The final teams in this year’s Super Bowl may still be TBD, but that doesn’t mean planning to make the most of the game needs to be, too. On February 5, football fanatics will be heading to the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. In order to have the experience of a lifetime, spectators need the down-low on all the stadium and its surrounding neighborhoods have to offer.
We’ve pulled together a guide to Houston’s food scene (because hungry), along with the ins and outs of the stadium—making any Super Bowl attendee feel like they own the place.
Click the image below for our Super Bowl breakdown, including airfare, hotel prices, cost per day, and Super Bowl event list.
Getting to the Stadium
NRG Stadium is located in the southwestern section of Houston and is a little less than 30 miles from IAH airport. The city of Houston also provides public transportation via the Houston Metro and METRORail, which has several routes that go directly to the stadium. (This is a great idea for anyone looking to enjoy a brew or two at the game and avoid driving.) There are also many parking options for those who are renting a car and driving to the stadium; see this map with all of the lots. There’s even a handful of bike racks for people who prefer to ride on their own two wheels to the game.
Staying Full at the Game
As far as concession stands go, there’s quite an array of options for anyone looking to chow down while watching the game. The stadium prohibits bringing food inside, so keep those bags empty and explore the eateries in the venue. As far as what’s offered, there’s truly something for everyone: frozen yogurt, fresh sandwiches, nachos, cocktails, and quintessential barbecue. Check out the concession map for all of the options. All of the vendors are strategically located in and around the stadium, so it will be a close walk no matter where someone is sitting. When it comes to choosing a meal, consider thinking outside the box. In addition to the classic hotdog and beer, try the seafood campechana, pork tamales, or chicken wings smothered in PB&J sauce.
While the food and drink options may seem endless in the stadium, who’s to say there won’t be an appetite after the game is over? Luckily, Houston’s food scene is on point, and there are tons of restaurants close by to the stadium—a perfect way to refuel after a day of fiercely cheering for your team.
Looking for classic Tex-Mex? Head to Pappasito’s Cantina, an offering of amazing Mexican food with a Texan flare, that also has a ton of great seafood options. (Did someone say guac and ceviche?) For something a little more high-end, try The Grove, and American-style restaurant and bar with mouth-watering steaks and salads, as well as a comprehensive cocktail and wine list. Or, go local at Irma’s Original Cafe, a family-owned and Houstonian favorite known for Mexican food made with local ingredients. These places are also off the METRORail Red Line, too—which anyone can catch right at the stadium.
Hitting the Bar Scene
Whether you’re celebrating or lamenting post game, Houston’s bar scene is endless! If you’re staying near the stadium or relying on public transportation, we recommend heading to Midtown or Downtown.
Midtown is the neighborhood directly north of NRG stadium and you can get there simply by taking the METRORail Red Line. Depending on your mood, relax with live music and a cold one at Irish Cowboy’s backyard patio or dance your heart out at Cle, one of Houston’s most popular clubs. If you’re headed Downtown, the Red Line takes you to the doorstep of Boots and Shoots, a country western bar. But, if country isn’t your “thang”, Henke and Pilot is a sophisticated cocktail lounge only a couple blocks away.
If you have transportation or using a ride share app, you’ve got to check out Washington Avenue in west Houston. This area is the true party scene of Houston and has some fun, unique, bars and clubs in the surrounding blocks. You can play old arcade games and skee-ball at Kung Foo, Texas 2-step and ride a mechanical bull at Rebel’s Honky Tonk, or stick with sports at Clutch sports bar.
After a long night (watching football and drinking beer is hard work), everyone needs a good place to rest their head. The Houston Marriott Medical Center (which gets its name for being steps away from the Medical Center) is conveniently two miles away from the stadium—and has a gym to help work off those beer calories the next morning.
If you’re staying for brunch, we highly recommend the trendy, European-style, Empire Cafe for reasonably priced & delicious breakfast plates with a twist. Because it’s counter service, there is generally a long line but, don’t let that stop you (it goes quickly!). Just ask for a cup of coffee; they’ll let you sip while you wait.