Top 15 Food & Drink Events This Month: November 2019

Photo courtesy of International Risotto Festival

November in Houston brings culinary thrills with a lineup of tasty food and drink events.

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This month sees the return of popular events, from Feast with the Beasts at the Houston Zoo to the Gr8 Taco Challenge and Houston versus Austin BBQ face-off.

You can also look forward to risotto, bao, burgers, margaritas, and champagne & caviar. Here’s everything you need to eat and drink this November.

Top 15 Food & Drink Events This Month: November 2019

  • Feast with the Beasts at the Houston Zoo | Friday, November 1 – The Houston Zoo’s annual food, beer, and wine celebration returns for its 14th year, with this year featuring a roster of Houston’s hottest restaurants, musical guest The Suffers, Meet the Keeper Talks, and animal experiences scheduled throughout the evening. Tickets are $119 for general admission; $109 for Zoo members. 7pm to 11pm.
  • 4th Annual Big Bao Battle Food Competition at The Ballroom at Bayou Place | Wednesday, November 6 – The 4th Annual Big Bao Battle chef cook-off brings together 12 local chefs, each of whom will throw down their own special version of a traditional Chinese steamed bao to win the People’s Choice award. The all-you-can-eat event is a charity fundraiser benefitting OCA-Greater Houston. Tickets start at $35 for general admission. 6:30pm to 9pm.
  • Houstonia‘s 5th Annual Burger Bash at The Plaza at CityCentre | Thursday, November 7 – The 5th annual Burger Bash pits a dozen of the city’s top restaurants and chefs in a head-to-head battle for the Best Burger. Guests can enjoy sliders, drinks including beer from Saint Arnold Brewing Company and cocktails from Ketel One, Captain Morgan and Crown Royal, cars on display from Land Rover West Houston, live entertainment and a huge raffle benefiting Kids’ Meals, Inc. This year’s competitors include B&B Butchers & Restaurant, International Smoke, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, The Capital Grille, Rodeo Goat, Bellagreen, BuffBurger, BCK, The General Public, B.B. Lemon, and The Tasting Room. Tickets are $35 with two drink tickets; $17 for ages 12 to 20. 6pm to 9pm.
  • 11th Annual Picnic in the Park at Levy Park | Thursday, November 7 – This annual charity event brings together food lovers, 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 includes bites and drinks from over a dozen local favorites, including Brennan’s of Houston, Dish Society, Tiny’s Milk & Cookies, Emmaline, State Fare, BuffBurger and more. Tickets are $100 for individuals, with additional underwriting opportunities and raffles available. 6pm to 9pm.
  • Houston Grilled Cheese Fest at Midtown Park | Saturday, November 9 – Grilled cheese fanatics should hit this ultra cheesy festival, which will bring sample grilled cheese bites from local chefs and restaurants to Midtown Park. Tickets are $49 for general admission (available in two tasting sessions); $85 for The Big Cheese VIP (with early entry, open bar, and access to a 21+ lounge). 12:30pm to 3:30pm; 5pm to 8pm.
  • Houston Cellar Classic Food and Wine Festival at The Tasting Room | Saturday, November 9 – Now in its 15th year, this food and wine fest brings together top talent from Houston’s restaurant scene, including celebrated chefs and beverage experts, plus fine wines from all over the world. Sip from over 100 wines and enjoy live music as participating restaurants go head-to-head in an exciting culinary competition. Tickets start at $75 (prices will increase), with 100% of proceeds benefiting Genesys Works Houston. Noon to 4pm.
  • The Houston Food & Wine Fest at Guadalupe Plaza Park | Saturday, November 9 – Enjoy an afternoon of food and wine, with 20 unique servings from local and national chefs, plus 4-ounce wine servings. Tickets are $55 including all food and wine; $150 for VIP. 3pm to 7pm.
  • 14th Annual International Risotto Festival at The Houston Design Center | Sunday, November 10 – This outdoor strolling event returns with risotto creations from Houston’s top talent, plus fantastic wines, music and entertainment, exotic cars, a charity auction, kids activities, designer showroom tours and more. This year’s festival will benefit BE A Resource (BEAR) for CPS Kids, a non-profit organization that provides help and hope for abused and neglected children along with the caseworkers who protect them within Harris County. Tickets are $100 for general admission; $225 for VIP. 2pm to 6pm.
  • Le Dîner en Blanc at Secret Location | Sunday, November 10 – This chic pop-up picnic, which originated in Paris 30 years ago, is returning for the fifth year. At the last minute, the secret location will be revealed to thousands of locals, who will arrive dressed all in white and ready for an evening of French elegance, beauty, food, and community. Registration is $43 per person. Time TBA.
  • No Kid Hungry Dinner at Truth BBQ | Wednesday, November 13 – A collective of Houston chefs and pitmasters will join forces to put an end to childhood hunger in America as Truth BBQ’s Leonard Botello IV hosts his first No Kid Hungry Dinner. The evening will feature a multi-course dinner from the pitmaster alongside Bobby Matos (Superica), Rebecca Masson (Fluff Bake Bar), Erin Smith and Patrick Feges (Feges BBQ) and Nick Wong (UB Preserv) to benefit No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger. The dinner will be preceded by a reception with cocktails served by mixologist Vanessa Dworakowski (La Lucha) and will feature a live auction. Tickets are $175 for individuals, with additional sponsorship opportunities available. 6pm reception; 7pm seated dinner.
  • The Great State of Texas Food Truck Festival in the East End | Saturday, November 16 – This inaugural event will take place in the Historic East End district at 4450 Harrisburg, showcasing the diversity in Houston’s culinary community along with local musical talent. Tickets are $10; free admission before 2pm. Noon to 10pm.
  • The Gr8 Taco Challenge at 8th Wonder Brewery | Sunday, November 17 – 8th Wonder is inviting 20+ of Houston’s favorite restaurants and bars to battle it out for taco supremacy. The day will also feature tasty tunes and assorted 8th Wonder brews on tap. Tickets are $40 and get you a taco from each competitor, 3 beer tokens, and limited edition glassware. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Kids’ Meals, Inc. Noon to 3pm.
  • HOU-ATX BBQ Throwdown 2019 at Saint Arnold Brewery | Sunday November 17 – Austin and Houston will compete to determine which city makes the best Texas barbecue, with participating Austin pitmasters including Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue, Interstellar BBQ, and Micklethwait Craft Meats, who will be pitted against Houston’s Daddy Duncan’s BBQ, Eddie O’s BBQ, and Tejas Chocolate + BBQ and more. Tickets are $70. 1pm to 4pm.
  • Champagne and Caviar Dinner at Rainbow Lodge | Wednesday, November 20 – The beautiful Rainbow Lodge will host its annual Champagne and Caviar Dinner with Champagne Bollinger and Champagne Ayala, and featuring master sommelier Craig Collins. Price and menu to be determined. You must reserve your seats by email. 6pm reception; 6:30pm dinner.
  • Houston Margarita Festival at The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park | Saturday, November 23 – Festival-goers can enjoy 18 margarita flavors along with live bands, DJs, local eats, and views of the Downtown skyline at the Houston Margarita Festival. Tickets start at $15 for advanced general admission, with value and group passes available. Noon to 10pm.

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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 .