If you love food, H-Town is the place for you. From fine dining options, to down-home BBQ, to fast food restaurants, Houston is overflowing with places to chow down. However, when you’d rather prepare a meal in your own kitchen or have fresh fare prepared for you to take home to the family, the best gourmet foods stores in Houston offer everything you need, from healthy to decadent to downright spicy! – Amber Hilton

(credit: leibmans.com)

Leibman’s Wine & Fine Foods

14529 Memorial Dr.
Houston, TX 77079
(281) 493-FOOD (3663)
(281) 493-WINE (9463)
This specialty food shop on Memorial Drive offers gourmet foods and gift baskets, including a deli and bakery. If you’d prefer to eat pre-prepared fare, the Leibman’s deli offers a mouthwatering selection of soups, sandwiches, pasta, chicken, vegetables, salads and even salmon. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Liebman’s specializes in catering for social and business events. As their name suggests, this gourmet food store is also known for their fine wine selection, and complimentary wine tasting is featured on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. with the resident wine aficionado. Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(credit: phoeniciafoods.com)

Phoenicia Specialty Foods

12141 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77077
(281) 558-8225
Phoenicia Specialty Foods on Westheimer Road is one of the most popular gourmet food stores in Houston. Featured as one of Saveur magazine’s favorite markets, this 55,000-square-foot store offers more than 6,000 products from around the globe; all in all, at least 50 countries are represented on the shelves of Phoenicia Foods. Some of the foods that Houstonians flock to this gourmet shop to find include fresh meat and seafood, gourmet cheeses, fresh baked artisan bread, European-pastries and exotic produce. Phoenecia also has a selection of boutique wines and beers, and offers catering and hot grille items. There is even a housewares section. Whether you’re looking for a one-stop shop for your next event or place to cater your upscale office party, this gourmet food store has you covered. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Phoenicia Foods is open special hours on most holidays, but is closed on Christmas Day.

(credit: penzeys.com)

Penzey’s Spices

516 West 19th St.
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 862-6777
If you like to cook healthy fare at home, you know the importance of trying different herbs and spices to bring your food to life and delight your taste buds. If you’re much too evolved for the basic spice rack and bored by the grocery store spice selection, you’ll be in heaven when you walk through the doors of Penzey’s Spices. The aromas alone will transport you to a different world, where spices are sold in street booths rather than grocery store shelves. Almost every spice here is sold in several sizes, so that you can customize your shopping experience to your budget or that special recipe. Penzey’s offers whole spices, liquid spices and prepared spice mixes, and the staff is happy to educate customers who are new to the world of fresh spices and gourmet cooking. Customers also rave about the affordable prices. Who wouldn’t want to spend less on fresh, flavorful spices than they would on bland grocery store spice selections? You can also order spices via Penzey’s catalog or online. Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.