15 Essential AAPI-Owned Businesses in Houston

From beloved dumpling shops to the quirkiest theme park in town, here's where to show your support during AAPI Heritage Month and beyond.

Houston is a mecca of cultural diversity, one that is made that much richer thanks to the vast AAPI community we honor each year during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We’re home to the largest Vietnamese-American population in Texas (and the third largest in the U.S.) and have residents with roots in Cambodia, China, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines, and beyond. We also rock multiple Asiatowns, and the entire city is lined with age-old AAPI-owned businesses. From family-run kitchens that have become beloved local staples to James Beard-recognized newcomers putting Houston’s food scene on the map—plus a few fresh-faced non-culinary entrepreneurs shaping the city’s future—you’ll want to get to know these AAPI-owned standouts, ASAP.

And to further show your support—not to mention make sure you’re eating really really well—take a look at our Best Chinatown Restaurants list, the epic restaurant-support Facebook group Chow Down in Chinatown, and all the restaurants participating in Houston’s Asian Restaurant Month.

Chef-owner Alex Au-Yeung has garnered his fair share of accolades, including a semifinalist nod in the 2022 James Beard Best Chef: Texas category, but it’s his passion for building community that really sets this Katy Asian Town venture apart. Phat Eatery has drawn an enthusiastic following thanks to its super craveable Malaysian street eats (the kind you’d find in mamak stalls and hawker markets in Asia), and you’ll also want to check out sibling establishment YELO, Yeung’s celebration of Southeast Asian comfort food, while you’re at it.

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Available for Reservations

Think of this like the Vietnamese version of Subway—if Subway made Bánh Mì stuffed with scratchmade and locally sourced ingredients. Owner Linda Nguyen’s grandmother had a sandwich shop in Vietnam, and she has channeled her roots to take Houston by storm, opening three shops that offer a roster of grandma-approved, custom-built sandwiches plus Vietnamese noodle and rice bowls. Oh, and the Sweet Chili Sriracha Wings—don’t sleep on those, either.
How to support: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout via HungerRush.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

This locally curated pop-up market is on a mission to support, celebrate, and advocate for Houston’s AAPI community and beyond—and we’d say it's totally succeeding in that mission. The fun-loving, all-are-welcome creative collective showcases some of today’s most exciting and in-demand makers, food vendors, and small businesses, even raising funds for causes like OCA Greater Houston and Relief Gang. Plus, they have their own super cute merch.
How to support: Follow them on Instagram for location updates.

Sticky Ribs hit with peanut butter and Thai chilis. Pho-rubbed Smoked Beef Belly Spring Rolls. Red Curry Chili Sausage. These probably aren’t the first things you think of when it comes to barbecue, but they’re all in play at this revolutionary Asian smokehouse from three hometown boys: the southwest suburb of Alief’s Robin and Terry Wong and pitmaster Quy Hoang. Here, the menu features truly spectacular one-offs alongside return-visit worthy Blood Bros. staples like Smoked Brisket and Ribs, the Pig Moe Sandwich, and Brisket Fried Rice.
How to support: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order catering online.

Lucky Land


It’s been called one of Houston’s top hidden treasures, a historic cultural center and joyous Chinese themed amusement park mashup that unassumingly spans over two acres off Airline Drive. Traipse through beautiful gardens and Buddha statues, replicas of historical and cultural sites in China, and fun attractions like giant 3D pandas that will most definitely be making it into your next TikTok. Tickets run $10 each for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for kids, and free for little ones under three.
How to support: Stop by to purchase tickets and explore.

Burger Chan


More folks need to know about husband-and-wife duo (and Rice U alums) Diane and Willet Feng’s custom-built burger joint. The “chan” in its moniker may reference “cuteness,” but the flavors here are totally in your face, and with the new “burger-chan 2.0” location in the Galleria-area, the kitchen has even more room to shine. Stack up a few beautifully smashed patties or go for the bigger, smokier five-ounce numbers done up on the grill (both are umami bombs with a soy-mushroom glaze) and top ‘em with goodies like funky sambal mayo, soy serrano peppers, and crispy onion strings.
How to support: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Cardamom. Coriander. Garam Masala. Lavender. Chocolatier Annie Rupani channels her South-Asian background to make some damn fine bon-bons. Each delicate sweet is a piece of art, infused with spicy, fruity, nutty, and bold ganache and finished with more chocolate brushed and splattered with bright, vivid colors. A jewel box makes the perfect gift for someone special—even if that someone special is yourself.
How to support: Stop by to browse and shop or order home delivery online.

