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Taste of the town


The Houston food scene presents a classic conundrum for visitors: too many restaurants, too little time. While you’re in town for the 2022 Rotary International Convention 4–8 June, try a sampling of cuisines at these spots, all a short cab ride from downtown.

The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation offers quintessential Tex-Mex, a blend of Southern American and Mexican ingredients. Founded by "Mama" Ninfa Laurenzo in 1973, this Houston staple is credited with helping put fajitas on the national stage.

Make sure to try their famous queso flameado and tacos al carbón, and cool off with an agua fresca.

Brennan’s of Houston serves up authentic Creole cuisine and Southern hospitality for a unique fine-dining experience. Enjoy their signature turtle soup and locally sourced Matagorda Bay oysters. This sister restaurant to the famed Commander’s Palace in New Orleans also offers a jazz brunch on the weekend, perfect for beignets or shrimp and grits.

Nobie’s, which bills its fare as new American, offers farm-to-table dining in a hip, relaxed atmosphere. The eclectic menu changes often, but you can expect innovative dishes like chicken-fried quail or steak tartare topped with deviled-egg cream. Soak in the party vibe as you sip a craft cocktail or an offering from the extensive wine list.

The classy-yet-casual Rosie Cannonball serves European comfort food with an Italian spin. Start with focaccia di Recco or blue crab carbonara, then dive into pizza, charred octopus, or other offerings from the wood-fired oven and grill. You’ll leave feeling as if you got a warm hug from the chicest Italian you’ll ever hope to meet.

  • Register for the 2022 Rotary Convention in Houston at
  • This story originally appeared in the February 2022 issue of Rotary magazine.