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OK, maybe Bratislava and Rice Village aren't quite identical, but you get the idea.

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Some travelers make it an annual tradition to hit charming Christmas markets from Manchester to Zagreb, Berlin to Madrid. But not everyone has the luxury of pre-holiday travel. For those folks, Rice Village is offering a staycation-style alternative with a culinary bent.

Usually heading to any shopping district during the holiday season means greeting hordes of shoppers, but on December 8 from 4 to 8 p.m., 10 Rice Village merchants are getting together to host a European-themed Marché de Noël to help break up that end-of-year monotony.

Hungry shoppers are invited to traverse the strip of restaurants and shops accompanied by carolers from Faith Baptist Church and the Anthony Macbeth Youth Adult Group. Participants can also donate toys to a child through the Children’s Assessment Center at Village Clothier, Perimeter Gallery and El Meson. Here's a guide to the stops, each devoted to a different European destination.

Fellini Caffé

5211 Kelvin Drive

This Italian coffeehouse will provide participants with 99-cent cannoli paired with complimentary coffee samples.

El Meson

2425 University Blvd.

Though Cuban cuisine is part of the appeal at this beloved restaurant, it's its Spanish offerings of tapas and wine for $5 that get the spotlight during the market. Count us in.

Helen Greek Food and Wine

2429 Rice Blvd.

This eatery, named Houstonia’s best new restaurant of 2015 and 2016 James Beard Award semi-finalist, is unsurprisingly serving a Greek-themed special deal for Marché de Noël. We can probably all agree that's a better idea than going to Greece right now.

vomFass

2424 Times Blvd.

German food is hard to come by in Houston, but this store is serving Deutsche-style cocktails made with imported vinegars at this specialty food store. Of course, you can always fill up on oils, spices, vinegars and gourmet foods before you buy, too.

Hungry’s Café

2356 Rice Blvd.

As hungry as the name suggests? Bust out your ugly Christmas sweater and get a bowl of hummus for your table for free. If you don’t have a sweater, just mention Marché de Noël, no sartorial embarrassment necessary.

Even non-food-focused businesses are getting in on the act. Here's how you can chow down while shopping for Christmas necessities that don't naturally say "dinner."

Woven Arts USA

2433 Rice Blvd.

If you’ve always wanted to go to Turkey, you don’t have to go far. The home décor store will be serving sweet, gooey Turkish delights, teas and wine to Marché de Noël-goers.

Fundamentally Toys

2401 Rice Blvd.

Need a drink after (or while) shopping with the kids? Parents get their own Champagne night out and 15-percent discounts on $100 gift purchases. An extra bonus: 5 percent of sales go to the Children’s Assessment Center.

New Living

6111 Kirby Drive

The organic mattress and handmade furniture store is offering complimentary healing with three massage therapists on a natural mattress, along with therapy sessions and yoga nidra. If that leaves you famished, wine and organic vegan food from Ripe Cuisine are included.

Village Clothier

2411 Rice Blvd.

Take a break at this men’s clothing store with some holiday treats and drinks to re-energize your purchasing power.

Perimeter Gallery

2365 Rice Blvd.

Finish off the Marché de Noël by enjoying some drinks while scoring holiday discounts at this art gallery. 

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In this Article

Hungry's Café & Bistro

$$ American/New American, Global Multiple Locations

An neighborhood institution, Hungry’s is where Rice Village and Memorial families have come for decades to enjoy Mediterranean-inspired favorites like gyros,...

Editor’s Pick

Helen Greek Food & Wine

$$$ Greek 2429 Rice Blvd.

Helen is fascinated by the shared passions of Greek and Texan cuisine—and there are many, it turns out, including a love for such ingredients as quail and ok...

El Meson

$$$ Cuban, Latin, Spanish 2425 University Blvd.

Pick and choose your way through Spain, Cuba and Mexico with ease as El Meson combines all three cuisines on their expansive menu. For an excellent group din...

Fellini Caffé

$ Café Multiple Locations

This spot is often fondly referred to as “Houston’s micro-Italy.” That’s because you’ll find nearly the entirety of Houston’s Italian expat population hangin...