The “national food day” gimmick is out of control. These days, there’s everything from National Cream Puff Day to National French Fried Clam Day. There's even a Turkey Neck Soup Day. It's an overdone marketing technique that's just not very creative. (If you’re curious as to how many silly food holidays exist, the Foodimentary website maintains a whole calendar of them.)
The esoteric, frivolous ones are annoying. However, national food holidays that give people excuses to eat their favorite foods are still welcome and endearing. Here are the ones we actually care about.
January 27: National Chocolate Cake Day
This is the day I started writing this article, and I decided I care — deeply — about this food holiday. I cared really hard — and still no one brought me any chocolate cake. I celebrated National Drink Your Own Bitter Tears Day instead.
Get Your Fix: Three Brothers Bakery, Bramble, The Chocolate Bar
February 14: Cream-Filled Chocolates Day
Some food holidays dovetail with real holidays in ways that are both obvious and sensible. Celebrate Cream-Filled Chocolates Day, a.k.a. Valentine’s Day, with your loved one. It's an equal-opportunity food holiday, too. Even if you’re single, you can dull the roar of loneliness in a heart-shaped box of truffles just like everyone else.
Get Your Fix: Araya, Tejas Chocolate, Cacao & Cardamom
February 18: Drink Wine Day
We didn’t actually need another reason, but, hey, any port in a storm.
Get Your Fix: Camerata, 13 Celsius, Caracol
February 22: National Margarita Day
There is no cocktail more synonymous with Texas than the margarita. To the rest of the nation: You’re welcome.
Get Your Fix: El Big Bad, Cyclone Anaya’s, The Pastry War, El Real Tex-Mex, Arnaldo Richards' Pico's
March 14: National Pie Day
To fix a great wrong, we hereby declare March 14 as National Pie Day, not National Potato Chip day. Supposedly, January 23 is National Pie Day but 3-14 is "Pi Day." So, it should also be Pie Day. Join us in delectable rebellion over a wedge of fruity or creamy filling enrobed in flaky crust.
Get Your Fix:
March 25: National International Waffle Day
We’ll use the excuse to eat them, but how many different kinds of waffles are there? There’s regular and Belgian-style. Are there other nations with their own waffles? Either way, pass the real maple syrup, please.
Get Your Fix: The Breakfast Klub, The Waffle Bus, Coco’s Crepes
April 7: National Beer Day
To prove how smart and sneaky beer drinkers are, this is only one of the national beer holidays. National IPA Day is August 6. National Beer Lover’s Day is September 7. National Drink A Beer Day is September 28. American Beer Day is October 27. There you have it. Beer drinkers are as sly as they are greedy. (There are about a dozen chocolate-related national food holidays, too, so it's not just them.)
Get Your Fix: The Hay Merchant, Petrol Station, Nobi Public House
April 27: National Prime Rib Day
The conversation at home will go something like this: “Did you know it's National Prime Rib Day?” “Why, no, I did not! I guess we’ll just have to go get some!” This is national food day rationalization at its finest.
Get Your Fix: Taste of Texas, Laurenzo’s, Houston’s
May 5: National Enchilada Day
Here’s an excuse to eat rolled hot tortillas filled with stringy, hot cheese, savory beef, grilled vegetables or tender chicken bathed in meat gravy, more cheese or delectable creamy sauces.
Oh, let’s not pretend. You’re going to do that as soon as you’re done reading this article, aren’t you?
Get Your Fix: State of Grace, El Real Tex-Mex, Original Ninfa’s On Navigation
June 4: National Cheese Day
This is a day to explore all the infinite uses of cheese: macaroni and cheese, cheese pizza, lasagna, grilled cheese sandwiches and so much more. Also, it’s a second chance at National Enchilada Day.
Get Your Fix: Pi Pizza truck and Pizaro's for pizza; Urban Eats, Vic & Anthony’s, Jus’ Mac & Oceanaire for mac & cheese; Prego's, Laurenzo's or Drew’s Pastry Place (lasagna to go).
July 4: National Barbecue Day
This is another food holiday tied to a real holiday that makes sense. The Foodimentary calendar also lists May 16 as National Barbecue Day, oddly enough, but we won't complain.
Get Your Fix: CorkScrew BBQ, Pappa Charlie’s BBQ, Killen’s Barbecue, Roegel’s Barbecue Co., Ray’s BBQ Shack
July 6: National Fried Chicken Day
This is perfect timing. Just as people are getting tired of barbecue leftovers, National Fried Chicken Day steps in.
Get Your Fix: Barbecue Inn, Frenchy’s, Punk’s Simple Southern Food, Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts. Dare we say Popeye's?
July 13: National French Fry Day
Whether french fries are the base for poutine or are served alongside burgers or Belgian-style with a pot of hot wine-sauce mussels, this is a day to celebrate addictive, hot, crispy potato goodness. We’ll most likely be sick of fried foods before the week is out.
Get Your Fix: The Hay Merchant, Bernie’s Burger Bus, Café Brussels, BB's Cafe for Tex-Cajun Fries, a distinctly Houston riff on poutine.
July 24: National Tequila Day
Yee-haw! A reason to have National Margarita Day all over again! Blast The Champs on the speakers. Tequila!
Get Your Fix: Hugo’s, Wooster’s Garden, Cuchara
August 13: National Filet Mignon Day
“You haven’t taken me out for a big slab of beef since National Prime Rib Day in April.”
Get Your Fix: Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Vic & Anthony’s, Killen’s Steakhouse
August 18: National Ice Cream Day
This is historically one of the hottest days of the year, and people want to practically bathe in ice cream anyway.
Get Your Fix: Fat Cat Creamery, Cloud 10, Amy’s Ice Cream
August 27: National Burger Day
Get Your Fix: Hubcap Grill, Bernie’s Burger Bus, Whataburger, Vic & Anthony’s at lunchtime (which they just started having every weekend instead of just on Fridays!).
October 6: National Noodle Day
There doesn’t seem to be a National Ramen Day, so we hereby commandeer this one to remedy the oversight. Have spaghetti if you want, but we'll be devouring a bowl of tonkotsu instead.
Get Your Fix: JINYA Ramen, Ninja Ramen, Samurai Ramen, Kata Robata, Soma Sushi, Tiger Den
October 28: National Chocolate Day
The perfect catch-all day for milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate with nuts, filled chocolates, fudge, chocolate ice cream, hot fudge sundaes and so many other wonderful things.
Get Your Fix: Cacao & Cardamom, Ooh La La, Chocolat du Monde, The Chocolate Bar
November 5: National Doughnut Day
We bow down to our sugary breakfast masters. Fire up the coffee pot.
Get Your Fix: Hugs & Donuts, Lee’s Fried Chicken & Doughnuts, Shipley Do-Nuts
December 5: Repeal of Prohibition Day
Just as we are all in the throes of holiday stress, Repeal of Prohibition Day comes along. Thank goodness for small favors.
Get Your Fix: Anvil Bar & Refuge, Moving Sidewalk, Spare Key
December 8: National Brownie Day
National Brownie Day is absolutely a thing, and we’re not talking about the Scottish goblins who clean your house in exchange for honey and gruel. Yes, it’s another day to indulge in chocolate, this time of the warm, square, baked kind. We live to serve.
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Get Your Fix: Michael's Cookie Jar, Barnaby's, Dacapo's
December 30: National Bacon Day
This day to honor our crispy, porky ruler might be the king of all food holidays. As one chef declared on Facebook, “It’s the only day that really matters.”
Get Your Fix: B&B Butchers, where thick bacon is an appetizer; Blacksmith for a breakfast sandwich with Benton's Bacon; Bacon Cheeseburger at Hubcap Grill