Looking for places to dine in Houston's Bellaire, Meyerland and West University neighborhoods? These five restaurants Community Impact featured in 2023 color Houston's food scene with personality, culture and flavor.

Clockwise from top left, dishes at Café Leonelli include the baked ziti ($12), chopped salad ($13), prosciutto sandwich ($15) and chicken marsala ($18). (Melissa Enaje/Community Impact)

1. Café Leonelli at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Café Leonelli, which opened in April 2021, features dishes rooted in Italian tradition and local ingredients. Chef de Cuisine and General Manager Alexandra Garcia's menu includes housemade focaccia, sandwiches, salads and a full coffee bar. The cafe also boasts a selection of Houston-based beers and hand-selected wines.

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Rob and Sara Cromie founded The Raven Grill in 1998 in the Broadacres neighborhood of Houston. (Melissa Enaje/Community Impact)
2. The Raven Grill

When the eatery opened in 1998, it advertised itself as a neighborhood restaurant serving fresh, regional food cooked over a wood-fire grill in a casual, comfortable atmosphere. That is what diners still expect today, owners Rob and Sara Cromie said.

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Cedar St. Cafe guests interested in trying the Mexican dish chilaquiles can expect a breakfast filled with tortilla chips, red sauce, refried beans, shredded Mexican cheese, sour cream and eggs. Homemade green salsa is also available to top off the dish. (Melissa Enaje/Community Impact)
3. Cedar St. Cafe

Owner Ana Soria's restaurant is for anyone who craves authentic, “as-if-your-tia-made-it” Mexican breakfast. While there are only a few items on the menu, the dishes are packed with flavor, from chilaquiles served with red sauce and scrambled eggs to migas served with avocado and queso fresco. Guests can also choose from breakfast tacos and burritos. Drinks include flavored coffees and aguas frescas, or fresh juices.

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Guests at Hamsa can choose from an array of dessert items that are influenced by Middle Eastern cuisine. Malabi basboosa ($12) is a Farina cake, which is a form of milled wheat and malabi cream, served on top of rosewater syrup and topped with pistachio. (Melissa Enaje/Community Impact)
4. Hamsa

The number five is kind of a big deal at 5555 Morningside Drive, the address for modern-Israeli restaurant Hamsa—which, translated in Arabic, means five. Hamsa is also known as an ancient Islamic and Jewish symbol for the Fatima hand, which symbolizes protection, health and good fortune.

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Jax Grill’s signature burger helped to earn customer’s trust in the longstanding restaurant. (Asia Armour/Community Impact)
5. Jax Grill

Jax Grill’s flagship restaurant in Bellaire has maintained 30 years of longevity by balancing trust and versatility. The eatery has withstood changing management, expansion, a fire prompting a total overhaul of the front-of-house and the fallout of a global pandemic.

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