The Street Churros shop in the Spring Branch Management District — the first location of the franchise ever in Houston — was supposed to be the second location of Nancy and Tien Nguyen’s venture into serving the fried pastry dough here.
But construction on a location in Houston’s Chinatown took so long, the Nguyens decided to just go ahead and open up in Spring Branch first, which they did on Mother’s Day weekend of this year. It’s at
at 1041 Blalock Rd.
“We chose Spring Branch because we are residents and we absolutely love the community,” said Nancy Nguyen. “We wanted to share this joy with our community.”
Houston is the only U.S. city where the international franchise’s shops are located.
The Nguyens’ love for churros — and for the Street Churros franchise specifically — goes back to 2016, when they visited Seoul, South Korea, with friends. They stumbled upon a Street Churros shop while exploring.
“At first,” Nguyen said, “I wasn’t interested in trying, but our friends got some and we fell in love.”
Immediately, she said, they reached out to the company to see about the possibility of opening a franchise that features the snack food that originated in Spain and Portugal.
They didn’t get a response.
Three years later, they stumbled upon another Street Churros location, this time in Los Angeles. (Later, the business effects of the COVID pandemic forced that store to close).
“I reached out to them again, met the manager and signed on,” Nguyen said.
Today, the Nguyens’ two Street Churros shops — one in the Spring Branch District in the same strip as the 99 Ranch Market off the Katy Freeway and one at 9938 Bellaire Blvd. — are the only Street Churros locations in the United States.
Street Churros locations do business in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. Locations are coming soon in Japan, Brazil and Australia.
The franchise originated in Seoul, where the Nguyens experienced love at first bite. The founder loved churros but wanted to make a “healthier” version that is not as oily, Nguyen said. And, while not necessarily healthy, Nguyen said the founder also loved ice cream with churros, a combo found at the Spring Branch shop.
The Street Churros brand is a concept from Korea, where street food is incredibly popular. On Google, the Spring Branch Street Churros is listed as a “churreria,” or a stall serving churros.
The menu is succinct. You have three flavor choices before you — sweet, savory or both. We decided to go for both.
The young barista at the counter took our iced latte and jasmine green tea order and then, as we discussed our food choices, she suggested we give the “Churrodog” a try.
It may “sound weird,” she said, but the cinnamon and sugar-sweetened churro “bun,” combined with the salty hot dog, “really works.” She said she also likes to get the hot dog with the works — mustard, ketchup and relish.
Having just been in Chicago where Vienna all-beef hot dogs on a poppy seed bun with all the fixings (except never ever ketchup) are a staple, I’ll be honest. I didn’t expect to enjoy the Churrodog as much as I did, or maybe at all.
The hot dog itself was of high quality and the churro bun, as the original founder intended, was not greasy, and lent a sweetness that balanced the condiments and the meat quite well.
As our side order, we got the “Churrofries” — fries made of churros seasoned with onion flavor. For dessert, we had — you guessed it — churros. This time we went for a half order of cinnamon churros and a half order of cheese-flavored churros. And, because why not, we got Nutella for dipping.
We have no doubt the soft serve ice cream and churros combo the shop is known for is probably out of this world, but we simply couldn’t eat another bite of churro, at least not that day.
Nancy Nguyen said her grandparents came to the U.S. in 1975 as refugees from Vietnam. They had eight children, she said, and started a successful food business. Her parents, also restauranteurs, taught her to run a register when she was 8.
“I have learned a lot from them,” she said.
Future plans for Street Churros include opening more locations in Houston, Nguyen said, but “that will be a while.”
For now, she said, they are just happy to be finally serving one of their favorite food finds in the community they love.
“Life is short, enjoy every bite,” she said.
Street Churros Spring Branch
1041 Blalock Rd.
— by Dorothy Puch Lillig