The Houston area is a fertile crescent, with many ranches and farms producing meats, dairy, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more. And since we’re on the Gulf, we also have our shrimpers, fishermen, and oystermen, who produce world-class seafood. We also have wineries and breweries.
The Local Foods restaurant takes the best of these local ingredients and turns them into a superb menu. Their food is the freshest you can get, because it’s all local. So if you’re looking for sophisticated, high-quality cuisine, look no further than this establishment that is exactly what its name says.
Local Foods has two locations, the original in Rice Village—just southwest of downtown, near Rice University’s west campus area—and Upper Kirby, a new, very central location at the intersection of Westheimer and Kirby. Although each has its own menu that may have some different features than the other (Kirby generally has a slightly more upscale tone), both are regularly favored by Houstonians and because their food quality and taste is pleasantly consistent, you can’t go wrong with either location. For look and feel, each has a farmers market-meets chic dining hall ambiance, and all the chefs are equally competent and creative.
Their menu—described as, “A gourmet selection of sandwiches, salads and prepared meals with local inredients” is seasonal—heck, even daily—and features dishes made from the finest ingredients you could find in the area: Ranging from Gulf shrimp and blue crab, to duck confit, rotisserie short rib and truffled egg salad sandwiches, as well as spring harvest vegetables, even banh mi (Vietnamese style shredded pork sandwich on baguette). Their sandwiches also are available with gluten-free breads. Sides include everything from house-made chips, kale, quinoa, barley, and more. They also make a great vegan chili and lemongrass chicken soup.
Local Foods’ beverages are definitely worth the visit too. They feature beers from local craft breweries like Saint Arnold, Buffalo Bayou, Southern Star and others, as well as Texas wines from Dutchman Family, McPherson, and other nearby vineyards. Additionally, they offer specialty beverages like Meyer lemon kombucha from local Pat Greer’s Kitchen, as well as their signature house-made “Mintade,” made with orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit juice, and of course, lots of mint—all perfect for hot Houston summer days and nights.
Another thing that makes Local Foods nice is their prices. Sure, they’re not dirt cheap—they support ethical wages for local workers, after all—but they’re not at all snobby, and are very fair, especially for the outstanding quality of their food. Main menu prices range from about $9 for basic sandwiches and salads to $15 for nice seafood items. Beer and wine hover in the nice, expected $3-$7 range.
So if you're looking for a food-conscious joint that couldn't be more local if it tried, then Local Foods is the very obvious winner, winner "Crunchy Chicken Sandwich" dinner.