Real Food Restaurants in the Houston Area

Those of us who are interested in eating local, unprocessed Real Food are willing to spend a lot of time preparing that food; however, we are all busy and sometimes we would like to eat out and have someone else cook the food and clean up after it.

Our problem is finding a restaurant that cares about the quality and nutrition of the food, not just the look and taste, a restaurant where we don’t need to feel guilty that we are sacrificing our health just for convenience. We are looking for restaurants that are trying to move toward more healthful practices in food selection and preparation, such as using local produce, organic foods, grassfed beef, etc. 

Most of the listed restaurants have been suggested by readers.  I have supplemented their recommendations with as much information as possible about the restaurant’s claim for their food.

I welcome comments and additional information that either support or refute the restaurant’s claims to using Real Food. Sometimes, I don’t include a suggested restaurant because I can’t find out enough information to support its commitment to Real Food. For those that I have personally visited, there will be links to my reviews.  I get no compensation for listing a restaurant here or for reviewing a restaurant.

Disclaimer: The qualities listed for each restaurant are largely based on their own claims.  Most restaurants have not been personally visited or evaluated, and only two have supplied answers to questions about their foods or their preparation methods..  I hope to be able to implement better evaluation in the future.  Further, I don’t know of any Houston area restaurant that serves 100% Real Food, at least based on my definition of Real Food, so you will need to make your food choices carefully and probably allow some lapses when eating at any of these restaurants.  I hope there will be a day when I can list a restaurant that is a true, 100% Real Food restaurant!

The restaurants are listed alphabetically by type, and I give my reasons for including them.  Look below the initial restaurant list for fast food restaurants (yes, there are a few!), food trucks, burgers, and coffee shops.

Restaurant List

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Dish Society: offers local, fresh, seasonally-adjusted items.  Some items include grassfed beef and Gulf seafood.  Beverages include local Kickin kombucha, San Pelligrino, organic cane sugar sweetened soda, freshly-squeezed juices, fair trade coffees, local craft beers, and one organic wine.  Breads are locally made by Slow Dough Bread Company.  Some items mention Himalayan sea salt.  The website does not give any information about the type of fats used in cooking or salad dressings.  They do mention Heart of Texas Olive Oil as one of their suppliers.  There are two locations in the Houston area: Galleria - Tanglewood [menus], 5740 San Felipe, and Katy - LaCenterra [menus], 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Down House offers locally sourced ingredients including farmers market produce, grassfed beef, wild caught seafood, and free-range eggs.  Their list of local suppliers include Slow Dough Bread, Houston Dairymaids, Mill-King Creamery, Fat Cat Creamery, Dustin's Eggs, and Plant It Forward Farms.  The menu changes regularly.  Open daily from 9 AM to 12 AM.  Brunch on Saturday from 9 AM to 3 PM.  The executive chef, Mark Decker, visits the Eastside farmers' market for some of the produce.  Reviews on YelpReviews on UrbanSpoonFacebook page.

Harold's in the Heights is a casual restaurant serving a unique brand of Southern and Creole cuisine.  They say that many ingredients are locally sourced and include wild caught seafood and farmers' market produce.  Local vendors include Houston Dairymaids, Atkinson Farms, Finck Cattle (free-range with no antibiotics or added hormones, but fed some grain), and Black Hill Ranch.  The menu claims include house-made yogurt.  Their list of vendors. Reviews on Yelp and UrbanSpoon.

Harvest Organic Grille: serves free range chicken, wild-caught fish, and grassfed beef.  They don't use microwaves or deep fry anything.  They offer selections that are vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free for those who have dietary restrictions. The menu lists organic wines and beers.  The website says they use only Himalayan salt, alkaline water, and wild-caught fish. They also say that they don't use processed foods and their meats are without chemicals, antibiotics, or hormones, and are all "natural."  Their website says that all foods are prepared from scratch: "By definition, scratch means 100% fresh ingredients. We don’t cook ready products, but rather we buy each ingredient individually from local providers. All sauces, flavors, and foods are prepared inside of the restaurant. This means we don’t use canned foods." Although the name includes the word "organic," the website does not say that all of the ingredients are organic.  Some of their wines are listed as organic, and some of the cocktails have organic ingredients  What their website does claim is that they use "healthy, natural, sustainable, and fresh ingredients."

