So, I went to see Beyonce in Toronto in July.   And about halfway through that concert I knew that as a Houstonian, I was going to have to make sure that I was in the building for the Houston show as well.  Now, I have yet to secure my tickets, because these prices are highway robbery ($600 for the 600 level!).  We know this is partly because many out-of-towners decided that Houston would be the best place to see Bey as this is her hometown.  Heavy sigh, we need an ID check at the door!  Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a few out-of-towners hit me asking me for “before concert eats” recommendations.  Against my better judgment I have decided to make a blog post to help the outsiders, although they are the reason my own tickets are not secured!   So here you go Beyonce ticket holders, Where to Eat in Houston Before Renaissance.

Restaurants Near NRG Stadium

Despite being the home of sports arenas forever, the area near NRG has never really developed into a destination spot beyond the arena.  There are very few food/restaurant options nearby and they really aren’t walking distance that I would recommend for the occasion.  Also, please know that what Houstonians will call them “close” is really “Houston close” usually means 20 minute drive without traffic so plan accordingly.  Below, I am sharing restaurants that are near NRG and some that are little bit further, but in my opinion worth the drive.  The Galleria area is one place that people will recommend, but with the construction over there, you are putting yourself in the thick of traffic if you are going straight from there to NRG.  So while they do have great options, I would not recommend them for dinner right before the concert.

Pappadeaux and Pappasito’s

Black Houstonians affectionally call this location the “Black Pappadeaux” as it has always drawn a large crowd of Black diners.  This is the closest nice seated dining spot to NRG and if you are not from Texas, a stop to Pappadeaux is never a bad idea.   Here, you can enjoy seafood dishes with New Orleans flare. ALSO, Pappadeaux has been shouted out by the queen herself as an example of good eating in Houston.  Pappasito’s is the Tex-Mex brand also from the Pappas family.  It is right next door and a good stop as well.

Pappa’s Barbecue

This is also a part of the Pappas family, but it is on the other side of the highway from the two restaurants listed above.  It is close to some of the exterior NRG parking lots, making it easier to maneuver getting to the concert.  Now, let me manage expectations! This is not my favorite BBQ spot in Houston, but I do go there pretty frequently because anywhere with a drive thru is a win for me.   The barbecue is still high quality and actually supplies the sausage and other meats for the rest of the Pappa’s brands.  Here, I would get the stuffed baked potato.  If you are looking for my fave BBQ spots, Ray’s (not too far from NRG), Killen’s and Pinkerton’s would be my recommendations.

Rice Village

This shopping area is about a 15 minute drive from NRG (don’t get on the highway, take Kirby!).  Here you will find spots like Sephora if you need some last minute items for the concert.   There are not as many stores over here as there used to be (Gap, Urban Outfitters, Sonoma and Express have all left) however, you can get some good eats here.  For causal bites,  Shake Shack, Local Foods, Rice Box and Torchy’s Tacos are excellent options.  For sit down spots, Hungry’s, Gratify, Lee’s Den, Coppa Osteria, FRNDS. Sushi by Hidden, Helen Greek Food & Wine, Navy Blue, Sixty Vines, and Roma.  I’ve been to all of these spots (I’m greedy!) except FRNDS (I’ve heard mixed reviews about this spot, but like their other concepts).  Each of them would be good depending on what type of cuisine you want, but as you can see Rice Village has a little bit of everything.

Museum District

Steak and Eggs

Davis Street Brunch (2020)

Another area that is pretty close to NRG is the Museum District.  Your GPS will try to take you via 288, which will be a mess, take the back streets. My go to restaurants over in this area are Lucille’s and Davis Street.  Both of them are Black owned and very well done in terms of service and food.  I expect both of them to have good crowds for the Beyonce concerts for brunch and dinner so plan accordingly.   Lucille’s will have several Beyonce themed drinks as well. Other more casual spots nearby are Barnaby’s and Fadi’s.  Great lunch options or faster dinner options on concert day.

