Underbelly
Underbelly

Underbelly

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.underbellyhouston.com/
  • Phone: (713) 528-9800
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday:11:00am - 3:00pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Southern, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Chris Shepherd
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Waugh
  • Parking: Valet
A word from Underbelly
Underbelly is the perfect title to tell "the Story of Houston Food", and when it comes to Houston, there is no better storyteller than Chef Chris Shepherd. Chris’ upcoming restaurant shares his journey as a chef in a city he describes as "the most secretive and dynamic culinary destination in the country.” Beneath the well-known oily surface lies an endless array of local ingredients and cultures that shape Chris' unique perspectives on food.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Underbelly reviews from OpenTable diners
20 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (15)notable wine list (9)special occasion (8)hot spot (8)good for groups (7)neighborhood gem (6)great for lunch (5)romantic (2)vibrant bar scene (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • 1st time visit
    Dbla72
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    It was out first visit to UB. We were greeted and seated promptly. Our waitress explained the menu and suggested some dishes. We selected 5 courses and some wine. Each dish came out individually. The experience was very relaxed, not rushed and quite pleasant. We had the charcuterie plate, butternut squash, seared tuna, braised goat with dumplings and the fried sweet potato pie. All the dishes were very good. The only negatives: The restaurant is a bit crowded. Servers were constantly bumping our table. The chairs are solid wood with no cushion. As this is a slow paced dining experience it would be be nice to have a little more cushion. I noticed we were not the only ones squirming in our seats. Overall, a good dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome
    ctlubbockVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    As usual, an awesome evening with Chef in the kitchen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    CPChicagoVIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    This is the first time I can recall a Food and Wine Best New Chef letting me down. I started with cripsy market vegetables, on this night a fried okra that was not cripsy and dominated by the salty carmelized fish sauce. The boiled peanuts were overloaded with spicy paprika. Then I got the snapper, and the broth poured tableside came out at room temperature, ruining what could have been a decent dish. The re-fire was much better, though I still didn't understand why there needed to be raw greens on the plate. Nice wine list (great reading, too), good ambiance, good service. The food just didn't measure up for me.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Houston Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Mixes up a lot of the different cultural identities that make up Houston. Nice Asian influence, mixed, in a delicious way, with southern comfort food. Hard to classify, but I really like it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wiseeating
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Fresh and very tasty!! The only suggestion I would make is that the wait staff please ASK before removing the food from the table. I've eaten her 3x and for the second time in a row, what was remaining was taken away while we were in a deep conversation without the waitress ever asking if it could be boxed up. By the time we realized it had been taken, it was GONE and could not be retrieved. So frustrating!!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wow!
    SailorVIP
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    I was a little skeptical about a restaurant named "Underbelly"; however the food was absolutely fantastic. Will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Foodie Adventure
    JusLivn
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    My companion and I tried six small plates between us by far our favorite was the Korean Goat Dumplings and the vinegar pie was a nice finish. Emily our server, was fun and attentive. First time won't be my last.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Something on the menu
    TastinggiantVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Many changing dishes to keep you interested. The Fish dish is always a favorite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing
    Nuklearsamurai
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Went with my boyfriend for a last date before he went on vacation for a few weeks. It was both of our first times there, and walking in the door was very exciting. High ceilings make the space feel huge. The bar was very attractive, with a community table where we waiting while they cleaned off our table. The Korean braised goat and dumplings was fantastic; sweet, smoky and spicy left us wanting a bigger plate. The second plate we ordered was the pork chop with cheesy grits. It was definitely a plate made for 2. The chop was huge and savory. I couldn't imagine how they came up wit h the idea of a cherry red-eye gravy but I'm glad they did. Our waiter was hilarious and extremely knowledgeable about the menu and we will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I had kept hearing and reading about Underbelly and finally had a chance to visit. I would recommend it 10 times over and not have any worries that someone would not like it. Best restaurant I have visited in the last 12 months.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 10 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.7
    • Ambiance4.5
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 1470 reviews are from the Underbelly reviews archive.
  • Fantastic!
    Rani09
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Had been wanting to try Underbelly for a while and so glad I finally made it there. Everything we ordered was delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • You need at least 4 people
    FQGirlVIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Ordering requires help from your server. This is a share everything kind of place. Our "Family Style" portion was a good amount for 4 people, but fell short of being enough for 6. The other smaller plates varied widely in size. It was very confusing. However, EVERYTHING was delicious! We probably should have ordered more, but from the menu descriptions, it's very hard to tell how much is going to come on a plate. Some dishes were much harder to share than others, too. I think that there is a definite learning curve here. Would I go back? Absolutely! But next time I'll be better prepared to order the right amount of food. PS: If you go when the sun is setting, make sure you are NOT facing the windows! It's brutal.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great for my meat-eating guests.
