In our My Top 5 series, we turn to the Houstonians who create and shape Houston’s character and ask them to share their own favorite things that make H-Town home. This week, we’re delighted to feature Angelo Emiliani, head chef at Cafe Louie in Houston’s East End.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Angelo Emiliani
- Urban Harvest Farmers Market – The farmers market every Saturday is the shot of serotonin I need to finish out my week. Seeing friendly faces, trying to get to the market early enough for the group selfie with Emmanuel from Tatemó, and AJ from Brasil, and getting beautiful produce from the market for the restaurant. Some of my favorite vendors/ones we use at the restaurant are: Blackwood Land Educational Institute, Goodthyme Farm, Plant it Forward, Tejas Heritage Farm, and many more.
- Theodore Rex – Also known as T.Rex. Always such a pleasure to see what Kaitlin Steets is cooking. It’s always surprisingly simple, but explosive. It’s one of those places that is immediately relaxing to step into, you feel like you’re going to be taken care of and can turn off the world around you. I always get any cold starters they have on, the chicken set with vadouvan, and the fish dishes are always perfect.
- Honey Pig BBQ – For anyone that knows what my week looks like, it always ends with a visit to Honey Pig, a KBBQ spot off of Bellaire. Go for lunch, get the lunch set special and mul-naengmyun, and then sleep for the rest of the day. This is also where I go for my birthday.
- Houston Arboretum & Nature Center – This is where I find my zen. I particularly like to go when it’s not 150,000ºF outside. I’ll go with my girlfriend Erica, our dog Binky, and we’ll walk in circles for hours just enjoying nature within city limits. Little bonus—it’s rather close to our sister coffee shop, Giant Leap. So I’ll swing over there for an iced Jasmine tea after a nice walk.
- Cockrell Butterfly Center – Such a cool, and surprisingly hidden gem in the city. Literally like a bajillion butterflies flappin’ around like you’re some sort of Disney princess. It’s turned into a spot that I recommend people from out of town to go visit. Also connected to the Houston Museum of Natural Science so you can make a day of it, then pop over to Brasil for some beverages and food.
About Angelo Emiliani
Houston native Angelo Emiliani grew up in the kitchen with his mother, who worked as a private chef, and is one half of a brother-sister chef duo with his sister, Lucianna “Louie” Emiliani. Together, they helm Cafe Louie, an all-day neighborhood bistro in the heart of Houston’s East End. Cafe Louie offers thoughtfully prepared plates rooted in Mediterranean, French, and Italian perspectives, reimagined through a distinctly Texan lens. Close relationships with local farmers and other producers inspire and anchor the menus, while freshly baked pastries and premium locally roasted coffee and tea serve as daily staples. A breakfast cafe and bakery that turns into a sophisticated but comfortable lunch hub and then an evening’s wine, beer, and shared plates destination, Cafe Louie is bringing people together, one inspired new dish at a time.