Around the World in Houston Eastern Europe Europe Featured History + Culture Technology

Around the World in Houston: Discover Eastern Europe


Photograph courtesy of Russian Pageant Houston

With a labyrinth of cultures represented in each nook and cranny of city, Houston is certainly one of the most ethnically numerous cities in America. To have fun this world-class melting pot, we’ll be exploring a brand new area of the globe via a Houston lens every week, from annual festivals and museums to eating places and cultural experiences. Be a part of the journey with our Around the World in Houston collection.

This week, we’ll be looking into the Eastern area of Europe. In line with the United Nations Statistics Division, that covers nations together with Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and the most western a part of Russia. And take a look at our particular Around the World guides for a deeper dive into Russia, Poland, and Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Annual Festivals & Cultural Occasions

  • Houston Polish Movie Pageant – This annual movie pageant, which often takes place in the fall, has been celebrating movies for over 20 years.
  • Houston Slavic Heritage Pageant – Yearly, Houston’s Slavic communities collect to honor their Slavic heritage with ethnic meals, singing, and dancing. The pageant is open to the public, as all are invited to hitch and study the wealthy histories and cultures of the Czech, Croatian, Polish, and Ukrainian communities.
  • Czech Day Pageant – In October, SPJST Lodge 88 Pokrok Houston celebrates an annual Czech Day Pageant, the place all are invited to hitch in and study the tradition by means of music, language, meals and extra. Admission is free.
  • Sacred Coronary heart Czech Fest – In Crosby, Sacred Coronary heart Catholic Church places on an annual Czech tradition fest, that includes polka music, arts, crafts, reside leisure, meals, video games, and household enjoyable. The occasion is held in October.
  • Russian Pageant – This pageant gives Russian music in numerous genres, from genuine singing and people to rock and electrical, plus Russian dancing, merry video games, and inventive handicraft from Russia.

Museums & Cultural Organizations

  • Museum of Superb Arts, Houston – Take a look at the European artwork assortment at this Museum District gem.
  • Czech Middle Museum Houston – Since 1995, this non-profit cultural arts group has celebrated the wealthy tradition and historical past of the Czech and Slovak individuals, providing artwork reveals, excursions, film nights, language instruction and extra. The middle promotes Czech/Slovak heritage by “preserving, recording and celebrating the language, scholarship, and the arts of Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, and Silesia.”
  • Czech Heritage Society of Texas (Harris County Chapter) – This native nonprofit has been devoted to the research and preservation of Czech family tree, historical past, tradition, and language since 1985.
  • The Hungarian American Cultural Affiliation of Houston – This nonprofit group is dedicated to supporting the Hungarian-American group in Houston, creating an appreciation of the Hungarian tradition by way of a number of instructional, leisure, social, and networking occasions. Join with fellow members and look out for occasions and meet-and-greets on-line.
  • “Our Texas” Russian Cultural Middle – Situated between West College and the Museum District, Russian Cultural Middle “Our Texas” is a nonprofit devoted to bringing numerous Russian cultural occasions to Texas. Occasions vary from summer time bazaars, music festivals, and musical evenings to artwork reveals and Russian vacation celebrations.
  • Ukrainian American Cultural Membership of Houston – Join together with your Ukranian heritage by way of this nonprofit cultural membership, which hosts meetups, picnics, pleased hours and extra.
  • United Russian American Affiliation – This nonprofit group promotes Russian cultural consciousness and broadens the cultural and social ties of the 70,000+ Russian talking residents in the Houston group by way of artwork, schooling, cultural, and philanthropic actions. Funded solely via donations, grants, and membership charges, a few of its actions embrace puppet theater, balls and disco nights, cookouts, film nights, particular matter shows, people dance performances, dialogue teams, festivals, and artwork exhibitions. See the full calendar on-line.

