Chinatowns, including Houston’s Chinatown, were among the first affected by economic slowdown when news of a coronavirus first broke early this year. #eatlocal and #supportchinatown became popular hashtags and local community leaders and others made it a point to support these businesses in the Southwest Management District and beyond.

One group in particular has found a way to spread their love for Houston’s Chinatown to thousands of people via social media.

Do you like to Chow Down in Chinatown? Then you’re probably following the Facebook group by that name or should be. The public group was started to provide details on available Asian cuisine restaurants in Houston. The mouthwatering photos of fresh and delicious cuisine available right here in SWMD and constant flow of information has attracted some 12,000 followers and counting.

While the group’s namesake was initially intended to raise awareness and support for Houston’s Chinatown area businesses impacted early on in the year from rumors and stigmas stemming from COVID-19, the group has grown to highlight all Asian cuisine restaurant in the Greater Houston area.

Group admin Stevie Vu celebrated the group’s 10,000 fans last month with a post saying, “This is our favorite city, and it’s an absolute pleasure to help share Houston restaurant tidbits and your food dining experiences on a daily basis.”

“Each person can do more,” Vu said, “and by celebrating milestones like these, we can give a little more social proof into the next thing we can all do to help restaurants and their families within the community thrive…one meal at a time.”

Workers in the restaurant industry make up around 8 percent of the United State’s workforce, according to the Facebook group. “From the mom and pops, upscale, casual and fast casual dining…restaurants are all feeling the sting of dining closures due to COVID-19. Now months into the pandemic, the situation for even large, well-known chains is becoming dire.”

By dining out, ordering to-go and sharing their experiences so others will follow suit, Chow Down in Chinatown highlights the myriad of offerings and enhanced safety measures at area restaurants. One post, recommendation or photo spurs others and the news of the amazing food and offerings in Chinatown spreads to those who grew up eating in our area and needing a reminder to stop in and also to others who are new to the foodie paradise.

“This is an environment for those feel good moments regarding Houston restaurants and their food,” the group’s page states and asks follows to “keep it positive” and “keep it classy.”

Thanks to Chow Down in Chinatown, things appear to be heading in a positive direction for Houston’s Chinatown. A recent survey put up in the group by Vu asked if people were comfortable venturing out to dine-in. While to-go and delivery were still ranked #1, dine-in was a close second and “I’ve started gardening” only got two votes.


Follow Chow Down in Chinatown: