Kin Dee Thai Cuisine’s spicy pork sauce soup is a must-try.
Houston may be one of the best places to eat Asian food outside of Asia itself. The city’s sheer diversity of cuisines from across the continent is on full display during Asian Restaurant Month, the second annual event that is timed for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month in May.
Launched by Houston’s Asian Chamber of Commerce last year, Asian Restaurant Month returns in 2022 with a digital passport in partnership with Visit Houston. Diners can record which participating restaurants they’ve visited over the month of May and receive prizes based on how many they’ve checked off their list.
Details and a full list of 100-plus enrolled businesses can be found on the website. Here are 17 must-visit restaurants—specifically participating in Houston’s Asian Restaurant Month—reflecting the various foods and cuisines that are part of the May event.
One of the few Houston restaurants to offer traditional cart service, Ocean Palace is a classic for dim sum. The two-story, 38,000-square-foot restaurant has been operating in Hong Kong City Mall since 1999. Dim sum is available daily, but the rolling carts are only on the weekends.
Find it: 11215 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX 77072 (281-988-8898)
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Hot pot is all the rage these days, but has been a staple in China for centuries. Diners do the cooking themselves from a selection of meat, seafood and vegetables. Chongqing Chicken Pot specializes in chicken hot pot, but also offers brisket, beef ribs, shrimp and frog pots.
Chongqing Chicken Pot serves hot pots in the Bellaire Food Street development in Chinatown.
Find it: 9393 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX 77036 (832-582-8483)
Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
The addictive, numbing tingle of Szechuan food is available at Bamboo House in Humble. Chef William Chu serves traditional Chinese dishes from the Szechuan province such as wonton soup, mapo tofu, kung pao, and whole and half Peking ducks.
Find it: 7855 N Sam Houston Pkwy. E, Humble, TX 77396 (281-441-3456)
Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Getting a taste of food from the Philippines is easy at Filipiniana Too in northwest Houston. The restaurant offers a buffet of more than 30 dishes that revolve daily. Classics include beef asado, chicken or pork adobo, a variety of pancit noodle dishes, and even lechon, a Filipino specialty of whole roasted pig.
Find it: 4051 FM 1960, Houston, TX 77068 (281-895-6666)
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Chicken korma is one of chef Kaiser Lashkari’s most popular dishes at Himalaya.
Himalaya is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in Houston for Indian and Pakistani food. Chef Kaiser Lashkari is famous for his fusion masala-spiced fried chicken, as well as more traditional fare like biryani, kababs, vindaloo and korma curries. The restaurant is BYOB.
Find it: 6652 Southwest Fwy., Houston, TX 77074 (713-532-2837)
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
From the broth to the noodles, everything is made from scratch at this ramen shop in the Heights. Samurai Noodle even imported a noodle-making machine from Japan. Options include spicy miso shouyu ramen, shouyu tonkotsu ramen and tampopo shouyu ramen.
The spicy tonkotsu ramen at Samurai Noodle.
Find it: 1801 Durham Dr. #2, Houston, TX 77007 (832-879-2982)
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 12-9:30 p.m.
Chef Manabu Horiuchi flies in the highest quality fish from Japan several times a week for his Upper Kirby sushi hot spot. Go à la carte with a variety of traditional and modern interpretations of sushi, or make a reservation for the omakase chef’s tasting.
Find it: 3600 Kirby Dr. Suite H, Houston, TX 77098 (713-526-8858)
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10:30 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-11 p.m.; Saturday, 12-3 p.m. and 5-11 p.m.; Sunday, 12-10 p.m.
Akamutsu (Japanese sea perch), left, and Fraser River sockeye salmon at Kata Robata.
Started by restaurateur and Korean immigrant Micky Kim in 2007, Honey Pig now has five locations (with two more on the way) in Maryland, Virginia and Texas. Head to Houston’s Asiatown for a Korean barbecue experience with generous special combos and à la carte options like pork belly, kalbi, bulgogi and brisket.
Find it: 9140 Bellaire Blvd. Suite B, Houston, TX 77036 (713-842-7993)
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight
Chef Alex Au-Yeung’s Katy restaurant put Malaysian food on the map in Houston. At Phat Eatery, start with a roti canai appetizer—flatbread with curry dip—and a selection of dim sum, then dig into main dishes like the rice dish nasi lemak, or the Malaysian chicken curry infused with galangal and pandan leaf.
