A Fun Pop-Up Restaurant for Sonic The Hedgehog Fans is Opening in Katy

An assortment of dishes at the Sonic Speed Cafe.

A few days before the 2023 San Diego Comic-Con, the Secret Sauce Society (which also owns a Hello Kitty pop-up, a few cafés and Trill Burgers), in collaboration with SEGA, introduced a pop-up restaurant dedicated to fiction’s fastest mammal, Sonic the Hedgehog. Now, one is coming to Katy. Temporarily taking the place of Craft Burger at 348 Mason, the Sonic Speed Cafe specializes in the titular blue speedster’s favorite food, chili dogs. Houston Food Finder was invited to a preview of the fast food pop-up, which runs from May 4 to August 4.

If you do not live in Katy, it may be a trek to the restaurant. However, the encompassing decor of the space makes the drive worth it for Sonic the Hedgehog fans. For the time, being the exterior marquee is relatively plain with only a simple blue sign and a few cardboard cut-outs of the main characters. The moment you open the doors, though, you are greeted with 16-bit classics from the series. The walls are painted with murals featuring several of the popular critters, such as Sonic, Knuckles, Tails and Amy Rose, in front of what appears to be the iconic Emerald Hill Zone from the Sonic 2 video game. The bar top has a few video game consoles so both kids and adults can play the most recent Sonic games. The floor, which is fully decked out in green grassed carpeting, pulls all of the aspects of the room together, partially emulating the vibes in many of the settings from the games.

The mural on the main wall of the Sonic Speed Cafe.
The mural on the main wall of the Sonic Speed Cafe. Photo by Ryan Baker.

The Sonic the Hedgehog series contains an immense amount of lore. One important bit established in the original early-90s, cartoon series, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (yes, I am slightly ashamed that I knew that off the top of my head), and emphasized in nearly every bit of media since is that Sonic loves chili dogs. Sonic’s Classic Chili Dog is the signature item of the cafe, but there are a few other hot dog options available. The Chaotix Hot Dog comes topped with chopped brisket, crispy onions and BBQ sauce and the Ultimate Fearless Hot Dog with cheese, pepperoni and marinara are both exclusives to the Texas pop-up (as well as niche references to the series).

Hot dogs aren’t the only things on the menu at the Sonic Speed Cafe. Other entrées are the Knuckles Sandwich with spicy fried chicken, the Piko Piko (chicken) Tenders, vegan nuggets and cups of chili (both traditional and meatless). Sides include Fast Fries and Golden Rings — French Fries and onion rings, both renamed as nods to the game’s mythos. Zomom’s Hunger Buster Fries with chopped brisket, cheddar and green onions is a more-filling side option.

The Chaotix hot Dog at the Sonic Speed Cafe.
The Chaotix hot Dog at the Sonic Speed Cafe. Photo by Ryan Baker.

The selection of drinks include two milkshakes, Team Dark (Mocha) and Sweet Amy (strawberry), two slushies — Smashing Echidna (fruit punch) and Blue Blur (blueberry) — and Tail’s Spin Tea (which we can assume isn’t fox-flavored). Additionally, Sonic Speed Cafe has merchandise for sale, including shirts and stickers.

The cafe is small, but the decorations more than make up for the limited space. It is important to know going in that the food is solid, but not particularly gourmet, and a bit pricey for fast food. Prices for plain hot dogs are $8, and the chili dogs start at $12 and go up to $16 for the Chaotix (and that is without sides). That being said, the character-adorned food packaging and the overall immersion more than add enough value for true Sonic fans. 

The Sonic Speed Cafe starts Saturday, May 4, and will be open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday through Sunday  from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Remember, the pop-up ends on August 4, so you “Gotta Go Fast!”

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  • May 15, 2024 at 5:40 pmClarissa

    Love it can’t wait to take my son who Loves sonic it will be a sweet birthday treat for him ❤️ he will be very surprised

    • May 17, 2024 at 12:54 pmPhaedra Cook

      I hope you were able to go! Thank you for the sweet comment.