Last Updated on October 6, 2023
The Woodlands, Texas, is seriously a gem of a town. Yes, it’s famous for its relaxing waterways, miles of trails, and beautiful landscape (not to mention the perfectly cut lawns).
But the foodie scene? It’s right up there with the best of the best.
Since I’ve been partially living in The Woodlands (I travel a lot for work), I’ve had a chance to try out the many restaurants in the area. I’m big on trying the food wherever I travel, and let’s just say there isn’t a Woodlands restaurant I’ve tried that I don’t like (so far at least).
Whether you’re looking for weekend brunch, a great happy hour, or a fancy restaurant for date night in The Woodlands, there’s something here to match just about everyone’s taste.
Without further ado, here are the 19 best restaurants in the Woodlands Texas! Heads up: #6 is truly the best I’ve had here and easily one of the best places to eat in The Woodlands. And no, they aren’t sponsoring me or anything. Let’s dive in!
Best Restaurants in the Woodlands, TX
It goes without saying, but The Woodlands township, including the Lake Woodlands area and the scenic Woodlands Waterway, is a true culinary hotspot.
Whether your taste buds are leaning towards American, southern Texas barbecue, or modern Mexican cuisine, these restaurants in The Woodlands have it all and more. Check it out for yourself:
1. The Republic Grille
Address: 4775 W Panther Creek Dr #490, The Woodlands, TX 77381
Menu: The Republic Grille
Right at the intersection of Woodlands Parkway and Gosling Road, you’ll find this local gem that serves up some seriously good food. A local favorite, this joint serves up a unique fusion of Southern and Tex-Mex dishes, all within a rustic Texas-style setting that feels like visiting the fam back home.
Seafood lovers go crazy for their seafood gumbo, and I personally go crazy for the chicken-fried steak. Sure you might have had chicken-fried steak, but you haven’t had a Republic Grille chicken-fried steak.
Made with fried chicken batter and Blue Plate mayonnaise as the secret ingredient, this dish is a crowd-pleaser and is consistently considered to be one of the best in the Houston area.
As an added bonus, the location itself is prime. They have outdoor seating available on the expansive patio, which is the perfect place to eat some ridiculously good food while soaking in the ambiance of all the trees and natural beauty that The Woodlands is so famously known for.
2. Cyclone Anaya’s Tex-Mex Kitchen
Address: 20 Waterway Ave #120, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Menu: Cyclone Anaya’s
For a modern take on Mexican cuisine, head over to Cyclone Anaya’s at the Waterway Square. This lively restaurant offers a wide range of amazing dishes, from traditional favorites to more innovative plates (like the Bandera Burger) that will have your taste buds questioning life.
On top of the great food, Cyclone Anaya’s is a local favorite for their handcrafted cocktails, especially their signature Avocado Margarita, which tastes exactly like it sounds. It’s some amazing stuff.
If you’re looking for a place to have a blast with your friends or a chill night with the fam, Cyclone Anaya’s is the spot to be. The service is top-notch, the vibe is lively and fun, and it’s just an all-around great place to hang out.
3. Black Walnut Cafe
Address: 9000 New Trails Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77381
Menu: Black Walnut Cafe
Black Walnut Cafe is one of those go-to spots whenever you want a casual and relaxed dining experience. Known for its all-day breakfast, sandwiches, salads, and community coffee, this family-friendly joint is a favorite among locals and visitors alike and is one of the best restaurants in The Woodlands.
Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty meal that makes you unbutton your pants (don’t worry, we’ve all been there), or you’re just looking to nibble on something for a quick lunch, Black Walnut Cafe has it all.
Seriously, this place is like a Swiss Army knife; it’s got something for everyone. You could be a carnivore, a health-conscious vegan, or even someone on a strict diet that only allows you to eat foods starting with the letter ‘Q’ (okay, that last one might be a stretch), and you’d still find some food on the menu to match. Chef Austin Simmons did his thing with this one.
4. Killen’s BBQ
Address: 8800 Six Pines Dr, Shenandoah, TX 77380
Menu: Killen’s BBQ
If you’re on the hunt for one of the best barbecue restaurants in the area that compete with the best of Texas, look no further than Killen’s BBQ.
