If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Pasadena, TX, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered a list of the top eateries in town, so you can enjoy a delicious meal without having to stress about where to go. From Tex-Mex classics to Southern comfort cooking, there’s something for everyone in our roundup of the best restaurants in Pasadena.
The Don’Key Mexican Food
Since opening its doors in 1984, Don’Key has been one of Pasadena’s most beloved dining destinations. This beloved Tex-Mex institution is known for its wide selection of delicious Mexican dishes and cocktails, including the iconic “Don’Key Ritas, ” the perfect blend of spice and sweetness. From the chorizo-loaded queso flameado to the hearty enchiladas, chimichangas, and spicy fajitas, there’s something for everyone on Don’Key’s extensive menu. And no meal would be complete without a sweet dessert to finish off the meal, so be sure to try some homemade flan or fried sopapillas for a truly indulgent experience. Whether you’re looking for an authentic Mexican feast or just a laidback place to kick back with friends over cocktails and great food, Don’Key is definitely an experience you won’t want to miss.
5010 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77505
The Neighborhood Scoop
The Neighborhood Scoop is a Pasadena institution that specializes in serving vintage American cooking in a diner-style setting. The menu features prime Angus beef burgers on house-baked buns, freshly cut french fries and onion rings, hand-battered chicken tenders, dipped Blue Bell Ice Cream, milkshakes, sundaes, banana splits, funnel cakes, deep-fried Oreos, and more. They serve the best patty melts in town, and there’s no better way to wash it down than with a rich and creamy root beer float. The restaurant itself is a throwback to simpler days. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much. There’s an old Volkswagon bus sitting out front that is great for pictures. And they really set the retro mood with a classic rock and pop playlist that will get the nostalgia juices of all the 80s and 90s babies flowing.
2106 Strawberry Rd, Pasadena, TX 77502
Mamarita’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
Mamarita’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina is a popular dining spot in Pasadena, TX. Known for its delicious Mexican cuisine, vibrant interior, and scenic outdoor dining spaces, this local favorite is the perfect place for a festive night out. Whether you’re craving traditional street tacos or sizzling fajitas plates, Mamarita’s menu is overflowing with definitive Mexican flavor. Their vast drink menu features favorites like decadent margaritas, refreshing mojitos, and zesty micheladas. With its affordable prices, vibrant and inviting atmosphere, and friendly staff, it’s no wonder Mamarita’s is such a beloved hotspot in Pasadena.
7325 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77505
Fooly Loaded is unapologetically obsessed with birria, boldly laying claim to serve the best birria in Pasadena. The menu features all the traditional street tacos you would expect, from campechana and fajita tacos to al pastor and their namesake birria tacos. But they also pride themselves on delivering more creative offerings, such as giant quesibirria tacos and ramen birria. And make sure to order extra of the birria consommé. It’s so delicious that it’s practically drinkable. But if downing straight birria broth isn’t your style, they offer a refreshing selection of definitive Mexican beverages, including strawberry lemonade frescas, Jarritos sodas, and vintage Mexican Coke for an authentic taste of the past. Fooly Loaded has quickly become the go-to spot for birria in Pasadena — maybe even the Greater Houston area!
305 Pasadena Blvd Pasadena, TX 77506
Andy’s Hawg Wild Bar-B-Que
Andy’s Hawg Wild Bar-B-Que is an old-fashioned BBQ smokehouse decorated with picnic tables and red-checkered tablecloths. They serve meat ‘n three plates, savory sandwiches, delectable sides, and decadent desserts in an inviting atmosphere with lovely servers that’ll make you feel all warm inside with just a “What can I get you, honey?” Although Texas BBQ is their specialty, the menu is a love letter to Southern comfort food: prime beef burgers, scratch-baked pies, family-recipe cobblers, creamy puddings, sweet and smoky ribs, juicy fried chicken, tender brisket, pulled pork, chopped steak sandwiches and more. All the sauces are made in-house, and you’ll be asking to take a few bottles home once with you — trust me. If you’re looking for some genuine Texas BBQ that’s smokier than a frat house on the fourth of July, swing by Andy’s Hawg Wild Bar-B-Que.
