My Top 5: Chef Minh Nguyen of Cafe TH

Photo: 365 Houston

Every week, we highlight a Houston entrepreneur and tastemaker who is making an impact on the city and its character. In turn, they share their own favorite things to do around Houston in their free time. This week, we’re please to feature the charming chef and restauranteur Minh Nguyen, who owns   Cafe TH on Pease in EaDo.

My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston

by Minh Nguyen

  1. Dining out at Houston Restaurants – I love eating out. Particularly, I love dining at places where I know the owner is continually working to create better experience, and not just collecting money as if it’s a given. I like observing the operational aspect, the design and ambiance, and of course the quality, uniqueness, or authenticity of their dishes. For me, they are countless… Shiv Sagar, London Sizzler, Nam Giao Restaurant & Bakery, Eck Bakery, Hai Cang Seafood Restaurant, Tan Tan, Local Foods, Kasra, Andes Cafe, El Tiempo on Navigation, Pepper Twins (formerly Cooking Girl), Hay Merchant, Paulie’s, Connie’s Seafood, Crawfish Cafe, Crawfish & Noodles, Fajitas A Go Go, Doshi House, Revival Market, Harold’s, Thien Thanh, Saigon Pagoloc, Istanbul Grill, and more. (Oh, and on the fancier side, there’s State of Grace, MF Sushi, Uchi, The Pass & Provisions, Xochi, Riel, Underbelly, Café Rabelais, Brennan’s of Houston, and El Meson.)
  2. Houston’s Hike & Bike Trails – This is one of the most exciting things for me to do because it’s physical and allows me to see things I’d have otherwise missed if I were driving. From my home, I can travel far past the east side of the Ship Channel, west of Memorial Park, north towards Acres Homes, or as far south as the tip of Chinatown in Bellaire. The best part is that although it’s still in its adolescent phase of construction.
  3. Reflection in places designed for it – I love to enjoy my inner peace and tranquility in a place that promotes it. Whether it be a temple, church, or Rothko Chapel, it’s all good for me. In a world of constant motion, where my mind can become a whirlwind of confusion, I need time to clear my mind and allow silence and clarity to take over.
  4. Hiking – Huntsville, Sabine to Memorial, Sam Houston National Forest, and Bear Creek Pioneers Park are close enough to get away from the concrete city of roads, bridges, and buildings. I love nature. To be able to escape roaring cars and construction and hear chirping birds and see unusual butterflies is always a plus in my mind.
  5. Houston Desserts – I absolutely have a sweet tooth. You can almost always find me ordering post dinner. Beignets, tres leeches, red bean and jelly, Pandan waffles, and soft serve ice cream… I absolutely love soft serve ice cream. My favorites are at Rita’s, Yogurtland, and Fat Cat Creamery.

About Minh Nguyen

A second generation Vietnamese American born in Minnesota, Minh Nguyen moved to Nederland, Texas with his family when he was still very young. After spending most of his childhood there, the family relocated to Houston, where he majored in Psychology at U of H. After school, and buoyed by a hefty helping of entrepreneurial spirit, he partnered with the original owners of a Vietnamese cafe. It was his first time to prepare the cuisine. In the midst of a booming international food scene, Minh bought Cafe TH from the owners in 2007. Preserving the best of their techniques, and working with his sous chef, the menu and restaurant has evolved to the modern day TH in EaDo.
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