top of page

This new West Houston Japanese store is home to some of city’s best selection of Asian snacks

By Bao Ong, Staff writer

May 29, 2024

Teso Life, a new Japanese store in West Houston, offers an impressive selection of Asian snacks Bao Ong / Staff

Stepping inside Teso Life at West on West, the redeveloped strip mall once called the Pavilion Center at 12230 Westheimer, feels like a mashup of H Mart, Sephora, Target and Chuck E. Cheese.

This newly opened store is home to perhaps Houston’s best selection of potato chips with over-the-top flavors such as roasted cumin lamb skewer, grilled seafood and even Sichuan peppercorn Doritos. Other snacks include blood orange Kit Kats, spicy barbecue pretzel sticks and DIY ramen kits from the Japanese chain Ichiran.

There are multiple aisles packed with Asian beauty products, including viral hits like honey-infused shampoo. Home goods include Sanrio branded kitchenware and ceramic teapots. One corner is filled with arcades where claws dangle above stuffed pandas and Hello Kitty characters. A song from the Korean boy band BTS may be playing at any moment.

“Definitely gonna be a regular here,” Joy Lu posted on her TikTok review, which garnered 318,000 views.

There’s no shortage of businesses catering to Houston’s booming Asian American population, especially restaurant concepts spanning multi-national boba tea chains to ramen shops, but Teso Life’s aisles of snacks, beauty products and toys is the city’s splashiest Asian lifestyle store to date.

Teso Life opened at 12230 Westheimer on May 15, 2024 Bao Ong / Staff

Teso Life opened in Houston May 15 and its popularity has been well documented on social media ever since.

On a recent visit, Jessica Tran finally stepped into Teso after waiting in a 20-person line when temperatures hovered in the lower 90s. 

“I basically wanted one of everything,” Tran said. “I can get a collagen mask and my instant ramen in one stop.”

Six years ago, Teso Life opened its first store in Flushing, Queens, home to one of New York City’s Chinatowns. The brand, which has since grown to nearly 20 outlets, debuted its first Texas shop in Carrollton in 2021 and more recently in Frisco last fall.

There are no confirmed plans for a second Teso in Houston, but the outpouring of attention on social media and customers lining out the door during the first few weeks hasn’t gone unnoticed, said Karen Chen, a marketing specialist with Teso Life, via email.

“Houstonians have undeniably been the most vocal on our social media for us to finally open, so who knows?” Chen said. “We may need to bring a second location to satisfy the community's needs.”

Fans of Teso are likely familiar with Daiso, another Asian retail chain with just under a dozen locations scattered throughout the Houston region.

Daiso carries a similar array of products, but the chain’s selection isn’t as vast and does not include as many trendy items, especially in the beauty category.

Teso Life, a new Japanese store in West Houston, offers an impressive selection of Asian snacks Bao Ong / Staff

Teso sets itself apart with products that are often popular on social media. Whether it’s a salted egg chip or ginseng root toner, there’s “something for everyone,” Tran said.

The lifestyle store joins West on West’s other popular Asian businesses like Tsujita from Los Angeles, popular Korean bakery chain Paris Baguette and a shiny 99 Ranch Market, among others.

The chain has its eye on opening a location in Katy's Asiantown, according to Teso's website.

View WoW tenants here... 


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page