Technically located in Shenandoah but still in the Woodlands region, this popular joint is loved by locals for its prime briskets, tender beef ribs, and sweet and savory pork ribs, all cooked to perfection and bursting with some serious flavor.
For starters, don’t miss out on their wagyu burnt ends (available only on Saturdays) as well as their white truffle garlic bread – both are next-level.
With a cozy and welcoming Southern hospitality vibe, Killen’s BBQ emphasizes quality and hospitality, making it an ideal spot to satisfy your barbecue cravings.
5. Uni Sushi
Address: 9595 Six Pines Dr #860, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Menu: Uni Sushi
If you’re a sushi enthusiast, then Uni Sushi in The Woodlands should be your go-to spot. This swanky sushi bar is an absolute gem that whips up Japanese cuisine, including sushi, bentos, and other things.
Located in the Market Street shopping plaza, right beneath the Cinemark Theatre, Uni Sushi’s restaurant location is as good as it gets. It’s the perfect place to grab a quick bite before catching a movie or to grub on some sushi after a long day of shopping.
As for the menu, it’s an extensive one, filled with a huge selection of sushi rolls, sashimi, and other traditional Japanese dishes. Their sushi rolls are serious works of art that top other sushi spots I’ve tried in the area.
From their classic California and Spicy Tuna rolls to their more adventurous Lickety Split and Watch Your Butt rolls, you just can’t go wrong.
If you’re in the mood to dine on sashimi instead, they’ve got you covered. For the more adventurous, they also serve up other great Japanese dishes like tempura, yakitori, and beef teriyaki.
Wash it all down with some sake and boom– you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for a great meal.
Address: 24 Waterway Avenue, Suite # 125, The Woodlands, Texas 77380
Menu: TRIS Woodlands
To say TRIS is one of my favorite restaurants is an understatement, and it’s definitely my favorite Woodlands restaurant hands down.
Right in the Waterway Square area, and close to the Woodlands Mall, TRIS is a shining star in the culinary landscape of The Woodlands and serves global new American cuisine in a quaint yet elegant and swanky location.
A brainchild of the talented Chef Austin Simmons (also the man behind Black Walnut Cafe by the way), TRIS offers an impressive menu with dishes made from fresh ingredients, innovative techniques, and lots of love.
From their famously tasty prime steak program to their handmade pastas, every bite at TRIS is a culinary adventure that’s out of this world. They also have a good menu of handcrafted cocktails and a carefully curated wine list, with a happy hour every Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
As an added bonus, the service here is easily the best I’ve had in years. The waiter (Ponce was his name I believe) was helpful and friendly and made my partner and I feel like royalty the entire time.
Pro tip: Be sure to try the Korean Butter Poached Crab appetizer. It’s their most popular dish hands down and for good reason– it’s out of this world good.
7. Amrina Social
Address: 3 Waterway Square Pl #100, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Menu: Amrina Social
Amrina is a contemporary Indian restaurant that will make you forget that you’re in the Woodlands, let alone the States. Chances are, most or all of the dishes here you’ve never tried before, as the menu is inspired by authentic Indian street food that you’d usually have to travel to India for.
The gem of a restaurant is the brainchild of mastermind Chef Jassi Bindra. It goes without saying, but his innovative approach to combining traditional Indian flavors with modern appeal is unmatched. Also, the wine selection here is so good that Amrina won Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence back in April 2022. Yes, it’s that good.
To start your wine and dine experience at this Chef Jassi Bindra gem, try the Chaat and the Cheese & Prunes Malai Kofta. Trust me: you’ll regret it if you don’t.
8. Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar
Address: Creekside Village Park Center, 26400 Kuykendahl Rd, The Woodlands, TX 77375
Menu: Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar
Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar is known for its farm-to-table dishes, craft cocktails, and a huge wine list. With a relaxed vibe, great service, and top-notch quality, Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar is the perfect spot for a quick lunch, a romantic dinner, or a fun night out with the crew.
Each dish on the menu is thoughtfully created, using only the freshest in-season ingredients. Whether you’re a fan of hearty, comforting meals or looking for something more on the lighter side, they have something for everyone. Yes, even for those picky eaters.
Local tip: Hit up their weekend brunch if you’re able to. They take typical brunch favorites and give them a creative spin, making for a great time and great grub.
