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.
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 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 $58.
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.
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 Southeast Asia- and Latin America-inspired stall is a trendy new concept from Filipino chef Laila Bazahm, who once owned award-winning restaurant Hawker 45 in Barcelona. The fusion restaurant features dishes that blur the lines between diverse cuisines, a nod to the popular Asian hawker centers from which the restaurant gets its name. Standouts on the menu include the hawker chicken wings, which come twice fried and glazed with chili jam, as well as the smoked beef ribs, a Malaysian rendang curry reduction featuring a chili gastrique, pickles, and coconut rice. Consider complementing your meal with a side of roti for a hawker experience thorough enough to have you convinced you've unwittingly stumbled through a portal into Singapore.
This Nashville-style hot chicken restaurant, one of the busiest spots in the entire food hall, is lovingly named after FAM Hospitality Group co-founder Johnny Hoang's life partner and is inspired by Hoang's fond childhood memories of roadside picnics he would have with his family while on vacation every summer. Although Lea Jane's signature hot chicken sandwich can't be beat, you also can't go wrong with the restaurant's hot fish sandwich or its Insta-worthy waffle cone, which comes loaded with cubes of crispy chicken and mac and cheese.
Ramen Moto, one of the latest stalls to open at POST Market, is the child of chef and prolific restauranteur Mike Tran, who also owns Chinatown hot spots like Tiger Den, Night Market Noodle, and Mein. The Hakata, Japan-influenced ramen shop simmers its broths for over 20 hours, and its deliciously al dente noodles are made by hand in-house daily. The tonkotsu and shoyu broths there are absolute must tries.
Soy Pinoy, a concept under the umbrella of FAM Hospitality Group, is a collaboration between Qui and Tom Cunanan, who are both James Beard Award winners of Filipino descent. The restaurant allows diners to get a taste of authentic Filipino street eats. Loaded sisig, an uber-crispy lechon, and lumpia are among the featured items on the highly approachable menu.
This restaurant, a partnership between FAM Hospitality Group and chef Thai Changthong, has outposts in both Austin and Denver and offers diners a taste of true Thai—and be warned, it does not fall short in the spice department. The restaurant specializes in authentic Thai street food featuring authentic Thai ingredients, ingredients Chef Thai tells Houstonia he spares no cost in acquiring. Standout dishes on Thai Kun’s menu include the waterfall pork with pork jowl, tomatoes, mint, onion, tiger cry sauce, and sticky rice; the beef panang curry served with jasmine rice, fried egg, and Thai basil (the slow-cooked meat in this curry is so tender the dish is akin to a beef rendang); and the crab fried rice.