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Local restaurant brings Asian culture to Waco

Poppa Bear Boba
Posted at 5:56 PM, May 17, 2024

WACO, Texas (KXXV) — The month of May is about reflecting and celebrating the important role that Asian Americans, native Hawaiians, and pacific islanders have played in our country's history.

From culture, cuisine, history, traditions, and more, it's a time to reflect on their contributions to American society.

  • Binh and Isabella both moved to Waco from California and felt a lack of Asian Culture in our community, so they opened up Poppa Bear Boba to help create more food diversity.
  • Poppa Bear Boba carries authentic Vietnamese dishes along with traditional milk teas.


Food is a huge part of every culture, and one restaurant that opened up a few months ago is bringing more than it’s traditional dishes to the community.

Binh and Isabella both felt something missing when they moved from California to Waco.

“A lack of Asian culture,” Bihn Luong said.

A huge part of Asian culture is the food and community.

"It felt kind of unfair to withhold that from the people here,” Luong said.

So they opened up Poppa Bear, a space to enjoy Vietnamese dishes made from scratch.

“It’s with family recipes, or egg rolls, it’s from my grandma’s recipe, so everything is cooked really with a lot of love," Isabella Nguyen said.

"I feel like food for our culture at least, is how we show our love."

Central Texans can also enjoy authentic milk teas.

“Our dads would drink tea together, our moms drink tea together, and we pour the tea, so I think tea is just very traditional and respectful thing in our culture,” Nguyen said.

It’s more than carrying on the culture — Isabella says it’s about creating genuine connections and relationships.

“When we first moved here, I’ve never saw another Vietnamese person out at like Target or where I was going until we opened up our shop, and I realized we of have a community here — there just was not a space for them to go,” Nguyen said.

Isabella and Binh say Poppa Bear Boba is a labor of love — to help connect with our community, they have started holding karaoke nights.

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