In Houston, the dining scene can cure cravings for everything from incendiary Szechuan tofu stew to country-fried Wagyu rib eye. It’s also an immigrant haven, with newcomers (and oldcomers) from Vietnam, Guatemala, India, Korea, the Philippines, Pakistan, Mexico, and many other countries, and a mayor dedicated to defending Houston’s sanctuary city status. That makes for delicious, diverse dining.
Another boon: Houston chefs have access to a long growing season and sterling meats and seafood. Follow Buffalo Bayou, the sluggish river twisting through the city, about 40 miles southeast and you’ll wind up in the Gulf of Mexico. To the north and west of town, the rolling pastures of cattle country, where some of the best barbecue in the country gets its start, stretch to the horizon. Add thoughtful cocktail dens, beer halls, and wine bars, and surprising overall affordability – even the highest-end restaurants seem reasonable – and you don’t have a city that might be the country’s culinary capital. You have a city that already is. Here’s where to go.