Houston’s Second Ward is an area with strong cultural heritage and deep Hispanic roots. The Second Ward has also had its share of diversity with immigrants from many different countries moving into the area over the decades. Modern day Second Ward is still a sharply defined area and offers many restaurants and cafes to choose from. Though it was hard to pick, we’ve selected a few Second Ward Restaurants – hope you’re hungry!
Houston’s Second Ward Restaurants
The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation
There can’t be a list of Second Ward restaurants without The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation on it. Even though this Houston institution for tex -mex cuisine isn’t owned by Mama Ninfa anymore, the food is still just as delicious. The restaurant is now owned by Legacy Restaurants, who also owns Antone’s. Here’s an interesting fact, Chef Alex Padillo’s mom worked with Mama Ninfa as a line cook, so he knows, understands and maintains those standards that make The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation so tasty.
Moon Tower Inn
You’ll want to visit this watering hole when you’re not in a hurry, but the food is worth the wait. With a variety of burgers, delicious starters, and wild game hot dogs ranging from duck, buffalo, lamb, and more, there’s no shortage of tasty options to choose from. Their unique flavor combinations and clever names will have you coming back for more, and the casual atmosphere makes it a comfortable place to kick back and relax. Oh, and did we mention the craft beers?
Serving up Italian delicacies and sandwiches on Leeland Street, Mandola’s Deli has the classics as well as some interesting twists on old favorites. Better yet, these delicious dishes won’t break the bank, providing hearty portions at reasonable prices. It’s one of the only places in Texas to offer faccia di vecchia, a specialty bread whose recipe was brought over straight from Sicily by the Mandola family. Layered with tomatoes, oregano, parmesan, and spices, what’s not to love?
If you have been seeking out an authentic South American place, look no further. The chef and owner David Guerrero is originally from Ecuador, and his culinary team are all South American natives as well. Their goal is to bring street food as well as household favorites from their homelands and share them with their patrons. This is evidenced by their cuisine which draws inspirations from Quito, Lima, and Medellin. Even the restaurant’s name pays tribute to their South American roots, named after the mountain range running down the western side of the continent. One of their specialties is a variety of ceviche, which we’ve heard is to die for.
El Greco Restaurant
El Greco is a Greek restaurant offering all the standards at affordable prices, and doing it well. Ordering takes place at a counter, so your meal is ready fast. Their motto is “Come hungry, eat healthy, leave happy” and they are dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and healthy options. With gyro, half pound chicken sandwiches, and lamb shank on the menu, how could you go wrong?
Pollos Asados La Silla
This restaurant’s name is a tribute to Santos Rosales, a man who began selling roasted chicken in Mexico in the city of Monterrey. He eventually came to the US in the 90s, opening his business in Houston, which he named Pollos Asados La Silla as an accolade to Saddle Mountain near Monterrey (Cerro de la Silla). Seventeen years later the name brings to mind delicious Mexican dishes, homemade corn tortillas, and of course, pollos asados. This Second Ward Restaurant location is on Canal Street, but they have other locations in Houston and Pasadena as well.
We are bending the rules a little by including this last one, but it is worth the mention. Kitchen 713 is a hole in the wall that has been operating on Canal Street until very recently. With its plain exterior, the food was anything but. Offering southern staples like shrimp and grits and more creative dishes like falafel grilled cheese, this establishment focuses on putting an Asian spin on southern classics. Unfortunately, the restaurant has closed its Canal location to re-open in a bigger and better spot (with a liquor license). At this time the new location has not been announced – they may be staying in the Second Ward, or they may find their new home in another part of Houston, but regardless it is worth keeping tabs on their progress.
What are some of your favorite Second Ward Restaurants?