Welcome to Spring in Houston! Patio season, allergy season and also new restaurant season.  Not going to lie, as a food blogger and someone who loves dining out, I am overwhelmed with all of the new concepts coming to Houston.  Many are from restauranteurs and chefs that we already know and trust which makes them must visits.  Some of these restaurants, I have had the privilege of visiting already.  The remaining ones, are on my list for this Spring and I figured they should be on your list too. Here are the New Houston Restaurants to Try this Spring.

Prime 131

Sushi

When Berg Hospitality Group opens a new restaurant, I’m likely going to be there ASAP (except that inappropriately named one, but that’s a story for another day).  Anywho, the creators of B&B Butchers have opened a new steakhouse called Prime 131 over in the TimberGrove Neighborhood.  For you hardcore inner loopers, it IS in the loop just the northern part!  Here, guests can dine on traditional steaks and sides with Japanese and Korean influences.  They also have some special tables that you can book for Korean barbecue.   For the most part, I think this is going to be a neighborhood restaurant and there were tons of new townhouses being built nearby so they will definitely have a crowd.

On your visit, you can expect to see some favorite drinks from other Berg Hospitality concepts.   Keep in mind that the sides are small and more individual so order accordingly.  Definitely do not skip the dinosaur bone marrow, the lobster toast (the best dish!) and be sure to order sushi as well.

Augustine’s

Man plating dishes

I’m adding Augustine’s here which isn’t really fair, because you technically will not be able to try it again until August.  Augustine’s is a restaurant that will be housed in the bed and breakfast, Hotel King David.  Located in third ward, the venue is intimate and allows for unique events.  I had the privilege of attending three of their preview events, helmed by Chef Dom Lee.  These events were innovative, bringing progressive Creole cuisine to Houston and just all around fun!  I recommend following them now so you are in the know once they reopen following a remodel.

PKL Social

Pickleball is taking over and the new bar PKL Social is making sure you can socialize while playing. I visited during their soft opening and although I have not taken up the sport yet, I enjoyed the outing.  Located on Washington Ave, PKL Social is an extension of FM Kitchen & Bar.  Here, guests can play pickleball or chill out in the outdoor spaces.  I brought my sister along for the visit.  We loved their version of an adult Cherry Limeade and their burger with tots is pretty good too.  If you are looking for more active or to enjoy this patio season, I think PKL Social is a great place to start.

Conservatory Galleria

Now… one of my friends argues that Houston does not need any more food halls! In certain areas like downtown, yes I agree.  But after living in the Galleria area during my 20s, it’s a concept that I think could work there.  And if anyone can do this right, it would be the people behind Conservatory considering they were behind one of the first food halls in Houston.  For my true Houstonians, you’ll remember this space as the Roxy, a club where I spent many a teen nights in high school.  Now it’s packed with great restaurant concepts and two bars.   During my visit I enjoyed the Black MKT birria tacos.  Now, I wouldn’t say I would travel across town for this version of the popular dish, but it’s decent.  I will say their one challenge will be the seating.  I think it could use some more seats and perhaps didn’t need two bars? It’s open late though so they may be trying to draw the nightlife crowd of the past.

Bar Bludorn

We have some restaurant groups that are really booming and when they do great work, I’m here for it!  The owners of Bludorn and Navy Blue have expanded to include Bar Bludorn.   I actually ran into them at the Charleston Food & Wine festival and they were so warm to us especially after we noted that we were from Houston! Located in Spring Branch, guests can expect a more casual vibe with the same level of quality dishes.

Late August

This just may be one of the most discussed opening restaurants in my circles.  Part of the Lucille’s Hospitality Group, Late August was announced a few years back as part of the Ion development in Midtown.  Originally, Chef Dawn Burrell of Top Chef and Kulture fame was tapped to lead.  Not gonna lie, I was SO excited about this concept.  Chef Burrell is no longer part of the project (quite a few people have missed this piece!) however, Chef Chris Williams (the owner of Lucille’s) has brought on Chef Sergio Hildago to lead the concept.  The new menu will feature Mexican and African American cuisine.

It opened for lunch in late March and will have dinner starting in April.  I haven’t been yet, but as you can imagine it’s top of my list.  For those that are intentional about visiting higher end Black owned concepts, Late August will definitely fit that.

Toca Madera

Holding a cocktail

Birthday visit to the scottsdale location

Toca Madera currently has three open locations, (Scottsdale, LA and Vegas).  I have been to ALL three because I love this restaurant that much.  The locations are beautiful (I am partial to the Scottsdale one) and the food is great as well. For the Scottsdale one, I loved that it also turned into a nightlife spot, with a large lounge area.  So you can imagine when I heard the announcement about a Houston location I literally screamed! There were promises of a 2023 opening and now promises of a Spring 2024 inside of the new Thompson Hotel off of Allen Parkway.  I haven’t seen an opening date yet, BUT I did see a hiring fair promoted on their Instagram.  So with any luck, we will have our own Toca Madera by April, so put it on your list.

Quick Spots

Here are a couple of others, that perhaps aren’t new, to consider.

Baso comes up on a lot of lists of new restaurants, and it’s good, not going to lie!  However, the service left something to be desired during my visit.  My experience seems to be an anomaly based on my friends so keep that in mind.  March is another one that top of my list, perhaps because the name just screams spring, or because it was recently ranked as a top restaurant by Food & Wine.  It’s been around for a bit though so I can’t call it new like a colonizer even though it is new to me!  Also, local faves, Chop ‘N Block are opening a brick in mortar in the Montrose area in the coming weeks.  It’s been so cool to watch them grow from pop ups, to a booth inside of the Post to their own space in a coveted area in Houston, be sure to check them out.

Any new spots you are loving or want to visit soon? Drop them in the comments!