Restaurant Guide–San Antonio

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Texas

Austin | Dallas/Fort Worth | El Paso | Houston


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Boerne

Little Gretel–518 River Rd. (German) Breakfast & lunch daily; Dinner Wed-Sat.  German restaurant (jagerschnitzel is popular). However, the chef is Czech and prepares Czech food and desserts (reviews do not say what they are, though, except for goulasch). Map (Dining room is open 10-11-21)

Castroville

Dziuk Meat Market–608 US 90 W (Meat Market) Open Daily.  This is a meat market that specializes in Alsatian style products (jerky, sausage, etc.). This is not a restaurant–only serves food to go. Map (In store shopping 7-9-21)

Haby’s Alsatian Bakery–207 US 90 E (Bakery) Open 5:30 am to 7 pm (closed Sun).  Has a wide variety of baked goodies, including European style pastries. Kolaches are available, but there are so many good choices you might want to try some of the ones that are not available elsewhere. This is not a restaurant. Map (In store shopping 7-9-21)

New Braunfels

Alpine Haus–251 S. Seguin Ave. (German) Open daily (closed from 2 pm to 5 pm).  Highest rated German in NB on Zomato (Urbanspoon)–Jagerschnitzel, potato dumplings, red cabbage (owned by Germans). Some reviewers say some of the dishes are not completely authentic, and they do not have German beer on tap. The schnitzel gets good reviews, and where you might like it better than other German restaurants is that the menu is varied and you might see items that are not in other restaurants, or that you did not even know were German. Map (Dining room is open 9-23-20)

Fork and Spoon–651 N. Business IH-35 (German) Breakfast & lunch only (open daily); dinner served on Fri.  Breakfast is very popular (crepes, pancakes).  Jagerschnitzel is good, but there is a small menu–very good bakery inside the restaurant. The consensus seems to be that breakfast is good but go to Alpine Haus for a German lunch or dinner. Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

Gristmill–1287 Gruene Rd. (Steakhouse) Open Daily. Located in historic Gruene. Chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken. Has other dishes as well, and reviews are not universally glowing for these or the CFS, but the historic ambiance helps make this a place where many enjoy stopping. Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

San Antonio

Acenar–146 E. Houston St. (Mexican) Closed Mon.  Located on the River Walk, this seems to be definitely oriented to tourists. Tex-Mex style (serves chips and salsa–enchiladas are very cheesy). This is not one of the city’s old style Tex-Mex restaurants, though–it was founded in 2005 and serves “innovative contemporary” food. Has good reviews. Map (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Azuca Nuevo Latino–709 S. Alamo (Latin American) Open daily except Sun lunch.  Serves food from South and Central America as well as the Caribbean. Even though the best restaurants are usually those which specialize in a certain cuisine, this one seems to do several cuisines very well. From the photos the food looks very fresh, and it seems to be more authentic than the typical Latin American restaurants found throughout the US. (Dining room is open 7-9-21)

Big Bib–104 Lanark Dr. (BBQ) Closed Sun evening, Mon, & Tue.  Many say this is the best BBQ you can get if you can’t make it to Luling or Lockhart. Brisket is the specialty. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Burmese Foods–3703 Colony Dr. (Grocery Store) Closed Mon.  Not a restaurant, but they have Asian vegetables, Thai snacks, etc. Drinks are popular (such as the basil seed drink). Map (Store is open 10-11-21)

Cascabel–1000 S. St. Marys (Mexican) Lunch only (closed Sun).  Authentic Mexican food with Oaxacan mole and other dishes from the Mexican interior. It is a little pricey–only go if you are in the mood for an upscale meal. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Chris Madrid’s–1900 Blanco Rd. (Burgers) Closed Sun.  One of the most popular burger places in town. Reviewers recommend the tostada burger (a hamburger combined with a bean chalupa). (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

El Pilon–1127 Harry Wurzbach Rd. (Puerto Rican) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Photos convince me that I would like to try it, and reviewers say you can get it spicy if you want. (Dining room is open 10-11-21)

Europa–8811 Fredericksburg Rd. (Modern European) Dinner daily; Lunch Sat & Sun.  Primarily a German restaurant but what is interesting is that it also has entrees from other countries such as Hungary (not goulash), Bulgaria, etc. Also has Italian food. The emphasis here is good quality and good flavor and serving items that might not be very familiar to Americans but which people like when they try it. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Garcia’s–842 Fredericksburg Rd. (Tex-Mex) Open 7 am to 2 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Operating since 1962, this is one of the oldest Tex-Mex restaurants in the city, and certainly one of the best (according to reviews). This is the Tex-Mex recommended in the Eater.com article. It is not open for dinner, though. Many reviewers say to get the brisket. Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

Gold Rose Cafe–11318 Perrin Beitel Rd. (Thai).  Used to be the Thai Cafe, which served authentic Thai food. Now has a new owner who is from Burma, but still serves Thai food (which reviewers say is not as good as before). For me the question is whether you can get Burmese food here, and I cannot tell from the reviews. Perhaps it would be worth a try. Located east of the airport. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Guajillo’s–1001 NW Loop 410 (Mexican) Open Daily.  Upscale Mexican (to me it looks better than Acenar). Authentic interior style food. Some reviewers say this is the best mole in town. Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

Kungfu Noodle–6733 Bandera Rd. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Features hand made noodles, buns, dumplings, and regular Chinese style dishes. Reviews say it is very good. (Dining room is open 7-9-21)

Little Thai Chef–5440 Babcock Rd. (Lao) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Has Lao food and the “Thai” food may be the Lao version (some reviewers say it tastes different than they are used to). Reviews are very good, though, and people like the food. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Lula’s Mexican Cafe–115 E. Travis St. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (open Mon-Fri).  Located in a downtown office building, this is not oriented to tourists, although some manage to find it and write rave reviews. Has authentic and flavorful food such as mole enchiladas and poblano chicken (with a green poblano sauce). (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Mi Tierra–218 Produce Row (Tex-Mex) Open Daily.  I didn’t think this was the best Tex-Mex in SA, but it was good. It’s probably best to get a combination plate with several items (to get a sample of SA Mexican food). Probably most notable for its very good Mexican bakery. Map (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Momo House–4447 De Zavala Rd. (Nepalese) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sat lunch & Sun).  I have eaten momo in Nepali restaurants in OKC, but I have not seen the variety of flavors served here, and it looks very interesting. Reviewers say it is in a gas station, and I don’t know if there are tables for dine-in. (Takeout and possibly dine-in available 10-11-21)

Pho Hong Phat–6180 Wurzbach Rd. (Vietnamese) Closed Tue (other days open until 9 pm).  More than a pho place–vermicelli with lemongrass is recommended. Has a large menu of other items with some more obscure authentic items. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Pho Hung Cuong–4788 NW Loop 410 (Vietnamese) Open daily 10 am to 9 pm.  Has an impressive menu including banh cuon (rice sheets) and other rather obscure items. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Rosario’s–910 S. Alamo St. (Tex-Mex) Closed Mon.  Doesn’t seem to have as good reviews as the now closed El Mirador had, but still a solid choice for Tex-Mex (some dishes appear to be south of the border style but with a SA influence). Has mole enchiladas (which reviewers like). Puffy tacos with chicken are also recommended. Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

Schilo’s–424 E. Commerce St. (German) Open daily 8:30 am to 2 pm.  Advertised as the oldest restaurant in SA (actually it has changed locations from Beeville to SA and later to the current location) while keeping the same German centered menu. Its most popular item is root beer (started during prohibition when they could not serve beer). Has other items such as breakfast tacos. The German food is mostly schnitzel and sausage. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Scorpion Cafe–125 Lamar St. (Peruvian) Dinner only (closed Mon & Tue).  Reviews say it has good food. From photos it looks more upscale and possibly more authentic than I have seen in other Peruvian restaurants. Does not have the Chinese dishes, though, that are served in some Peruvian restaurants. (Dining room is open 10-11-21)

Sichuan House–3505 Wurzbach Rd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Authentic Chinese food (something hard to find in SA). Reviewers have so many recommended dishes I would say just look at the menu and take your pick. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Susie’s Lumpia House–7914 Culebra Rd. (Filipino) Closed Mon; closed Sat & Sun evenings (closes at 7 pm other evenings).  Small restaurant in a Filipino grocery store, but reviewers say you get the real deal. Some people prefer Deco Cafe Filipiniana at 1933 Fredericksburg Rd. because it has a buffet (you can try several items) but it is only open for lunch except Fri & Sat, and overall the reviews are better for Susie’s. (Dining room is open 7-9-21)

Thai Chili–2950 Thousand Oaks Dr. (Thai) Open Daily.  This is supposedly where the Thai people go for authentic food (or at least the main place). I don’t know if you have to ask for it to be Thai style or if it comes this way by default. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Thai Taste–5520 Evers Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun. (and closed daily from 2 PM to 5:00 PM).  In trying to find a good Asian restaurant in SA, this looked like a good bet. Reviewers give it high marks, but at least one says it is better if they know you want it Thai style (otherwise it is somewhat Americanized). Sketchy on the outside but reviewers say not to be concerned–the food is good. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Wild Goji–7115 Blanco Rd. (Japanese) Closed Tue.  Said to be an excellent restaurant for both sushi and cooked Japanese dishes. Rated as $$ on Yelp, but based on descriptions of the food it is probably more expensive or at least would be worth it if you did have to pay more. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

Sources:

Chowhound (San Antonio)

Eater (San Antonio)

Texas Country Reporter (Texas Best Food)

Texas Monthly, Jan. 2013

TripAdvisor (Regional foods to try)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (San Antonio)

Zomato (San Antonio)

 

Restaurant Guide–Houston

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Texas

Austin | Dallas/Fort Worth | El Paso | San Antonio


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Alvin

Khmer Kitchen–222 Fitz Rd. (Cambodian) Open 11 am to 7 pm Mon-Fri; 11-6 Sat (closed Sun).  This is the Houston area Cambodian restaurant with the best reviews. It is a restaurant that is exclusively Cambodian, while some others are Thai/Cambodian. (Dining room is open 9-26-21)

Clear Lake City

NASA Fast Food–18059 Point Lookout (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sun).  Most recommended Vietnamese in SE Houston. Pho, noodles with char-grilled meat. (Dining room is open 9-5-20)

Viola & Agnes’ Neo Soul Cafe–18091 Upper Bay Rd. (Soul Food) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  A highly recommended soul food restaurant, which along with Mary Lou’s has an expert chef who puts this restaurant on a higher level than most. (Dining room is open 9-5-20)

Houston

Afghan Village–6413 Hillcroft St. (Afghan) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  There are several good Middle Eastern restaurants in Houston (including Afghan). Probably the main reason to come here is that you get excellent food at lower prices (but also in a fairly small building in an older strip mall). (Dining room is open 8-1-20)

Asia Market–3620 N. Main St. (Lao) Open daily-last order taken at 8:30 pm (7:30 pm on Sun).  Serves Thai and Lao, but Lao is the specialty. Some sources say they also have Cambodian food (might also have some Burmese dishes). Formerly inside the market, but it has now moved into its own building nearby. (Dining room is open 10-16-21)

Banana Leaf–9889 Bellaire Blvd. (Malaysian) Open daily to 9:30 (10:00 Fri & Sat).  In same strip center as Mamak, and these are the two highest rated Malaysian restaurants (Banana Leaf was recommended by Malaysian people I know in OKC, so would be my first choice).  Also a very good rest. for Indonesian food. (Dining room is open 6-25-20)

Bollo Woodfired Pizza–2202 W. Alabama St. (Pizza) Open daily except Mon lunch.  Gayot has designated this restaurant as having the best pizza in the US in 2021. Pizza is wood fired, with the flour from Italy. They say that although they have a margherita pizza, the best one here is the Bianco. Reviews on Google Maps say the restaurant is very busy, and even with reservations you may have to wait a while before getting a table. (Dining room is open 10-16-21)

Bombay Sweets–5827 Hillcroft Ave. (Indian) Open Daily.  South Indian vegetarian, very good & very cheap (about $7 for the buffet). Better reviews than Udipi Cafe. (Dining room is open 8-1-20)

Brisket House–5775 Woodway Dr. (BBQ) Open daily except Sun night.  Owner worked at Tom’s BBQ in College Station, and serves the famous “Aggie Special” (served on butcher paper with a lump of cheddar cheese and a white onion). (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Cafe Caspian–12126 Westheimer Rd. (Persian) Closed Mon.  A highly recommended and upscale Persian/ Iranian restaurant. It looks more expensive than the others and that you are paying for the atmosphere, but the food definitely looks high quality. (some reviewers say they spend $40 on a meal). They also report having some of the best meals of their life. (Dining room is open 6-25-20)

Christie’s–6029 Westheimer Rd. (Seafood) Closed Mon.  Has been in operation since 1917 and is still popular. Known for its fried shrimp which comes from Galveston. Food is said to be old school (so it will be fried shrimp the way I envision that it should be).(Dining room is open 10-16-21)

Note: Rec. for Christie’s came from Reddit. Other places said to be good for fried shrimp include Monument Inn, Pier 8, Fountain View Fish Market, Goode Company Seafood, Captain Tom’s, and Pappadeaux’s. (A friend of mine ate at Pappadeaux’s in the Intercontinental Airport and confirms that this is an excellent place for shrimp).

