Top 16 food & drink events in Houston this month: October 2016

8th Wonder Brewery in EaDo | Photo: 365 Houston

Pumpkin spice everything has taken over, meaning fall is in full effect. But there’s way more going on in Houston’s culinary scene than the love-it-or-hate-it beverage.

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October’s coolest culinary events go way beyond all things pumpkin and into the world of whiskey, beer, gyros, and whole smoked hog. From Oktoberfest and Halloween celebrations to an inaugural brunch sampling event, here’s a look at what you’ll want to eat and drink this month.

Top 16 Food & Drink Events to Hit in Houston this Month

  • The Morning After, a Houston Press Brunch Event at Bayou City Event Center Pavilion | Saturday, October 1 – The first ever Morning After brunch sampling event will feature bites from local brunch hot spots, drink samples and music. Participating restaurants include Brennan’s, Harold’s, and Max’s Wine Dive. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door (if still available). 11:30am to 2:30pm.
  • Flying Saucer’s BeerFeast at Sugar Land Town Square | Saturday, October 1 – This 5th annual BeerFeast will feature over 50 breweries and 80 craft beers, including hard-to-score, limited-release beers that will be tapped one at a time throughout the festival. Sugar Land Town Square restaurants will be selling eats to go along with the brews. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door if available and include admission to the festival, a tasting card good for 12 samples from any of the 80 festival beers, and a BeerFeast tasting glass. Designated driver and a limited number of VIP tickets are available for $15 and $68, respectively. Additional taster cards will be available for purchase for $5. 2pm to 6:30pm.
  • SaltAir Chef Series at SaltAir Seafood Kitchen | Monday, October 3 through Wednesday, October 5 – After 12 weeks, this worldly Chef Series, inspired by SaltAir chefs’ favorite flavors, cultures, and experiences touching the water, is coming to end. The last dinners will feature the tastes of Vietnam, with a $50 per person menu, plus optional beverage pairing at additional cost. Reservations are recommended. Times vary daily.
  • The Epicurean Project at Silver Street Studios | Wednesday, October 5 – Presented by Martin Preferred Foods, The Epicurean Project will bring together Houston chefs to show off what’s new, what’s to eat, and what’s to know in today’s culinary scene. Confirmed guest chefs include Adison Lee at KUU Restaurant, Giancarlo Ferrara at Amalfi, Jacques Fox at Artisans, and Sandro Scarafile at Sud-Italia. Tickets are $50 and only a limited number will be sold to preserve an interactive atmosphere with chefs, with a portion of the benefiting the Houston Food Bank. 6pm to 9pm.
  • An Evening in Maremma with Tony Vallone at Ciao Bello | Wednesday, October 5 –Join Tony Vallone at Ciao Bello’s next regional cuisine dinner, as the famed restaurateur highlights classic dishes and ingredients from the Tuscan coast. Tickets to the multi-course tasting menu with “free-flowing” wine pairings is priced at $95 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Seats are limited. 7pm.
  • The Original Greek Festival at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral | Thursday, October 6 to Sunday, October 9 – Get your Greek on at this 50th annual festival, where you’ll find a fantastic lineup of classic dishes, including dolmades, souvlaki, pastitsio, spanakopita, gyros, and baklava alongside a market and lively Greek music and dancing. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 10 and under, or free on Friday until 3pm. Thursday 5pm to 10pm; Friday 11am to 3pm; 5pm to 10pm; Saturday 11am to 10pm; Sunday noon to 6pm.
  • King’s Oktoberfest Weekend at King’s Biergarten | Friday, October 7 through Sunday, October 9 – King’s annual Oktoberfest celebration is back with more live German music, more biers, more brats, and more fun, with activities including a ceremonial keg tapping, jousting competition, and Bavarian strongman competition. Tickets start at $10, not including ticket fees. Friday 5pm to midnight; Saturday noon to midnight; Sunday noon to 9pm.
  • Achtoberfest at 8th Wonder Brewery | Saturday, October 8 | Free to Attend – The brewery invites beer lovers to “celebr8 everything bier” at this local take on Oktoberfest. Guests can expect the release of two new beers, live music all day, and brats, schnitzels, and figure-8 pretzels available for purchase from Eatsie Boys. 11am to 10pm.