Dumpling Haus

Arts District Houston

What began as a farmers market and pop-up from China-born chef Elaine Won and her daughters has turned into one of the best dumpling purveyors in Houston. Now with a brick-and-mortar location in Sawyer Yards, head here to get a mouthful of the plump, handmade wonders, crisped or steamed and stuffed with locally sourced pork, cabbage, mushrooms, and more. And since they now have a real-deal kitchen, the family puts out additional dishes like Chili Garlic Tofu, Hong Kong Style BBQ Pork, and Spicy Szechuan Noodles, too.
How to support: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Long Coffee


This family-run Vietnamese cafe has been serving the Houston community since 1983, and it has impressively kept up with the times, boasting a duo of outposts and convenient to-go options (including a drive-thru). You’ll want to score some beverages, of course—Cafe Sua Da, Matcha Green Tea Lattes, Spicy Mango Blends, and Taro Coconut Frozens—plus eats from Almond Croissants and Fruit Tarts to Popcorn Chicken and, yes, their own spin on Fettuccine Alfredo.
How to support: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

If we had to pick one restaurant that embodied the ethos of Mutt City, it’d be this Viet-Cajun Chinatown fixture, where chef-owner Trong Nguyen (another James Beard Award finalist that’s been featured on shows from Bravo’s Top Chef to Netflix’s Ugly Delicious) slings mudbugs and noods to the hungry masses. Peel, pinch, suck, and grab some Banh Mi to soak up all the garlic, buttery crawfish juices alongside spicy Stewed Turkey Neck, Stir-fried Noodles, and Tamarind Crab.
How to support: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Drawing inspiration from their Vietnamese roots (khói means “smoke” in Vietnamese), brothers Don and Theo Nguyen have gained a dedicated fandom at their young-gun pop-up, even picking a bunch of love from fellow Houston ‘cue comrades. While they use traditional techniques, their smoked goods simply hit different thanks to bold Vietnamese black pepper, unctuous fish sauce-spiked glazes, and creations that merge perfectly rendered beef brisket and ribs with ingredients like bún bò huế and panang curry dip.
How to support: Follow them on Instagram for location updates.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Pakistani-native Kaiser Lashkari and Azra Lashkari are the dream team behind this popular Little India restaurant. The almost two-decade-old haunt is known for its ace Indo-Pak fare and ace-in-the-hole specials like the ‘HFC’—that’d be oh-so crisp, masala-spiced Himalaya Fried Chicken, and you’ll have to order it before it sells out. It’s no wonder the late-great Anthony Bourdain was such a fan.
How to support: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout and delivery via ChowNow.

China Garden


It’s billed as Houston’s oldest Chinese restaurant, opening on the eastside of downtown in 1969 before relocating to its current location near the Toyota Center a decade later, prompting the question, “if you haven’t eaten at Chinatown before a Rockets game, are you even a Houstonian?” The family-run spot lost its matriarch, Marian 'Mama' Jue, last year, but her rich legacy lives on through her family, food, and love for the Houston community. Feel right at home with Hunan Beef, Sweet & Sour Shrimp, and the city’s greatest Egg Rolls (no lie).
How to support: Reserve via Google.

Cloud 10 Creamery

Multiple locations

You will not find a single boring flavor coming out of this small-batch ice creamery—not if co-owner and pastry chef Chris Leung has it his way (spoiler alert: he does). That’s probably why the cult-favorite has scooped up four locations across town throughout its decade in operation. Go for Cafe Sua Da made with Cafe du Monde coffee and sweetened condensed milk, Banana Cinnamon swirled with chunks of fresh banana cooked in brown sugar and butter, and a Toasted Rice with jasmine rice-infused milk that’ll take you back to the days of crushing cereal bowls before school.
How to support: Stop by for counter service or order pints to-go online.

Any coffee shop in Houston without an onsite bakery is most likely featuring some of pastry chef Vanarin Kuch’s outlandish croissants, sticky buns, and sweets. But you can also find them at his own coffee shop, of course, the relaxed, cool indoor-outdoor space just east of downtown. Kuch, the child of Cambodian refugees, earned his spurs at Houston’s Tiny Boxwoods (not to mention on Top Chef: Just Desserts) before venturing out on his own with inventive creations like Beef Pho Kolache, Gumbo Danish, and the Meaty Tuck, a maple-kissed kouign amann loaded with housemade sausage.
How to support: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Brooke Viggiano is a Houston-based writer who is proud to call this diverse city home. Say “sup!” to her @brookeviggiano on Twitter and @brookiefafa on IG.