Hoi An Quan

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Hoi An was the busiest port on the South China Sea, attracting traders from China to Japan to Europe. Today, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in central Vietnam, known for its distinct yellow buildings and great cuisine. The food of Hoi An is unique within…

Phoenicia Specialty Foods

Phoenicia refers to the ancient civilization in modern-day Lebanon, Israel and Syria, known in particular for its alphabet and as a center of trade in the region. Phoenicia Specialty Foods is a grocery store in Downtown Houston focusing on the food of that region. Whether you’re on a lunch run downtown, cooking a Middle Eastern spread…

Indigo

I hated soul food because it reminded me of poverty. – Chef Rhodes Described as “neo-soul food” and some of the “most innovative, socially aware cuisine,” Indigo is not just a great dinner, but a necessary dialogue. Jonathan “Jonny” Rhodes and his wife Chana head Restaurant Indigo. It’s located next to a bodega in Houston’s…

Bodard Bistro

Bodard Bistro is a small shop on Bellaire with a combination of central and southern Vietnamese cuisine. Their menu is long, but I’m highlighting a few dishes below not to miss. It’s also worth getting the Vietnamese coffee here, as it’s much smoother than most I come across. Nem nuong cuôn nha trang  What Bodard…

Kau Ba Saigon Kitchen

“Vietnamese food becomes Viet-Cajun. Viet-Cajun goes back to Vietnam as Viejun.” Kau Ba opened in Montrose in late July 2018. The chef, Nikki Tran, was featured on Ugly Delicious for having taken back Viet-Cajun food to her native Saigon. Viet-Cajun is a fusion that owes its existence to Vietnamese refugees who came to coastal Louisiana and…

San Dong Noodle House

San Dong Noodle House is in a corner of the shopping center in Bellaire with H-Mart, 85 Degree C and the former Uyghur Bistro. It serves Taiwanese soups and dumplings, as well as dumplings/buns to take to-go. The beef in the roast beef noodle soup melts in your mouth, and the dumplings are a must….

Pho Bò To & Bò Né

Plug this place into your Google Maps and you’ll come upon a large Vietnamese strip center at the corner of Beechnut and Loop 8. Go down to the emptier, southern end of the strip mall and find the shop with the blinking red ‘Open’ sign and odd stone chairs out front that are shaped like…

Cedars Bakery

Cedars Bakery is in a Middle Eastern strip mall, near Westpark Tollway and 59, and is the best spot in Houston for Lebanese flatbread – better than We’re Dough. This hole-in-the-wall is frequented by Middle Eastern families enjoying a late breakfast together on the weekend. Cedars specializes in Lebanese flatbread, or mana’eesh, and they are…

Villa Arcos

Villa Arcos is a hole-in-the-wall taco joint in East EaDo (not the hip Truck Yard portion of EaDo) in Houston, full of Hispanic families enjoying their mid-day meal together. Park in front of the abandoned house and walk into the red-colored house with the bars on the windows. The extensive list of tacos is written…

Les Givral’s

UPDATE (JULY 2021): I am very sad to write that Les Givral’s has permanently closed. But hopefully you’ll still find the brief on banh mi and pho below helpful. It seems fitting that my first food post is Les Givral’s in Houston. Or, Les Giv’s, as we say. This is my weekly staple. If I’m…