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When you think of food in Houston, you likely think of fried chicken, shrimp, and grits, or barbeque. But the truth is, there's a lot more to the best restaurants in Houston. From small plates to tasting menus and cuisine from a range of other cultures, Houston restaurants merge edible options to become a foodie paradise.

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LaVista 101

Small plates and appetizers are popular among LaVista 101 patrons. From mussels to fried cauliflower, you will find everything you enjoy, just waiting to be paired with your favorite beer, wine, or cocktail. The most popular cocktail at LaVista is the Sazerac. The lunch menu features salads, burgers, focaccia-style sandwiches, and soup and sandwich specials. Bring a hearty appetite for dinner, as you can enjoy grilled octopus, whole fried fish, and more.

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Gus's World-Famous Fried Chicken

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken makes the list of the 13 best restaurants in Houston because everyone loves fried food -- it's one of the great comforts of life. Who can resist a plate of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and collard greens? Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken has the best crispy chicken, decadent Southern sides, and a killer chocolate chess pie.

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UB Preserv

UB Preserv takes classic Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian cuisines and adds their own fusion twist. Fajitas become Vietnamese short rib fajitas. A simple curry becomes duck egg curry, a decadent twist on an Indian classic. Their take on dim-sum incorporates chicken wings, squid, and even octopus. Expect the unexpected at UB Preserv.

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Indigo

Indigo brings an interesting twist to the restaurant experience. It only offers two seatings a night, one at 6 pm and one at 8:45 pm. If you are any later than 30 minutes, your reservation is automatically cancelled. Should you need to cancel, you must do so four days in advance to receive a refund on your deposit. The menu features a tasty variety of meat or vegetable dishes under the classy titles omnivore and herbivore. You must bring your own beverages, and wine glasses can be rented at the table.

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Nobu

Would you expect Robert De Niro to own a sushi restaurant in Houston, Texas? Nobu is one of the best places in Houston to find sushi maki, nigiri, and sashimi. Seaweed salad and sashimi tacos are also popular. Enjoy a touch of decadence with foie gras gyoza. You'll also find pasta and seafood favorites with a Japanese twist.

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Poitin

Poitin gets its name from an Irish moonshine. You might expect an Irish pub, but you'll get a high-end experience with a laid-back attitude. Small plates are your typical edamame, okra, or short ribs. Harissa and ras el hanout-spiced lamb neck, aguachile, or cauliflower steak entrees really class up this stylish dining establishment.

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Theodore Rex

Theodore Rex delivers an ever-changing menu, with offers dependent on availability, quality, or the whim of the chef. Expect the unexpected. However, there is one thing you can count on at Theodore Rex: they will always have tomato toast, a fondant with bright bursts of cherry tomato. It has become a Houston classic.

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International Smoke

International Smoke should get two places on the best restaurants in Houston list, as it features a unique tasting menu along with steakhouse favorites. It is the best place in Houston to find wagyu beef and burgers. The soy-based short ribs and the Instant Bacon are wildly popular choices on their diverse menu.

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Les Noo'dle

Les Noo'dle offers a hard-to-find vegan pho option. You can also enjoy a classic Vietnamese Banh Mi or grilled cheese with pho dip. The spicy cucumber salad is an excellent starter before your steak and eggs or noodles and rice arrive.

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Truck Yard

If you go to Truck Yard, you better like cheesesteak. Truck Yard claims to have the best in-house cheesesteak in Houston. In fact, their menu only contains cheesesteak variations. Truck Yard gets guests in the right mindset with picnic-style seating and an outdoor bar. Choose your favorite brew and explore all the cheesesteak options you never knew existed.

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