Crawfish & Noodles–11360 Bellaire Blvd. (Vietnamese) Dinner only but has lunch on Sat & Sun (closed Tue).  This is on my list because of the reviews, and not because the concept sounds very intriguing. It seems, though, that they have real Vietnamese food (pho, hot pots, and lesser known items), real Cajun food (shrimp, crawfish, etc.), and a small number of fusion dishes. (Dining room is open 8-1-20)

Dolce Vita–500 Westheimer Rd. (Pizza) Dinner Tue-Sun; lunch Sat & Sun.  Known for its authentic Neapolitan style pizza. Has other dishes that are Italian style (a big change from typical Americanized Italian food). (Restaurant’s web site indicates that you can dine in, but it is best to make reservations 6-25-20)

Gatlin’s BBQ–3510 Ella Blvd. (BBQ) Open 7 am to 6 pm (closed Sun).  Maybe the best BBQ in Houston (also see Killen’s in Pearland). Brisket, pulled pork, turkey. The wait in line usually lasts from about 10 to 30 min. at lunch (this is less than at most other good BBQ places). (Dining room is open 6-25-20)

Goode Company BBQ–5109 Kirby Dr. (BBQ) Open daily 11 am to 8:30 pm.  I get tips from as many sources as possible, and in this case it was an episode of Larry the Cable Guy. Information on line says this is “old school” barbecue and that it is “simple.” Larry’s show indicated it is not all that simple, and they use 12 spices for the rub on the brisket including guajillo chile. Brisket seems to be recommended here. (Dining room is open 9-26-21)

Helen’s Kitchen–14608 S. Post Oak Rd. (Jamaican) Closed Sun & Mon.  Serves traditional Jamaican food along with tropical drinks. (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Himalaya–6652 Southwest Freeway (Indian & Pakistani) Closed Mon.  Seems to serve authentic food from Indian & Pakistan, but many dishes are not ones commonly found in restaurants in the U.S. This is not a Nepali restaurant although it may have some dishes from there as well. (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Hong Kong Food Street–9750 Bellaire Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Authentic Cantonese. Specializes in inexpensive, everyday type of food. Congee is good. Also has upscale food such as roast duck. Open until 2:00 AM every day. (Dining room is open 6-25-20)

Hu’s Cookiing–2502 W. Holcombe Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily (closed from 3 pm to 5 pm).  Reviewers say this is one of the top Chinese restaurants in the city and one of the ones that is authentic. Has Sichuan dishes (including one of my favorites–shredded pork with garlic sauce) but I think the menu items are from various parts of China. (Dining room is open 9-26-21)

Hugo’s–1600 Westheimer Rd. (Mexican) Dinner daily; lunch on Fri & Sat.  Authentic alta cocina Mexican food. Expect to pay about $25 to $30 for a dinner (but you get the real deal). Mole is one of the specialties. Owner won a James Beard award for the best chef in the Southwest. (Dining room is open 6-25-20)

Huynh–912 St. Emanuel St. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am t 9 pm (closed Sun).  This seems to be a consensus choice as one of the two best Vietnamese restaurants in the city to “explore the menu” (banh xeo, bun bo hue, etc.). (Nam Giao is the other restaurant to check out). (Dining room is open 6-25-20)

Kasra Persian–9741 Westheimer Rd. (Persian) Open Daily. Looks like it has an extensive menu with items not served in other cities. Chicken barg is recommended. Everything on the menu gets good reviews. Not as expensive as Cafe Caspian but is still very good (the food here more like you would have at a typical Persian meal. (Dining room is open 6-25-20)

Lankford Grocery–88 Dennis St. (Hamburgers) Open 7 am to 3 pm (closed Mon).  This is supposed to be the best place in Houston for hamburgers. Hubcap also gets good reviews (Hubcap is located downtown, 1133 W. 19th St., and Kemah). (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Los Perros–9385 Richmond Ave. (Colombian) 5 pm to late night Wed-Sat.  This is a food truck so I’m giving an approximate address according to Google Maps. Serves Colombian street food (people like it for a late night snack). (Takeout only 8-13-21)

Lucille’s–5512 La Branch St. (Southern) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  A segment on CBS This Morning Saturday indicated that this is Southern cooking, but that it is “evolved.” The owner went to Europe to get ideas, and the idea she uses is to serve food that is upscale with “none of the bad stuff” (that makes people consider southern cooking to be unhealthy). Lucille’s great grandmother invented the hot biscuits that were served on American Airlines, and Lucille serves them in the restaurant. (Dining room is open 8-13-21)

Mala Sichuan Bistro–9348 Bellaire Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Tue.  Authentic Sichuan cuisine that give you “both the traditional and the adventurous.” I got excited when I saw that people were recommending shredded pork with garlic sauce. (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Mi Bella Honduras–1806 Wirt Rd. (Honduran) Open daily (serves breakfast).  Good place to try authentic Honduran dishes (there are other Honduran restaurants in the city but this looks like a good bet if you can only try one). (Dining room is open 8-1-20)

Nam Giao–6938 Wilcrest Dr. (Vietnamese) Open 9 am to 9 pm (closed Thu).  This and Huynh are supposed to be the best “full menu” Vietnamese restaurants in the city. As far as which one to go to–this is on the west side and Huynh is downtown, they are closed on different days, and this apparently has central Vietnamese food while Huynh has southern Vietnamese food. (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Niko Niko’s–2520 Montrose Blvd. (Greek) Open Daily.  Just about everyone says this is the best Greek in town. Has a fairly extensive menu. Has 2 other locations. (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Ninfa’s–2704 Navigation Blvd. (Tex-Mex) Open Daily to 10 pm (11 Fri & Sat).  Many say this is the best Tex-Mex in Houston (but some say it only used to be the best). Recommended are enchiladas suizas, homemade tortillas, tacos al carbon. (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Oporto–125 W. Gray St. (Portuguese) Open Daily. Portuguese tapas restaurant. The food is described as primarily seafood cooked in an olive oil base. Food and wine are both good–it’s a little upscale, but ordering a few items is not expensive. It may be best to go with a group to sample more items. (Dining room is open 8-1-20)

Parrilla Colombiana–6053 Bissonnet St. (Colombian) Open daily to 6 pm. There are at least three dozen Colombian restaurants in Houston. This one has good reviews and is authentic–one reviewer says this is the only place that is exactly like it is in Colombia. Empanadas are recommended. Lunch specials are very cheap. (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Pasha–2325 University Blvd. (Turkish) Open 11 am to 10 pm (closed Mon).  This looks like one of the better Middle Eastern restaurants in Houston. Menu consists of Turkish items (seems to give you a feast at dinner but smaller dinners at a good price at lunch). (Dining room is open 8-1-20)

Peking Cuisine–8332 SW Freeway (Chinese) Open Daily 11am to 9pm.  Authentic Beijing style food (also has Sichuan dishes). Serves duck, but Peking duck must be ordered in advance. (Dining room is open 6-25-20)

Pho Binh Trailer–10928 Beamer Rd. (Vietnamese) Open 8 am to 3 pm (closed Mon).  This is not a trailer but a real restaurant, and some of the city’s food writers who have tried every known Vietnamese restaurant say this one has the best pho. (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Pizaro’s Pizza Napoletana–1000 W. Gray St. (Pizza) Open noon to 9 pm–10 on weekends (closed Mon).  Serves authentic Neapolitan style pizza and is certified by the Vera Pizza Napoletana organization. (Dining room is open 9-26-21)

Polonia–1780 Blalock Rd. (Polish) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Mon).  Pierogi, cabbage roll, roast pork, soup, kielbasa. (Temporarily closed 7-23-21)

Que Huong–13438 Bellaire Blvd. (Vietnamese) Closed Tue.  Reviewers recommend it for a large selection of Vietnamese dishes (non-pho). Regular menu items are pricey because they are large–meant for family style dining (but lunch specials are cheap). (Dining room is open 6-25-20)

Revival Market–550 Heights Blvd. (Cafe) Open to 4 pm (closed Mon).  Has a wide range of food, and all of it is locally sourced. This means that the menu is not always the same because they only serve things that are fresh (this includes fresh shrimp from the Gulf when it is available). Breakfast seems to be the most popular meal at the restaurant, and it looks very good. (Dining room is open 8-1-20)

Rice Bowl–11324 Fondren Rd. (Indonesian) Closed Sun.  Google Maps says it’s a Chinese restaurant. Supposedly it has Indonesian food but reviewers don’t mention it. Reviewers on Chowhound indicate that the Indonesian menu is limited, but does have telor balado (deep fried eggs), beef rendang, ayam goreng, etc. (Takeout only 9-26-21)

San Dong Noodle House–9938 Bellaire Blvd. (Chinese) Open 10 am to 9 pm (closed Mon).  Has excellent Chinese dumplings. #20 (leek pork dumplings) in broth is suggested. Small, casual place with cheap prices. (Dining room is open 9-26-21)

Shanghai–9116 Bellaire Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Wed.  Reviewers say this is one of the few truly authentic Chinese rests. in Houston. Chef tofu special is popular. (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Shri Balaji Bhavan–5655 Hillcroft Ave. (Indian) Closed Tue.  Authentic South Indian–supposedly the best place in town for dosa. Food is all vegetarian. (Dining room is open 8-1-20)

Sinh Sinh–9788 Bellaire Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily 10 am to late night (after midnight). This was personally recommended to me by some friends who in turn heard about it from their friends in Houston. This is a good place for Cantonese style food, including upscale dishes such as roast duck and roast pork. Noodle soup is also recommended. (Dining room is open 8-13-21)

Street Food Thai Market–1010 W. Cavalcade St. (Thai) Open daily (closes at 8:30 weekdays).  Maybe the most authentic Thai restaurant in Houston, although it appears to have some Lao dishes as well. People who have traveled to Thailand say the flavor here is the real deal. One person recommends khao mun gai as a good thing to try for first time diners because the ginger sauce is so delicious (but almost everything here is reported as being excellent by the people who review them). (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Tan Tan–6816 Ranchester Dr. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 10 pm Mon-Thu; 11 am to midnight Fri-Sun.  Very large menu–seems to be good food. Known for the hot pot. (Dining room is open 9-26-21)

Taqueria Aguascalientes–2809 Broadway St. (Mexican) Open daily (serves breakfast-open until 10 pm).  The most popular Mexican food in Houston seems to be street tacos. This is the place that looks best to me, and has the best reviews (but there are many others that look very good also). (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Taste of Nigeria–5959 Richmond Ave. (Nigerian) Dinner only (closed Mon).  Has extensive menu that is popular with Houston’s large West African immigrant community. (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Zaab-Der–14642 Memorial Dr. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 3 to 4:30 pm).  This is exclusively Isan style from northeastern Thailand. Reviews are good, and it seems that the staff will explain the food to anyone who is not familiar with it. (Dining room is open 9-26-21)

Note: Suya Hut at 11720 W. Airport Blvd. is where you can get Nigerian style skewers (it is takeout only as of 8-13-21)

Jolly Jolly Bakery at 6275 S. Hwy 6 is where you can get Nigerian style bread and other treats (such as chicken pie). It is also takeout only as of 8-13-21

Udipi Cafe–5959 Hillcroft Ave. (Indian) Closed Mon. Vegetarian South Indian. Has thali (but reviewers say chutneys are below par). Good variety of dosa. Also in Sugar Land (3551 Hwy. 6). (Dining room is open 8-1-20)

Vieng Thai–6929 Long Point Rd. (Thai) Open Daily.  Authentic and flavorful.  One advantage over many others is that they do not use MSG. Some say the owners have made the food somewhat less authentic because it has gotten so popular they’ve had to streamline their operation (but I think if you want the most authentic version they can still do it). (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Xochi–1777 Walker St. (Mexican) Closed Mon; Dinner only Tue-Sat; Lunch only Sun.  Serves upscale Oaxacan cuisine.(Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Note: The City-Data discussion on Houston’s most underrated cuisine is mainly about the best cuisines (underrated or not). These include Barbecue, Seafood, Cajun, Soul Food, Greek, Persian, Turkish, Mexican, Tex-Mex, Colombian, Venezuelan, Caribbean, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Vietnamese, Chinese

Katy

Phat Eatery–23119 Colonial Pkwy. (Malaysian) Open Daily.  Malaysian street food with very good reviews. Seafood is a specialty. (Dining room is open 7-23-21)

Pearland

Killen’s BBQ–3613 E. Broadway St. (BBQ) Closed Mon.  Many rate it as the best barbecue in the Houston area. Brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, turkey, pulled pork (but it looks as if brisket is their best item). Sides are very good also. There is usually a wait (which I think involves standing in line waiting for a table). After 2015 they expanded the hours to 8 pm (9 pm on weekends), so this seems to have reduced the rush they had at noon when wait times were very long (and they frequently ran out of certain items). (Dining room is open 9-5-20)

T J Filipino–1826 Country Place Pkwy. (Filipino) Open 7:30 am to 7 pm (closed Sun dinner).  Filipino people say this restaurant has a better taste than others (normally they do not like restaurants–just cooking at home). Is a buffet, but it doesn’t seem to cost more than if you got one or two items from a menu. (Dining room is open 8-13-21)

Rosenberg

Schulze’s BBQ–1214 1st St. (BBQ) Open daily except Sun evening.  A popular place for “Brazos Valley” style BBQ (cooked with pecan wood). (Dining room is open 6-25-20)

Witt Pit–2516 1st St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  A well known place for “Brazos Valley” style BBQ (uses pecan wood for cooking). Maybe the better of the two Rosenberg BBQ places, based on reviews. (Dining room is open 8-13-21)

Seabrook

Merlion Thai–1205 Main St. (Thai) Dinner only (closed Mon).  Specializes in Thai seafood, and the chef’s specials include Thai basil red curry sauce with red snapper, red curry with shrimp, and a number of similar dishes. It is not cheap, but seems to be considered one of the best Thai restaurants in the U.S. (Dining room is open 10-16-21)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.
Sources:

Chowhound (Houston)

City-Data (Houston BBQ)

City-Data (Most Underrated Cuisine of Houston)

Eater.com (The 38 Essential Houston Restaurants)

Gayot (2021 Best Pizza Restaurants in the U.S.A.)