9. Xalisko Cocina Mexicana
Address: 1335 Lake Woodlands Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77380
The moment I stepped into Xalisko, I knew I was in for a good time. The restaurant is decorated in festive colors and equipped with comfortable and luxurious seating. In the back left corner, you can see the kitchen staff putting the tortilla press to work, so you know they mean it when they say they make everything in-house.
Xalisko is a chef-driven Mexican restaurant that brings modern appeal to traditional dishes. The vibe is lively and the service is amazing, making this a hotspot for everyone from busy professionals grabbing a quick lunch to large families looking for a great time.
Be sure to try their tacos (each order comes with 3 per plate) and the three variations of ceviche. This is easily my favorite place in The Woodlands for authentic ceviche.
10. Back Table Kitchen & Bar
Address: 2301 N Millbend Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Menu: Back Table Kitchen & Bar
Back Table Kitchen & Bar offers a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. With live music, a patio overlooking the water, and an array of delicious dishes, this restaurant is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a leisurely meal.
Be it a relaxed dinner with friends or a more intimate dining experience with your dining partner, the Back Table Kitchen & Bar on Restaurant Row promises a pleasing experience.
11. Goode Co. Fish Camp
Address: 8865 Six Pines Dr suite 100, Shenandoah, TX 77380
Menu: Goode Co. Fish Camp
Picture this: you’re doing some exploring in The Woodlands, but once you step into Goode Co. Fish Camp., you feel like you’ve been transported to a laid-back beach vacation somewhere. Goode Co. is all about good seafood.
They’ve got oysters, crawfish hand pies, tuna tostada, Christmas bay gumbo, and other things. Of course, all of them are amazing.
As far as the ambiance, it’s one of those places where you can lean back, laugh a little too loud, and just enjoy the company of good friends and family. Now, if you’re going to try one thing, go for their signature Campechana dish. It’s absolutely a game-changer.
12. Truluck’s Ocean’s Finest Seafood & Crab
Address: 1900 Hughes Landing Blvd Suite 600, The Woodlands, TX 77380
When it comes to seafood, a great steak, and happy hour, Truluck’s Ocean’s Finest Seafood & Crab at Hughes Landing is one of the most popular hotspots in the Woodlands.
The main dining area has a nice dimly lit atmosphere that makes it perfect for a date night or other special occasions, while the bar offers a more casual vibe for enjoying a drink and a bite to eat.
With a great menu and amazing service, Truluck’s is easily one of the best restaurants in the Woodlands no matter the occasion.
13. Sixty Vines
Sixty Vines isn’t just a wine bar with a huge list of 60 wines on tap. Beyond the wine bar, it’s a place where good food and good company come together– right in the heart of the Market Street plaza. No seriously, it’s literally right in the center of Market Street with the huge lawn right at its front door.
Their menu is packed full of hand-tossed pizzas, salads, and pastas, making it the perfect spot to chill out with friends or family and get your grub on. If you’re a pasta fan, be sure to try the Braised Pork Pappardelle or the popular Campanelle.
Whether you’re in the mood for a glass or two of wine and a light bite or you’re ready to tuck into a full meal, Sixty Vines is as good a spot as ever. It’s better than most, honestly.
14. State Fare
Address: 1900 Hughes Landing Blvd Suite 200, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Menu: State Fare
Another great Hughes Landing joint, State Fare offers a taste of Southern cuisine with a lively brunch, with dishes like that famous H-Town fried chicken or a wide range of breakfast burgers.
With a relaxed ambiance, it’s a great social spot for brunch with coworkers or a nice social hour with friends.
But it’s not just about the Chicken Fried Steak and the social vibe. State Fare also shines when it comes to brunch, the service, and just about everything else to be honest. All in all, State Fare is easily one of the best spots in town to try, especially if you’re a picky eater– they have a huge menu with lots of variety.
15. Bosscat Kitchen & Libations
Address: 9595 Six Pines Dr., Unit 250, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Bosscat Kitchen & Libations is a lively restaurant that boasts a popular patio, whiskey library, and champagne wall, making it the perfect spot for a night out with friends or a special occasion.
With a focus on upscale American comfort food and an impressive selection of handcrafted cocktails, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations is a sure bet among foodies and cocktail enthusiasts alike.
