Top 15 food & drink events in Houston this month: November 2016

Picnic in the Park | Photo courtesy of Discovery Green

With fall in full swing and the air beginning to crisp (not really but we’ll take it), it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy this month’s culinary happenings.

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November is full of fall fun, with outdoor festivals showcasing everything from cheese to margaritas. There’s also barbecue and tacos, because this is Houston after all. Here’s a look at what you’ll want to eat and drink this month.

Top 15 Food & Drink Events to Hit in Houston this Month

  • Outdoor Cooking Series at Eight Row Flint | Tuesdays All Month Long – On Tuesdays, November 1 and 8, Coltivare manager Mike Sanchez will be continuing Eight Row Flint’s outdoor cooking series with a Satays and Kabobs night. On Tuesdays, November 15, 22, and 28, Agricole Hospitality culinary director Vincent Huynh will be hosting Pho Night (just in time for the cooler weather). 5pm until they sell out.
  • Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission, TX | Weekends through Sunday, November 27 – Stroll through the fairgrounds and mingle with unusual characters while enjoying smoked turkey legs and a glass of mead fit for a king during the this Renaissance-themed celebration. Special weekends include the Roman Bacchanal on November 5 to 6; the Barbarian Invasion on November 12 to 13; Highland Fling on November 19 to 20; and Celtic Christmas on November 25 to 27. Tickets are $23.95, plus fees in advance or $30 at the gate for adults and $11.95 plus fees or $15 at the gate for children.
  • The Woodlands Restaurant Week | Thursday, November 3 through Friday, November 11 – Dine out for a cause, as Woodlands restaurants join together to benefit The Montgomery County Food Bank. Each participating restaurant will donate between $1 to $3 per entrée; and for each dollar donated, the Montgomery County Food Bank will be able to provide 3.5 nutritious meals to locals in need.
  • 8th Annual Picnic in the Park at Discovery Green | Thursday, November 3 – This annual charity event brings together foodies, businesses, and philanthropists in raising money for SEARCH Homeless Services (SEARCH), a United Way organization dedicated to fighting homelessness in the Houston area. This year’s evening under the stars includes bites, beer, and wine from over a dozen local favorites, including B&B Butchers and Restaurant, Harold’s Restaurant, Bar and Terrace, and Brennan’s of Houston. Tickets are $100 for individuals, with additional underwriting opportunities available.
  • The Cheese Fest at Hermann Square Park | Friday, November 4 – Guests are invited to get cheesy, with $35 tickets including unlimited samples of artisan cheeses, one drink ticket, a Meltdown competition featuring samples of grilled cheese, and live music. VIP tickets are also available.
  • Houston Margarita Festival at Sam Houston Park | Saturday, November 5 – Take yourself all the way to Margaritaville at this annual margarita fest. Now in its 5th year, festival goers can sample 27 different margarita flavors all made with 100 percent agave tequila, ranging from the classic lime to exotic jalapeño pepper to the craft Bourbon St. Hurricane, while tasting fare from local restaurants spanning multiple genres of cuisine, including barbecue, Cajun, and Mexican. The Best Margarita Competition also returns, with participants including Chulas, Diablo Loco, Lupe Tortilla and Top Golf. Tickets are $25 pre-sale and $35 day of, with VIP and value passes available.
  • 25th Annual Houston Turkish Festival at Jones Plaza | Saturday, November 5 through Sunday, November 6 – The 25th annual Turkish festival features live music and dance performance, crafts and games, a grand bazaar, and a delectable lineup of traditional Turkish fare. Indulge in kebabs, falafel, baklava, and Turkish coffee all weekend long. The family-friendly event is $6 for adults and free for children under 12.
  • Oyster Bash at The Oceanaire | Sunday, November 6 – Guests are invited to celebrate a variety of oysters, fresh shrimp, lobster, and hors d’oeuvres, including lobster mac and cheese, crab sliders, and house smoked salmon, all while enjoying live entertainment. Oyster Bash will also feature a selection of wines from Francis Ford Coppola and Oyster Bay wineries, as well as local spirits from Railean, Rebecca Creek, Yellow Rose, Titanium, and Texas Ranger. Ice cold craft beer will be provided by Independence Brewing Company. Tickets are available now for $85, not including ticket fees.
  • Southern Smoke at Underbelly | Sunday, November 6 – Chef Chris Shepherd and the HOUBBQ Collective are hosting the second annual Southern Smoke, where a dream team of Southern chefs and pitmasters will cook and turn Underbelly, Hay Merchant, and Blacksmith into a massive street party, with the goal of raising $200,000 for the MS Society. Tickets are $200 for general admission and $350 for VIP.
  • Thyme & Place Pop-Up at Good Dog Houston | Monday, November 7 – Chef Brandon Silva joins forces with longtime friend Nathan Lemley, executive chef of Parkside restaurant in Austin, for the return of this special fall dinner. The six-course meal will be served along with a beer and wine pairing for $85 to $120 per person.
  • Cookbook Dinner at Revival Market | Wednesday, November 9 – Chef Ryan Pera welcomes James Beard award-winning chef Ashley Christensen for this special wine dinner, inspired by her cookbook, Poole’s: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner. The menu will feature dishes such as duck confit rillettes on cornbread, asparagus and oyster mushrooms with sherry cream, pork and biscuit dumplings with fresh field peas, and sour cream pannacotta with red wine pears. The dinner costs $150 and includes pairings and a signed copy of Christensen’s cookbook.
  • Houston Cellar Classic Grand Tasting at The Tasting Room Uptown Park | Saturday, November 12 – The 13th annual Houston Cellar Grand Tasting features table-to-table sampling of fine wines poured alongside culinary creations from local restaurants. This year’s event will benefit Genysys Works Houston, a non-profit dedicated to changing the trajectory of disadvantaged high school students through meaningful work experiences. Tickets are $75 for general admission and $200 for VIP, not including ticket fees.
  • The Gr8 Taco Challenge at 8th Wonder Brewery | Sunday, November 13 – 8th Wonder will feature 20 of Houston’s favorite restaurants and chefs at the inaugural Gr8 Taco Challenge. Tickets ($40 in advance and $50 at the door) include a custom souvenir pint glass, four beer tokens, and a taco sampling from each participating restaurant. There will also be live music and a Michelada bar. A portion of proceeds will be going to a local charity.
  • A Taste of SPA at Jones Hall | Tuesday, November 15 – The Society for the Performing Arts’ 3rd annual tasting event features an evening of light bites, libations, and lively conversation with Houston’s top chefs. Individual tickets are available at $150, with tables also available. Proceeds enable SPA to sustain its mission of Bringing the World’s Best to Houston and support SPA’s Education and Community Engagement Programs, which provide over 70,000 students, teachers, and parents access to the best in the performing arts in unique and affordable ways.
  • Houston Barbecue Throwdown at Saint Arnold Brewery | Sunday, November 20 – The Houston Barbecue Festival and Saint Arnold Brewing Company invite guests to this 2nd annual Houston BBQ Throwdown, featuring 14 of Houston’s best barbecue restaurants competing to create the next great barbecue dish that represents Houston-style barbecue. Ticket holders will be able to sample each of the barbecue competition entries as well as enjoy great Saint Arnold beer. Participating barbecue joints include the 2015 People’s Choice Corkscrew BBQ, among others. Tickets range between $60 to $120, not including ticket fees.