Get booze, bites and more at these 5 new spots in the Heights

Itching to hit up the newest food and drink establishments in the Heights? From a New American eatery to a Japanese izakaya, read on to see the newest destinations to land in this area of Houston.

La Lucha

1801 N. Shepherd Drive

Photo: Victoria M./Yelp

La Lucha is a bar and traditional American spot, offering seafood and more. It's located alongside the new Superica, which is from the same Atlanta-based restaurateur, Ford Fry.

The menu offers seafood, fried chicken and more, with dishes like Texas blue crabs with Thai basil butter, the half or whole fried chicken (served with biscuits, pickles and choice of green harissa, honey sambal or oyster mayo) and the blackened catfish with brown butter, lime and capers.

The full bar serves up cocktails, wine, champagne, beer and mezcal. (See the full menu here.)

The new arrival has gotten an enthusiastic response thus far, with a 4.5-star rating out of 15 reviews on Yelp.

Joy S., who was among the first to review it on Sept. 22, wrote, "Excellent food. ... The red fish is superb, as are the fries. Loved the dessert: soft serve with olive oil and sea salt. Great service. This place should do great!"

Kim H. added, "Oysters were good enough, nothing you can't get elsewhere, but best chicken I've had in Houston. Super moist, good flavor and I recommend combining a little of the apple sauce and honey sauce for a good sweet/spice combo."

Interested? Stop by to welcome the new business to the neighborhood. La Lucha is open from 5-10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. on Friday, noon-11 p.m. on Saturday, and noon-10 p.m. on Sunday.


1801 N. Shepherd Drive

Photo: John R./Yelp

Superica is a Tex-Mex restaurant that has three other locations; this is its first in Texas.

On the menu, you'll see dishes like the chicken fajita nachos, campechana de mariscos (spicy Gulf shrimp, octopus, lump crab, avocado and tostados) and tacos with slow-cooked brisket, guacamole, slaw and queso fresco. (See the full menu here.)

It also serves weekend brunch and has a drink menu that includes a large selection of tequilas.

Superica has garnered positive reviews thus far, with a four-star rating out of 24 reviews on Yelp.

Karen T., who was among the first Yelpers to review the new spot on Sept. 22, wrote, "The chicken and beef fajitas were so tender and flavorful, their wood grill takes it to the next level. Cheese enchiladas were solid. Both the red and green salsas were magically delicious."

Yelper Stan C. noted, "Tex-Mex done right! ... A great menu and a refreshing take on cocktails. Tacos Al Pastor and Beef Tacos Al Carbon were delicious."

Intrigued? Stop in to try it for yourself. Superica is open from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Neo Baguette

201 E. 20th St.

Photo: Roger N./Yelp

Neo Baguette is a cafe that serves French and Mediterranean fare. Owner Karim Kasri, a native of Morocco, attended culinary school in France and offers dishes that blend the two cuisines, reports CultureMap Houston.

On the menu, offerings include Tagliatelle Saumon Fume (smoked salmon, saffron garlic, cream sauce and Gruyere cheese), the Tagine Poulet (Cornish hen, preserved lemon, roasted potatoes and olives) and the Moroccan meatball sandwich with tomato sauce and melted Parmesan on a baguette. Coffee and pastries are also on offer.

With a five-star rating out of 13 reviews on Yelp so far, Neo Baguette has received rave reviews.

Sebastian M., who was among the first Yelpers to review the new spot on Sept. 12, said, "This is a great place for fresh, light meals. Simple ingredients and very tasty. We had the Rigatoni au Crevette and Salade Nicoise. Both were delicious and quickly prepared."

And Prathyusha S. wrote, "Had a wonderful experience at this cute new cafe in the Heights. Very tasty food with fine ingredients and perfect preparation. Plus delightful European-style coffee and a chic and uplifting atmosphere. A great new addition to the neighborhood!"

Hungry? Neo Baguette is open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Blackbird Izakaya

1221 W. 11th St.

Photo: Blackbird Izakaya/Yelp

Blackbird Izakaya is a pub that recently opened with a menu of casual Japanese fare. According to Eater Houston, the new spot is helmed by chef Billy Kin and is under the umbrella of Delicious Concepts, which was also behind former occupant Republic Diner and Noodle Bar.

On the menu, you'll find small plates, both hot and cold, which include ankimo, a dish of marinated monkfish liver; gobo chips made of fried burdock root with brown sugar and cinnamon; and gyoza dumplings with pork, cabbage and ginger. Noodle bowls, rice dishes and tonkotsu and spicy miso ramen are also on offer.

Blackbird Izakaya has made its share of fans so far, with a four-star rating out of 56 Yelp reviews.

Yelper Michael S., who was the first to review it on Aug. 21, wrote, "Sat at the bar and ordered a couple of their skewers, tapas-style. The enoki-wrapped pork belly was my favorite. The gyoza was unbelievable -- best ginger dish I've had that wasn't overpowered."

Wilson X. noted, "Cool place. The interior is exactly like the ones in Japan. The food is cheap compared to other Japanese restaurants, plus the quality is higher."

Blackbird Izakaya is open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. on Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)

The Shady Acre Saloon

1115 W. 19th St.

Photo: Sarah C./Yelp

The Shady Acre Saloon is a bar with an outdoor deck and food trucks on-site.

It serves dozens of beers on tap, plus specialty drinks like the Minnesota Mikey, Lemony Sniccet, Sharc Bite and Waffle House, among others.

With a 4.5-star rating out of four reviews on Yelp, The Shady Acre Saloon has been getting positive attention.

Yelper Mario A., who visited the bar on Sept. 6, wrote, "This place is awesome and they have food trucks. Just opened. They have live bands. Real chill."

James S. noted, "Good music and a nice selection of cold beer and mixed drinks too. If you're hungry, Willows Texas BBQ is on-site out back."

The Shady Acre Saloon is open from 4 p.m.-2 a.m. on Monday-Wednesday and 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. on Thursday-Sunday.