Houston Matters (Houston Vietnamese Food)

No Passport Required (Houston)

Reddit (Best Fried Shrimp)

Trip Advisor (Houston BBQ)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Houston)

Zomato (Houston)

Restaurant Guide–Dallas/Fort Worth

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Texas

Austin | El Paso | Houston | Rio Grande Valley | San Antonio


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Addison

Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill–5000 Belt Line Rd. (Steakhouse) Open Daily. The reviews here are excellent, and it is not over the top in price (steaks are about $35 and other entrees, such as salmon, are about $25). Has other choices besides steak, such as a Seattle style smoked salmon. Both lunch and dinner menus start at about $15 for entrees. Side dishes are very good, as are the complimentary popovers. This looks like a worthy special occasion restaurant. (Dining room is open 7-27-20)

Allen

A Bite of Lao and Thai–945 W. Stacy Rd. (Lao & Thai) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 4 pm).  Reviews are good and they say the spice level is good. Menu is extensive, and the selection of Lao food looks good. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Arlington

Fork in the Road–1821 S. Fielder Rd. (American) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Positive reviews, and people especially like the burgers, sandwiches (such as Ruben) and mac and cheese. Many people say these items are the best they have ever tasted. (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Halo Hawaiian BBQ & Poke–2613 W. Park Row Dr. (Hawaiian) Closed Mon.  Reviewers say the food is very good, and the choice of items seems to be very large compared to the typical Hawaiian restaurant. (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Havana Bar & Grill–3701 Cooper St. (Cuban) Open daily (late night Sat).  Reviewers say this is legit Cuban food, and is a very good place to get a Cuban sandwich. The setting is very downscale, though (too much for some)–this happens mainly after 8 pm when they turn down the lights and go into “night club mode” with Spanish language TV playing. (Dining room is open 8-15-20)

Ocean Chinese Seafood–1510 New York Ave. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Seems to be the best choice in the Mid-Cities for authentic Chinese food (also has Americanized items on the menu). Is a little bit fusion with Vietnamese fire pot and Vietnamese coffee. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Taste of Europe–1901 W. Pioneer Pkwy. (Russian) Lunch Sat & Sun; Dinner Fri-Sun.  I was looking for German restaurants, but this one had better ratings, and seems worth a visit.  All food is made from scratch, and takes a while to prepare. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Thai Basil Leaf–805 W. Park Row Dr. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Seems to be an authentic Thai restaurant in an area where authentic food is less well known or appreciated, but local people do appreciate how delicious it is (according to most reviews).  For very spicy items they warn you about it and give you a chance to order it less spicy. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

Bedford

Jan Thai Kitchen–313 Harwood Rd. (Lao) Closed Tue (and closed from 3 pm to 4 pm).  Reviewers say it is Lao style (not Thai) and that it is so good it is a “must try.” Papaya salad, tom yum soup, and curry are recommended, but reviewers order a wide range of items and seem to like them all. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Burleson

Jamaican Summers–217 W. Renfro St. (Jamaican) Dinner only (open Wed-Sat).  Jerk chicken is the most well know dish in Jamaican cuisine but reviewers seem to like everything here. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Rice Master–1185 N. Burleson Blvd. (Korean) Closed Mon.  Reviewers say this is very good Korean food served in an inexpensive and casual setting (I think it doesn’t have the side dishes served in traditional Korean restaurants). (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Carrollton

A1 Chinese BBQ–1927 E. Belt Line Rd. (Chinese) Closed Mon. Formerly First Chinese BBQ-reviews indicate that the new restaurant is even better. Authentic Cantonese style food. Roast duck and roast pork are a couple of the biggest sellers, but it has a full menu of Cantonese food. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Cuban Dulceria–2662 N. Josey Ln. (Cuban) Open Tue-Sat 9 am to 5 pm. One of several good Cuban restaurants in the city, but reviewers especially like this one.  It is a hole in the wall market and grocery with limited hours, but sandwiches and guava pastry are especially good (the food menu is limited to sandwiches). (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Taste of Chengdu–2532 Old Denton Rd. (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 9:30 pm.  This appears to be authentic Sichuanese food. Most really like the food provided they can find the right spice level. This is a relatively new restaurant with only a few reviews, but it appears that a good approach is to find an interesting looking dish (all of them seem to be good) and be very conservative on the spice level until you know you would be comfortable with it being higher (which would require return visits). (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Cockrell Hill

El Mana–4448 W. Jefferson Blvd. (Salvadorean) Open Daily. Reviewers say the pupusas here are the real deal, and many others are Americanized (and also say that these are better). (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Dallas

Abyssinia Grocery–9191 Forest Ln. (Ethiopian) Open 7 am to 7 pm (closed Sun evening).  Grocery store where they also serve food platters that have really good reviews. They say the food is spicy. Map (Dining room is open 10-30-21)

Avila’s–4714 Maple Ave. (Tex-Mex) Open Daily.  Very popular Tex-Mex (but you can get authentic items also). (Dining room is open 7-27-20)

Baboush–3636 McKinney Ave. (Moroccan) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Very good reviews. Tajine is recommended. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

Banana Leaf–17370 Preston Rd. (Thai) Open Daily.  Many say it’s the best Thai in Dallas (I am suspicious of this because it is located in an upscale neighborhood, while the authentic places are usually hole-in-the-wall places). Nevertheless, it gets very good reviews. (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Caribbean Cabana–920 S. Harwood St. (Trinidad and Tobago) Open daily 10 am to 7 pm (closes 6 pm Sat) (closed Mon).  With all the other Caribben restaurants in town, there is still room to put this on the list because the food is so good (according to reviewers, and I would say based on the photos also). Located in the Farmers Market, it has some tables but all orders are served in to-go containers. People say the price is a little steep, though. (Takeout and delivery only 9-25-21)

Celebration–4503 W. Lovers Ln. (American) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 5:30 pm).  Good southern style food. Chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken, rosemary chicken, banana pudding. Farm to table restaurant–open since 1971. (Dining room is open 7-27-20)

Cuzco–9220 Skillman St. (Peruvian) Closed Mon. Said to be authentic and very good Peruvian food. Photos indicate that it has a very large variety of dishes. (Dining room is open 7-27-20)

El Fenix–1601 McKinney Ave. (Tex-Mex) Open daily 11 am to 8 pm.  This is a sentimental favorite of mine because it is where I went for Tex-Mex when I lived in Dallas. Reviewers say the food has not changed (for better or worse), but I’m glad one of the original Tex-Mex restaurants is still serving the same food. (Dining room is open 7-27-20)

Havana Cafe–1152 N. Buckner Blvd. (Cuban) Open Daily.  High priced for what you get, but this seems to be the place to come in Dallas where you will be assured of getting food as it would be served in Miami. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Ka-Tip Thai Street Food–1011 S. Pearl Expwy. (Thai) Closed Mon (and closed from 2-5 pm except weekends).  This is Isan style Thai street food from a Farmer’s Market food stall. One reviewer says he does not like the made up version of Thai at some restaurants but the authentic Thai served here is amazing. Another reviewer says this is better than the Thai food in New York City. (I think they have both indoor and outdoor dining 9-25-21)

Meso Maya–1611 McKinney Ave. (Mexican) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm. Authentic Yucatan food (reviews are very good). Prices are over $20 for their special dishes, but plenty of choices are available that are less expensive. Has several locations in the Metroplex (including Ft. Worth). The one on McKinney has the best reviews on Yelp. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

Pecan Lodge–2702 Main St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 8 pm (11-3 on Mon).  There seems to be a consensus that this is the best BBQ in Dallas. Many people stand in line and wait for it to open at 11 am. Brisket, pork ribs, mac & cheese, hot mess potato. Food seems to be more consistent than at many BBQ restaurants. Sausage is German/Czech style. Warning: may have to use pay parking to find a parking spot. Another warning: they often sell out of some items before the closing time. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Pupuseria Los Gemelos-116 S. Carrol Ave. (El Salvadoran) Open daily except Mon evening & Tue evening. According to reviews, is a great place to get authentic El Salvadoran food and also a great place to save money compared to other Latin American restaurants. (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Veracruz Cafe–408 N. Bishop Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily. Authentic food of good quality–a nice change from typical Tex-Mex food. Food comes from various towns in Veracruz. Pipian chicken, mole, adobo de puerco, and pescado veracruzano are some of the specialties. Prices I have seen are by far the best of the Dallas authentic Mexican restaurants. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

Denton

Boca 31–207 S. Bell Ave. (Latin American) Cunch only (closed Sun & Mon).  According to Yelp reviewers this is one of the best restaurants in Denton, and in the entire DFW area. Empanadas are especially popular, but has other items (and they are good as well). (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Thai Square–209 W. Hickory (Thai) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Good reviews, especially for the curries and noodle dishes. Sometimes I think Thai restaurants get good reviews because they make the food sweet for American tastes. I could not tell if that was the case here, but someone said the Thai tea was not too sweet, so I am assuming that the food is the same way. In any case, it looks like a good choice for Denton dining. Some say the panang and masaman curry are best (better than red or green). (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Everman

Madea’s Down Home Cooking–1019 W. Enon Ave. (Soul Food) Open 11 am to 7 pm (Closed Sun evening & Mon).  Seems to be higher quality than mosst other soul food places and ratings are very good. Meat loaf, oxtail, and catfish are some of the recommended items. Map (Dining room is open 10-30-21)

Fate

Four Czechs Bakery–104 E. Fate Main Pl. (Czech) Open until noon (closed Mon & Tue).  Reviewers say these are some of the best kolaches they have ever had. Has both fruit and sausage varieties. Located between Rockwall and Royce City. Map (Dining room is open 10-30-21)

Flower Mound

Currys Indian Cafe–1901 Long Prairie Rd. (Indian) Closed Mon.  Authentic South Indian food (dosa, biryani, etc.). Also has northern food such as chicken tikka masala (reviewers like this as well). (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Rustico Wood Fired Grill–3701 Justin Rd. (Pizza) Dinner only (closed Sun).  Known for it wood fired pizza, but has a pretty large menu of upscale dishes (steak, etc.). Has a number of Italian dishes but is not exclusively Italian (it is more like New American). I think this is part of a chain that had a restaurant in El Paso that I never got to try, but many people said it was the best pizza in El Paso. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Forney

Stiky Ribz BBQ–9705 Helms Trail (BBQ) Open Thu-Sun (Sun open to 5 pm only).  Good reviews in an area of the country where people are very particular about BBQ. Brisket and beef ribs are particularly recommended. Mac & cheese and banana pudding are said to be excellent. (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Fort Worth

Cannon Chinese Kitchen–304 W. Cannon St. (Chinese) Dinner only (closed Sun).  Said to be authentic in its cooking style (but some say they don’t do it as well as in Houston). There is some reference to it being Taiwanese style. Dumplings, pork ribs, and duck fried rice are popular. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Cousin’s BBQ–6262 McCart Ave. (BBQ) Closed Sun.  Winner of the Red River BBQ Shootout. Brisket, ribs, chicken. 2 other locations in SW Ft Worth. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Del Campo Empanadas–10724 N. Beach St. (Argentinian) Open daily except Sun evening.  Serves Argentina style empanadas. Chimicurri is also popular (it is a sauce they serve on an Angus beef empanada, sausage, or other items. Empanadas come with meat, vegetable, and sweet options. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

El Merendero–3000 South Freeway (Honduran) Open Daily.  I’m reluctant to put this on the list because it has so few reviews, but how they describe the food is why it’s on the list. Serves traditional Honduran food (several items look like food that is not typical of any other Central American country). Not spicy like Mexican food, but reviewers say it tastes good. Also in Dallas. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Enchiladas Ole–2418 Forest Park Blvd. (Tex-Mex) Open daily except Sun lunch.  From the reviews I gather that this is very good Tex-Mex (good quality with good flavors), and is known for the beef (the beef is actually from a friend’s barbecue restaurant). Serves mole enchiladas (which reviewers say has an excellent flavor). (Dining room is open 8-30-20)

Esperanza’s–2122 N. Main St. (Mexican) Open daily 6:30 am to 6 pm.  Down home style Mexican restaurant that is known for its breakfasts. It is also a bakery, so pan dulce is popular. Lunch items (enchiladas, etc.) appear to be Tex-Mex style. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Gia Phu–913 E. Berry St. (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Normally people think of the best Vietnamese restaurants as being in Haltom City, but this one is very good, located on the south side of town, and has a varied menu which includes pho, vermicelli bowls, and pork chop. It’s in a small bldg. with a divey atmosphere, but the food looks as good as anyplace. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Heim Barbecue–1109 W. Magnolia Ave. (BBQ) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  One of the highest rated barbecue restaurants by Yelp reviewers. This is traditional Texas BBQ. Many people like the meat combo, but brisket and ribs are particularly recommended. (Dining room is open 8-30-20)

