Just a short distance from downtown, the George R. Brown Convention Center, and the Houston Dynamo’s BBVA Compass Stadium, East Downtown (EaDo for short) is a vibrant neighborhood worth visiting. Steeped in history – the area was home to Houston’s first Chinatown – EaDo is filled with thriving restaurants, breweries and shops that showcase Houstons’ unique character. Ready for a visit? Don’t miss these three homegrown EaDo small businesses.
After working as a pastry chef in Houston’s Tiny Boxwoods and restaurants in New York and Chicago, Cambodian-American chef Vanarin Kuch returned home to Houston to open Koffeteria in EaDo. The neighborhood holds a special place for Kuch, whose family-owned seafood and doughnut shops there while he was growing up. At Koffeteria, visitors will find whimsical pastries that draw on Kuch’s fine dining background and Houston upbringing. On any given day, the pastry case may contain treats like pistachio-crusted baklavas, barbecued rib croissants, and persimmon scones. If you’re craving something savory, you’ll find plenty to choose from. On a recent morning, the menu featured a breakfast taco with Chinese sausage, scrambled egg, green papaya and mango. Or may we suggest the beef pho kolache? With this one, Kuch seems to have perfectly captured Houston’s essence in a pastry. Pair it with a coffee beverage and enjoy it while you take in Houston’s skyline from the bakery’s backyard patio.
This family owned taqueria has been serving Houstonians in EaDo since 2003. Don’t be discouraged by the lines out the door. They move fast as customers walk down the cafeteria-style line choosing the filling for their fresh-off-the griddle tortillas. Brothers Taco House opens its door at 5 a.m. on weekdays, which makes it the perfect stop for breakfast tacos on your way to work – whether that’s at the office or at home. Eggs, chorizo, potatoes, and chicharrones are just some of the options. Looking for lunch? Barbacoa, carne guisada and chile relleno come to mind. Or perhaps a quesadilla or torta. At about $2 per taco, eating here won’t break the bank. Space to eat is limited here so take your tacos to go.
Fans of ex-Dynamo Brian Ching’s popular soccer bar, Pitch 25, will love East End Backyard, his second endeavor in EaDo. Perfect for hanging out or catching a game, the 20,000-square-foot outdoor oasis carries 25 beers on tap, cocktails, and a rotation of food trucks to fill you up with everything from tacos to steak. The place also has indoor seating in a 1930s blue bungalow that resides in the middle of the large outdoor space, but with Houston’s mostly year-round patio weather, why not get comfortable in the bar’s colorful outdoor seating? Living up to its backyard name, the place also has a large dog park that allows your canine sidekick to hang while you enjoy a cold beer at the tables inside the fenced-area.