Around the World in Houston: Discover Taiwan

Photo courtesy of Taiwan Yes Houston Night Market Festival

With a labyrinth of cultures represented in every nook and cranny of town, Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in America. To celebrate this world-class melting pot, we’ll be exploring a new region of the globe through a Houston lens each week, from annual festivals and museums to restaurants and cultural experiences. Join the journey with our Around the World in Houston series.

From a culture fest and and heritage society to boba tea shops and restaurants rocking Taiwanese beef noodle soup, the rich traditions of Taiwan can be discovered throughout Houston.

Annual Festivals & Cultural Events

  • Taiwan Yes HoustonHosted by the Houston Chapter of Taiwanese Association of America, this Taiwanese festival promotes Taiwan’s culture through food, activities and fun. The 2018 festival will be held at the Taiwanese Commnity Center on Saturday, April 21.
  • AsiaFest Held in the spring, AsiaFest celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage through community performances, fusion cuisine, creative activities, art and vendors, and cultural exhibitions. The 2018 AsiaFest is set for Saturday, May 19.

Museums & Cultural Organizations

  • Taiwanese Association of America Houston Chapter This cultural organization puts on the annual Taiwan Yes Festival in addition to other programs that help promote Houston’s Taiwanese community.
  • Taiwanese Heritage Society In addition to hosting a language school, family fun events, cooking classes, art fairs and social programs, this non-profit manages the Taiwanese Community Center, a gathering point for Houston’s Taiwanese community since 1992.
  • Asia Society Texas Center The Asia Society Texas Center focuses on enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach. Look out for a lineup of programs and activities, including film festivals, food tours, family days, culture camps, student programs, art exhibitions, architecture tours, martial arts workshops, and an annual Tiger Ball highlighting a different culture each year.
  • Arts of Asia at MFAH The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston hosts an Arts of Asia collection spanning nearly five millennia and encompassing cultures across the continent.

Taiwanese Food & Drink

Restaurants & Cafes

  • China Gourmet This Chinese and Taiwanse haunt on Bellaire rocks specialties such as zhan-hua (Taiwanese meatball), milkfish soup, oyster omelet, and three cup squid.
  • Juice Box This Bellaire juice bar offers Taiwanese snow ice, fruit green teas, and tapioca drinks.
  • Lai Lai Dumpling HouseThis Chinese eatery offers a selection of Taiwanese-style entrees, from braised pork rice to three cup chicken.
  • Nu CafeNu Cafe offers a mix of Taiwanese snacks, drinks and desserts, from shaved ribbon ice to honey boba.
  • San Dong Noodle HouseYou’ll find Slack Season danzai noodles, Taiwanese roast beef noodles and all kinds of dumplings at this Bellaire noodle house.
  • Snow Topi This local pop-up offers Taiwanese fusion street food at spots around town. Follow the calendar to see where it will pop up next.
  • Star Snow Ice & TeriyakiThis Dun Huang Plaza spot offers specialties like beef tendon noodle, spicy squid, seafood noodle soup, and boba drinks on the cheap.
  • Super Bowl Asian Cuisine & Tea HouseGet Chinese and Taiwanese plates at this restaurant and teahouse, from Taiwan-style popcorn chicken and beef noodle soup to assorted smoothies and milk teas.
  • Tainan BistroSlurp house special beef noodle soup, dig into Taiwanese-style fried pork noodles, and share Taiwanese snacks like pepper salty chicken nuggets and chicken rolls at this Asiatown haunt.
  • Taphouse 88 Sip Taiwanese bubble teas alongside popcorn chicken and fries at this tapioca-centric spot.
  • Tapioca HouseThis Bellaire hotspot offers a wide variety of Taiwanese tapioca drinks, shakes, and snacks. Sip Tapioca Milk Teas or Mint Oreo Ice Cream Shakes with your choice of tapioca or jelly, and snack on dishes like house nuggets, beef noodle, crispy pancakes, and fried tofu with rice.
  • Teacup Cafe Tapioca cream green tea, minced pork noodles, fried fish tofu, and spicy chicken gizzards are all on the menu at this westside teahouse.
  • Yellow River Hit this cafeteria-style hole-in-the-wall to fill up on three cup chicken, smoked duck, stewed meatballs, and stir-fried noodle.

Grocery Shops & Bakeries

  • 85°C Bakery Cafe Dubbed the “Starbucks of Taiwan,” this international chain brought its bread, cakes, coffees, and boba teas to Houston’s Chinatown.
  • Kamalan Bakery This Taiwanese bakery offers traditions like red bean bread, milk butter buns, and taro cake.
  • 99 Ranch Market This Asian wonderland offers an array of imported snacks, noodles and rices, spices and condiments, sweets and pastries, fresh produce, meats and specialties like live seafood, and Taiwanese hot pot.

Language Classes, Education Centers, Groups & Meet-Ups

Other Notables

  • Yes KTV – Open daily and located on the 2nd floor of the Dun Huang Plaza shopping strip in Chinatown, this upscale karaoke bar boasts private rooms, and a laundry list of songs in everything from English and Chinese to Vietnamese and Korean (the library of Chinese songs reaches over 150,000). The karaoke club is also BYOB.