Updated February 2023. Originally published in 2021.)

Prime steaks and seafood

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse

🥈 Recommended Steak
Quality service is the draw at the Woodlands outpost of this popular 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 tomahawk steak is an impressive favorite.

$$$ and $$$$ | American (Traditional), Seafood, and Steaks
Full Bar, Live Music, Private Room, and Upscale

1201 Lake Woodlands Dr Suite 305 | The Woodlands 77380
281-362-0103
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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.

$ | 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
Full Info | Website | Menu

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.

$$ and $$$ | Brunch, Burgers, Seafood, South African, and Steaks
Brunch, Catering, Family-Run Small Business, Food Trucks, 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
Full Info | 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.

$$ and $$$ | 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
Full Info | 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.

$ | Burgers and Sandwiches
Outdoor Dining

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

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

1335 Lake Woodlands Dr | The Woodlands 77380
| Map
Full Info


Restaurant Listings

Bazille $$ and $$$ American (New)   Woodlands Mall
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Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse $$$ and $$$$ American (Traditional), Seafood, and Steaks   Woodlands Mall
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In-N-Out Burger $ Burgers   Woodlands Mall
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Kirby’s Steakhouse $$$ and $$$$ American (Traditional) and Steaks   I-45 Corridor and Woodlands Mall
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Landry’s $$$ Seafood   Woodlands Mall
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Mozambik $$ and $$$ Brunch, Burgers, Seafood, South African, and Steaks   Woodlands Mall
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North Italia $$ and $$$ Italian   Woodlands Mall
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P. F. Chang’s $$ and $$$ Chinese   Woodlands Mall
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Shake Shack $ Burgers and Sandwiches   Woodlands Mall
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The Cheesecake Factory $$ and $$$ American (Traditional)   Woodlands Mall
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Torchy’s Tacos $ and $$ Mexican   Panther Creek, Research East, and Woodlands Mall
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Xalisko $$$ Mexican   Woodlands Mall
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