Cuisine on Houston's Memorial Drive

Houston's Memorial Drive takes a winding serpentine path through some of Houston's most exclusive real estate and across the city's largest and most scenic parks. A vast majority of Memorial Drive is either residential or parkland. However, two stretches of Memorial feature several commercial areas that offer an array of shopping opportunities, like Town & Country Village, as well as some a nice blend of excellent restaurants.

Since this is our backyard, I thought it would be great to share some Memorial Drive restaurants. For the most part, I've stuck with restaurants that are located on Memorial. We'll be traveling east... starting towards the end of Memorial, near Addicks Dam, and making our way towards downtown Houston.

Cafe' Benedicte - 15455 Memorial Drive - A nice mix of Mediterranean dishes from France, Italy, Spain, Greece and North Africa. Their Wine Flight Program is a nice way to try some different wines with your food.

Hungry's Cafe' - 14714 Memorial Drive - After years at Kirkwood, the Memorial location (the other is in Rice Village) moved a bit further west. A great mix of sandwiches, pastas and healthy dishes. Entrees, when taken to go, usually last a couple of meals.

Liebman's - 14529 Memorial Drive - Yes... a great place for food but so much more. Wine, gifts, chocolates and Liebman's own private label items.

Bistro Provence - 13616 Memorial Drive - What a great little French bistro. The food is excellent and the French owners have given the restaurant a wonderful authentic atmosphere. We love sitting at the outdoor tables.

La Vista - 12665 Memorial Drive - The always busy Italian restaurant on Fountainview has a new location in the space formerly occupied by Indika. Be sure to get there early as seating can be hard to come by. Outdoor seats are usually less packed. Oh... it's BYOB.

Empire Turkish Grill - 12448 Memorial Drive - Arguably the best Turkish restaurant in town. Start with healthy appetizers such as shepherd salad or lebni before enjoying a plentiful kebab dish. Great lunch specials and BYOB, as well.

Azzarelli's - 12460 Memorial Drive - Just a few doors down from Empire, Azzarelli's is owned by the chef for the Houston Rockets and has a cozy atmosphere and hearty Italian dishes. Outdoor seats are tucked in a quiet corner of the center. Once again... BYOB.

The Lodge at Bayou Bend - One Birdsall (Just off of Memorial near Memorial Park) - The former Rainbow Lodge is now the Lodge at Bayou Bend. While we haven't been since the Rainbow Lodge room left, the ambiance is surely as enchanting as it was before. Prices are a bit rarefied.

Texadelphia - 5535 Memorial Drive - Yes, it's a local chain but how can you not mention a place that serves great cheesesteaks with mustard blend? Forget that cheese wiz garbage they serve in Philly - Texalphia wins hands down.

Otto's Hamburgers - 5502 Memorial - Haven't eaten anything there but burgers. Yes... it's divey but the burgers remind me of some of the divey places I would frequent in college. Barbeque is served in the back though I've never had it. Insert George Bush likes Otto's reference here.

Bossa - 610 Main Street - OK... this one is a stretch but it is located on the corner of Texas Avenue (Memorial becomes Texas when it hits downtown) and Main Street. I love their seared tuna and their mojitos are legendary.

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