Late Night Bites

There are plenty of places to satisfy your hunger in Houston

It's easy to work up an appetite at the bars. First you've got to stand in line for a drink, and not forget to look good doing it. Then there's the pulsating energy of a good dance floor, prompting you to do more cardio than your personal trainer. And of course there's the whiplash-inducing head turns to catch glimpses of all the hotties walking by. It's a wonder we don't carb load before going out (not a good look kids, don't try it at home).

Luckily once the crazy times have been had, there are plenty of places to satisfy your hunger, no matter how late you're out.


Anvil: Set on the eclectic Westheimer Curve, the biz is known for its top-shelf sips made with hand-pressed juices, house-made bitters, simple syrups, ginger beer and herbal infusions. The bar also gets kudos for presentation, serving up perfectly-prepared concoctions in vintage glassware. Though limited, the food menu is packed with innovative fare, such as the pork debris po-boy and the skillet cornbread served with bacon and a fried egg.

BB's Cajun Cafe: New Orleans and Houston cuisine collide on BB's Tex-Cajun-inspired menu. Think: Over-stuffed po-boys, boudin balls and classic red beans and rice. Get it to go, have it delivered or dine-in at BB's 1,100-square-foot Montrose outpost. The personality-filled spot is open seven days a week, serving it up until midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 3 a.m., Thursday through Saturday.

Boheme: An unpretentious, laid-back spot that's popular with nearby residents and the post-college crowd, Boheme is known for classic and innovative cocktails and an extensive wine list. But the kitchen is also open late, serving up delectable dishes such as beef empanadas, mini wontons and chicken tikki masala.

The Hay Merchant: Chef Chris Shepherd's take on comfort food at The Hay Merchant is sure to cure any woes of not going home with that guy you were eyeing all night. Grab friends and feast on silver platter nachos, wings or tacos made with half of a pig’s head. Open until 2 a.m., and with almost 80 different beers to choose from, this is a good place to end your night.

Katz's Deli & Bar: Late-night noshers purr over this all-hours Montrose eatery with a city-slick atmosphere. Crave blintzes at midnight or corned beef and cabbage at sunrise? Katz's is your place. Cops from next door rub shoulders with families, politicos and all walks of colorful Montrose life at this brick paved double-decker. Come hungry for one of more than 20 hefty, kosher-style sandwiches or daily specials like Yankee pot roast and meat loaf. Open 24 hours a day.

Little Bigs: On Friday and Saturday nights, Chef Bryan Caswell's casual burger joint is busy turning out much-buzzed-about sliders, hand-cut French fries and classic milkshakes to hungry Montrose patrons until 3 a.m. Get ready for hot buns (fresh from Little Bigs' oven every few hours) and juicy, hand-formed, all-beef pattys topped with caramelized onions on a fresh-baked yeast roll. LB's has chicken sliders, vegetarian black bean sliders and Carolina-style pulled pork varieties, too.

Theo's: The Servos family takes a cozy, low-key approach to Mediterranean food from within an old, renovated house in Montrose. Dig into plates of octopus broiled in wine vinegar, a feta-dotted pizza or anything involving the sautéed spinach. In the mood for breakfast? One's a Meal delivers a mean line-up including Greek omelets, waffles and pork chops. Open 24-hours a day.


59 Diner: Grab a booth at the retro Elvis-inspired 59 Diner and dig into wallet-friendly soul food served 24 hours a day. Order hearty dishes from the well-stocked menu including one of the daily-changing Blue Plate Specials (before they run out!), diner favorites or a sandwich from 59's long list of offerings-all of which are made-from-scratch. The authentic soda fountain-one of the Diner's main attractions-features sundaes swimming in lush chocolate syrup and real root beer floats, making it a sweet way to end the night.

Conservatory: Houston’s first food hall, Conservatory, is a great option for a large group that cannot decide on a single restaurant. Diners are able to choose from four different restaurants all in the same space: Myth Café, El Burro & The Bull, Melange Creperie and Samurai Ramen. This underground food court is open until 3 a.m. on weekends.

Christian's Tailgate: It may offer a lively party scene, but Christian's is all business when it comes to burgers. In fact, Playboy even named the spot's famous burgers one of the Top 10 in America. Head there before midnight for fresh, ground-chuck patties (never frozen) loaded on six-inch buns, toasted crispy around the edges and topped with mustard, mayo, onions, pickles, tomatoes and shredded lettuce. The dimly lit dining area has several TVs (all tuned to the game), a jukebox and pool table. Expect live music after 8pm on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Gotham Pizza: Craving New York-style pizza in the middle of the night? You're in luck. Midtown's Gotham Pizza is the real deal, made by real New Yorkers. The locally-owned joint makes everything fresh-from-scratch daily and is cooked in gas-fired deck ovens, which give the crust it's perfectly-crispy texture. Stop by Friday and Saturday nights, when Gotham stays open until 3 a.m. and put the other menu items (calzones, pastas, sandwiches and desserts) to the test, too.