Indika and Pondicheri Cafe: owner/chef Anita Jaisinghani. Declaring "You are what you eat" the Pondicheri website states "Whether you are a chai, curry, or cardamom cookie, we passionately guarantee your composition is of raw, local, and uncompromising quality. We savor the blossoming need to use ingredients of purity along with a desire for hand-made quality. Together, these stamp our food with the fingerprints of true oxygenated existence. It is with utmost pride and pleasure that we roast and grind our spices, sing songs to our yeast starters, cure our bacon, grind our sausage meat, milk our paneer, and most importantly cherish our kitchen. Cooking wholesome nourishment tingles us with a fervor that indulges our ever-present lust to feed."  The Pondicheri menu lists paneer (raw milk).  A Houston Chronicle review, July 26, 2011, of Pondicheri by Alison Cook said that Jaisinghani was an "advocate of humanely raised and local ingredients" and that the eggs were "farm eggs with rich golden yolks that sit up high, mocking their pallid supermarket cousins."  Indika list of vendors.

Local Foods: advertises a "gourmet selection of sandwiches, salads and prepared meals with local ingredients."  Their website lists these local food sources: Gundermann Farms, (their website does not claim to be organic and all their produce may not be local), Atkinson Farms (their website does not claim to be organic), Animal Farm (organic per Yelp review), Texas Hill Country Olive Oil (some of their oil may be from out of state), Texas wild gulf shrimp, and Hatterman Egg Farm (free range and soy-free per Urban Harvest review, have high omega 3's and no soy per HoustonPress review), Pola Cheese (artisan cheese made in the Montrose area per HoustonPress review), and others.  Local Foods sandwich menu lists Duck Confit, House Smoked Salmon, and "Banh Mi."  Salads include Spring Harvest Salad and Asian Chicken Salad.  Sides include Housemade Chips, but there is no information about the fat used for frying.  Beverages include kombucha, beer, and wine, but there's no claim to be organic for any drink.

A Moveable Feast: a family owned health food store and café.  The menu lists some organic items but also includes farmed fish. It's unclear from the menu, but there may be additional organic foods in the café. There is a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan menu items.  The store sells A Better Way Beef and chicken plus organic grocery foods.

Nature's Garden Market Café:  a small café and health food store in Friendswood offers sandwiches and salads.  Many of the menu items are organic, including organic salads, organic vegetable juices, organic tea and coffee, and organic breads.  The salad dressings and mayonnaise are house-made.  Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available. The store also offers an organic produce co-op with a choice of share sizes.  They offer pet foods and treats, including raw items.  The health food store offers supplements, groceries, and personal care items.

Partners in Paleo: owner/chef Jeanette Pearson is dedicated to producing healthy paleo meals for her friends and neighbors.  The restaurant is located in League City and is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm, Friday and Saturday, 11 am to 9 pm.  Everything is made from scratch with mostly local organic produce, pasture raised meats and eggs.  PnP uses no grains, dairy, legumes, or sugar.  Read the Real Food Houston review of Partners in Paleo.  PnP sells meals for take home.  Order meals in packs of 10, 5, or even just one, on their website.

Revival Market: owners Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber.  Weber is also the owner of Revival Farms where he practices sustainable farming following Joel Salatin's philosophy (he visited Polyface Farm during a vacation). Revival Market uses locally raised meats and vegetables but there are no claims to use organic products.  Their food sources.  Update June 2015:  Revival Market has expanded its dining area and also now offers evening mealsUpdate March 2016: Revival Market no longer raises its own animals for meat.  It's not clear where they source their meat. They still say they serve the best they can with price restrictions of what people are willing to pay.

Ruggles Green: the restaurant is certified by the Green Restaurant Association.  The website makes these claims: all meat and poultry products contain no steroids, hormones or antibiotics; olive oil is used for cooking and rice bran oil is used for frying; no food contains trans-fats; offers organic and biodynamic wines; organic and free-trade coffee and tea.   They say they avoid GMOs but don't claim to be GMO free.

