Also known as Bayou Town or H-Town, Houston is one of the most emblematic cities of American culture. It is also the most populous city in Texas, and since 2012 it is also the most ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the United States.
Everyone knows a thing or two about this marvelous city, even if it is just the widely known phrase “Houston, we have a problem,” which the crew of the Apollo 13 famously spurted out during the failed moon flight mission in 1970.
But, Houston is more than just the home of NASA’s headquarters. The city’s diversity has given its unique features and traits not only in Texas but in the entire country. Here are 4 surprising facts that you might not know about Houston, Texas:
Houston hosts the best gastronomic scene in the US
Houston is home to a significant number of international communities. Many people from all over the world have made the city at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou their stomping ground.
As a result, there are over 10,000 restaurants in Houston that serve food from no fewer than 70 countries. Additionally, you can find specific dishes from almost every region in the country.
The town is a gourmand’s paradise where one can choose anything from vegan to carnivore meals and from ramen to Mexican to South African and Eastern European dishes.
Almost 150 languages are spoken in Houston
There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today, and around 150 of them are spoken in Houston. The town’s diversity has created this immense kaleidoscope of speech that has no match in the United States and a few others around the world.
In Houston, Texas you will find small communities of people who came and settled here from Vietnam, Turkey, Chile, Germany, and Italy. You may encounter residents that are the first or second generations of immigrants from Asia, Africa, and South America.
As a foreign tourist, you may meet someone who speaks your mother tongue. While the most prevalent languages in the area are English and Spanish, with a bit of luck you may hear your country’s dialect spoken on the streets of downtown Houston.
Houston is home to the World’s Biggest Rodeo
Every year, more than 2 million people attend the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. People from all the corners of the world come here to experience one of America’s proudest traditions. Only in 2017, there were a record 2,611,176 attendees.
Houston carries the name and legacy of a war hero
The town is named after Sam Houston who commanded Texas’s war of independence from Mexico. He then went on to preside over the newly-formed Texas republic and became an honorary member of the Cherokee Nation.
Sam Houston was an influential oppose of secession during the Civil War, but he was unsuccessful in keeping Texas out of the Confederate States. Today, besides the city there are counties, universities, public parks and libraries are named after him as an homage to his undying legacy.