One of the questions we're most often asked is "Where should I eat?" We're setting out to answer that question.

With the imminent arrival of Torchy's Tacos to the Woodlands, we feel that it is time to help our readers find the very best tacos in the Woodlands area. We've visited Torchy's, and we're proud to confirm that taco lovers have much better options in the area.

Here is our list of our favorite places to eat tacos in the Woodlands area. This list represents our ideas about the best tacos in the Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, and surrounding areas.



Our Favorite Tacos

Cabo Baja - If you're looking for something different, Cabo Baja offers tacos with a distinctly California accent. The emphasis is on fresh, light tacos. Our favorites include the grilled shrimp tacos, the fish tacos (either fried or grilled), and for those who want more food, the outstanding burritos.

Chycho's - Chycho's began as one of Houston's uncountable taco trucks, but evolved into a brick-and-mortar location 10 minutes from the Woodlands. Traditional tacos are the draw here; our favorites are the fajita, chicken, and pastor. Chycho's grills its meat over charcoal, and the distinctive flavor is infused into the meat. Bargain seekers visit on Tuesday and Wednesday, when tacos are only $1 each.

Hello Taco - Hello Taco serves traditional Mexican tacos in an environment that's friendly and inviting. Ingredients are high quality, and those who prefer nontraditional toppings can be accommodated as well. Patrons watch their tortillas being made just before they're used as the foundation for a delicious lunch or dinner.

Also Recommended

Blue Mug Cafe - Now under new ownership, this casual bistro on the far west border of the Woodlands offers some excellent seafood tacos. Shrimp tacos were our favorite; the housemade sauce added just enough heat to the perfectly grilled shrimp.

La Palma - This blue collar taqueria in central Conroe has been a preferred destination for those wanting authentic tacos in a brick-and-mortar setting. Pastor tacos are our favorite, and the plate of grilled onions shouldn't be ignored.


Update: Robard's excellent Social Hour burger added to the list.

One of the questions we're asked most often is "Where should I eat".

Here is our list of our favorite places to eat burgers in the Woodlands area. This list represents our ideas about the best burgers in the Woodlands. We enjoy burgers at each of these places, and we think you will, too.

Our Favorites

Del Frisco's Grille - This more casual American bistro concept from the highly-regarded steakhouse chain knows its beef, and their burgers reflect this expertise. A custom grind featuring aged sirloin is formed into two quarter-pound patties. High quality cheese, fresh, crisp veggies, and an airy, eggy bun complete the package.

Hubbell & Hudson Bistro - What happens when a classically-trained chef with a love for burgers has access to the best ingredients in the world? The Bistro Burger at Hubbell & Hudson Bistro. Chef Austin Simmons starts with a carefully developed custom grind of prime beef, hand formed into a generous patty and cooked to temperature. It's covered with melted, aged cheddar and thick-cut bacon, then toped with handcrafted veggies, included oven-dried tomatoes, two process onions, and three styles of housemade pickles. No sauces are needed to dress up this master course in burger execution. For our money, this is the best burger to be had in the Houston area.

Robard's - Tucked away on the Social Hour menu may be the Woodland's best burger value. This classic steakhouse burger, a half-pound custom grind based on Robard's USDA prime steaks, is stunningly good. The beefy, expertly-handled patty is finished with high-quality cheese and fresh veggies. The value is amazing: This serious burger and excellent fries (parmesan truffle or plain) for $8.

Also Recommended

Beck's Prime - Mesquite is the key word at the well established local chain. Certified Angus beef, your choice of cheeses, sauces, and fresh veggies have kept burger lovers coming back to Beck's for decades.

Crisp - This Heights import burst on the Woodlands scene and caused quite a stir with it's Italian-accented take on casual American cuisine. The well executed burger is highlighted by addictive purple onions marinated in balsamic vinegar. It's a surprising blast of acid that pairs nicely with the high quality, hand-formed beef patty.

Fielding's Wood Grille - An obsession with high-quality ingredients and unique flavor profiles elevates Fielding's above the norm. Chef Edel Goncalves starts with 44 Farms angus beef, and artfully combines it with hand-selected cheeses, veggies, and housemade sauces to create some of the most unique burgers we've tasted. We keep coming back to his Texas Blues burger, featuring Point Reyes bleu cheese, pickled red onions, fig jam, and jalapenos.

Grub Burger - This college station import grinds its own beef, bakes its own buns, and combines this solid base with a variety of fresh ingredients to create some unique burger combinations. Don't be afraid to sample the often odd-sounding monthly special - a recent muffuletta burger was a surprising favorite.

Jax Burgers - This local take on an old-school burger joint serves up big, hand-formed patties with plenty of melted cheese and your choice of toppings. There are no gourmet pretentious here - just big, classic burgers executed well.


