At the end of a peculiar L-shaped turn off Houston’s bustling Richmond Avenue sits the nerdiest neighborhood gem in town. The Hobbit Café—so-named for its impressive array of Lord of the Rings memorabilia—is a piquant pitstop for anyone interested in a sandwich based on one of the most successful fantasy series in history.
For nearly 50 years, the Hobbit Café has served its hefty gastropub fare and diverse beer selection smack in the middle of Texas’s largest city. Vegetarian for the first four years of its existence—a notable feat in longhorn-and-barbecue country—the menu, which opens with Tolkien’s iconic description of the Hobbit species, now also serves carnivores. Unceasingly, the cuisine is served in the same hobbit-sized (that is to say, huge) portions as before.
The restaurant plays host to classically Tex-Mex cuisine, with a Tolkienian twist. From nachos to fish tacos to their Balrog burger, the Hobbit now serves something for everyone. A favorite of some celebrities and beloved by Houston, the café offers a haven from the hubbub of the city, with outdoor seating bedecked by holiday lights year-round. Of course, that’s if you don’t want to sit on the sheepskin throne just inside the door.
Know Before You Go
If you're driving to the café (it's Houston, so let's be honest—you're driving to it), the turn in can sneak up on you if you're approaching on Richmond Avenue. To spare your driver's nerves, it may be best to approach from the quieter Portsmouth Street side.