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Houston Matters

The Full Menu: Houston’s Best Themed Restaurants

Houston food writers discuss their favorite kitschy, themed restaurants around town.


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As a city known for its culinary scene, it's apparent that Houston is home to all manner of restaurants, from fine dining to fast casual and independent family-owned eateries.

But we're also home to some restaurants that go out of their way to not just be another restaurant — where the décor is ostentatious, the place dives full-fledged into kitsch or it goes beyond just great food to truly stand out from the crowd.

In this month's installment of The Full Menu, we asked our gaggle of foodies to share examples of themed restaurants that create a unique atmosphere here in Houston. In the audio above, you can hear what they came up with or check out our list below.

Our panelists are Eric Sandler of CultureMap Houston, Felice Sloan of the Swanky Maven lifestyle blog and David Leftwich of Sugar and Rice Magazine.


About the longtime Montrose dining staple, Riva’s Italian Restaurant, Eric Sandler says: "With all the Christmas lights and over-the-top décor, this is not the Italian restaurant you go to for an authentic regional experience, but it's always a damn good time!"

About Eadeaux's Cajun Cocina, a food truck off Leeland Street, David Leftwich says: "It’s definitely unique and maybe just borderline kitschy because it's tacos and Cajun, but it's also very Houston because it's one of these perfect mixes of zydeco-Cajun."

About Taste Bar + Kitchen, a newer establishment that focuses heavily on chicken and waffle dishes, Felice Sloan says: "I think that they're gonna be around for a while if they can execute them very well. That's the thing — if it's a staple, and that's the only thing you do, you've got to do it well!"

The Full Menu Panelists 2019
(L-R) Eric Sandler of CultureMap Houston, Felice Sloan of the Swanky Maven lifestyle blog, and David Leftwich of Sugar and Rice Magazine, discuss the local restaurant scene on the Houston Matters segment The Full Menu.

Restaurants Mentioned in this Episode:

Buca di Beppo
Riva's Italian Restaurant
Captain Tom's Seafood
Christie's Seafood and Steaks
The Palm
Jus' Mac
Unicorn Magical Dessert Bar
Hamburger Mary's
Glitter Karaoke
Blood Bros. BBQ
Eadeaux's Cajun Cocina
1751 Sea & Bar
The Breakfast Klub
Reggae Hut
Turkey Leg Hut
Ray's BBQ Shack
Taste Bar + Kitchen
Cloud 10 Creamery

Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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