How to Eat Like Houston Star Chef Aaron Bludorn 

The best neighborhood spots, right this way

March 10, 2023 6:00 am
Chef Aaron Bludorn cleaning a fish
Chef Aaron Bludorn doing his thing in the kitchen
Bonjwing Lee

Houston is full of good chefs, but few have garnered more attention in recent years than Aaron Bludorn. After working for five years as executive chef at Café Boulud in New York and starring in Netflix’s The Final Table, Bludorn moved to Houston in 2019 to open his own restaurant. The eponymous Bludorn debuted in summer 2020, serving French-inspired Gulf Coast cuisine that highlights local ingredients. A James Beard nomination for Best New Chef in Texas followed, and so did another restaurant — Navy Blue, a modern seafood concept that opened last fall.

When he’s not working in his own kitchens, the man has to eat. He’s found some go-to favorites around the city, from meticulously-sourced coffee and Israeli pastries to barbecue and Italian. When the day’s over, you might find him bending an elbow at a local cocktail bar or a fun-loving dive. Here are all the places that chef Aaron Bludorn eats and drinks in Houston.  


“Coffee. I eat coffee — black and hopefully freshly brewed. I am a big fan of single-lot South and Central American beans that are medium roasted. In Houston, my favorite coffee shops are Catalina and Boomtown.”


Hillstone and Truth BBQ are my go-tos. I love how straightforward Hillstone is for a business meeting. Although it’s a chain, I know that I will always get something delicious and thoughtfully prepared — and quickly. On days off, I love Truth BBQ. It’s delicious, and the brisket is perfect, but the sides are also incredible. The only problem is that afterwards I need a nap! Craft Pita is my favorite for delivery because it’s always good and easy to eat on the run.”

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Midday Snack

“I like grabbing a quick snack at Badolina Bakery. They have delicious Israeli-inspired pastries with a beautiful patio to relax and enjoy them on a beautiful afternoon.”


Coltivare is fun, delicious and consistent. I can dine with my family or with my wife. The service is incredible, and the setting is unmatched. It’s also in my neighborhood, so add convenience to the list, too!”


EZ’s Liquor Lounge is a newcomer to the mix, but I love a great dive bar, and this is it! I also really like Anvil for an always perfect cocktail and a fun spot to bring out-of-towners. Better Luck Tomorrow is also a great neighborhood spot that is fun, inventive and always perfect.”


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