“I love how spread out Houston is with the endless amounts of traffic that are encountered any time of the day,” said no one EVER! Sadly that’s the reality and life in the big city. It’s also a huge reason why many people don’t want to travel outside the loop (and vice versa for folks outside the loop) to explore restaurants, shops, etc. Look I completely get it, but like I don’t let the summer heat, the rainy season, and our extremely humid weather stop me from enjoying and experiencing our city, why would I let traffic?!?! So I’m going to give you a few places that are worth traveling outside the loop, and I promise there will be food and drinks waiting on the other side of the traffic.

Dolce Ultra Lounge & Bistro

Braised Lamb Ragout, Image by Felice Sloan

Let me start with a chef that has been on many food lovers radars, Javani King. So as we know, he left Davis Street at Hermann Park several months ago and had been pretty low key until now. He is the new Executive Chef at Dolce Bistro in Northwest Houston, where he runs the bistro and catering business. I recently attended a special media dinner by Chef King and am happy to report he is still turning out amazing dishes in the kitchen. One of the things that he does so well is put fun and interesting spins on classic dishes which I like to call “The Javani King Effect.” For example, for a Ragout inspired course, he piped pureed potatoes into crispy wonton cannolis and served them with braised lamb ragout, wild forest mushrooms, shaved carrots, smoked bacon, and goat cheese crumbles.

Check out his amazing food for yourself during lunch and dinner service at Dolce Bistro. Lunch is Monday-Friday 11am-2pm and dinner starts at 2 pm. Chef also has daily specials and a Sunday brunch.

Other spots that are outside the loop and worth adding to your must-try list…

Cureight by Hubbell & Hudson

Chef Austin Simmons and his team turn out culinary masterpieces in this 24-seat establishment tucked inside the kitchen of Hubbell & Hudson in The Woodlands. The elegant chef tasting experience is peppered with just the right amount of wow and thoughtfulness!

Vieng Thai

Eggplant Salad, Image by Joanna O’Leary

Located in the heart of Spring Branch, Vieng Thai has been called some of the best Thai food in the city! Click this link to read more about the authentic taste and some of our favorite dishes.

Killen’s Steakhouse

There are definitely plenty good steakhouses in our fine city. However, for one of the best steaks in the city we highly suggest you make your way to Pearland to try Killen’s Steakhouse. Click here to read our previous article on the establishment (note they have since moved into a much larger space).

Ray’s Gourmet Country Grill

This upscale little gem located in Fulshear is a welcome surprise for many in West Houston. Ray’s new American menu is made up of high quality locally sourced and organic ingredients that change seasonally.


What are some of your favorite restaurants outside the loop?

Until soon…Toodles!

~Felice “Swanky Girl” Sloan

Felice "Swanky Girl" Sloan

Felice is the co-founder and editor of Urban Swank. She focuses on food, beauty, and fashion.

July 6, 2016


Leave a Comment