Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives Houston: 6 Local Restaurants Guy Fieri Loved

It’s no surprise that Houston is one of Guy Fieri’s most-loved destinations.

We are one of the most diverse cities in the US, so our food scene is a delicious collage of multicultural influences.

Having sampled enough Houston cuisine to consider myself an expert and being an avid lover of the hit Food Network show, I believe that some of the best food can be found where you’d least expect it. I’d like to think Guy would agree with me.

Below, you’ll find 6 Houston restaurants that Guy and I have both visited that definitely live up to the Triple D hype.

Map of Guy Fieri’s Favorite Houston Restaurants

1. The Pit Room

Episode: Meat and Heat (S34, E13)

If you’re looking for “legit” Texas barbeque, there are about a hundred delicious Houston restaurants I could point you to. What brought Guy to this HTown favorite was the unique combination of Central Texas BBQ with a Tex Mex twist—a pairing that’s so quintessentially Houstonian I could cry. At this Montrose restaurant, owner Michael Sambrooks and his family are creating tender, juicy, post-oak-smoked ‘que that made Guy say “hats off to Big Mike.”

Guy’s Favorite: Guy was blown away by The Pit Room’s delicious, tender, fall-apart brisket tacos. Any barbeque joint can put some meat in a tortilla, but with their signature peppery 12-hour smoked brisket, homemade flour tortillas, and house BBQ sauce, Guy decided this was one of the best brisket tacos he’s ever had.

My Favorite: While the star of Texas barbeque is certainly its smoked brisket and homemade sausage, to me, it’s all about the sides. I admit I might be biased on the basis of vegetarianism, but BBQ sides are some of the best around. The Pit Room treats them as not a side piece, but as something meal-worthy. Juicy elote (a sweet and spicy Mexican street corn dish), golden, creamy mac & cheese, and classic mustard potato salad not only win nostalgia points but are also delicious in my book.

  • Address: 1201 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX 77006
  • Website: The Pit Room

2. Niko Niko’s

Episode: You Can Say That Again (S7, E7)

In this episode about restaurants with the same name twice, Guy visits Niko Niko’s, a Houston institution. In keeping with the city’s tradition of fusion food, Guy gets it right when he says, “Greek and American culture collide with a taste of Greece in the heart of Montrose. And the food is dead-on awesome.”

This upscale Greek cafe opened in 1977 and is one of Houston’s favorite Mediterranean restaurants. Since its DDD feature, the restaurant has opened two additional locations, but the Montrose original, which Guy visited, is my favorite—in terms of both food and ambiance.

Guy’s Favorite: Niko Niko’s is notorious for its scratch-made Greek desserts, and when Guy tried their famous Loukoumades, he said (in true Guy fashion), “wow dude, those are crazy… I’ve never seen anything like these in my life.” The Greek honey balls are similar to a donut, with homemade dough that’s fried and soaked in a syrup that’s flavored with cinnamon, lemon, and honey. Guy was surprised that they’re not overly sweet and said they’re definitely “in the shipyard of Flavortown.”

My Favorite: Decisions are hard, which is why I love Niko’s Meze Platter—the perfect convergence of all my Greek favorites. I’d recommend this to anyone who wants to try a bit of everything. The hors d’oeuvres plate comes with briney dolmas, crispy spanakopitas, cheesy tiropitas, and savory falafel made complete by an assortment of Greek dips like hummus, tahini, tzatziki, and hot sauce. And whatever you do, don’t forget the pita (Niko Niko’s goes through 12,000 of them in a week)!

  • Address: 2520 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006
  • Website: Niko Niko’s

3. Kenny and Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen

Diners Drive Ins Dives Houston

Episodes: You Picked ‘Em (S7, E6) & Takeout: Comin’ From All Over the Map (S33, E12)

If you’re surprised to find an authentic New York deli on the list, you’re in good company! Guy was shocked to find a Houstonian restaurant cooking up Yiddish favorites, owned by “a true New York dude [who] is keeping tradition alive.” Kenny and Ziggy’s is the best place in town to dig into “elevated Eastern European Jewish comfort food.”

This place is an experience, from the clever and hilarious menu to the mountainous portions.

Guy’s Favorite: Although Kenny and Ziggy’s is not just corned beef and sandwiches, they do make delicious versions of these particular Jewish classics. They pickle their own corned beef in-house (a 35-day process) and Guy claims it’s “better than any deli in New York.” Talk about high praise!

