Hispanic Heritage Month

Show Your Support for These Latino-Owned Businesses in Houston

Be a good neighbor.

Supporting Latino-owned businesses should be a year-round initiative for Houston. The Hispanic and Latino community makes up a huge percentage of the city’s population (according to demographic data, that number was 44.8% as of 2019), and the city is infinitely richer for it. From Cuban cigar shops and local T-shirt brands to eateries rocking empanadas, tamales, ceviches, and more, here are just a few of the Latino-owned businesses you should be supporting in Houston.

RESTAURANTS & BARS

Alma Restaurant 

Highland Village
David Guerrero may have closed his cult favorite Andes Cafe, but the veteran chef and restaurateur is back with this newer, chicer Latin American spot set in the former Drexel House space in Highland Village. Look for shareable dishes from ostiones crudos (raw oysters) and asados (wood-roasted with things like kimchi butter) to Peruvian seafood paella and open-fire whole snapper wrapped in a banana leaf, Amazonian style. There’s brunch, too.
How to support: Make a dine-in reservation or call 713-960-0501.

Cafe Piquet

Bellaire
A hub of the Houston Cuban community for since ‘96, this old-school cafe traces its roots back to Havana and Camaguey, where owners and husband-and-wife duo Guido and Nelly Piquet were born. Today, you’ll still find house specialties in the form of tamale Cubano, yuca con mojo, ropa vieja, and snapper a la plancha.
How to support: Order online for curbside pickup or score delivery via Grubhub.

Latin Bites

Tanglewood
Husband-wife duo Carlos Ramos and Rita Castre have kept this Peruvian kitchen going for 10 years strong, serving Peruvian cuisine that is loud, proud, and worth the drive to Tanglewood. Score lomo saltado, Peruvian ceviche, empanadas, and churrasco chimichurri, all of which you can (and should) wash down with a pisco sour.
How to support: Order online or make a dine-in reservation.

Maison Pucha Bistro

Heights
The Pucha Brothers joined forces for this epic French bistro, blending their Ecuadorian heritage into the mix, too. Manuel is the executive chef at the helm, with Victor behind the stellar pastries and brother Cristian as the beverage director and GM. Don’t miss the Ecuadorian shrimp ceviche, hanger steak frites a la plancha, and souffle en noir with Ecuadorian chocolate.
How to support: Call 713-637-4976 to make rezzies for dine-in and order takeout, or get delivery via DoorDash.

Monkey’s Tail

Northside Village
Barbacoa pizza, Chango burgers, and superlative cocktails like the Blue Curacao-spiked “Adios Motherf# # # # #” are all on the menu at this fun-loving Mexican-American cocktail dive (so is Monday Steak Night, btw). It comes from Jessie Gonzales, Greg Perez, and Sharif Al-Amin, the minds behind the newly formed hospitality group B.O.M. (Barrel of Monkeys) Hospitality, and the group also plans to open a new concept in the former Petrol Station space this fall.
How to support: Hit the bar and patio to dine-in or order takeout eats and booze online.

Sal y Pimienta

Memorial City
Chef and owner Gianfranco Percovich grew up around food, working in his family’s restaurant in Uruguay as a kid and eventually, opening this South American kitchen right here in Houston. There, you’ll find bright ceviches, handmade pastas, all kinds of milanesas, and a badass weekend brunch.
How to support: Call 832-849-0097 to make reservations or place an order for curbside or delivery.

Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe

Heights (& Southwest Houston)
For a no-frills, real-deal Mexican experience, Teo is your go-to. Each of its three locations are known for super-generous portions that are super wallet-friendly. Load up on carnes asadas, Veracruz-style fish, loaded paradillas, and all the tacos, burritos, and enchiladas you can comfortably fit in your mouth.
How to support: Visit or call your nearest location for takeout.

BAKERIES & CAFES

Campesino Coffee House

Montrose
Cozied into a bohemian bungalow off lower Westheimer sits a Latin American-style, Salvadoran-owned coffee house you’re going to want to get to know better. And how will you do that, you ask? By sipping flawless café cubanos, café con leches, and horchata iced lattes with beans sourced right from Mexico and Central and South America; and enjoy them alongside tamales, choripan sandwiches, and breakfast tacos.
How to support: Stop in and drink up or get delivery via DoorDash.

El Bolillo

Greater Heights (& other locations)
Want the world’s best tres leches cake? Look no further than this cult favorite Mexican bakery. But when you get there, you actually do want to look a little further, right into its unrivaled selection of pan dulce -- we’re talking panaderos, cuellos, orejas, and more.
How to support: Stop by or call your nearest location.

El Quetzal Bakery

Sharpstown
Sitting off Gesnner, this teeny Guatemalan bakery and cafe has all the craveable goods, including but not limited to chile relleno, pepián, tamales, tortas, and garnachas; plus freshly baked breads and custom cakes.
How to support: Pop in, call to order, or find them on Grubhub

Manena’s Pastry Shop and Deli

Westchase
With 20+ years under its belt, this family-owned pastry shop & deli will take you straight to Buenos Aires. Head here to score empanadas stuffed with things like corn, spinach, and jamón y queso, Argentinean style sandwiches de miga, milanesa baguettes, and desserts from merengues to dulce de leche flan.
How to support: Stop by or call 713-278-7139.