Montrose Collective

Loaded smashed potatoes

Loaded smashed potatoes with cashew cheese from Picnik.

This is a new development that is about a 20 minute drive from NRG (without traffic) and when I tell you it is done SO well, it is really worth braving some traffic to visit for a good dinner option.   Here, you can pick from more casual allergy friendly restaurants like Picnik Montrose, great Italian restaurants like Marmo, and fresh dishes from Graffiti RawCitizens of Montrose is across the street as well as Velvet Taco.

Restaurants Beyonce’s Visited

B&B Butchers

Carpet Baggers

This is personally one of my favorite local steakhouses and it happens to be a local favorite Beyonce’s as well.  She’s dined in here while visiting home and has reportedly gotten takeout for the plane ride home.  If you are coming from out of state, I would say steakhouses is something we do well here in Houston and B&B Butchers is top tier.  Get the bacon appetizers (yes BACON) and carpet baggers.

BB’s Tex Orleans

A causal New Orleans style Cajan restaurant with locations all around Houston, BB’s is a great spot if you want less frills during your visit.  After one of her sold out shows at home, Beyonce famously went to BB’s to dine. They even have photos from this on their website.

Frenchy’s Chicken

Real fans, even if you are not from Houston, know about Frenchy’s which famously got a shout out from Beyonce in her song Bow Down.  Stopping by Frenchy’s for fried chicken and boudin in the parking lot before heading to the concert just makes sense.   The original location has now closed, but they built a beautiful new location down the street in third ward.  Pro tip, park and go inside.  It is always faster.  This location is also about 15 minutes from NRG.

Beyonce Themed Specials

Cocktail with bee stenciled on top


The black owned restaurant located in the Galleria area is catering to their audience with a few fun Beyonce themed cocktails, Alien Superstar and the Pure/Honey cocktail for their weekend brunch.  I visited for the first time this past weekend and it really is a great brunch!  Grab the Beyonce cocktails and order the Brunch Board as well.  Check out my full recap here on Instagram.

Dessert Gallery

Beyonce Cookies

If you are a local you probably know that Dessert Gallery generally has decorated cookies for holidays and big events happening in the city.  Beyonce coming home is no different.  Stop by this local spot if you want some cute cookies for the occasion!

Urban Social and Urban Smoke

One of my favorite spots in town that also happens to be Black woman owned will host a Renaissance happy hour on Saturday from 4pm-8pm before the concert and then will serve as an after spot at 12am-2am.

Final Notes

NRG Stadium

With all of the people coming to town, I would HIGHLY recommend that you make reservations for any of the places you visit.  Here are some other links that may be helpful for you during your visit.   I also know many of you all will want to visit Beyonce’s house during your visit.  No, I am not sharing the address because that is someone’s home.  So if you do go over there PLEASE be mindful and respectful of this.

Swoon – Local Boutique that keeps cute clear purses in stock.  (You will need these to enter NRG)

More Detailed List of Restaurants that are within minutes of NRG.

Black Girls Who Brunch IG

The Houston Itinerary 

Renaissance Tour in Toronto 

Why is Everyone Visiting Houston?

Black Girls Who Brunch Favorite Black Owned Restaurants If you are coming to Houston for Beyonce, I would encourage you to support a Black owned restaurant at some point during your visit.  In documentaries like Homecoming, Beyonce has talked about how the Black Houston culture shaped her career.  Supporting these businesses is great way to honor that.

Houston Black Owned Nightlife 

2022 Favorite Brunches 

Best Houston Restaurants for Large Groups

NRG Parking Info from my Tik Tok 

There will also be a big party for Beyonce in downtown Houston outside of the convention center.  This party starts at 6:30pm though and will likely you have a little late if you if you plan on going to the concert.  For those who have not secured tickets, this may be a good place to hang out to be part of the hype. l If you have additional questions, the answer is likely within the above links.  Hope you all enjoy me and Beyonce’s hometown!