Texas is one of the largest states in the United States, but Grand Rapids Chair has found its way to quite a few of its biggest cities. From Houston to Dallas, we have got totally top-notch restaurants to recommend. From colorful modern bars to traditional dance hall vibes, not only will these Lone Star State restaurants look so cute on your Instagram feed, but they’re also going to delight your taste buds with mouthwatering plates and crafty cocktails.
Saddle up and let’s go on a little taste tour of Texas.
1. Da Gama Canteen in Houston
Blending Indian and Portuguese flavors, Da Gama Canteen is a fine casual dining experience located in the M-K-T, a walkable and stunning multi-use building by the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture. Their office also partnered with Rishi Hospitality on the design of Da Gama. Like their cuisine, the space blends Portuguese and Indian design details like the yellow European museum inspired oculus ceiling and the vintage wood carved door that was imported from India and serves as the establishment's entrance.
Custom graphics of spices like star anise decorate the walls and are echoed in the color palette. Mustard yellow outdoor chairs and olive-green bar height tables paired with warm wood tones create an organic feel, which are right at home beside the greenery of park trails which can be viewed from the patio as guests enjoy dishes like peanut chicken tikka and Goan fish.
They also offer tapas style plates of samosas, sweet buns, and tandoori roots. Choose from any number of cocktails and wines or enjoy some of their house masala chai. Finish off with one of their decadent desserts like their Ras malai, a sponge cake soaked in saffron milk with fresh ricotta and a pistachio crumble.
Reece Stools; Photography by Chase Daniel
2. Electric Feelgood in Houston
Our next stop is also located in Houston. Electric Feelgood is a retro dream! This colorful time capsule of a restaurant is the perfect place for a drink and some fun. Full of electric (of course) pinks, yellows, and teals, neon lights make this place buzz with energy. One particularly Instagrammable light show is the sign on the second floor: “FEEL FCKN GOOD."
Did we mention it has a slide? If you like dancing, games, and literal playground slides, this is your spot.
Their drink menu is a riot. You can try the PB and Jealous cocktail (Screwball, Bulleit Rye, Bitters, Cherry, Orange zest) or a Feelin’ Myself (Patron, Orange Liqueur, Blackberries, Lime Juice, Agave). Then there are the shots with names like Butterface and Ice, Ice Baby. With frosé, wines, beers, and ciders, you’re sure to find something you like if you’re looking for drinks!
Their food menu is a delicious list of standard bar fare from cheesy dips to nacho bites. If you’re hankering for something a little more substantial, they serve flatbreads, sammies, and tacos. “FCKN Good Chicken Sammie?" Yes, please!
3. Drop Kick in Austin
We’ve got one restaurant on our list from Austin, TX and it’s Drop Kick Cocktail Bar & Kitchen, located on the east side of town. At Drop Kick, Chef Francisco Baca delivers elevated bar food in a laid back and plush space.
Start off with chips and salsa, tostadas, or their Huancaina fries. The "small bites portion" of their menu features ceviche and antichuchos with a variety of proteins from shrimp to beef (and a vegetable anticucho for you vegetarians out there). Handhelds include pan con chicharron, the “WOOO Burger” and a chicken sandwich smothered in Alabama white sauce. They also have a brunch menu if you’re there on Saturday or Sunday before 3pm!
While black walls and windowpanes give a sleek sharp look to the space, plush blue velvet curtains and a cozy nook bring warmth and comfort right back in. Stacked with pillows, the nook in the corner of this restaurant is exactly where you want to gather with friends to share apps and drinks. Warm wood details in the bar and in their modern chairs and stools pop against dark walls, and the geometric tiles on the bar front bring a little extra intrigue for the eye. No doubt this bar is super moody at night with hanging Edison bulbs and a soft glow from the street outside.
And of course, their cocktail menu is fabulous. Two cocktails are on draft: the margarita and the hibiscus cosmo. They also have a solid wine and beer list. Happy Hour is 3 to 6 every day with deals like half off draft cocktails, draft wine, and draft beer.
4. Krio in Dallas
On to Dallas, our next stop is Krio! Krio is a Cajun restaurant in the Bishop Arts District designed by Coeval Studios. When you enter, you’ll see the space is surprisingly bright and breezy. The wood stains are light, the walls are a soft sea foam hue with large but delicate lotus flowers, and wood panels have been cut and placed on the wall in such a way that they form soft rolling waves. Evoking a sunny seaside experience while you enjoy their wide variety of seafood dishes, Krio’s interior is like a breath of fresh air.
The menu offers plates with flavors that blend of Asian influences and Southern ones, like in their Jambalaya Eggrolls. You can order banh mi with a side of hushpuppies, or try their signature “C’Asian” spice blend. Also on the standard menu are oysters, po-boys, and fried baskets. The brunch menu adds a few Southern classics like biscuits and gravy and blackened cheddar grits alongside a breakfast bahn mi sandwich or a “C’Asian” omelet and potatoes.
Cocktails are available like their Moon Salutation made of Greenhouse Gin, Midori, lemon, soda, orange blossom water, and ginger foam. Order an umami twist on an old fashioned with Oak Cliff Whiskey, Angostura bitters, sugar, orange oil, and umami saline. They also offer frozen drinks, wine, and beer.
Krio is a modern and masterfully crafted space serving up unique dishes you won’t want to miss. We love the airy and casual vibe with truly fine touches.
5. Loro in Dallas
Our last stop is another Dallas restaurant that is blending Asian flavors with Southern classics. If you’re looking for smoked meats, this is the place to be. Pit master Aaron Franklin teamed up with sushi master Tyson Cole to create Loro, located on Haskell Avenue. This is their second location. The original is in Dallas. A new location is set to open in Houston in 2022, so hang tight Houston, Loro is on its way to you!
The interior has major dance hall vibes. Designed by Michael Hsu’s Office of Architecture, It’s communal, casual, open, and heavy on wood details. Dark stained wood was used in the floors and walls, while a light stained wood forms the supports and was used in the furniture, which is a beautiful use of tone on tone. The dark base contrasted with the light details creates a lot of depth in the space using only wood. We love that wood is featured so prominently, considering this is a smokehouse, where delicious meats are cooked fresh over oak wood daily.
There are no reservations at Loro. If there aren’t tables available, you’re put on a waitlist until one is ready. Orders are placed at the counter and then brought to your table. It’s a laid-back dining experience with high quality food. Meats are sourced from single-family farms that pride themselves in using natural processes. Cuts are high quality and slow cooked with in-house cures and marinades. Their Southeast Asian and Japanese inspired sauces and sides pair excellently with these tasty meats. You can also try a sake or gin and tonic slushee with your meal!
Thanks for coming with us on this little Tour de Texas. If you stop by one of these restaurants, tag us and let us know how your experience was! If you liked this round up of restaurants, try this blog post where we take you to some of our favorite spots in Chicago, Illinois!
If you're a designer working on a project in Texas, reach out to one of our Texas-based sales representatives at MDI Resources or Nova Furniture. They're both always ready to help provide you with high quality furniture for your space!