It is stupid to attempt to compile a “10 Best” list of eateries in a place as large and diverse as Katy, Texas. An area with the population exceeding Pittsburgh, there’s simply too much ground to cover. And, since I can’t claim to have eaten at every restaurant, I am forced to label this list “10 of the Best.”
A couple of caveats — I left off big chains for obvious reasons. I tried to mix it up in terms of style, but the best are the best and there’s not much I can do about what is on their menu. Also, for lack of a more clear geographical limit, I am calling “Katy, Texas” the area south of 529, west of Highway 6, east of Pederson Road, and north of 1093. It includes Katy Proper, Cinco Ranch, and the major corridors of Fry Road, Mason Road, and even 1463.
One last caveat, after completing the list there is a glaring omission of Asian-themed restaurants. This is not for lack of love. My advice on good pho, banh mi, korean fried chicken, etc. is this —
1. Go to Katy Asian Town
2. Park your vehicle
3. Get out and cover your eyes
4. Spin in a circle a few times
5. Open your eyes and go eat at whatever restaurant you are facing. It will be divine.
In no particular order, even though I count them down like they’re in an order and number one probably is actually my favorite, here are ten of the best restaurants in Katy, Texas.
10. The Cellar Door — It’s in a strip mall on Mason Road and it doesn’t look like much, but inside it is a very comfortable, refined, somewhat romantic space. The food is good and the wine selection is even better and the staff is friendly and helpful. Good enough for special occasions, reasonable enough for a once a week place.
9. Proud Pie — Look, their speciality is pie. I don’t know what to tell you. They have good coffee, and good sandwiches, and other items, too. But they make incredible pies. I love the banana cream. I’ve tried others. All were fantastic. You might think a pie place shouldn’t be on such a list. If you think that, you probably haven’t eaten at Proud Pie. Just go eat there and then you’ll know I’m right to include them.
8. Red River Barbecue — Sneaky good. Wide variety of appetizers. One of the best burgers in town. I love their shrimp dinner and they have good catfish, too. A terrific salad bar. It’s probably not good that a barbecue place’s barbecue isn’t the best thing on the menu, but who cares? I really, really like Red River. It’s not healthy. It’s not fancy. It is good.
7. Los Muertos — Sort of a barbecue place, sort of a taco place, sort of a Tex-Mex place, Los Muertos is phenomenal. I love their puffy tacos. Their meat is perfect. Very helpful and informative staff. They have specials from time to time like ribeye. The kind of place where you’ll want to order one of each, and come back enough times that you eventually do.
6. Palios Pizza — Pizza is only the beginning at this hole-in-the-wall Italian place. It offers a wide variety of Italian fare. My personal favorite is the calzone stuffed with meat and mushrooms and dripping in cheese. It is large enough to take home some for lunch the next day, and it is sublime the next day.
5. Texas Traditions — It’s right in the name. It feels like Texas — wood and gravel and big plates and portions. And it’s traditional — fried chicken and steak and chicken fried steak. Stuff is fried and stuff is superbly tasty. It’s not for everybody. But if it’s for you it is really for you.
4. Joy Love Burger — Not only the best burger in Katy, it might be the best burger in all of Houston. Terrific seasoning, creative burger concoctions, and even the bun is good. And they have other delicious stuff, too. It’s a hole in the wall — room for maybe 6-8 to eat inside — but it’s such a fun little hole in the wall.
3. That’s My Dog — Goodness. In addition to fantastically creative takes on hot dogs — they’re more than willing to slather brisket, their terrific sauce, and other great toppings on top of three different sizes of hot dog — they also host a Soul Food Sunday while we, the eager public, await the opening of their soul food restaurant a couple doors down. Give it a shot. It’s stupid good.
2. Papa Gyros — A guy from Detroit whips up burgers, coney dogs and yes, gyros. Greek food. Traditional American favorites. They’re building a freestanding location but currently located in a building with a gas station on Kingsland at 99. If you get a chance, chat up the owner. You can tell why the food is so good after talking with him for about thirty seconds.
1. Snappy’s — Nestled in the heart of Old Katy, Snappy’s is a gathering spot for people who love the area and love a good breakfast. It’s a neighborhood place, where there’s a lot of across-the-room ribbing. When it floods, the customers come clean it out so it can reopen faster. Famously, a few old timers open the place up so they can have their coffee early. It’s trust and friends and community — and it’s really good food, too.
Photo Credit to the restaurants mentioned. Featured photo is a stock image of a restaurant.