Guacamole. The quintessential Tex-mex dish that can be found on menus ranging from that hole-in-the-wall taco joint to the fanciest restaurants in the city. Guacamole is arguably one of the best chip dips around. When a coworker mentioned her dislike of this heavenly avocado dish, I audibly gasped [what Texan doesn’t like guacamole?!], and was inspired to go on the hunt for the best guac our Downtown Houston neighborhood has to offer. While some were better than others, I can promise that not a single one contained anything as nefarious as Greek yogurt.
El Big Bad
This neighborhood tequila bar also serves up some great Tex-mex favorites like ground beef picadillo enchiladas and chicken Tinga tacos. Their chips & guac costs a mere $7.95 and pairs perfectly with their blueberry, jalapeño & cilantro rita. There’s a hefty amount of avocado — chunky guac lovers rejoice! I’d say each order contains at least two full avocados, which makes this a great cheap guac option. On the con side, the chips didn’t seem to be homemade and are quite thin [we had quite a bit of breakage under the weight of the avocado], but overall, El Big Bad’s guac is a great option for the avocado purists out there. Guac to chip ratio — 3/5 Seasoning — 2/5 (I’d like more salt and lime) Value — 4/5
Don’t let this sports bar fool you — their food is always top notch, plus it’s the perfect place to catch your fav H-town teams on a *really* big screen. Their guacamole is creamy with the perfect amount of avocado chunks. The first bite seemed a little too limey, but the spiciness level was perfect. Biggio’s guac is handmade upon ordering and contains tomato, onion, and jalapeño pieces throughout. All in all, it’s a solid bet that come in at an affordable price of $10.Guac to chip ratio — 5/5 Seasoning — 3/5 Value — 5/5
Bayou & Bottle
Located inside “Downtown Houston’s living room”, aka the Four Seasons, Bayou & Bottle is a great place to relax in big, comfy couches after a long day at work. Like everything at the Four Seasons, their chips & guac stands out in presentation. From the thick handmade chips to the perfect bowl (with rounded edges for scooping), Bayou & Bottle delivered a beautiful and instagrammable plate to the table. The guac is topped with sliced jalapeños, tomatoes, red onion and a pinch of micro greens, as well as half a lime for squeezing before digging in. It was the most expensive guacamole order on my list ($15), but well worth it just for a taste of the thick, perfectly salted, house-made chips. Guac to chip ratio — 4/5 Seasoning — 5/5 Value — 2/5
Irma’s is a Downtown institution with a simple, affordable menu of Tex-mex favorites, so I fully expected their chips and guacamole to be a shoo-in winner. The guac comes out on a bed of shredded lettuce with the standard topping of tomatoes, jalapeños and red onions, but the real standout was the addition of cotija cheese. I was disappointed by the portion size and the shredded lettuce that kept creeping onto each chip as I ate. At an $8 price point, Irma’s guac is certainly enough for two to enjoy if you order a side of their queso as well.Guac to chip ratio — 4/5 Seasoning — 3/5 Value — 1/5
Located close to Market Square Park, La Fisheria is a great place to enjoy lunch or dinner any day of the week Downtown, plus they have one of the best happy hours in the neighborhood. They specialize in authentic Mexican coastal cuisine, so you’ll find more unique offerings like fried whole tilapia and shrimp tamales. La Fisheria’s guacamole is $9 and full of fresh chunks of avocado. While most restaurants add a lot of lime to their guac in order to keep it green, La Fisheria clearly makes it from scratch upon ordering. The sweet gush of pineapple pico de gallo and the crunch of chicharrón adds unexpected dimensions to this perfect iteration. While it was the last on my list, La Fisheria’s guac far surpassed my expectations of traditional guacamole. Guac to chip ratio — 3/5 Seasoning — 5/5 Value — 5/5