Joe T. Garcia’s–2201 N. Commerce St. (Tex-Mex) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 5 pm weekdays). Good food, but maybe not up to level of the best places in San Antonio and Houston. Very long running restaurant, and I assume it still has old style Tex-Mex. (Dining room is open 8-30-20)

Little Germany–6737 Camp Bowie Blvd. (German) Open Daily.  Seems to be the highest rated German food in the Ft Worth area. Small restaurant where you are paying for the food and not the atmosphere or the “show” they sometimes have in German restaurants. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Los Asaderos–1535 N. Main St. (Tex-Mex) Closed Tue.  Reviewers say it’s as good as Joe T’s at half the price. Enchiladas poblanas, asado de puerco, fajitas (I think it is Tex-Mex combined with some traditional items). (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Ol’ South Pancake House–1509 S. University Dr. (American) Open daily (open 24 hours on Fri & Sat).  An independent pancake house (not a chain) that has been around for as long as I can remember. German pancakes are recommended by reviewers. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Reata–310 Houston St. (Steaks) Open Daily.  Normally I don’t list steakhouses, but considering this is “Cowtown” and is so highly rated, it’s probably worth trying. Has a number of Mexican or Mexican-inspired dishes such as tamales, tortilla soup, etc. (these are recommended). (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Swiss Pastry Shop–3936 W. Vickery Blvd. (Sandwiches) Food served to 3:30 but bakery is apparently open until 5 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  German themed sandwiches and hamburgers are served for lunch. Most people, though, especially like the pastries. The black forest is popular. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

Frisco

Chennai Cafe–3301 Preston Rd. (Indian) Open Daily (closed from 2:30 to 5:30 pm).  South Indian (spicy). Dosa is the specialty. Thali is good (available at lunch and on weekends). I’m impressed by the variety on the menu. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

Platia–2995 Preston Rd. (Greek) Open Daily. Reviewers say the Greek food here is the same as can be found in Chicago (which to them is a very good thing). Prices are reasonable, and menu runs from gyros to more elaborate dishes. (Dining room is open 8-15-20)

Sweet Rice–252 W. Stonebrook Pkwy. (Lao) Open Daily.  Seems to have the real deal Lao food. Curry is a favorite (as it has been with me when when I have gone to Lao restaurants). Also in Allen TX and Auburn WA. (Dining room is open 8-15-20)

Garland

Gloria’s Indian Kitchen–1546 Rowlett Rd. (Indian) Open Daily.  Small family run business and Indian market that serves South Indian food from Kerala province. Not much on decor but you get the “real deal” Indian food. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Kamp Fire–520 Shepherd Dr. (Cambodian) Closed Sun & Mon.  Authentic Cambodian food. (Takeout only 9-25-21)

Meshack’s BBQ–240 E. Ave. B (BBQ) Open 10:30 am to 5 pm (closed Sun & Mon). Some of the best barbecue in Dallas, according to locals. The down sides are that it is take-out only (this is not an actual restaurant), the lines are long, they usually run out of food before closing time, and side dishes (such as potato salad) do not always get good ratings. Meat is cooked on pecan wood. Ribs and beef are recommended (my rule of thumb is to get chopped beef if you like lots of sauce and sliced beef otherwise). (Takeout only 6-19-21)

Mi Pueblito Colombiano–2030 W. Buckingham Rd. (Colombian) Closed Mon & closed Sun evening.  Small restaurant that is not well known, but reviewers say they put out excellent food. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Grapevine

Cafe Italia–2647 Ira E. Woods Ave. (Italian) Open Daily.  Based on the reviews I think both this and Ristorante Mulino in Southlake are excellent, but this seems to be a little more upscale. (Dining room is open 8-15-20)

Tommy Tamale–1689 W. Northwest Hwy. (Mexican) Open 10 am to 7 pm (closed Sun).  Has several menu items, but tamales are what reviewers say are best. Located inside a shopping center–has both a restaurant and a market where they sell tamales by the dozen. (Dining room is open 8-15-20)

Weinberger’s Deli–601 S. Main St. (Sandwiches) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closes at 3 pm on Sun).  Northeastern style deli with a wide selection of excellent sandwiches. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Haltom City

Bun Dong Ba–4023 E. Belknap St. (Vietnamese) Closed Tue.  This seems to be a Vietnamese restaurant for the adventurous eater–to get things you can’t find in other places. For pho, reviewers recommend the spicy pho with spices you can’t find anywhere else. Banh xeo is especially recommended. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

My Lan–4015 E. Belknap St. (Vietnamese) Open 9 am to 9 pm (closed Wed).  There are a lot of good Vietnamese restaurants in Haltom City and the surrounding area, but this is one of the most popular. People say to get the vermicelli noodle dishes, egg rolls, and boba drinks. Also can get hard to find items such as banh hoi and tau hu ky (bean curd skin). (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Sikhay–3301 NE 28th St. (Lao) Open Daily.  Seems to be good and authentic Lao food. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

Hurst

Sweet Basil Thai–977 Melbourne Rd. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 5 pm weekdays).  Reviewers say this is one of the top tier Thai restaurants in the Metroplex. Reviewers like the curry, stir-fried, soups, and noodle dishes equally (it’s good across the menu). (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Irving

Empa Mundo–3977 N. Belt Line Rd. (Argentinian) Open Daily.  Argentinian style empanadas with various fillings. Some say the best ones are the daily specials (check the board behind the cash register). (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Fortune House–8150 N. MacArthur Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily (closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Google Maps says it has Shanghai style dim sum. Specializes in soup dumplings, other dumplings, buns, etc. Does not look as good as the restaurants in Richardson, but reviews are good. (Dining room is open 7-27-20)

Nalinh Market–1716 E. State Hwy. 356 (Lao) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Mon). Small hole in the wall with Lao food that is said to be very good. When eating in the restaurant it appears to be serve yourself and sit at a long table. Map (Dining room is open 10-30-21)

Via Real–4020 N. MacArthur Blvd. (Mexican) Open daily except Sat lunch.  $$ on Yelp, but I think it’s more expensive than this. This is upscale with “Santa Fe” style food. Some dishes look authentic, but they are things like steak, adobo shrimp enchiladas, pork tenderloin, etc (expensive items).  The “Tex-Mex” portion of the menu has items such as squash enchiladas (at a very reasonable price). The food may not be totally authentic, but it appears to be a very big player in the list of upscale Dallas Mexican restaurants (with good reviews of the food). (Dining room is open 7-27-20)

Justin

The Cafe in Justin–417 N. Sealey Ave. (American) Open 7 am to 2 pm (closed Sun).  Home style cooking, but ratings are higher than most similar cafe/diner type restaurants. Chicken fried steak is popular, but the menu has just about everything (and reviewers like all of them). (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Keller

Sea Siam–940 Keller Parkway (Thai) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2:30 pm to 5 pm).  Dining room looks very small (so don’t come here for the atmosphere). Most popular items are drunken noodles, coconut soup, and yellow curry. I have found a very good coconut soup to be very hard to come by, so I think it would be worth coming here for this. Down side is that curries other than yellow do not have great reviews. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Lewisville

Inlay Burmese–500 E. Round Grove Rd. (Burmese) Open 11 am to 9:30 pm (closed Sun).  Family owned, and reviewers say you get home cooked Burmese food here. Tea leaf salad is an iconic Burmese dish that they have here. Chicken curry, chili chicken, and anything with coconut or basil are popular. (Dining room is open 10-23-21)

Maia’s Asian–1890 S. Old Orchard Ln. (Cambodian) Open 2:30 pm through dinner time (closed Mon).  Has some Thai and more familiar dishes, but reviewers seem to like the Cambodian food the best (such as the noodles). This and Rumdoul in Rowlett seem to be the highest rated Cambodian restaurants. Map (Dining room is open 10-30-21)

Pho One–2305 S. SH 121 (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Good pho and banh mi. Menu is not as large as in the Dallas restaurants, but quality is similar. Reviewers say it’s popular with people from Denton who want to get good food without driving into Dallas. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Note: Addresses on SH 121 are on Business 121–not the new SH 121

McKinney

Hutchins BBQ–1301 N. Tennessee St. (BBQ) Open Daily. One of the best BBQ restaurants in the Metroplex, but one thing that makes it special is that it is an actual restaurant (and is open until at least 9 pm every day). Long list of good meats–brisket seems to be the most popular. Burnt ends get very good reviews. Another location in Frisco but in Jun 2020 it is takeout only. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

Noodle Wave–2775 S. Central Expwy. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 3 to 4:30 pm weekdays). High quality Thai food, although some are not impressed by the fried rice. Reviewers mentioned that there is no alcohol, and they do not allow BYOB. There are 4 locations in the north Dallas area. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

Mesquite

Jamaica Cook Shop–2033 Military Pkwy. (Jamaican) Open daily except Sun evening.  Counter service that serves food in to-go containers (but there are tables in the restaurant). Jerk chicken and stew chicken are popular. I think most items come on a plate with side dishes, and this seems to be the best Jamaican food experience for most people. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Plano

Boxochops–8500 Ohio Dr. (Nigerian) Open 11 am to 7 pm–8 pm on Fri & Sat (closed Sun & Mon).  I do not automatically put all ethnic food on this list, but I do when they have almost a 5 star rating. Many like the “snack box” with a variety of items. Much or all of the food is something you eat with your hands but they are not snacks–this is the real food that Nigerians eat. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Kumar’s–1301 Custer Rd. (Indian) Open daily (closed from 3 to 5:30pm). South Indian–has both vegetarian and meat items. Thali for weekend lunch, but I’m not sure if it’s served at other times. Also in Coppell and Frisco. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

Latin Pig–3131 Custer Rd. (Cuban) Open Wed-Sat (closes at 7 pm on Wed &Thu-8 pm Fri & Sat).  Good reviews, and people say it is authentic. Some swear by Havana Cafe in Dallas, but this looks good also (and I believe it’s cheaper–has more of a sandwich shop atmosphere). (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Little Sichuan–240 Legacy Dr. (Chinese) Open Daily 11 am to 9:30 pm. Authentic. Get a white board special. Has a picture menu to show you what you are ordering. (Takeout and delivery only 9-25-21)

Oceanic Thai–1501 Preston Rd. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 3 to 5 pm weekdays). People say it is authentic, very good, and reasonably priced (by Dallas standards). Everything is good–there is nothing reviewers say to skip or is not as good as the other dishes. (Dining room is open 8-15-20)

Secret Recipe–2304 Coit Rd.. (Malaysian) Open daily to 8:30 pm. Seems to be the best place in Dallas for Malaysian food. Menu is very large and it may be hard to know what to order or whether you are ordering one of the best dishes (my experience in Seattle is that there is no such thing as a bad dish when it comes to Malaysian food). Note: there is also a location at 1404 W. Hebron Pkwy. in Carrollton. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Wu Wei Din–2909 W. 15th St. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Authentic Sichuan style food. Some recommended items are mapo tofu, Singapore noodles, dan dan noodles. Some say it is Taiwanese, but if true this goes along with the spicy Chinese food they serve. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Richardson

Bambu–1930 N. Coit Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 2:30 to 5:00 pm).  Isan style Thai. I think this is the real deal. Check out the blackboard specials. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

Jeng Chi–400 N. Greenville Ave. (Chinese) Open daily (closed from 3 to 4 pm).  Soup dumplings (xiao long bao).  Ask server which dumplings are the best seller. Pork with garlic sauce is also an excellent choice. (Dining room is open 8-30-20)

Kirin Court–221 W. Polk St. (Chinese) Open Daily. Dim sum all day, 7 days a week (but the “special” dim sum is Sun. until 3 PM). People say dim sum is not west coast quality, but it is good. Also serves menu items (I liked the tofu and assorted meat hot pot). (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Vegvana–100 S. Central Expressway (Indian) Closed Mon.  Vegetarian Indian food. Menu includes dosa, and has Indian style Chinese food. Reviews say it has very good food. (Dining room is open 7-27-20)

Roanoke

Doc’s Street Grill–200 James St. (Caribbean) Closed Sun & Mon.  Check their web site for exact hours because it is kind of complicated. Reviewers say this is really good (and actually addictive) Jamaican food, but it is takeout only (and not just because of Covid). (Takeout only 9-25-21)

Rockwall

Curry Express–2014 S. Goliad St. (Indian) Closed Mon (and closed from 2:30 to 5 pm).  Reviews are so good, I get the impression it is worth the drive from other parts of the Dallas metro. Prices are good (they have a lunch special with limited choices but especially good prices). It is small and seems to be basic (I don’t know if they have Indian pickle for added flavor to the food) but reviewers say the food is so flavorful you don’t need anything else. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Rowlett

Rumdoul–8602 Lakeview Pkwy. (Cambodian) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Reviewers say the lemongrass chicken, lemongrass tofu, red curry, loc lac beef, caramelized pork, and many others are must-tries. Has excellent reviews, not only for the flavor but also the freshness of the food. Map (Dining room is open 10-23-21)

