The Woodlands, TX

Where To Eat In The Woodlands, TX - Best Restaurants From A Local

Brandi Adair

Photo by Valeria Boltneva via Pexels

There are many things I took for granted before Covid, but eating out at a restaurant definitely takes the number one spot. After cooking endlessly for months on end in 2020, I couldn't wait to eat restaurant food again. I feel that food tastes better when someone else cooks it. Plus, there's no cleanup. While I love the whole experience of eating out - getting dressed up, the ambiance, and the atmosphere - I was happy to be able to dine curbside, outside, or socially distanced inside. I've rounded up my favorite restaurants in The Woodlands area.

1. Uni Sushi - My All-Time Favorite

Uni has been my favorite restaurant for well over 10 years. If I had to pick one word to describe them, it would be consistent. I usually stick to the same meal at any restaurant, and it's incredibly disappointing when a restaurant is out of that menu item, it changes, or it just tastes off. Uni Sushi delivers incredible, quality food every single time. I would compare their sushi to Nobu or Uchi, and it's a fraction of the price. They also have cooked meal options for those who don't eat raw fish. My favorite menu items are the side salad with creamy miso, the summer roll, the lychee martini, the goat cheese tuna, the Arctic char nigiri, the gyoza, the Kobe beef hot rock, and their mochi - so almost everything on the menu. I can assure you I've never had anything bad there and it's why I frequent the restaurant at least once a week.

2. Tris - A Unique Experience

If you're looking for unique, American fare with dynamic menu options, Tris is your place. The restaurant does an incredible job of offering seasonal dishes while keeping fan favorites. Located on the Waterway, Tris is perfect for celebrating a special occasion or for a date night. The intimate setting and knowledgeable staff really create an experience. You can opt for a chef tasting or order from the ever-changing menu. My favorite dishes are the Korean butter poached crab, the wedge salad, the Wagyu, soy caramel brussels, and the monstrous carrot cake. If you like spirits, try the green monster and the fat-washed old fashion. Check out their happy hour and lunch for budget-friendly options. The Tris burger with truffle fries is to die for.

3. The Republic Grille - Casual Food and Atmosphere

The Republic Grille is often my first choice when choosing take-out on the weekends or weekdays. They have a little bit of everything that is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. They have various classic favorites, like chicken fried steak, and lighter options, like the Grogan salad. They have a large outdoor space with patio lighting that is great for those perfect weather days. The bar is a fun place to sit and eat appetizers while watching live football on the weekends. My top picks are the coconut shrimp, the bruschetta, the TRG salad, and the chicken Woodlands. If you live further East, check out the Magnolia location.

4. Hearsay on the Waterway - Eclectic American Cuisine

This Houston restaurant has made its way to The Woodlands with its fourth location. Enjoy the Waterway's stunning views on the patio or enjoy the unique "chic antique" style inside. Hearsay centers on pairing unique foods and offering unique spirits that are hard to find anywhere else. Their website states that their bar program is a "modern twist on a vintage Speakeasy, with Prohibition era-inspired craft cocktails." Their cool playlists and laid-back staff make you feel right at home. My top menu choices are the cheesesteak egg rolls, the TX wagyu corndog, and the crunchy ahi tuna tacos. Enjoy their numerous gluten-free options and call about their to go boxed lunches.

5. Fieldings Wood Grill

If I had to pick my all-time favorite meal, it would be a burger and fries. Fieldings has an array of gourmet burgers, which sets them apart. They only use 100% natural beef from 44 Farms and make all of their sauces, buns, sides, and bacon in-house. They even have gluten-free options. They have a rotating seasonal food and cocktail menu in addition to their static menu. They infuse their own spirits for their bar menu. Enjoy a meal and a flight at the bar while watching the game, or dine in the main dining area. My personal favorites are the truffle and parmesan fries and the Texas blues burger, which combines jalapenos, blue cheese, pickled red onions, and fig jam. Try a sauce flight for all your dippings needs. I like the truffle bacon mustard and the habanero ketchup. If you like dessert, try one of their milkshakes; some of them even have booze!

6. Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina

This wouldn't be a complete Texas-area restaurant list without the inclusion of Tex-Mex. Jim Goode started Goode Company restaurants with the opening of Goode Company Barbecue in 1977. It has expanded to six styles of Houston-area restaurants with the leadership of his son, Levi Goode. Each location has a different style of food and atmosphere. Some of the types of cuisine they offer are seafood, barbecue, Tex-Mex, and tacos. The Woodlands location boasts a large patio with heaters/fans depending on the weather and fun yard games. My personal favorite menu items are the made-to-order guacamole, the crispy tacos, and the watermelon mezcal margarita.

These restaurants were near and dear to my heart before the pandemic, and I love them even more so after it. Since the pandemic, I have personally been to each of these restaurants. I have seen nothing but increased cleanliness, followed protocols, and an increased sense of comfortability. They have included plexiglass in their dining rooms, expanded outdoor seating, and offered curbside pickup to make their customers feel at ease. I love supporting local businesses, especially restaurants, during this hard economic time. So, try one of these local gems the next time you can't figure out where to eat and help support someone's dream.

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Houston, TX

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