Houston is one of the country’s most celebrated culinary capitals. The Bayou City has hundreds of independent restaurants worthy of the business they turn. It also has its fair share of international and national restaurant franchises. Larger than the independent type but still accurately called “local” are the chain restaurants you can only (or almost only) find in Houston. If you’re visiting or moving to the Bayou City and want to know what chain restaurants residents visit time and time again, here’s a list for you.
This quality fast food joint bears no relation to Beck’s Brewery, but Becks Prime does serve beer. Becks also serves premium steaks, made-to-order burgers, mesquite-grilled tuna, and pulled pork sandwiches. Becks has 10 Houston locations, including one a five-minute drive from AMLI Uptown’s apartments in the Galleria.
This Houston chain restaurant is famous for its fish tacos, but Berryhill’s tamales and punchy frozen margaritas are also noteworthy. Berryhill Baja Grill has eight Houston area locations, including a Galleria restaurant a ten-minute walk from AMLI Uptown.
Goode Company dabbles in baking, barbecue, burgers, tacos, and seafood. The Houston purveyor seems to impress in every culinary corner it enters. The company operates six Goode Co. restaurants, The Armadillo Palace, and an online store.
El Rey’s Cuban-Mexican fusion fast food concept is thriving in Houston. Visit one of its four Houston locations for tacos, tortas, Cuban burritos, cortados, mulatas, and more. El Rey’s Washington Corridor taqueria is a five-minute drive from AMLI Memorial Heights.
This chain restaurant’s trademarks are over-the-top decor and massive portions. Visit one of El Tiempo’s five Houston locations when you’re really hungry for Tex-Mex. The Montrose location is on Montrose Blvd just south of Clay Street, less than five minutes’ walk from AMLI City Vista.
A perennial contender for Houston’s best burger, Hubcap Grill recently expanded its operations to include burger stands at IAH and in Galveston. Enjoy a classic burger or cheeseburger, or choose from 20 signature burgers at any of Hubcap’s five locations.
If you want locally sourced food from a local chain restaurant, Local Foods won’t lead you astray. Visit one of the mini chain’s four Houston locations for a selection of fresh sandwiches, salads, and sides. Wash it down with beer brewed locally at Karbach or Southern Star Brewing.
The Cajun-style crawfish are a Lotus crowd favorite, but this Houston seafood chain has everything. Fresh oysters, fried oysters, crab legs, clam strips, boiled lobster, popcorn shrimp, and catfish are all on the menu. Lotus Seafood currently has three locations.
There’s no shortage of Vietnamese food in the Bayou City, but some residents might say there’s a shortage of Pho Binh. Satisfying stomachs since 1983, Houston’s favorite fast-casual pho joint now has seven locations. Pho Binh’s Westheimer and Heights locations are five minutes’ drive from AMLI Uptown and AMLI Memorial Heights, respectively.
Can a restaurant operation be called a chain if it only has two locations? If so, Pizaro’s deserves its place on this list. If you live in an AMLI City Vista apartment, your next Neapolitan-style pizza is baking a short five-minute walk away.
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