As part of her hometown tour, Interior designer Paloma Contreras shares recommendations for the best Houston restaurants (and a French 75).

best Houston restaurants

Paloma (right) with friends at Thompson + Hanson’s Tiny Boxwoods cafe

Tiny Boxwoods—the charming café at Thompson + Hanson has the best breakfast in town. I’m a big fan of the House Migas. And even though it’s early, you’d be remiss to leave without a chocolate chip cookie; they are famous (and they start selling them at break- fast)!

For lunch, I love Brasserie 19 for a quintessential French fix. The people-watching is wonderful, the wine list is great, and the sleek interior is lovely.

Le Colonial (Photo by Eric Laignel)

For dinner, I recommend Le Colonial for Vietnamese food in an elegant space. Order the Cha Gio Crispy Shrimp & Pork Roll and the Bo Luc Lac Shaking Beef and you won’t be disappointed.

Caracol (Photo by Deb Smail)

James Beard award–winning chef Hugo Ortega’s restaurant Caracol is one of my favorites for its Mexican seafood and bright, airy dining room. But watch out—the margaritas will sneak up on you!

Anvil (Photo by Julie Soefer)

If I’m just going out for drinks, Anvil is the place for creative cocktails. My favorite is their French 75, but I ask for whiskey rather than gin.

Eloise Nichols

When my husband and I are in the mood for good food in a fun, casual setting, we head to Eloise Nichols. The restaurant is quite stylish, and they have the best burger in town.

BCN Taste & Tradition

It can be tricky to find top-notch Spanish food outside of Spain, but BCN Taste & Tradition (named for Barcelona’s airport code) delivers in spades. Housed in an old home in the Montrose neighborhood, it’s a romantic, intimate setting. The food is authentically prepared; the service is elegant and attentive.

Armandos is the Mexican restaurant for the stylish set. Go for a margarita and stay for the people- watching, especially on Thursday nights, when they turn up the music and open up the dance floor.

By Kirk Reed Forrester | Photography by Max Burkhalter

More of Contrera’s Guide to Houston

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