It’s straightforward to divide the myriad delectables accessible at RodeoHouston into two camps: the unique and the outrageous.

The previous group would come with beloved, old-school favorites similar to barbecue, turkey legs, sausage on a stick, corn canine, cotton sweet and sweet apples. Consider these staples because the traditionalists of halfway fare.

The latter assortment goes for a sensory punch: flashy superfoods flamboyant in development, stunning in taste and shameless for consideration. Consider chunks of pork stomach on a stick wrapped in 2 ft of thick, honey bacon smoked to crispy, juicy perfection and also you get the image.

MORE ON RODEO HOUSTON: Welcome to PreviewHouston’s insider information to the Houston Livestock Present & Rodeo

Each camps, and virtually something in between, will probably be well-represented among the many scrumptious and dazzling meals choices on the 2023 Houston Livestock Present and Rodeo. Whether or not on the halfway, alongside restaurant row, or within the arenas, meals choices will probably be ample, marking the rodeo expertise in showers of sugar, lashings of chocolate, crunchy coatings, deep-fried mummifications and buttery slathers.

Final yr, when RodeoHouston returned after the pandemic, greater than 2.4 million guests handed by way of the gates. And so they got here hungry.

“Folks got here out in droves, and it was fantastic to be collectively once more, having fun with the meals, drink, music. It was an incredible yr,” mentioned Amanda Schlatre, senior supervisor of reveals and occasions. “We weren’t certain what was going to occur, and look what occurred. It was superior.”

And the 2023 rodeo guarantees to be simply as gangbusters, particularly the place meals is worried, with about 70 completely different distributors unfold all through NRG Park.

Ranch Saloon + Steakhouse expands

The Ranch Saloon + Steakhouse, the only full-service fine dining restaurant and bar at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo returns for its second year during the 2023 rodeo, Feb. 28 to March 19.

The Ranch Saloon + Steakhouse, the one full-service nice eating restaurant and bar on the Houston Livestock Present and Rodeo returns for its second yr throughout the 2023 rodeo, Feb. 28 to March 19.

Jenn Duncan

What’s going to tempt rodeo foodies this yr? For starters, the upscale the Ranch Saloon + Steakhouse, the fine-dining restaurant from Berg Hospitality Group, returns for its second rodeo run. A blockbuster for each the restaurant group and rodeo, the Ranch is coming again greater and higher with extra seats, prolonged hours and extra dwell music, along with the vigorous bar and steakhouse menu.

Trill Burgers return

Bun B's Trill Burgers smash burgers returns for its second year at the 2023 RodeoHouston.

Bun B’s Trill Burgers smash burgers returns for its second yr on the 2023 RodeoHouston.

Becca Wright / Becca Wright

Bun B’s Trill Burgers, the Houston rapper who launched a smashburger model, additionally returns for a second yr at Rodeo Plaza. Final yr, Trill Burgers served greater than 12,000 burgers throughout its rodeo debut; since then, the idea has gained nationwide consideration.

Decide carnival meals

An all-meat stuffed baked potato from Harlon's BBQ was an entry in the Gold Buckle Foodie Awards, an example of classic fair food, at the 2022 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

An all-meat stuffed baked potato from Harlon’s BBQ was an entry within the Gold Buckle Foodie Awards, an instance of traditional truthful meals, on the 2022 Houston Livestock Present and Rodeo.

Elizabeth Conley/Employees photographer

On March 2, the annual Gold Buckle Foodie Awards, celebrating the perfect meals on the rodeo, will probably be judged when 18 finalists will probably be vying in classes similar to greatest fried meals, greatest meals on a stick, most inventive meals and greatest new flavors. Fairgoers can search for the winners’ cubicles to pattern the varied, best-of carnival meals.

RCS, the carnival concessions firm that operates 32 stands, has been devising a slew of recent meals for its twenty ninth yr at RodeoHouston. Each within the wacky realm in addition to iconic carnival staples, RCS says it’s dedicated to creating completely happy, lip-smacking rodeo recollections.

