Houston boasts colorful international food scenes around every corner, but navigating the expanse known as “Chinatown” can seem daunting to say the least. Located outside the loop on Bellaire Boulevard, this area is known for its dozens of unique eateries, sweet shops and authentic Asian markets. But where do you start? Here are few key places you won’t want to miss on your next trip to Bellaire.
9300 Bellaire Blvd.
Though small and plain on the outside, the inside is open with lots of light, making it a great place to study for a few hours while munching on one of their Vietnamese-style sandwiches. There are tons of options to choose from such as savory chicken, buttery beef or sweet barbecue pork. As a plus, all their sandwiches are filling without leaving you feeling too heavy. You can choose from a number of sides, such as spring rolls stuffed with green veggies and large shrimp, a number of different pho options and assortments of cake and jelly desserts. Be prepared beforehand — the store only takes cash.
1 order of spring rolls
House of Bowls
6650 Corporate Drive
Across the street from Don Café sits House of Bowl. Artsy and dimly lit on the inside, this Chinese fusion joint is an easy place to fill up on cheap eats, have group dinner or take your dates. The menu can be a bit overwhelming and confusing, but the staff is attentive, quick and willing to help. The signature bowls of noodles and soup the restaurant serves are often enough to feed two people. The assortment of appetizers and sweet beverages (such as crushed ice over lychee berries) are a sure-fire way to add some extra bang for your buck to your meal. Their barbecue pork is also some of the best in Houston.
1 bowl of pork and chicken noodle soup.
1 order of fried bread
1 crushed ice over lychee
9889 Bellaire Blvd.
Nestled among the immensely colorful and crowded walls of Dun Huang Plaza is Juice Box – a refreshingly easy vegan option for those with a sweet tooth. But figuring out the menu is the tricky part. The safest option is to revert to being 5 years old again and say “I want that one” as you point a finger in the direction of whatever image interests you most. Using this method, you will probably end up with the fresh fruit iced tea which, to be blunt, tastes like a flower shop smells – but is ridiculously refreshing. Along with tea, juice box also serves crushed ice desserts, milk sweets, ice-creams and an assortment of fruit smoothies.
1 Fresh Fruit Ice Tea
1 scoop of green tea ice-cream
9889 Bellaire Blvd.
If you plan on going to Tiger Den be prepared for two things: a 30-minute search, and (if it’s the weekend) a 30-minute waiting list. Crowded and cozy with black-and-white pop art decorating the walls, the restaurant is composed of three rows of tables and two small walkways. Service here is fast, so first timers may feel a bit rushed, but like most good ramen joints, the menu is small – making it easy to decide what you want. Most of their ramen soups have pork-based broth, but the rest of what is in the ramen is up to you.
1 order of Tantan Ramen
1 order of lamb shears