Sabaidee Lao & Thai–5701 President George Bush Hwy. (Lao) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  This is a Lao & Thai restaurant, but the word “Sabaidee” is a greeting in the Lao language, and this tells me which type of food is really the specialty here (although reviewers like both of them). Small restaurant with limited table space (it might be best to go during the “off” hours). It is said to be “street food,” but if you order curry, pad thai, etc. the orders are full size. Also at 5200 Lemmon Ave. in Dallas. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Southlake

Pho B.A.E.–2120 E. Southlake Blvd. (Vietnamese) Open daily (closes at 7 pm Sun).  Pho, banh mi, and vermicelli bowls with very good reviews. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Ristorante Mulino–1125 Davis Blvd. (Italian) Closed Mon.  Reviewers say it is authentic and very delicious, but BYOB. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

University Park

Bubba’s–6617 Hillcrest Ave. (American) Open daily 6:30 am to 10 pm. Known for its fried chicken (which is almost universally praised, although some say it is too salty). The owner of this restaurant also has Babe’s (with several locations throughout the Metroplex), but Bubba’s stands out because the side dishes are better (although at Babe’s you get all the sides you can eat).  Some say the chicken and dumplings are the best dish here. Banana pudding is good for dessert. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

Chowhound (Dallas-Fort Worth)

City-Data (Dallas)

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Dallas)

Zomato (Dallas)

 

Restaurant Guide–Austin

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Texas

Dallas/Ft Worth | El Paso | Houston | Rio Grande Valley | San Antonio


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Austin

Balkan Cafe–11800 N. Lamar Blvd. (Serbian) Open daily (open to 11pm on weekends).  Sampler plate is good for first time visitors, or order something from the menu (gulash or the kabobs are a good choice). (Dining room is open 6-13-20)

Cafe Malta–3421 W. William Cannon Dr. (Mediterranean) Dinner Tue-Sun; Lunch Tue-Fri (closed Mon).  Restaurant is what I would hope from the name–serves food from Malta. Reviewers say food is good but prices are high (they serve small plates so perhaps most people order several of them in order to get a good taste of the country). (Dining room is open 9-24-21)

Chen’s Noodle House–8650 Spicewood Springs (Chinese) Closed Tue.  Go for hand shaved noodles and scallion pancakes (and a lot of other good stuff). Home cooking style of food. (Dining room is open 7-26-21)

China Palace–6605 Airport Blvd. (Chinese) Dinner only (open daily).  Ask for the Chinese menu which has authentic Taiwanese dishes (but the regular menu is good also). (Dining room is open 7-26-21)

Chinatown–3407 Greystone Dr. (Chinese) Open daily 11am to 9:30pm.  I have always been very impressed with this restaurant, and I understand it has gotten even better by adding dim sum and other authentic items.  When I went the best items were the spicy Szechuan style dishes.  Reviewers say it now offers authentic and Americanized dishes, and all of them are good. Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

Din Ho Chinese BBQ–8557 Research Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Tue.  Sounds like it would be one of my favorite places for authentic Chinese food. Chinese BBQ is the specialty of the restaurant. Also has hot pot dishes. (Dining room is open 9-24-21)

El Naranjo–2717 S. Lamar Blvd. (Mexican) Dinner Tue-Sat; Lunch Sun (closed Mon). Mexican with chef from Oaxaca City. Along with Fonda San Miguel, it is supposed to be the best authentic Mexican food in Austin. (Dining room is open 10-14-21)

El Sabor Oaxaqueno–10503 N. Lamar Blvd. (Mexican) Dinner daily; Lunch Sat & Sun.  This is a food truck with picnic tables under a canopy (because all of us who have lived in Austin know that it can occasionally have a slight bit of rain). It serves Oaxacan food fast-food style. The specialty here is Tlayudas. I don’t think they have anything with mole. (Outside dining is available 10-14-21)

Fat Dragon–8650 Spicewood Springs Rd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Serves soup dumplings (xiao long bao). Has a number of other authentic dishes, and some (but not all) look Sichuanese or other types of spicy dishes. Food looks very good but it is mainly dinners (you are not going to get lunch specials here although some dishes are no more expensive than a typical Chinese lunch). (Dining room is open 9-24-21)

Fonda San Miguel–2330 W. North Loop Blvd. (Mexican) Dinner only (closed Sun).  This is the type of upscale, authentic Mexican food I would like to see in every city, but it has been in Austin for 30 years. There are so many good items here it is hard to pick a favorite. (Dining room is open 7-26-21)

Franklin BBQ–900 E. 11th St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 2 pm-stays open to 3 pm if they still have food left (closed Mon). Reputed to be the best BBQ in Austin (and maybe in Texas). Standing in line for the food seems to be the norm. Restaurant opens at 11:00 AM, and many people start standing in line well before this time. May sell out of food before the closing time. (Takeout only 9-24-21)

Hoover’s–2002 Manor Rd. (Southern) Dinner only (closed Mon & Tue).  Discussion boards indicate that it has the best chicken fried steak in Austin (and that Threadgill’s is a close second). This is a meat plus three restaurant and apparently not everything served here is great, but when I lived in Austin the meat + 3 concept provided some of my best meals there. Chicken fried chicken is also popular here. (Dining room is open 7-26-21)

Hyde Park Bar & Grill–4206 Duval St. (American) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  Eater.com says it has the best chicken fried steak in Austin (just the right hint of buttermilk in the crust). (Dining room is open 9-24-21)

Iron Works BBQ–100 Red River St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun). Reviewers recommend Beef ribs, brisket, banana pudding, and say the sauce is excellent. I mostly remember it for the chopped brisket. Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

Jacoby’s–3235 E. Cesar Chavez St. (American) Dinner Wed-Sat; Lunch Sat & Sun (closed Mon & Tue).  Has chicken fried steak that I would like to try because it seems to be like the “classic” ones I remember. (Dining room is open 9-24-21)

Kerbey Lane Cafe–3704 Kerbey Ln. (Cafe) Open daily 7 am to 10 pm. Good for late night eating (much healthier than most of the alternatives). This is a farm to market restaurant and does serve meat, but I knew it as one of the best places for vegetarian food. (Dining room is open 7-9-20)

Licha’s Cantina–1306 E. 6th St. (Mexican) Dinner only (closed Mon); lunch on Sat.  Authentic Puebla and Oaxaca style Mexican food according to reviews and looking at the dishes served. In a bar and patio setting (the food is fairly upscale but the atmosphere is not). (Dining room is open 7-26-21)

Madam Mam’s–510 W. 26th St. (Thai) Open Daily. I read that Austin has over 70 Thai restaurants, and this is on the top of my list to try because of its reviews (also I liked the Thai rest. that was the predecessor of Madam Mam’s on Guadalupe). MM’s has two other locations. (Dining room is open 7-26-21)

Matt’s El Rancho–2613 S. Lamar Blvd. (Tex-Mex) Open Daily.  This is one of Austin’s longest running Tex-Mex restaurants, and one of its most popular. Has a large menu that will give a good “Austin Tex-Mex experience” (it may be especially good for those who have never had Austin Tex-Mex food before). (Dining room is open 6-13-20)

Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery–4909 Airport Rd. (Bakery) Open all night (only closes from noon to 7:30 pm). Get donuts fresh out of the oven. The glazed donuts coming off the conveyor belt are the best I have ever had (seriously!). A good time to go is about 9:00 PM when they are hot. (Takeout and delivery only 7-26-21)

Ramen Tatsu Ya–8557 Research Blvd. (Japanese) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm. Specialty is tonkotsu ramen. This is probably one of the best ramen places in the Southwest, if not the country. Also at 1234 S. Lamar and 1600 E. 6th St. (Dining room is open 7-26-21)

Rice Bowl–11220 N. Lamar Blvd. (Taiwanese) Closed Mon (and closed 2:30 to 4:30 pm).  Authentic food has good reviews, although they mention that there is also an Americanized menu. Onion pancake and three cup chicken are favorites. Vegetarian food is popular here. (Dining room is open 7-26-21)

Sabor Cubano El Habanero–10601 N. Lamar Blvd. (Cuban) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Small restaurant with very good reviews. Customers say it has authentic home style Cuban food. All the photos show food in styrofoam or plastic containers, but it looks like very good food. (Dining room is open 10-14-21)

Sao Paulo’s–2809 San Jacinto Blvd. (Brazilian) Lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Thu-Sat. The most recommended place in town for Brazilian food other than a steakhouse or food truck (in other words, you can sit down and enjoy a traditional Brazilian meal here). (Temporarily closed 9-24-21)

Scholz Garten–1607 San Jacinto Blvd. (German) Closed Sun evening; closed Mon & Tue.  Has a good German menu, but also other items such as chicken fried steak. Popular for “snacks” (most seem to be large enough for several people) that go with its German draft or Austin draft beer. Most people eat outside in its Biergarten (I think it has indoor dining but I don’t have personal experience with it). (Dining room is open 10-14-21)

Sichuan River–4534 West Gate Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 9:30 pm.  Reviewers say this is authentic Sichuanese food. Photos of the food posted on line convince me that this is the real deal. (Dining room is open 7-26-21)

Trudy’s Texas Star–409 W. 30th St. (Southwest) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  This is not one of my fondest memories for the food, but it is a good choice particularly when you need to eat after 9 pm, and I think it succeeds where most chain restaurants fail (having a wide variety of items with all of them being pretty good). Here they also have a number of Mexican and Texas style Mexican dishes, although they are not classic Tex-Mex style. (Dining room is open 10-14-21)

Wu Chow–500 W. 5th St. (Chinese) Closed Sat lunch, closed Sun evening (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Shanghai style noodles. Dim sum and steamed dumplings on menu. Reviewers say the food has a home made flavor. (Dining room is open 10-13-21)

Xian–1801 E. 51st St. (Chinese) Open daily (closed from 2:45 to 5 pm).  Hand pulled noodles and dumplings are good. (Dining room is open 7-26-21)

Del Valle

Little Thailand–4315 Caldwell Ln. (Thai) Closed Mon (and closed from 2 to 4 pm weekdays).  Thai food that tastes home made–the menu is simple but the food is very good. I tried the pad thai, but other dishes that look good include the curries (all the curries are recommended by reviewers), their “Specialty Entrees” (with items such as pad prik khing), and soups (they have a good selection). Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

Driftwood

Hays City Store–8989 FM 150 W (Gastropub) Open Daily.  This is said to be one of the top places in the Austin area for chicken fried steak. The menu is varied, though, and other items such as crab cakes also get good reviews. (Dining room is open 7-26-21)

Salt Lick BBQ–18300 FM 1826 (BBQ) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm. Get ribs first, then brisket (ribs are best).  Has both beef and pork ribs. Sides seem to be a weakness of this place. Customarily has long lines waiting to get in. (Dining room is open 7-26-21)

Georgetown

Mango Tango–114 E. 7th St. (Cambodian) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun evening & Mon).  Good reviews, and it seems that everyone likes the food. Cambodian noodles are said to be very good, but there are many items that look good. Menu items have names like “stir fried squash” and “ginger delight” rather than their Cambodian names, and I think this makes it easier for people to know what to order. Looks like a good concept with very good food. (Dining room is open 9-24-21)

Lago Vista

Four Brothers–7500 Lohman Ford Rd. (Venezuelan) Closed Mon & Tue.  This is a food truck parked in what looks like a food court with outdoor tables available. Food here looks very impressive with a wide variety of items. (Takeout only but outdoor patio tables are available 9-24-21)

Lakeway

Pao’s Mandarin House–2300 Lohmans Spur (Taiwanese) Closed Tue (and closed from 3 to 4:30 pm).  Ask for the Chinese menu to get authentic food. Some say the tofu dishes are especially good. Most dishes look like they are good sized (meant to be served family style in order to share). (Dining room is open 6-13-20)

Santa Catarina–1310 Ranch Rd. 620 S. (Mexican) Open Daily. Authentic Oaxacan style food that is upscale and somewhat expensive, but worth it. Looks very good from reviews and photos, but some say it is not better than comparable places in Austin. (Dining room is open 6-13-20)

Leander

Ziggy’s Kielbasa House–2403 S. US 183 (Polish) Open 10 am to 7 pm (closed Sun evening & Mon). Mostly does sandwiches–it is more of a deli than a restaurant. They are said to be very good. (Dining room is open 9-24-21)

Pflugerville

Taste of Ethiopia–1100 Grand Ave. Parkway (Ethiopian) Open daily noon to 9 pm.  One of the better Ethiopian restaurants in the Austin area. For first time visitors the lunch buffet gives you a good taste of the different foods (available at lunch Mon-Fri). Also at 3801 S. Congress in Austin. (Dining room is open 7-9-20)

Round Rock

Pho Hoang–399 W. Louis Henna Blvd. (Vietnamese) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Has a large menu of more hard to find items (pork chops, pork skin, lemongrass dishes, etc.). (Dining room is open 9-24-21)

Pho Lee–2601 S. IH-35 (Vietnamese) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  Pho and vermicelli bowls are both very good. (Dining room is open 7-9-20)

Pho Viet–603 Louis Henna Blvd. (Vietnamese) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  One of the better Viet. rests. in the Austin area. This is the place to go to “explore the menu” (try items other than pho). Clay pots are especially good. Banh xeo is also recommended. Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

Thai Spoon–3720 Gattis School Rd. (Thai) Open daily except Sun lunch.  Very good reviews. Green curry, Panang curry, drunken noodles, chicken pad thai are recommended. (Dining room is open 9-24-20)

Veracruz All Natural–2711 La Frontera Blvd. (Mexican) Breakfast and lunch only (open daily).  Authentic Mexican food, but you only get the healthy stuff. Specializes in tacos. (Dining room is open 9-24-21)

Taylor

La Scala–203 N. Main St. (Italian) Open Wed-Sat (dinner only).  Apparently this is a very special Italian restaurant that is upscale and has food that is far from run of the mill. Main plates are about $17 to $20 on the 2021 menu (so it’s not too expensive). Also has pizza. (Dining room is open 9-24-21)

Louie Mueller BBQ–206 W. 2nd St. (BBQ) Lunch only (closed Sun-Tue).  This is supposedly one of the best BBQ places around. Ribs, brisket, and sausage are recommended. (Dining room is open 9-24-21)

 

Special Note About Mexican Food (Feb 2017):

There are really three types of Mexican food that are of note in Austin: (1) Tex-Mex, (2) tacos and street food and (3) authentic food from the Mexican interior, particularly alta cocina. I have listed a little bit of Tex-Mex on this list simply because I think Austin and San Antonio are the best places for it. For tacos I have seen so many recommendations that I really could not pick out one or two places to list here (but when I start to see a consensus about certain places I will add them).

