Top 15 Food & Drink Events This Month: September 2018

Southern Smoke | Photo courtesy of Underbelly Hospitality Group

With Houston’s hottest month behind us, now is the time to get out and enjoy the city. Thankfully, there are a bevy of hot culinary happenings to help you do so.

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September sees the return of an epic craft beer festival, fan-favorite bbq throwdown, and all-you-can-eat brunch extravaganza.

There’s also, chef dinners, wine tastings, and one of the city’s hottest charitable events, Southern Smoke. Check out everything you need to eat and drink this month.

Top 15 Food & Drink Events This MonthSeptember 2018

  • Houston Restaurant Weeks | Through Labor Day, Monday, September 3 – Houston Restaurant Weeks returns, bringing another month of charity and prix fixe menus from over 250 participating restaurants around town. The event is the largest annual fundraiser for America’s largest food bank, the Houston Food Bank. Check the lineup for specially priced lunches, brunches and dinners at hot newcomers and old favorites, from Brennan’s of Houston, B&B Butchers and Rainbow Lodge to Yauatcha, Xochi and Maison Pucha Bistro. Dinners run from $35 to $45, with lunches and brunches for $20. Dates, times, and prices vary daily.
  • BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival at Moody Gardens Convention Center | Friday, August 31 through Sunday, September 2 – This fan-favorite craft beer festival is bringing the fun all weekend long, with highlights including Friday’s Nach-Yo Ordinary Tequila Tasting; Saturday’s BrewHaHa Grand Tasting; and Sunday’s Brew-B-Que. Tickets for Weekender passes are $165, while prices vary for individual events ($8 to $85). Times vary per event.
  • Wine Tasting Event: Pinot at Brennan’s of Houston | Tuesday, September 4 – Join the Wine Guy Team at Brennan’s for this month’s wine tasting, featuring Oregan vs. California Pinot. Guests can walk from station to station and get to know the wine team as they share tasting notes, winery information, and pairing ideas. Cost is $25 per person. 6pm to 7:30pm.
  • Thursday Night Take Over at Fluff Bake Bar | Thursday, September 13 – 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 chefs Aaron Hoskins and Sarah Simmons of Columbia, South Carolina. The chefs 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.
  • Chefs & Brewers Dinner at The Dunlavy | Thursday, September 13 – Join The Dunlavy for local food and local brews during its special Chefs & Brewers Dinners series. This month’s event will feature the brews of Buffalo Bayou Brewery. Meet the chefs and brewer and enjoy four beer-paired courses. Cost is $75 per person. 6:30pm.
  • Texas Taco Music Fest at Discovery Green | Saturday, September 15 – The Texas Taco Music Fest reboots at Downtown’s Discovery Green, offering a unique celebration of fun, food, music, and Latin culture. The rain-or-shine event will feature a taco throwdown, live bands, cooking demonstrations, crafts booths, and tasty margaritas. Tickets are $15 for general admission ($20 at the gate), with limited time early bird tickets available at a discount. Limited comped (you only pay the ticketing fee) and discounted $7.50 tickets are available. Noon to 9pm.
  • Houston BBQ Throwdown at Saint Arnold Brewery | Sunday, September 16 – The fourth annual Houston BBQ Throwdown will rock some of the best-smoked meats our city has to offer, with top area pitmasters serving dishes that represent their interpretation of Houston-style barbecue. Participating restaurants include Beaver’s Westheimer (2017 Judge’s Choice co-winner), Blood Bros. BBQ, Buck’s Barbeque Co, El Burro & the Bull (2017 Judge’s Choice co-winner), Feges BBQ, Harlem Road Texas BBQ, The Pit Room, Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue, and Victorian’s Barbecue, with more to come. Tickets are $65 including beer and samples of each competition dish; or $130 for VIP. Space is limited and tickets are known to sell out in advance of the event. 1pm to 4pm.
  • Come to the Table at The Beacon | Thursday, September 20 – Celebrated Houston chefs—including Kathy Elkins of Harold’s in the Heights, Anita Jaisinghani of Pondicheri, Ryan Lachaine of Riel and more—will come together in one kitchen to raise funds for The Beacon and its programs that serve Houston’s homeless. Tickets start at $500, with additional sponsorship opportunities available. The evening begins with a Garden Party reception at 6pm, followed by a four-course dinner at 7pm.
  • Texas Hot Sauce Festival at Bayou City Event Center | Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23 – This fiery annual event heats up with hot sauces, salsas, dips, spices, marinades, wing sauces, and jams from all over the country. Tickets are $10; free for kids 12 and under. The festival benefits the Snowdrop Foundation, which raises money for pediatric cancer patients. Saturday 11am to 6pm; Sunday noon to 5pm.
  • Whiskies of the World at the JW Marriott Galleria | Saturday, September 22 – Whiskey fans can sample more than 200 expressions of whiskies from around the world, along with food and cigar pairings at this returning event. Knowledgeable ambassadors will be pouring their whiskies all night long and guest can choose to attend seminars conducted by master distillers and brand representatives. Tickets are $120 for general admission; $145 for VIP. 5pm to 9pm.
  • Houston Jerk Fest at India House | Sunday, September 23 – Caribbean music meets food and fun at the Houston Jerk Fest. The festival will feature a jerk cook-off competition, concert from Grammy-nominated artist Mr. Vegas, food and drink vendors, kids zone, family-friendly activities and more. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $100 for VIP. 2pm to 10pm.
  • Galveston Island Shrimp Festival | Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29 – Get a taste of the island at this local shrimp festival, which features special highlights like Friday’s VIP kick-off party ($50), Saturday’s Gumbo Stroll ($12), the Lil’ Shrimp’s Parade, and an official 5k beginning at 9am on Saturday morning. Friday 7:30pm; Saturday 9am to 9pm.
  • Houston Oktoberfest at The Water Works | Saturday, September 29 – This craft beer festival brings a German twist, with polka music, German beers and brats, and the annual Oktoberfest Olympiad, featuring games like stein hoisting, brat tossing, and barrel rolling. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $100 for VIP, with beer pong and flip cup tournament entry fees available for purchase. 11am to 6pm.
  • The Morning After, a Houston Press Brunch Event at Bayou City Event Center Pavilion | Saturday, September 29 – Sample your way through bottomless brunch offerings from over 25 of the hottest eateries at this third annual event. So far, the lineup of participating spots includes Alice Blue, Blonde Biscotti, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, Helen Greek Food & Wine, Max’s Wine Dive, Snooze and more. Tickets range from $40 to $75. 11:30am to 2:30pm.
  • Southern Smoke at The Hay Merchant | Sunday, September 30 – Chris Shepherd, along with the HOUBBQ Collective, will host the fourth annual Southern Smoke festival, held in the parking lot outside of Blacksmith and Hay Merchant. This year, a dream team of chefs and pitmasters from around the country will cook, with some of last year’s favorites returning and quite a few new faces—from Aaron Franklin of Franklin’s Barbecue and Mexico City’s Daniela Soto-Innes to local stars like Justin Yu (Theodore Rex, Better Luck Tomorrow) and Ryan Pera (Coltivare). The event raises funds for charitable purposes, principally for support and assistance for those in the food and beverage community and their suppliers, as well as the MS Society. Tickets are $200 for general admission; $350 for VIP. 4pm (3pm for VIP) to 8pm.

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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 .