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Plates of falafel, salatim, hummus, sauces, pita bread, and more at Hamsa.
Restaurants like Hamsa are offering full spreads this Hanukkah season.
Kirsten Gilliam

Where to Find the Best Hanukkah Eats in Houston

Find latkes, fluffy challah, and delicious knish at these restaurants and bakeries

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Restaurants like Hamsa are offering full spreads this Hanukkah season.
| Kirsten Gilliam

The festive season is in full swing, and for some, that means beginning Hanukkah preparations has already begun. An eight-day-long celebration rooted in Jewish tradition, Hanukkah is a time for family, feasting, and celebration all encapsulated by the ceremonial nightly menorah lighting. This year, the holiday begins on the evening of Thursday, December 7, and runs through December 15, and tied to the lighting of the menorah, the story goes that the foods cooked in oil will honor the miracle of when a small amount of oil helped feed candles for eight days.

Various restaurants around the city are readying themselves to celebrate with all of the traditional comfort foods and desserts — from stacks of savory latkes and filled cabbage rolls to neatly decorated Hanukkah-themed cookies and cakes.

Whether you’re building an epic spread for a big, fat Hanukkah feast, or simply looking for some fried snacks to enjoy at home, consider one of these 11 destinations for all things Hanukkah.

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Three Brothers Bakery

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Founded by relatives of Holocaust survivors, this iconic Jewish bakery is a Houston institution that impresses with well-crafted cakes, decorated cookies, and freshly baked bread year-round. At Hanukkah, they pull out all the stops at the bakery’s four locations with holiday features including blue and white iced treats like bear-shaped cookies, cookie cakes, regular cakes, sugar cookies, and petit fours, and even a blue-and-white snowy gingerbread house. Also check out Three Brothers’ famous pumpecapple pie cake, an outrageously good combination of pumpkin, pecan, and apple pie, and spice and chocolate cake. It’s so good it made an appearance on Saturday Night Live.

The Hot Bagel Shop

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Everything you need to know about this bagel shop lies within its name. Hot bagels loaded with house-made cream cheese, smoked salmon by the pound, and avocado make up the menu alongside bagel kolaches, deli sandwiches, and even bagel pizzas. Get there early — a lot of the items sell out before noon.

Katz's Deli & Bar

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Open 24/7, this deli chain offers a gargantuan menu with plates of matzo ball soup, stuffed cabbage, challah french toast, Reuben and pastrami sandwiches, and various other classics that will have you feeling as if you were roaming the boroughs of New York. For dessert, score cheese blintzes complete with fruit or fudge topping. 

Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen

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Feed your entire family (and then some) with Kenny & Ziggy’s Hanukkah to-go menu, with two dinner options and two snacky options. For the classics, consider the Family Dinner, with chicken soup and matzo balls, a loaf of challah, a two-pound brisket with gravy, an apricot-roasted chicken, kasha varnishkas, string bean almondine, and, of course, latkes with applesauce or sour cream. For a Middle Eastern twist on a Hanukkah meal, the “Chanukah in Tel Aviv” meal has hummus, labneh, whipped feta with pistachios, pita, pomegranate salad, apricot soy-glazed salmon, pickles, mini potato pancakes, and more. If that isn’t enough food for you, Kenny & Ziggy’s also has snack platters: a lox and latke platter or a deli platter, with deli meat, potato salad, cole slaw, rye bread, latkes, and more. There are also a la carte options.

Common Bond Bistro & Bakery

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As one of the best bakeries in town, Common Bond not only churns out great pastries and coffee on the daily but is also home to arguably the city’s premier challah roll. This golden-baked masterpiece is house made to perfection and is sure to get the stamp of approval from even the harshest critics.

Dessert Gallery Bakery & Cafe

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This ever-popular bakery and cake shop offers a variety of Hanukkah-themed cookies this year. From menorah and dreidel-shaped butter cookies to gingerbread people iced in little blue Hanukkah sweaters, the options are wide, and each comes with the bakery’s signature artistic touch that is sure to be the centerpiece of any holiday party.

Nielsen's Delicatessen

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For a classic Jewish deli experience, look no further than this no-frills joint, which has been part of Houston’s fabric for decades. Favorites include corned beef, pastrami, egg salad, or liver pate sandwiches, but the potato salad is no slouch either. Pep up your Hanukkah spread by building your own platter, or customize a party tray, complete with meats, cheeses, potato salad, bread, pickles, and spread, built especially for your party size.

Stop by Hamsa, which has traditional Israeli fare, or sister restaurant and steakhouse Doris Metropolitan, any night of Hanukkah for a menorah lighting and sufganiyah, fried jelly doughnuts.

Right next door to Hamsa is Badolina, a bakery also from owners Sof Hospitality, which offers challah and babka every Friday.

Genesis Steakhouse & Wine Bar

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In a city full of steakhouses, few specialize in serving kosher offerings of the utmost quality. From tomahawk splurges to other various bone-in rib-eye offerings, Genesis Steakhouse is not only one of the only certified kosher steakhouses in town, but it also marries Jewish and Persian flavors to perfection with stuffed cabbage rolls by the dozen, matzo ball soup by the pint, brisket, and latkes. Find a variety of different specials for Jewish holidays from Rosh Hashanah boxes to Hanukkah specials that make it a local favorite around this festive time of year.

New York Deli & Coffee Shop

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This time-honored coffee shop boasts all of the Hanukkah must-haves — from egg and omelet platters to fish boxes swirling with lox, whitefish, salmon, nova, or sable. Latkes and cheese blintzes are served with sour cream and applesauce, plus chopped liver and smoked fish and meats are available by the pound. Visit the attached bagel shop to stock up on the deli’s famed bagels, cream cheeses, and pastries.

Taste of Tel Aviv

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Looking to celebrate Hanukkah without the meat? Taste of Tel Aviv’s menu features a mix of Mediterranean flavors (think shakshuka, hummus, or sabich, a pita sandwich stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, Israeli salad, and pickles) and American classics (think pizza, pasta, or Impossible burgers). The menu has kosher, gluten-free, and vegan options, making this Southwest Houston-area restaurant a great option to accommodate your entire party’s dietary preferences.

Three Brothers Bakery

Founded by relatives of Holocaust survivors, this iconic Jewish bakery is a Houston institution that impresses with well-crafted cakes, decorated cookies, and freshly baked bread year-round. At Hanukkah, they pull out all the stops at the bakery’s four locations with holiday features including blue and white iced treats like bear-shaped cookies, cookie cakes, regular cakes, sugar cookies, and petit fours, and even a blue-and-white snowy gingerbread house. Also check out Three Brothers’ famous pumpecapple pie cake, an outrageously good combination of pumpkin, pecan, and apple pie, and spice and chocolate cake. It’s so good it made an appearance on Saturday Night Live.

The Hot Bagel Shop

Everything you need to know about this bagel shop lies within its name. Hot bagels loaded with house-made cream cheese, smoked salmon by the pound, and avocado make up the menu alongside bagel kolaches, deli sandwiches, and even bagel pizzas. Get there early — a lot of the items sell out before noon.

Katz's Deli & Bar

Open 24/7, this deli chain offers a gargantuan menu with plates of matzo ball soup, stuffed cabbage, challah french toast, Reuben and pastrami sandwiches, and various other classics that will have you feeling as if you were roaming the boroughs of New York. For dessert, score cheese blintzes complete with fruit or fudge topping. 

Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen

Feed your entire family (and then some) with Kenny & Ziggy’s Hanukkah to-go menu, with two dinner options and two snacky options. For the classics, consider the Family Dinner, with chicken soup and matzo balls, a loaf of challah, a two-pound brisket with gravy, an apricot-roasted chicken, kasha varnishkas, string bean almondine, and, of course, latkes with applesauce or sour cream. For a Middle Eastern twist on a Hanukkah meal, the “Chanukah in Tel Aviv” meal has hummus, labneh, whipped feta with pistachios, pita, pomegranate salad, apricot soy-glazed salmon, pickles, mini potato pancakes, and more. If that isn’t enough food for you, Kenny & Ziggy’s also has snack platters: a lox and latke platter or a deli platter, with deli meat, potato salad, cole slaw, rye bread, latkes, and more. There are also a la carte options.

Common Bond Bistro & Bakery

As one of the best bakeries in town, Common Bond not only churns out great pastries and coffee on the daily but is also home to arguably the city’s premier challah roll. This golden-baked masterpiece is house made to perfection and is sure to get the stamp of approval from even the harshest critics.

Dessert Gallery Bakery & Cafe

This ever-popular bakery and cake shop offers a variety of Hanukkah-themed cookies this year. From menorah and dreidel-shaped butter cookies to gingerbread people iced in little blue Hanukkah sweaters, the options are wide, and each comes with the bakery’s signature artistic touch that is sure to be the centerpiece of any holiday party.

Nielsen's Delicatessen

For a classic Jewish deli experience, look no further than this no-frills joint, which has been part of Houston’s fabric for decades. Favorites include corned beef, pastrami, egg salad, or liver pate sandwiches, but the potato salad is no slouch either. Pep up your Hanukkah spread by building your own platter, or customize a party tray, complete with meats, cheeses, potato salad, bread, pickles, and spread, built especially for your party size.

Hamsa

Stop by Hamsa, which has traditional Israeli fare, or sister restaurant and steakhouse Doris Metropolitan, any night of Hanukkah for a menorah lighting and sufganiyah, fried jelly doughnuts.

Right next door to Hamsa is Badolina, a bakery also from owners Sof Hospitality, which offers challah and babka every Friday.

Genesis Steakhouse & Wine Bar

In a city full of steakhouses, few specialize in serving kosher offerings of the utmost quality. From tomahawk splurges to other various bone-in rib-eye offerings, Genesis Steakhouse is not only one of the only certified kosher steakhouses in town, but it also marries Jewish and Persian flavors to perfection with stuffed cabbage rolls by the dozen, matzo ball soup by the pint, brisket, and latkes. Find a variety of different specials for Jewish holidays from Rosh Hashanah boxes to Hanukkah specials that make it a local favorite around this festive time of year.

New York Deli & Coffee Shop

This time-honored coffee shop boasts all of the Hanukkah must-haves — from egg and omelet platters to fish boxes swirling with lox, whitefish, salmon, nova, or sable. Latkes and cheese blintzes are served with sour cream and applesauce, plus chopped liver and smoked fish and meats are available by the pound. Visit the attached bagel shop to stock up on the deli’s famed bagels, cream cheeses, and pastries.

Taste of Tel Aviv

Looking to celebrate Hanukkah without the meat? Taste of Tel Aviv’s menu features a mix of Mediterranean flavors (think shakshuka, hummus, or sabich, a pita sandwich stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, Israeli salad, and pickles) and American classics (think pizza, pasta, or Impossible burgers). The menu has kosher, gluten-free, and vegan options, making this Southwest Houston-area restaurant a great option to accommodate your entire party’s dietary preferences.

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