Fall in Houston is technically here (strong emphasis on “technically”). And though Space City often lags behind many others in terms of cool, fall-like weather, this new season often translates into a host of engaging food and drink events that help commemorate major cultural moments and holidays, while also taking advantage of Houston’s pending arrival of its cool, albeit too brief, patio season.
With a slew of festivals, special dining events and pop-ups, and a Top Chef: Houston reunion, here’s an ongoing roundup of some of the best events in the city where you eat and drink. Be sure to also check out Eater Houston’s list of Halloween and Día de los Muertos events.
Editor’s note: This list will be updated, so be sure to check back for new events.
Hosted at the Kulture restaurant in Downtown Houston, the ongoing Black Chef Table series explores and celebrates Black chefs and various cuisines within the African diaspora. In October, chef Lamar Moore will host a Chicago culinary feast. In November, Justin Lawson will host a Winter gala and chef Toya Terry will showcase a combination of American Southern food and Criollo-Peruvian Cuisine. For more information and specific dates and times, visit the Black Chef Table website. Kulture, 701 Avenida De Las Americas, Suite A, 77010.
Super Asian Cocktail Pop-Up
Asian cocktails go far beyond lychee martinis, and Austin bartenders and Daijoubu pop-up founders Caer Maiko and Sharon Yeung are coming to Houston to show you just that. In collaboration with Kikori rice whiskey, the Daijoubu creators are bringing their Super Asian Cocktail Pop-Up to Houston, showcasing cocktails made with the liquor from its San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York menus. Be sure to try the Sticky Icky Icky, made with Kikori whiskey, Manzanilla sherry, Jamaican white rum, mango rice coconut cream, and pandan tincture. Free, with cocktails for purchase. 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, October 23. at Refuge. 1424 Westheimer Road, Suite A, 77006. 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday, October 24. Kau Ba, 2502 Dunlavy Street, Suite B, 77006.
A Night at the Masquerade with Top Chef alumni
Top Chef: Houston alumna and byKin HTX chef Evelyn García and partner-in-chef Henry Lu are bringing some of the top reality TV cooking competitors to Houston for a mysterious event. Former Top Chef contestants including Austin’s Jo Chan, Robert Hernandez, Ashleigh Shanti, Jae Jung, and Sasha Grumman from Season 18, will each showcase a dish for a six-course tasting menu plus a wine pairing from Victory Wine Group. The event will also feature live music and a two-hour open bar with cocktails creations by local bartenders, followed by a meet-and-greet with the chefs. Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Houston. $250 per person, plus optional wine pairing for $45. 7 p.m. Sunday, October 30. 1003 Washington Avenue, 77002.
A meeting of chef minds
ReikiNa chef Thomas Stacy and Chris Ostrander, sous chef for Nancy’s Hustle, will serve a seven-course Halloween- and Thanksgiving-themed dinner at Native Coffee that will come with wine, beer, and sake. The pop-up, which will be held over two days, will offer three seating times at 6 p.m., 7:15 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. Courses include a scallop crudo with preserved lemon vinaigrette; a Korean salade nicoise with banchan; green beans with capers, ricotta, and fried okra; sea bass with butter dashi and seafoam; black and orange ravioli with delicata squash, squid ink, and burnt cabbage; turkey yakitori with togarashi sweet potato and cranberry yuzu marmalade; and for dessert, a pumpkin cake with raspberry gastrique and orange whip. Reservations are required and can be made online at resy.com. $180 per person. Sunday and Monday, October 30 and 31. 1712 W. Dallas Street, 77019.
Urban Nights: A Communal Art Experience at Moody Center for the Arts
Rice University’s Moody Center for the Arts will host a night of art and food with art installations, performances by Texas Poet Laureate Lupe Mendez and Houston rapper Lil Flip., and a free beer tasting. Event-goers can sample Astral Brewing and Nigerian artist Emeka Ogboh’s Nigerian-inspired craft stout, Japa, which is inspired by Houston’s vibrant Nigerian community and can be paired with cuisine from the on-site international food truck rally, which includes Lemon Kitchen, JQ’s TexMex BBQ, and Salem Ethiopian Kitchen. Tickets for the free event can be reserved on Eventbrite. from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, November 5. 6100 Main Street, 77005.
The fourth annual Oxtail MashUp returns to Third Ward’s Project Row Houses, with music, art, and food prepared by 17 chefs that will showcase their own unique renditions of the beefy dish and cultural delicacy that is oxtail. Returning winners include Ruben Vela of Lucille’s 1913, who won the MashUp’s People’s Choice Award in 2021, and former MashUp grand champion, chef Reginald Scott. Five Houston bartenders, including Jennifer Guerrero of Miss Carousel and Ryan Wendell Perry of Julep, will also compete, so get ready for some delicious cocktails and culinary fun. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, November 6. Project Row Houses, 2521 Holman Street, 77004. Tickets ($95 to $145) can be purchased on Eventbrite.
