Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year in Houston for 2024
Lunar New Year, is one of the most important and widely celebrated festivals in many Asian cultures. For 2024, it begins on February 10 and continues for 15 days. This is the Year of the Dragon, which is thought to be the luckiest and most auspicious of the 12 animals of the zodiac. The dragon is a symbol of strength, courage and fortune. During this time, families gather to celebrate with traditions, colorful festivities, games and plenty of delicious food. We’ve put together a list of events around the city to help bring in a prosperous and joyous new year.
Phat Eatery, 23119 Colonial Pkwy: This Malaysian street food restaurant in Katy, helmed by James Beard Award-semifinalist, Alex Au-Yeung, is offering a special Malaysian New Year’s feast to welcome the Year of the Dragon for $88 per person (children age 4 to 12 are $28 per child). Menu items will include Yu Sheng “Prosperity Toss” Salad with house-smoked Scottish salmon, pickled carrot and cabbage, radish, sesame seed, plum sauce, cracker and sesame oil; Smoked Duck Wrap with roasted house-smoked duck, Persian cucumber, scallion, roti wrap, and cumin pineapple-hoisin reduction; and Short Rib Rendang with 48-hour braised Angus beef short rib, curry, potato, crispy beet and snow pea tips. Four seating dates and times are available: Friday, February 9 at 7 p.m., Saturday, February 10 at 11:30 a.m, Sunday, February 11 at 11:30 a.m. or Wednesday. February 14 at 7 p.m. Each seating time will also enjoy a lion dance performance by Lee’s Golden Dragon. Reservations are required (there will be no walk-ins during those times) and can be made on the website.
XiaoLongKan Hotpot, 9600 Bellaire Blvd: The Sichuan hot pot restaurant in Asiatown is hosting a six-day celebration starting on Friday, February 9 and running until February 14. Diners can participate in a red envelope lucky drawing for chances to win prizes such as discount coupons for 10 to 30% off of their meal, hot pot item vouchers, XLK-exclusive fans, dragon keychains, $100 gift cards and more. It will also offer guests complimentary Fai Chun/Chunlian (traditional Lunar New Year decorations, featuring auspicious Chinese characters on red paper to fend off evil sourced from China). The special Miao Hong (“tracing red”) Fai Chun is faintly inked with the characters’ strokes. Guests are invited to pick up a brush and trace it over to make it uniquely their own. Reservations are not required.
Weekend of February 3 and 4
POST Houston, 401 Franklin: Washington Ho, from the Houston based reality show House of Ho, is once again hosting this downtown food hall and entertainment venue’s annual Lunar New Year Celebration. The family-friendly event will feature a pop-up Asian market where vendors will offer traditional foods eaten during Lunar New Year and other Asian goods. There will be games, arts and crafts, cultural activities and lion dance performances throughout the day. The event is free but you can reserve a spot on Eventbrite.
West Alabama Ice House, 1919 West Alabama: The neighborhood ice house is hosting the 7th annual Fried Rice Cook-off and Lunar New Year Celebration. (In prior years, it’s been hosted at The Phoenix on Westheimer, but the competition has been moved for additional space.) The charity event, held by The Friends of the Phoenix, takes place on Saturday, February 3 from noon to 5 p.m. Competitors, both new and old and representing many ethnic backgrounds, will present their version of fried rice. Three prizes will be awarded for the judges’ pick, the fan favorite (voted on by attendees) and best booth. The family-friendly event also features a ping pong tournament, bounce house and other activities. Tickets can be purchased on the FOTP website.
Montrose Collective, 888 Westheimer: Dine at the several restaurants and bars in the Montrose hub, and stay for its 2nd annual Lunar New Year event featuring a night market of local AAPI-owned businesses as well as photo opportunities and lion and dragon dance performances. The free, outdoor, family-friendly event is on Saturday, February 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. No reservations or tickets are required.
Finn Hall, 712 Main: The Downtown Houston food hall is kicking off a new series called “Behind the Menu”, a curated themed dinner series featuring dishes from the chefs paired with craft cocktails from the food hall’s bar, Swallow’s Nest. The series is debuting on Friday, February 9 with a Lunar New Year celebration featuring a four-course meal from Fire Noodz, the hall’s spicy noodle shop. The dinner is $80 per person and features steamed pork dumplings, Ramen-Crusted Chicken Bao and Spicy Soy Sauce Noodles. The meal concludes with a traditional mooncake. Guests will also get to participate in the Vietnamese game of bầu cua cá cọp (gourd, crab, fish, tiger) for a chance to win special prizes. Tickets can be purchased on the Eventbrite page.