Eastern European Meals & Drink

Eating places & Cafes

  • Kenny & Ziggy’s – You’ll discover far more than simply colossal corned beef sandwiches at this fan-favorite deli (with places in the Galleria and West U); you’ll additionally discover Eastern European fare like borscht, pickled herring, blintzes, stuffed cabbage, knish, beef stroganoff, and chocolate babka.
  • Nyam Nyam Cafe – Hit this café to seek out conventional Russian pirozhki, small pies made candy or savory, with fillings like cherry, apple, raspberry, and cheese or salmon, lamb, cabbage, and mushroom. Take pleasure in the treats alongside coffees, desserts, and eats like borscht and kebabs.
  • Previous Towne Kolaches – This westside spot stays true to the conventional Czech kolache, with actual fruit fillings in flavors like apricot, apple, peach, cherry, and poppy seed. You’ll additionally discover Tex-Czech kolache, crammed with sausage, bacon, ham, eggs, hen, beef, jalapeño and extra.
  • The Unique Kolache Shoppe – Baked recent every day since 1956, the kolache and klobasnek at this Phone bakery combine Czech and Slovak tastes with native flare. Get locally-sourced numbers full of poppy seed, raspberry, and candy cheese, sausage and jalapeño, or roast beef, cheese, and bacon.
  • Pierogi Queen – Owned and operated by Polish-born Eva and Miroslaw Sek, this League Metropolis store is as genuine because it will get, from the gallery of images on the wall to the signature pierogi. Get the dumplings full of potato and cheese, kraut and mushrooms, or meat; then select your preparation, boiled with bacon, pan-fried with caramelized onion, or deep-fried and served with sauce. You’ll additionally discover Polish specialties like bigos (hunter stew), kielbasa, stuffed cabbage and crepes crammed with Polish farmer’s cheese; plus “Pol-Tex” choices like fresh-cut fries loaded with sliced Polish sausage and bacon and dill sauce.
  • Polonia – You’ll discover every thing from pierogi, golbaki (cabbage rolls), and genuine Polish sausage to bigos, golonka (pork shank) and blintz at this Spring Department Polish restaurant and meals retailer. You’ll additionally discover dishes generally discovered in Czech, Slovak, and Russian delicacies—together with goulas, potato pancakes, sauerkraut soup, Czech beer, dressed herring, and blini.
  • Two Czech Chicks Kolache Shoppe & Bakery – With a babicka-approved dough recipe that has been handed down via generations of Czechs, this Danbury kolache store provides mild and fluffy numbers crammed with every thing from peach and cream cheese to sausage and cheese.
  • Wholly Crepe Russian Bistro – Situated in Tomball and the brainchild of Russian native and chef Emiliya Hendrix, Wholly Crepe specializes in do-it-yourself Russian fare and Siberian blini (crepes). Dig into dishes like beef stroganoff, galubsy (cabbage rolls), vereniki (Russian pierogi) and pelmeni (ravioli), plus blini with fillings from whipped cream and berry puree to butter and lemon juice.

Grocery Outlets & Bakeries

  • Golden Grain – This Russian meals emporium carries a number of delicacies from Russia and throughout Europe, carrying over 5,000 merchandise from 25 nations. Not solely is it an absolute vacation spot for caviar, however you can even decide up freshly baked muffins, pastries and bread, imported cheeses and deli meats, hard-to-find Russian wines, beers and teas, and ready meals like pelmeni, hen kiev, olivier salad, stuffed cabbage and blintzes crammed with meats, cheeses, and bitter cherries.
  • Okay&V Bulgarian Market – This Northwest grocer and market provides Eastern European snacks, cheeses, deli meats and extra.
  • Polish Meals Retailer – Subsequent to Polonia, this meals retailer shares conventional and genuine Polish fare, together with bread and pastries like pączki, recent and smoked meats, sausages and ham; herring, cheeses, frozen pierogi, sauerkraut, condiments, beer, candies and snacks, fruits and juices, and items.
  • Russian Common Retailer – Over on Hillcroft, this basic retailer is your one-stop-shop for Russian items, from recent pastries, smoked fish, caviars and farmers cheese to nesting dolls, gourmand candies and snacks, and imported beers and wines.
  • Three Brothers Bakery – In 1949, Polish brothers Sigmund, Sol and Max opened the first Three Brothers Bakery on Holman Road. At this time, the in style bakery has three places, every of which provides European-style bread, cookies, pastries, and muffins alongside a lineup of specialty desserts.

Language Courses, Schooling Facilities, Teams & Meet-Ups

  • Berlitz Language Middle – Situated in Houston’s enterprise and monetary district off Submit Oak, the Berlitz Houston Studying Middle provides small group courses, one-on-one or stay on-line courses with native-fluent instructors in languages from Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian to Romanian, Polish, and Ukrainian.
  • Russian Language Courses at Russian Cultural Middle – With each a Russian Faculty for Youngsters and Russian for Adults, the Russian Cultural Middle presents the alternative to study from native audio system.
  • Ridna Shkola Ukrainian Faculty of Houston – The Ridna Shkola Ukrainian Faculty of Houston is a nonprofit Ukrainian language and cultural faculty that has existed for over 30 years. Take language programs and extra.
  • The Houston Russian Language Meetup Group – All ages and Russian language ranges are welcome to hitch this meetup, the place members have enjoyable training, studying new phrases and sentences, and gaining a deeper understanding of the language.
  • Discussion board Polonia Houston – Take a look at this group group (and its Fb group) to attach with fellow Polish Houstonians and uncover cultural occasions occurring round the metropolis.
  • The Houston Space Russian Meetup – Open to Russian audio system, expats, college students, and vacationers, this meetup group gives audio system a approach to socialize and have enjoyable whereas networking, sharing concepts, and speaking.
  • SPJST Lodge 88 – Providing fraternalism for all ages, this Czech social membership sponsors family-oriented actions and group service tasks, together with dances, picnics, tournaments, summer time camps, polka dances, and meals drives, amongst different issues. The group proudly promotes its Czech heritage, however membership is open to everybody.

Different Notables

  • Our Texas Newspaper – This Russian language newspaper serves Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin.
  • Houston Ballet – The Houston ballet firm places on annual performances of famend Russian ballet The Nutcracker, together with basic and modern programming and dance academies.
  • Dance Group Wawel – This non-profit people dance group promotes Polish tradition by way of musical performances round the metropolis. No dance expertise is important to hitch.
  • Polka Dance Classes – Situated in the Woodlands, Nation Dance Houston presents enjoyable polka classes for singles and couples, with the first lesson free.

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Brooke Viggiano

Brooke Viggiano is a meals and way of life author residing in Houston. When she’s not contributing to publications like 365 Issues to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she’s on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the metropolis. You possibly can comply with her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .