Howdy Kolache in Chicago's West Loop wrangles Tex-Czech doughy delights to the Windy City

ByJordan Arseneau Localish logo
Friday, November 12, 2021
West Loop's Howdy Kolache wrangles Tex-Czech doughy delights
Warm, doughy, and filled with goodness, Texas/Czech-style kolache buns have found a new homestead in Chicago at Howdy Kolache.Howdy Kolache bakes Texas/Czech-style buns filled with breakfast favorites in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood.

CHICAGO -- Texas/Czech-style kolaches are semi-sweet, doughy rolls or buns stuffed with savory ingredients and typically enjoyed for breakfast, though Howdy Kolache owners' Erick Liu and Tom Bovio may have the best description for them:

"Eric likes to describe them as if breakfast tacos and a Hawaiian roll had a baby, you would have our kolaches," Bovio said.

Howdy Kolache launched in Chicago's West Loop in the Fall of 2020 because Texas native Liu missed the breakfast staple and felt they would translate well in the Midwest.

"The brand is called 'Howdy Kolache' so we were just like leaning all the way into the Texas thing," said Liu. "When Czech immigrants moved to Texas in the mid-1800's (I think), they brought their version of it and it's evolved into a uniquely Texas version of it."

Liu and Bovio bake seven varieties of kolache available at 25 local coffee shops around Chicago and through their website. Popular flavors include the "Colo-Radough," filled with sausage, egg and peppers; the "Ron Swanson," filled with bacon, egg, and jalapeño; and the "El Greco," filled with spinach, egg, and feta.

"It's a comfort food," says Bovio. "It's a nice, contained sandwich that you can eat on the go or really in any situation."

While Texas transplants are pleasantly surprised to find kolache in the Windy City, new customers have a hard time saying the namewhich is pronounced koh-lah-chee.

"We get a lot of 'kuh-lahch-kee' and 'koh-lahch,'" Liu said.

"Most people are just unsure of what it is,' Bovio added.

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