Weekend of February 10 and 11
Chinese Community Center, 9800 Town Park: Usher in the Year of the Dragon at this annual Lunar New Year Festival. This is a free, family-friendly, outdoor event featuring a wide variety of cultural and family activities, vendors, Lunar New Year merchandise, street food and performances. The festival is being held on Saturday, February 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can find the event and performance schedule on the website.
M-K-T, 600 North Shepherd: The mixed-use development and retail space in the Heights is turning its Plant Market into a Lunar New Year celebration on Sunday, February 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The market features local vendors selling wares such as plants, baked goods, candles and handmade jewelry. There will be red envelope giveaways, a lion and dragon parade and complimentary beer for the adults. The event is free and family-friendly. No tickets or reservations are required.
Hughies Tavern & Vietnamese Grille, 4721 North Main, 1802 West 18th: Both locations of the Heights area Vietnamese tavern and grill are celebrating the Year of the Dragon with lion dance performances and lucky red envelope giveaways on Saturday, February 3 beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Market Square Park, 301 Milam: Ring in the Lunar New Year in the heart of Downtown Houston. The outdoor celebration takes place Saturday, February 10 from 3 to 9 p.m., and includes a night market with over 40 food and art vendors. There will also be live lion and dragon dance performances. The family-friendly event is free, but register to attend to receive a commemorative 2024 Downtown Houston red envelope filled with goodies from the neighborhood and chances to win prizes.
Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore: Houston’s Asian cultural center is welcoming the Year of the Dragon with performances, art and craft activities and food inspired by Lunar New Year traditions across Asia. There will be lion dance performances and a limited quantity of red envelopes for children. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required and will be enforced for timed building entry. Music and dance performances by Huaxing Arts Group Houston are ticketed events and can be purchased on the website.
Traveler’s Table, 520 Westheimer: Have brunch on Sunday, February 11, at the globally-inspired eatery in Montrose. Enjoy such dishes as crab samosas, Louisiana fried chicken, and duck chilaquiles and stay to ring in the Lunar New Year with a special lion dance performance starting at 11:30 a.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made on the website.
Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney: Downtown’s urban park is hosting a Lunar New Year celebration featuring performances by Lee’s Golden Dragon and others. There will be food vendors, crafts and activities for the whole family. The event is free and will be held on Sunday, February 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. More information and performance schedules can be found on the website.
Stomping Grounds, 1207 West 34th: This mixed-use development and green space in the Garden Oaks area is bringing in the Year of the Dragon on Sunday, February 11 with an hour-long performance, including a lion dance from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Enjoy the show and then choose from the many dining options such as The Pho Fix, Rooster & Rice, and Himari.
Weekend of February 17 and 18
Viet Hoa Center, 8300 West Sam Houston Parkway: This shopping center in Southwest Houston is holding its annual two-day Lunar New Year festival. There will be lion and dragon dances, live music, firecrackers and family-friendly activities. There will also be plenty of food vendors. The festival will be held February 17 and 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit the website for more information.
Weekend of February 24 and 25
Have a Nice Day HTX, 4201 Main: The creative collective with a goal of celebrating BIPOC makers, creators and causes returns with its annual Lunar New Year Celebration market. This year’s market is again taking place at The Ion, the collaborative space in Midtown’s former Sears building. The market will feature food and goods vendors, a dragon dance performance and a red envelope giveaway. The event is free to attend and will be held on Saturday, February 24 from 4 to 8 p.m.
Pearland Recreation Center, 4141 Bailey Road: The Pearland Chinese Association and AYLUS (Alliance of Youth Leaders) Pearland Branch are hosting the 2024 Pearland Lunar New Year Festival on Saturday, February 24, 2024 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The free event is family-oriented and open to the public. It will feature tables exhibiting traditional Asian culture, arts and crafts, and merchandise, and offer fun activities and food on site. Read about all the activities and reserve a spot on the Eventbrite page.
Minh Truong is an avid lover of the Houston food scene and has written about it since 2011, starting as a freelance contributor for the Houston Press. She never stops exploring all that Houston has to offer.