  • HOUBBQ Collective Tailgate at Eight Row Flint | Sunday, October 9 – Chefs and members of the HOUBBQ Collective are getting together a month before Southern Smoke to support one of their own and raise money for another worthy cause. Ryan Pera and 10 members of his Agricole Hospitality team are cycling 100 miles on October 18 to raise money for No Kid Hungry. In support, the group will be hosting a tailgate at Eight Row Flint, featuring Ryan Pera’s whole smoked hog, served North Carolina pulled pork-style with red chile vinegar sauce, slaw and a roll; and 44 farms smoked beef ribs and shoulder, Hill Country-style sausage and sides from Seth Siegel-Gardner and Chris Shepherd. Tickets to purchase the full plate, including a complimentary glass of Eight Row Punch are $45 through October 7, or $50 at the door. 11am to 4pm. Barbecue enthusiasts wanting to participate in the overnight smoking experience are encouraged to visit Eight Row Flint for a reverse happy hour on Saturday, October 8, as Ryan and his team get the hog going, featuring $3 beers and $5 margaritas from 9pm to midnight.
  • Texas Monthly Whiskey Affair at Silver Street Studios | Wednesday, October 12 – Texas Monthly is throwing down for a good old-fashioned whiskey tasting. Tickets are $85; $125 for VIP. General tickets get you samples of over 30 brown spirits, plus couture cocktails from Julep’s Alba Huerta and Reserve 101’s Mike Raymond, access to expert seminars, and bites from spots like Bosscat Kitchen and Libations and Fluff Bake Bar. VIP tickets include 1-hour early access and gift bags. 7pm to 10pm.
  • National Gumbo Days at Liberty Kitchens | Wednesday, October 12 to Sunday, October 16 – To raise money for its Freedom Stings Fund, F.E.E.D. TX will be hosting Gumbo Days at each Liberty Kitchen location. The locations will be offering a unique chef’s gumbo for $14, and the restaurant group will be donating 35 percent of the gumbo sales to help purchase portable MVP water filters. Every filter will provide 1 million gallons of clean drinking water to the small towns affected by the 2016 earthquakes in Ecuador. Chef’s specials include the Gumbo ze Herbes with smoked meats and hushpuppies at River Oaks and a Smoked Texas Quail & Duck Confit Gumbo at the LK Tree House. Gumbos are available in limited supply all-day and night.
  • Houston Italian Festival at the Italian Cultural & Community Center | Thursday, October 13 through Sunday, October 16 – Get a taste of Italy at this 38th annual Italian fest, which features an Adult Grape Stomp Contest, Pasta Eating Competition and Bocce Tournament in addition to live music, Italian wine and beer sampling and your favorite Italian eats. Tickets are $6 in advance, with food and wine tickets available an additional cost. Thursday 5pm to 10pm free admission; Friday 11am to 10pm free admission until 4pm; Saturday 11am to 10pm; Sunday 11am to 6pm.
  • Brenner’s Fall Wine Fest at Brenner’s on the Bayou | Saturday, October 22 – Brenner’s on the Bayou is hosting its inaugural Fall Wine Fest, providing Houstonians the opportunity to sample a variety of award-winning wines. The day will also feature live music and bites from Landry’s Signature Group restaurants, including duck confit empanadas from Brenner’s, shrimp enbrochette from Willie G’s, and special Landry’s desserts. Tickets are $75 pre-sale and $85 day of, with VIP tickets available for $135. 3pm to 6pm.
  • Tacolandia at The WaterWorks at Buffalo Bayou | Saturday, October 22 – Get tacos galore at the Houston Press’s second annual taco sampling event and throwdown, featuring tacos from top spots including El Real, Berryhill, Hugo’s, and Villa Arcos. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 day of (if available). 4pm to 7pm.
  • Untapped Music & Beer Festival at Discovery Green | Saturday, October 22 – Craft beer and live music – is there anything better? Probably not, so you don’t want to miss this annual craft beer and music festival. General admission tickets let you see the music and purchase canned beer (for those 21+); GA + Beer tickets include the music and a beer sampling card for 12 samples; and Preferred Tasting tickets include all of the above, plus early access to the event. Guests can expect over 275 beers served in 2-ounce samples throughout the day, while bands play live on two stages inside the beautiful Discovery Green park. Ticket prices start at $29, not including ticket fees. 4:30pm; 3:30pm for VIP ticket holders.
  • Heights Fright Night Part 2 | Saturday, October, 29 | Free to Attend – With the success of last year’s fright night, a crew of Northern Heights bars are banning together for a bigger and better sequel. Guests are invited to don their Halloween finest costumes and climb aboard complimentary shuttles running continuously between D&T Drive Inn, Town and City Brewing, Lei Low Rum and Tiki Bar, Johnny’s Gold Brick, re:HAB Bar On The Bayou, Southern Goods, Eureka Heights Brew Co, and Big Star Bar. Each location will have its own theme and happenings, from costume contests and live music to drink specials and groovy games to get you in the Halloween spirit. There will also be a prize for the crazy ghouls who complete the ride and hit all 8 stops. 7pm to 1am.