For this list I concentrate mainly on authentic restaurants (the ones at which I have eaten are in bold). Most of the restaurants on this list were found using the old Urbanspoon web site, and I have confirmed that they are good choices with Yelp. This does not mean they are the best Mexican restaurants in Austin, but I do believe the ones identified as “Mexican” (as opposed to Tex-Mex) are authentic.

There was a discussion on City-Data about authentic Mexican food that I think adds excellent recommendations to the ones I already have. These are some of the recommendations for which I think there is a pretty good consensus:

  • Fonda San Miguel (very good-already on my list)
  • Sazon (1816 S. Lamar–Open Daily) Has mole and pozole, but the conchita pibil is a favorite
  • Santa Catarina (on my list, in Lakeway, but there is another location in Cedar Park). Rellenos en nogada is recommended

The C-D discussion also made a point about restaurants that should not be recommended as authentic, with Trudy’s being mentioned. I would add Chuy’s to the list.

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

Chowhound (Austin)

City Data (Authentic Mexican Food)

Eater.com (13 Great Bets for Chicken Fried Steak)

Google Maps

TripAdvisor (Chicken Fried Steak Rec’s)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Austin)

Zomato (Austin)

 

Restaurant Guide–Texas

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Austin Metro Area

Dallas/Fort Worth Metro Area

El Paso Metro Area

Houston Metro Area

Rio Grande Valley

San Antonio Metro Area


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Abilene

Belle’s Chicken Dinner House–2002 N. Clack St. (American) Lunch Thu-Sun, dinner Thu-Sat.  Primarily serves fried chicken and chicken fried steak with bottomless sides. (Dining room is open 8-11-21)

Don Luis Cafe–3370 N. 1st St. (Cuban) Open daily.  Also serves Mexican food, but the Cuban is what most reviewers like. (Takeout only 6-23-20)

Krua Thai–790 S. Leggett (Thai) Open Daily.  Reviewers think it is excellent. (Takeout only 6-23-20)

Mian Bistro–6410 Buffalo Gap Rd. (Chinese) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Mon).  Said to be authentic (Szechuan has authentic dishes but much of the menu is not). This is also more home style while Szechuan is more upscale. (Takeout only 6-23-20)

Stillwater Barbeque–3365 S. 14th St. (BBQ) Lunch Tue-Sat; dinner Tue-Fri. Good reviews–get brisket, ribs, or turkey. Unique sauces (different kinds) that are made specifically for the different meats served. Reviews are a little better for The Shed, but Stillwater is said to be excellent also and is open all day to 8 pm (3 pm on Sat). (Takeout only 6-23-20)

Szechuan–3425 S. 1st St. (Chinese) Open daily until 9:30 pm (9 pm on Sun).  Very good Chinese, but it’s even better if you get one of the authentic dishes. Szechuan chicken with black bean sauce is very good. (Dining room is open 6-23-20)

The Shed Market–6382 Buffalo Gap Rd. (BBQ) Lunch only (closed Sun & Mon).  This is said to be a top tier barbecue restaurant (it is primarily a meat market but they sell BBQ for lunch until they run out). They open at 11 am but I don’t know what time you need to get there for the BBQ. Brisket is probably the most popular meat, but everything is said to be good. (Dining room is open 8-11-21)

Note: Also see listing for Buffalo Gap

Albany

Albany Beehive–517 US 180 W (Steakhouse) Lunch Tue-Fri; Dinner Thu-Sat (closed Sun & Mon).  Known for its steaks and chicken fried steak, but has chicken, seafood, sandwiches, etc. that reviewers say have good flavors. Note: Perini Ranch in Buffalo Gap is generally regarded as being better if you are just going for the steaks. Map (Dining room is open 10-30-21)

Alice

El Jalisiense–1915 E. Main St. (Mexican) Open daily 5 am to 10 pm.  Authentic taqueria style Mexican food, but has a very diverse menu. Some say for breakfast, though, go to Juanita’s. (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Helena’s Home Cooking–1103 S. Reynolds St. (Mexican) Open daily 6 am to 2 pm.  Reviews are good and people say it does not taste like the other restaurants in town (tastes home made and people like the flavor). (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Alpine

Alicia’s–708 E. Gallego Ave. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Tue).  Breakfast burritos are very popular. Green chile is spicy. (Dining room is open 8-18-21)

Reata–203 N. 5th St. (Steakhouse) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2 pm to 5 pm).  Steakhouse that also has some Mexican dishes. This is a branch of Reata in Fort Worth–this one is not executed quite as well but is still worthwhile (according to reviewers). (Dining room is open 8-11-21)

Amarillo

Bangkok–5901 E. Amarillo Blvd. (Thai) Closed Wed.  Very good Thai food, and some describe it as “home style” Thai (I think this is a good description). The building is old, so go for the food and not the ambiance. Cash only (no checks or credit cards). (Dining room is open 8-11-21)

Big Texan Steak House–7701 E. Interstate 40 (Steakhouse) Open daily 10 am to 10:30 pm.  I used to eat here, but then found other restaurants that I thought had better steak. Now all the others are closed (but I found Hoffbrau as a replacement). I heard an interview with the owner of Big Texan on the radio, though, and he was reminding people that at Big Texan it is not just the food but the experience that draws people. Many locals eat here, and many tourists come to see what the Texas culture is all about. The tourist trap gimmick here is that you can have a 72 oz. steak for free if you can eat it in one hour. I (and the owner) say to just come here to enjoy the steak and don’t worry about the gimmicks. The steak in Amarillo is locally raised and worth experiencing. (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

Calico County–2410 Paramount Blvd. (American) Open daily 7 am to 9 pm.  Older reviews said this was a good place for steaks. Current reviews say it is an American restaurant with an interesting menu and good food (it may have steaks but the reviews do not say). Chicken fried steak, turkey and dressing (special on Sundays), chicken pot pie, catfish are some of the choices. (Dining room is open 6-11-20)

Delvin’s–1300 N. Hughes St. (Soul Food) Lunch Tue-Sat; dinner Thu-Sat.  Recommended by Gil’s Thrilling and Filling Blog (although he says there are other soul food restaurants in town that seem to be good as well that he did not get to try). Yelp says fried chicken, catfish, and BBQ are all excellent. Everyone seems to like the Coca Cola cake. (Dining room is open 6-20-21)

El Tejavan–3801 E. Interstate 40 (Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening.  Authentic Mexican (not Tex-Mex). I highly recommend it for breakfast, except for the fact that it does not open until 8:30 am (Yelp says it is now 10:30 am, but the location at 3420 W. Interstate 40 opens at 8:00 am). (Dining room is open 8-11-21)

Golden Light Cafe–2906 SW 6th Ave. (Hamburgers) Closed Sun.  Located on a section of historic Route 66, I added it to the list because of a review on Gil’s Thrilling and Filling Blog. Gil liked both Corbin’s Harley burger and Tamara’s green chili cheeseburger. Like Gil, I have found that you can get an excellent GCC (the hip abbreviation for the green chile cheeseburger) east of New Mexico in large part because of the excellent beef served in areas where it is produced (in my case I enjoyed the one at Bricktown Brewery in Okla. City). The one at Golden Light comes with two certified Angus beef patties. The Harley burger is also notable because of the caramelized onions that come with it. (Dining room is open 6-20-21)

Hoffbrau–7203 W. Interstate 40 (Steaks) Open Daily.  This is not a fancy or high end steak house, but it is steak with real flavor and which I believe comes from local sources. (Dining room is open 6-11-20)

Ly’s Cafe–5615 E. Amarillo Blvd. (Lao) Closed Mon.  I like this because it is exclusively Lao, and seems to be authentic. Two other restaurants in the same shopping center have some Lao dishes on the menu, though (Super Bowl Noodles and Thai House). (Dining room is open 8-11-21)

Sabaidee–3318 S. Georgia St. (Lao) Closed Sun.  Reviewers like the Thai food, but has Lao food (and sticky rice). (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Tyler’s BBQ–3301 Olsen Blvd. (BBQ) Lunch only (closed Sun & Mon).  Well regarded BBQ. Ribs are recommended. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Andrews

A Little Taste of Heaven–600 S. Main St. (American) Closed Sat & Sun (and closed 2 to 5 pm).  Diner food, but not everything is greasy spoon food (has some healthy options). Burger, chicken salad, and strawberry shortcake are recommended. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Buddy’s Drive In–106 E. Broadway St. (American) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2:30 to 5 pm).  Featured on the “Texas Bucket List” as a place that is very popular with locals and about which multiple generations have fond memories. Steak fingers are the specialty. (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

La Morena–500 S. Main St. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  Reviewers say the food goes well beyond the typical small town Mexican food–it is authentic and delicious. They particularly like the salsas–red (mild) and green (hot). Burritos are recommended. (Dining room is open 8-11-21)

Taqueria Los Gavanes–105 NE Ave. F (Mexican) Open 8 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Basic but very good taco restaurant (authentic Mexican style). (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Beeville

Gasthaus Berliner Bear–2510 N. St. Marys Rd. (German) Lunch Tue-Sat; dinner Fri & Sat.  Authentic German food (owner is from Germany). Schnitzel is the specialty (and very good). Map (Dining room is open 7-22-20)

Bells

1836 Cafe–509 N. Pecan St. (American) Lunch Wed-Sun; breakfast Sat & Sun.  People say the food tastes home made. Mainly known for its burgers & pies (and biscuits & gravy for breakfast). Map (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Belton

Miller’s Smokehouse–300 E. Central Ave. (BBQ) Serves breakfast to 11 am; then switches to BBQ menu and open to 3 pm (closes 8 pm Thu-Sat).  This is generally considered to be one of the best barbecue restaurants in Texas. Brisket is especially popular, but ribs and pulled pork are also said to be excellent. Banana pudding is another must try. Map (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Bonham

Bamboo House–413 N. Main St. (Asian) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Like many small town Asian restaurants, this place serves Chinese, sushi, Thai, Vietnamese, and probably some other types of food. Unlike many of its counterparts, though, Bamboo House apparently does all of these very well. It sounds as if the owners are actually Thai, and people were particularly complimenting the Thai food, but many other things receive compliments as well. Map (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Borger

Borger has two barbecue restaurants whose reviewers say is the best in town. Hipshots has good ribs, banana pudding, a spicy bbq sauce, and burritos made with bbq meat. Southern Rage BBQ has good brisket, pulled pork, pig wings, and a sweet and tangy sauce. (9-10-21)

Brady

Mac’s BBQ–1903 S. Bridge St. (BBQ) Closed Mon.  This was the “other” BBQ joint in town (The Spread, which is now closed, was considered along with Mac’s to be the two top contenders). Compared to The Spread Mac’s was said to have less choice of meats, a better choice of side dishes, good desserts (banana pudding), and more choices other than BBQ (such as chicken fried steak). Some say the sauce is weak here (thin and not very tasty). I would say, though, that in Texas the sauce is of lesser importance than with other types of BBQ. Mac’s changed owners in about 2015, and since then the reviews have been good (I think better than before). Map (Dining room is open 8-11-21)

Bryan

Bavarian Brauhaus–109 N. Main St. (German) Dinner only (closed Sun).  Specializes in schnitzel (comes in various variations with different sauces). Reviewers say it is very good. (Dining room is open 7-7-20)

Chicken Oil Co.–3600 S. College Ave. (Burgers) Open Daily 11 am to 8 pm (10 pm weekends).  Good hamburgers, but I think the main attraction is the building (good college ambiance). (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

El Sol de Mexico–705 N. Texas Ave. (Mexican) Open daily 6 am to 10 pm.  Authentic (serves aguas frescas). Reviewers say food is excellent. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

J Cody’s Steaks and BBQ–3610 S. College Ave. (Steaks & BBQ) Open daily except Sun evening.  I have read that this is the successor to Tom’s Bar-B-Que (a BCS institution for barbecue which I was able to try). BBQ ribs, t-bone and rib eye steaks, and cornbread are particularly recommended. There are mixed reviews on the brisket (I think it depends on when you go). (Dining room is open 7-7-20)

