In the eternal battle to best inform diners on where to eat in the world (a battle we know all too well), the user-review-fed Yelp stands pretty tall against competition. So, when the website released a list called The Top 100 Places to Eat in Texas for 2021, we took notice.
The list went live Wednesday morning, and it showcases a number of Houston-area restaurants. The top-10 features friendly Midtown pizza hotspot The Gypsy Poet, which ranked second in the entire state (and has a hard-to-achieve five-star Yelp rating over 220-plus reviews); Tony’s Italian Delicatessen in Montgomery, which is known for its East Coast-style hoagies and ranked fourth overall; and Robin’s Snowflake Donuts & Cafe in Spring, which came in sixth. Also, Kat’s BBQ in Santa Fe ranked third.
Other Houston-area restaurants on the list include, among others, The Original Kolache Shoppe (22nd), Athena’s Greek Kitchen (41st), Crumbville (44th), Craft Pita (51st), Zoa Moroccan Kitchen (52nd), and Aga’s Restaurant & Catering (90th).
How did this list come together? Yelp says it ranked restaurants by factors that include total volume and rating of reviews over a more-than five-year period (January 1, 2016, to April 16, 2021). The five-year period allows for a large amount of data, which is good, but does this mean these are literally the top 100 restaurants in Texas? Probably not. (That said, The Gypsy Poet is great, and the ranking is well deserved.)
In all, 17 Houston-area restaurants placed on the list. That’s as many restaurants as the city of Austin alone placed on the list. Does it mean anything? No. But the capital didn’t make the list until seventh place, behind two Houston-area stops. So maybe we’re better critics than Austinites. Maybe we demand a higher quality from our food scene. We’ll go with that.