Between kids running around like outlaws in the old west and everything being slightly too expensive, hotel restaurants get a bad rap. But Xochi, located inside the Marriott Marquis downtown, is one of the best restaurants in the city and should be on your shortlist the next time you’re planning a celebratory dinner or brunch. This Mexican spot specializes in Oaxacan food, so expect mezcal cocktails, mole, and lots of fresh masa. Xochi is open all day, but if you come later, make sure to get the pato crujiente with duck chicharrones, along with the mole sampler.
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The Original Ninfa’s On Navigation
The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation is where to go in Downtown for fajitas, margaritas, and a great outdoor patio.
El Tiempo Cantina
El Tiempo Cantina is where to go for queso and fajitas before a long night of bar-hopping on Washington Ave.
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One Fifth Mediterranean
One Fifth Mediterranean is in a Hyde Park church, and is the 3rd concept in a 5-year plan. Come for dips, fresh pita, and family-style dishes.
Nancy’s Hustle is a wine bar in East Downtown, where you should get drinks and a light bite, like their Nancy Cakes with caviar.
The Pit Room
Instead of asking four different Houstonians about their favorite bbq spot, head to The Pit Room in Montrose for all the classics.
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