Updated February 2024. Originally published in 2021.)
Prime steaks and seafood🥈 Recommended Steak
Quality service is the draw at the Woodlands outpost of this classic American steakhouse chain. The professional staff goes beyond the expected to make every visit special, and they pull out the stops on special occasions. Food is above average steakhouse fare; the signature Prime Bone-In Ribeye is an impressive favorite among a full selection of high quality cuts of meat. While not the most innovative or adventurous restaurant, Fleming’s delivers on its promise of a delicious, high-end steakhouse experience.
$$$ and $$$$ | American (Traditional), Seafood, and Steaks
Full Bar, HRW2023, Live Music, Private Room, and Upscale
The iconic SoCal burger joint serves well priced, high quality burgers
🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.🥈 Recommended Burger
In-N-Out Burger has been a Los Angeles icon for decades, and they’ve slowly expanded to select cities across the nation. The Woodlands location carries on the brand’s focus on a tightly edited, high quality menu. You won’t find gimmicks here, just fresh beef, melty cheese, and fresh traditional toppings. Fries can disappoint; order them well done, or skip them entirely. While lesser burger joints often hide a mediocre patty behind countless toppings, In-N-Out sticks to a purist approach, and we’re fans of the results. Being open late is an added bonus: Until 1am during the week, and 1:30 on weekend nights.
Service is friendly and professional; the brand new restaurant is spotlessly clean. Expect lines for the first few weeks.
$ | Burgers
Good for Kids, Late Night, On the Radar, and Outdoor Dining
Traditional steak house overlooking a small lake near the mall🥈 Recommended Steak
Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse has been serving the Woodlands since 2004. They feature Mid-Western, grain fed, aged prime beef. Kirby’s also offers fresh seafood, daily specials, and a collection of New and Old World wine housed in an cellar of over 4,000 bottles. Kirby’s boasts a trendy jazz bar and lounge featuring happy hour nightly.
$$$ and $$$$ | American (Traditional) and Steaks
Full Bar, Happy Hour, HRW2022, HRW2023, Live Music, Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Romantic, Scenic View, and Upscale
Skillfully executed Italian classics in a comfortably boisterous setting.
🌟 — Notable in the Woodlands area.🥈 Recommended Italian
🥈 Recommended Pizza
Hungry Inner Loopers have raved about North Italia, the upscale Italian concept from serial restaurateur Sam Fox. Now the concept has taken root in the Woodlands, and local residents are learning what the fuss is about. From housemade pastas to wood fired pizzas to expertly crafted entrees, North Italia brings mom-and-pop craftsmanship together with polished service and a capacious, beautiful room. Extensive bar, lots of seating overlooking the Waterway. Don’t write this one off just because it’s part of a national chain.
$$ and $$$ | Italian
Brunch, Catering, Full Bar, Good Desserts, Happy Hour, On the Radar, Private Room, and Scenic View
Americanized Chinese food in an upscale, mall-adjacent location
P.F. Chang’s is a reliable chain restaurant that serves Americanized Chinese cuisine with a modern twist. The atmosphere is stylish, and the service is friendly and attentive. The menu offers a range of flavorful dishes, although the portions are a bit small for the price.
$$ and $$$ | Chinese
HRW2023 and Outdoor Dining
Well-executed burgers, shakes and sandwiches in an airy, modern setting🥈 Recommended Burger
Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack is a decidedly New York approach to a burger joint, and now they’ve brought their Manhattan sensibilities to the Woodlands. Beneath the slick, polished exterior is a friendly, well-trained staff and a tightly edited menu. So how are the burgers? In a word, excellent. Cooked to order, nicely charred, juicy, and oozing with melty cheese. This isn’t a fancy, chef-ed up burger; it’s a traditional cheeseburger made with quality ingredients and without shortcuts. Don’t want a burger? Chicken and veggie options are also delightful. Danny Meyer is one of the nation’s great restaurateurs, and Shake Shack demonstrates what happens when this kind of attention to detail is applied to the humble hamburger.
$ | Burgers and Sandwiches
Destination Mexican Dining from an accomplished team
🌟🌟🌟 — Notable on a statewide level.🥇 Best Mexican
🥇 Best Tacos
Chef Beatriz Martines and her husband Juan have brought a destination Mexican restaurant to the Woodlands. Chef Beatriz bring world-class experience (from Hugo Ortega’s kitchens to the legendary Can Roca in Spain) and it shows in her cuisine. We were seriously impressed by her tableside trompo service of Tacos al Pastor; these are easily the best version we’ve found in the Houston area. Modern, upscale setting with numerous touches that reference Mexican culture. This isn’t your dad’s favorite Tex-Mex spot; its something far more interesting.
$$$ | Mexican
Catering, Family-Run Small Business, Full Bar, Good Desserts, Happy Hour, HRW2023, On the Radar, Private Room, Romantic, and Upscale