Tacos a Go Go: Good food and good prices define this casual, yet funky Midtown restaurant. Located right off the MetroRail and next to the Continental Club, Tacos a Go-Go is the perfect place to stop for some of the most authentic Tex-Mex food in Houston. Think: Carne Guisada tacos, pork tamale plates and hearty burritos. The hotspot stays open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, making it one of the best late-night eating options in the neighborhood.

Velvet Taco: Texans know nothing hits the spot at 2 a.m. better than some amazing tacos. Not only that, late night tacos are the best food to make sure you won’t have a pounding hangover in the morning.  Open until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, this Washington Avenue taqueria boasts upscale, globally inspired fillings like tikka masala, falafel and ahi tuna. Do try the enormous brisket taco with a crunchy, cheese tortilla with the house made BBQ sauce; certain to satisfy any late night craving.

Onion Creek: Laid-back, come-as-you-are charm finds a home at the Heights' Onion Creek. Part restaurant, part bar and coffeehouse, Onion Creek has remained a popular hangout for locals and happy hour hopefuls to unwind since it first opened in November 2002. Find a spot on the patio and enjoy one of the delicious sandwiches (standouts include the Country Ass Rueben and O.C. Poyboy), as well as salads, hot dogs, Frito pie and pizzas on cibatta bread. Onion Creek's kitchen stays open Sunday through Thursday until midnight and Friday and Saturday, until 1:30 a.m.

Mai's: Mai's originally opened in 1978, serving up tasty Vietnamese dishes like garlic beef and spring rolls. The newly-renovated restaurant has a more contemporary look and feel, with accents such as mosaic tiles, warm wood-toned millwork, bamboo and stone. A popular spot after the bars, Mai's crowd typically triples at night.

Max's Wine Dive: This upscale dive bar offers a standout wine list, late-night comfort food and a Texas-proud jukebox. Crowds of trendy diners vie for tables at dinnertime, sampling menu standouts like the Texas-style chili, kobe beef burger and king-size "haute dog." And it's not malt liquor, but champagne that diners sip with Southern fried chicken, shrimp and grits and knockout brownie and bread pudding desserts. Max's kitchen remains open until the hotspot's 2 a.m. closing time

House of Pies: Part all-night diner and part pastry shop, House of Pies evokes the vinyl-and-Formica charm of a bygone era. Its lack of pretension proves appealing for everyone from delivery truck drivers and society matrons to curfew-busting high schoolers and off-duty cops. With sugar-free pastries, classic fruit favorites and sinfully rich offerings like the multi-layered Bayou Goo and chocolate cream--all freshly baked--there's a pie for every craving. The all-day short-order menu offers typical greasy-spoon fare, but the drink sizes are generous and the staff is the down-home friendly type you'd find in any Southern diner.

La Tapatia: Since 1989, the Torres family  has been busy turning out home-style Tex-Mex Gourmet to the masses and today the business has grown with seven locations in the Greater Houston area. Head there for middle-of-the-night tortas, enchiladas and fajitas. Expect a wait after the bars close, as many faithful followers head to La Tapatia to wrap up a night on the town. The restaurant is open seven days a week: Sunday through Thursday, until 3 a.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, until 4 a.m.

Red Lion Pub: Owner Craig Mallinson makes it a point to give locals an authentic British experience with more than 20 English ales and imported beers on tap, as well as a serious menu filled with time-honored pub favorites from across the pond. Enjoy popular items like the Shepherds Pie, curry and Bangers & Mash from the comfort of a red-leather covered banquette or at a table near the brick fireplace in back. Red Lion serves food until 2 a.m. seven days a week.

Flying Saucer: The 85 taps of beer may bring the crowds, but it's the grub keeping party people there until the wee hours. Dig into an eclectic mix of wallet-friendly offerings like bratwurst nachos, salmon pesto wraps and goat cheese salad. Kitchen stays open: Monday through Wednesday, until 1 a.m., Thursday through Saturday, until 2 a.m. and Sunday, until midnight.

Frank's Pizza: Located in downtown's historic district-within walking distance of several boutique hotels-Frank's is known for its New York-style pizza served late into the night. Meet the after-hours crowd on the weekends for a Late Nite Slice of house specialties like the Barbeque Chicken, Hawaiian or Chicken Fiesta pizza. Frank's dishes it up until 1 a.m. on Thursdays and 3 a.m., Friday and Saturday nights.

Hearsay: Situated in downtown's historic W.L. Foley Building, Hearsay Gastro Lounge opened in October 2009, serving upscale pub grub in grown-up style. Think: Warm-baked Goat Cheese Salad and Mahi-Mahi Tacos with fresh pico de gallo, spicy habanera sauce and southwestern mango slaw. Stop by the more than 100-year-old building, Sunday through Thursday, when the kitchen is open until midnight or on Friday and Saturday nights until 2 a.m.

Written by: A.J. Mistretta