Located between Alief and Bellaire, Houston’s Chinatown area is home to some of the must culturally rich scenes, people, and cuisines. When making the rounds for Lunar New Year in Houston, you should stop by Chinatown in Bellaire. From perusing all the goods inside H-Mart to singing your heart out at karaoke, read on to discover 10 incredible things to do in Chinatown, Houston.
1. Go to Town on Cloud-Shaped Cheesecakes
Nikko’s Cheesecakes is a mom-and-pop restaurant at 9188 Bellaire Blvd #C in Chinatown that’s open daily. For $17.68 a piece (serves 6) patrons can delight in the dessert shop’s pillowy, cloud-like Japanese cheesecakes. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early, for the mom and pop dessert shop can only make so many cheesecakes and can run out on particularly busy days.
2. Cosplay, Game, and Immerse Yourself in the Exciting Pop-Ups at Popfancy
Every few months or so, Popfancy Dessert Bar transforms its cafe space into an over-the-top pop-up. With immersive decor, themed eats and drinks, and fun programming, a stop by Popfancy is a Chinatown must. From now until July 4th, the bar is hosting their retro, ’90s-themed arcade. Past pop-up themes have included Stranger Things, Marvel, and Haru Matsuri Festival.
3. Eat Crawfish Ice Cream
When making the rounds this summer to all your favorite Houston ice cream parlors, don’t be afraid to step a little outside the box. Among the tasty repertoire at Red Circle Ice Cream, is the ice cream shop’s eyebrow-raising crawfish flavor. Or, you could always play it safe with the parlor’s homemade churros, “pufflelicious” egg-battered waffles, or other Fruity Pebble-encrusted churros.
4. Dine in at the New-and-Improved Fung’s Family Kitchen
Since opening in the southwest area of Houston back in 1990, Fung’s Kitchen has been a local favorite for its impeccable Dim Sum selection and Cantonese cuisine. In January of 2021, the restaurant sustained fire damage and was forced to close. This past December, the Hong Kong-style restaurant has officially reopened better than ever.
5. Eat All that You Can
Opened this past May, KPost Korean BBQ & Hot Pot is a stunning new eatery when Houstonians can indulge in all the hot pot and Korean BBQ that they can get their hands on. Plus, if you haven’t warmed up to the traditional family-style, share model, the restaurant serves their hot pot in individual pots so it’s all yours. 10790 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77072.
6. Let the Lead Out at Karaoke
While there’s no shortage of karaoke bars to choose from in Chinatown, One Shot Pocha is one of the few in the area where patrons can also indulge in top-notch Korean BBQ. Furthermore, the stunning new restaurant is open until 2 am nightly (closed Tuesdays), and features a wide selection of Korean foods, snacks, and drinks including an expansive variety of Soju.
7. Visit the Hong Kong City Mall
Home to over a hundred shops, gift stores, jewelers, spas, cafes, and restaurants – including Ocean Palace, the largest dim sum restaurant in Houston – Hong Kong City Mall is a major hub for Houston’s Asian-American community. Be sure to visit the grocery market when there to load up on all sorts of Asian goodies.
8. Go To Town On Crawfish
If you hadn’t heard of Crawfish & Noodles, the James Beard Award-winning restaurant, you might’ve seen it on David Chang’s Netflix doc, Ugly Delicious, Food Network, or the Travel Channel. The Chinatown favorite is renowned for its Viet Cajun crawfish, plus with some knockout noodle dishes, and oxtail hotpot to boot – it’s an absolute must.
9. See All There is to See Inside H-Mart
Did you know Houston had an H-Mart? The largest Asian supermarket chain in America Houston outpost features a ton in the way of food, groceries, and upscale products. Notably, the store houses Eve Pink K-Pop Store, one of Houston’s only K-Pop stores.
10. Step Foot Inside a Reflexology Massage Center
After an afternoon of walking around Houston’s Chinatown you’ll need to take a load off at some point. In Chinatown, thankfully, there are a number of establishments that specialize in just that. It’s hard to discern the best in reflexology massage centers in the area, but visitors can’t go wrong stopping into Oasis Massage II, JL Luxurious Foot Spa, or Soul Inn Reflexology.