Season's Harvest Cafe, Cypress/Fairbanks area, (no website, but they have a Facebook page featuring their menu which varies daily) is a small, family owned, farm-to-table restaurant serving local and some organic foods.  There are vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free options for some menu items.  The Yelp and UrbanSpoon reviews are generally favorable.  Season's Harvest Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch, Tuesday through Saturday.

Skinny Ritas Grille, offers Mexican and Latin flavors.  According to their website, their "chicken, pork and beef are farm and naturally raised, no antibiotics, hormone-free and gluten-free." They cook with olive oil and coconut oil.  Their seafood is fresh, never-frozen, and they offer vegetarian options and organic drinks, including organic margaritas.  An unusual item is cactus tortillas, but they also offer a stone-ground wheat tortilla. Their dinner menu makes a huge claim that ALL of their ingredients are GMO-free.  That is a very difficult achievement.

True Food Kitchen, a full service restaurant, boasts a motto “Honest food that tastes really good.”  They offer many selections that are organic, biodynamically farmed, local, sustainably farmed, gluten-free, and/or vegan.  Their menu identifies which items fall under each category.  The website says their food is anti-inflammatory and provides nutrients, both of which are much more than any other local restaurant claims.  Some menu items are listed as organic.  It's not clear what oils and fats are used.  They are open every day with brunch served on Saturday and Sunday.  For more information about the concepts behind True Food Kitchen read here.  Read reviews at Yelp , Foursquare, and Urbanspoon.

Zelko Bistro, owned and operated by Chef Jamie and Dahlia Zelko has New American Fare "prepared with the highest quality and sustainable ingredients."  Chef Jamie Zelko has been named Sustainable Restaurateur by H Magazine.  The restaurant claims to be focused on local ingredients, and the website mentions using local, 100% raw honey. Both owners are beekeepers. The menu lists cheeses from Brazos Valley.  Beverages include San Pellegrino. There is no information about the fats and oils used for food preparation.  Reviews on Yelp are uneven.

Fast Food and Fast Casual Restaurants

Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants have become more open about the ingredients in their foods by publishing a list online that indicates such labels as GMO, organic, pasture raised.  With careful choice most GMOs can be avoided when eating at Chipotle.  I know of no other restaurant chain that provides as much information about their ingredients as does Chipotle.  Chipotle Ingredients Statement[Updated May 24, 2013]  Chipotle allows antibiotics in their beef [Updated August 12, 2013] Chipotle announces the elimination of all GMO ingredients in their food. [Updated April 29, 2015]

D'Marco's Pizzeria, a local pizza restaurant with two locations (S. Highway 6 in Sugar Land and Memorial Drive, Houston) that features Chicago-style pizza.  They also offer pasta, sandwiches, and salads.  D'Marco's is added to this list for three primary offerings.  They use organic beef and chicken for their meats; their flour is unbleached and untreated; and they offer a choice of organic soft drinks.  The pizza dough and Italian sausage are made in-house.

Jason's Deli: a chain restaurant that has made some efforts to improve the quality of their food.  They claim to have eliminated artificial trans fats and high fructose corn syrup from their menus.  Their website has a Nutrition Calculator that gives the basic Nutrition Facts for your choice of customized menu items and lists all the ingredients, some of which are organic.  There is also an Interactive Nutrition Menu with a list of food items and the basic food facts for each. A Special Diets Wizard helps you choose menu items that avoid common allergens such as eggs, gluten, or peanuts. Soybean oil appears to be the primary oil used.  Sample menu from a Houston area Jason's Deli.  For more information about which items are healthier and which items should be avoided at Jason's Deli, read Food Babe's article, Jason's Deli:  What's Healthy & What's Not!

Zoe's Kitchen is a fast casual restaurant chain that has several Houston locations.  Offerings include Mediterranean soups, salads, sandwiches & kebabs.  They do not use microwaves and do not deep fry any foods.  They claim to use local ingredients where available. Grilling is the main method of cooking.  Oils used for cooking and salad dressings are primarily canola and olive oil.  None of their foods are organic and the fish and seafood are not wild caught; however, they do place an emphasis on fresh.  I also want to acknowledge that Zoe's Kitchen did answer my questions about their ingredients, whereas most restaurants either ignore such requests or deliberately hide their food sources and cooking methods.  Their willingness to provide information is a significant justification for adding the chain to the list.

Food Trucks

Flip 'n Patties, a food truck that offers "Filipino Street Food & Juicy Burgers."  The burgers are made with grassfed and grass finished beef.  Their menu includes items made with meat from farm raised pigs and pastured organic chicken.  They make their own buns in-house with organic, unbleached flour.

Oh My! Pocket Pies: a former mobile restaurant now sells their pies at several Houston locations.  There are also options for pick-up and delivery.  They offer a "fresher alternative to fast food" that specializes in "quality ingredients from mostly local vendors." They use local Law Ranch Cattle Company grass-fed beef and other local vendors and serve their food in recyclable products.

Burger Restaurants

The Counter offers custom built burgers and has two Houston area locations, one in the Heights and another in the Woodlands.  The burgers are made with antibiotic-free and hormore-free beef.  Other choices include natural chicken sandwiches and organic bison burgers.  The burgers may be ordered on a bowl for gluten-free and low-carb options.  Ingredients offered include organic mixed greens.  The Counter offers Tillamook cheddar, which is free of rBST.  Condiments such as ketchup and mayo without HFCS are available upon request.

Elevation Burger on Kirby.  The website lists some organic items.  The beef burger is made with organic, grass-fed beef which they grind fresh on the premises.  The menu lists organic chicken, organic bacon, and organic grains in the veggie burger. They use olive oil to fry the potatoes. There's not much information about the rest of their ingredients, so we can assume they are probably just standard fare for fast food restaurants. They do offer an option to get the burger wrapped in lettuce rather than on a bun. For more information about this burger restaurant, read CultureMap's review.

JerryBuilt Hometown Burgers is another burger restaurant that is claiming to provide better ingredients.  They use Niman Ranch beef and bake their buns in house with dough from Three Brothers Bakery.  Niman Ranch, a San Francisco based ranch and processor, beef is grazed for the first 14-18 months, then finished on grain.  Their chicken is from Buddy's Natural Chicken based in Gonzales, TX.  Both Niman beef and Buddy's chicken are fed a grain mix that includes soy, which is probably genetically engineered since there's no claim to be organic.  JerryBuilt's first choice for produce is organic and local, but always fresh.  I couldn't find any information about the kind of oil used for cooking.  The say that their food contains no antibiotics, no growth hormones, no trans fats or hydrogenated oils.  Their salad dressings are house-made.  Facebook page.

Coffee Shops

I've learned from readers that there are coffee shops in the Houston area that serve unhomogenized, lightly pasteurized milk with their sometimes organic coffee. If you really like your coffee, you might want to try these out. Let me know what you think about their coffee.

Antidote Coffee in The Heights at 729 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77007.  According to a reader they use Mill-King low temp pasteurized milk and serve at least some organic coffees, although I could not verify that.  They serve coffee, desserts, and sandwiches and have some vegetarian and gluten-free options.  Antidote Facebook page.  Reviews on Yelp and UrbanSpoon,

Catalina Coffee Shop at 2201 Washington Ave, Houston.  Reviews on Yelp and UrbanSpoon.

Pearland Coffee Roasters at 4106 Broadway St, Pearland, TX 77581.  Reviews on Yelp and UrbanSpoon.

Page last updated:  May 24, 2016


Comments

Real Food Restaurants — 74 Comments

  1. Oh My Pocket Pies Food Truck, usually found in the Height on 19th street serves locally sourced, wonderful food, including stuffed savory and sweet hand pies, and grass fed beef and shrimp burgers. They purchase their beef From Law Ranch Cattle Company, and even have the buns specially made for them in a local bakery. They use environmentally friendly packaging to serve it in and work hard to make sure everything is fresh.

  2. Escalante’s Mexican Resturant on Westeimer in Highlands Village has some locally sourced meats and veggies. They also have good prices.

    • Amy,

      Thanks for the suggestion, but I can’t find enough information about Escalante’s to be able to add them. Their web site doesn’t help much. I’ll keep looking.

