The Best Restaurants In Midtown

Where to get the best Vietnamese, brunch, and dim sum when you arrive in Midtown.
The Best Restaurants In Midtown image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Midtown’s impressive range of restaurants will make you forget about the 15 minutes it took to find parking. If you need a jazz lounge for a perfect date night, a brunch spot that's worth waiting outside, or a treasure chest full of frozen drinks, they can all be found within walking distance of each other. This list of restaurants won't make you regret the Uber ride you split with your friends to get here.


photo credit: richard casteel



$$$$Perfect For:LunchQuick EatsLiterally Everyone
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

Thíên Ân Sandwiches is a dependable spot for a quick lunch. It’s a no-nonsense, simple, family-run place with great Vietnamese food. One dish you’ll likely see on every table is the massive, golden bánh xèo, a wok-sized crepe stuffed with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts that comes with fish sauce for dunking. While it’s big enough to share, you can also tackle one alone if you have some feelings to work out. And even though the restaurant can get frenetic during the lunch rush, it remains one of the best quick, casual spots to go with coworkers or that one friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with.

Winnie’s is painted bright pink and green and looks like the type of place where novelty candies are sold. This vibrant bar serves Cajun-Creole food that we’d pledge our allegiance to. Grab a seat at the spacious bar, where you’ll have plenty of room to settle in with a hot chicken sandwich and a cooling coleslaw. Or get the gooey pimento queso and use a tortilla chip to mix in the crawfish on top. During Happy Hour, there are daily specials which are a great excuse to slurp $1 Gulf oysters or have a $5 burger. Plus, the frozen drink flights come in treasure chests, which makes Winnie’s more of a gift than it already is.

photo credit: Michael Anthony

$$$$Perfect For:BreakfastLunchBrunch

While the wait to get inside The Breakfast Klub is inevitable (especially on the weekends), the food on the other side is worth it. The eggs are fluffy, the katfish (yes, that’s how they spell it) is krispy, and the hot syrup is on tap right next to the coffee. The food flies out of the kitchen without compromising on quality. Even when it’s buzzing with people (you’ll see families out on a Sunday brunch, couples, and solo diners having waffles and wings) a calmness radiates throughout the entire place.

Hidden in the middle of the Conservatory food hall is Xeo Yum, a Vietnamese food stall specializing in bánh xèo. Even better than the delicious little savory rice crepes and puffy pancakes happening here is sitting at the small bar and watching those little works of art materialize right in front of you. Frying pans get doused with golden batter, layered with pork belly and shrimp, and the crepes fry up until the edges get slick and crispy, transforming into a hot bánh xèo. Ah, the magic of food chemistry.

What do a cracked egg pizza, a pork belly arepa benedict, and a giant slice of carrot cake all have in common? They’re all on the brunch menu at Weights + Measures. This American restaurant has huge windows, which means the sunshine pouring in will be there to give your breakfast an extra glow. There isn’t really a wrong time to have brunch here, so bring a group of friends to help divide and conquer the massive menu, or have some chilaquiles solo at the bar with a plum martini to keep you company.

Smack dab in the middle of looming townhomes and apartment complexes, Lankford Grocery & Market occupies a corner of Midtown untouched by modernity. And it serves really great burgers. You could order a regular cheeseburger here, but you shouldn’t. Instead, try the Grim burger stuffed with macaroni and cheese or the Midtown with a thick onion ring beneath a BBQ-sauce-slathered patty. Excessive toppings aside, hanging out at Lankford’s often feels like being in a small town where they’ve outlawed dancing, or being in the middle of an oil and gas board meeting depending on who shows up for lunch.

photo credit: Gianni Greene



OpenTable logo

Taste Of Mulan is where we go for a quiet dim sum meal. Once an order is placed, the staff graciously leaves guests to their own devices, which usually consists of nodding along to Top 40 music or the soft giggles of couples grabbing a bite to eat. Cheers over a few glasses of cold sake, and take down pillowy bao buns stuffed with BBQ pork. Or have a savory turnip cake with crispy edges that could bring someone out of the worst mood. The dim sum list comes ready to be checked off into oblivion, but there’s always the option to add more later on if only experiencing the har gow once feels too short. And with personal bottles of chili oil on every table, we recommend adding as much spice as you can handle—it’s OK if your eyes water a bit.

Phil & Derek’s doubles as part Cajun-Creole joint and part silky-smooth jazz lounge. With all of the tables pointed toward the stage, guests can be spotted nodding along to soulful covers of Jodeci songs. Order a creamy seafood fondue or blackened catfish with a side of delicate collard greens and you’ll get the best Creole spice this spot offers. Not every dish here is a star—the voodoo spring rolls are on the mushy side and the mac & cheese is fine, but underwhelming next to the other choices. Phil & Derek’s makes a perfect date night for music lovers, so snag a reservation for a weekend.

Stuff’d Wings is a casual, counter-service joint, making it a catch-all for U of H students grabbing a quick bite. And while fried wings aren't a novelty for Houston, only Stuff’d Wings has chicken crammed with one of three types of boudin, or creamy mac and cheese. Even with the fun fillings in the center, the highlight is still the impressively crispy wing. So if the traditional chicken wing ever feels too mainstream, get a five-piece platter from Stuff’d Wings and don’t forget the Cajun fries.

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Every dish at the seafood-focused restaurant is deeply Southern and the type of comfort that can make anyone relax into their seat. The dishes are inventive, and combine Vietnamese and Southern flavors to make the ultimate Houston potluck, like crab fingers that get a tangy elevation from the nước mắm. And it should be a requirement that every table here have smoked BBQ shrimp bathed in a dark roux or their collard greens that come with a potlicker that should be bottled and sold. And with most dishes here made for sharing, a trip to Josephine’s is best spent splitting fluffy biscuits with friends or going halfsies on a boozy chocolate milkshake on a casual date night.

Cali Sandwiches & Pho is always busy. The seating may be a little uncomfortable, and the service slightly chaotic, but the banh mi are really f*cking good. The bread is crispy, the pork is smoky, and the mayo is some kind of mythical, fatty, rich concoction that does things that normal mayo doesn’t do. Food comes out fast, hot, and exploding with flavor, especially the pho (but you should definitely order a sandwich). Primarily a to-go operation, you can take your order across the street to Midtown Park.

Opened by members of the family behind One Dragon in Chinatown, this Shanghainese spot offers a dumpling oasis to the people of Midtown. Like its predecessor, Wanna Bao specializes in fresh and light xiao long bao, but also adds its own flair with colorful dumplings. Wanna Bao is usually full of young people splitting jasmine tea duck on a first date or people from nearby apartments on a wonton soup and steamer basket dinner quest.

Chase Sapphire Card Ad
Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store