Vibrant, dynamic and energetic, Houston is packed with exciting things to do on a date, from delving into the city’s museums and art galleries to dining out at one of the many restaurants, eateries, cafés, and bars that provide endless entertainment both night and day. From bustling burger bars and buzzing bistros, casual cafés and cozy coffee shops, to stylish steakhouses and suave seafood spots here are a variety of places that make a great spot for celebrating new and old love.
© Rainbow Lodge
Set in a historic 110-year old log cabin on an acre of grounds in Houston, the Rainbow Lodge is an upscale restaurant that has been serving wild game, fresh regional seafood and other delights to foodies for more than 40 years. The elegant restaurant features warm upholstery and crisp linens, which complement the antique hunting and fishing collectibles dotted around and serves a menu of delicious food and fantastic wines. The restaurant has received national acclaim for both its menu, which features contemporary Gulf Coast regional cuisine and it's wine cellar from which wines are chosen to pair perfectly with each plate. The Rainbow Lodge is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Friday, dinner only on Saturdays, and brunch and lunch on Sundays.
2011 Ella Blvd, Houston, TX 77008, Phone: 713-861-8666
2.Arnaldo Ricard’s Picos
© Arnaldo Ricard’s Picos
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week, Picos is owned and managed by Arnaldo Richards and his wife and serves authentic and traditional Mexican cuisine. Located on Kirby Drive, the casual restaurant features a menu that visits all seven regions of Mexico, from the South Pacific Coast to the Gulf, made with seasonal ingredients and bursting with unique flavors from each area. Enjoy exclusive tequila dinners, where specific dishes are paired with special tequilas from around Mexico, or pair your meal with colorful handcrafted cocktails, such as the famous Shaker Margarita, a variety of craft beer, or fine local wines from the extensive wine list.
3601 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77098, Phone: 832-831-9940
Housed in a beautifully restored 1925 building in the Montrose area, Hugo's celebrates the exciting flavors of Mexico. Designed by well-known Houston architect, Joseph Finger of Houston's Art-Deco style City Hall fame, the Latin-inspired building boasts contemporary chic interiors accented with traditional elements of old Mexico. Named after owner and Executive Chef Hugo Ortega, the namesake restaurant focuses on authentic Mexican cooking ranging from light and fresh seafood cocktails to deep and complex moles of Oaxaca. The menu features traditional dishes from the many regions of Mexico, all made from scratch and including a variety of locally sourced and imported ingredients such as various cheeses, moles, tortillas, and chocolate. The mouthwatering cuisine is accompanied by an award-winning wine program, a signature cocktail list, including shaken margaritas, and varied tequila menu. Hugo’s is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Sunday.
3728, 1600 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006, Phone: 713-524-7744
4.Rodeo Goat Ice House
© Rodeo Goat Ice House
Rodeo Goat Ice House is an offbeat burgers-and-beer joint on Lamar Street that has been serving some of the best burgers in town since opening several years ago. Strategically positioned within walking distance of many of the city’s top sporting stadiums like Minute Maid Park and BBVA Compass Stadium, Rodeo Goat Ice House offers a menu of classics and modern takes. Classic burgers include The Ranch House with bacon, cheese, onion marmalade, spinach, arugula, and ranch mayo, and modern takes with atypical toppings range from the Hot Bastard with habanero cheddar and marinated Fresno peppers, and the Sugar Burger with candied bacon, grilled peaches, and jalepeño jam. Rodeo Goat is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Sunday.