  3. Hey Carolyn, heard about you & your site here from Michael Gold in the Paleo In HOuston group on Facebook, what a great idea! Love to see some of my fave local REAL Food Restaurants listed here, nice work! I have one to add to the list that for sure meets the standard, in fact sets the bar for a PURE Standard, Chef James of http://OurPureCatering.com a Local made from scratch personal chef/catering service (also seen cooking up amazing breakfast/lunches at Urban Harvest Farmer’s market) using ALL Local Organic/Sustainable product & amazingly good & reasonable priced! Check it out! I am also working on a new REAL Food-On-The-Run Primal/Paleo friendly Snak Pak with Chef James that I’d love to share with you & your readers here, again using all Local sourced ingredients! Thanks for creating this great resouce! Cheers to our Healthy & FUN Success!

  4. Carolyn. I visited Ruggles Green. It was a great find. Thanks for the suggestion. I will be in town for two weeks and making most of my own food (brought a lot with me!) But plan to check out Georgias Farm to Market to refresh! Thanks again!

    • When shopping at Georgia’s Farm to Market on I-10, always read source of their food. On 2 separate occasions, I started to buy their packaged garlic; however, did not purchase the garlic bacause of the label: “From China.” Needless to say I did not buy their garlic, and made me wonder about the source of their other products.

      • You are right, always read the labels, no matter what store you’re in. I do, even at my favorite health food store, which stocks many items their customers want but that may not be really healthy. Even reading labels won’t tell you everything you might want to know (such as if it contains genetically engineered foods), but it will allow you to eliminate some of the worst items. I don’t know of a store where I could be confident I didn’t need to read the labels. There’s a possibility that it might become illegal in the US to label country of origin–that would make our food choices even more difficult.

  5. Onion Creek, Dry Creek, & Cedar Creek use milk from the same local dairy operation as Catalina. Several of their menu components are organic (such as their salad greens).

    Your readers may also be interested in Central City Co-op as a source for organic and local produce & local meats and cheeses.

    • Christyna,

      I apologize for not responding to your suggestions sooner. I’m trying to get more information about the Creek group of restaurants. Maybe I can add them to the list soon. Your suggestion about Central City Co-op is also good. I think the Central City co-op rates a post as well as a listing. Look for it.

      Carolyn

  6. Pingback: Local Foods « happilyhouston

  7. One of the most dangerous things about eating out is getting food that has been microwaved which destroys all the nutrition in the food. Microwaves are kept out of sight, but you can tell it has been used by the extreme heat and the texture of the food. Most of our common foods have been irradiated before it leaves the warehouses. Microwaves are killing us while we think of them as convenient, fast, and safe. False government approval – just like GMO foods that are slowly killing people all over the world.

    • I agree that microwaves should not be used to cook food, although short heating of leftovers may not be as damaging. I don’t use a microwave oven at home. For eating out, I can recommend Harvest Organic Grille in Houston where there are NO microwaves, NO fried foods, and NO frozen foods. If you know of other restaurants that don’t use microwaves, please let us know.

  8. “We use local produce when ever possible.” This is the most common answer given when a chef hardly uses anything local. Its a big excuse. Our farm has been listed as a supplier since Revival Market opened their doors, but they have never purchased anything from us and they have never tried to contact us. I have tried repeatedly to reach them but my emails go unanswered, and I’m tired of businesses using our farm’s respected name for their green washing.

    • It’s hard for us to verify information about restaurant food sources and methods of preparation. I rarely get responses to my requests, and, in the case of Revival Market, apparently even the answers I do get are not correct. Anything we don’t buy and prepare ourselves should be approached with caution. Thanks for your input.

      • I think Revival Market is great. I just wish they would not use our name considering they are not buying from our farm and has never contacted us. The excuse, “We use local produce when ever possible” is pretty lame considering we deliver in their neighborhood every week. How much more convenient could it be for them to offer our produce?

  9. JerryBuilt Burgers (two locations, one in Houston and one in The Woodlands) serves locally-sourced (as local as possible) pasture-fed meats, organic veggies, etc., and makes their own lemonade (blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, and plain) with fresh berry puree that they make themselves. Refills are free, even on the lemonade!

