Hey guys! Casey here with The Informal Grub (aka @the_informal_grub). I am so pumped to take y'all around Houston and share my favorite hangouts. I am a big fan of supporting local businesses, eating as clean as possible and letting others know about the amazing food that is out here in H-Town. I started The Informal Grub to learn about + heal my personal health issues as well as spread the message to others that food is medicine! Houston is the perfect city to experience the best kind any diverse style of food and I am very lucky to call this place home! Side note: All dishes posted are gluten free, some are vegan but all are extremely awesome. I do hope you love them as much as I do!
1. SOMETHING LIGHT
Cafe Brazil
Looking for something light but protein packed? The Vegan Cobb Salad from Cafe Brazil in Montrose has everything you need to carry you thru the rest of the afternoon. Pictured: Vegan Cobb Salad: grilled tofu, marcona almonds, fried chickpeas, roma tomatoes, quinoa, roasted corn, orange supremes with herbed viniagrette.
2. TACOS & LATTES
Cafeza
Who doesn't love a good breakfast taco? Cafeza knocked it out of the park with not only this breakfast dish but their latte, too. This cafe is a great spot to bring your laptop, get some work done or simply catch up with a friend, stare at some great local art and eat off their ever-expanding menu. Love this place! Pictured: vegetarian breakfast tacos: sliced avocado, egg, black beans, cheddar, cilantro and chipotle mayo.
3. YES SOUP FOR YOU!
Drexel House
Soup weather is sticking around a little bit longer and one of my favorite spots is Drexel House. Located in the heart of Highland Village (shopping central), it's a great place to drop in to snag some shopping energy with their awesome menu. Pictured: Carrot with ginger and whipped goat cheese.
4. HOOKED ON TACOS
Eight Row Flint
Brussels sprouts are all the rage right now and so are tacos. Put them together and what do you get? A sick, sick addiction! I live only a few blocks from this place and I inhale these bad boys weekly. Eight Row flint is an old gas station located in the Heights turned whiskey bar. They have a food truck that whips up these amazing tacos and my husband and I truly cannot get enough. Big time, must try! Pictured: Veggie Tacos: Fried Brussels sprouts, crema, radish, charred onion, queso fresco, cilantro.
5. OYSTERS
Holleys Seafood Restaurant + Oysterette
Need the perfect date night spot? Nothing screams intimate to me like enjoying some martini's and raw oysters--chargrilled, too. My husband and I enjoy sitting in the bar near the window and enjoy a couple dozen oysters. Theoysters are delicious and the staff is so knowledgeable! Always a fun evening out.
6. RAMEN
Jenni's Noodle House
There are so many ramen spots to choose from in Houston but Jenni's Noodle House will forever have by heart. Not only is their ramen amazing, but their menu is very clever (go check it out) There is nothing more comforting than some nice hot ramen on the couch after a long week or weekend. This is my version of comfort food. Pictured: Ginger Chicken Ramen.
7. COLORFUL
Local Foods
Does colorful food make you as happy as it makes me? Local Foods menu is all over my Instagram page making it very hard to choose which got the spotlight but there was something about this bowl I just had to share. It truly does just have a little bit of everything and will leave you smiling when you're done. Not to mention you will definitely be ready for the 7-layer bar of theirs...oh my. Pictured: Vegan Power Bowl: curried tofu quinoa, lentils, baby kale, butternut squash, tomato, pistachio with an avocado vinaigrette.
8. DONUTS
Morningstar
Starting the morning with donuts and coffee is sometimes just a freaking must. Morningstar in the Heights does it right--not only is this bad boy gluten free but it's jaw dropping good. Their whole donut line up is amazing, I leave drooling and utterly impressed at their flavor creations. Pictured: GF donut with mango puree and coconut shavings.
9. DATE NIGHT
Pondicheri
Pondicheri is a vibrant and innovative Indian cuisine in the Upper Kirby district here in Houston. The flavor combinations are out of this world. Another great date spot! Pictured: House made paneer with red bell peppers + cauliflower in a cashew marsala with a side of turmeric rice.
10. WEEKEND BREAKFAST
Revival Market
Revival Market breakfast is Sunday ritual at my house. We get to walk our two pups there aka "The Welcoming Committee" and enjoy the Revival Tostada outside. I have the hardest time getting anything else on the menu because this one is just so good. All of their ingredients are locally sourced which definitely puts a little extra pep in my step. Pictured: Revival Tostada: fried egg tostada with mexican beans, chorizo, salsa, avocado, cilantro and queso fresco.
11. UNDERCOVER VEGAN
Ripe Cuisine
Foodies, rejoice! Vegans, rejoice! Ripe Cuisine is taking the food truck scene by storm tricking many into eating vegan. Bet by first glance, you had no clue that was a vegan burger. The Ripe truck aka "Wanda" jets all over Houston (weekly locations posted on their Facebook page) spreading vegan love with one amazing dish at a time. I love literally everything on their menu but the burger is just so impressive to me. And sweet potato fries...heaven. Pictured: Bistro burger with all the right fixin's.
12. KALE YEAH
Ruggles Green
THIS is one of my all time favorite salads in all of Houston. There is something about fruit in a salad that gets me all jazzed up. The Oh Kale Yeah salad is protein packed but just so refreshing. I recently traveled to France for almost 2 weeks and this was the first meal upon my return. Pictured: Kale massaged with avocado topped with dried mangoes, strawberries, red onions, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, warm goat cheese covered in toasted almonds with a lemon vinaigrette.
13. SOMETHING SPECIAL
State of Grace
For my husband's birthday we finally made it over to State of Grace located in the River Oaks District. This is one of those places where you want to order everything on the menu, and you totally should. I only got a photo of my starter salad because I was way too ravenous to snap pics of the rest. This dinner spot is a Houston Must! Pictured: Farm Salad: asian pear, gala apple, gorgonzola, arugula and marcel vinaigrette.
14. BRUNCH
Tiny's No. 5
Need a brunch spot with the girls or a spot that's just so pretty you cant even stand it? I love everything about Tiny's No. 5 located in West U. Their menu is small but has everything you could ever need. I typically order 2-3 items when I am there for breakfast. I always encourage trying as much of the menu as your stomach will allow. Pictured: Mixed fruit + honey.
15. TACO TUESDAY
Velvet Taco
Can you ever have too many tacos? Never ever ever. Velvet Taco located on Washington has the most impressive and creative menu of tacos I have truly ever come across. I love going in there and reading the menu over and over. Not only that, but inhaling as many tacos as my stomach will allow. They are just SO GOOD! Pictured: Fish + Chips taco, shredded pork with pineapple salsa on a hibiscus corn tortilla.