Where to Get Pupusas in Houston

Pupusas Marco 4 of 4 bpndyc

A pupusa plate at Antojitos Salvadoreños on the East End.

 

Image: Marco Torres

Have you ever wondered how to get your hands on the most delicious pupusas in Houston, aside from a friend with a Salvadoran grandma who loves to cook? 

A pupusa is a handmade disc of corn masa filled with your choice of fillings such as frijol (beans), chicharrón (minced pork), queso (cheese) or loroco, a type of green vine with edible flowers that is native to Central America.

The Salvadoran dish comes in several combinations, such as the pupusa revueltas, a combination of selected protein or veggies with cheese. Pupusas are topped with curtido, a spicy cabbage-based slaw brined in vinegar. And no pupusa is complete without a drizzle of Salvadoran crema and salsa de tomate – a tasty red sauce that is delicious, but not very spicy.

So, where can you get your hands on some savory pupusas?

Below are some of the top pupusa spots in Houston. Recently, Chef Evelyn Garcia hosted a Pupusa Lab pop-up workshop on Feb. 17.  She is also one of the contestants on the 19th season of Bravo TV’s hit cooking show Top Chef, which kicked off on Thursday, March 3.

Antojitos Salvadoreños

This East End restaurant specializes in Salvadoran cuisine. The restaurant’s extensive menu includes many seafood dishes, carnes asadas and your choice of beef, shrimp, or chicken soups. But the stars of the show are the amazing pupusas. They are served hot off the griddle, ready to warm your heart and fulfill your appetite. Only a short drive from downtown, this is a great choice in case you don’t have time to venture out to Gulfton, Hillcroft or Alief. 1011 Telephone Rd., (713) 924-6995

Mama Rosa’s Pupuseria

Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., and that fact is on full display on Hillcroft Avenue. From tacos to halal to tandoori, this side of town is a culinary paradise! And Mama Rosa’s restaurant welcomes everyone in to try the pan con gallina (a Salvadoran chicken sandwich), traditional Salvadoran breakfasts and — of course — the soft, cheesy, freshly made, steaming-hot pupusas. 3631 Hillcroft St., (832) 426-4322

Pupusa Restaurant (formally Pupusa Buffet)

Legend has it that a lovely young Salvadoran girl once visited Pupusa Buffet when she was feeling really sad, and might have eaten 10 or more pupusas in one sitting, which ultimately triggered this establishment’s shift from buffet to traditional restaurant. (Increased food prices and post-pandemic sanitation ordinances are possible factors behind the switch, to be honest.) Either way, the pupusas here are hot, greasy and outstanding. They also offer pupusas de arroz, which are made with rice flour. Round out your meal with a Salvadoran tamal, an empanada de platano or a side of casamiento, which is a mix of beans and rice and is also known as gallo pinto.
7909 Hillcroft Street, (713) 272-6666

Rincón Salvadoreño

We’ve all heard of Taco Tuesday, but how about Pupusa Tuesday! This restaurant on Bellaire serves a $1.50 pupusa special every Tuesday (takeout only). It also serves traditional breakfast all day, Salvadoran quesadilla bread, and a hearty campesino plate with carne asada and chorizo Salvadoreño. Definitely worth the drive outside the loop. 15155 Bellaire Blvd., (281) 809-8311

Panaderia y Pupuseria El Buen Gusto

If you’re hungry for pupusas, but you also need to order a birthday cake, this is the place for you. This bakery has a small seating area if you choose to dine in, and although the menu might be shorter than at other places, you can still expect a delicious and authentic Salvadoran meal. Besides the mainstays of chicharrón, frijol and loroco, El Buen Gusto also serves pupusas de calabaza (squash), pollo (chicken), spinach and jalapeño with cheese. 6837 Long Dr., (713) 339-0140