Phat Eatery’s roti canai appetizer comes with a curry dip.
Find it: 23119 Colonial Parkway, Suite B-2, Katy, TX 77449 (832-913-6382)
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Tapioca House offers a variety of boba drinks, Taiwan’s most famous food import. But the restaurant’s Taiwanese street snacks provide a broader taste of the country’s food, through rice dishes like crispy pork chop, black pepper chicken and braised pork belly, and other bites from crispy tofu to sesame balls.
Find it: 9104 Bellaire Blvd. Suite B, Houston, TX 77036 (713-272-6468)
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Kin Dee opened in the Heights in May 2020. The Thai restaurant specializes in noodle-based dishes that are visually beautiful and cover several distinct Thai regions. Highlights include panang curry, spicy pork noodle soup and Thai dumplings made with butterfly pea flower to make them purple.
Kin Dee Thai Cuisine’s appetizers include chicken satay.
Find it: 1533 N. Shepherd Drive, Suite 160, Houston, TX 77008 (281-826-2655)
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m-3 p.m. and 5p.m.-12 a.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m-12 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Chef Christine Ha of the Blind Goat opened her second restaurant, Xin Chao, in October 2020 with chef Tony J. Nguyen. Ha, a MasterChef winner, starts her menu with Viet-Cajun oysters and pork belly baos, leading to mains like the smoked beef rib noodles, and a catch-of-the-day whole fish served with tamarind sauce and fish sauce vinaigrette.
Xin Chao serves chef Christine Ha’s Vietnamese food.
Find it: 2310 Decatur St., Houston, TX 77007 (832-740-4888)
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 5-11 p.m.
It’s the tail end of crawfish season, so get your hands on mudbugs while you can. Houston coined the fusion Viet-Cajun cuisine from Vietnamese and Louisiana culinary influences. Crawfish Cafe, with locations in Asiatown and the Heights, offers boils with several sauce options to coat the crawfish.
Find it (Asiatown): 11209 Bellaire Blvd. Suite C36, Houston, TX 77072 (281-575-1746)
Hours: Monday-Friday, 3 p.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 12-10 p.m.
Find it (Heights): 1026 N Shepherd Dr., Houston, TX 77008 (832-649-7102)
Hours: Monday-Friday, 12-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 12-10 p.m.
There’s even food from Yemen in Houston. Hadramout serves well-known Middle Eastern specialties like hummus and baba ghanoush, while also introducing mains like Zurbian chicken and lamb, a type of biryani dish that’s popular in Yemen.
Find it: 3758 S Gessner Road, Houston, TX 77063 (832-767-1894)
Hours: Wednesday-Monday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Alief-raised friends Quy Hoang and Terry and Robin Wong, along with pitmaster Jaime Valencia, are changing Houston’s barbecue scene with their Bellaire joint, Blood Bros. BBQ. The liberal use of Asian ingredients and flavors are what make this restaurant special, from the brisket fried rice to the togarashi split chicken.
Thai green curry boudin and Thai peanut butter sticky ribs at Blood Bros. BBQ.
Find it: 5425 Bellaire Blvd., Bellaire, TX 77401 (713-664-7776)
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Taiwanese company Fuji Tea landed on Houston for its first U.S. location. Spring for standard boba pearls or venture out with red bean paste or cheese foam. There’s a solid menu of milk teas as well as herbal and fruit teas such as the white peach oolong drink.
Find it: 9312 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX 77036 (832-659-0929)
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
The team behind Burger-chan recently moved their original location in Greenway Plaza to a new space in Uptown. The burgers are customizable with several sauce and topping options inspired by Asian flavors, like kimchi relish and sambal mayonnaise.
A burger from Burger-Chan.
Find it: 5353 W. Alabama St., Suite 110, Houston, TX 77056 (832-408-0860)
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
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Emma Balter is the food editor for Chron.
She was previously an entertainment reporter for the Houston Chronicle, writing food, drink and feature stories. Before joining the Chronicle in March 2020, Balter worked for Wine Spectator magazine for six years as a writer, editor and tasting coordinator. She has also contributed to Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, Eater, PureWow, Chowhound and VinePair, among others.
Balter grew up in Paris, France, where she got an early taste for good food and wine. She studied English Literature at Newcastle University in the U.K. and was the lifestyle editor of the student newspaper. She currently lives in southwest Houston.
Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaBalter


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