The city of Houston is relatively famous for many things. Globally, you can be sure that many people know it is the home of the NASA space program. Many people flock to the city each year to participate in a rich, ever-changing scene of cultural learning, arts, and vast things to see in the sprawling environment. However, restaurants and culinary ideas flow just as freely as anything else in this area. Houston has made a reputation for itself as a place where one can always find something interesting to eat.
Although a few other cities in America would lay claim to having the most restaurants per capita, the scope of the locations people can dine at in Houston is absolutely massive. Several large food chains have chosen to place the most significant number of their restaurants for a single city within Houston. Once you learn a bit more about the food culture the city has to offer, you’ll see why corporations and people interested in dining seek out this city.
Houston Already Has a Reputation for Great Food
The tradition of food in the city is lengthy and vibrant. In fact, some informal studies rank it among one of the best cities for “foodies” that you’re likely to find anywhere. Thanks to the relative affordability of the food prices here, accessible locations everyone can enjoy, the diversity of the tastes and dishes you can sample, and the high quality of the ingredients, Houston earns its spot on lists that appeal to people who want to travel for the purpose of expanding their palettes.
As with many cities dotting the American landscape, immigration played a huge role in how Houston developed over the years. In turn, the desire to open America to different dishes from around the world spurred many immigrants to begin their own restaurants in the city. Many of these same establishments still exist to this day, continuing on for generations after their start. This major confluence of people and eateries means that the city of Houston boasts several dishes or ways of cooking that are unique to the area and take inspiration from the dishes of cultures such as Native, Filipino, Greek, or Italian styles.
You’ll Have a Hard Time Choosing
We touched on just how many restaurants there are in Houston. These could include a range of the fast-food joints you’re used to seeing elsewhere, small operations that give everything the feel of a diner, or larger establishments that give you cuisine from around the world with regional twists on different dishes. Indeed, as far back as the 90s, the city already enjoyed the honor of being the dine-out capital of the entire country. With so many people in Houston eating out more than in any other US city, Houston had to make sure it had enough variety to keep clients coming back for more. This trend has stuck around for decades, making it easy for residents and tourists to try new places each week.
The City’s Weather Makes Eating Outdoors a Treat
Houston can get pretty hot, and it usually manages to stay quite warm even as some parts of the country are experiencing cold snaps. The relative certainty that the weather will be nice enough for a big part of the year means that residents enjoy any opportunity to eat outside. You may see some Houstonians rushing indoors to take advantage of some comfort dishes when the temperatures drop. Still, it is more common to see them enjoying outdoor seating areas at their favorite restaurants or cafes. If you’re not native to Houston, you can expect to be able to enjoy some outdoor dining at any temperature above about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If things start to dip below this number, residents may surprise you by flocking to their favorite food haunts to get some regional foods that help them warm up.
Certain Restaurants Stand Alone
Even in a whole city full of amazing places to eat, some of those establishments manage to separate themselves from the pack. The Egg Custard King, otherwise something the owners just abbreviate as ECK bakery, has crafted a name for itself. It’s a small bakery in the Chinatown district of Houston, and they specialize in precisely this delicious item. Their egg tarts are full of flavor, and residents and tourists can pick up something sweet here for very affordable prices per item.
Houston Is Part of a Food Frontier
Because of the rich diversity of some of the city’s restaurateurs, people will find all sorts of recipes here. In addition to some of the cultures or ethnicities we mentioned already, you’ll find foods from Iranian, Turkish, Lebanese, and Central American cooks. All of these may be in their purest form, but you can find traditional dishes from each country that put unique, local spins on their tastes or presentations. If your palette is used to particular tastes, you should make Houston a definite stop on the road to expansion.
Try a Fusion
Fusion foods happen when a chef decides to prepare dishes from their own culture and combine them with ingredients or ways of cooking from another. Thanks to the mixing and meshing of so many regions from around the world within one American city, it won’t be hard to find a restaurant that puts this into practice. If you’re from somewhere outside the US, you may find a dining establishment sporting some foods from your homeland. This place may use local ingredients or cooking methods that can provide you with an old favorite that has a new taste. Don’t be afraid to try some of Houston’s barbecue, however. The city has some BBQ experiences that you probably won’t find elsewhere, and they are not something you should miss.
Houston might not be your first choice for the most traditional American cuisine you might think of. It isn’t a city anyone with any interest in a complete dining experience should skip, though. For a quick bite, you’ll find more fast-food places here than you will in just about any other part of the country. If it’s a full meal you’re after, you can take advantage of almost global cuisine options with world-class service and extra touches using fresh ingredients. From formal restaurants to food trucks, Houston has something for everyone.