2105 Dallas St, Houston, TX 77003, Phone: 281-853-9480
© Coppa Osteria
Coppa Osteria is a traditional Italian osteria that serves authentic, delicious Italian cuisine and fine wines in an elegant and relaxed atmosphere. Inspired by the family-centric West University, Southampton, Rice and Museum District neighborhoods, the warm and welcoming restaurant offers a perfect pairing of food and lifestyle where diners can enjoy simple, delicious food in a family-friendly setting. The Dough Room where all the handmade pasta and dough for pizza are made daily - takes center stage and produces mouthwatering dishes like Neapolitan inspired pizzas that are wood-fired to crisp perfection, the Burrata Pomodoro, Bistecca alla Florentina, and Fritto Misto. A large outdoor patio is the ideal meeting place for an after-work aperitif. Coppa Osteria is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
5210 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005, Phone: 713-522-3535
6.Punk’s Simple Southern Food
© Punk’s Simple Southern Food
Punk's Simple Southern Food is a rustic-chic restaurant with a down-home country vibe that serves a menu of Southern coastal fare that focuses on good-quality, locally sourced food. Comfort is key at Punk’s with cozy seating, televisions to catch the game and a large patio for alfresco dining. The creative menu features traditional Southern plates such as Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Deviled Eggs, Broiled Catfish and Sweet Corn Hushpuppies, along with favorites like Classic Cheeseburgers and Pickle Chips, and Biscuits and Gravy. Punk's also boasts an impressive cocktail and Champagne list, as well as a selection of craft beers, whiskey, and wine. Punk's Simple Southern Food is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday.
5212 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005, Phone: 713-524-7865
7.State of Grace
© State of Grace
State of Grace is a polished American spot serving creative Texan cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. Decorated in pale tones and dark accents and boasting polished brass, gleaming marble, and a regal assemblage of trophy deer antlers, the elegant restaurant offers a luxe menu to match and draws a posh crowd who come to savor it. Blending Houston’s dynamic bounce with a finely tuned nostalgia, the menu features interesting takes of traditional Texan cuisine from around the state and the wider Gulf Coast. Signature dishes include Blackened Mahi Mahi in a coconut broth, Hearth Grilled Scallops with a roasted okra salad, and Oak Roasted Redfish with charred lime and pickle. State of Grace is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday, dinner only on Saturdays, and brunch and early dinner on Sundays.
3258 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098, Phone: 832-942-5080
8.Axelrad Beer Garden
© Axelrad Beer Garden
Located in the same neighborhood where HCC -Central is based, Axelrad Beer Garden is a new craft beer brewery and beer garden to join Houston’s brew scene. Set in a historic 2,000 square-foot century-old building with an expansive patio on Alabama Street, Axelrad Beer Garden boasts more than 250 seats and hammocks and serves a variety of craft beers, including 30 on tap, from breweries all around the city such as Karbach, Buffalo Bayou breweries, and the oldest brewery in Texas, Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Axelrad Beer Garden partners with nearby Luigi’s Pizzeria who supplies pizzas for hungry beer-tasters, and live music and movies are a regular occurrence in the inviting, open-air garden. Axelrad Beer Garden is open from midday to midnight, seven days a week.
1517 Alabama St, Houston, TX 77004, Phone: 713-597-8800
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Okra is a charitable bar that serves light fare and drinks in a vintage loft setting. The bar runs on a unique concept whereby for each drink purchased, guests receive one vote that they may cast that night for one of four locally based charities selected by OKRA’s members, and the charity with the most votes at the end of the month receives the next month’s proceeds. Located at 924 Congress in a building that was initially opened as the Original Casino Saloon in 1882 and remained open until Prohibition, the pub features the original circle arch and barrel vault ceilings, exposed brick walls with gas light fixtures, and a central, oval-shaped bar, where all the action happens. Okra is open in the evenings, seven days a week with daily Happy Hour specials.
924 Congress Ave, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: 713-237-8828
© Neil’s Bahr
Neil’s Bahr is a gamer-themed bar and late-night hangout in Houston’s artsy EaDo district that features a comic book library, video games, and karaoke nights, and is known as the friendliest bar in the neighborhood. Regarded as the area’s top nerd and intellectual hangout, Neil’s Bahr is a fanboy's paradise with a bar adorned Star Wars and Simpsons figurines, classic video games, racks of comic books, and a ping pong table. The bar hosts fun events like Game of Thrones viewing parties, weekly karaoke and trivia nights, and Mario Kart tournaments, and serves an array of craft beers, handcrafted cocktails, and easy-drinking wines in a convivial atmosphere. Neil’s Bahr is open every night of the week.
