Keep Cool at These Four Popular Asian Sweet Spots in Houston's Chinatown

Dun Huang Plaza, 9889 Bellaire BoulevardEXPAND
Dun Huang Plaza, 9889 Bellaire Boulevard
Photo By Cuc Lam

Located in the Dun Huang Plaza at Bellaire and the Sam Houston Tollway are four dessert joints that should be added to this summer's stay-cool hit list. On the menu are the more traditional sweet treats like ice cream and gelato, but jump outside of the box and go for one of the refreshing tapioca teas or better yet, dip your spoon into a big bowl of mixed fruit and coconut sago.

Front counter at Star Snow Ice & TeriyakiEXPAND
Front counter at Star Snow Ice & Teriyaki
Photo By Cuc Lam

Asians love to use beans and jellies in desserts. At Star Snow Ice, the menu is extensive.  Both savory and sweet dishes are offered, and the clientele are going for both.  There are multiple locations in Chinatown, but the one in Dun Huang Plaza is the newest addition.  Inside, it bustles with the young and old, slurping boba tea or a bowl of ramen, playing cards or sharing a gigantic serving of fruit and ice cream.

Server at Nu Cafe prepping green tea ribbon ice
Server at Nu Cafe prepping green tea ribbon ice
Photo By Yelper, Vivian H.
A mountain of ribbon ice with fresh strawberries, crushed Oreos and sweet black beans and topped with almonds and chocolate syrup
A mountain of ribbon ice with fresh strawberries, crushed Oreos and sweet black beans and topped with almonds and chocolate syrup
Photo By Yelper, Darrell M.

Before Class 502 came to Houston showcasing the Thai rolled ice cream trend, the strangest form of ice cream came in ribbons. "Ribbon ice" is the most popular item at Nu Cafe, a Taiwanese dessert shop. A small mountain of ice cream is shaved onto a plate and presented with your choice of exotic fruits and toppings.

Special offer at Juicebox: Buy 3 fruit teas, get 1 free.
Special offer at Juicebox: Buy 3 fruit teas, get 1 free.
Photo By Yelper, Wenq L.

Right next door is Juice Box, another Taiwanese sweet shop. Juice Box offers more dessert beverages than the others on this strip. The interior is bright and bubbly and full of young people playing board games and chatting with friends. Enjoy the shop's special offer on fruit teas: Buy three, get one free.

Gelato Cup offers more than two dozen flavors of gelato.EXPAND
Gelato Cup offers more than two dozen flavors of gelato.
Photo By Cuc Lam
Mixed fruit sago at Gelato CupEXPAND
Mixed fruit sago at Gelato Cup
Photo By Cuc Lam

At Gelato Cup, there is a lingering sweet smell in the air. More than two dozen house-made gelato flavors ranging from favorites like pistachio and tiramisu to exotic fruits like lychee and durian are on display. The best-seller, however, is not a gelato.  Bite-size pieces of kiwi, strawberry, mango and pineapple, topped with milk, coconut milk and sago pearls come together to create mixed fruit sago. Sweet, creamy, crunchy and cold — the combination is perfect for cooling off on a Houston summer day.

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Juice Box

9889 Bellaire
Houston, TX 77036

713-484-8085


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