July 1, 2022



Dua Lipa has great taste in food, as evidenced by her Houston restaurant hit-list over the weekend

3 min read

Dua Lipa gets it. She came to Houston last weekend as part of her Future Nostalgia Tour, for which she performed at the Toyota Center March 12, and went to some of the best restaurants in town during her visit.

It’s well-documented that being famous, rich or powerful does not necessarily mean you have great taste in food. Oftentimes, it’s quite the contrary.

But this weekend, Lipa showed us she not only has stellar taste, she also has range.

The British singer-songwriter went to Nancy’s Hustle in the East End, largely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Houston, having received both local critic praise and national attention. Nancy’s Hustle toes a perfect line between upscale and casual, and is a great spot for a special occasion, a date night or just a catch-up with friends.

The restaurant serves contemporary American food in what it calls a “modern bistro” setting. It has a lamb tartare and gussied up brussel sprouts and a killer cheeseburger on a brioche English muffin bun. But everyone who’s in the know will tell you that the Nancy cakes are where it’s at.

The Nancy cakes at Nancy's Hustle have developed a loyal following in Houston.

The Nancy cakes at Nancy’s Hustle have developed a loyal following in Houston.

Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle

Lipa posted a photo to her Instagram showing she ordered the Nancy cakes. The dish in question consists of three fluffy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside corn flour pancakes, like a johnnycake but smaller and thicker. They’re served with cultured butter made in-house, trout roe and minced chives.

The Nancy cakes are so good they’ve developed somewhat of a cult following in town. Lipa was clearly well-advised ahead of her trip here.

The singer also went to Truth BBQ, one of the best — if not arguably the best — barbecue restaurants in town. It made No. 3 on Texas Monthly’s Top 50 Best BBQ Joints in Texas last year, and was the top Houston spot.

Pitmaster Leonard Botello IV started Truth BBQ in a rural roadside shack in Brenham in 2015, and opened a Houston outpost on the corner of Heights Blvd and Washington Ave in January 2019.

Truth co-owner Abbie Byrom said they knew Lipa was visiting the restaurant ahead of time.

“She was very kind and friendly and mentioned she likes planning restaurant visits in cities she travels to,” she told Chron.

Truth BBQ opened a Houston location in 2019.

Truth BBQ opened a Houston location in 2019.

Robert Jacob Lerma

Byrom said Lipa wanted “the normal Truth BBQ experience,” so Botello served her a classic Texas platter that included brisket, ribs, sausage, turkey, whole hog with cracklins, plus a side of mac and cheese and tater tot casserole.

We got a peek at said platter, which Lipa posted to her Instagram feed.

On Friday, Chron reported that Lipa visited Poison Girl, a dive bar on Westheimer in Montrose favored by locals looking for good vibes and a late-night cocktail. Photos of her with the bar’s pinball machines and photobooth were captioned “has an affinity for a dive bar.”

To recap, Lipa went from a dive bar to a bougie restaurant to a downhome Texas barbecue joint, and we love to see it. Not every tourist does Houston right, and we get it: Visitors typically want to head to a city’s cool neighborhood and walk around — we don’t do that here. But if you know where to go, Houston can offer so much, and we’re glad to see Lipa took full advantage of it.

It’s a shame the star didn’t appear to indulge in some of Houston’s great Mexican food, or its many Vietnamese eateries. We sure hope she’ll be back to experience that.

Lipa found other stuff to do in between meals. She visited the Rothko Chapel in Montrose and Space Center Houston, where she posed in front of Mission Control.

She captioned her latest Houston Instagram posts with an all-caps “HOUSTON, GET IN WE’RE GOING 2 MARS!!!”

We appreciate the much more creative mash-up of the Mean Girls “get in loser” catchphrase, as opposed to the totally tired and overdone “Houston we have a problem.” Between that and her excellent dining choices, we fully endorse Lipa’s Houston itinerary. No notes.

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