The Doshi House is perhaps the best representation of central Houston culture: For one, it’s located in the Third Ward area, a neighborhood that’s historically been poverty-stricken, but has always been a strong, vibrant community. For some visitors, the location may cause a little discomfort because it’s not on the touristy list and is surrounded by reminders of the poverty that still affects the area. For most, though, this brings a smile because Doshi House does not shy from confronting the socioeconomic gap, and instead turns it into a beautiful meeting place for different cultures. And on first impression, the culture of the establishment perfectly reflects the culture of its surroundings: It’s hard to pin down. Is it Thai or Indian or something else? (It’s all of the above, really.)
Coffee, Tea, Food, or Tonics?
The coffee-house-restaurant combination of the place also adds to the blurry-lines nature of it all. So for those who like “both-and” more than “either-or,” this is the place. They’ve got excellent locally roasted coffee, unique teas, tonics made with home-made syrups, and a full vegetarian menu. Some people go just for the food, others for the drinks, hot or cold.
Doshi House is a little jewel in the Third Ward,” says Rose L., a native Texan who visits Houston often and loves the establishment. “I especially like their selection of tonics, like their "Moon" (coconut milk, cane syrup, fresh ginger juice, and sparkling water) or their "Sunset" (in-house made hibiscus syrup, candied hibiscus leafs, lemon, and sparkling water.)”
Many rave about the food. And with offerings like vegan “Not So Butter Chicken,” creole red beans and rice, vegan red thai curry, vegan fajitas, and three-bean chili, they’ve got plenty of variety that reflects all of Houston’s colors.
Besides the local coffee, tea, and diverse food, still others go just because this is a café with heart. Rose adds, “It's got a really unpretentious vibe, and you get the feeling everyone there is working on some creative project or is involved in a really awesome social justice program.”
Local Culture and Social Responsibility
One of the best things about the Doshi House is that it isn’t just some cool restaurant that’s trying to gentrify inner-city Houston. It really cares about the people of this city and its diverse communities and takes part in a variety of efforts to put action behind that. It partners with community nonprofits like Project Row Houses , a cultural organization in the Third Ward, which is “one of Houston’s oldest Africa-American communities.” Project Row Houses celebrates Third Ward culture, arts, and creativity and advocates for quality education, strong neighborhoods, social responsibility, and historic, quality housing.
So, What is it?
Officially, Doshi House describes its offering simply as, “Coffee and Vegetarian Goodness.” And again, some people describe it for the coffee, tea and tonics, others for the food. Basically, you’ll just have to taste for yourself. And in the meantime, soak in the vibrant culture of all that is Houston.