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Best Houston Restaurants; Casual Edition

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

While writing my last Houston food blog post I realized there were so many more must-try spots I wanted to include! My last post consisted of more upscale restaurants but this one is going to be dedicated to my favorite casual food spots inside the 610 loop! From counter service to sit-down table service, these are places that don't need a reservation but don't let that fool you, the food is still amazing!

This is EASILY the one restaurant in Houston I have been to the most, the tacos are so good. Chadd and I regularly go here for a quick Sunday breakfast before errands or on our way out of town for a quick weekend road trip. I love the Freakin Vegan, it is my go-to, and honestly, the only thing I get when I go here but don't let that stop you from trying the other tacos on their menu! I am the type of person that finds one thing I like and then obsesses over it...

Chadd always gets the Jess special, the Migas, or he builds his own! The ingredients here are super fresh and prepared daily. You can also catch Taco deli at some farmer's markets and local coffee shops, they are a very big part of the communities they inhabit which I think is v v cool!

This just feels like your local neighborhood burger spot, ya know? The burgers are great and the vibes are top-notch. I Like a classic burger so my order is pretty basic but if you like to get crazy they have a ton of fun burgers on their menu! This restaurant is like 80% patio so granted that can be a little rough in the Houston heat but don't worry, they have fans and misters everywhere!

Okay, wait. This might actually be my most frequented restaurant in Houston. There have been times when Chadd and I have eaten here weekly. It is the perfect hungover Sunday meal, it is the perfect lazy "I don't want to dirty the kitchen" meal, and well it's just my favorite place to get Thai food. Like I said, I pick one meal to obsess over and order it religiously. At Khun Kay my fixation meal is 200% the green curry with chicken - spice level 2 (which I've noticed tends to be spicier during the week, based on who is in the kitchen. I'm not lying lol I eat here a LOT.) If you are looking for an app the pork dumplings are also fantastic!

If Mediterranean is your thing, you have to check this place out! the food is simply so so good, the fried cauliflower side is a must try and their hummus selection is 10/10! We Love swinging by to pick up Aladdin's for a quick dinner or weekend lunch! this spot is catty-corner to a lot where the Montrose Market is hosted on weekends so this would be the perfect spot to stop and eat after you get your vintage shop on!

Okay, technically this is a very nice restaurant but I'm putting it on my Houston's best casual food list because this is my go-to hungover meal. I think I have eaten in the restaurant like twice but I'm telling you, it hits completely different when you are on your couch in sweatpants watching Love Island shoveling sesame chicken in your mouth. Trust me on that one. Like I said, this is a nice restaurant and it can get pricy so how you order is important. What you want is the lunch special, you'll get a choice of meat, a choice of rice, a choice between eggrolls and crab rangoons, and a choice of soup. I almost exclusively get sesame chicken but sometimes if I am feeling wild I'll get the general Tso's. Crab rangoons over spring rolls all day and personally, I think miso and eggdrop soup are the only two options here but I think they do have a few others on their website if hot n sour is more your jam.

This turns out to be so much food that I usually always have leftovers for lunch the next day, thank me later!

This Australian concept café opened in Houston a few months ago and it certainly does not disappoint! The coffee was delicious but I think what's even more noteworthy is that their breakfast is actually really good! Now look, I adore breakfast! I could eat it for every meal of the day to be completely honest, but if I'm telling the truth it seems to be hard to make breakfast food memorable - you know? Like breakfast food is hard to fuck up but it seems equally hard to make exceptional somehow? Idk I was super impressed by the food I got at Bluestone. I got the folded chimichurri eggs and bacon toast and personally, I loved it. Also, this place is super cute and has a great patio. Really, what's not to love?

This little café built out of an old home in Montrose is the cutest little spot for authentic Mexican food! They serve lunch and dinner as well but I went for breakfast and loved it! They make their own agua fresca and have rotating daily flavors, I got the watermelon and no joke if I could have bought it by the gallon I would have. They also have the absolute best dairy-free coconut coffee drink that I'm still daydreaming about. For breakfast, I got the Cielito sandwich, which is basically your average breakfast sandwich but on sweet concha bread. All very much worth the wait!

I absolutely adore Postino, I think every major city needs one ASAP. They have the absolute best reverse happy hour $25 board and bottle deal Mondays and Wednesdays after 8 but, let's be honest I don't need a deal to want to go here. A bruschetta board is a non-negotiable way to start your night. The Sweet N’ Spicy Pepper Jam & Goat Cheese is my absolute favorite bruschetta so definitely give that one a try! I also love the Brie, Apple & Fig Spread, and the Smoked Salmon and Pesto. After you have settled in with your board and bottle make sure to get an order of the Mozzarella and Tomatoes and/or an order of the Crispy Cauliflower!

This cute little spot is on Yale in the Heights near Postino. The vibes are retro dinner with a neon twist! They are known for their spaghetti sandwich which, I’ll be honest I have not been brave enough to try. I have however tried their pistachio toast which is phenomenal - a must-try for sure! The Braised Chickpeas are also really good! I would definitely recommend this place is you are in the mood for a unique menu and a chill brunch/dinner with great vibes.

Where do I even begin? This restaurant is like dive bar meets mom's Italian restaurant and it is hands down the most fun place you will ever eat Caprese. Vibes - immaculate, this place is a party. You cannot make a reservation here and you will wait at least 45 minutes to be sat but it is all very much so worth it. Every meal comes with a soup and a salad appetizer and of course, there are breadsticks as well. You 200% want to order the chicken funchezzi and you will also definitely be needing a box to take half of it home with you. Also, make sure to mark your calendar and stop by Rivas around Christmas time! They fill the entire restaurant with more Christmas decorations than you can even imagine seeing in one place in your whole life. I mean seeing 30+ blow-up Christmas lawn decorations standing shoulder to shoulder ready to greet you is just a one-of-a-kind sight to see.

Amazing pizza- I mean really that’s all I have to say and that’s all you need to know. The boys picked up pizza for us so I can’t really speak on the restaurant but the food was amazing. The fresh basil just absolutely makes it and really, nothing beats a good wood fire pizza!

These are the more casual restaurants that have really made an impression on me during my time in Houston. Seriously, I have my fingers and toes crossed that I can find my must-have restaurants in Dallas soon because I've got a lot of spots to fill!


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