With a lineup of more than 50 halal food vendors, including Zoa Moroccan Kitchen, Yummy’s Hot Chicken, and Sheba Yemini Restaurant, head to one of the largest free halal food showcases in the Houston region for a sample of some of the city’s best halal dishes, drinks, and desserts. Be sure to check out the Houston Muslim Market with a showing of more than 30 local art, decor, clothing, and jewelry vendors with goodies and gifts for purchase. noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, November 6. Constellation Field, 1 Stadium Drive, Sugar Land, TX, 77498.
The two-day festival will celebrate Japanese culture, cuisine, and tradition with a showcase of more than 30 food vendors, including Aqua S and Ramen Tatsu-ya, and a host of performances by musicians, dancers, martial arts gurus, and more. The Tokyo Night Festival will take place at Texas Festival Grounds, 6848 Almeda Genoa Rd, Houston, TX 77075. 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, November 11 and 12. Tickets are available on Eventbrite for $20 to $52 through October 13.
A Cheesy Soiree
Montrose Cheese & Wine is leaning into the fromage with a gooey raclette party, complete with a full wheel of melty cheese awaiting to be scraped onto plates of potatoes, caramelized onions, cornichons, baguette slices, and optional charcuterie offerings. $22 to $26 per plate. 1 p.m. to sell out. Saturday, November 12. 1618 Westheimer Road, 77006.
The Butchers Ball will return in its fifth year showcasing the Lone Star State’s most talented chefs, butchers, farmers, and ranchers with a host of demonstrations, discussions, tastings, and on-site competitions among more than 20 chefs. Hosted in Brenham, the event will also feature live performances. The event raises funds for Houston-based nonprofit Urban Harvest, which hosts community garden programs, farmers' markets, gardening classes, and more. Tickets start at $40 for children and $150 for adults. noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, November 13. Rockin’ Star Ranch, 8002 Fuelburg - Pease Lane, Brenham, TX, 77833. Looking to pre-game with a multi-course dinner by some of Texas’ best chefs? Event-goers can also attend the Butcher’s Ball farm-to-table dinner on Saturday, November 12, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. to experience bites by Phat Eatery’s Alex Au-Yueng, Tony Lurhman of El Topo, Alyssa Dole of LuLoo’s Day & Night, Sasha Grumman of Sasha’s Focaccia, and more. Limited tickets will be available for $200 along with a purchase of Butcher’s Ball admission.
A Champagne Campaign
Commemorate the holiday season with a bubbly experience. Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Downtown will host its annual champagne event, featuring multiple trained sommeliers who will guide drinkers through a tasting of 15 champagne producers. Snacks will also be on deck, including yellowfin tuna poke, East Coast fried oysters with bearnaise, twice-baked potatoes with burgundy truffles, and roasted walnuts served with baked brie. Tickets are $150 per person and can be purchased online. 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, November 18. Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, 1200 McKinney Street, 77010.
Hogwarts meets a Winter Wonderland
Warner Bro's Themed Entertainment and events platform Fever will transform Houston’s Paraiso Marvavilla into a Hogwarts winter wonderland filled with music, performances, wizard-themed food and drink, and a chance to purchase gifts, souvenirs, wands, and robes from the on-site Yule Ball Market. Guests can attend the two-hour Harry Potter: A Yule Ball Experience experience at scheduled times from November 18 through January 23. Tickets start at $79. Paraiso Maravilla, 5714 Fairdale Lane, 77057.
Miracle at Johnny’s Gold Brick and Winnie’s
Some of us are already craving the comfort of the holidays, and Christmas at some Houston bars is already on the calendar. From November 21 through December 31, Johnny’s Gold Brick and Winnie’s are already slated to host “Miracle” pop-up events, which feature a slew of decorations and themed cocktails, like gin-based Santa’s Little Helper, which is made with a spiced caraway syrup, eucalyptus, sage, lime, seltzer; and shots for the both the naughty (bourbon-cinnamon) and nice (rum, peppermint tea, chocolate). Visit the miracle website for more.
Christmas Tree Lightings
While counting down until Houston’s City Place lights its 350-foot Christmas tree, follow the gumdrops, lollipops, and candy canes down the path to the new Giant Gingerbread Village. There, you’ll find two giant gingerbread standing guard, and a small neighborhood of cookie trees, a 16-foot-high gingerbread house, and a 12-foot windmill. Guests can enjoy free hot chocolate, face painting, and holiday-themed music from DJ gilbert while they wait to say hello to Santa and Mrs. Claus. The kickoff event will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 27. The village and Christmas tree will be on view through the first week of January. 1250 Lake Plaza Drive, Spring, TX, 77389.