Your Complete Guide to Houston Rodeo Food


The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo kicked off Monday, which means it’s time to review the event’s most important attraction: the food.

Fair food is often fried, cheesy, wacky, but this year the Houston Rodeo welcomes a full-service restaurant, the first in its history. There are also some exciting new sellers, including rapper Bun B’s smashburger concept, and crazy creations that have our heads spinning with anticipation.

Here’s everything you need to know about food at the Houston Rodeo.

The Houston Rodeo features the first full-service restaurant in its 90-year history.

Houston’s Berg Hospitality – the restaurant group behind B&B Butchers, Turner’s, The Annie, BB Lemon, NoPo Café and Trattoria Sofia – operates the first full-service restaurant in the rodeo’s 90-year history, the Ranch Saloon + Steakhouse. It has a casual, first-come, first-served saloon with steaks, burgers, and sandwiches, and a more upscale steakhouse with additional options like caviar service and “cellar cuts” like a Kobe beef bonnet. and a 28-day dry-aged Wagyu A5 Japanese Entrecôte.

The Teriyaki Chicken Pineapple Bowl at Get Fried at the Houston Rodeo.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

There are exciting new food vendors this year, who have stepped up the game with creative dishes.

Houston rapper Bun B recently launched a smashburger concept, Trill Burgers, which hosts pop-ups across the city as the team finds a brick-and-mortar location. Chron spoke with one of the co-owners, who said the search was temporarily halted because they host big events like the Houston Rodeo and other big festivals. Trill Burgers Restaurant may not be a reality for a while longer, but you can get its smashburgers at the rodeo.

Another newcomer, Cajun Cowboy, brings a fried jambalaya roll to Rodeo Plaza: chicken, sausage, rice and Cajun seasoning are fried and served with a tangy dip.

A vendor by the name of Southern Fried Saloon by Gourmet Royale offers a Southern Fried Chicken Alfredo Ball. It’s a mixture of fried chicken and fettuccine alfredo rolled into a ball with mozzarella, topped with alfredo sauce, parmesan, parsley, basil and black pepper, and served with fried lemon and pepper asparagus and a garlic and parmesan baguette.

Perhaps the most anticipated new food is the pickle pizza, available at Swain concessions outside the NRG Arena, a pie topped with dill cream sauce, cheese, spices and, yes, dill pickles.

Swain's Concessions pickle pizza at the Houston Rodeo.

Swain’s Concessions pickle pizza at the Houston Rodeo.

Houston Cattle Show and Rodeo

Other new food vendors include boba chain Teahouse Tapioca and Tea, Darlin’s Fried Chicken, Red Barn Biscuits, Tad’s Bodacious Burritos, Joe’s Crab Shack, Fredericksburg Mini Donuts and Big Hot’s.

Halfway Carnival features the wackiest new foods.

Want a teriyaki chicken pineapple bowl in a real pineapple? Head to Get Fried. The chicken is grilled, glazed with teriyaki sauce and served with white rice, pineapple chunks, green onions and sesame seeds, all stuffed in a hollowed out pineapple. Get Fried also offers a donut chicken sandwich, mashing fried chicken between two glazed donuts.

The Dole Whip Watermelon Taco at Nitro Dole Whip Treats slices a wedge of watermelon down the middle to use as a taco, filling it with Dole Whip.

If you prefer your fair trade food in drink form, Candy Factory has exactly what you don’t need but will probably try anyway: a soda float infused with crunchy Hot Cheetos, topped with whipped cream, then more Hot Cheetos and Cheeto Dust.

Hot Cheetos float at Candy Factory at the Houston Rodeo.

Hot Cheetos float at Candy Factory at the Houston Rodeo.

Houston Cattle Show and Rodeo

There are four watering holes at the Houston Rodeo.

The grounds have no shortage of great places to indulge between attractions and pickle pizza.

The Miller Time Bar at Miller Lite, on the north side of NRG Stadium, is a beer garden open to the public during the day that offers beer, music and garden games. Guests can enjoy the space before and after performances.

The Coca-Cola Ice House is a new addition to the Houston Rodeo, located between the Astrodome and NRG Stadium, serving all the different flavors of Coca-Cola. The Jim Beam Backyard is a pop-up bar open weekends only on March 3, 4 and 5. During this time, the backyard-inspired drinking space offers a free Jim Beam Seltzer.

And finally, the Champion Wine Garden brings together more than 70 wines at Carruth Plaza. The majority of selections come from California, but there are also castings from Texas as well as France, Italy, Spain and New Zealand.

Monte Cristo funnel cake at Sills Concessions at the Houston Rodeo.

Monte Cristo funnel cake at Sills Concessions at the Houston Rodeo.

Houston Cattle Show and Rodeo

The food contest heats up on March 1.

On day two of the rodeo, the Ranch Saloon + Steakhouse hosts the 2022 Gold Buckle Foodie Awards finale, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Among the finalists competing are Cajun Cowboy’s Fried Jambalaya Roll; a monte cristo funnel cake from Sills Concessions; Harlon’s BBQ stuffed turkey leg; Spring’s Country Kitchen cheese fries; and Island Noodles Island Coleslaw, which blends tangerines, pineapple, snow peas, teriyaki chicken with creamy coleslaw, and tops it with sriracha glaze and macadamia nuts.

Island Noodles' Island Slaw at the Houston Rodeo.

Island Noodles’ Island Slaw at the Houston Rodeo.

Houston Cattle Show and Rodeo


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