16. Kirby Ice House (The Woodlands)
Address: 1700 Lake Robbins Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Menu: Kirby Ice House
Kirby Ice House in The Woodlands is more than just a bar – it features the longest bar in Texas, measuring over 140 feet! This trendy spot also offers a dog-friendly patio and a massive 300-inch screen, making it the perfect place to catch the big game or enjoy a night out with friends.
With a laid-back atmosphere and a commitment to quality drinks and service, Kirby Ice House is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to enjoy a fun night out in The Woodlands.
17. Sorriso Modern Italian Kitchen
Address: 2 Waterway Square Pl, The Woodlands, TX 77380
The pizza here is amazing. There I said it. I had the Prosciutto and Gorgonzola pizza the first time I ate here and it blew me away. When it comes to main dishes, the Black Spaghetti is something special that’s worth the try. And yes, it’s actually black.
Serving classic Italian dishes, pizzas, and pastas in a modern setting, Sorriso Modern Italian Kitchen seriously sets the stage for a great night out at Waterway Square. Once you’re done, you can take a nice walk along the waterway to walk it off. It’s the perfect setup.
18. Azzurro Coastal Cuisine
Address: 1950 Hughes Landing Blvd #1900, The Woodlands, TX
Menu: Azzurro Coastal Cuisine
If you’re a seafood lover, be sure to head to Azzurro Coastal Cuisine in The Woodlands. As you’d expect, the menu includes fresh seafood, juicy steaks, and some great pasta dishes.
What really sets Azzurro apart from other options in the area is its unique coastal twist, which brings an oceanic vibe to every plate, even if it’s not necessarily seafood.
Azzurro only uses the best of quality ingredients, and the vibe here is laid back yet upscale. This makes it a great local haunt for both casual dinners and special nights out for celebrations.
Some notable dishes on the menu to try are the Octopus Carpaccio, House Smoked Salmon, and Pesce Crudo. But honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything you choose here.
19. Grimaldi’s Pizza
Address: 20 Waterway Ave Ste 100, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Last but definitely not least is Grimaldi’s Pizza. If you’re on the hunt for a genuine slice of coal-fired brick oven pizza, Grimaldi’s Pizza is the best restaurant in The Woodlands hands down.
Right in the heart of Waterway Square, this great pizzeria is a local hit for its amazing pizzas, with a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere that’s perfect for a leisure meal. They have traditional recipes as well as more creative slices, such as the Quattro Formaggi or the Garden Pesto Pizza.
Just a heads up: Grimaldi tends to be busy most days, especially after 5 p.m. To avoid waiting at the restaurant for an hour, be sure to put yourself on the waitlist ahead of time by calling in or checking in here.
Best Food in The Woodlands: Final Thoughts
The Woodlands, Texas, is a culinary gold mine that offers a wide range of cuisines and dining experiences for just about every taste.
From upscale New American dishes at TRIS to mouthwatering barbecue at Killen’s BBQ, and from authentic Italian cuisine at Sorriso Modern Italian Kitchen to Mexican flavors at Xalisko, there’s something for everyone in this charming town.
So go ahead and treat yourself to some amazing food at one of these top 20 restaurants in The Woodlands, Texas!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is The Woodlands Texas so popular?
The Woodlands is a popular destination due to its extensive parks, golf, corporate headquarters, schools, places of worship, shopping, dining, hospitality, and healthcare. With 151 parks and 220 miles of trails, it’s no surprise that people flock to this Texas town.
Is The Woodlands Texas a nice area?
The Woodlands, Texas is a great place to live with highly rated public schools, restaurants, and parks, as well as a family-friendly atmosphere. It was even ranked No. 3 overall in Niche.com’s 2023 city ratings, earning an A+ overall grade.
With many families living here, it’s no surprise The Woodlands also received an A+ rating for its public schools, diversity, and housing.
Does The Woodlands have a downtown?
Yes, The Woodlands has a downtown. This downtown includes The Woodlands Waterway along with more than 6 million square feet of commercial and retail businesses.
What types of cuisines can I find in The Woodlands, Texas?
The Woodlands, Texas offers a great selection of cuisines including New American, Asian, Tex-Mex, Indian, and many other choices.