2006 Walker St, Houston, TX 77003, Phone: 713-237-0644
11.Nikos Nikos Greek & American Cafe
© Nikos Nikos Greek & American Cafe
Niko Niko's Greek & American Café is a traditional Greek restaurant that has been serving authentic Greek fare since 1977. Located in the Montrose District, Niko Niko's is owned by the Fetokakis family and has been drawing crowds for more than 40 years, who flock to enjoy delicious Greek cuisine such as gyros, sausage pitas, spanakopita, falafel, cabbage rolls, lavraki and mouthwatering desserts and baked goods. The casual café serves its food on Styrofoam plates with plastic utensils, and there is always a line of people waiting for a table, so the counter is a better option for fast service. Niko Niko's has five locations around the city and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.
2520 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006, Phone: 713-528-4976
12.Etoile Cuisine et Bar
© Etoile Cuisine et Bar
Open Monday through Sunday for brunch, lunch, and dinner, Etoile Cuisine et Bar is a warm and welcoming European-style café and bar that serves a seasonal menu of classic French fare. Owners Chef Philippe Verpiand and Monica Bui have designed both the dining spaces of the restaurant and the menu to give diners a feeling of being in France, from the stylish interior décor and high standards of service to the delicious cuisine. Classic French dishes such as Coquilles Saint-Jacques Provençale and Foie Gras Poêlé can be found on the menu, as well as an extensive cocktail program and excellent wine list with bottles from around the globe and favorite French labels.
1101-11 Uptown Park Blvd, Houston, TX 77056, Phone: 832-668-5808
© Backstreet Cafe
Housed in a beautifully maintained 1930s house in Houston's River Oaks, the Backstreet Café is an award-winning café that has been serving Houston diners with unforgettable dining experiences for more than 35 years. Growing from the humble beginnings of a small restaurant that served salads, soups, and sandwiches, the Backstreet Café is now a critically acclaimed, chef-driven Seasonal American Bistro and one of the city’s top eateries. The award-winning Houston restaurant serves a seasonally changing menu that features dishes that combines Cajun, Creole, Asian, Hispanic, and Southern influences, along with a range of excellent wines, craft beers, and handcrafted cocktails. The Backstreet Café offers an incredible Sunday brunch, complete with live Jazz, and signature cocktails, and has a stunning New Orleans-style patio with a huge camphor tree which is ideal for a romantic date.
1103 S Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX, Phone: 713-521-2239
14.Le Mistral Restaurant
© Le Mistral Restaurant
Le Mistral Restaurant is an elegant French eatery that serves classic cuisine and fine wines in a luxurious setting. Set in a beautifully restored building, the restaurant features a stylishly chic interior, a charming patio, a full-service bar, and a gourmet food store/boulangerie. Signature dishes include appetizers like the Cured Foie Gras Terrine Marinated in Sauternes and the Maine Lobster Tail Risotto with flambéed Vermouth, and entrées of Red Snapper en papillote, and Saffron Arborio Risotto with King Trumpet Mushrooms. Le Mistral features an extensive wine list of globally-inspired wines to accompany each dish, as well as a selection of handcrafted cocktails, and craft beers. Le Mistral Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday, and dinner only on Saturdays.
1400 Eldridge Pkwy, Houston, TX 77077, Phone: 832-379-8322
Caracol is an award-winning restaurant that celebrates the beauty of the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico with a menu of fresh seafood, prime meats, and mouthwatering flavors. Named for Chef Hugo Ortega’s fond memories of making ceviche de caracol (conch ceviche), Caracol, which means ‘snail in Spanish,’ serves a menu of authentic Mexican fare prepared from scratch using locally sourced and regional ingredients. The menu takes diners on a culinary journey around Mexico with dishes like Ceviche de Chile Canario of lime-cured red snapper and chile Canario, and Langosta Puerto Nuevo of fire-roasted lobster and playa la ropa beans. Main course options, or Platos Fuertes, showcase moles and other traditional dishes, and desserts like the signature El Coco, a chocolate coconut-shaped shell filled with coconut buttercream, and coconut streusel. Caracol is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
2200 Post Oak Blvd #160, Houston, TX 77056, Phone: 713-622-9996
© Cordua’s Americas
Cordúa’s Américas, or otherwise known as The Americas, is a colorful Pan-Latin restaurant that serves a variety of Latin American cuisine in a vibrant atmosphere. Created by Nicaragua-born chef Michael and designed by award-winning Chicago-based architect Jordan Mozer, Cordúa, the plush Americas River Oaks eatery features extravagant oversized booths and furnishings in rich, warm hues of burgundy, chocolate and red, a large, enveloping bar and lounge area, a lush rainforest, and whimsical fabric ceiling installations mimicking puffs of clouds. Part of the Cordúa Restaurants group (which also includes Churrascos, Amazón Grill, and Artista), the Américas’ menu boasts both classic and new culinary creations, along with an impressive list of libations, including craft beers, global wines, and handcrafted cocktails. Cordúa’s Américas is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday, and brunch on Sundays.
