424
| Map
Website

Dallas-based chain specializing in modern comfort food and whiskey

Whiskey Cake

🥈 Recommended American (New)

Whiskey Cake packs ’em in with locally-sourced comfort food in a trendy, upscale setting. The big room fills with families and groups enjoying upscale spins on classic dishes. Whiskey selection is impressive, and the signature Whiskey Cake dessert should not be missed.

Info and Photos >>

$$ and $$$ | American (New), Brunch, and Burgers
Brunch, Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2022, Outdoor Dining, and Private Room

27800 N Fwy Service Rd | Oak Ridge North 77385
346-209-5577
| Map
Website

All Restaurants with Outdoor Dining in the Woodlands

3rd Coast BBQ & Catering $$ BBQ   I-45 Corridor and Rayford Road
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

403 Eats $ and $$ American (Traditional)   Outside the Bubble: Tomball
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Amore Seafood $$ Seafood   Outside the Bubble: Hwy 105
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

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

Avanti Italian Kitchen $$$ Italian   Creekside Forest West and Research East
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Back Table $$ and $$$ American (New), Brunch, Burgers, and Charcuterie   Grogan's Mill
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Baja Cantina $$ Brunch, Mexican, and Tacos   Waterway
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

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

Baker St. Pub & Grill $$ American (Traditional)   Waterway
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Bar Louie $$ American (Traditional) and Burgers   Waterway
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

BBQ Godfather $ and $$ BBQ   1488 West
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP     💻 ORDER

Beck’s Prime $$ Burgers   Grogan's Mill
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP     💻 ORDER

Bellagreen $$ American (Traditional)   Research East
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Black Walnut Cafe $$ American (New), American (Traditional), Burgers, Sandwiches, and Tacos   Outside the Bubble: Conroe and Research East
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP     💻 ORDER

Blue Lion Pub $$ American (Traditional)   Grogan's Mill
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

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

Bread Zeppelin $ and $$ Salads and Sandwiches   CityPlace and Outside the Bubble: Spring
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Brooklyn Cafe $ and $$ American (Traditional) and Breakfast   Panther Creek
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP     💻 ORDER

Buffalo Run $ and $$ American (Traditional) and Burgers   Rayford Road
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Churrascos $$$ Brunch, Latin American, and Steaks   Waterway
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Chuy’s $$ Mexican and Tacos   I-45 Corridor
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP     💻 ORDER

Common Bond Café & Bakery $$ American (Traditional), Bakery, Breakfast, Brunch, and Burgers   CityPlace and Outside the Bubble: Spring
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

CorkScrew BBQ $$ BBQ   Outside the Bubble: Spring
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Craft Burger Food Truck - closed $$ Burgers   1488 West
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Craft Grill $$ American (Traditional) and Burgers   Creekside Forest West
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Crust Pizza Co $$ Pizza, Salads, and Sandwiches   Creekside Forest West, Panther Creek, and Rayford Road
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Cyclone Anaya’s $$ and $$$ Brunch and Mexican   Waterway
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Del Frisco’s Grille $$ and $$$ American (Traditional), Brunch, Seafood, and Steaks   Hughes Landing
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Escalante’s $$ and $$$ Mexican   Hughes Landing
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP     💻 ORDER

Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar $$$ and $$$$ American (New), Brunch, Burgers, and Steaks   Creekside Forest West
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Fogo de Chao $$$ and $$$$ Latin American and Steaks   Hughes Landing
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP     💻 ORDER

Gessner’s Grub BBQ Co. $$ BBQ   Sawdust
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Goode Co Fish Camp $$ and $$$ Seafood   Research East
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Goode Co Kitchen & Cantina $$$ Mexican   Research East
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Grimaldi’s Pizzaria $$ and $$$ Pizza   Waterway
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Guadalajara Hacienda $$ and $$$ Mexican   I-45 Corridor
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Hearsay on the Waterway $$ and $$$ American (Traditional) and Brunch   Waterway
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Herb & Beet $$ American (New), BBQ, Salads, and Sandwiches   Sawdust
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP     💻 ORDER

