Let’s face it: Working all week and coming home to cook a meal for your family can be exhausting. You worked hard all day, and now right when you get home, you have to decide what to cook, pick up an extra ingredients that you need, cook your meal and then clean up after everyone’s finished.
We at Advantage Pro Service know how hard you work at your job and at home, but there’s nothing wrong with saying, “forget it,” now and again and taking the night off from cooking. Going out to eat takes all the pressure off you and lets you relax with your family. Because you’re not stressing about cooking, you’ll have time to spend with your family and enjoy just being together.
Over the last few years, Houston’s culinary scene has exploded, churning out some of the best restaurants in the state. But how do you choose which one is best for you? Do you go for the romantic dinner-for-two spot or the family-friendly crowd-pleaser?
Whatever your need is, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best places to eat out this weekend in Houston — from romantic settings to good deals, we’re here to help.
For the romantic: the best romantic restaurants in Houston
Call the babysitter and pick up some snacks: You and your partner are going for a great night out on the town. These romantic restaurants in Houston will give you and your spouse time away from the kids to reconnect and share a glass of wine — or even a bottle — together. Having time away from your children is important to any couple’s relationship, so if you two haven’t been out for a while, then these romantic restaurants will set the mood.
One Fifth Romance Languages
Chris Shepherd went the extra mile for this Montrose stunner. Built in a reclaimed 1920s Art Deco-styled church, One Fifth Romance Languages exudes love from every corner. Shepherd, known for Underbelly, designed a menu with Spanish, French and Italian dishes — all three are considered romantic languages — that combine the best of all three cuisines.
Here you’ll find a mixed menu with pastas and paellas as well as a raw oyster bar. Classic cocktails are served up straight, but the bartenders also mix their own craft cocktails. Custom art pieces are set up all around the church, and airy fabrics drape from above. The space can also be rented for private events, if you’re thinking of celebrating any major marriage anniversaries.
Though you and your partner may be seeking a chic night out, some restaurants feel so overcrowded. Not every parent is great about watching their kids in restaurants, so much so that it can feel like you’re having a night out with their kids as well.
Not at Tongue-Cut Sparrow. This intimate spot downtown seats just 25 people, and it’s above the Pastry Bar, which means this swanky spot can only be accessed through the bar. The Tongue-Cut Sparrow is best known for its craft cocktails, and it doesn’t serve food. BUt if you’re looking for a spot to sip a drink slowly before heading home, this spot guarantees a little privacy and intimacy.
Try as you might, you might be raising a picky eater — or maybe even a few picky eaters! It’s hard to get kids to try new, unfamiliar dishes, and when you go out on the town to a nice restaurant, there’s a good chance they won’t serve chicken nuggets. So now that it’s just the two of you, why not try something intimate and different?
Yauatacha, located in the Galleria, offers a tea service and dim sum, but it’s the atmosphere that’s going to wow you. If you ask to sit in the lounge, you’ll rest on velvet-cushioned chairs and admire the night sky — tiny lights in the ceiling twinkle to look just like the night sky. There you and your partner can share small plates of noodles, dumplings and sea food.
For the trendsetter: the best restaurants in Houston
Whenever you hear the word foodie, your ears perk up. Not only do you enjoy eating, but you also enjoy the talent that goes into combining different flavors to create amazing dishes. When you go out to dinner in Houston, you want to go to the hottest restaurants to try what’s new and sample as many dishes as you can.
If this describes you, then we’ ve got you covered. Here are the top restaurants in Houston — perfect for any trendsetter.
When you think of a night out, you think steak. For you, no simple ribeye or New York strip will do. You want the very best of the best. To you, there’s no greater sin than an overcooked steak, and you’ve got a map of the city’s best steakhouses in your head.
Now it’s time to add Bori to that list. This Spring Branch restaurant opened just recently and has brought new meaning to the term table side. Here you can have your ribeye cooked right next to your table. Bori’s proteins don’t mess around. Many of them are dry-aged 41 days and some even longer. When you cut into the first slice, you’ll know every subsequent bite is going to be heaven.
MAD River Oaks
If you can score a reservation to this trendy River Oaks scene, you’ll know you’ve made it in Houston. Right now, reservations are booked solid, which means you’ve got to be patient if you want to find the perfect table.
MAD River Oaks isn’t your average tapas bar. It’s menu is definitely upscale, so be ready for tacos with a gourmet twist, like confited duck tongue tacos. Because it is a tapas bar, you’ll be able to order your favorite plates all at once and then spend the evening trying each one. If you have teenagers, this is a great place to introduce them to new flavors and get them interest in food and cooking just like you.
