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Watch the big race and sip mint juleps at Southern cocktailery Julep.EXPAND
Watch the big race and sip mint juleps at Southern cocktailery Julep.
Photo by Julie Soefer Photography

Houston's 5 Best Weekend Food Bets: Derby Day Meets Cinco de Mayo

Here’s a look at this weekend's best culinary happenings:

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at El Big Bad


Friday through Sunday
419 Travis

El Big Bad is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a weekend-long fiesta. Now in its ninth year, guests can expect tequila samples, DJs and dancing, drink specials, face painters and plenty of fun. The event is 21-and-up. Register early for free entry ($10 regular cover).

Rails & Tails Mudbug Festival in Tomball


Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
201 South Elm

In addition to tasty crawfish and live music, you’ll find food and merchandise vendors, live crawfish racing, a kids zone and family fun at Tomball’s Rails & Tails Mudbug Festival. The day’s concert lineup will feature music from the Allen Oldies Band, The Powell Brothers, Bayou Roux, Phineus Reb and more. Admission and parking are free. 

Kentucky Derby Day at Julep


Saturday, noon
1919 Washington

Alba Huerta's nationally-acclaimed cocktail bar will host its fifth annual Julep Derby Day, starting at noon and going until race time. Guests can expect two screens for the race, lawn games, a spritz bar, mint julep bars, three cocktail bars, a DJ, live music, live auctions for whiskey tastings and more, including food from the popular El Topo Truck and hot dogs from chef Ryan Lachaine of Riel. Huerta has procured a total of 5,000 flowers from local farms and local businesses to commemorate the party's five-year anniversary. Tickets are $15 with discount packages for 4 and up.

Lucky Cat Brunch at Ralph Smith Studios


Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
5226 Elm

I’ll Have What She’s Having is hosting a Lucky Cat Brunch for all Moms, UnMoms and future Moms, with proceeds benefiting the social activist organization and Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. The family-style dim sum meal will feature top area female chefs and cocktail professionals—including Shiva DiVirgilio (Oporto Midtown, Rishi Hospitality), Fah Vorarittinapa (Lemongrass Cafe), Dory Fung (Fung's Cafe, Secret Taste, JuiceWell), Mary Cuclis (Pondicheri), Evelyn Garcia @Decatur), G Benchawan Jabthong Painter (Street to Kitchen), Alexandra Pena (The Dunlavy), Natasha Douglas, Keisha Griggs and more, plus beverage stars Jojo Martinez, Kris Sowell and Laurie Harvey. Tickets are $75 and brunch begins at 10:30 a.m.

Chingo de Mayo at 8th Wonder


Sunday, gates open at 11 a.m.
2202 Dallas

Join 8th Wonder for its inaugural Chingo de Mayo festival, featuring live entertainment, a Michelada contest, hot pepper eating contest, food trucks and plenty of beer. Tickets are $20 for entry or $35 for a package (limited) including entry, three beer tickets and a souvenir pint glass. The event is rain or shine. 

Bonus: For more Cinco de Mayo and Kentucky Derby events, check out our Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo guide.

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