“There’s no different occasion like this wherever on the planet,” mentioned Dominic Palmieri, the RCS meals supervisor generally known as the “Halfway Connoisseur.” “The individuals of Houston like to eat and present a lot curiosity in meals. Concessionaires have tried to push the bounds to make recollections and make new traditions for households. And isn’t that what festivals are all about?”

Sizzling concessions offers on Neighborhood Day

Whereas a day on the rodeo could be an costly proposition for households, RodeoHouston has created Neighborhood Day (offered by TC Vitality) on March 8, with free admission for all till midday; buy-one/get-one on rides and video games within the Junction Carnival space till 4 p.m.; and discounted meals and beverage choices till 4 p.m. ($3 mini corn canine at McKinney Corn Canine, $3 small popcorn at Child Shack, and $3 small bitter apple lemonade at Squeezers).

Along with Neighborhood Day, there are two Household Wednesdays (March 1 and 15) with related reductions and free admission for these older than 60 and youngsters youthful than 12 till midday.

This is what you may style at 2023 RodeoHouston: 

New and newish distributors 

Pioneer Wagon: Providing Snake Chew Nachos: tortilla chips topped with floor rattlesnake sausage and topped with “venom sauce.” Positioned on Circle Drive.

Pioneer Wagon will offer Snake Bite Nachos at RodeoHouston: tortilla chips topped with ground rattlesnake sausage and topped with “venom sauce.”
Pioneer Wagon will supply Snake Chew Nachos at RodeoHouston: tortilla chips topped with floor rattlesnake sausage and topped with “venom sauce.”HLSR

Asian Streetness: Asian avenue meals new to the rodeo with its Un-PHO-gettable Burger, a beef burger infused with pho spices. Positioned on Rodeo Plaza.

Asian Streetness, a new Asian street food vendor is coming to RodeoHouston with its Un-PHO-gettable Burger, a beef burger infused with pho spices.
Asian Streetness, a brand new Asian avenue meals vendor is coming to RodeoHouston with its Un-PHO-gettable Burger, a beef burger infused with pho spices.HLSR

Texas Skillet: Returning to the rodeo with a menu of acquainted Texas fare, together with the signature cowboy burrito. Search for the sales space with the 2 huge skillets. Positioned close to the Metro Rail entrance on Rodeo Plaza.

Pretzel Bros.: New with a menu of pretzels, each traditional and flavored, with seasonings and sauces. Positioned in Area.

Topo Chico Arduous Seltzers Yard: Texas’ favourite fizzy water units up with its arduous seltzer lineup. Positioned subsequent to Superdome near the carnival space.

New carnival meals

These new creations will probably be accessible at RCS-managed meals stands all through the carnival space:

The Corn Shack: New merchandise is the Loco Elote Ramen Cup, spicy and saucy ramen noodles topped with candy corn, crushed Flamin’ Sizzling Cheetos, mayonnaise and cheese.

Cowboy Kettle Corn: This stand will supply candied grapes (chilly grapes dipped in a transparent, sugary coating).

Funnel Muffins: These stands are the place to search out Cap’n Crunch and Fruity Pebbles cereal funnel muffins.

Fried Affairs: Right here’s the sales space for the brand new Deep Fried Krispy Kreme Banana Break up made with ice cream, doughnuts and deep-fried bananas topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and cherries.

Get Fried: The brand new Fruity Pebbles Shrimp Fried Rice Bowl could be discovered right here; a hollowed-out pineapple full of fried rice, sausage and pineapple.

Tater Tornado: Providing the Honolulu Hog Spud, a baked potato full of pulled pork in teriyaki barbecue sauce, pineapple and sesame seeds.

Enzo’s Pizzeria: The beginner is a pizza constructed with dill pickle sauce and topped with Flamin’ Sizzling Cheetos and pickles.

Biggy’s: Search for the Bacon-Wrapped Pork Stomach on a Stick, chunks of marinated pork stomach wrapped in 2 ft of honey bacon that’s smoked for 2 hours. Biggy’s additionally will supply a Nashville scorching hen sandwich and a Cap’n Crunch Hen Sandwich (fried hen coated in raspberry honey glaze and rolled in crushed cereal).


Greg Morago writes about meals for the Houston Chronicle. Comply with him on Fb or Twitter. Ship him information suggestions at [email protected]