My favorite: I love the traditional Impossible stuffed cabbage with sweet and sour sauce (a vegan take on the Hungarian classic). If you’re there for breakfast, a Benny served on a potato pancake is an absolute must—yes, you read that right, it’s just as delicious as it sounds.

4. Cuchara

Episode: Multicultural Cooking (S26, E11)

After 26 seasons of DDD, it’s safe to say not much surprises Guy Fieri anymore in terms of food. But after visiting Cuchara in Montrose, Guy said it was,

“Authentic Mexican I just wasn’t expecting. I don’t get surprised very often. Today, I was surprised… [it was] real deal Mexican like I’ve never seen before. In the land of Tex-Mex joints, owner Ana Beavin is staying true to her south-of-the-border roots, funky attitude, and funky style…”

From the dishes brought back from Mexico and wall murals painted by Ana’s sister, when you dine at Cuchara, it feels like stepping out of Houston and into an urban Mexican oasis. Guy left calling it “an outrageous experience.”

Guy’s favorite: Guy called the Tacos Chelo (named after a “mean taco lady”) one of the top 10 tacos he has ever had. The potato-stuffed tacos are topped with tangy green serrano salsa and are perfect in their scratch-made simplicity. Guy put it best when he looked at his empty plate and said, “Wow. That’s all I can say. Anyone who watches Triple D knows I don’t typically finish the whole plate.”

My favorite: Brunch! Cuchara is seriously one of the best brunches around. You can get a breakfast version of Tacos Chelo, arguably made better by the addition of a fried egg, but my favorite brunch item is the chilaquiles. This chips-and-salsa-esque dish comes with the choice of salsa verde (spicy green sauce), rojo (a smoky red sauce), or blanco (aka smothered in queso) and is topped with a fried egg. If you’re really hungry—or sharing with a friend—I’d recommend trying the full Mexican flag and ordering all three. And since no brunch is complete without booze, try one of their seven michelada variations. My favorite is the Michelada con Chamoy, made with beer, lime, and chamoy (a fruit and chili powder sauce) served over ice with a chili powder rim. Brb… making reservations for next Sunday.

  • Address: 214 Fairview St Suite #1, Houston, TX 77006
  • Website: Cuchara

5. Weights + Measures

Episode: Cookin’ from Scratch (S40, E9)

Just south of Downtown, in the trendy Midtown neighborhood, you’ll find a restaurant and bake shop that’s making “food with interest,” and everything is homemade. Weights + Measures has a little something for everybody, whether you’re looking for a neighborhood bakery, coffee shop, or go-to lunch place. When the current shareholders-turned-owners took over the restaurant, they gave the chef free reign of the kitchen and ample space for creativity. Guy called it “unexpected in the best way possible… the real deal.”

Guy’s favorite: Guy loved the roasted carrot pizza! He confessed that he “tried it just because [he] wanted to prove it wrong” and admitted, “I was proved wrong.” The pizza starts with homemade dough (duh, the place is a bakery at heart), and gets “weirder as it goes.” The chef tops the pizza with sweet caramelized carrots, tangy gruyere, spicy fresno peppers, and a sprinkle of Guy’s version of pixie dust—dukkah, a nutty, toasted herb and spice blend. The goosebump-inducing combination—Guy’s words, not mine—results in one interesting pie, earning the title of Guy’s top 3 most unique pizzas.

My favorite: I’ll have to agree with Guy on this one.

6. Traveler’s Table

Episode: Mouthwatering Meat (S40, E6)

Guy introduced this feature by addressing the age-old discussion/argument starter, “where should we eat?” When everyone is in the mood for a different cuisine, you need a restaurant that can do it all. Traveler’s Table is known for “food from cuisines around the world, done in a legit way.” The owners of this restaurant are avid world travelers and have worked together with Chef Stanton Bundy to capture their “memoirs on a plate.” They joke that they’ve opened seven restaurants in one—perfect for people who enjoy international cuisine and want to explore the world on a plate.

Guy’s favorite: Guy dove into a beloved Caribbean specialty, oxtail. The dish is composed of seared and braised oxtail with a fresh habanero mango salsa and is one of the most beautifully plated oxtail dishes Guy had ever seen. He praised the chef for “taking a cultural dish we love and appreciate and elevating it.” The dish transported Guy to the islands and while he never says something is the best, he let the chef know this oxtail would be in the running.

My favorite: This is a place where I love to try something new every time I go. With elegant dishes from around the world, you really can’t go wrong. The last time I ate there, I tried the Dan Dan Noodles, a Hong Kong-style wheat noodle stir fry with just enough tongue-numbing Sichuan spice. I ate the whole thing.