Around the World in Houston: Discover Afghanistan

Photo courtesy of Afghan Cultural Center

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 cultural center and traditional festivals to restaurants offering Afghan eats like mantu and kabuli palaw, here’s how to experience the culture of Afghanistan in Houston.

Annual Events, Museums & Cultural Organizations

  • Afghan Cultural Center This cultural organization promotes Afghan art, culture, education, and tradition. Connect on its Facebook page and check out a lineup of events, from picnics and conferences to Nowruz festivals and religious holiday celebrations. The center also offers a summer program for youth, offering eight weeks in art, culture, and Pashto/Dari languages.
  • Houston Iftar This annual Ramadan Dinner with the Mayor of Houston is open to the public each year.
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston The Art of the Islamic Worlds collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston showcases the diverse artistic traditions of Islamic land, with objects ranging from carpets and architectural fragments to ceramics, metalwork, jewelry, scientific instruments, and manuscripts.
  • Asia Society Texas Center With 12 locations throughout the world, the Asia Society seeks to promote mutual understanding and strengthen partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the west. Locally, the Museum District center enriches and engages the vast diversity of Houston through innovative programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach. Look out for a rotating selection of programs and activities, from culture camps for kids to special art exhibitions.

Afghan Food & Drink

Restaurants & Cafes

  • Afghan GrillThis Sugar Land spot rocks dishes like bolani (stuffed pastry), mantu (ground beef dumpling), qorma challow (spring lamb or chicken stew), and a variety of kabob.
  • The Afghan Village RestaurantStop by this family-style restaurant for traditional Afghan comfort food, from qabuli palau (rice with tender chunks of lamb, sweet carrot strips and raisins), and kabob murgh (marinated chicken skewers) to goat karahi and dogh (yogurt drink).
  • Chopan Kabob House Hit this kabob house for Afghan and Mediterranean halal food, with specialities including challow kabob, sabzi challow (Afghan-style spinach), aush (noodle) soup, and firni (Afghan rice pudding).
  • Kabobish Cafe & Grill Nosh on bolani (like an Afghan quesadilla), burani banjan (eggplant with tomato and yoghurt sauce), kabob platters, kabuli palaw (rice) with lamb shank, Afghan tandoori naan, and Afghan-style burgers at this Katy café and grill.
  • Saffron Kabob House Get borani badejan (eggplant), bolani, korma challow Afghan meat curry), quabili pallow (Afghan rice dish), and mantoo dumplings, plus a variety of curries and kabobs at this Hillcroft haunt.

Grocery Stores & Bake Shops

  • Afghan Halal MarketThis Hillcroft market offers everything from halal meat, fresh bread and produce to spices, grains and authentic Afghan goods.
  • Avland Bakery This westside bakery offers Persian and Afghani bread, made fresh every morning.

Language Classes, Education Centers, Groups & Meet-Ups

Other Notables

  • BBVA Compass Stadium Football fans can get their fix at this EaDo soccer stadium, home to both the Houston Dynamo and the Houston Dash.
  • Houston Cricket League – This cricket club was organized to further the sport of cricket in Houston and surrounding areas, with activities for both youth and adults.
Previous articlePick up a French fry-shaped stylus in time for National Selfie Day at McDonald’s
Next articlePark Spotlight: Eleanor Tinsley Park by Buffalo Bayou & Downtown
Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .