As the fourth largest city in America, Houston arguably has one of the best food scenes in the country. With many different areas of town all sporting different vibes, there's always a place to go depending on your mood. Houston is also the most ethnically and racially diverse metropolitan area in the nation, and our food scene represents that fact. 

I like to consider Houston a mecca for foodies. Although I love trying new restaurants, when I find something I love I tend to stick to it. This list of my favorite eats may differ from the list you will see if you Google "best restaurants in Houston," but if you truly want to get a feel for this big, diverse city I call home, I urge you to take my advice and try these eateries. 

After all, I'm just trying to spread the word for my hometown and help all of you readers get a feel for the great city of H-Town.

1. Américas

sweet, milk, tea
Gabriella D'Ambra

This River Oaks spot has a Latin American flare that I have enjoyed for happy hour. They are great for a variety of occasions such as an awesome brunch, happy hour, or a prime hotspot for date night.

This place has a wide selection of great foods from a variety of meats, empanadas, yummy cocktails—you have to try their mojito—and an excellent ambiance. When the weather is nice, they have a patio that overlooks the River Oaks Shopping Center. 

Location: 2040 West Gray, Houston, TX 77019

2. B&B Butchers & Restaurant

Located just minutes from downtown, this old-fashioned steakhouse with a modern twist is a place you do not want to miss. They offer seating inside their elegant rustic dining room or you can choose to sit on their rooftop patio overlooking the beautiful Houston skyline.

The owner, Benjamin Berg, also brings a little New York to Houston with his butcher shop where you can purchase meats to take home or get a made-to-order sandwich. 

Location: 1814 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007

3. Brasserie 19

meat, vegetable, salmon, grilled salmon, salad, fish, seafood, fillet, salmon steak
Gabriella D'Ambra

This French brasserie with an American twist is the perfect place to come if you want to enjoy the hustle and bustle of River Oaks.

Their food, along with their wine selection, is perfect for lunch or brunch. They offer delicious French dishes, along with classic meals like salads, burgers, and a BLT. However, I tend to opt for their seafood selections like their salmon or seafood salad. If you're a brunch goer, this is definitely somewhere you should try.

Location: 1962 West Gray, Houston, TX 77019

4. Caracol

This seafood spot in Uptown Houston is a place you definitely want to hit. Caracol specializes in coastal cuisine, so you can find Mexican seafood dishes and great cocktails in a beautiful and upscale environment.

Come here to try some ceviche, fish tacos, and a margarita. Their blackberry mojito is also to die for. If you're not into seafood, don't worry. They offer other delicious options such as their tacos de carnitas or chicken enchiladas. 

Location: 2200 Post Oak Blvd, Suite #160, Houston, TX 770056

5. Daily Grill

A photo posted by Daily Grill (@dailygrill) on

This hidden gem is located in the Galleria. This is one of my favorite places to go for a quick bite and a drink or two at the bar.

Daily Grill is a tavern-like restaurant that specializes in comfort food, so come here if you want a hearty, tasty meal. Start with one of their bar-like appetizers, like the spinach artichoke dip, chicken wings, hummus, or popcorn shrimp. For your meal, the options are never ending. Varying from a variety of sandwiches to meatloaf to chicken pot pie, this place is a hit due to their endless options. 

Location: 5085 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77056

6. Escalante's Mexican Restaurant 

A photo posted by tiffany (@tiffseats) on

Escalante's is a Houston favorite with six different locations across the Houston area: Highland Village, Meyerland Plaza, Woodway at Voss, Town and Country, Sugar Land, and the Woodland. 

They offer Tex-Mex cuisine that is to die for. Their sizzling fajitas are mouthwatering, and I promise that you do not want to miss their queso. They also offer plenty of other dishes to keep you satisfied. Their drinks are out of this world, too. 

Come here and order a meal for yourself, or share some queso, nachos, and fajitas. You won't regret it. 

Location: 4053 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027 // 590 Meyerland Plaza, Houston, TX 77096 // 6582 Woodway Dr, Houston, TX 77057 // 12821 Kimberley Ln, Houston, TX 77024 // 15933 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX 77479 // 1900 Hughes Landing Blvd. #100, The Woodlands, TX 77380 

7. Grotto Ristorante

sauce, pasta, beef, meat, spaghetti
Gabriella D'Ambra

Grotto, located in Uptown Houston, is where you should go if you're dying for some Old Country, authentic Italian cuisine. From their toasty bread to their savory dishes to their frozen peach bellini, you won't want to miss this place.

Their authentic meatballs are absolutely insane, their thin crust Neapolitan pizzas are the bomb, their pastas are delicious, and their other options like fish or chicken are full of flavor. 