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

Huti’s 5 Free-Fire Grill - closed $$ Latin American   Research East
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I Heart Mac & Cheese $ and $$ American (Traditional) and Sandwiches   Creekside Forest West
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Johnny’s Italian Steak House $$ and $$$ Italian and Steaks   I-45 Corridor
☎ CALL     🚘 MAP

Julio’s Mexican Grill – Magnolia $$ Mexican and Tacos   1488 West
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Killen’s Texas Barbecue $$ BBQ   Research East
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La Hacienda Taqueria $ and $$ Mexican and Tacos   Sawdust
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Lama Mediterranean Cuisine $$ Greek and Lebanese   Research East
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Landry’s $$$ Seafood   Woodlands Mall
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Local Pour $$ American (Traditional)   Hughes Landing
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Lupe Tortilla $$$ Brunch and Mexican   I-45 Corridor
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Mozambik $$ and $$$ Brunch, Burgers, Seafood, South African, and Steaks   Woodlands Mall
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Noe’s Cafe $$ American (Traditional), Breakfast, and Brunch   Outside the Bubble: Spring
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P. F. Chang’s $$ and $$$ Chinese   Woodlands Mall
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Pacific Yard House $$ American (Traditional)   Outside the Bubble: Conroe
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Palette Indian Kitchen $$ Indian   Rayford Road
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Porta’vino $$ and $$$ Italian and Pizza   Grogan's Mill
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Radunare - closed $$   Research East
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Red Flame Steak & Grill $$$ Steaks   1488 West
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Refuge Bar & Bistro $$ American (Traditional)   Waterway
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Refuge Steak House & Bourbon Bar $$$ and $$$$ Steaks   Creekside Forest West
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Rico’s - closed $$ and $$$   Research West
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Rose Rooftop $$ and $$$ American (Traditional) and Burgers   Waterway
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Sawyer Park $$ American (Traditional) and BBQ   I-45 Corridor
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Schilleci’s New Orleans Kitchen $$$ Cajun/Creole and Seafood   Market Street
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Shake Shack $ Burgers and Sandwiches   Woodlands Mall
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Sofy’s Taqueria Mexican and Tacos   I-45 Corridor
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Sorriso Modern Italian Kitchen $$ and $$$ Brunch, Italian, and Pizza   Waterway
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State Fare $$ and $$$ American (Traditional), Brunch, and Burgers   Hughes Landing
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Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue $$ BBQ   Outside the Bubble: Tomball
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The Cheesecake Factory $$ and $$$ American (Traditional)   Woodlands Mall
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The Chef’s Table $$$ Seafood, South African, and Steaks   Outside the Bubble: Vintage
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The Goose’s Acre $$ American (Traditional), Brunch, and Burgers   Waterway
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The Kitchen $$ American (New), American (Traditional), Brunch, Burgers, Salads, and Sandwiches   Research East
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The Republic Grille $$ and $$$ American (Traditional), Burgers, and Salads   Panther Creek, Rayford Road, and Woodlands Parkway West
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The Stand $ and $$ Burgers, Salads, and Sandwiches   Hughes Landing
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Tommy Bahama $$$ American (New) and Seafood   Market Street
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Tony’s Italian Deli $$ Sandwiches   Creekside Forest West and Outside the Bubble: Hwy 105
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TRIS $$$ and $$$$ American (New), Burgers, Seafood, and Steaks   Waterway
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True Food Kitchen $$ American (Traditional)   Market Street
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Truluck’s $$$$ American (Traditional), Seafood, and Steaks   Hughes Landing
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Velvet Taco $$ Tacos   Research East
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Whiskey Cake $$ and $$$ American (New), Brunch, and Burgers   I-45 Corridor
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Wiches on Wheels $$ Burgers   1488 West
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Woodson’s Local Tap $$ American (Traditional) and Burgers   1488 West
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