One of the questions we're asked most often is "Where should I eat".

Here is our list of our favorite Tex-Mex restaurants in the Woodlands area. This list is of full service Tex-Mex restaurants that offer a complete menu; taquerias have their own list.

Our Favorites

Alicia's - This local chain excels at its grilled entrees. Our favorite is the Cowboy Steak - a slab of skirt steak, three shrimp, and two very good cheese enchiladas. The energetic bar serves up potent cocktails to thirsty patrons. Alicia's Mexican Grille - 20920 Kuykendahl Rd, Spring TX 77379 - 281-350-8383

Casa Medina - This deceptively low-profile jewel on I-45 impresses discerning foodies with well prepared Tex-Mex classics, solid chips and salsa, and gotta-try-it avocado margaritas, which taste much better than they sound. If Old School Tex-Mex is what you crave, look no further. Casa Medina - 28777 I-45, The Woodlands TX 77381 - 281-298-9866

Guadalajara - The upscale, family-friendly dining room is a great place to enjoy out-of-the-ordinary dishes. Excellent ceviches and outstanding roast chicken enchiladas highlight the diverse menu. Guadalajara Hacienda - 27885 I-45 N, The Woodlands TX 77386 - 281-362-0774

Also Recommended

Chuy's - Locals flock to this Austin Icon for reliable Tex-Mex and strong margaritas. Skip the fajitas and go directly to the more unique options, like the Chuychanga and huge combination plates. Insiders know to ask for the complimentary creamy jalepeño dip with the chips and salsa... it's addictive. Chuy's - 18035 W I-45, Shenandoah TX 77385 - 936-321-4440

Lupe Tortilla - Fajitas are the entree of choice at this local chain. The lime marinade's signature flavor keeps regulars coming back, but creeping prices are causing some rumbles on social media. Bring your gold card. Lupe Tortilla - 19437 W I-45, Shenandoah TX 77385 - 281-298-5274


It's been over half a year since we updated our listing of our recommended places to eat in the Woodlands, but we've been eating almost every day, searching for the best spots to recommend.  From burgers and Tex-Mex to handmade pastas, fresh seafood and steaks, these are our favorite restaurants in the Woodlands area.  

Some notable finds:

Crab Fritter at Hubbell & Hudson
Cheeseburger with Garlic Fries at Jax Burgers, Fries and Shakes
Lunch special at Kan's Sushi
The Jerk at Crust Pizza
Chopped Beef Sandwich at Corkscrew BBQ
Mixed Grill at The Olive Oil

This time, we're presenting our recommendations here in an embedded Google Map.  What do you think of this format?

View Where to Eat Now in the Woodlands in a larger map

Update: Our Summer 2012 Map

Updated Nov 30, 2011

The dining scene in the Woodlands is never still.  Restaurants open and close on a regular basis as they try to find the perfect balance of food, service, and atmosphere that will keep notoriously fickle Woodlands patrons coming back.

The Woodlands Market Street (photo credit: The Woodlands Development Co.)

Most suburbs have the reputation of being filled with chain restaurants, and the Woodlands certainly has its share.  But the Woodlands has also attracted more than its share of independent restaurants.  We don't discriminate - we enjoy good food no matter who owns the kitchen.

Here are the best restaurants in The Woodlands right now (May 2011).  In alphabetical order:

The Black Walnut - This locally grown casual cafe has toned down the quirky factor, but it's still like going to a restaurant that's run by your crazy cousin Louie... if Louie could cook.  Breakfasts are very good here, as are the unique sandwiches and salads.  And be sure to save room for dessert; seasonal gelato offerings are rich and enticing.
Capri - The secret is out about this small, family-run Italian cafe.  Barbara Coglianese's kitchen turns out exquisitely handcrafted pastas, and entrees, both featuring sauces made from family recipes brought over from Bologna.  An enthusiastic cadre of very happy regulars calls Capri the best Italian spot in the Woodlands, and one of the best in the Houston area.  This isn't the Olive Garden; it's more a place for foodies in search of authentic, handmade cuisine than for those wanting overly Americanized versions of Italian classics.


Chuy's - The Woodlands is home to plenty of UT alums, and when they want Mexican food, they often choose to visit this Austin export.  You'll find offbeat wait staff, Mexican food that trends as much toward New Mex-Mex as Tex-Mex, and some of the best margaritas anywhere.  Texas Exes will insist on asking for the complimentary creamy jalapeno sauce alongside the light, citrusy salsa.

Chuy's in the Woodlands

Crust Pizza - This new locally-run pizza parlor has been garnering great reviews from everyone who's tried it.  The owners are on-site, the pizza dough is handmade and never even refrigerated, and the creative toppings give pizza aficionados reason to order outside their comfort zones.  We're usually pepperoni traditionalists, but the jerk chicken pizza is something we can't stop ordering.  Crust has proven to us that great pizza isn't about a special oven, it's about massaging all the variables until the result speaks for itself.

