Top 11 Food & Drink Events This Month: January 2020

One Pot Showdown | Photo courtesy of Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Start the new decade with a savory bang at these food and drink events in Houston for January 2020.

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This month, you can kick off 2020 with a “return to life” brunch at an iconic Houston restaurant (or one of its sibling establishments), test your spice tolerance in a Hot Pepper Eating Contest, head to the Island for chili and beer, celebrate the Lunar New Year, and eat your weight in truffle-kissed dishes. And that’s just the beginning.

Take a peek at the best culinary happenings around Houston for January 2020.

Top 11 Food & Drink Events This Month: January 2020

  • All You Can Eat Menudo, Birria & Pozole at La Calle | New Year’s Day, Wednesday, January 1 – La Calle continues its New Year’s Day tradition, offering three ultimate hangover cures in an all-you-can-eat extravaganza. Pair your menudo, birria, and pozole paired with a Caguama Michelada or Mexican beer for good measure. Cost is $15.99 for the all-you-can-eat trio, with booze sold separately. 7am to 1am.
  • El Buffet que te Vuelve a la Vida at Hugo’s | New Year’s Day, Wednesday, January 1 – Return to life with a special New Year’s Day brunch at upscale Mexican spot Hugo’s, and tack on cocktails for some hair of the dog. Favorites from ceviches and costillas to chilaquiles and huarache will fill the buffet for $45 per person; $15 per child. You can also check out the New Year’s Day brunch spreads at sibling establishments Backstreet Café, Caracol, and Xochi. 11am.
  • 2020 Hops n’ Hot Sauce Festival at SpindleTap Brewery | Saturday, January 11 – Guests can enjoy a variety of spicy offerings, food trucks, and fresh craft beers, listen to live jams, and participate in or cheer on the daring during the fourth annual Hot Pepper Eating Contest or the second annual Spicy Pizza of Death Eating Contest. There will also be a kids’ play area with bounce houses and more. Tickets for presale start at $8; free for ages 12 and under. 11am to 6pm.
  • Taste of the Town 2020 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center | Thursday, January 16 – This annual food festival offers guests the chance to sample appetizers, entrees, desserts, pastries, and drinks from more than 40 of the finest restaurants, caterers, bakeries, and beverage companies in The Woodlands. Tickets are $35 online; $40 at the door; $20 online and $25 at the door for ages 5 to 11. 4pm to 9pm.
  • 11th Annual Yaga’s Chili Quest & Beer Fest | Friday, January 17 and Saturday, January 18 – Galveston’s annual Chili & Beer Fest returns, kicking things off with a party at Yaga’s Café on Friday, followed by plenty of tasty events along the Historic Strand the next day. Saturday’s fest will feature chili-sampling and beer tastings alongside live music, a washer pitching tournament, 5K fun run, Jackpot Margarita Contest, and merchant walk-about. Tickets are $12 for the chili tasting; $30 to $40 for the beer tasting; $39 for a beer and chili tasting combo package. Times vary.
  • 2020 Lunar New Year Festival at the Chinese Community Center of Houston | Saturday, January 25 | No Cover – Celebrate the Year of the Rat at the Chinese Community Center’s annual Lunar New Year Festival. The free, family-friendly event will showcase Dragon and Lion dances as well as local artists, businesses, food vendors, games, and cultural performances. 10am to 4pm.
  • 5th Annual Whiskey in the Winter at Yellow Rose Distilling | Saturday, January 25 – SoléAna Stables and Yellow Rose Distilling invite guests for an evening of award-winning whiskey, friends, and fundraising. The evening will include music, savory bites from Texas Biergarten, tours of the Yellow Rose distiller, and several whiskeys to enjoy. Must be 21 years or older to participate. Proceeds go directly to the continued improvement of SoléAna Stables. Tickets start at $100; $75 for designated drivers. 7pm to 10pm.
  • One Pot Showdown at Saint Arnold Brewing Company | Sunday, January 26 – Whether you think you can use Saint Arnold beer and your secret ingredients to make a dish better than anybody else’s, or you just want to taste the dishes of people who think they can, Saint Arnold’s 13th annual One Pot Showdown is one event you won’t want to miss. The culinary competition combines a traditional chili, gumbo, and stew cookoff with ten parts Saint Arnold goodness. Ticket prices are TBA, but are known to sell out quickly, so grab yours while you can. 1pm to 4pm.
  • Butchery Demo at Revival Market | Monday, January 27 – Only 25 seats are available for the next Butchery Demo with co-owner Morgan Weber and Night Heron Executive Chef Jonathan Pittman at Revival Market. The duo will be discussing where Agricole sources its meats from (and why) and dive into how to break down whole hogs. Heavy bites, highlighting different ways to prepare pork, will be passed and stationary throughout the event, with plenty of beer and wine to accompany it all (guests are also welcome to bring their own bourbon to pair). Tickets are $125. 5:30pm to 9:30pm.
  • Truffle Masters 2020 at the C. Baldwin Hotel | Monday, January 27 – Guests can hit this annual culinary throwdown to indulge in decadent dishes using fresh black truffles as 25 top chefs compete for the title of the “2020 Truffle Master.” Now in its sixth year, this year’s chef lineup includes Alex Padilla of Ninfa’s on Navigation, Austin Simmons of Tris, La Lucha’s Bobby Matos, Kiran Verma of Kiran’s, and Kata Robata’s Manabu Horiuchi, to name a few. Tickets are $195 for general admission; $295 for VIP, with proceeds benefiting Second Servings of Houston. 7pm to 10pm; 6pm for VIP.
  • Kamayan Night at Kin | Tuesday, January 28 – Located inside the new Politan Row food hall in Rice Village, Kin invites guests to enjoy a Kamayan Night, with a Filipino feast served family-style on banana leaf-wrapped tables. No plates or silverware required, as guests will eat by hand. Tickets and information to come. 7pm to 9pm.

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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 .