27 Must-Try Latino-Owned Businesses in Houston

Spread love, it’s the H-town way.

Houston’s diversity is probably its coolest aspect (did you know we just beat out fierce competitors like Jersey City and LA to claim the crown as America’s Most Diverse City once again, at least according to WalletHub? Well, we did). And our Hispanic, Chicano, Tejano, and Latino community is a HUGE reason our culture is so infinitely rich. Now’s a great time to show your support of that very community, which you can easily do by supporting local Latino-owned businesses like these, from t-shirt brands to restaurants rocking empanadas, tamales, ceviches, and more. Here’s where to spend your cash in style throughout this upcoming Heritage Month.

CHICK HOUZ
CHICK HOUZ

RESTAURANTS & BARS

Chick Houz

Energy Corridor
Explore Peruvian traditions at this locally owned chicken joint specializing in rotisserie-style Pollo a la Brasa festooned with a whopping 18 spices. Order your uber-juicy bird accompanied by sides like Yucca Fries, Sweet Plantain, and Chaufa (AKA fried rice), or go off-book with Churrasco Sandwiches, Lomo Saltado Bowls, and overstuffed Burritos.
How to support: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via ChowNow.

Big Owl Craft Brew House

Heights
Launched at the beginning of September, this shiny new outpost acts as an operating tap room for Turkey Forrest Brewing, Houston’s self-proclaimed first all-Mexican-American-owned nano brewery. In addition to taps featuring Turkey Forrest’s Latin-influenced brews, dry-hopped red ales, stouts, and more, they also offer food and a selection of cans and bottles for both inhouse consumption and take-away.
How to support: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Latin Bites Kitchen
Latin Bites Kitchen

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: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out online, or get 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: Reserve a table online, order take-out online, or get delivery via ChowNow.

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: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order delivery via DoorDash.

Monkey’s Tail

Northside Village Barbacoa Pizza, Chango Burgers, and superlative cocktails from Pepino Sours to tequila-spiked Mexican Coke are all on the menu at this fun-loving Mexican-American dive (so is Monday Steak Night, btw). The brainchild of owner Jessie Gonzales, director of operations Steven Ripley, and development director and industry vet Lainey Collum (AKA Barrel of Monkeys Hospitality), the group also plans to open a funky new concept, Grease Monkey, in the former Petrol Station space soon.
How to support: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out via Toast.

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: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

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: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Treacherous Leches
Treacherous Leches

BAKERIES & CAFES

Segundo Coffee Lab

EaDo
This fresh-faced coffee shop comes from husband-and-wife team Martha and Manuel Gil, sitting pretty in a shipping container over in the Second Ward’s super-cool Iron Works building with a sibling CBD shop right across the way. Get a boost with a Cafe de Olla Cold Brew, Taro Té con Leche, and CBD-infused Latte, and tack on some breakfast tacos from fellow Latino-helmed business Doña Licha’s Handmade Tacos, available onsite.
How to support: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Treacherous Leches

Sixth Ward
Located inside Henderson & Kane general store, this tres leches pop-up is dangerous to know about—good thing it’s our duty to share. Get your paws on a slice of the drenched Latin dessert in its traditional form or spring for boundary-pushing originals like Reeses and Pumpkin Spice.
How to support: Stop by for counter service or order cakes to-go online.

El Bolillo Bakery
El Bolillo Bakery

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 by for counter service.

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 for counter service.

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: Stop by for counter service or order delivery via 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 for counter service.

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 by for counter service.

El Norteño Tacos
El Norteño Tacos

FOOD TRUCKS & SNACK SHOPS

Cochinita & Co

East End
Chef-owner Victoria Elizondo puts out hyper-local, progressive Mexican fare from Barbacoa Tacos and Gulf Ceviches to Blue Corn Sopes at this East End pop-up kitchen inside Kickin’ Kombucha. And coming soon, a taqueria on wheels. (Get excited.)
How to support: Stop by Kickin’ Kombucha for counter service, track down products at local farmers markets, and follow them on Instagram for food truck updates.

El Norteño Tacos

Houston
Trompo and Birria Tacos are off-the-charts good at this local food truck, as are baked potatoes loaded with cheese and the Shredded Birria and Griddled Pork Trompo. Not convinced? There are burgers, quesadillas, and even Mexican-style pizza for those with less-adventurous palates, too.
How to support: Follow them on Facebook for location updates.

Acai Brasil bowl
Acai Brasil LLC

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: Stop by for counter service or order take-out online.

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: Follow them on Facebook for location updates.

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.

Tatemó

Spring Branch East
Chef-owner Emmanuel Chavez is revolutionizing the tortilla game in Houston, but not with a new method. Instead, the up-and-coming star is using the ancient process of nixtamalization to prepare the purest, most flavorful maize tortillas you’ve ever tasted. After hosting pop-ups and selling his goods at farmers market for the better part of a year, you can soon find Chavez’s tortillas and other masa-based dishes at an upcoming brick-and-mortar location near Karbach Brewery.
How to support: Stop by Urban Harvest Farmers Market on Saturdays for counter service and follow them on Instagram for brick-and-mortar updates.

Tasty Arepa

Washington This Colombian and Venezuelen food truck is legit tasty. Look out for eats like deep-fried Pork Arepas, Cachapa loaded with queso de mano, Shredded Beef Empanadas, and Choriperro (Colombian-style hot dogs) topped with potato chips and pineapple.
How to support: Stop by for counter service or order delivery via Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Postmates.

state line designs denim jacket pins
State Line Designs

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).

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Brooke Viggiano is a Thrillist contributor.