Top 12 food & drink events to hit in Houston this month: November 2015

Houston Cellar Classic | Photo courtesy of the Houston Cellar Classic

Hope you’re hungry (and thirsty)! Our top picks of culinary happenings in Houston for November 2015 are bringing the flavor.

November is looking mighty tasty. With charitable dinners, boozy pop-ups, and some good ol’ Houston BBQ, there are plenty of ways to feed your mind, body, and spirit this month. Check out the dirty dozen.

Top 12 Food & Drink Events to Hit in Houston this Month

  • The Woodlands Restaurant Week | Monday, November 2 through Sunday, November 8 – Though Houston Restaurant Weeks is over, you still have a chance to eat local and give back. The Woodlands Restaurant week, which raises money to benefit the Montgomery County Food Bank, is debuting with more than 20 local restaurants and bistros. Dine at top spots, including Fiedling’s Wood Grill, Local Pour and the Griddlez food truck, and each restaurant will donate between $1 to $3 per entrée. For each dollar donated, the Montgomery County Food Bank will be able to provide 3.5 nutritious meals to locals in need.
  • Picnic in the Park at Discovery Green | Thursday, November 5 – This annual charity event has become a hallmark of the local food scene. Join fellow foodies, businesses, and philanthropists in raising money for Search Homeless Services, a United Way organization dedicated to fighting homelessness in the Houston area. This year’s evening under the stars offers bites and drinks from over a dozen local favorites, including benjy’s, Local Foods, Brennan’s of Houston, Jonathan’s The Rub, and Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Tickets are $100 for individuals, with additional underwriting opportunities available. 6pm to 9pm.
  • Houston Cellar Classic Grand Tasting at The Tasting Room-Uptown Park | Saturday, November 7  More than 100 different wines will be poured alongside culinary creations from local restaurants at this 12th annual Houston event. Sip, sample, and savor as you enjoy the afternoon wandering from table to table, judging a best bites competition, and listening to live music from The Revelators. Tickets are $75 for general admission and $200 for VIP. 1pm to 5pm.
  • Afternoon Sake Tasting & Class at Kata Robata | Saturday, November 7  Get your sake degree at Kata Robata University. Led by Kata Robata General Manager and sake specialist, Blake Lewis, with assistance from Alan Chen, State Sake Specialist with Glazer’s Distributors, the class will feature around half a dozen high-end sakes, served both warmed and chilled, alongside a discussion on what makes each different and light fare from Chef Manabu Horiuchi (a.k.a. Chef ‘Hori’). $60 per person, which includes food and sake tastings. 4pm.
  • Houston Margarita Festival at Sam Houston Park | Sunday, November 8 – Take yourself all the way to Margaritaville without ever leaving Houston. This annual margarita fest is in a new, more spacious location, which means more music, more tequila, and more fun, including all new events like the Margarita Competition. This event was bumped back a day from the originally scheduled Saturday, November 7. Advanced purchase tickets are $25 for general admission; $35 at the gate. Noon to 10pm.
  • Houston BBQ Throwdown at Saint Arnold | Sunday, November 8 – The Houston Barbecue Festival and Saint Arnold Brewery have teamed up for this inaugural BBQ Throwdown, where Houston’s hottest pit-masters and restaurants compete to create the dish that best represents Houston ‘Q today. Guests can expect culinary fusions and tons of smoky, meaty deliciousness from places like Corkscrew BBQ, Feges BBQ, Pappa Charlie’s Barbeque, and Ray’s BBQ Shack, to name a few. Tickets are $55 and include samples from all the participants. 1pm to 4pm.
  • The Risotto Festival at The Houston Design Center | Sunday, November  8 – One of Houston’s finest gourmet food festivals, this 11th international event includes an afternoon of Italian wines and delicious Italian foods prepared by some of Houston’s hottest talent. Taste as over a dozen local chefs, including Charles Clark of Ibiza Food & Wine Bar and John Sikhattana of Straits Asian Bistro , compete to make the best bite (with celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito on the panel of judges). Tickets are $75 or $125 for VIP, with children under 12 free. 2pm to 6pm.
  • NYC’s Holiday Cocktail Lounge Pop-Up at Reserve 101 | Monday, November 9 – Craft cocktail innovator Michael Neff, who recently revitalized the storied Holiday Cocktail Lounge in New York’s East Village (an old favorite of Madonna, Frank Sinatra, and Keith Richards), is making his first trip to Houston for this one-night-only event. Sponsored by Beam Suntory, the pop-up will feature $8 cocktails made with Knob Creek Bourbon, Knob Creek Rye, Basil Hayden Bourbon, Maker’s 46, Laphroaig 10-year-old and Hibiki Harmony whiskey. A portion of each drink sold will go to Lucky Dog Rescue. 7pm to 2am.
  • Tacolandia at Buffalo Bayou Park | Saturday, November 14  Houston Press’ inaugural taco sampling event was rescheduled to November thanks to the rain. Don’t miss this new opportunity to eat unlimited tacos from an all-star roster curated by Tex-Mex guru Robb Walsh. Participating eateries include Añejo, El Real Tex-Mex, Fusion Taco, and Roost. Tickets start at $30 for general admission; $40 day of the event. 4pm to 7pm.
  • Turkish Festival at Jones Plaza | Saturday, November 14 & Sunday, November 15 | FREE to attend – Not only does this 24th annual Turkish festival feature live music, dance performance, Turkish DJs, fashion shows, games, crafts and a grand bazaar, the family-friendly event also features an delectable lineup of traditional Turkish fare. Indulge in kebabs, baklava, grape leaves, gozleme, Turkish coffee and more, all weekend long. Saturday, 11am to 11pm; Sunday 11am to 9pm.
  • Houston Corks and Forks at Prohibition Supperclub & Bar | Sunday, November 15 – Hit this American Cancer Society event to support a great cause, indulge in wine, and enjoy incredible eats as the chefs of Prohibition Supperclub & Bar, Hubbell & Hudson Bistro, Killen’s Steakhouse and Pour Society engage in some friendly competition. The night also features a silent auction, Kendra Scott jewelry pull, Prohibition-era themed whiskey tastings and complimentary shoe shines. Proceeds will be used to directly fund community programs, cancer research, patient transportation, cancer support groups and several other vital programs supported by the American Cancer Society. 5pm to 8pm.
  • James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner at Quattro | Saturday, November 21 – This national program, which brings the unique experience of dining at New York City’s James Beard House to cities around the country, is making a stop in Houston. Enjoy as five of Houston’s top chefs – including Quattro’s Executive Chef Maurizio Ferrarese, James Beard Award winner Robert Del Grande of RDG + Bar Annie, and Hugo Ortega of Hugo’s Restaurant, Backstreet Café & Caracol – combine forces to create one unforgettable five-course meal. $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required. 6:30pm reception; 7pm dinner.
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Brooke Viggiano
Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .