A Friendly Guide to Restaurants in Texas
As the second-largest state in the US, Texas offers an incredible variety of mouthwatering eateries to satisfy your cravings. From authentic Tex-Mex to juicy barbecue, and even some unique fusion cuisine, the Lone Star State has it all. Join me as we explore the must-try restaurants in Texas!
1. Tex-Mex Treasures
a. Mi Tierra Café y Panadería (San Antonio)
Founded in 1941, Mi Tierra Café y Panadería is a San Antonio institution. Open 24 hours, this colorful restaurant offers a wide range of traditional Tex-Mex dishes, including sizzling fajitas, cheesy enchiladas, and delicious homemade tortillas. Don’t forget to visit their bakery to pick up some pan dulce for dessert!
b. Joe T. Garcia’s (Fort Worth)
Joe T. Garcia’s has been serving up delicious Tex-Mex cuisine since 1935. Located in Fort Worth, this iconic restaurant boasts a beautiful outdoor patio where you can enjoy their famous family-style fajitas or crispy tacos. Be sure to try their legendary margaritas, too!
2. BBQ Bliss
a. Franklin Barbecue (Austin)
Often considered the gold standard of Texas BBQ, Franklin Barbecue in Austin is a must-visit for any BBQ enthusiast. Be prepared to wait in line for hours, but trust us, it’s worth it. Their melt-in-your-mouth brisket, tender ribs, and scrumptious sausages will have you coming back for more.
b. The Salt Lick (Driftwood)
Located in the picturesque Texas Hill Country, The Salt Lick is a BBQ lover’s dream. With a rustic, family-friendly atmosphere, this legendary establishment serves up all-you-can-eat BBQ, including succulent brisket, mouthwatering ribs, and juicy sausage. Don’t forget their famous mustard-based sauce and delicious sides!
3. Seafood Sensations
a. Gilhooley’s (San Leon)
For an unforgettable seafood experience, head to Gilhooley’s in San Leon. This no-frills, cash-only establishment is renowned for their fresh, succulent oysters. Try their signature Oysters Gilhooley, which are wood-grilled and topped with garlic butter and parmesan cheese. Pair them with an ice-cold beer for the perfect meal.
b. Black’s Market Table (Houston)
Black’s Market Table in Houston offers an upscale seafood experience with a creative twist. Their menu features fresh, locally-sourced seafood, including mouthwatering shrimp and grits, seared scallops, and their famous crab mac and cheese. Save room for their delectable desserts, like the bread pudding with bourbon sauce.
4. Unique Fusion Flavors
a. Uchi (Austin)
For a truly unique dining experience, visit Uchi in Austin. This award-winning restaurant fuses Texas ingredients with Japanese culinary techniques, resulting in innovative dishes like the Hama Chili (yellowtail with ponzu, Thai chilies, and oranges) and the Machi Cure (smoked yellowtail with yucca chips). Reservations are highly recommended.
b. The Blind Goat (Houston)
The Blind Goat, located in Houston’s trendy Bravery Chef Hall, is a Vietnamese gastropub that combines traditional flavors with modern techniques. Created by MasterChef winner Christine Ha, the menu features dishes like lemongrass pork ribs, curry goat poutine, and the signature Blind Goat salad. Be sure to try their creative cocktails, too!
5. Farm-to-Table Fare
a. Odd Duck (Austin)
Odd Duck in Austin is dedicated to using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients to create innovative, seasonal dishes. The constantly changing menu might include items like crispy pig face with pickled peaches, smoked chicken with sweet cornbread, or beet salad with whipped feta. Don’t miss their unique selection of craft beers and cocktails.
b. Lonesome Dove Western Bistro (Fort Worth)
Chef Tim Love’s Lonesome Dove Western Bistro offers a modern take on classic Texas cuisine. The menu highlights game meats, like elk, rabbit, and wild boar, alongside fresh vegetables and herbs sourced from local farms. Try the signature Wild Game Fettine, a thin-sliced medley of exotic meats, or the heavenly Ancho Chile Chocolate Cake for dessert.
6. Delicious Desserts
a. Gourdough’s (Austin)
When it comes to desserts, Gourdough’s in Austin takes the cake – or rather, the doughnut! This quirky food truck-turned-restaurant offers enormous, creative doughnuts topped with everything from bacon to peanut butter. Must-try options include the Funky Monkey (grilled bananas, cream cheese, and brown sugar) and the Mother Clucker (fried chicken and honey butter).
b. Emporium Pies (Dallas)
Emporium Pies in Dallas is a pie lover’s paradise. This charming, small-batch bakery offers a rotating menu of delectable, handmade pies. Try the Smooth Operator, a silky chocolate pie with a pretzel crust, or the Drunken Nut, a bourbon-infused pecan pie. Be prepared to wait in line, but trust us – these pies are worth it!
From scrumptious Tex-Mex and smoky BBQ to unique fusion cuisine and heavenly desserts, Texas has something for every food lover. So, gather your friends, loosen your belts, and get ready for a culinary adventure you won’t soon forget.