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About Hugo's

Located in the heart of Houston's Montrose area, Hugo's brings the exciting and earthy flavors of Mexico across the border.

“Authentic Mexican cooking is a world-class cuisine that has remained virtually unchanged by the outside world," says Executive Chef Hugo Ortega of his native cuisine. "The food is as light and fresh as a seafood cocktail prepared by fishermen on the beach; as deep and complex as the moles of Oaxaca made with an astounding number of ingredients; and as earthy as the simplest handmade corn tortilla."

With the opening of his namesake restaurant in 2002, Ortega journeyed full-circle to rediscover the foods of his homeland. The menu features traditional dishes from the many regions of Mexico, all made from scratch in Mexican tradition, including various cheeses, moles, tortillas and chocolate. The restaurant is also known for its stellar award-winning wine program, cocktail list and tequila menu.

Hugo’s is housed in a 1925 building designed and built by well-known Houston architect, Joseph Finger, who is also responsible for Houston's Art-Deco style City Hall. The Latin-inspired building has been lovingly restored to feature its original beauty, and the interiors designed to include both "chic" contemporary touches and, most important, inviting traditional elements of old Mexico.

Kudos for Hugo’s

Hugo Ortega named 2017 Best Chef ~ Southwest at James Beard Foundation Awards

Executive Pastry Chef Ruben Ortega ~ Semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef (National) for 2022 James Beard Awards

The Best Restaurants in Houston ~ Food Network

20 Essential Brunch Spots in Houston ~ Eater Houston, February 2023

The Best Mexican Restaurants in Houston, March 2023 ~ The Infatuation

The 14 Absolute Best Brunches in Houston Right Now ~ Thrillist – September 2022

Best Chef Reader’s Choice:  Hugo Ortega ~ Houston Press Best of Houston 2020 

Eater Houston 38 Essential Houston Restaurants – Winter 2019

Hugo Ortega finalist for Best Chef:
Southwest ~ 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 & 2012 James Beard Awards

Chef Hugo Ortega received Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award 2017
from Southern Foodways Alliance

Named the #6 restaurant in Alison Cook’s Top 100 Restaurants list 2017
in Houston Chronicle

Tracy Vaught recognized at Houston Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Awards - 2017

Three-time semi-finalist for Outstanding Restaurateur (Tracy Vaught) 
James Beard Awards

Semi-finalist for Outstanding Wine Program

2015 James Beard Awards
Eater's 38 Best Restaurants in America –

“The 38 restaurants that defined dining in 2016”

Ranked #2 in Top 100 Restaurants in Houston by Alison Cook
~ Houston Chronicle, 2015

"Hugo Ortega’s Street Food of Mexico" selected by Saveur magazine as one of six “essential Mexican cookbooks”

“Best Mexican Restaurants in the US”
~ Travel + Leisure

"Top Table”
~ Bon Appetit

Named one of the top 5 Mexican Restaurants in Texas
~ Texas Monthly

“Best Drinks”
~ Playboy

Featured in “Food Cities: Searching for America’s Greatest Food Cities”
~ The Washington Post

Sunday Brunch at Hugo’s included in "100 Things to Do in Houston Before You Die
~ 2015

Two tacos included on list of “120 Tacos to Eat Before You Die”
~ Texas Monthly

“What Makes Houston’s the Next Great American City?”
~ Smithsonian Magazine, July 2013

Wine Spectator Award of Excellence recipient
~ 2003-2015

100 Favorite Dishes in Houston – Hugo’s Vegetarian Plate
~ Houston Press 2015

“Is This The Best Restaurant in Houston?”
~ The Daily Meal, September 2014

Tracy Vaught - Outstanding Restaurateur
by Texas Restaurant Association, 2008

Tracy Vaught - Restaurateur of the Year
2014 Houston Culinary Awards

"Where to Eat Now in 30 American Cities"
~ Gourmet, October 2004

"Restaurants We Love"
~ Gourmet, October 2003

Hugo’s wine list #2 in Top 10 Wine List
~ Houston Press [Backstreet Cafe named #1 on same list]

Hugo Ortega, 2012 and 2002 Chef of the Year
~ Houston Culinary Awards

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