    They may not be perfect (I would prefer coconut oil instead of sunflower oil for cooking the french fries, and I don’t know whether their buns are made from soaked/sprouted grains), but it’s a place I can feel good about eating at. Prices are reasonable, too.

    They even have a “roll the dice” promo after 8pm–if your roll is higher than theirs, your meal (your entire party, up to 10 people) is free! Our family ate there this evening, and we won a free meal (worth almost $60)!

  10. Thanks for this great resource! I only have a day in Houston and this has given me more than enough places to check out! Glad to know real food is alive and well here.

      • LOVE Season’s Harvest. Probably my favorite healthy restaurant in Houston right now. I used to really enjoy Ruggles Green as well, but while I was there for lunch today I asked the girl behind the counter what kind of oil they use in their salad dressings. I expected her to say olive oil, and she did, but then she mentioned that they also sometimes use soybean oil. Sigh.

  11. So glad I stumbled upon this site – thank you for the information!
    Here are some restaurant suggestions you may consider adding:
    Roots Bistro
    Corner Table
    Local Foods
    Zelko Bistro

    • I really appreciate your suggestions. I have looked them up and have included three on the Real Food Restaurants page. Corner Table is not included mainly because I couldn’t find out much about it. If more information becomes available maybe it could be listed in the future. Have you eaten at any of these?

      • Corner Table uses soybean oil. 🙁 they claim to be paleo, but they’re paleo buffalo wings are cooked in soy. I was disappointed to find this out, since I have a soy allergy!

  12. Yes, I have been to all except for Local Foods. I plan to try it this weekend. Several of my friends have been there and really like it. Corner Table is a Bruce Molzan restaurant (of Ruggles Green). He uses many organic ingredients and grass-fed beef on his menu. I’m sure more information will become available over time. It has not been open for too long. There is also a good selection of Paleo entrees on the menu.
    Thanks!

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  15. FlipnPatties uses beef from Gramen Farms!!! And they use organic ingredients when they can. And they have delicious homemade buns for their burgers and may use organic ingredients for that too!

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  17. Thank you so much for creating this list! I’m so happy to see more and more of these restaurants opening in town. I’ve been to many of those you have posted, and the rest I will put on my list to try soon! One new place I just recently discovered and adore is True Food Kitchen – they have a great philosophy encompassing a lot of elements of healthy and clean eating. I also heard about (but have not yet tried) Skinny Rita’s. I think they use quality (not sure if it’s humane, hormone-free, etc.) meat and local/organic when possible, but I haven’t looked into it much if you want to check them out too.

  18. Pingback: Organic Food Restaurant In Houston – about food and health

  19. Carolyn,

    I just wanted to thank you for all of your work in putting this list together. I am constantly in search of restaurants that serve humanely raised meats. This list gives me a good starting place to look in to.

    Thanks again!

  20. Pingback: Organic Food Restaurant Houston – about food and health

  21. Hey, have you guys given a thought to adding “Green Seed Vegan” to this list? I love this site, by the way! Thank you for your list & for keeping it as updated as possible!

    • I’m glad you like this page, and I do try to keep it updated. I appreciate your suggestion, but I haven’t been able to find enough information about the foods served at Green Seed Vegan to know if it could belong on the list.

  22. antidote coffee in the heights (729 studewood) also uses mill-king, which is non-homogenized and low-temp pasteurized. their coffee is organic and fair trade from marfa. they also stock lots of locally made kickin kombucha!

    • Probably the best way to learn about updates is to follow Real Food Houston on Facebook. I will post news of additions and changes on Facebook. Or you could check back occasionally. I don’t think there is an automatic notification of page updates.

  23. Not sure what your criteria is for adding restaurants here..I’ve been to Jason’s Deli couple of times and you can find some good organic choices and food free of trans fats, MSG, and high fructose corn syrup..

    • Thanks for your comment. I appreciate recommendations. Jason’s Deli website says they use no artificial trans fats and no high fructose corn syrup, which indicates they are moving in the right direction. I am considering adding it to the list; however, the website doesn’t mention offering organic options.

      I am planning a review of the restaurant criteria soon which may change some of the listings.

