The unofficial kickoff to summer is finally here — Memorial Day that is. The federal holiday is a tribute to those who have bravely served our country, which warrants a day off for them and also for everyone else. No matter how you choose to spend it; whether you want to lounge around or hit the bar, there are plenty of restaurants open next Monday that can serve as the perfect setting for your most patriotic of celebrations. This Memorial Day, you can double march your way over to City Centre in Memorial for a Patriot Burger at The Tasting Room, or you can give a personal salute to yourself by purchasing a burger kit fit for the whole family at Bludorn.
We’ve put together a full roll call of the best dining options for Memorial Day weekend so you can spend your weekend celebrating instead of having to run search and rescue on your dinner plans.
City Centre’s Tasting Room is owned by Jerry Lasco, a veteran and graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, so you should expect all the bells and whistles for Memorial Day. The star of the weekend is the new addition to the menu, the Patriot Burger, crafted with a 4-ounce brisket blend smash patty, cheese, grilled onions, house pickles, smoked tomato jam, and a flavorsome jalapeño mustard aioli.
Bobcat Teddy’s Ice House
Starting at 2 p.m., Bobcat Teddy’s will host a Memorial Day party featuring all-you-can-eat crawfish for $40 from Baggz of Bugzz. A day party is incomplete without the tunes, so expect all-day live music while you’re peeling those crawdads.
This cozy Museum District bar is celebrating Memorial Day all weekend. On Sunday, enjoy the perfect storm of all you can eat crawfish, live music and a DIY bloody mary bar. On Monday, wine and dine your favorite veteran through the bar’s $25 steak night, which includes two sides and a pint of beer.
The Heights Hotel’s flagship bar is gearing up for a legendary Memorial Day weekend, with a USS Nimitz-size lineup of festivities. The hotel will continue its summer concert series on Saturday, with DJ Squincy Jones opening for this week’s headliner, Bayou City Funk. On Sunday, the bar is offering tickets for a Memorial Day pool party with games and live music; but the true highlight will be Executive Chef Adriana Maldonado’s special menu, which includes chicken fried steak and eggs, bananas foster french toast and a breakfast taco spread.
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Ice cream may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of food on Memorial Day, but take it from us — Van Leeuwen is worth the stop. The creamery has rolled out new vegan and dairy ice creams, like the Raspberry Layer Cake with raspberry chunks and yellow cake blended in, and Black Cherry Chip, a cherry ice cream swirled with dark chocolate and black cherries. At each of the three Houston locations, one scoop of ice cream will be $5.75.
Acclaimed fast-casual Katy Vietnamese restaurant Yelo will be giving active and retired service members a full salute this Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday and Sunday (the restaurant will be closed on Memorial Day), Yelo will be offering active and retired service members with a valid military ID 20 percent off their entire in-person order. New menu items at the lauded eatery include a smorgasbord of bahn mi offerings, Hong Kong-style curry fish balls, Chinese dumplings, one noodle soup — featuring braised beef shank and one six-foot long noodle — and Chinese doughnuts.
For over seven decades the Molina family has been dishing out some of the best Tex-Mex you can find in H-Town, and this Memorial Day they’re going all-in on booze-forward deals. Molina’s Cantina will be offering their famous margaritas for $6.50 all day Saturday through Monday. Featuring 100 percent agave tequila along with Triple Sec and fresh lime, these ‘ritas, which come shaken or frozen, are a perfect way to toast to the veteran in your life. Just make sure you slip them slow so you don't find yourself being court-martialed. For those gathering at home, Molina’s will be offering fajita packs to go, paired with margaritas by the gallon, the half-gallon or glass.
West Houston’s ode to all things Mexico from Executive Chef Fabian Sladana is preparing a special brunch for Memorial Day. Served on Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the brunch will include dishes like smoked and grilled oysters spiked with chiles, delectable Baby Back Pork Ribs, a prime-beef Mexican Burger, and Saldana’s fan-favorite Corn Tres Leches. For dinner that evening, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saldana will be serving everything from his regular menu, so come prepared to feast on some duck confit and his famous Tacos de Insectos.
The Original Ninfas
It doesn’t get more original than The Original Ninfas. For Memorial Day this year, the Houston Tex-Mex institution will be honoring veterans all weekend long. Bar Director Angel Belman is bringing back his popular Piña-mezcalita for the special occasion. A boozy blend of Damiana Herb Liqueur, Illegal Mezcal Joven, Chile Poblano Liqueur, fresh roasted pineapple chunks, pineapple juice, lime juice, agave syrup, chamoy, and a tajin rim — all for only $13 — this drink packs the punch of a 21-gun salute.
Popular Cajun/Creole restaurant Treebeards is offering a taste of Southern-fried Americana this Memorial Day from its Bunker Hill location, which will be open on Monday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. All draft beers will be offered at $5 all day. Also for $5? A half-order of fried (or not fried) Deviled Eggs — a perfect treat for the “Devil Dog” in your life.
Memorial Day could be considered the unofficial start of summer, and Chef Tyson Cole and Pitmaster Aaron Franklin are ushering in the holiday with Korean-style ‘cue. The Height’s eatery is offering a pork loin to-go package, fitting for a picnic in the park or a backyard barbecue without all the hassle. The $99 to-go package feeds up to six and features a smoked bone-in half pork loin and a plethora of their popular sides, such as the charred brocolinni, fried potato salad and the kale and Asian pear salad. To finish things off with something sweet, the meal includes Loro’s signature banana pudding. The packages will sell out faster than an F-15 fighter plane flying at Mach speeds, so be sure to place your order ahead of time
DIY is taken to a whole new level at Chef Aaron Bludorn’s Fourth Ward outpost. Bludorn will offer burger kits this Memorial Day, which will include everything you need to build your own dry-aged beef burger. The burger kit serves four, and for $85 comes with ground angus beef patties, redneck cheddar cheese, caramelized red onions, skewered cornichons, frisee, scratch-made dijonaise and buns. If that’s not enough, you’ll get instructions from Chef Bludorn himself on how to grill juicy, flavor-packed burgers that will most assuredly pass muster.