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#526 of 1,268 American in Houston
#1,030 of 4,890 Restaurants in Houston


$10 - $15
American, Cajun & Creole, Cafe, Seafood
Lunch, Dinner
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Reviewed September 20, 2021 via mobile

Don’t be put off by the location. Or maybe if you are put off by the drab looking parking lot outside and the generic strip mall setting, this place is not for you. Same if you’re looking for healthy or subtle meals. This is real..., deep fried, savoury soul food with soul music playing ( a bit too loud, actually). Be warned the peppery steak does indeed have a bit of a kick to it. Menu is a little pricey — but rations are quite big, so if you’re not a big eater, come with company and share .More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed July 22, 2020

A co-worker an myself decided to order something "good" for lunch while we were working overtime. Boy did we choose WRONG!!!!1st we paid $50 for 2 plates of food. She had pepper steak, okra w/shrimp and candied yams, while I choose the oxtails w/ rice...and gravy, cabbage, and candied yams with a peach cobbler for dessert. When I think of soul food i think bursting with flavor and seasoning. Who soul food is this crap? if you have ever eaten real authentic soul food this does not even register, this place needs to pay me for the insult to my taste buds for putting that mess in my mouth. Sweet cabbage, tf? The candied yams tasted and looked old af. The peach cobbler was more like peach biscuits with no brown sugar and/or cinnamon. Pepper steak uh no more like hamburger patty floating in flavorless brown water. The gravy was more like brown sludge. Needless to say we both threw our entire plates in the garbage and now are on the hunt for something edible to eat on our long work day... 1 star only because I had to give something or my post to air, but in all actuality I give it -10 stars. In short RUN, do not pass go and absolutely do not collect $200. Save yourself while you can DO NOT ENTER!!!!!!!More

Date of visit: July 2020
Reviewed April 13, 2019

First of all, the prices here are toooo high (Mikki's Souldfood Cafe: Greenspoint - where are you when I need you). Attention customers: please check your receipts because you may be getting overcharged. I was charged for 2 oxtails plate when I ordered...oxtails and garlic...chicken. I asked for an extra drumstick and was charged $2.59 (it was so small). I could have purchased 2 pieces and a biscuit from Popeyes for less than that. I can't believe I drove 35-40 minutes for this overpriced food. I have been calling since April 5th (spoke to Jordan, Kesha, and Monica. The other names I didn't write down) and no one can assist me. Everyone tells me I need to speak to Lonnie about being overcharged. Well, Lonnie is just too busy to call me back after I have left my name and telephone number numerous times (too many times). I didn't have to get a refund but a credit towards something else would have been fine. I love supporting black own businesses but this one is not worth me supporting. There's a lady (light skinned) in there that the workers have to ask if they can do this or that (yes, they asked her if it was ok for me to get an extra piece of chicken that my money is buying).' I heard this same lady tell someone they could not have macaroni and cheese because it goes along with something else. If you're buying food from them then why can't you have it on your plate. Whoever this lady is she really needs to work on her attitude, customer service skills, and facial expressions. She doesn't look pleasant at all to say she's in charge. Please tell Lonnie this is horrible and he must do better with customer service. Esther's Cajun Cafe and Soul Food please don't try to contact me now since I've complained. I've given you 1 week and 1 day to call me back. You can keep the extra money because I will definitely not be coming back.More

Date of visit: April 2019
Reviewed January 22, 2019 via mobile

We decided to take a chance to see if they still had some decent food almost closing time on a Sunday... To our surprise they had food & it was as always on point. The staff was friendly & funny. The restaurant was clean &...fresh.More

Date of visit: January 2019
Reviewed October 15, 2018

Best service and food in Houston. I'm from Dallas and had a friend visiting from DC. He found this company online so we took a chance and definitely weren't disappointed. Service was an added bonus!

Date of visit: February 2018
Reviewed September 17, 2018

*This review is for their new Brunch location on Pinemont* Had extremely high hopes for this place. Came here for Sunday Brunch today and the first thing you notice is that the establishment is extremely small. We didn't let this deter us. We stood around...for a minute or two, waiting for a host to greet us, until someone behind the counter finally let us know that you order at the counter. Collectively, we ordered the chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, and the crawfish and shrimp omelet. Should be noted that they make you pay before you sit. This worked out in their favor since I included a tip before all of our troubles began. The primary reason for the 2 stars lies with the service. We waited somewhere between 45 min to an hour from the time we placed our order till it hit the table. Granted, it was a busy morning, the wait time was inexcusable. During our entire visit, we were only given one refill that came 40 min into our visit. To make things worse, the biscuits for the biscuits and gravy were cold. We sent them back, only to be given french toast that was pretty subpar. The waffles and omelet were just okay. Not what you'd expect after the LONG wait. The only reason I'm not giving a 1 star is that the chicken had flavor and the hashbrown casserole that came with the omelet was pretty good. We won't be making a return visit.More

Date of visit: September 2018
Reviewed July 22, 2018 via mobile

I had the vegetable plate because I’m vegetarian, but all the food contained meat and was very sweet. My husband who is not vegetarian had the meatloaf, red beans and rice and greens. He said the greens was disgusting however the red beans and rice...was tasted.More

Date of visit: July 2018
Reviewed July 14, 2018 via mobile

Ok... as a traveling RN ... fast food is a daily thing. While in Houston, a couple of my nurses told me about this restaurant and how they cooked home like meals!! Well... I decided to give it a try. Upon arrival... I wanted to...turn around ... but I quickly remembered the great verbal reviews I received from my nurses... so I stayed. The line was long BUT they moveD it rather at a fast pace. But when I got to the line.. to make my choices of what I wanted ... MERCY MERCY..: the Ox tails , candied yams, rice and gravy, THE KOOL AIDE, is like A MUST HAVE. The portions of food they give you for your money is beyond worth it. You will bring some home!! And not only will you bring it home, but you will eat it the next day... it’s just that good!!! Oooooooh did I mention the corn bread!! It so sweet it taste like cake!! I can not say anything bad about this place. After my first visit I went back about 5 times. It’s really good y’all !!More

Date of visit: July 2018
Reviewed February 4, 2018 via mobile

This is possibly my favorite soul food spot in Houston. It is kinda a whole in the wall. The restaurant is very clean, and the service is great. They always have a great selection on the hot line. I always get the oxtails. The oxtails...are very tasty. It is a mix of big and small pieces. The sides are very good as well. I definitely enjoy the mac n cheese and the yams. I definitely recommend this spot. It is definitely our after church favorite!!!!More

Date of visit: February 2018
Reviewed June 19, 2017 via mobile

When I first pulled up, I thought hole in the wall the food is going to be amazing! I was not disappointed in the least, you get a warm welcome when you walk thru the doors. Didn't like the fact that the food was already...prepared in warmers, but again pleased that my entire selections were hot! Nothing like hot soul food to keep the body right.😂😂😂 After you pay for your meal you are welcomed to sit and enjoy. Tables are cleaned and nice selection of Motown hits are playing in the background, almost didn't want to leave, atmosphere was very relaxing and the meal was off the chain! This is definitely not the day to be on a carb free diet as the mac and cheese looked delicious. But since I'm being good for the summer, stuck with the oxtails, greens and stewed okra with shrimp. First I thought $15 for oxtails was a bit pricy, but not only was it a huge portion, it was cooked well! Bone sucking soft, for you oxtail connoisseur, you know what I mean. This spot is well deserving a save in the favorites on my gps! Bon appétitMore

Date of visit: June 2017
Reviewed March 13, 2017 via mobile

My niece introduced this restaurant to me recently when we had lunch together. She stated that she learned of it through her Uber eats app. Great soul food restaurant with a very nice dining area. I love the big high dining tables. The food looked...and smelled so good that it was hard to chose from a variety of items plus specials. I had the meatloaf, rice, cabbage and yams with corn bread and raspberry tea. My niece had the chicken fettuccini with green beans , black eyed peas and corn bread. The servings were so generous that we both took food home and I sampled her delicious chicken fettuccini. The desserts looked so rich and I can say that all of the food was awesome and well-prepared. I really want to try those oxtails or the garlic baked chicken on my next visit because they looked so good! No waiting and the staff were pleasant. Convenient parking. Prices are very reasonable.More

Date of visit: March 2017
Reviewed January 1, 2017

We were looking for a good soul food place to eat on our short stay in Houston. We were not disappointed with Esther's. You walk in and place your order at the short cafeteria style counter. When we arrived there were about 30-40 people in...line. It took about 30 minutes to get through (which is a typical wait time at a popular restaurant). My husband ordered oxtails with rice, greens, & okra & tomatoes. I ordered fried catfish, mac & cheese, & candied yams. There was A LOT of food. the oxtails were delicious as were the greens. The okra & tomatoes were good. I'm not sure the fried catfish was really catfish as it didn't taste like catfish (they have blackened tilapia on the menu & I wondered if that's what I got). The mac & cheese was divine & the yams were delicious. The cornbread was a disappointment as it was burned on the bottom. Banana pudding for dessert was very good. We would come back here if we ever visit Houston again.More

Date of visit: January 2017
Reviewed November 6, 2016 via mobile

I'm like The Terminator...I'll be back. The food was absolutely delicious and the staff as well as the other customers were friendly. I wanted to try so many items. Can't wait to go again. Oh, I had the oxtails, macaroni & cheese, and black-eyed peas...for my Sunday dinner. I have plenty left over. Also the cornbread is great. Another soul food place that will remain nameless needs to take notes from Esther's!More

Date of visit: November 2016
Reviewed July 24, 2016

I really enjoyed this place. Went here yesterday with a large party for my dad's birthday and everyone loved it. The food was really good. I had the ox tails, mac and cheese, yams, greens, black eyed peas and mashed potatoes and everything was absolutely...delicious. Also, the service was excellent, the women really took care of us even though we had a large party and didn't have a reservation. They really took care of all of our needs! Only downside is the place is a little small, but we really didn't have to wait so I don't know how much of an issue the size is on an everyday basis. Check it out!More

Date of visit: July 2016
Reviewed July 7, 2016

Go Hungry and wear something loose! Seriously delicious soul food, the only complaint is they need larger napkins! This is a small diner and when you walk in you stand in line to place your order and pay, then go find a table. They have...a wait person bring you your drink and your food. We went at an off peak time so there were tables available, but I am sure this place is bursting at the seams during the lunch rush and or weekends.They have tables out front for outdoor dining but the sun is just too hot during the summer months for outdoor dining, maybe in the late evening it would be a good time for it. The menu has a wide variety of foods and it changes for each day of the week. The servings are large and the food is seasoned perfectly! I ordered the fried catfish and it was cooked perfectly- if it had feet I could have stood it up it was so crisp! Loved the sides of mac and cheese , sweet potatoes, green beans and corn bread. I had leftovers . The peach cobbler was great too but it was cold so I brought it home to heat it up with some vanilla ice cream. There were 3 of us and the tab was 58.00 for all three plates , drinks and 2 desserts (excluding a tip). If you are hungry for some down Home southern style cooking this is the place! My husband had ox tails and he loved them. We went on a Wednesday and they did not have gumbo , they only serve it on weekends, so next time!More

Date of visit: July 2016
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Frequently Asked Questions about Esther's Cajun Cafe Soul Food

Yes, Esther's Cajun Cafe Soul Food offers takeout services.

Esther's Cajun Cafe Soul Food is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 3.5
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 3