Kluay Kluay Thai–3203 Freedom Blvd. (Thai) Open Daily.  Reviewers say it is high quality Thai (like food served in big cities) and that lunch specials are a very good deal. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Taqueria Poblana–3200 Boonville Rd. (Mexican) Closed Sun, closes 5 pm on Sat, closes 7 pm other days.  Real deal Mexican food that specializes in tacos al pastor. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Buffalo Gap

Perini Ranch–3002 FM 89 (Steakhouse) Lunch Fri-Sun; dinner Tue-Sun.  Winner of multiple awards and recommendations for its steak (the atmosphere of being on a ranch also helps). About 1 mi. w. of Buffalo Gap. Map (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

Cameron

Hayashi–1607 N. Travis Ave. (Japanese) Closed Sat.  Big city style Japanese food (owner used to have a restaurant in Houston). Will prepare items off the menu for an authentic meal. Map (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Canadian

Canadian Restaurant–402 N. 2nd St. (American) Breakfast & lunch daily; dinner Mon-Fri.  People traveling through say the food is so good they almost don’t want to get back on the road. Most customers go for breakfast but lunch seems to be equally good. Interesting note: Google Maps says the cuisine is Canadian so maybe what everyone likes here is the back bacon?? Map (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Canyon

Ranch House Cafe–810 23rd St. (American) Open daily 6 am to 3 pm.  Most popular for breakfast, where you get the standards you would expect in West Texas (pancakes, chicken fried steak, omelets, etc.). Most reviewers say the weak point is the coffee. (Dining room is open 7-15-21)

Sayakomarn Thai & Lao–419 16th St. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Green curry is a favorite of reviewers. (Dining room is open 7-15-21)\

Childress

Garibaldi’s–136 N. Main St. (Mexican) Open 11 am to 2 pm (Tue-Fri only).  This is a buffet that serves Tex-Mex. Reviewers like the food, but they say the hot green verde salsa makes it especially worthwhile. Good variety of choices including both spicy and mild enchiladas, chile relleno, baked chicken, and sopapillas. Map (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

College Station

Shiraz Shish Kabob–110 Dominik Dr. (Middle Eastern) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  Serves Turkish and Persian dishes (mostly kabob dinners–does not have Ghormeh Sabzi but does have a vegetarian version of Khoreshteh Gheymeh). (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Taz–2416 Texas Ave. (Indian) Closed Tue (and closed from 2:30 to 5 pm).  South Indian restaurant that has dosa and a large variety of South Indian dishes. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Copperas Cove

Yongs–310 Cove Terrace Shopping Center (Korean) Closed Mon. This is a market and restaurant (comments are very good for their Korean food). Everything is made from scratch, and the owners say if you want vegetarian they can put tofu instead of meat in some dishes. It sounds as if other special requests can be honored as well. Bulgogi (beef) is their most popular item. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Corpus Christi

Ginger Cafe–7009 S. Staples St. (Middle Eastern) Open daily except Sun evening. Lebanese cuisine. Menu has vegan and vegetarian dinners. Reviews seem to be best for the meat items, but they also seem to do the small things right such as the hummus. (Dining room is open 6-23-20)

Linda’s–4033 Gollihar Rd. (Tex-Mex) Open daily except Sun evening.  Breakfast tacos, puffy tacos, enchiladas with green sauce, carne guisada are very popular. This seems to be a favorite place with locals. Has freshly made flour tortillas which are particularly popular. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Little Manila Lumpia House–2124 Waldron Rd. (Filipino) Open 10 am to 8:30 pm (closed Sun).  Pancit and Shanghai lumpias are recommended. Very cheap, but since it is a small family run business the service is slow when there are a lot of customers. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Salt Water Grill–2401 Cimarron Blvd. (Seafood) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm. Popular place for fried fish and seafood. Ask for the fresh catch of the day. (Dining room is open 6-23-20)

Snoopy’s Pier–13313 S. Padre Island Dr. (Seafood) Open daily to 10 pm. Popular for fried fish, fried shrimp, fish & chips. Many recommend the mahi mahi. On the waterfront with a good view. (Dining room is open 6-23-20)

Thai Cottage–5830 McArdle Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 2 to 5 pm). Reviewers recommend ginger chicken and stir fried dishes. Most say the curries are not as good. Downscale atmosphere (tables are crowded, etc.). (Dining room is open 6-23-20)

The Blue Clove–5884 Everhart Rd. (Seafood) Dinner only (closed Mon).  Recommended items include snapper with pesto sauce, pecan crusted snapper, butterfly shrimp, mahi mahi. Also has Mexican food and Mexican style seafood. Some say it is as good as the upscale restaurants at less than half the price. (Dining room is open 6-23-20)

Vietnam–701 N. Water St. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun, closed Sat lunch. Good pho, but most other things on the menu seem to be better (or at least more popular). Lemongrass chicken is recommended. Seems to have a lot of menu items you don’t find elsewhere (such as hot pot). Called a “quiet restaurant with a nice wine collection.” (Dining room is open 6-23-20)

Z Counter–1220 Airline Rd. (Asian Fusion) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Mainly Filipino and Korean food (the fusion seems to be serving different national cuisines together rather than making them non-authentic or Americanized). Green onion pancakes are quite popular. For Filipino food the pancit is especially recommended. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Note: for Mexican seafood it looks as if the best bet is La Playa in Port Aransas

Corsicana

Collin St. Bakery–401 W. 7th Ave. (Bakery) Open Daily.  Known for their fruitcake. Has cookies–cherry icebox, cinnamon vanilla. Their locations on I-45 and Bellmead (Waco) serve sandwiches but reviewers say the bakery is the main reason to come. (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

Corsicana Garden–111 Northwood Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Sat evening & Sun.  Some indicate they have authentic dishes–dumplings are available and the menu includes salty fish (but I don’t know if it is the Chinese style salty fish). What is obvious, though, is that the food is fresh and flavorful, so it looks worthwhile whether authentic or not. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Dalhart

Hodie’s BBQ–701 US 87 S. (BBQ) Closed Sat dinner; closed Sun & Mon.  Reviewers like the BBQ (brisket, sausage, & chicken are popular). Place is small and cramped, though (about 12 tables). Peach cobbler is recommended. (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

Jasmine Thai–805 Tennessee Ave. (Thai & Chinese) Closed Sat & Sun (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Although it has a good rating I don’t think it is a destination Thai restaurant, but a change from steak, BBQ, Mexican, and fried food which are mainly the choices available. Menu is limited-they have pad thai, beef noodle soup, and fried rice (the rest of the menu is sushi and Chinese food). This restaurant does not use MSG. Restaurant is not on the highway, but is almost directly in front of Hodie’s BBQ and across the railroad track. (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

XIT Woodfire Grill–119 Cypress Dr. (Steakhouse) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun).  I would say steaks are the specialty because this is in the heart of steak country and the taste is likely to be very good. Chicken fried steak is said to be good. Has BBQ, chicken, fish, burgers, and Mexican food (which I think is Tex-Mex style). Located at the south end of town in front of the Holiday Inn Express and across the railroad track. (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

Note: There are about 8 Mexican restaurants in town. El Paisano looks the best overall from the reviews. La Pasadita looks like a good backup to El Paisano (but the chile relleno & enchilada do not have good reviews). All the taquerias look good if you want tacos, burritos, etc. (9-10-21)

Del Rio

El Patio–1206 E. Gibbs St. (Mexican) Open daily including breakfast. The specialty is enchiladas suizas (which in my experience have always been good when they are done the right way, and reviews say they are). It is pretty clear, though, that this is not authentic Mexican food, but Tex-Mex. (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

La Hacienda–330 Pecan St. (Mexican) Open daily to 7 pm (8 pm on Sat).  Has consistently good reviews. Mole is popular. Many items seem to be Tex-Mex style, but people say they are better than at the other restaurants. (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

Denison

Cotton Patch Cafe–500 N. US 75 (Southern) Open Daily.  Has all the Southern favorites including chicken and dumplings (which seems to be particularly recommended). Note: this is a local chain in the north Texas area. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Dickinson

Flippers Coastal Seafood–628 FM 517 W (Seafood) Open Daily.  Has Cajun style seafood, which reviewers say is very good. (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Dublin

Old Doc’s Soda Shop (Dr. Pepper Museum)–105 E. Elm St. (Soda Shop) Open 9 am to 4 pm (closed Sat & Sun). Serves pure cane sugar Dr. Pepper (the way it was originally made). Note: The Soda Shop is actually next door to the museum (both have the same address). (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

Dumas

Hoggs BBQ–5928 US 87 (BBQ) Closed Mon.  Located at the airport west of town, the reviews are very good for brisket, pulled pork, and others. Open at 8 am Sat & Sun, when breakfast is available (pancakes are popular). BBQ is served after 11 am. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Eagle Pass

Molcajete–143 Ford St. (Mexican) Breakfast Tue-Sat; lunch Tue-Fri.  According to reviews this is probably the best Mexican food in Eagle Pass. Daily specials are recommended if it is something you want, but go early because they sometimes run out. Some examples of specials I saw were guisado on Tue and enchiladas nortenas on Wed, Has tacos and street food, but is more than just street food. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Note: Piedras Negras does not necessarily have better quality food but there are more options there. Some PN restaurants (9-3-21):

  • El Jalisquillo-Open daily 8 am to 10 pm. Large menu, patrons enjoy the atmosphere. Has upscale food if you want it.
  • El Tecu–Breakfast & lunch only.  Excellent ratings for breakfast.
  • La Pesca Sinaloense–Open daily.  Specializes in seafood.
  • Tacos Chava–Open daily except Sun lunch.  Specializes in street tacos (soft tacos).
  • Tacos Kike–there are two restaurants a block from each other. Kike No. 1 is closed Tue and Kike No. 2 is closed Sun.  Known for the crispy tacos and their specially seasoned hamburger meat.

El Campo

Prasek’s Family Smokehouse–29714 US 59 (BBQ) Open daily except Sat evening. Chopped beef sandwich, chicken, kolaches, homemade pies. Reviewers say the selection and quality of kolaches is second to none. For smoked meats the selection here is also very impressive. Mainly does retail sales of meat, though, and the restaurant is secondary. Junior’s in Wharton also has a Czech-Texas combination of food, but seems to specialize in sausage. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Ellinger

Hruska’s Bakery–109 W. Hwy 71 (Kolaches) Open daily 5 am to 9 pm.  Many say this is the best place to stop for kolaches between Houston and Austin. Also serves burgers. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Fannin

McMillan’s Bar-B-Que–9913 US Hwy 59 N (BBQ) Open daily–lunch only (open to 7 pm Thu-Sun).  Many say this is the best BBQ they have found in Texas, even if they have been to Franklin’s, City Market, or Black’s. Ribs and brisket are the most popular meats (but the owner likes to recommend brisket or the rib eye steak). This is in a small town east of Goliad, though, so it doesn’t have the following that the other places do (not all reviewers agree that it would be deserved, but many do, and it is interesting that they make the comparison to these icons of Texas BBQ). Meat is cooked with a combination of mesquite, pecan and oak. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Farwell

The BBQ Shop–1300 Ave. A South (BBQ) Lunch Wed & Thu; Dinner Fri.  Looks like a destination BBQ place for brisket and banana pudding. Other items are said to be very good as well. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Fort Stockton

Chila’s–634 N. Alamo St. (Mexican) Open daily (breakfast & lunch).  Said to be authentic Mexican food, but it is very low brow (burritos, etc). Reviewers say the breakfast burritos here are excellent. (Dining room is open 8-18-21)

Mi Casita–405 E. Dickinson Blvd. (Tex-Mex) Open Tue-Fri (lunch & dinner).  Not authentic Mexican food, but gives a good taste of Tex-Mex. (Dining room is open 8-18-21)

Fredericksburg

Auslander–323 E. Main St. (German) Closed Wed.  Reviewers say it is not as good as Der Lindenbaum, but has a better beer selection. Many people get steak. Side dishes are good. For German food most people recommend the sausages, Reuben, or other sandwiches. (Dining room is open 7-22-20)

Der Lindenbaum–312 E. Main St. (German) Closed Tue (this schedule is seasonal).  Jagerschnitzel is recommended. Visa and Mastercard are not accepted (most people pay cash). (Dining room is open 7-22-20)

Hill Top Cafe–10661 N. US 87 (Southwest & Greek) Closed Mon and closed from 2 to 5 pm.  Locally run–popular but can have problems with service when there are too many customers. People like to get a mixture of Greek and Cajun influenced dishes. (Dining room is open 7-22-20)

Otto’s–316 E. Austin St. (German) Dinner daily (4 pm to 10 pm).  Doesn’t take reservations and there is a frequent wait to get in. Upscale food–German, but modern style. Come here for what some say is the best food experience (not necessarily traditional German style, and particularly not “tourist style” German). Duck schnitzel is an example of the nontraditional dishes served. (Dining room is open 7-22-20)

Galveston

BLVD Seafood–28th & Seawall Blvd. (Seafood) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm. Good reviews for a wide variety of seafood. Bar atmosphere (loud) but good food. Reservations recommended for dinner. Some say you can get the same food for half the price at other places, but the good thing about this restaurant is that you know the seafood is locally sourced. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Darlene’s Shrimp Shack–1727 61st St. (Seafood) Closed Mon & Tue.  Sells shrimp out of a food truck and you eat it on picnic tables or take it with you (it is not a restaurant). This is the place to go, though, if you want fresh fried shrimp (I do not know if some of the restaurants get their shrimp fresh every morning as Darlene’s does). (Takeout only but they have picnic tables 6-23-20)