Jerk chicken pizza at Crust Pizza

Corkscrew BBQ - This new Woodlands food truck is backed by an experienced BBQ team, and the results speak for themselves.  Delicious brisket, buzzworthy pulled pork, and perhaps the best cobbler we've tasted in years.  Daily specials, too.

Brisket at Corkscrew BBQ

Eden Cafe - Located in Egypt (literally, it's the name of the area just behind the northwest border of the Woodlands) this family-run cafe surprised and impressed us with its well edited menu and daily specials.  The talented kitchen turns out excellent work in a variety of cuisines (we're particularly fond of their chicken entrees), but their Cuban dishes stand out among the best in the Houston area.
The Goose's Acre - This pub, located on the Woodlands Waterway, features a beautiful deck perfect for al fresco dining on the water.  The kitchen turns out considerably better-than-average pub food; can't miss items include the half-pound burgers, creative salads, and well executed pub favorites.  A spirited weekend crowd keeps the parting going.
Grimaldi's - The second Houston-area outpost of this iconic Brooklyn pizzaria calls the Woodlands Waterway its home, and locals are raving about the coal-fired NY-style pizzas.  We're fans of the savory Italian sausage, rich with fennel.

New York-style pizza at Grimaldi's

Hubbell & Hudson Bistro - This upscale American bistro is attached to the Woodlands' largest gourmet market, guaranteeing access to some amazing ingredients.  And Executive Chef Austin Simmons makes the best of them, turning out impressive seafood dishes, entree salads, and a variety of design-your-own steak dishes designed to please the pickiest Texan.  He's even added an epic Wagyu Burger to the menu, and it blew us away.

Wagyu Burger at Hubbell & Hudson

Hubble & Hudson Kitchen - The more casual cousin to Hubble & Hudson has been packing them in since the day they opened.  Patrons wait in line to order superb burgers and outstanding sandwiches, and the brunch offerings on weekends are among the best in the Houston area.  Thank goodness for the outdoor patio, because the dining room can be packed during peak hours. Hubble & Hudson Kitchen combines perhaps the best fast casual concept we've experienced with a small gourmet market, giving home cooks the perfect place to stop for ingredients, inspiration, and a delicious quick meal.

Burger at Hubble & Hudson Kitchen

Jasper's - Upscale backyard cuisine is how this Dallas export describes its fare, and we think that fits it to a T.  This is Texas cuisine as imagined by Kent Rathbun, an Iron Chef contestant who's known for his innovative takes on hearty food.  Great bets include the prime steaks, excellent pork loin, and half-pound burgers.  We're always impressed with the care that goes into the excellent side dishes, and their desserts are some of the best in the Woodlands.  But you simply cannot miss the housemade potato chips with Maytag bleu cheese.  Addictive.

Maytag bleu cheese-topped potato chips at Jasper's

The Olive Oil - Suburbs aren't know for their ethnic food, so we were pleasantly surprised to find an excellent Greek restaurant in a nondescript strip center location along Sawdust road.  All the Greek standards are well represented on the menu; the gyro is one of the best we've enjoyed anywhere.  The restaurant turns into a party on weekend evenings, with belly dancers, Greek dancers, and live music, so be sure to make a reservation to guarantee a table with a view of the festivities.
Perry's Steakhouse - There are plenty of steakhouses in the Woodlands, but Perry's stands apart for three reasons.  First, it's located away from the "downtown" area, making parking a breeze.  Second, it's a local business, albeit one with several locations.  And most importantly, the grilled meats are very satisfying, and handled with an expert touch.  Those in the know go for the absurdly thick pork chop, which is perfectly prepared and rubbed with seasonings that really bring out the flavor.
Rico's - Tex-Mex in the Woodlands is popular, and it seems that every second Tex-Mex place is now a Rico's.  This local empire has been growing rapidly thanks to its deft handling of traditional Tex-Mex favorites.  The fajitas are very good and offered with some tasty embellishments (melted oxaca cheese and chunky bacon are our pick) and the margaritas are strong and tasty.

Schilleci's - The Houston area has become the home to many New Orleans expatriates, and the Woodlands is lucky to be the new home of the Schilleci family's eponymous restaurant.  This New Orleans-style restaurant serves up outstanding etoufee and gumbo, and the authentic po boys are as good as you'll find outside of the Crescent City.  The secret?  The Schillecis import bread from New Orleans for that authentic chewy crunch.

Schilleci's New Orleans Kitchen

There you have it.  Our favorite places to eat in the Woodlands.  If we've missed yours, tell us about it in the comments.
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