Houston Events, Food & Drinks for Halloween & Dia de Los Muertos 2023 — Updated
Ladies and gentlemen, guys and ghouls — it is that time of year again! We are entering the home stretch of the spooky season, where bars and restaurants around the city are redecorating in varying themes of silly, scary and respectful, in antici… pation(!), for the end-of-October holidays. We’ve collected a list of our favorite celebrations for both Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos, as well as the festively decorated treats that we treasure.
Church’s Texas Chicken, various locations: The local fried chicken chain is making it easy to feed the whole family on one of the most hectic nights of the year. For $30, customers can get the Texas-Sized Grande Meal. Choose from either a 16-piece legs and thighs, or an 8-piece legs and thighs plus a 8 chicken tender combo. Both options come with three large sides, six honey-butter biscuits and Church’s Purple Pepper Sauce.
Cursed Cauldron/Ninja Ramen, 4219 Washington: Alexis Mijares and Angelique Cook Cavazos have taken over Ninja Ramen for the remainder of October and created an ominous tavern centered around witchcraft. From floor to ceiling, the late-night cocktail bar and ramen shop has been completely reimagined. The menu sports 11 occult-themed cocktails, two massive shareable cauldrons, and a few mocktails. All of these feature enough detail and flavor to give the impression that the organizers could actually be crafting magic potions. Personal favorites have been the mezcal-based Astral Plane and the Oshin’s Offering, a twist on the Mai Tai with pumpkin orgeat and brown butter. Squid Ink has been added to the shop’s signature ramen, giving it a darker aesthetic.
Palace Social, 4191 Bellaire and 5950 Fairmont, Pasadena: Running until October 31, both locations are offering an $8 drink special called Witch Please. Anyone showing up in costume on Halloween will receive a free $10 gaming card.
Phat Eatery, 23119 Colonial Parkway, Katy: Dine in your finest costume this Halloween at James Beard Award semifinalist Alex Auyeung’s Malaysia restaurant. You’ll be rewarded with a free roti canai. One order per table; a dine-in order is required.
Savoir, 1344 Yale: The wine cellar and its connected speakeasy-style steakhouse are both hosting Halloween events. On October 31, the entire Savoir team will be in costume, as well as serving a new cocktail menu and candy for trick-or-treaters. There will also be face painting and a costume contest.
Saint Julian’s Social Club, 1617 Richmond: For the final days of the pop-up, Ben Mowbray and Robert Mungle are taking their carnival-themed bar from slightly unhinged and wacky to haunting (and still wacky). Already a phobia for many, the concept of carnies, clowns and circuses transition well into Halloween. The moment you walk in, you’ll be greeted by a cackling animatronic clown (yikes), and the haunted circus antics will continue throughout the bar. The final day of the pop-up is Halloween, so expect the ringleaders to dial it up a notch.
Trash Panda Drinking Club, 4203 Edison: Halloween is the final night of Trash Panda’s The Seven Nights of Horror series — and it’s Trick Or Treat Night. The bar is also serving several tiki drinks in horror movie villain mugs.
Traveler’s Table, 520 Westheimer: Running through dinner service on Halloween, the eclectic Montrose restaurant is featuring a few specials. Drink options include a Jack-O-Lantern shot and Pumpkin Spice Old-Fashioned and the limited-time dishes include Louisiana Fried Chicken with brown butter pumpkin grits, the Bloody Juicy Lucy burger, with a black bun and patty stuffed with manchego cheese, and Pumpkin Pie Flan.
Two-Headed Dog, 3100 Fannin: For the month of October, the midtown bar is hosting a pop-up known as Black Lagoon. The “creepy as hell,” takeover began at The Dungeon, an immersive dark, macabre and torment-themed dive bar in New Orleans, during Tales of the Cocktail, and has now spread to 18 cities in three countries. The eclectic Two-Headed Dog makes the perfect host for the pop-up, which has transformed the bar with “dungeon-like” decorations and sinister cocktails like the Book of Blood or Night Crawler.
Xiaolongkhan, 9600 Bellaire: Through Halloween night, the Sichuan hotpot spot in Bellaire (Asiatown not the city) offers a unique opportunity to play with jiāngshī (a Chinese version of zombies). Customers who catch employees dressed in costume will then be able to challenge them to a dice game. Also, any customer who comes in a costume that features Chinese elements will receive a complimentary Halloween-themed vegetable platter.