Out without the kids? Don’t be shy; try a craft cocktail, sit back and relax. Let the relaxed atmosphere help you forget about everything else for the night.
Don’t let the unassuming exterior fool you. Preslee’s might not look like the fanciest hotel in the city — and it’s not. But it’s also not trying to be. For a great, relaxed evening, this is one trendy restaurant where even your kids will find something to munch on.
Preslee’s services up Southern-styled dishes including crawfish mac and cheese and stuffed turkey legs. A newcomer to Shady Acres, this restaurant even has its own ice cream parlor inside, and for adults, the restaurant prides itself on stocking the best bourbons in the country. Preslee’s may be one of the best-kept secrets in Shady Acres right now, not only for its top-notch cuisine, but also for its family-friendly environment.
For the family: the best kid-friendly restaurants in Houston
Going out with the kids for dinner can be one of the highlights of their week. It means quality time with their parents to laugh and hang out together without all the distractions of home. Around Houston, families aren’t resigned to fast-food joints. There are plenty of family-friendly restaurants that make serving kids a priority.
Here are a few that offer plenty of space for children — but still offer great food for adults too.
This local chain gives parents the best of both worlds. On the one hand, there’s a playground at every Jimmy Changas location around Houston. When your kids don’t want to sit still while waiting for food, they can run around without accidentally knocking into a server. While you do have to supervise your children, you can do so with a margarita in hand. The playground does not have a sandpit, which means your kids won’t go home full of sand at the end of the night.
Jimmy Changas has a Tex-Mex menu with simple dishes for kids that tend to be picky eaters (who doesn’t love tacos anyway?) and delicious fajitas for you. Relatively inexpensive, Jimmy Changas balance good food at a fair price point.
Jenni’s Noodle House
If you’re dying to find a good Vietnamese restaurant that has room for kids to be kids, then look no further than the Jenni’s Noodle House. Just outside of Jenni’s, there is a massive concrete tube structure where kids love to play while waiting for dinner. There’s also plenty of sidewalk chalk so kids can unleash their creative side and green space where they can run around and work up a healthy appetite.
Now Jenni’s has multiple locations around Houston, but the one most kid-friendly is in the Heights. When you go, be sure to try Jenni’s dumplings and pho. As you and your children eat, they can color in original pictures to pass the time between bites.
Punk’s Simple Southern Food
Don’t let the name fool you here. Located in the Medical Center, Punk’s Simple Southern Food may look like any other southern-styled restaurant in Texas, but the restaurant is best known for taking classic southern dishes and giving them a little Texas flaire. Next to Punk’s is a big, open, grassy field, perfect for kids to make new friends as they run around before their dinner arrives.
For an extra special birthday night, don’t forget to tell your server. When there’s a birthday in the house, the staff brings out a bowl of cotton candy topped with a sparkler. It’s a fun way to update the traditional birthday celebration with something new and different.
For the saver: the best restaurant deals in Houston
LIke hundreds of other Houstonians, you love a good deal. You’re saving to take the family on vacation or put in a pool next summer, so you want to find a good deal that won’t hurt your pocket book either.
We at Advance Pro Services appreciate a good deal too, so we’ve rounded up some of the best restaurant deals in Houston.
The great thing about ordering a gyro for young kids is that one gyro can be split between two kids. That’s the beauty of Niko Niko’s. The Houston favorite has three locations in Montrose, Market Square and Memorial/Spring Branch. For anything your family does finish, take it to go and have it for lunch the next day — you’re almost certain to leave with a doggy bag.
If your kids’ go-to favorite is macaroni and cheese, then you’re going to have a hard time getting them out of Jus’ Mac. With locations in the Heights and Montrose, Jus’ Mac serves up dozens of macaroni and cheese combos, which means no matter what your kids like to eat, they’ll find something they like. Because mac and cheese to so carb-heavy and filling, you’re going to find yourself with plenty of leftovers. You can also have your kids split one if you know they can’t finish one alone. This saves the price of an entre for you.
Don’t forget to check restaurant websites regularly. When Houston restaurants are having a deal or a special, they’ll often post it to their websites, so get in the habit of checking those regularly. You can also follow them on social media to keep up with any deals going on. Some restaurants will also offer discounts for families, such as free kids drinks before a certain time.
You can also save a little money on tips and delivery fees by ordering for pick-up using apps like Postmates and Grubhub. You can search for different food types on the app or narrow your choices down to a specific location, such as near your office. Place your order before you leave the office, and by the time you get there, the food will be ready for you. You still don’t have to cook, and you save a little by not having to tip a server or delivery driver.
All this talk of food is making us hungry. We want to know: What are your favorite restaurants in Houston? Share with us in the comments!