Sweets by Belen

Mahatma Gandhi District
Spanish teacher turned baker Belen Bailey honors the traditions of her native Peru (and her mother and grandmother’s recipes) at her sweet shop, crafting homestyle desserts with a Latin punch. Go for the decadent dulce de leche jar, dreamy leche asada (milk custard cake), traditional alfajores, or cheesecakes hit with passionfruit, mango, and guava.
How to support: Stop in or call 832-203-7565.

FOOD TRUCKS & SNACK SHOPS

Acai Brasil

Northeast Beltway
This local shop is owned and operated by a Brazilian couple who couldn’t find authentic Brazilian acaí bowls in Houston. Good news, now you can. Go for the Brazilian-style varietal, made with strawberry, banana, and condensed milk; or try cups mixed with things like granola, honey, coconut, and mango.
How to support: Place an order by phone (281-857-4423) or on Facebook.

The Cuban Spot

Houston
This roaming food truck’s Cuban sandwich is no joke, with succulent roast pork, ham, and the usual suspects (swiss, pickles, mustard) sitting pretty inside authentic Cuban bread that gets panini’d along with some garlic butter on top. Get that and pair it with some chorizo, jalapeño, and cheese loaded fries.
How to support: Find the truck’s current location on Facebook to score the goods.

The Original Marini’s Empanada House

West Houston
This family-owned and operated empanada shop was started by Marcello and Pelusa Marini in 1971, and today, their children keep the flaky treats coming. Visit for empanadas in both savory and dessert-style, plump with stuffings like beef gaucho, salami and raisins, pinto beans and cheese, fiery habanero chicken, fig and walnut, and banana with cheese, cinnamon, and sugar.
How to support: Call 281-391-4273 for pickup or takeout.

Sofrito Houston

Garden Oaks/Oak Forest
This Latin hole-in-the-wall is the epitome of why we love Houston. Set inside the Dr. Gleem Car Wash on Ella, Sofrito comes from Puerto Rican brothers who want to show the city the flavors they grew up on, which include things like double-fried tostones with house adobo, sofrito chicken empanadas, and tripleta sandwiches.
How to support: Call 346-290-1649 for takeout or look out for delivery on Grubhub and Uber Eats.

Tatemó

Houston
Chef-owner Emmanuel Chavez is on a mission to show the world the true value of maíz. At his modern tortilleria, the Mexico City native focuses on the ancient practice of nixtamalization (processing corn into masa without those pesky additives) to create a plethora of Mexican maize-based dishes, from tlayuda to sopes.
How to support: Find them at the Urban Harvest Farmers Market or DM their IG account to order delivery.

Tasty Arepa

Washington
This Colombian and Venezuelen food truck is legit tasty. Currently offering pickup and delivery via apps, look out for eats from deep-fried pork arepa and cachapa loaded with queso de mano to shredded beef empanada and choriperro (Colombian-style hot dogs) topped with potato chips and pineapple. 
How to support: Call 832-757-9066 for pickup or snag delivery via Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Postmates.

SHOPS & RETAIL

East End Farmers Market

East End
Rocking two of the city’s oldest Hispanic neighborhoods -- Magnolia Park and Second Ward -- the East End is a cultural hub for Houston’s Hispanic and Latin community. Pop by the year-round East End Farmers Market to find a lineup of local vendors offering produce and dairy products, artisan eats and handcrafted wares produced farm and dairy products, prepared foods, and unique handcrafted wares in this weekly Sunday street market.
How to support: Find the market on Navigation Esplanade every Sunday from 10am-2pm (and look out for the Last Friday Night Market on the last Friday of the month).

El Cubano Cigars

League City (& Texas City)
The Lopez family has been growing tobacco since 1904, starting near Havana, Cuba in a small region known as Tumbadero. Generations later, Manny Lopez and his father Manuel brought the family biz to Houston, offering an impressive 35,000+ roster of real deal Cuban cigars and hand rolled coronas at their cigar factory, which now rocks two locations.
How to support: Stop in to shop or call to have custom labels created for gifts and events.

Henderson & Kane

Sixth Ward
Just a few blocks off Washington tucked into a historic building in the Old Sixth Ward, this family-run general store comes from John and Veronica Avila, the husband-and-wife team behind BBQ favorite El Burro & the Bull. Their BBQ spot may temporarily closed (don’t worry, it will come to life once again in the East End), but for now, you can still get the smoked goods alongside local produce and honey, breads and grains, eggs and cheeses, and butcher shop cuts at Henderson & Kane.
How to support: Pop in or order directly online or via Grubhub and ChowNow.

Mija Cultura

Houston
Started by three Houston Latinas, this clothing brand takes its inspirations from the founder’s love of the local music scene (and their highschool emo days). According to them, this brand is for “the mijxs who’s playlist range from “bad n boujee” to “cosas del amor”, and it’s “the brand your abuelita warned you about.” Score cute things like logo tees, “Raspa Lyf” pins, and “Mijita” facemasks.
How to support: Shop online via the website and give them a follow on Insta.

State Line Designs

Houston
You’ve probably seen owner Ellyse Espinoza’s designs around town (likely on several people at your favorite bar). She started her Houston-inspired T-shirt business back in 2014, and it’s garnered a pretty loyal following ever since. Take a peek to see why.
How to support: Snag some Clutch City tees and other goodies online (and look out for the mobile boutique to return in post-COVID life).

Sign up here for our daily Houston email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Brooke Viggiano is a Thrillist contributor.