Authentic and Vibrant
Just behind Los Angeles, Houston has the second-largest Indochinese population in the United States, and the Asian community throughout Houston is vibrant and growing. The squared-off section in southwest Houston is now known as Chinatown or Asia Town (previously the area was located just east of Downtown Houston, where you still see shops and stores) and the area is one of the busiest and most intriguing in the city, thanks to its vibrant and authentic culture and vibes.
For starters, Chinatown is home to Harwin Drive, one of the most eclectic and discounted shopping areas in all of Houston where you can find perfumes, purses and luggage, oriental rugs, décor and so much more. It’s one of the reasons so many locals visit the area on a regular basis and is well known among locals.
The restaurants in Chinatown are authentic and plentiful with a few of the most popular being Banana Leaf, Fung’s Kitchen, and Hong Kong Dim Sum, among so many to choose from. Kim Son (three Houston locations) is probably one of the most prominent traditional restaurants for Vietnamese and Chinese food. According to the restaurant’s website, they are “Perennially voted ‘Best Vietnamese Restaurant’ in Houston by the Houston Press, KIM SON has also garnered praise through a number of prestigious magazines, such as Bon Appétit, Esquire, and Food & Wine.”
While you’re in the area, treat yourself to one of the many reflexology locations, ranging anywhere from $20 – $60, depending on the scope of service and length of time. After you spend hours walking around Harwin, you’ll need a little rest and relaxation, and you’re in luck with so many in close proximity. A few good options include Oasis Massage or Lucky Feet Houston, just to name a few.
Chinatown is also a massive hub for experiencing crawfish, with some of the best spots (yes, multiple places!) in all of Houston! Crawfish is usually in season January through July, with peak months being April and May, so if you’re in the area, be sure to look for the “fresh crawfish” signs and pull in and stay awhile. You can also check out this handy guide for 5 local spots to find some of the best Vietnamese Crawfish in the area.