Bao, poke, frozen cocktails: Get to know 3 of Midtown's latest businesses

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Get bao, poke and more at these spots (KTRK)

Want to explore the newest businesses to open in Midtown? From boa and poke eateries to a boozy gastropub, read on for a list of the newest hotspots to make their debut in this area of Houston.

Wanna Bao


2708 Bagby St.
Photo: wenjing z./Yelp

Wanna Bao is a Szechuan and Shanghainese spot that offers classic dishes like mapo tofu, stir-fried tofu in Szechuan peppercorn, scallions and ground beef; and pork xiao long bao, pork-filled soup dumplings.

Other signature menu items include the braised pork belly and calamari clay pot, smoked duck and Jasmine tea.

With a 3.5-star Yelp rating out 71 reviews, Wanna Bao is still finding its way, but it's early days yet.

Yelper Matthew E. wrote, "Great food, amazing atmosphere, friendly staff, prompt service. Wonderful experience overall. The food blew us away. The soup dumpling exploded with flavor, and the spicy food was actually spicy!"

And Emily N. noted, "I went here with a large group of friends, and they were able to sit us within five minutes. I also checked in when we got there so we got 20 percent off our alcohol purchases. Red oil chili dumplings were everyone's favorite. The green peppercorn fish filet was everyone's second favorite. It was spicy but went perfectly with rice, and you couldn't stop eating it."

Wanna Bao is open from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. from Friday-Sunday. (It's closed on Tuesday.)

Diced Poke


917 Winbern St., Suite A
Photo: lan n./Yelp

Diced Poke is a Hawaiian and Japanese fusion spot that offers poke bowls, poke burritos and musubi (seasoned rice and spam wrapped in seaweed).

Specialty bowls here include the Ponzu Chili Salmon, with fresh veggies and herbs topped with fried lotus roots, sesame seeds, fried shallots, togarashi chili and spicy aioli; and the Citrus Yuzu Yellowtail, combining fresh and pickled veggies and fresh herbs under wonton chips, fried shallots, bee pollen, toasted sunflower seeds and a drizzle of cilantro-jalapeno sauce.

Diced Poke's current Yelp rating of five stars out of 121 reviews indicates positive attention from users.

Yelper Marcel R. wrote, "I was recommended the Truffle Tuna with the bamboo rice, diced avocados and fried lotus crisps. The bamboo rice was warm with a mellow sweet flavor that paired well with the avocado. The fresh tuna drizzled with truffle sauce was a perfect ratio of taste to texture. Finally, the lotus crisps ended every bite with a crackling crunch of enjoyment! Highly recommend!"

And Yelper Anthony N. wrote, "I've made my own poke bowl and even tried one of their signature poke bowls. It has been delicious each time I've been here."

Diced Poke is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. from Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon-9 p.m. on Sunday.

Holman Draft Hall


820 Holman St.
Photo: Ellen B./Yelp

Holman Draft Hall is a gastropub with more than 100 taps pouring beer and wine, plus frozen cocktails and classic American dishes.

CultureMap reports that the Midtown addition is the latest offering by Kirby Group, the same proprietors behind Wooster's Garden and Heights Bier Garten. Among the bar's specialties are frozen cocktails based on recipes popular at Wooster's Garden and 31 kegged wines, many of which were made exclusively for the bar.

Shareable bites include nachos featuring Mexican, Indian or Korean flavors; and mesquite jumbo chicken wings with an array of sauce choices. Additional bites include tacos, burgers, soups and salads.

Holman Draft Hall currently holds four stars out of 92 reviews on Yelp, indicating good reviews.

Yelper Jackie M. wrote, "Absolutely love this place! Not only is it super cute inside and out, but the food and drinks are delicious! Came here with some girlfriends after work and ordered the Slippery Rabbit. Super good. Also ordered some bar bites after getting a little tipsy. The roasted cauliflower was packed with so much flavor! It had a curry type flavoring to it that just tasted so good. Must order the Holman nachos, as well! They were so tasty and were good for sharing."

William J. noted, "My wife and I loved the atmosphere at Holman Draft Hall. Big airy indoor/outdoor space with a ton of seating. Decent selection of beers and cocktails with some average and expensive food options. Great place to catch a game or meet friends after work. Tables can also be reserved in advance for parties or groups."

Holman Draft Hall is open from 3 p.m.-2 a.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. on weekends.

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