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By Amy McCarthy via HoustonEater.com

Summer has arrived, which means that it's time for a fresh update of the Eater Houston Heatmap, a monthly guide intended to answer that age old question: "Where should I eat tonight?"

This month's update of the Eater Houston Heatmap brings the arrival of much-anticipated Japanese steak and sushi spot Roka Akor, along with massively popular Taiwanese chain 85C Bakery Cafe. Also back is Underbelly, which recently introduced a major revamp to its menu. As always, a new month means it's time to say farewell to some newly-opened favorites on the Heatmap, including Piggy's Kitchen & Bar and Chris Shepherd's One Fifth Steak.

1) 85C Bakery Café

Often referred to as the "Starbucks of Taiwan," 85C Bakery Cafe is a haven for pastry enthusiasts. Grab-and-go treats like fluffy milk bread, rolls dyed black with squid ink and stuffed with bacon, and guava-cream cheese croissants are offered in self-service cases, along with whole cakes, mousses, and more decadent treats. 85C's signature sea salt coffee is also equal parts delicious and weirdly addictive.

Restaurant Insurance

9750 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77036
(832) 831-1392


2) Alice Blue

Formerly known as Shade, this Heights favorite has undergone a major revamp, both aesthetically and in terms of the menu. Bright, European-inspired dishes are on offer, like a riff on panzanella made with labneh and cantaloupe.

Katy Restaurant Insurance

250 W 19th St
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 864-2050


3) Better Luck Tomorrow

Chef Justin Yu’s return to Houston’s dining scene has been much-anticipated, and the early word is that the menu at this "bar with food" definitely doesn’t disappoint. The “party melt,” complete with a layer of crisped cheese, is an instant classic, and the creative, well-curated cocktail menu offers plenty of options for booze enthusiasts.

Katy Restaurant Insurance

544 Yale St
Houston, TX 77007



4) Chapman & Kirby

This East Village newcomer is arguably Houston's most stunning new spot. Equal parts lounge and restaurant, Chapman & Kirby serves up a varied menu of light bites, ranging from flatbreads to lobster tamales.

Houston Restaurant Insurance

2118 Lamar St
Houston, TX 77003



5) Chengdu Taste

The first Texas outpost of what has been described as the country’s finest Sichuan restaurant quietly arrived in Houston earlier this month, and the crowds are already forming. The LA-based spot serves up a bounty of mouth-tingling dishes like mapo tofu, cold mung bean noodles, and wontons with “numb taste.”

Cypress Restaurant Insurance

9896 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77036, Houston, TX 77036
(832) 538-1164


6) Field & Tides

Former Liberty Kitchen chef Travis Lenig's rustic-chic new restaurant takes inspiration from French, Southern, Italian, and Asian cuisines, making for a diverse menu packed with a ton of protein. Order up bacon-wrapped pork loin, roasted rack of venison, and confit duck leg paired with comforting sides like corn pudding.

Houston Restaurant Insurance

705 E 11th St
Houston, TX 77008




7) FM Kitchen and Bar

Chef Ryan Hildebrand’s return to Houston’s restaurant scene is already attracting crowds. Outside of the excellent burger that originally inspired the concept, diners will also find solid plates of comfort food. Definitely plan to try the chicken fried steak and Fritos chili pie.

Katy Restaurant Insurance

1112 Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77007
(832) 804-6006



8) King's BierHaus

Consider this Heights spot a summer home. The outdoor biergarten offers plenty of space for sipping exclusive German beers and local brews, and the house-baked pretzels and hand-cranked sausages make for an excellent foil to all those suds. If it’s too hot outside, pull up a spot at one of the giant communal tables indoors.

Houston Restaurant Insurance

2044 E T C Jester Blvd
Houston, TX 77008
(281) 990-3042



9) Ohn Korean Eatery

Restaurateur Mike Tran’s empire grows again with this fiery new Korean eatery. In addition to a selection of fine soju, Ohn serves up both fusion dishes (like a Seoul-style smoked brisket) and traditional Korean plates like gungjung tteokbokki, or rice cakes stir-fried with scallions and chiles.

Katy Restaurant Insurance

9630 Clarewood Dr
Houston, TX 77036



10) Ramen Tatsu-Ya

Say hello to the hottest new addition to Houston's ramen scene. This Austin export brings nationally-acclaimed bowls of noodles, but the Tonkotsu Original (pork bone broth, chashu, ajitama, woodear mushroom and scallion) is probably its most classic. Cozy wooden blocks and large communal tables offer plenty of room to slurp, but don't be surprised if you have to fight crowds in the restaurant's first few months.

Katy Restaurant Insurance

1722 California St
Houston, TX 77006


11) Roka Akor

Houston has plenty of steakhouses, but none are like Roka Akor. This Japanese spot is equal parts steakhouse and sushi bar, and the meats and fish on offer are seriously premium, like imported beef from three different provinces in Japan (like Certified Kobe and Miyazaki) and consider splurging on the omakase, which serves up the best of both worlds.

Restaurant Insurance Katy

2929 Weslayan St
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 622-1777



12) Star Fish

After a long wait, this restaurant from Lee Ellis (State Fare, Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts) has finally arrived in the Heights. Globally-inspired seafood dominates the menu, including dishes like the Gulf-inspired Texas shrimp roll and grilled lobster, along with an impressive raw bar that serves up epic seafood towers. If you’re really balling, go for the $150 Tower Royale, which includes oysters, clams, jumbo lump crab, crab claws, shrimp, crudo, oyster shooters, and a lobster tail.

191 Heights Blvd
Houston, TX 77007




13) The Ivy & James at Evelyn's Park

Bellaire’s prettiest new place to dine has finally arrived at Evelyn’s Park. Chef Jamie Zelko revives her commitment to farm-to-table fare with this “breakfast til’ dusk” menu of sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, and more. Better yet, grab your grub to go in a picnic basket and head to the tree-shaded beer garden for an early dinner al fresco.

Restaurant Insurance Houston

4400 Bellaire Blvd
Bellaire, TX 77401




14) The Pass and Provisions

At The Pass, find the city's newest tasting menu. Created with the combined brainpower of chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan, this $65 dinner ($105 with wine pairings) features five inventive courses, like this trio of lamb, tuna, and pork belly.

Katy Restaurant Insurance

807 Taft St
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 628-9020



15) Underbelly

Long one of Houston's most reliably good restaurants, Underbelly has undergone a serious revamp. The menu is still ever-changing, but Chef Chris Shepherd has made major changes at this Montrose stalwart, namely swapping his focus from beef to seafood and produce. For those who are nostalgic for the old Underbelly, the Korean braised goat is still totally an option.

Houston Restaurant Insurance

1100 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 528-9800



16) Yauatcha

This Michelin-starred dim sum destination and teahouse occupies a splashy new space in the "jewel box" at the Galleria, but there's still plenty of substance here. Order up a ridiculous array of a la carte dim sum dishes like chive flower dumplings and char siu buns while you sip one of Yauatcha's top-quality teas.

Katy Restaurant Insurance

5045 Westheimer Rd Ste X01
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 357-7588



17) Tarka Indian Kitchen

This Austin export serves up fast-casual Indian fare that doesn't skimp on quality. Six different types of curry are spiced to order, then served atop basmati rice. Pakoras, samosas, and chaat can also be found on the restaurant's expansive menu, along with options for vegan and gluten-free diners.

Cypress Restaurant Insurance

721 W 19th St #7
Houston, TX 77008
(346) 802-2096



Contact the professionals at G & H Financial Insurance to assist with your restaurant insurance at 281-395-5497.


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