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18 Essential Black-Owned Restaurants In Houston You Need To Know This BHM

A James Harden-backed steakhouse, grilled cheese game changers, and so much more

Houston’s history is steeped in Black culture, evidenced by geographical landmarks like the Third Ward, Emancipation Park, and Project Row House, among others. So, it’s no surprise that so many corners of the city are beautifully lined with stellar Black-owned businesses. Their creativity rings loudly in the culinary universe, and we’ve recently seen an influx of chefs converting vacant spaces into hotbeds for Southern hospitality—despite, or perhaps even because of, the pandemic’s chaotic impact on the industry at large. From the finest standalone oxtails and ocean-fresh seafood platters to familiar comforts like loaded macaroni and cheese, fluffy cornbread, and chicken finessed in a variety of ways, these are 18 Black-owned mainstays that’ll leave you speechless (but never hungry).


 



Twisted Grilled Cheese

https://www.twistedgrilledcheese.com


At Twisted Grilled Cheese, founder Ahmad Fobbs did well by this staple, adding a few delicious riffs to the mix to keep things exciting. He first launched this cheesy (in the best way possible) concept as a food truck, pumping out gooey sandwiches like Philly Chicken and Cheesesteaks, Smoky Brisket, and Pepperoni. TGC quickly expanded their efforts to a brick-and-mortar location, which allowed for even more sandwich magic. We're talking gourmet grilled cheeses stuffed with grilled mushrooms, spinach, artichokes, and a dash of buttery lobster, because seafood pairs well with pretty much everything.


How to book: Stop by for counter service.

 

Taste Bar + Kitchen

https://www.tastebarkitchen.com

They're not considered Montrose’s number one brunch destination for nothing. When dining here, expect to witness chef Don Bowie whipping up exquisite morning spreads and cocktails so refreshing that you'll be pondering on how you can recreate them at home. Menu choices include a variety of syrupy Chicken and Waffles, Lamb Chops neatly partnered with eggs, gouda-based Mac and Cheese, Grits topped with your choice of sautéed shrimp or blackened catfish, and other mouth-watering reasons to get out of bed on a Saturday.

How to order: Order takeout via ChowNow or get delivery via UberEats.

 


 

Thirteen Houston

http://www.thirteenhou.com/

Nestled along the outskirts of Downtown Houston, this glitzy mainstay knows how to pack a crowd. Seriously—it’s not easy to snag a reservation, and we’re all too often left to drool over their Instagram feed of fine eats courtesy of executive chef Tobias Dorzon. Spearheaded and owned by former Houston Rockets player James Harden, Thirteen flourishes in its sleek architecture and succulent brunch and dinner menus, which dabble in traditional Texas chophouse fare with a bit of a modern twist. Dinner guests can nosh on comforts like Country Fried Chicken, Pork Chops slathered in sauteed corn relish, and Lasagna, or go big with their buttery Grass-fed Ribeyes, Blackened Lobster Tails, and savory Egg Rolls remixed with seafood mac and cheese.


How to order: Reservations via the website, also available for deliver/takeout via GrubHub

 

Craft Burger

https://craftburgerfoodtruck.com

Shannen Tune cut his teeth in the kitchens of luxury hotels in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Austin, and Houston, a resume that ably prepared him for victory on Food Network’s Chopped as well as the launch of his uber popular food truck, Craft Burger. Now with a brick-and-mortar outpost successfully operating in Katy, Tune slings outrageous burger creations (mostly created with locally sourced black angus beef) like a behemoth topped with brown-sugar-chili-bacon, a truffle butter-oozing Juicy Lucy variation, and a saucy Impossible Burger that can be easily elevated into an entire meal. Other swoon-worthy delights include a roster of heavenly shakes (think Strawberry Cheesecake, Frosted Brownie Bits, and a vibrant ode to The Flintstones in a Fruity Pebble ensemble), hand-battered chicken tenders, and tasty sides like sweet potato fries garnished in their signature Craft Brother’s Seasoning.

How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order takeout via Toast, or get delivery via OrangeCrate.

 

ChòpnBlọk

https://chopnblok.co/

When it comes to exploring Houston’s ever-evolving culinary scene, you’re bound to indulge in some unforgettable experiences. Seriously—you might fall into a food trance just one appetizer in, and ChòpnBlọk is a perfect example of such a phenomenon. In the summer of 2018, owner Ope Amosu (who grew up in Lagos, Nigeria before immigrating to Houston with his family) set out to redefine fast-casual eating while spreading the West African culinary gospel with an innovative pop-up dining experience. His mission was a knock-out success, and it wasn’t long before ChòpnBlọk scored a permanent home in one of the city’s newest food halls, POST Houston. Sign up for a one-of-a-kind dinner and you’ll be treated to treasures such as smokey rice bowls crowded with finely chopped veggies, ripe stewed plantains, and steak skewers steeped in a ginger marinade and set to a soundtrack of Afro-beats and compelling conversation.


How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

 

Mico’s Hot Chicken

https://micoshotchicken.com

Realizing Houston’s dirth of true Nashville-style fried chicken, “Mico” Frydenlund and her husband and business partner Chris started this hot bird concept as a food truck in 2019. Things heated up so quickly they were able to open a brick-and-mortar spot just a short while later. Mico’s recipe is a riff on the legendary Prince’s Hot Chicken, and you can get yours by way of fiery ‘sammiches bursting with their signature sauce and coleslaw, waffle cut fries garnished with spicy chopped fried chicken and cheese, and crispy tenders. For those looking to tame the heat, take advantage of the tangy house ranch dressing or challenge your taste buds by loading up on spicy honey, drizzled on everything from sandwiches to vanilla ice cream.

How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order delivery via Favor.


 

Lucille's

http://www.lucilleshouston.com