2040 West Gray, Houston, Texas 77019, Phone: 832-200-1492
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© Le Bistro
Located in the heart of the famed LeNôtre™ cooking school, Le Bistro is an elegant French bistro that doubles as a training environment for chef-students. Founders Alain and Marie LeNotre founded the eatery to offer guests a unique dining experience whereby they savor a fine-dining menu created with fresh locally sourced ingredients followed by the opportunity to observe the chefs in action and interact with the students. Described as having French/Belgian influences blended with the flavors of the American South and Asian accents, the menu combines classical and innovative French techniques taught at the school showcased in dishes such as Gulf seafood bouillabaisse, Gulf snapper coubion with crawfish tails, and beef tenderloin filet with roasted fingerling potatoes. Le Bistro is open Tuesday through Saturday.
7070 Allensby St Suite R, Houston, TX 77022, Phone: 713-358-5079
© Radio Milano
Based in a bi-level space within the Hotel Sorella at CityCentre, Radio Milano is a buzzing Italian eatery and bar that serves traditional Italian cuisine in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Opened in 2014 with Chef Jose Hernandez is at the helm, the family-friendly bistro specializes in modern Italian cuisine created with locally sourced and regional ingredients, complemented by craft cocktails, craft beers, and Italian wines. Signature dishes include appetizers of grilled octopus, fried calamari, and Italian mussels, followed by entrées of lobster spaghetti, grilled salmon, and pan-seared scallops. Decadent desserts range from tiramisu, banana bread pudding, and pistachio cheesecake. Radio Milano is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday, and brunch on Sundays.
800 Sorella Ct, Houston, TX 77024, Phone: 713-827-3545
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Tony’s is a high-end Italian eatery on Richmond Avenue and serves a menu of sophisticated dishes and fine wines from around the world. Boasting spectacular cinnamon- and rich-coral-toned lofty dining room with a 12-foot high sculpture commissioned by Jesus Moroles called The Three Graces, and posh tables sparkling with the finest stemware, designer plates, and fresh flowers, the high-style destination is one of the city’s top fine dining spots. The elegant restaurant, which also has a secluded lounge with fireplace, serves an array of all-time signature dishes such as Squash Bottom and Truffle Risotto, Chicken Paillard, Coda Valla Vaccinara, Orecchiette, Branzino, and Polpi. Tony’s is open for lunch Monday through Thursday and dinner, seven nights a week.
3755 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77046, Phone: 713-622-6778
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20.BCN Taste & Tradition
© BCN Taste & Tradition
Set in a beautifully restored 1920s home on Roseland Street in Houston’s Museum District, BCN Taste & Tradition is a contemporary Spanish fine-dining spot that serves a menu of classic Catalan cuisine. Based in a two-story modern space in the heart of the Montrose neighborhood, BCN, which is short for Barcelona, features a 54-seat dining room and a 10-sear bar on the ground level and two private dining rooms on the second level. BCN’s menu focuses on coastal Spanish cuisine prepared using ingredients sourced straight from Spain, such as clams with a sofrito of tomato onion and garlic, steamed mussels in a veloute of leek and Iberico, and over easy eggs with seared foie gras. Don’t miss the incredible Lemon Tart with meringue, which features rum raisins and icy pineapple soup with coconut foam. BCN Taste & Tradition is open for dinner only Tuesday through Saturday.
