Every day before work, San Cheng began his morning routine with an episode of anime. Desiring to bring something new and authentic to downtown Conroe, Cheng opened Dragon Bowl C in July 2022—a noodle bar restaurant themed after the anime "Dragon Ball Z," he said.

The restaurant features dishes that include ramen noodles, stir fry and egg rolls. The restaurant also has an assortment of fruit and milk teas as well as rotating desserts.

Cheng said he was first inspired by the business idea after visiting a similar themed restaurant while on vacation in Florida. He said he knew this was exactly what Conroe was needing—a restaurant that can only be found in Conroe.

"I didn't just open a restaurant," Cheng said. "I created this need. ... Conroe needed something and not just another [typical] restaurant, but something fun."

Cheng said he knew anime was a specific group of clientele, but after seeing multiple anime-themed conventions being held in Conroe, he knew there had to be a big enough demand for his restaurant.

"I see [anime conventions], and I said, 'Hey, there's an anime fan base here,'" Cheng said.

However, he said the hardest part about running the business was figuring out how to open. He said through troubles with contractors, his business took nearly a year open when the whole process could have taken a few months.

Despite the challenges, Cheng said the business has thrived being in downtown Conroe. He said the community has accepted the business and provided him the opportunity to open up a food truck—Taste the Asian, which is run by his daughter—as well as a coffee shop in the area named Kofe Num Pang.

Looking ahead, Cheng said, he may relocate Dragon Bowl C to a bigger building in the downtown area. However, Cheng said he does not intend on franchising the business because he wants the restaurant to be a local hot spot.

In the future, he said he intends to hold events such as cosplay nights and gaming tournaments at the restaurant.

"That's what makes it different—you can only come to Conroe if you want this experience," Cheng said. "Once you start multiplying it, it doesn't have that same feel. ... That's why we just want it to be in one area and people have to travel here. Once they travel here, they actually get to see how beautiful our city is."

Here are four dishes to try
  • Milk tea boba ($6) is offered in a variety of flavors, such as taro, honey dew and love potion.
  • GoGo noodles ($12) are served with ramen or udon—thick noodles—and include scallions, egg, corn and a choice of protein.
  • Dessert egg rolls ($3.50) are offered on rotation in apple pie, cheesecake, strawberry shortcake and chocolate creme flavors.
  • Kimchi fries ($13) are served as either fries or tots with a choice of protein.
Dragon Bowl C

118 Simonton St., Conroe

Hours: Tue.-Wed. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Thu.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., closed Mon.