Top 12 Food & Drink Events This Month: May 2018

Photo courtesy of The Texas Taco, Tequila and Margarita Festival

Get your party hats ready, May is chock full of reasons to celebrate, eat, and drink.

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With Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby falling on the same day, May 5 is sure to be a wild one (hope you’re thirsty). But the fun doesn’t stop there; this month also brings a gyro-fueled Greek festival, community-building charity luncheon and fancy whiskey fête. Check out the must hit culinary happenings in May.

Top 12 Food & Drink Events in Houston: May 2018

  • Cinco de Mayo Weekend at Arnaldo Richards’ Picos | Thursday, May 3 through Sunday, May 6 – The vibrant Mexican eatery will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo all weekend long, starting with a  Tequila Herradura Dinner on Thursday. Guests can enjoy four courses, plus cocktail and tequila pairings, for $99 per person (not including tax and gratuity). On Friday, the party continues with four featured margarita specials. Saturday brings an all-day Fiesta Under the Big Top; and Sunday closes out with a Cinco de Mayo Recovery Brunch, featuring a Sunday brunch buffet for $32 per person.
  • Cinco de Mayo at El Big Bad | Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6 – El Big Bad is back at it with a weekend-long Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Last year’s bash featured liquid nitrogen margaritas, tequila sampling, DJs, face painting, a boozy brunch and more. Friday 11am to Sunday 6pm.
  • Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day at Eight Row Flint | Cinco de Mayo, Saturday, May 5 – The popular Heights icehouse and will be celebrating two great events, The Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo, by offering drink specials throughout the day. Sip $5 regular margaritas and $16 Big Ass Frozen Margaritas (served in 16-ounce goblets); or try Eight Row’s special julep, which is made with Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Barton Bonded Bourbon, Hamilton Jamaican Black Rum, Amontillado Sherry Cordial, and mint. Noon to 2am.
  • The Texas Taco, Tequila & Margarita Festival at Preservation Park | Cinco de Mayo, Saturday, May 5 – Head to Old Town Spring to dig into tacos, tequila, and margaritas at this family-friendly fun fest. The event will feature over 30 taco vendors, tequila tastings, 10+ flavors of frozen and crafted margaritas, a kids zone with inflatables and rides, margarita and taco contests, live music and more. Tickets are $7 for general admission and $85 for VIP (includes access to a private tent, two alcoholic beverages, a private tequila tasting, meal voucher, complimentary massages, private bathrooms, festival t-shirt, unlimited non-alcoholic beverages, and VIP swag bag. Noon to midnight.
  • Santo de Mayo Pub Crawl in Montrose | Cinco de Mayo, Saturday, May 5 | No Cover – Saint Arnold Brewing Company’s fan-favorite pub crawl returns to Montrose on Cinco de Mayo. Crawlers will begin at Rudyard’s to pick up their punch cards, then make their way to stops including The Hay Merchant, The Burger Joint, El Real, Poison Girl, Pistolero’s, and Goodnight Charlie’s (routes will vary), before finishing with the after-party and pint glass pickup at La Grange. As always, designated drivers are encouraged to participate and are eligible for the award. 2pm to 6pm.
  • Kentucky Derby Bash at Punk’s Simple Southern Food | Cinco de Mayo, Saturday, May 5 – Punk’s is off to the races and throwing a Kentucky Derby Watch Party Bash. Guests can dig into $5 Derby Chicken Biscuits and sip on an $8 Basil Hayden Juleps, loaded with lots of mint. Punk’s will be airing the Derby on their 12 TV”s inside and on the patio. Reserve your derby party seats by calling 713-524-7865. 4pm to 6pm.
  • Cocktail Class with Westin Galleymore at One Fifth | Monday, May 7 – Join Underbelly Hospitality Spirits Director Westin Galleymore on a deep dive into cocktail creation, as he discusses the process of pairing ingredients with spirits, the inspiration behind One Fifth’s most popular cocktails and brainstorms great cocktail names. Guests can sample five cocktails, each paired with food, for $125 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Eight seats only. 6:30pm.
  • Thursday Night Take Over at Fluff Bake Bar | Thursday, May 10 – Fluff Bake Bar owner Rebecca Masson has switched up her popular “Dinner with My Friends” series, making it a “Thursday Night Take Over.” The events will showcase a new guest chef each month, with this month featuring chef John Tesar of Knife Dallas. Each guest chef will create a menu of three to four items available a la carte and Masson will create a special dessert to compliment the menu, with optional wine pairings and specialty beer from Saint Arnold. No tickets or reservations are required, but four “chef’s table” seats will be available for purchase each month. Ten percent of all proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program. 6pm to 9pm.
  • Houston Greek Festival at St. Basil The Great Greek Orthodox Church | Thursday, May 17 through Sunday, May 20 – All ages are welcome to celebrate Hellenic at this annual festival, which offers a taste of the finest in Greek foods, pastries, church tours, shopping, music and dancing, traditional Greek costume, shopping and children’s activities. Nosh on spanakopita, souvlaki, pastichio, dolmades, Greek salad, gyros, baklava, loukoumades, Greek wine and more. Admission is either $3 per person or 3 canned/dry goods to donate to the Houston Food Bank. Thursday 4pm to 9pm; Friday and Saturday 11am to 10pm; Sunday noon to 5pm.
  • 14th Annual Empty Bowls Houston at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft | Saturday, May 19 – Benefiting the Houston Food Bank, Empty Bowls is a unique lunch fundraiser implemented to help fight hunger (in its first 13 years, Empty Bowls Houston has raised $801,550 for the cause). For a minimum $25 donation, attendees will receive a simple lunch of soup and bread provided by Sweet Tomatoes, and then select a one-of-a-kind bowl from over 1,500 hand-crafted bowls donated by Houston area ceramists and craft artists. The empty bowls serve as a reminder of all the empty bowls in our community and the world. There will also be live music and artist demonstrations throughout the day. 11am to 3pm.
  • Houston Whiskey Festival at Bayou Place | Saturday, May 19 – The Houston Whiskey Festival returns with a lineup of master blenders, coopers, whiskey distillers, and other whiskey experts on-hand to speak about their fine Whiskies. Guests can sip, smoke, and savor fine whiskeys and cigars in the cigar lounge, listen to live music, check out seminars, and mingle with fellow enthusiasts. Tickets are $65 for general admission, $125 for VIP, and $35 for designated drivers. Cocktail dress and blazers required (business attire at minimum). 7pm to 10pm (6pm for VIP).
  • 2018 Karback Cookoff at Karbach Brewery | Saturday, May 19 – Back in February, the annual Karbach Cookoff was postponed due to inclement weather, but it’s back and ready to throw down. This is one of the brewery’s biggest charity events of the year, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Houston Fire Department and local area firefighters. Tickets are $60 and include entry to the cookoff, unlimited tastings, a commemorative firefighter glass, entry to the concert, and three Karbach beers. VIP and concert only tickets are also available. Noon to 10:30pm.

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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 .