Cacao & Cardamon, 5000 Westheimer: What is Halloween without candy? The BOO-gie Galleria-area chocolatier has created skull and spooky, lip-shaped candies with flavors based on childhood favorites, such as peanut butter cups, Snickers, and Lemonheads. Guest can also purchase their candies in coffin-shaped boxes.
French Gourmet Bakery, 2250 Westheimer: The local bakery — which is celebrating 50 years in business and just commissioned a huge mural by “Mr. D 1987” depicting chef and owner Patrice Ramain — is offering special Halloween goodies. Offerings include classic sugar and iced gingerbread cookies, seasonally decorated cupcakes and even 3D Pumpkin-shaped cakes, available in chocolate and vanilla.
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice, multiple locations: This Italian ice shop has numerous locations in the towns just outside of Houston, including Katy, Spring and Pearland. Show up (or bring the kids) in costume and get a free small Italian ice or gelati from 5 p.m. to close. Fancy it up and pay just 99 cents each to add Premium Layer-Ins and Flavorites. There are also three Halloween creations: Franken Frog, mint chocolate chip ice and chocolate ice cream with Oreo cookie crumble; Vampire Bite, strawberry ice and vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips and sprinkles and Witch’s Brew with a “mystery ice”, vanilla ice cream and a layer of rainbow sprinkles.
Michael’s Cookie Jar, 5330 Westlayan: For the season, the cookie shop has several unique options, including a candy corn cookie, DIY cookie decorating kits, and ghost, Dracula and Jack-O-Lantern cookies.
Dia de Los Muertos in Houston
El Bolillo, Multiple locations: Established in 1998, El Bolillo has been a community go-to for Mexican treats since my childhood. Daily offerings include freshly made pan dulce, tortillas, bolillo, tres leches and more. In celebration of Dia de los Muertos, El Bolillo is serving Pan de Muerto, pumpkin-shaped conchas, pumpkin-spiced tres and cake pops, all of which are available through November 24.
Casa Ramirez, 241 19th Street: While not focused on the food, there are few better ways to appreciate Dia De los Muertos than visiting Casa Ramirez. For years, Macario and Chrissie Ramirez have reverently helped educate the Greater Heights community about the holiday. Even after Macario’s passing, Chrissie has still been diligent in leading classes and teaching our lore. The shop is also home to several elegant sponsored ofrendas, as well as one for the public.
Cuchara, 214 Fairfew: This Mexico City-themed restaurant in Montrose is hosting a special Dia de los Muertos dinner on Thursday November 2 at 7 p.m. For $150, guests will enjoy a 21-and-up affair of five courses with drink pairings. The feast will include chalupas, plantain soup, your choice of tamales and a variety of traditional desserts.
El Venado, 6502 Washington: This festive bar and restaurant in coordination with Loteria con Melina is serving a three-course dinner for Dia De Los Muertos on Thursday, November 2 with two seatings from 6 to 8 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring photos of their late loved ones and offerings for the ofrenda. Appetizer choices include posole or Fajita Flautas. For an entrée, choose from among dishes such as Tamales Verdes de Pollo or Chile Rellenos de Chorizo y Queso Oaxaca. The dessert options are Postre de Calabaza or Calletas de Calabaza, and Mexican hot chocolate and Mexican conchas are served throughout the meal. The cost is $50 each for a minimum of two people for the meal. For $65, dinner also includes a bottle of wine. For parties of four or more, add another bottle of wine or Milagro Tequila for every two additional people. Tickets are available online.
Urbe, 1101 Uptown Park: On November 2 from 6 to 9 p.m., Urbe is hosting a Dia de los Muertos Fiesta. For $75, diners will enjoy an array of traditional Mexican street foods such as tacos de birria, gorditas and quesadillas which will be passed around throughout the evening. There will also be stations serving tamales, ceviche, esquites and tacos. Several desserts and agave spirit-based cocktails will also be available. Until then, Urbe has Pan de Muerto available for purchase.
Updated, 10/31/2023, 9:01 a.m.: Removed Halloween events that have already happened.