Houston Restaurant Weeks Returns for 2022 With Some Changes
Houston Restaurant Weeks, the annual dining event eagerly awaited by local dining enthusiasts, is returning for 2022. It starts on Monday, August 1 and runs through Labor Day, September 5. As always, the event, featuring prix fixe menus from many restaurants — approximately 250 this year — raises funds for the Houston Food Bank. The Houston Food Bank, now celebrating its 40th year, provides over 150 million meals annually, and the funds raised by Houston Restaurant Weeks are a significant part of that support. Houston Restaurant Weeks was founded by the late food journalist Cleverley Stone, and is now run by the Cleverley Stone Foundation, headed by her daughter, Katie.
One big change from last year is that the meal costs are higher. This change is necessitated by increased costs that restaurant owners now have to deal with. Economic side effects of the COVID pandemic are still being felt. Inflation is at its highest in 20 years. Ingredients are more expensive thanks to both this and supply-chain shortages, and labor is harder to come by, too.
Commensurately, Houston Restaurant Meals will cost diners more. Below are the prices and generated donations compared to the last normal year, which was 2019 (the donation amount required from restaurants was reduced in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic).
- Dinner (upper tier): was $45 and generated a $7 donation. Now is $55 and generates a $6 donation
- Dinner (second tier) was $35 and generated a $4 donation. Now is $39 and generates the same donation.
- Lunch and brunch was $20 and generated a $3 donation. Now is $25 and generates a $2 donation.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the meal structure. Brunch and lunch offer either two or three courses, while dinner includes three or four.
Diners can already start figuring out which restaurants they want to visit. Some of the participants and menus have been posted on the Houston Restaurant Weeks website, and more will be added through August 1.
Some of the new participating restaurants this year are Daily Gather, Chivos, Eloise Nichols, Indianola, MAD Houston and Rosalie. Some of our top picks among returning favorites include Brennan’s of Houston, Ouisie’s Table, Rainbow Lodge, Tony’s and Maison Pucha Bistro, just to name a few.
“The past couple of years have been extremely difficult for the restaurant industry, impacted by the pandemic, supply chain, labor issues, and the rising cost of food and packaging,” said Katie Stone via a press release. “Surely the most difficult time for restaurants, employees, and the Houston Food Bank. We are hopeful that demand for dining and a return to normalcy will have Houstonians dining out and doing good this summer. The event’s economic impact on the area is seen not only in an uptick on spending on food, but also in industries and suppliers of restaurants – from food, spirits, and wine distributors to valet companies, linen services, third-party delivery services, and other manufacturers that supply goods. The positive effect of HRW is far and wide.”
Restaurant owners who are interested in participating in Houston Restaurant Weeks and have not yet signed up should email Katie Stone as soon as possible.
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.
‘Approximately 250 restaurants’ – there are never that many on the list, but then I hear about others not listed. Where can we get a complete list? Thanks!
As mentioned in the article, the Houston Restaurant Weeks folks will continue adding restaurants to the website through August 1. There are always a few stragglers or restaurant owners who decide to join at the last minute. There are a little over 215 already loaded for your dining planning enjoyment at https://houstonrestaurantweeks.com/. 🙂