Explore the 3 freshest new businesses to debut in Houston

The Rustic. | Photo: Adam H./Yelp

Interested in exploring the newest restaurant and retail additions to Houston? From a pizza joint to a Vietnamese sandwich shop, read on for a rundown of the newest destinations to make their debut recently.


1201 St. Emanuel St., Downtown
Photo: Kimberly W./Yelp

Vinny's is a spot to score pizza, sandwiches and salads.

For pizza, which is available by the slice or pie, you've got options like the Time-Out with charcoal chicken, Wisconsin brick, fat back bacon, red peppers, tomato sauce and Italian parsley; the El Primo with Wagyu beef, pepperonata, oregano, provolone, tomato sauce, chili flakes and ricotta; and the Nicky P with Italian sausage, provolone, sweet onion puree, shallots, charred broccoli and Fresno chili.

With a five-star rating out of five reviews on Yelp thus far, Vinny's is on its way to developing a local fan base.

Molly C., who was among the first to review it on Nov. 9, wrote, "Delicious pizza! We tried slices of the El Primo and Green Machine and both were great. The slices are definitely bigger than a standard pizza slice."

Mark S. added, "Great pizza. Thick, chewy crust, crispy bottom -- Detroit style, I'd say. A little on the pricier side, but the quality of the ingredients reflects it."

Hungry? Stop in and check it out: Vinny's is open from 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday and Sunday, and 11 a.m.-3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The Rustic

1836 Polk St., Downtown
Photo: D C./Yelp

The Rustic is a new bar, music venue and traditional American spot. It also has locations in Dallas and San Antonio. It has nightly live music and extensive outdoor space.

The menu consists of dishes like the Rustic Burger with house brisket, white cheddar, green chiles and grilled onion; the Texas Quail with molasses-brined quail, jalapeno spoon bread, chipotle pecan sauce and cilantro; and the Drunk Chick (beer can game hen) with jalapeno spoon bread and chile-lime butter.

It has 18 reviews on Yelp so far, which put it at 4.5 stars, indicating positive feedback.

Anhthu N., who reviewed it on Nov. 8, wrote, "You absolutely have to check this place out! Not only the food is delicious, but the live music is great too! I highly recommend the beer can hen. The pork chop was also good, but personally think it's on the dryer end. The drinks are decent, but I didn't try anything wild on the menu to know. Overall, it's spacious and beautiful."

Erica L. said, "This is the best place in town. Great atmosphere, very open, friendly staff, delicious food/drinks and live music!"

The Rustic is open from 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.-2 a.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m.-midnight on Sunday.

Banh Appetit

11191 Westheimer Road, Westchase
Photo: Robert W./Yelp

Banh Appetit is a Vietnamese spot, offering sandwiches, tea and more. It foregoes the traditional baguette of a banh mi, opting instead for a buttery croissant.

On the menu, expect to find options like the Amazing BBQ Pork with caramelized brandy, pickled daikon & carrots, cucumber, jalapeno, pate and mayo; the Lemon Grass Cow with pickled daikon & carrots, cucumber, jalapeno, pate and mayo; and the Appetizing Wings with a sweet caramelized sauce. (See the full menu here.)

With a 4.5-star rating out of 13 reviews on Yelp, it's off to a good start with local diners.

Jonathan N., who was among the first to review it on Nov. 8, said, "At first glance, it's obvious that the aesthetic appeal is present. Just from looking at the store alone you get this picturesque, calming sensation that drives you to give it a second look. Definitely very inviting. Some other places might focus solely on the aesthetic appeal without having a focus on the taste aspect, but Banh Appetit is not on that list."

Kyel T. noted, "One of the best bahn mi I have ever had. I absolutely loved the vibe and the workers were so nice."

Hungry? It's open from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday and 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. (It's closed on Sunday.)
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