And just like that, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is back for another season. With Houstonians more pumped than ever to return to the carnival grounds, chow down on rodeo eats and cheer on their favorite singing sensation, it’s all the more reason to celebrate all month long. As folks chart out their plans, plenty of Houston restaurants and bars are acting as unofficial rodeo pre-game destinations, serving up discounted snacks and themed-cocktails throughout its run. Sure, there are plenty of good eats to reserve room for at the event itself, but seasoned rodeo-goers know that it doesn’t hurt to power up with snacks or even an adult beverage before setting off on the expedition to NRG. Don your boots and hats, rally up the cowboys and cowgirls, and let’s rodeo.
Below, check out Houstonia’s picks of the city’s top places to lasso in some fine food and drink before a day of carnival rides, petting zoo adventures and live concert fun.
This Heights hot spot is kicking off the start of rodeo season with a festive Go Texan Day party on Friday, Feb. 25. Guests of all ages are welcome, as the bar will host an onsite petting zoo from 5 to 7 p.m. and beverage specials, in collaboration with Texas whiskey Balcones, will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
1039 Yale St., (832) 767-4002
At Revelry’s rodeo happy hour, available Monday-Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. and Friday from 3 to 9 p.m., sangria, wines by the glass, frozen margaritas, Texas pints and well liquor are all just $5. Bar bites like fried pickles, chicken flautas, and chips and queso are $6 at this time, while Fridays and Saturdays bring crawfish specials.
1613 Richmond Ave., (832) 538-0724
As the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo has resumed, so have Go Texan Day festivities at The Pit Room. On Feb. 25 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., the barbecue restaurant will host a patio party with music by DJ Big John, an appearance from local-ebrity Pinecone the chicken, complimentary face painting and cotton candy, and a Kendra Scott pop-up shop with limited-edition rodeo collection pieces for purchase benefitting the HLSR educational fund. Come hungry. Along with barbecue and crawfish, there will be funnel cakes and root beer floats available for purchase.
1201 Richmond Ave., (281) 888-1929
All things rodeo are represented by way of Dessert Gallery’s meticulously decorated butter cookies, available in the café and for pre-order online during rodeo season. Cookies are $4.75 each, and the colorful assortment includes cowboy hats, boots and rodeo animals. Insider tip: Present your HLSR ticket at the café during rodeo season and receive $1 off your order.
3600 Kirby Drive #D., (713) 522-9999
Before hitting the concession stands at the rodeo, warm up your belly with Russo’s specialty rodeo barbecue chicken pizza. The sweet and spicy pie combines ricotta and mozzarella with barbecue chicken, roasted bell peppers, caramelized onions and sliced pear. Find it at all Russo’s locations for $19.32 through March 20.
With its central location and daily happy hour with food and drink specials from 3 to 6 p.m., Hungry’s is a natural choice for a pre-rodeo meet up. The icing on the proverbial funnel cake though is that the restaurant will also offer its beloved short rib taco as a special during rodeo season beginning March 1 for $16.
2356 Rice Blvd., (713) 523-8652
Continue the party long after leaving the rodeo at iconic Tex-Mex destination Spanish Village. The restaurant is offering one complimentary Spanish Village margarita per person with the purchase of an entrée when you show your HLSR ticket for that day. The promotion begins Feb. 24 and runs until March 20.
4720 Almeda Road Suite A., (713) 523-2861
Night Moves Hospitality
Show your HLSR ticket or rodeo badge at any one of Night Moves Hospitality’s concepts, including Live Oak Bar & Grill (10444 Hempstead Road), Space Cowboy inside the Heights House Hotel (100 W. Cavalcade St.) and Trash Panda Drinking Club (4203 Edison St.) and save this rodeo season. In addition to receiving specials on Jim Beam beverages, guests will get a 20% discount on their tab.
The HLSR is known to attract visitors from near and far, and plenty who settle in at one of Downtown Houston’s many hotels before hitting NRG. At Hilton Americas beginning Feb. 28, rodeo-goers can pre-game at the Lobby Bar with rodeo-themed cocktails featuring Jim Beam, this year’s official rodeo sponsor. The black Beam highball and TX ranch water are $14, while the pecan old-fashioned and the Beam & Brew are $18.
1600 Lamar St., (713) 739-8000
Cowboys and cowgirls alike can quench their thirst before or after a day at the rodeo with Lone Star tall boys, on special for $3.75 at Bobcat Teddy’s during rodeo season. Visit on Thursday, Friday or Sunday and find crawfish specials from Bagzz of Bugzz too.
2803 White Oak Drive, (832) 742-5535
This River Oaks neighborhood gem is offering a lunch special with rodeo-themed cocktails to match from Feb. 28-March 20. Score a pulled pork sandwich with fries for $14 and quench your thirst with a Rodeo Rita, made with both mezcal and tequila, or the bourbon-based Space City Cowboy — each for $12.
2810 Westheimer Road, (713) 599-1960
Frank’s Americana is honoring the HLSR with a series of nightly chef’s features appropriately coined “Celebrating the American West.” Features will change from week to week during the rodeo’s run, with the first week kicking off Feb. 28 and featuring items like grilled Gulf red snapper with roasted corn tamale and Texas pecan praline cheesecake.
3736 Westheimer Road, (713) 572-8600
As if Houstonians need any help getting pumped up for George Strait’s concert at the HLSR, the JW Marriott is hosting a pre-party on March 20 from 3 to 6 p.m. in collaboration with Código 1530 tequila and Justin Boots. Guests can sip on Strait’s favorite Código 1530 cocktails and enter raffles to win a pair of boots and a guitar signed by the king of country himself.
806 Main St., (713) 237-1111
Rodeo-goers traveling by train can conveniently stop by Downtown’s Angel Share bar, located steps from the light rail, for a cocktail and post-event nightcap. Throughout the month of March, the bar is serving up rodeo-inspired snacks like mini Frito pies and mini fried candy bars for $3, plus mini corn dogs for $6.
924 Congress St., (713) 237-8828
As a hat tip to the long-adored rodeo activity, mutton bustin’, Houston Farmers Market newbie, Wild Oats, is offering the Mutton Buster cocktail, crafted with gin, lime, strawberry, Aperol and mint. Available during rodeo season for $14.
2520 Airline Dr. Ste. C-315, (713) 393-7205