4210 Roseland St, Houston, TX 77006, Phone: 832-834-3411
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21.Da Marco Cucina E Vino
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Da Marco Cucina E Vino is an elegant white-tablecloth Italian spot on Westheimer Road that served gourmet Tuscan cuisine and wines in a refined setting. Owned by Marco Wiles and set within a beautifully restored cozy Montrose cottage with creaky floors, the restaurant serves a menu of authentic and delicious dishes like artichoke alla giudia, voluptuous plates of burrata and tagliatelle with fragrant white truffles, and ocean-fresh seafood and prime meat entrées hot from the wood-fired oven. Signature plates include whole wild branzino for two, with roasted fennel and greens, lamb chops scottadito, burrata di Puglia with roasted cherry tomatoes, and a decadent pannacotta with Saba syrup; mini cannoli. Da Marco Cucina E Vino is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday, and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
1520 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006, Phone: 713-807-8857
© Chez Nous
Tucked in a quiet residential neighborhood in Humble, Chez Nous is a quaint, but an upscale restaurant that serves refined French dishes in an elegant French country atmosphere. Based in a former Pentecostal church house, the restaurant has been hailed as one of the best classic French restaurants in town with stylish décor and a well-executed menu of haute French cuisine. The menu features sophisticated classics such as starters of Barrel Smoked Scottish Salmon, Seared Fresh Foie Gras, and Fresh Blue Crab, and entrées of Grilled Breast of Muscovy Duckling, Gulf Shrimp Provencale, Pan-Seared Diver Scallops, and Roasted Rack of Young New Zealand Lamb with Dijon-Rosemary Crust. A hand-curated selection of fine wines is available to pair with the cuisine, along with handcrafted cocktails and imported spirits. Chez Nous is open for dinner only Tuesday through Saturday.
217 S Avenue G, Humble, TX 77338, Phone: 281-446-6717
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23.The Pass & Provisions
© The Pass & Provisions
The Pass & Provisions is a modern-yet-rustic eatery specializing in locally focused New American cuisine and specialty drinks. Established by chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan, the well-regarded dual-concept restaurant is named after a literal ‘pass’ inside the restaurant where the food is prepped in full view of the cozy dining room for a nightly tasting menu, which is served to a limited number of diners. The Provisions side of the business focuses on serving a variety of small plates and light fare such as pizza, pasta and freshly baked items like kolaches and bagels, along with artfully-crafted cocktails and a rotating selection of craft beer and wine. The Pass & Provisions boasts a small yet inviting dining room and a lovely outdoor patio which is ideal for laid-back summer dining. The Pass & Provisions is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday and brunch on Sunday.
807 Taft St, Houston, TX 77019, Phone: 713-628-9020
23 Best Places to Visit in Houston on a Date
- Rainbow Lodge, Photo: Rainbow Lodge
- Arnaldo Ricard’s Picos, Photo: Arnaldo Ricard’s Picos
- Hugo’s, Photo: Hugo’s
- Rodeo Goat Ice House, Photo: Rodeo Goat Ice House
- Coppa Osteria, Photo: Coppa Osteria
- Punk’s Simple Southern Food, Photo: Punk’s Simple Southern Food
- State of Grace, Photo: State of Grace
- Axelrad Beer Garden, Photo: Axelrad Beer Garden
- Okra, Photo: Courtesy of ricka_kinamoto - Fotolia.com
- Neil’s Bahr, Photo: Neil’s Bahr
- Nikos Nikos Greek & American Cafe, Photo: Nikos Nikos Greek & American Cafe
- Etoile Cuisine et Bar, Photo: Etoile Cuisine et Bar
- Backstreet Cafe, Photo: Backstreet Cafe
- Le Mistral Restaurant, Photo: Le Mistral Restaurant
- Caracol, Photo: Caracol
- Cordua’s Americas, Photo: Cordua’s Americas
- Le Bistro, Photo: Le Bistro
- Radio Milano, Photo: Radio Milano
- Tony’s, Photo: Tony’s
- BCN Taste & Tradition, Photo: BCN Taste & Tradition
- Da Marco Cucina E Vino, Photo: Courtesy of artitwpd - Fotolia.com
- Chez Nous, Photo: Chez Nous
- The Pass & Provisions, Photo: The Pass & Provisions
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia.com