BETTER DRIVES US. HYUNDAI
When I think of eating well, I think of Houston, Texas. You know the portions are going to be big and the prices decent. But what’s also amazing about Latinx-operated restaurants in Houston, is how they’re making their neighborhoods better.
Here are 6 places in Houston that will totally fill your stomach and heart with goodness.
1. Cantina Laredo
Modern Mexican cuisine is to die for, and Cantina Laredo is no exception. Whether you drop in to enjoy the relleno de hongos, or guadalajara, you know your taste buds are going to be satisfied.
A cool aspect of Cantina Laredo? They honor veterans on Veteran’s Day. Giving thanks to the military and those who served, if you are a U.S. veteran, you’re treated to a free meal at this place! Which is pretty amazing, and a great way to give back to those who have helped the country.
2. Ninfa’s On Navigation
Ninfa’s is rich in history, which is why it has been dubbed the best Mexican food in Texas since “Texas was in Mexico.”
The menu is drool worthy – caldo xochitl soup, antiguas enchiladas, and enchiladas de mole, as well as classic al pastor tacos. Ninfa’s journey goes as far back as 1973, when Ninfa Laurenzo began grilling steak and serving it in tortilla’s from her family’s struggling tortilla business. In 2001 she passed away, and in 2005 Legacy Restaurants purchased The Original Ninfa’s. Her food, culture and passion lives on.
Ninfa’s is not only making Houston better by offering fantastic dishes, but it also offers free shuttle services to and from all Astors, Rockets, and Dynamo games. The restaurant is giving back to the community that fuels it – they understand parking is a nightmare, and offering the free shuttle is a way to help foster community. A place that created a Tex-Mex empire is giving back with each plate.
Cuchara is the epitome of a place that gives back. They are in partnership with Latino Giving Houston, a charitable service that supports the Latino community in Houston.
So how is Cuchara involved? Well, back in August, they celebrated Latino Giving Houston all week, and for every $35 spent at the restaurant, Cuchara gave $5 to LGH. They also hosted several events for LGH, opening their doors and welcoming the community.
Cuchara also celebrates art unlike any other restaurant in Houston. They have a resident artist that created all of the murals in the restaurant – Cecilia Beaven, who has had her work shown in Mexico City, Oaxaca and Tijuana; as well as festivals in Colombia, EU, Italy and Sweden.
4. La Mexicana
La Mexicana is a staple of Houston Tex-Mex culture. When the Trevino family took over La Mexicana in 1982, it was just a supermarket. But their journey led by intense hard work and perseverance, has turned it into a full, flourishing restaurant.
The Trevino family prides themselves on being family-owned and has operated for decades. As it says on their website, “trends may come and go, but one thing is for sure, you can always depend on us.”
Not only do they provide catering and a menu full of fajitas (which you can order by the pound!), steak ranchero, and chile con queso, but they value their customers above all. That’s why when you walk through the doors, you literally feel like familia; they’re constantly providing good to their community and their neighborhood, blending the goodness of cultural tradition with the modern world.
5. Tacos La Bala
Do you think anyone will ever get sick of tacos? If Tacos La Bala has anything to say about it (and these barbacoa, chicharron, and tromp tacos have anything to say about it), the answer is NO!
This Houston joint is what an authentic taco is all about it – fresh meat, fresh tortillas, and good prices. But the amazing part about the team behind this restaurant? They’re all about providing opportunity for people in the Houston community. They even say it directly on their website – as they continue to grow and expand, so do their opportunities for employment. Any business that stresses giving back in this way is definitely run by great people.
6. Casa Ole
Don’t let this chain restaurant fool you; there is nothing ordinary about it. In fact, a huge part of Casa Ole is its commitment to giving back and community service.
As they state on their website, “At Casa Ole’, we’re committed to making a difference in the communities where we live, work and do business. This commitment dates from the earliest years of our company and is a vital part both of our heritage and of who we are today.”
They raise money for The Rose, a non-profit breast cancer organization, they support Muscular Dystrophy research, and also encourage children’s literacy and teamwork by donating foods and money to organizations that support educational, fine arts, and athletic groups in the local community.
Basically, every time you dine at a Casa Ole, you’re doing the community good by directly giving back to future generations and are committing to making Houston better each day. Also, it doesn’t hurt that their food is on point.
What’s Good in Your Hood isn’t just about great food, but also uncovering the stories about the owners who pour their heart and soul into what they do. When we look beyond the menu, we see that there is a passion and drive for a better life for their family and a strong relationship with their community.