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Where to Celebrate Diwali in Houston

Enjoy samosas, chaat, and lots of buttery mithai during the festival of lights

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Diwali, the five-day festival of lights, is one of the most momentous occasions of the year for Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains. In addition to representing the start of a new year, the festival symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and good over evil, and is traditionally celebrated by illuminating the home with lights, candles, and sparklers.

All sorts of treats are synonymous with the holiday, from salty snacks to platter after platter of melt-in-your-mouth confections, called mithai. These colorful morsels made with nuts, sugar, and butter are displayed prominently at Diwali and packed in festive gift boxes for exchanging with family and friends. This year, the day is observed on Thursday, November 4, and many Indian restaurants are offering specials and celebratory meals all week (and weekend) long.

From elaborate multi-course feasts to customized Diwali gift boxes, these restaurants and bakeries are lighting up the city this Diwali.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Mahesh's Kitchen

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Sugar Land Town Center newbie Mahesh’s Kitchen will kick off a multi-day Diwali celebration Wednesday, November 3 to Sunday, November 7 with festivities including live entertainment from violinist Azim Khan, Bollywood songs by Heena Shah and Kiron Nayak, and complimentary Diwali specialty snacks like chakli and chiwda throughout dinner service. For a full cultural experience, guests may participate in mehendi, or henna drawings, on the patio.

Himalaya Restaurant

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From November 2 through 6, chef Kaiser Lashkari will offer a slew of Diwali favorites including paneer biryani and vegetarian samosas, plus a few off-the-menu items like falafel poppers and paneer pakoras. Dining with a group? Parties of six or more will receive a complimentary chef’s special — simply ask for the Diwali chef’s treat.

Raja Sweets

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This decades-old institution located within the Mahatma Gandhi District is known for its vast menu of mithai. From perfectly rolled ladoos to bite-size pieces of almond fudge and chocolate barfi, Raja Sweets is a one-stop shop for creating a top-notch Diwali gift box. During Diwali week, score two pounds of various mithai presented on a decorative tray for $24.

Musaafer

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Executive chef Mayank Istwal and pastry chef Ruchit Harneja have prepared a multi-course Diwali menu inspired by Rangoli, which is a traditional Indian folk-art in which vibrant designs and patterns are created using dry rice, colored sand, and fresh flowers. The duo will plate dishes using custom molds and designs referencing the artwork, with a menu including chaat, khadai chicken with Kashmiri chili and masala gravy, and an assortment of mithai — colorful Indian confections traditionally served during special occasions. Diwali celebrations will happen through November 4. 

Govinda's Vegetarian Cuisine

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Located on the grounds of the ISKON Temple of Houston, Govinda’s serves as a festive destination for a Diwali day meal. The temple is hosting candlelight prayers on Thursday, November 4, and the restaurant will offer its full vegetarian buffet for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 pm and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m.

Pondicheri

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From November 3 to November 7, Pondicheri will offer an Araam Thali special featuring an array of vegetarian samplings, from vegetable market curry and daal to sweet rose ladoo. For gifting purposes, the Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop, located above the restaurant, is selling a Diwali sweet box filled with traditional sweets like besan mithai and Sindhi laddu.

Verandah

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This posh Upper Kirby bistro is offering traditional Indian sweets, plus flavored chocolates and truffles throughout the Diwali season. Items like turmeric and coconut burfi and kaju rolls are available by the pound, while an eight-piece box of paan and gulukand truffles is available for $14.99.

Mahesh's Kitchen

Sugar Land Town Center newbie Mahesh’s Kitchen will kick off a multi-day Diwali celebration Wednesday, November 3 to Sunday, November 7 with festivities including live entertainment from violinist Azim Khan, Bollywood songs by Heena Shah and Kiron Nayak, and complimentary Diwali specialty snacks like chakli and chiwda throughout dinner service. For a full cultural experience, guests may participate in mehendi, or henna drawings, on the patio.

Himalaya Restaurant

From November 2 through 6, chef Kaiser Lashkari will offer a slew of Diwali favorites including paneer biryani and vegetarian samosas, plus a few off-the-menu items like falafel poppers and paneer pakoras. Dining with a group? Parties of six or more will receive a complimentary chef’s special — simply ask for the Diwali chef’s treat.

Raja Sweets

This decades-old institution located within the Mahatma Gandhi District is known for its vast menu of mithai. From perfectly rolled ladoos to bite-size pieces of almond fudge and chocolate barfi, Raja Sweets is a one-stop shop for creating a top-notch Diwali gift box. During Diwali week, score two pounds of various mithai presented on a decorative tray for $24.

Musaafer

Executive chef Mayank Istwal and pastry chef Ruchit Harneja have prepared a multi-course Diwali menu inspired by Rangoli, which is a traditional Indian folk-art in which vibrant designs and patterns are created using dry rice, colored sand, and fresh flowers. The duo will plate dishes using custom molds and designs referencing the artwork, with a menu including chaat, khadai chicken with Kashmiri chili and masala gravy, and an assortment of mithai — colorful Indian confections traditionally served during special occasions. Diwali celebrations will happen through November 4. 

Govinda's Vegetarian Cuisine

Located on the grounds of the ISKON Temple of Houston, Govinda’s serves as a festive destination for a Diwali day meal. The temple is hosting candlelight prayers on Thursday, November 4, and the restaurant will offer its full vegetarian buffet for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 pm and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m.

Pondicheri

From November 3 to November 7, Pondicheri will offer an Araam Thali special featuring an array of vegetarian samplings, from vegetable market curry and daal to sweet rose ladoo. For gifting purposes, the Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop, located above the restaurant, is selling a Diwali sweet box filled with traditional sweets like besan mithai and Sindhi laddu.

Verandah

This posh Upper Kirby bistro is offering traditional Indian sweets, plus flavored chocolates and truffles throughout the Diwali season. Items like turmeric and coconut burfi and kaju rolls are available by the pound, while an eight-piece box of paan and gulukand truffles is available for $14.99.

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