What was once the historic Barbara Jordan Post Office, tucked quietly at the edge of Downtown, is now a booming hub for food and entertainment coined POST Houston, developed by local realty firm Lovett Commercial. While there are plenty of reasons to plan a visit — a live concert venue and the rooftop sky lawn with a million-dollar view of the city’s skyline are among them — going for a meal at POST Market ranks top of the list.
Anchored by an illuminated, double helix-shaped stairwell, which leads to the 5-acre rooftop park, POST Market fills a sprawling first-floor space within the multi-use complex. Bedecked with colorful neon signage distinguishing the various food stalls, the market features communal tables, plus bar seating at twin postal-themed cocktail bars appropriately named Return to Sender and Address Unknown.
In choosing exactly which concepts to showcase within the market, Lovett Commercial’s director of development, Kirby Liu, turned to celeb Chef Paul Qui to consult on the project and curate the list.
“The process was very collaborative with Kirby and the Lovett team,” Qui explains. “We wanted to create something special for the City of Houston that showed the city’s diversity and featured an international spread.”
Twenty-five vendors, including existing concepts from Qui’s own FAM Hospitality group with Johnny Hoang, fill the space. Diners can choose from fiery Thai plates at Thai Kun, Vietnamese soups and bowls at Soupreme, halal tacos at Taco Fuego, sweet and savory crepes at Whisk Crepe Café, Brooklyn-style pizza at Roberta’s — the list goes on (and on).
“I feel that every vendor in the POST Market is passionate about what they’re offering, and you can feel that energy,” Qui exclaims. “You can’t find what we offer anywhere else in the city.”
It can seem daunting to choose from so many options of varying cuisines, but, truth be told, there is no wrong answer. And for a helpful breakdown of what’s what, check out Houstonia’s picks of a few POST Market standouts.
Under the umbrella of Qui’s FAM Hospitality Group, Soy Pinoy allows diners to get a taste of authentic Filipino street eats. Loaded sisig, fried chicken adobo and kiniwalin, a Filipino-style ceviche, are among the featured items on the highly approachable menu.
This original concept, with a strong focus on sustainably sourced seafood, is a collaborative effort between Qui and famed Norwegian chef Christopher Haatuft. Attention is naturally drawn to glass cases prominently showcasing the freshest bounty on ice, including oysters, crab claws and fish. Expect imaginative dishes like uni biscuits, ceviche and the “Snitter,” an open-face sandwich with buttery lobster and smoked salmon on thick toast.
This original concept, which garnered a loyal following from its pop-up series by the same name, now has a permanent home at POST Market. Helmed by Houston chef Ope Amosu, ChòpnBlok uses bold spice blends, fresh proteins, vegetables and grains to build healthy West African-inspired plates. Plus, there are vegetarian and vegan bowls, too.
This restaurant, with outposts in Austin and Denver, offers diners a taste of true Thai — and be warned, it does not fall short in the spice department. The beef panang curry offers bite after peppery bite, while the fried chicken with rice is presented with a tongue-tingling “boom” sauce.
This Houston-based creamery produces small-batch artisan ice cream in mouthwatering flavors like cereal milk, tiramisu, raspberry tres leches and Nutella banana. Spring for chunky candy mix-ins and a colored cone, and enjoy the ultimate Instagrammable moment.
Houstonians may know G’raj Mahal from visiting Rainey Street in Austin, and now they can have their fill of the popular food truck’s Indian street eats right here in town. Start off with golden fried samosas, then pair fluffy naan with aromatic curries spiced with turmeric and saffron.
This destination for Japanese street eats was made popular in Austin by Qui, and now it’s got a home in Houston. While its menu of meat-filled buns, stuffed hand rolls and loaded pork belly bowls are the main draw, Eastside King inside POST Market offers a 45-minute omakase seating, featuring 12 courses for $49.