Updated July 2021. Originally published in 2021.)
Fresh and Healthy
$$ | American, BBQ, Salads, and Sandwiches
Creative Mexican food and Tex-Mex favorites
The best Mexican restaurant in Magnolia has opened a second location on Sawdust road, and savvy locals are already converging. They’re drawn in by the impressive Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, which goes beyond the typical fajitas (although Julio’s are outstanding) to superb creations like the El Sabroso (lightly breaded chicken breast covered in a shrimp/poblano cream sauce). The menu is strong from top to bottom – street tacos are a don’t miss, and their al pastor may be the best on Houston’s north side. Service is friendly and professional.
$$ | Mexican
Great Tacos and Mexican dishes from a hidden gem
A hidden gem at the far west end of Sawdust, 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 camerón 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.
$ and $$ | Mexican
Handmade contemporary Italian cuisine
Don’t be fooled by the modest strip center location. Papa Amadeus crafts some of the finest Italian food in the Woodlands area. Chef Arturo Huerta’s meticulous personal approach delivers delicious results. Everything is handmade in house; from the pastas to the balanced, classic sauces, to the more innovative dishes featured in the evenings. The classics are beautifully executed; we keep getting drawn in by the flawless chicken parmigiana and the light, pillowy gnocchi. Well priced, curated wine list.
$$ | Italian
Brooklyn-style pizza with a Texas accent
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.
$ and $$ | Italian and Pizza
Greek Cuisine and Live Entertainment
A classic Greek experience awaits hungry diners at The Olive Oil. Located in a huge strip center on Sawdust, The Olive Oil offers classic Greek cuisine, well prepared by the bustling kitchen. Favorites include the mixed grill (the marinade drizzles enticingly onto a bed of spinach beneath the meat) and the gyro. Families pack the restaurant on weekend nights, where belly dancers and musicians turn the dining room into a party.
$$ | Greek
Well-prepared American classics in a comfortable strip center location
Modern versions of American classics are the order of the day at the Omega Grill, the sister restaurant of the popular Olive Oil, located a few doors down. The warm, friendly staff serves up big portions to hungry locals, who rave about the chicken-fried steak, pork chops, big burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Their “Twisted Texas” entrees are among our favorites, with Omega’s unique versions of these classic southern favorites. Kids menu brings in the families.
$$ | American, Burgers, Salads, and Sandwiches
Big burgers in a relaxed setting from this East County transplant
Tony Marron opened a very successful burger business over near Porter, and Woodlands residents are lucky he transplanted it to our part of the world. Big, unique burgers are his specialty, and he does two styles of patties: A standard ground beef option for purists, or his special combination of beef and pork for those who walk on the wild side. Very good hand cut fries (or optional tater tots) complete your lunch. Friendly, laid-back setting.
$$ | Burgers