When you think of the cities with the best food scenes, what comes to mind? You might think of New York, Chicago, or even New Orleans. As a native Houstonian, I would like to challenge what you know about the Bayou City and give you five reasons why the Houston food scene is the best in America. 

1. Its diversity

pho

BPPrice on Flickr

Besides being the fourth largest city in America, Houston is also incredibly diverse. With over 10,000 restaurants representing over 70 countries, Houston has even been said to have the best Vietnamese food in America. That means you can have a bowl of Pho for lunch and go right next door for an authentic Mexican dinner. 

2. World-famous chefs call it home

From Justin Yu at Oxheart to Chris Shepherd at Underbelly, Houston has no shortage of respectable chefs, which means no matter which neighborhood you're in—be it Midtown or Montrose—you'll be sure to find a meal to write home about. 

3. Food truck paradise

cake, butter, sandwich, cupcake, brownie, cookie, cream, peanut butter, peanut, chocolate
Emily Starling

The host of food trucks is where the diversity and creativity of the Houston food scene is best portrayed. There's the Instagram-worthy sweet treats at SMOOSH, the Korean-Mexican fusion Coreanos, and everything imaginable in between to satisfy your street food craving at a price you can't beat. 

4. It's unmatched in creativity 

sushi
Dillon Cotton

When you're in a place as diverse and modern as Space City, you'll be sure to find some unique places to eat. You'll find restaurants with a fusion of two cultures—as demonstrated in Japaneiro's, a Japanese and Latin blend—or an unexpected theme, like the Hobbit Café, which is exactly what you think it would be. 

5. Yet it retains its sense of tradition

As innovative as Houston restaurateurs love to be, some things are better left unchanged. And barbecue is something we in the South take very seriously! Take the legendary Killen's Barbeque, which has lines out the door every weekend to get a taste of the classic Southern dish with the Houston twist of Cajun influence.

If you're visiting Houston for the first time, are moving here for school, or even have lived here your entire life, it's easy to overlook its vibrant food culture. But rest assured, any foodie will be happy to call H-Town home.