By Christina Autry
In their eighth year of serving the International District, Kravin Fruit Bar offers a wide array of all the fruit-based teas and smoothies your sweet tooth can handle. Hot snacks and cold desserts tempt those who come in for takeout, or to sit down and stay a while in Kravin’s open dining space.
Owned and operate by brothers David and Bryan Ngo, Kravin has not only found success in their original Bellaire location, but now with their newer Katy location as well. Though the Katy store is only open for takeout while the Bellaire store allows dine-in, both shops see a steady stream of customers ordering from their expansive menu.
On a street with an overwhelming amount of choices for tea and boba, Kravin emphasizes their use of fresh fruit within their drinks, while offering a selection of unique snacks. Their loaded Kravin Fries have remained a fan favorite for years, topped with cheese, beef or chicken, cilantro, bacon or kimchi, and an optional fried egg. Together with a drink, this will be one of your heartier, filling snacks. Seasoned Popcorn Chicken or Curly Fries provide a bite-sized accompaniment for an afternoon of studying or working at Kravin Bellaire.
The beautiful thing about Kravin is the number of choices offered, from the long lists of natural flavors to the toppings available for a finishing touch. Smoothies, Teas, Slushes, Frappuccinos, Lemonade Sodas and Coffees have enough options to make you hold up the line while staring at the menu no matter how many times you’ve come in.
Smoothies and Slushes are made entirely with real, fresh fruit, and it shows. Sipping a Watermelon Slush is what I would imagine sticking a straw into an icy, ripe watermelon would be like. It’s clear that drinks like this were made for summer in Houston. Eighteen other Slush flavors like passion fruit, lychee, green apple, or honeydew are sure to keep you cool even amidst the Houston heat.
Kravin’s Smoothies can be made with many of the same fruits used in the slush, and more. Avocado, banana, cantaloupe, oreo, pina colada are a few of the 25 flavors that Kravin transforms into creamy cups of deliciousness. Frozen bliss also comes in the form of Frappuccinos, with six flavors, from the traditional Caramel coffee to the Green Tea, non-coffee version.
Kravin’s cold milk tea selection is just as lengthy as their icy drinks, offering rich, creamy teas like almond, Thai tea, hazelnut and chocolate, to fruity milk teas like strawberry, wintermelon, or peach. Anyone avoiding lactose can feel free to order any of Kravin’s milk teas, as they use a lactose-free milk in all of their teas. Cold Green or Black Teas have their own designated list of flavors, without the added creaminess of the milk.
No matter which drink you order, you can add Kravin “sinkers” to the top or bottom of your cup, for a little extra burst of flavor. Choose from tapioca (boba), basil seeds, fruit jellies, egg pudding, strawberry pudding, fruit poppers, and more, keeping in mind that the first sinker is free and additional sinkers are .75 cents each.
For a truly unique menu item, try one of Kravin’s six Snow Ice bowls, which pack shaved ice, fruit, ice cream, and other colorful toppings. Whether you order Green Tea, Mangonada, Taro, Thai Tea, Strawberry or Milk Tea, be prepared for massive bowl that ideally would be shared between two people.
Next time you’re in need of an afternoon pick-me-up in the International District, drive through Saigon-Houston Plaza and satisfy your Kravin!
Kravin Fruit Bar
10623 Bellaire Blvd c143, Houston, TX 77072