Día de los Muertos, which takes place November 1 and November 2, is a holiday meant to celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed on. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the commemoration has perhaps taken on more meaning than usual.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a somber event. In Mexico, where the tradition began, the holiday is a festive time filled with music, dancing, food, flowers, and family. It’s also about recognizing the interconnectedness of life and death, and the enduring importance of community.
Given the large Mexican and Mexican American population in Houston, the Day of the Dead’s importance continues to grow in the Bayou City. Below are just a handful of the restaurants hosting Día de los Muertos celebrations this year.
Bayou and Bottle
Through Tuesday, November 2, Bayou and Bottle is offering a special marigold-inspired cocktail made with tequila, live, agave, and passion fruit called the Flor de Muertos margarita. Chef Richard Sandoval explains that marigolds are used symbolically during the holiday due to a belief that the color and smell of the flower helps guide one’s ancestors. 1300 Lamar Street
This new development in Spring is hosting an extensive Day of the Dead celebration complete with a four-course dinner hosted by chefs Eduardo Palazuelos of Mexico and longtime Houston restaurateur David Cordua on October 28, a mercado with folk art vendors and artisans, and a candlelight procession with giant mojiganga puppets on Saturday, October 30, and a screening of the Disney film Coco on Sunday, October 31. Visit the full calendar of events for more information. 1700 City Place Drive
The Downtown food hall will host several pop-up events celebrating Day of the Dead. Papalo Mercado will offer a brunch menu that honors the practice of nixtamal, an ancient process that uses alkaline solutions to break down maiz and turn it into masa for dough, including dishes like pork belly huarache, confit turkey hashbrowns and mole, calabaza-marigold salad, and more. Amanecer & Co. will also be on hand serving Mexican coffee, and the Bake Happening will have sugar skull cookies and other sweets for sale. 712 Main Street
H-Town Restaurant Group (Hugo’s, Caracol and Xochi)
Chef Hugo Ortega’s restaurants will offer special prix fixe menus on Saturday, October 30; Sunday, October 31; and Tuesday, November 2, available for takeout or dine in. For those dining in, the celebration will include live music and dancing, plus a community altar where guests are invited to share pictures and mementos of their loved ones. Scope out all three menus here. Multiple locations
This neighborhood hangout in Houston’s historically-Hispanic Lindale Park will host a public ofrenda through Tuesday, November 2 where anyone can bring mementos from loved ones. Monkey’s Tail is also launching brunch service from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 30 and Sunday, October 31, and will host a mariachi band on its back patio on October 30 from 7 to 10 p.m. 5802 Fulton Street