  24. We went to Dish society for Brunch yesterday. Dedicated to using the highest quality and freshest ingredients possible, Dish Society sources a majority of its items locally from suppliers such as Atkinson Farms, Sustainable Harvesters, Black Hill Ranch, Ole Dad Farms, and Slow Dough Bread Company. Under the direction of Executive Chef Albert Vasquez, the all-day diner turns out a seasonally changing menu with healthful modern twists on traditional favorites. In addition to the robust coffee program by Greenway Coffee, guests can enjoy fresh squeezed juices, a rotating selection of local craft beers, and an approachable wine list served in a modern industrial atmosphere.

    http://dishsociety.com/about.html

    http://dishsociety.com/katymenus.html

    • Thanks for your suggestion of Benjy’s! I have not been able to find enough information about their ingredients and methods of cooking to be able to include them in the list. If I can learn more I may be able to add Benjy’s later.

      • Thanks for keeping the list quality. I appreciate your diligence in verifying a restaurant fits your parameters for real food.

        • I’m glad you like the restaurant list. I try to find out as much as possible about the restaurants and really appreciate comments from readers who have personal experience. Thanks for the feedback.

  25. Hi,

    I appreciate the effort you are making to highlight the healthy restaurant options available in Houston; however, it’s misleading, and just plain scientifically incorrect, to suggest that microwaves remove all nutrients from food and that the possession of one should be a strike against a restaurant. It’s also incorrect to suggest that frozen foods are less nutritious than fresh – it depends on the age of the produce when it is flash frozen, and sometimes provides superior nutritional advantage. I would study a bit more of food science from reputable sources than professor google.

    • I am glad you appreciate the restaurant list; however, I think you are confusing Real Food Houston with another website. I have never said and don’t believe that microwaves remove all nutrients from food; however, some nutrients may be harmed (the evidence is inconclusive at this time) and some people want to avoid eating microwaved food. I promote food grown and prepared with traditional methods, and certainly microwaving is not a traditional method of cooking.

      I have also never said and don’t believe that frozen foods are always less nutritious than “fresh.” The best and most nutritious foods are usually local and organic, prepared and consumed shortly after harvesting. Frozen organic foods can be an excellent source of nutrition for people who have limited access to fresh local foods. I buy and use frozen foods and store foods in our freezer to retain nutrients. Most of our grassfed beef and pastured meat is frozen when purchased.

      Google is not a source of nutrition information; however, it is a tool that can help find reputable sources of information available on the internet. Not everything on the internet is reliable and we all must use judgement to sort out what is useful.

      • Hear, hear! Great reply!

        I think, when reading through the comments regarding the addition of certain restaurants, or the promotion of “good ones,” there was reference to microwaves and frozen foods being plain negatives, rather than less than ideal.

        Still appreciate your work.

        • There aren’t many references to frozen foods on the page except in this current thread. Only one listed restaurant is said to use no frozen foods and one other comment mentions a restaurant that uses no frozen foods (and that information may no longer be true). In general, fresh, local foods are preferable to frozen; however, when local foods are not available, organic frozen foods could be preferable to fresh foods from distant locations stored maybe for months in coolers. That’s one reason I put an emphasis on those restaurants that use local foods, even when not all organic. Vegetables and fruits lose nutrients quickly after harvest.

          I continue to prefer restaurants using traditional methods of food preparation which would not include microwaving.

          I welcome your input and hope you will continue to look at the list.

  26. Thanks for compiling this great list!

    I am starting school at Rice in a few weeks and am glad that there are actually restaurants I can eat at. The information on cooking oils is particularly helpful as I react very poorly to the standard vegetable oils that almost every place uses.

    I look forward to seeing future updates!

    • Yes, most restaurants use vegetable oils, and it can be difficult to find out what fats and oils they use. However, often restaurants will accommodate special needs if you ask. In any case, always ask because the more often people request healthy, quality foods, maybe they will eventually listen and improve their ingredients and cooking methods.

  27. This is such a big help!! I wish I still lived in the city but had to move up north 🙁

    But in case anyone finds themself up in Spring or the Woodlands there is Pure Healthy Eatery, with two locations, which is pretty tasty and quick…nothing fancy though but still has good breakfast, lunch, dinner, juices, and smoothies!

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