Around the World in Houston: Discover Poland

around-the-world-in-houston-poland
Photo courtesy of The Houston Polish 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 heritage festivals rocking tradition dress, music and dance to tasty kitchens dishing out pierogi, golonka, and bigos stew, there are plenty of ways to experience Polish culture in Houston.

Annual Festivals & Cultural Events

  • Houston Polish FestivalThis family-friendly festival celebrates Polish heritage and culture through food and drinks (from pierogi and golabki to kielbasa and scratch-made desserts), traditional dress, music, and dance and more. The 2018 fest will take place Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6 at Our Lady of Czestochowa; and be sure to look out for the Polish Harvest Festival in the fall.
  • Houston Polish Film Festival This annual film festival, which usually takes place in the fall, has been celebrating films for over 20 years.
  • Houston Slavic Heritage Festival Every year, Houston’s Slavic communities gather to honor their Slavic heritage with ethnic foods, singing, and dancing. The festival is open to the public, as all are invited to join and learn about the rich histories and cultures of the Czech, Croatian, Polish, and Ukrainian communities.

Museums and Cultural Organizations

Polish Food & Drink

Restaurants & Cafes

  • Pierogi Queen Owned and operated by Polish-born Eva and Miroslaw Sek, this League City shop is as authentic as it gets, from the gallery of pictures on the wall to the signature pierogi. Get the dumplings filled with potato and cheese, kraut and mushrooms, or meat; then choose your preparation, boiled with bacon, pan-fried with caramelized onion, or deep-fried and served with sauce. You’ll also find Polish specialties like bigos (hunter stew), kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, and crepes filled with Polish farmer’s cheese; plus “Pol-Tex” offerings like fresh-cut fries loaded with sliced Polish sausage and bacon and dill sauce.
  • Polonia You’ll find everything from pierogi, golbaki (cabbage rolls) and authentic Polish sausage to bigos, golonka (pork shank), and blintz at this Polish restaurant with a food store attached.
  • Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen Restaurant This New York-style delicatessen (with locations in the Galleria and West U) offers more than just corned beef sandwiches the size of your head; the expansive menu also rocks Eastern European specialties, including borscht, stuffed cabbage, and babka.
  • King’s Biergarten/King’s BierHaus Locals can get their kielbasa on at both the Pearland biergarten or Heights bierhaus locations of this Bavarian-style bar and restaurant.
  • Riel Head to this globally-inspired Montrose haunt to treat yourself to a hanger steak and some of the best potato and cheddar pierogi in town.

Grocery Shops & Bakeries

  • Polish Food Store Next to Polonia, this food store stocks traditional and authentic Polish fare, including bread and pastries like pączki, fresh and smoked meats, sausages and ham; herring, cheeses, frozen pierogi, sauerkraut, condiments, beer, candies and snacks, fruits and juices, and goods.
  • Three Brothers BakeryIn 1949, Polish brothers Sigmund, Sol and Max opened the first Three Brothers Bakery on Holman Street. Today, the popular bakery has three locations, each of which offers European-style bread, cookies, pastries, and cakes, alongside a lineup of specialty desserts.
  • Golden Grain Though it’s a mainly Russian food emporium, you’ll also find a host of delicacies from across Europe, including Polish double pork loin, kielbasa with garlic, Podlaski cheese and more.

Language Classes, Education Centers, Groups & Meet-Ups

  • Polish Language Courses The Berlitz Language Center offers flexible programs for adults and children, including courses in Polish.
  • Forum Polonia Houston Check out this community organization (and its Facebook group) to connect with fellow Polish Houstonians and discover cultural events happening around the city.
  • Dance Group Wawel This non-profit folk dance group promotes Polish culture via musical performances around the city. No dance experience is necessary to join.