When it came time for Condé Nast Traveler to select the world's 207 best restaurants, the popular travel magazine turned to a "network of chefs, food writers, and most-in-the-know travelers" who created a "hit list so you will never waste a meal again."
The list includes perennial entries on the World's 50 Best Restaurants, like Copenhagen's Noma and New York City's Eleven Madison Park, as well as restaurants led by James Beard Award winners and Food & Wine best new chef alumni. Three Texas restaurants make the cut: two acclaimed spots that have garnered many accolades — Austin's Uchi and Houston's Oxheart — plus a relatively unknown Houston eatery, Kim Phat Hu Tieu Nam Vang.
"Thirteen years in, Uchi is still one of the great Japanese restaurants in the country," says contributing editor Peter Jon Lindberg of the Austin icon. Oxheart gets props for serving "some of the best vegetable-focused food in a city known for its meat," says Matt Duckor, senior editor at Epicurious.
Of the under-the-radar Vietnamese restaurant in Houston's sprawling Asiatown, travel writer Deana Saukam says, "The namesake hu tieu nam vang, or Phnom Penh noodle soup, is even better than in Cambodia." "It's awesome," Oxheart chef/owner Justin Yu tells CultureMap. "Really good bun cha."
It's nice to know that even when lists like this mostly contain the usual suspects, they can still surprise.