2826 Dedman St Pasadena, TX 77503
Star Burger & Shrimp Galley
Star Burger is an old-fashioned walk-up and drive-up spot for fast, casual food. The menu features everything from classic American burgers and fries to Gulf Coast specialties like Po’boys and fried catfish. There is no indoor seating, but the exterior does offer a few outdoor tables. They’re selling food, not ambiance. To that point, the prices are incredibly affordable. The small location is known to get quite busy, but the service is fast and friendly. And the food is always finger-licking good. For starters, the signature Star Burger is a must-try. It’s a straightforward cheeseburger made with grilled-to-order Angus beef patties on toasted, pillowy potato buns. While you’re at it, make sure to try a side of the stuffed jalapenos; they’re a creamy, spicy explosion of flavor in your mouth. Star Burger is a one-of-a-kind eatery where you can satisfy a craving for American comfort fare or traditional Cajun cooking.
2213 Strawberry Rd, Pasadena, TX 77502
Little Tokyo is the best restaurant in Pasadena for authentic Japanese cuisine and fresh, high-quality sushi. The menu features traditional and creative dishes assembled from only the freshest ingredients for a boldly flavorful dining experience. The sushi is some of the best you’ll ever have, and the grilled platters are equally as impressive. The pricing is fair for the quality of food you receive, and the service is always on point. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner spot or a stylish spot to wine, dine, and socialize with friends, Little Tokyo is sure to exceed your expectations.
6737 Fairmont Pkwy Pasadena, TX 77505
Sudie’s Catfish House
Sudie’s is a family-owned restaurant with a menu that features homemade seafood and old-fashioned Southern comfort food. Opened in 1983, Sudie’s earned its reputation as a local favorite with its signature Mississippi farm-raised catfish, which pairs flawlessly alongside their hand-butterflied-and-breaded fried shrimp. That being said, any Southern comfort eatery wouldn’t be worth its salt without specialties like Sudie’s fried green tomatoes, fried dill pickles, boiled crawfish, cobblers, and puddings. Check out Sudie’s Catfish House for a belly-busting meal and a heart-warming side of first-rate Southern hospitality.
4910 Spencer Hwy Pasadena, TX 77505
Ramen Sam features traditional ramen with a variety of different flavors so that you can find the perfect bowl to suit your taste. And the restaurant has a cozy aesthetic so that you can enjoy your meal in sophisticated style. The best part about Ramen Sam is that their bowls are bursting with layers of rich, complex flavor. You can really taste the amount of care and attention that goes into each and every bowl. The noodles are cooked to bouncy perfection, and the broth is full of aromatic spices that will warm your soul on a cool winter day. Whether you’re in the mood for a fragrant bowl of ramen or something heartier fresh off the grill like yakitori chicken or Mongolian beef, Ramen Sam is sure to have you coming back for more.
5769 Fairmont Pkwy Pasadena, TX 77505
Olive Tree Mediterranean Grill
Pasadena is known for its many great restaurants, but one that is quickly becoming a local favorite is Olive Tree Mediterranean Grill. This family-owned eatery is the first Mediterranean restaurant to be established in Pasadena, and the menu is a mouthwatering medley of traditional Mediterranean and Greek dishes. Some of the most popular items on the menu include the Gyros, Lamb Kabobs, Falafel, Lentil Soup, and Tabouleh salad. In addition to their savory selections, the restaurant also sells its own olive oil and olives for you to take home with you. And for a real pick-me-up, be sure to try their coffee. It’ll get you caffeinated enough to relish in the chaotic delights of the restaurant’s traditions of nightly plate smashings and group wine poppings. With a deliciously unique menu and vibrant atmosphere, Olive Tree Mediterranean Grill is sure to become a staple in Pasadena’s dining scene.
4010 Fairmont Pkwy, Pasadena, TX 77504
Pappa Yolk’s Grill
With a range of delicious options to choose from, this restaurant consistently ranks as the best breakfast spot in Houston. At Pappa Yolk’s Grill, diners can enjoy a classic American breakfast and lunch experience. The breakfast selection includes chicken-fried steak, steak and eggs, pancakes, waffles, french toast, fresh-cut bacon, house-made sausages, scratch-made biscuits and gravy, made-to-order omelets, eggs benedict, hearty breakfast sandwiches, and more. The lunch menu offers burgers, patty melts, club sandwiches, fried chicken, catfish, etc. Whether you’re looking to dive headfirst into a pile of syrup-smothered, butter-covered pancakes softer than your pillow or dig into a juicy patty melt with a side of crispy french fries, there’s something any occasion on the menu. You’ll be calling yourself a regular after just your first trip.
5824 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77505
Pasadena is a foodie’s paradise, with an abundance of delicious restaurants to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for Mexican, BBQ, or American, these restaurants are sure to hit the spot. So next time you find yourself in Houston, make sure to add Pasadena to your list of places to eat. If you’re looking for a fun place to enjoy a few drinks, check out TripBison’s guide to the best bars in Pasadena, TX.