    WorkingLunchVIP
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    We made the reservation for a birthday celebration - a carnivore that has been reading and hearing a lot about this restaurant. It was a great tour of Houston's culinary roots - Gulf Coast Seafood, Korean BBQ, South Asian Curry, etc. etc. and we loved the family style entrees. My only critique was that there was not enough for a vegetarian (me) to eat the equivalent of a meal. My guests left stuffed but I went home and ate some noodles :P
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good
    JimmyP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Our table of four had waited a long time to finally go here. It was very good. We ate family style, which is encouraged, so we all got to taste 5 or 6 different dishes. All great. It was a bit louder than I was expecting, but it was fine. I would recommend this place to anyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good food & service
    Peaches
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Food was very good as was our server Emily. Korean braised goat and dumplings (more like gnocchi) was one of the best things I've eaten in a long time. We also ordered a garden tomato and watermelon salad, the butternut squash with bacon and granola, and the meatballs. The meatballs were my least favorite but still good.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • BaronMarbotVIP
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    Everything we tried was great, as was the service. I would go with more than two people, however, as it is very difficult to order small amounts of food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Phenomenal
    Turkey
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    One of the best and most unique meals I've ever experienced. Everything was exceptional, food, wine, service, atmosphere, all of it, and a great value too. Far and away my favorite dining experience in Houston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mike
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    The four of us truly enjoyed the food. The waiter helped us find the right things. The evening was great. Top scores on food and wait staff. Our only suggestion SLOW DOWN. The small plates arrivals were too fast.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • American tapas
    MFHale
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    The ambiance is 'downtown loft meets country kitchen', it feels both trendy and comfortable. The menu could be clearer on the small plate concept. The heirloom tomato salad had the ripest, best tomatoes we'd eaten in years. The fried chicken is reminiscent of both my grandma's fried chicken and Korean fried chicken...crispy, delicious and very spicy. The braised goat and Korean dumplings reminded my wife of the topokki she would buy from street vendors in Korea. "Underbelly's is better," she says. Vinegar pie and chocolate tres leches are not to be missed, but it's best to share. I liken the disparate but oddly complementary flavors to late night grazing in the fridge. Or, in this case, Chris Shepherd's fridge.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    The food was very tasty but the amount of food was so small. We split a pork belly dish and got 3 bites per 2 people.. The lunch time menu looks better..
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    Foodie2
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    We have been to Underbelly several times. The food and wine selections have always been wonderful. The food combines excellent flavors and fresh ingredients. Always yummy!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ok experience, noisy place
    Pollito
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    We visited Underbelly for my husband's birthday and made a reservation 1 month or so in advance. We got there and they made us wait for 30 min at the bar where there was no a place to sit. Our waiter told us to get the small plates and for a group of 3 he would recommend 5-7 dishes. We got 5 and was way too much food since each dish is a portion big enough for one person...with 3 dishes would be more tha enough for the 3 of us....food was good though we really enjoyed it. If you are looking for a place to have a conversation while having dinner, underbelly is not the place. the room gets very noisy so you can't hear what other people is saying. Overall was an Ok experience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Decent
    Texasgirl
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    I had heard so much about Underbelly that I had high expectations which were not met. I didn't like either drink I tried (both a wine and a cider), the food was just ok and the dining room was extremely loud. The service was the best part - the hostess was excellent, our waiter was able to advise on food selections and offered a great suggestion for after dinner drinks elsewhere.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great turn-around
    Wclough333VIP
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    We were initially put-off by the lack of a full bar, but the food, service, and ambience definitely turned us around - great experience all around
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wedding Anniversary
    GF635
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    We wanted something different and we certainly got it here. Korean dumplings were delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Underbelly Over Delivers
    BobB
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    My wife and I went to Underbelly for the second time on Friday night with 6:30 reservations. Service was outstanding. The waitress was very knowledgeable and helpful in ensuring we didn't order too much despite the temptation. Pork chop was one of the best I've ever had. Redfish was superb. I love the wine list. Very eclectic with interesting choices from around the world. We has a delightful Austrian red.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Atmosphere rocked! Food-not so much
    Houstonnative
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Having heard great things about Underbelly, we couldn't wait to visit! However, it would be best to just stick to the bar with a few of the lite bites on the right-hand side of the menu. We ordered the pork and it was not cooked. Had to send it back and then it was difficult to cut and dry, with little flavor. We got some spicy Asian dumplings which were incredible! And the bread was delish. But, overall, the wine wasn't great (which the website raved about) and the food was just ok. The place, itself, was fun, energetic and unique!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overrated. Mediocre food
    Rc2013
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    We went cause Andrew Zimmerman raved about it on his show. But food was not good. Expensive. Atmosphere was good. For price I would rather go somewhere else.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • honest9
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Excellent for lunch. Varied menu with many selections, all very good. Service at lunch is B-B+. Horrible for dinner. So noisy you can't hear those at your own table. Limited menu. Had salad that was thrown on the plate, and wasn't good, to boot. Service at dinner is C-C+. Trendy and popular, as one person blindly follows another into the dinner grave.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Underbelly great, as usual
    BiosafetybabeVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    We have been to Underbelly several times for lunch--prices are reasonable and the menu is always different. I ordered the "deconstructed chicken pot pie" and it was delicious--the sauce was light and flavorful, lots of veggies, and that biscuit! Chocolate tres leches for dessert--have to try that at home. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and helpful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed.
