Best new places to grab a bite around Houston

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HOUSTON, Tx. -- When it comes to restaurants, Houston's a virtual smorgasbord! You can find anything you want to eat 'somewhere' in the city. But for those who are always looking for the hip, new spot, it can be tough to keep up. So Houstonia magazine has made it easy with their list of the 38 best new restaurants that opened this year, each of them different but with something in common.

"There aren't a lot of places left in Houston, honestly, where you have to get all dressed up and gussied up for a meal," says Houstonia's dining and features editor Katharine Shilcutt. "That's not to say the level of service or the quality of food has declined at all, but But It's more of an emphasis on: 'Take all comers. We want you to have a good time here whether you're wearing jeans or whether you're wearing a nice suit.'"

Top spots on their list include Bernie's Burger Bus in Bellaire, 60 Degrees Mastercrafted on Westheimer and Caracol, the newest venture of chef Hugo Ortega of Backstreet Cafe and Hugo's Mexican restaurant. Shilcutt calls Caracol "the best Mexican seafood restaurant in the country, bar none."

Houstonia's number one pick for best new restaurant is Coltivare in the Heights. Originally envisioned as just a pizza joint, the inclusion of an attached garden which patrons can walk through and from which produce and herbs are collected to be included in dishes and drinks makes the Italian bistro so much more. Co-owner Morgan Weber, whose farm provides much of the meat served at Coltivare, explains their focus on freshness, "In a world where simplicity is not all that common, what we wanna do is just get out of the way of really good ingredients."

For the full list of the 38 best new restaurants in town, check out this month's Houstonia.

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