Phoenicia Specialty Foods
We normally wouldn’t gush over a grocery store, but believe us when we say this one is special. The variety of food and drink is astonishing. Whether you’re looking for a place to grab a bite or do some grocery shopping for later, Phoenicia has got the goods. You can find everything from French bakery breads and pastries to a full spread of Greek and Mediterranean options.
Since we can’t always agree when it comes to food, we thought this would be the perfect place for us to take our lunch break. And it was. Once inside, we had a plethora of choices to satisfy different cravings. There was even a sit-down restaurant in the store, called MKT Bar, which unfortunately didn’t open until 2 p.m. Most of us chose the delectable hot-lunch line. Everything looked fantastic, but it seemed most walked away with the shawarma wrap. One intern described it as, “the soul mate my stomach has been searching for all its life.”
While the grocery store and the selection of foods are impressive, it’s the people there that make it a gem. We hope you get to meet Ahmet, as he is an integral part of our great experience (he is also affectionately known as Habibi, which translates into “love” in Arabic), or Smiley due to his charming and friendly disposition. Smiley knows many regulars by name and order, reminding you that despite Phoenicia’s size, it’s still a family-owned business. When he’s done preparing whatever delicious selection you made, he bids you good day with a cheery “See you tomorrow!” It may not be tomorrow, but he will definitely be seeing us again!
So, what does a grocery store bring to Houston’s culture? Frankly, we’re not too sure. But Houston is an incredibly ethnically diverse place. Phoenicia exemplifies that. It is a fun and colorful place where folks from all walks of life can sit down and have a good meal or do some needed grocery shopping. Not everything has to be a monumental discovery. Sometimes the little things you discover are just as important. And a good lunch spot is just that.
• There are multiple locations, but only the Downtown location doubles as a restaurant.
• Like we mentioned, the shawarma wraps are fantastic. Careful if you get the spicy sauce — it’s HOT!
• Save room for dessert. The selection is out of this world.
• Explore your options, and don’t be afraid to try something new! A lot of the food there is not on your run-of-the-mill lunch menu.
• Great place for veggies and vegans!
Multiple locations, but only the Downtown location doubles as a restaurant.
1001 Austin Street Houston, TX 77010-4023
Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday – Sun, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Free in attached parking garage on Austin