Nguyen Ngo 2: Don’t Banh Mi-ss Out

Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches are beloved all over the world for their crave-worthy combination of marinated meats, pickled carrots, and cilantro on freshly baked French bread. Nguyen Ngo 2 is one of the best places to enjoy casual Vietnamese fare in Houston, and it has a colorful, modern design and convenient ordering system that appeal to all types of customers.

The restaurant’s expansive menu is where it really shines. Nguyen Ngo 2’s wide assortment of banh mi sandwiches in styles like seared pork belly and meatball are made with premium ingredients. Regulars recommend adding a fried egg to any of the sandwiches on the menu, as the runny yolk perfectly complements the crusty bread. Although its strip mall location isn’t exactly atmospheric, Nguyen Ngo 2’s comfortable, stylish interior and authentic menu makes it well worth the trip.

Nguyen Ngo 2
14015 Bammel N Houston Road
Houston, TX 77014
(281) 895-8998

Sweet Tomatoes: Veggie-Friendly Meals for Everyone

Let Sweet Tomatoes come to the rescue on days when you just don't feel like cooking. This unique eatery in northwestern Houston offers a huge, all-you-can-eat selection of fresh, veggie-centric dishes that are just as beautiful on the plate as they are delicious and healthy.

The menu changes regularly with the seasons, so you won't get bored with the same meal over and over again. Try the spicy cucumber watermelon salad with sriracha sauce that adds an extra kick to the sweet flavors, or go for the Asian ginger broth with mushrooms, cubed tofu, and chopped scallions for a fresh and light dinner. Sweet Tomatoes also strives to offer kid-friendly options such as tossed salads and the festive red white and blue potato salad with bacon. And of course, don't forget dessert, which includes lemon lava cake and peach cobbler soft-serve ice cream.

Sweet Tomatoes
8775 Katy Freeway
Houston, TX 77024
(713) 365-9594

Miller’s Cafe: Casual Houston Dining

With 35 years of history serving Houston diners, Miller’s Cafe has become a favorite destination for a tasty meal in a friendly, relaxed setting. Big juicy burgers are the hallmark of this popular spot: visitors can choose from 14 varieties, including a Guacamole Burger, Grilled Onion Burger, Mushroom Swiss Burger, BBQ Hamburger, Turkey Burger, Jalapeno Burger, and a Bacon Cheese Burger. All are served with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, mayo & mustard on a poppy seed bun.

Other options on Miller's menu include Frito Pie, a Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich, Chicken Finger Basket, a Ribeye Steak Sandwich, a Chicken Salad Sandwich and a Chili Barker – an all-beef hot dog with mustard, onion, chili & cheese. Sweet Potato Fries, Onion Rings and French Fries are among the sides offered.

Visit the Miller's Café website to learn more about this Houston restaurant!

Miller's Cafe
3830 N. Shepherd Drive
Houston, TX 77018
(713) 699-2947

The Early Bird Gets the Breakfast Burrito at Titas Taco House

When cravings for Mexican cuisine hit early in the morning, Houston area early birds flock to Titas Taco House, arguably the most beloved Mexican fare eatery in Humble.

It’s hard to miss the bright blue exterior of Titas Taco House, which features a small porch for al fresco dining and a bright red sign welcoming guests in with a “Bienvenidos.” Another sign you're in the right spot? The line of hungry early risers, all of whom arrive at Titas for delicious breakfast tacos stuffed with chorizo, potatoes, peppers, eggs, or bacon. Along with breakfast foods, the tortillas can also come stuffed with such foods as pork, steak, or chicken mole with yellow rice. The corn and flour tortillas are freshly made daily, hand rolled in the restaurant.

Titias Taco House is open 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Titas Taco House
320 Wilson Road
Humble, TX 7738
(281) 446-4175

Call Out Your Order at Captain Tom Seafood & Oyster Bar

Dining at Captain Tom Seafood & Oyster Bar is a unique experience that you won't want to miss. This Houston restaurant is arranged like a ship, with seats surrounding a central kitchen and wall-mounted tables around the room’s edge. When you arrive, don't look for a hostess to seat you; just take your place in line and wait for a seat to open up. (Regular customers say you should be prepared to wait for a few minutes; this place is popular and it's rare that there's no line at all.) Once you're seated, don't wait for a server to take your order, either. Instead, just call it out yourself to the guys in the open kitchen.

Make no mistake, however: Despite the restaurant's quirky vibe, the staff at Captain Tom Seafood & Oyster Bar is very serious about serving only fresh, high quality seafood. The gumbo is a customer favorite, with its hearty, flavorful base, as is the breaded and fried catfish, served with crispy fries and hush puppies.

Captain Tom Seafood & Oyster Bar
9651 FM 1960 Road West
Houston, TX 77070
(281) 890-8334

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Steamboat House: A Houston Steakhouse

Steamboat House is much more than a Houston steakhouse; it's an homage to Houston's history. Owner Charlie Fogarty personally leads tours of the steakhouse during its off hours, explaining the premise behind Steamboat House. The name is actually borrowed from the home of legendary Texan Sam Houston, which still exists today in a state park. Steamboat House was inspired by the hero's home, as evidenced by the statue of Sam Houston out front. Inside, you'll find paintings of Sam Houston and George Washington, both nearing 100 years old, as well as murals of Texan battles and a collection of vintage Texan flags. Owner Charlie shows fourth-graders and senior citizens around during the tours, and ends them with a serving of chicken fingers.

However, chicken fingers are hardly representative of the entire menu at the hybrid museum-steakhouse. When the doors open for lunch or dinner, guests can order USDA prime steaks with popular sides such as fried green tomatoes or mashed potatoes. Even the menu pays homage to Houston's history with steaks named for Texan figures.

Steamboat House
8045 N. Sam Houston Parkway
Houston, TX 77064
(832) 912-1845

Alwadi Mediterranean Sandwiches: Not Your Typical Deli

A Houston eatery serving sandwiches with a Mediterranean twist, Alwadi isn't your typical deli. Here, sandwiches boast marinated chicken, beef, or lamb, all of which arrive sliced, grilled, and wrapped in pita bread with tomatoes, pickles, and garlic sauce. Regulars recommend the gyro sandwich, which features a blend of lamb and beef stuffed inside a pita and drizzled with tzatziki sauce. Vegans and vegetarians can enjoy the falafel sandwich, made with fried chickpea and parsley.

If you aren’t in the mood for a sandwich, the restaurant serves a number of platters featuring shrimp kabobs, chicken shawarma, or falafel patties. Alwadi serves each platter with a side of hummus, cucumber salad, pita bread, garlic sauce, and your choice or fries. For even more options, check out the appetizers, which include stuffed grape leaves, cracked wheat pies stuffed with ground beef and pine nuts, and fried potatoes mixed with garlic and chopped cilantro.

Alwadi Mediterranean Sandwiches
4551 Cypress Creek Parkway
Houston, TX 77069
(832) 249-1500

Gumbo Jeaux’s: A Hidden Gem Serving Cajun Fare in Houston

Some restaurants need a little flash, while others—like Houston’s Gumbo Jeaux’s—just need good food and good reviews. This Cajun fare restaurant has received a bounty of favorable reviews from guests, many of whom credit the restaurant’s friendly staff, decent prices, and tasty Creole dishes for its success.

Despite its popularity, Gumbo Jeaux’s remains humble. Many of the dishes, including sandwiches and fried pieces, come served on checkered paper in plastic baskets or on plastic plates. Similarly, the restaurant's location is unassuming; it occupies a no-frills space in a small shopping center. Still, the food is well worth the trip, regulars say. Popular dishes on the menu here include shrimp po’boys, crawfish etouffe, chicken and waffles, and the gumbo.

Be sure to get your fill of this eatery's fare during the week, because the chefs take a break on the weekend! Gumbo Jeaux's is open 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Gumbo Jeaux’s
15655 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Houston, TX 77032
(281) 227-7138

Crescent Moon Coffee Bar & Cafe: Where Fair-Trade Coffee Meets Free Wi-Fi in Houston

With a display case filled with homemade treats baked by the area’s beloved Kraftsman Baking, Crescent Moon Coffee Bar & Cafe is a local coffee shop in every sense of the word. Relying on fair-trade, locally roasted coffee beans, this friendly, casual coffee house hosts a rustic wooden ordering counter and a few cozy seating areas within its small interior.

Chalkboard menus are posted on the walls and advertise the shop’s cold brewed coffees, chai lattes, and various brewed coffees, as well as freshly baked quiches and pastry offerings. Lunch options include sandwiches like the turkey with wasabi mayo on thick ciabatta bread, and Crescent Moon even offers a $6 lunch box that is perfect for those busy days when you only have time to grab something and go.

Crescent Moon Coffee Bar & Cafe is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The cafe offers free Wi-Fi and allows dogs on its outdoor patio.

Crescent Moon Coffee Bar & Cafe
12333 Jones Road
Houston, TX 77070
(281) 807-1567

Try the Shrimp Quesadillas at Taqueria el Rodeo de Jalisco

You'll get more bang for your buck at Taqueria el Rodeo de Jalisco in Houston. The restaurant is family friendly and has a simple, comfortable ambiance.

The large menu begins with classic appetizers and snacks including guacamole, creamy chile con queso, cactus, and queso ​flameado with shrimp, fajita or chicken. The menu also features seafood dishes like mixed fish ceviche, shrimp quesadillas, soups laden with seafood and whole fried fish that come out promptly and fresh from the kitchen. Enchiladas and quesadillas are large and filled with fixings such as beef, chicken and cheese, or shrimp. Specialty plates include shrimp, beef and chicken fajitas; Guadalajara plate beef; and combination meals that are all served with rice, beans, French fries, and guacamole. The restaurant also offers breakfast and lunch specials for $4.99 ($5.99 after 2 p.m.).

Taqueria el Rodeo de Jalisco
13640 Highway 29
Houston, TX 77086
(281) 820-1168

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