    TMAC
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    I've been to Underbelly twice. First time was during the holidays for a company party last year, in which we had a set menu. Wasn't impressed but decided to give them another chance since there's been such great reviews and I wanted to try dishes on the menu. This time, friends and I decided to order several dishes and share like family style. There was only two out of seven dishes the four of us actually liked. None of the food actually "wowed" us. Won't be coming back. Service was awesome though!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very Impressive in Every Way!
    Kats
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    We had a great experience at Underbelly. I loved the feel of the restaurant and the service was perfectly attentive. The menu was inventive and I loved the family style service. The food was divine! See my full review with photos on my blog at www.delish-dish.com!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food!
    kawar
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    The snapper was the best fish ever and fish is not Underbelly's specialty. Everything was awesome - don't miss the bread or the vinegar pie!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was good
    Carats
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    The service was not. Our food was not explained, and delivered to the wrong person. The food was really good but I have higher expectations of a restaurant of this caliber.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Better than ever...
    MsBehave
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    The recent James Beard recognition certainly has not hurt the food or the crowds at Underbelly. The place was packed on a Tuesday night. Our table ordered a variety of dishes and each was top notch. We went with the goat dumplings (because you have to) and the spice was perfect. We've never been disappointed with a duck dish at Underbelly and tonight was no exception...not only was the Duck Confit tasty, it was gorgeous on the plate. The newly added Honey Cheesecake was stunning - a nice caramel hint with a rich, creamy "cake". I am pleased to see Chris is not resting on his laurels and continues to innovate and impress.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unbelievable
    Amazing
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    I would first like to tell whoever owns this restaurant, my dining experience at Underbelly was the greatest experience in my life to date. I felt like I was in Hells Kitchen. I am from Louisiana and I have never in my life tasted anything like that before. I mean anything. I am very picky when it comes to real Cajun food because I am from the Acadiana area. I feel like the Lafayette area produces the best Cajun food in the world. Way better than New Orleans. However, the dining experience I had at Underbelly blew every piece of food I ever put in my mouth out of the water. I wanted to get up and give every chef that put food on a plate a hug. I was blown away. The Korean dumplings was something I didn't even think I loved it.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AlwaysVIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    The food choices are always creative and exquisitely prepared. The servers are knowlegeable in the food and wine, and makes for a great meal. The only "nkock" is that, for folks that go often, the menu tends to have many items there frequently, so the new choices are limited.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Diner Beware
    NoNicknameVIP
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    In fairness, we should have done a better job of scrutinizing the menu before showing up for this "hard to get" reservation. Underbelly is the talk of Houston (and beyond) but you must know this: There is nothing on the menu for people who do not partake of goat, pig, bottom feeders, or organ meats. It has the unusual quality of being trendy in a squeemishness inducing way. More like a dare than an adventure in eating. We made our apologies and left. They were very gracious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Loved the grouper special on Friday. Service was fantastic. Enjoyed my first time there.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Could Have Been Good
    eaturheartout
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    I had one night in Houston and I had been looking forward to spending it with Underbelly. We then had the very unthought out flatbread. Looks like it should be eaten as a pizza but completely falls apart. The grilled peach was not cut to where eating the dish was attractive or easy. We then ordered the butchers cut. The waitress asked us how we would like $42 steak and I said med rare. I get the dish and it is well done. I ask the waitress to see if the kitchen can make it like I had ordered. They said they can't because it has been sous vide. Then why ask me? Nothing was done and we were left with the steak that was bland and not worth $42. Guys, I'm a chef and owner of my own restaurant. That steak could have been exactly how I wanted it
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate