A tradition unlike any other: Smoke at a fall Houston food festival.

Since we're at the unofficial end of summer, we're also at the unofficial beginning of fall, a season full of events in the Houston food and drink scene.

Get your calendars out and start planning. Let this be your fall food festival guide. 

Sept. 7: In A Pickle Festival

Up at Kingwood Town Center, feast on a whole bunch of pickles. A competition is planned, and unique items will be available (like pickle pizza). It's free to attend; learn more here.

Oct. 5: Taste of Cy-Fair

More than 30 restaurants will supply the bites. There will also be wine and beer available, plus live music, entertainment, and a silent auction. The event is at the Bridgeland Lakeland Village Center; tickets start at $35 for adults and $15 for ages 11 and younger.

Oct. 6: Southern Smoke

The fifth annual event celebrating everything smoked will feature a large cohort of local chefs, along with some regulars (Aaron Franklin, Chris Bianco), at the parking lot by Georgia James and The Hay Merchant. Two nights before, on Oct. 4 at Georgia James, Chris Shepherd will host a VIP dinner that includes some of the most influential chefs in Houston. Get tickets for the festival ($200 general admission) here.

Oct. 20: Butcher's Ball

Head to Rockin' Star Ranch in Brenham, where a number of chefs—including several from Houston—will attempt to take home the Golden Cleaver. Along with that, there are workshops, bites to be eaten (also pigs), and drinks to be consumed. Tickets start at $100 ($30 for ages 12 and younger).

Oct. 24-27: Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair

The 16th annual festival over four days will include a number of local chefs (Ryan Lachaine of Riel, the team of Blood Bros. BBQ). Special events within the weekend include a bartenders' challenge, a masquerade eating and drinking stroll, the sip-and-stroll event with seminars and day-drinking, and a bistro brunch at Sugar Land Town Square. See individual ticket prices here.

Nov. 7: Houstonia's Burger Bash

Full disclosure: This is one of our events! Chow down with burgers from some of Houston's coolest spots (B&B Butchers, BCK, Rodeo Goat and more) at The Plaza at CityCentre. Vote for your favorite and then see who wins the title of top burger. Tickets start at$30, $17 for ages 12-20.

Nov. 9: Houston Cellar Classic

This year is the 15-year anniversary of the event at the Tasting Room in Uptown Park. Local restaurants will have bites at the ready, and guests will be able to sample wines (more than 100 available). Proceeds go toward Genesys Works Houston. Tickets coming soon.

Nov. 10: Le Dîner en Blanc

It's the five-year anniversary of this Houston version of a worldwide phenomenon, whether you like it or not. Starting in Paris 31 years ago, the dinner asks that guests wear all white for a picnic-style meal (that they bring) on a table with chairs (that they also bring) with white tablecloth (also, bring that) at a secret public space (don't worry, you don't have to secure the permit yourself). Guests meet in one place and are then transported to the dinner location. It's $43 to start; register now by clicking here.

Nov. 10: International Risotto Festival

Join chefs at the Houston Design Center for this outdoor event with live entertainment, an auction, wine, and more. Sample a whole lot of risotto while helping BEAR... BE A Resource for CPS Kids. Tickets available now, and they start at $75 per person.

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Editor’s Pick

Rodeo Goat Ice House

$ Hamburgers 2118 Lamar Street, Suite 102

BCK: Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures

$$ American/New American 933 Studewood St.

Editor’s Pick

B&B Butchers & Restaurant

$$$$ Steak 1814 Washington Ave

At lunch, the old-school deli slings swoon-worthy sandwiches like Hungarian salami and liverwurst on a warm Kaiser roll; at dinner, B&B’s swanky dining r...

Blood Bros. BBQ

$$ Barbecue 5425 Bellaire Blvd

From the Alief-raised team that brought barbecue to Glitter Karaoke comes this fusion of Texas 'cue and Vietnamese cuisine. Out of all the meats, go after th...

Riel

$$$ American/New American 1927 Fairview St.

Ukrainian-Manitoban chef Ryan LaChaine named his restaurant after Louis Riel—the first and last president of the provisional government of Saskatchewan and f...

Editor’s Pick

The Hay Merchant

$$ American/New American 1100 Westheimer Rd.

The Hay Merchant is arguably the most serious domestic craft beer bar in the country. With cooking that goes well beyond the expected bar food or salty, beer...

Georgia James

$$$ Steak 1100 Westheimer Rd.

Sitting inside chef Chris Shepherd's steakhouse—a spinoff of his first One Fifth concept that took over the space once occupied by Underbelly—it's easy to be...