Come with your friends and sit at a high table by the bar, or come with the whole family and enjoy the spacious dining room. Make sure you come on an empty stomach because their food is no joke.

Location: 4715 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77027 // 1001 Avenida de las Americas, Suite A, Houston, TX 77010 

8. Hugo's

Gabriella D'Ambra

Located in the artsy neighborhood of Montrose, Hugo's is a great place with modern authentic Mexican cuisine and great drinks.

Owned by the same owner of Caracol, this restaurant serves the same quality food but offers more dishes for those who prefer meat. Plates include meals like carnitas, barbacoa, steaks, and even things like goat meat. Try these dishes with a margarita, or once again, the blackberry mojito.

Hugo's food represents many regions of Mexico in a beautiful way, along with the very chic decor. 

Location: 1600 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77006

9. Lupe Tortilla

With many locations around Houston, Lupe Tortilla is a fun, family-friendly restaurant you don't want to miss. Whether you choose indoor seating or outside on the patio, the whole family will have fun in this chatty, exciting environment.

Their fajitas, in my opinion, are the best in Houston, and I recommend their homemade tortillas. Their significantly large menu also offers all of your Tex-Mex favorites. I recommend their beef, chicken, or shrimp (or all three) because Lupe Tortilla has a special marination trick up their sleeve.

Location: All over Houston (see their website for details)

10. Maggiano's Little Italy

If you're looking for a family-style Italian feast, Maggiano's is the place to go. Their large portions and warm, family-friendly environment remind me of my Sunday night Italian dinners where we enjoy a big family meal.

Maggiano's knows how to make their customers feel special, and they will not let you leave hungry, either. They also have an awesome deal: order a classic pasta dish—try their lasagna or baked ziti—and take one home for later for free. 

Location: 2019 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056 // 602 Memorial City Mall, Houston, TX 77024 

11. Picos 

Arnaldo Richards' Picos Restaurant is an authentic Mexican restaurant that embraces true Mexico. The cuisine offered captures and celebrates the seven regions of Mexico.

These seven regions consist of: The North, which honors grilled meat; The South, which honors Mayan cuisine and the spice Achiote; Central Mexico, which honors corn and smoked chiles; South Pacific Coast, which honors Oaxacan cuisine and spicy chiles; The Bajio, which honors cactus along with an Inidian influence; Northern Pacific Coast, which honors pork, pozole, menudo, and tequila; The Gulf, which honors seafood and Spanish influences.

Try their fresh ceviche, the chilorio (pulled pork tacos), pozole (hominy stew with either pork or chicken), or anything from fresh seafood dishes to their savory enchiladas.    

Location: 3601 Kirby, Houston, TX 77098 

12. RA Sushi

RA Sushi is an all-time favorite sushi spot in Houston. Their large menu can make anybody happy and they never disappoint. I am an avid believer in RA's happy hour, as they offer discounts on select rolls and drinks.

They have an atmosphere that brings good vibes sort of like a cocktail lounge. Their innovative rolls and cocktails will warm your tummy and your tastebuds, so make sure you come hungry. This is a great place to come with friends when you just want to wind down. 

Location: 3908 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027 // 799 Town & Country Blvd, Houston, TX 77024

13. Sage 400 Japanese Cuisine 

As my favorite sushi restaurant of all time, Sage 400 really hits the spot. Sage offers modern Japanese cuisine made fresh every day. Located next to the Galleria, they offer a very relaxed atmosphere with a very friendly staff. Their sushi is amazingly tasty and will satisfy all your cravings.

As a patron for years, Sage 400 has never disappointed. I highly recommend their Tex-Mex Roll, Red River Roll, and Fire Dragon Roll. But don't worry, whatever you order will be out of this world. 

Location: 2800 Sage Rd, Ste A400, Houston, TX 77056

14. Smith & Wollensky

Smith & Wollensky has locations all over the country, and it never gets old. As my all-time favorite, this steakhouse is great any time of the day.

With two floors, S&W will make you feel at home in their cozy, old fashioned, but upscale atmosphere. Come here to enjoy a juicy steak, seafood, or endless bar food options. I highly recommend the Alaskan King Crab Legs, the buffalo chicken flatbread, the truffled macaroni and cheese, and their delectable filet mignon.

Make sure you save room for dessert, too. They have an amazing chocolate layer cake and coconut layer cake, which are cut in slices the size of your face. This place is somewhere you don't want to miss. 

Location: 4007 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 7702

I hope that when you're hungry and in Bayou City, you take my advice. Houston has an amazing restaurant scene, so no matter where you go, you won't go wrong. These are just some of my favorites, but at the end of the day, Houston never disappoints.