The History of Mai's Restaurant

MISSION: We are committed to providing a truly authentic and delicious Vietnamese dining experience to our patrons. Excellence in product, service, and hospitality is what we strive for. We measure our success by the loyalty of our patrons and staff.

Mai’s Restaurant was founded in 1978 by Phin and Phac Nguyen as a means to provide for their family of eight children. And like most Vietnamese households, family businesses were exactly that, operated by and for the family. Of the eight, the name of their daughter, "Mai" was selected for it's simplicity in pronunciation and significant meaning, "golden flower" which is a token of prosperity and luck. Little did they know how Mai's would have evolved years later.

Mai's Restaurant - Est. 1978

Daughter, Mai Nguyen, had big hopes and dreams for her family's business. And for that reason, in 1990, the restaurant was handed down to her upon her parents' intent to retire. Mai's vision was to take her family's restaurant beyond the Vietnamese community, seeking patrons from all walks of life throughout the City of Houston. In 1991, it appears that Houston had officially been introduced to Vietnamese cuisine through Mai's Restaurant, receiving local media coverage thanks to the recognition of their loyal patrons. In Mai's eyes, her big hopes and dreams had been achieved.

On February 15, 2010, Mai’s Restaurant was destroyed by an accidental fire. That day, the entire Mai's family stood outside in tears. Generations of hard work was in flames and ash. Fortunately, no lives were sacrificed in the unfortunate event. The Houston Chronicle featured a front page story of the fire, referring to Mai's Restaurant as a "landmark" in Houston.

The Nguyen family was uplifted by the support of the community and their patrons. So much so, that it had become a renewed strength for them to rebuild and renew. And so the story begins for the next chapter of Mai’s Restaurant. Mai Nguyen’s eldest daughter, Anna Pham, who like her mother, has been working at the restaurant since childhood, has become the third generation successor of the family business. Anna too has big hopes and dreams for Mai's. Her vision and interpretation of the business is as you see it today – a blend of new and old. Anna was inspired by the history behind her family business, so much sweat and tears had gone into preserving the authenticity of precious family recipes. However, she envisioned a modern transformation for the restaurant. To Anna Pham, this was the rebirth of Mai's.

Today, Mai’s Restaurant remains true to offering authentic Vietnamese cuisine to all of our patrons in a comfortable, casual dining environment. Our goal is to provide superior excellence in food and hospitality, and to exceed the expectations of all our guests.