15 Iconic Houston Plates

When it comes to great food, these plates can't be beat 

We've spotlighted 15 local eateries that offer an iconic taste of Houston, each representing unique flavors found in our big urban stew.


Wings and Waffles plate at the Breakfast Klub in Houston

The Breakfast Klub
Wings and Waffles

Nothing screams Southern quite like chicken and waffles. The signature six pieces surrounding a fluffy Belgian waffle draws a crowd, so be prepared to wait in line before you can get your hands on this soulful staple.

Pansoti at Tony's in Houston


Young Executive Chef Grant Gordon is keeping Tony Vallone's namesake restaurant on top with classics such as handmade pansoti--a decedent squash-filled pasta topped with an airy parmesan puff.

Campechana Extra dish at Goode Company Seafood in Houston

Goode Company Seafood
Campechana Extra

Start your meal off right with this Cajun riff on ceviche. Served in a cocktail glass with a mix of shrimp, crab, avocado, salsa and jalapeños (we ask for extra) paired with a ton of fresh tortilla chips.

Parillada plate from Churrascos restaurant in Houston


In the beginning (of the Cordua restaurant empire, that is), there was grilled meat. Stop by the family's namesake Churrascos Restaurant and try the parrillada—a mixed-grill plate highlighting the restaurant's most-loved meats.

Breakfast tacos and Kolaches from Tacos a Go Go and Shipley's in Houston

Tacos a Go Go AND Shipley's 
Breakfast Tacos AND Kolaches

Can't make up your mind? Neither could we. Choosing between the chorizo, egg and cheese breakfast taco at Tacos a Go Go or Shipley's sausage and cheese kolache seemed nearly impossible, which is why we're leaving the difficult decision up to you.

Fried Chicken from Frenchy's Chicken in Houston

Frenchy's Chicken
Fried Chicken

Long lines and the calorie count do nothing to dissuade fans of this hometown favorite. The local gem sends out peppery, hot pans of crispy fried chicken that draws loyal crowds. Plan to take out.

Dim Sum from Fung's Kitchen in Houston

Fung's Kitchen 
Dim Sum

Weekend crowds don't lie: This Hong Kong-style dim sum menu has everything from steamed shrimp dumplings for the uninitiated to more esoteric selections for seasoned dim sum enthusiasts.

Ribs from Gatlin's BBQ in Houston

Gatlin's BBQ

This Heights hideaway is ranking supreme amongst contenders in the Texas BBQ arena. Grab a seat on the patio, roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy as you treat yourself to a down home favorite.

Cheeseburger and fries from Lankford Grocery in Houston

Lankford Grocery 

A thick, juicy, delightfully non-round (read: hand-rolled and smashed) patty and plentiful toppings are served up at this red-and-white shack with saggy floors. Go early to avoid the lines and bring cash.

Vietnamese sandwich from Les Givral's in Houston

Les Givral's
Vietnamese Sandwich

Those in the know stop at Les Givral's for fabulous banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwiches) at freakishly low prices. Vegetarians love the tofu (add a dash of sriracha), but the barbecue pork is also a standout.

Fajitas from Ninfa's on Navigation in Houston

Ninfa's on Navigation

Sure, there are plenty of great places to get fajitas in town, but only Ninfa's can take credit for inventing the original Tex-Mex favorite back in 1973. Go for the steak variety, paired with a frozen Ninfarita.

Crawfish plate from Crawfish and Noodles restaurant in Houston

Crawfish and Noodles

Every January, Houstonians start pinching tails and sucking heads. Grab a cold beer and order a couple pounds for a Vietnamese spin on a Cajun classic. We like our bugs "regular spicy" for all the garlic and buttery goodness with a kick of heat.

Korean Braised Goat Dumplings from Underbelly Restaurant in Houston

Braised Goat Dumplings

Any dish at Underbelly is sure to delight. But it's the delicious, Korean-braised goat meat (yes, goat meat), gnocchi-style dumplings and spicy chili sauce that brings people back.

Pho from Pho Binh in Houston

Pho Binh

The pho-nomenal Vietnamese-style soup has worked its way into our hearts (and stomachs). Get there before lunch or you're likely to leave empty handed. Our favorite: pho with rare steak.

Ribeye Steak from Pappa Bros. Steakhouse in Houston

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

Bone-in or bone-out, you can't go wrong. The perfectly seasoned, in-house dry aged ribeye is available in portions fit for a cowboy. Call ahead for reservations.