Gaido’s–3828 Seawall Blvd. (Seafood) Open daily (open until 9 pm-10 pm weekends).  Upscale, has fresh seafood. May be a little hyped, but the sports bar (Nick’s) is cheaper and has the same chef (this may be a good alternative). Reviewers report that it is dated, though, as opposed to BLVD which serves “New American” style. (Dining room is open 6-23-20)

Happy Coffee Shop–5102 Broadway St. (Cambodian) Open daily (breakfast & lunch only–open until 3 pm weekdays).  Juice bar and smoothies. Serves Cambodian lunch specials (menu changes daily). Several people recommend the red curry over rice. Cambodian bread pudding is recommended for dessert. (Temporarily closed 9-3-21)

Pho 18–704 Holiday Dr. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say it is more expensive than the other pho restaurants in town, but also better (compares to the Houston restaurants). (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Rudy & Paco–2028 Post Office St. (Seafood) Lunch Mon-Fri; dinner Mon-Sat.  Upscale restaurant with Central American style seafood. Has fried shrimp, but it’s better known for things such as pistachio crusted sea bass. (Dining room is open 6-23-20)

Shrimp N Stuff–3901 Ave. O (Seafood) Open Daily. Fried shrimp, cole slaw, gumbo. Has large crowds but they can handle it. This is a neighborhood place (downscale). There is a second location at 216 23rd St. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Gonzales

Baker Boys BBQ–1404 N. Sarah Dewitt Rd. (BBQ) Lunch only (closed Sun) open to 6 pm weekdays.  On the Texas Monthly list of the top 50 barbecue restaurants in Texas, and reviews support this designation. People like all of the meats served (brisket, ribs, turkey, etc.). Some say the brisket and ribs are the best they have ever had and some find minor imperfections in them, but I think this would be true of any top quality barbecue. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Gonzales Food Market–311 St. Lawrence St. (BBQ) Open 10 am to 6 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Some say this is better barbecue than in Luling. The brisket here is not what most people recommend, though (because it does not have a heavy rub). Many say get the ribs, chicken or sausage. Has lamb but some find it gamey. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Hempstead

Hill Country BBQ–27004 Hwy. 6 (BBQ) Lunch only (closed Mon); open to 7 pm Thu-Sat.  Real Texas BBQ. Brisket and banana pudding are said to be the best items. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Hereford

Saigon–149 N. 25 Mile Ave. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 7:30 pm (closed Tue). Amarillo is somewhat of a hotbed of Southeast Asian restaurants, but it is good to know that there is an apparently good one in Hereford as well. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Taqueria Jalisco–628 W. 1st St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Menu looks interesting–has chile verde (with green chile) and enchiladas (with red sauce) as well as other dishes that look good. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Hillsboro

R & K Cafe–103 N. Waco St. (American) Open daily except Sun evening.  This is one of the highest rated restaurants in town on Yelp–known for the meat with 3 sides. Spanish omelette is recommended for breakfast. Note: this is a local chain in the north Texas area. (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

Huntsville

Carbonero–1524 11th St. (El Salvadorian) Closed Sun.  One of the highest rated restaurants in Huntsville. Rotisserie chicken is said to be very good (and pupusas). (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Farmhouse Cafe–1004 14th St. (Southern) Open daily except Sun evening.  Those who like it say it is a very good place for chicken fried steak, fried chicken, and other home cooking style food. Those who give negative comments still actually like it, but say it is not any better than many other places. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Holy Smoke (formerly New Zion Missionary Baptist)–2601 Montgomery Rd. (BBQ) Open Thu-Sat lunch & dinner.  Ribs, Sweet Potato pie (McKenzie’s may be better for brisket). (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Imperial

Panchitas–101 Prairie (Mexican) Open 6 am to 2 pm; dinner on Fri only (closed Sun).  Reviewers say the food tastes home cooked, and the few who found their way to this small town south of Monahans say this is a real gem.  Green enchiladas are especially recommended, but everything is said to be good. Map (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

Jasper

Billy’s Old Fashion BBQ–1601 N. Main St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 6 pm (closed Sun).  Reviewers say the setting is very basic but the food is very good (food is served in to-go containers). Sliced brisket and rib sandwich are recommended. (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Son Asian Bistro–610 W. Gibson St. (Asian) Open daily except Sun evening.  Serves several Asian cuisines. Reviews are good for Thai and Vietnamese, but not so good for the Chinese food. (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Jefferson

Joseph’s Riverport BBQ–201 N. Polk St. (BBQ) Lunch only (closed Mon & Tue).  Said to be one of the best BBQ places in TX. Ribs, brisket, sausage. Brisket seems to be especially good. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Kerrville

Mary’s Tacos–1616 Broadway St. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (open daily).  Taco restaurant that does not have an extensive menu, but it has good meats, authentic sauces, and home made tortillas. Breakfast tacos, burritos, and carne guisada are recommended. (Takeout only-this is the way they always operate 7-22-20)

Thai O’cha–417 Water St. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 5 pm). People say it is Thai food that is comparable to the restaurants in Austin or Houston. More dishes are recommended on the reviews than many Thai restaurants have on their whole menu. Green curry is recommended. (Dining room is open 7-22-20)

Note: Thai Bistro also has good reviews but its main strength seems to be in having dishes not usually found such as coconut ice cream.

Yeo-Bo’s Cafe–804 Water St. (Korean) Lunch only (closed Sat & Sun).  Stone bowl, bulgogi, and beef soup are said to be good choices. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Kilgore

Country Tavern–1526 FM 2767 (BBQ) Closed Sun. Ribs are specialty, but brisket & turkey are also outstanding. West of town toward Tyler. Many say this is one of the best or the best BBQ place in Texas. (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

Killeen

C & H Hawaiian Grill–412 N. Ft. Hood St. (Hawaiian) Closed Sun. Reviewers say it is excellent Hawaiian food. For many the chicken is their favorite (katsu or teriyaki). Kalua pork and ribs are also very good. Note: also has a location in Copperas Cove. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Peking–1310 W. Stan Schlueter Loop (Korean) Open Thu-Sat only.  The most positive reviews are from people from Asia or who have been to Asia and say the food here is the same. It really specializes in Korean food, but also has Chinese food on the menu (which people say is pretty good as well). (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Tex-Rican–1026 S. Fort Hood St. (Puerto Rican) Lunch only (closed Sun).  Reviewers say it is “down to earth home cooked food,” and “excellent with true Boricura flavor” (along with a number of similar comments).  Note: Hierba Fresca is another highly rated Puerto Rican restaurant in town. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Note: this list seems to be just scratching the surface of the ethnic food available in Killeen and the area around Fort Hood.

Kingsville

El Dorado–704 N. 14th St. (Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening (opens at 6 am).  Highly rated Mexican restaurant that serves plate dinners (is not a taco place or hole in the wall). (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Spice Station–809 W. King Ave. (Indian) Closed Sat evening & Sun.  Indian food in a gas station that reviewers say is authentic, flavorful, and spiced just right (but served on paper plates with plastic forks). (Dining room is open 7-22-20)

La Grange

Weikel’s Bakery–2247 W. Hwy 71 (Kolaches) Open daily 5 am to 9 pm.  Cherry kolaches are recommended. Also has sandwiches & groceries (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Lampasas

Eve’s Cafe–521 E. 3rd St. (German) Lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Thu-Sat. Good schnitzel, reuben, & pastries. Side dishes are said to be of equal quality as the main items. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Laredo

Comida Caribena–2819 San Bernardo Ave. (Cuban) Open noon to 7 pm Tue-Sat; noon to 5 Sun (closed Mon).  Reviewers say it has authentic Cuban food. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Danny’s–4320 McPherson Ave. (Mexican) Open daily (opens at 7 am).  Serves typical Mexican food representative of the Laredo area (this is one of multiple locations). Mole is probably the best bet. I think this is probably not the best food in Laredo, just the best example of the “old style” Tex-Mex Laredo food. Many like it mainly for breakfast. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

El Meson de San Augustin–908 Grant St. (Mexican) Lunch only–closes at 4 pm (closed Sun).  Pechuga de pollo relleno. From the photos this looks authentic and is a place I would want to try. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Las Kekas–3914 McPherson Ave. (Mexican) Open 11 am to 6 pm (closed Mon).  Specializes in keka, a Mayan dish like a gordita. Authentic food from a region of Mexico not often represented by US restaurants. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Palenque Grill–7220 NE Bob Bullock Loop (Mexican) Open Daily (open to 11 pm–1 am Thu-Sat).  Authentic north Mexican style food in an upscale setting. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Pho Oi–2348 Monarch Dr. (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Laredo is not known for Asian food, but reviewers say this is authentic and good flavored. Vermicelli bowls are recommended. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Lexington

Snow’s BBQ–516 Main St. (BBQ) Sat. only (open 8 AM until the meat runs out).  Reputed to be some of the best BBQ you can get. Ribs are the favorite, but some say the turkey is equally good. Beans are a good side dish. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Littlefield

Loco’s–603 W. Waylon Jennings Blvd. (Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening.  Good ratings, and has classic northern Mexican/ Tex-Mex dishes (carne guisada, flautas, chile relleno, etc.). (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Super Antojitos–715 Hall Ave. (Dessert) Open Daily.  Looks like a better than usual place to get Mexican desserts (ice cream, churros, etc.). (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Llano

Cooper’s BBQ–604 W. Young St. (BBQ) Open Daily. Meat cooked in pits–select what you want. Many consider the brisket to be best (but all meats are popular). Map (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Lockhart

Black’s BBQ–215 N. Main St. (BBQ) Open daily 10 am to 8 pm (8:30 Fri & Sat).  Beef ribs & brisket are best, chicken is good, burnt ends are excellent, cherry cobbler and slaw are excellent (prob. better than Smitty’s). (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Smitty’s Market–208 S. Commerce St. (BBQ) Open daily until 6 pm.  Brisket, ribs, sausage. (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Longview

Bodacious Bar-B-Q–2227 S. Mobberly Ave. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Reviewers say this is excellent BBQ. Comments say most items here are better than at other places they know, but there is little consensus about what is the best thing to order here (everything is good). (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Lil Thai House–212 N. Fredonia St. (Thai) Open 11 am to 2 pm (closed Sat & Sun).  Reviewers say the food is authentic and delicious (it’s worth seeking out despite the restaurant’s limited hours, maybe even more than the BBQ). (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Ramen Saikou–1426 McCann Rd. (Japanese).  Good reviews (it may not be up to Dallas standards but it seems to be close). Good variety of ramen. Also has bao. (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

Lubbock

Abuelo’s–4401 82nd St. (Tex-Mex) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  I remember eating at what I think was the original Abuelo’s at about 50th and Slide near the Mall. It has since grown into a multi-state chain, and is no longer at the original location (or at least the old location), but I think they are giving us plenty of reasons to come back. I am impressed with the way it has progressed past just being a Tex-Mex restaurant– it offers several very authentic styled Mexican dishes that are very good (try the carnitas tacos). I also liked their New Mexico green sauce. Note: the OKC Abuelo’s has dropped the NM green sauce and other items from the menu after the Corona virus shutdown. (Dining room is open 6-11-20)

Aloha BBQ–9810 Indiana Ave. (Hawaiian) Closed Mon. Casual, fast food style rest. with Hawaiian plate lunches (the one in El Paso is very good). (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Cagle Steaks–8732 4th St. (Steaks) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Only serves rib eyes, but they are excellent.  One of the few steaks I have tried in west Texas that lives up to the hype. (Dining room is open 6-11-20)

Choochai Thai–2330 19th St. (Thai) Closed Sat evening & Sun. Very small hole in the wall with very good curries. When you order it spicy they are not shy in making it that way. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Joel’s–3116 Amherst St. (Tex-Mex) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Mon).  Small neighborhood rest. that is the “go to” place for many locals. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

La Sirena–2610 Salem Ave. (Latin American) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  This is supposed to be a more healthy version of Mexican food, and the menu changes according to what is fresh and in season. Has mole and other Mexican food, but the food is prepared differently than in a typical Mexican restaurant. Some items may be from other Latin American countries, but I am not sure. They majority of reviewers say this works and they enjoy the food. (Dining room is open 6-11-20)

Market Street–3405 50th St. (Deli) Open Daily. Located inside United Supermarket.  This is a fantastic place for take-home, or you can eat it in the store. Has a soup bar, salad bar, sandwiches, pizza, etc. (Deli is open 8-25-21)

Rain Cafe–2708 50th St. (American) Open daily 5:30 am to 9 pm. Diner type food that is very popular, buy they say service is not always good.  Get hamburger, chicken fried steak, etc. Note: Rain Uptown is also on many “best of” lists but serves Italian food and seems to be upscale. (Dining room is open 6-11-20)

Saigon Cafe–4515 50th St. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 8:30 pm (closed Sat evening & Sun).  This place has been consistently good for a number of years.  Good place for Vietnamese food novices (as I was when I first went) because they have pictures of all the dishes on the wall (and there is a quite large selection of dishes). (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Thai Kitchen–2302 Texas Ave. (Thai) Open 10:30 am to 9 pm (closed Tue).  A new place that opened in 2016, and which many say has replaced their previous favorite Thai restaurant. Pad thai is recommended, but also green curry and a variety of soups and noodle dishes. People say the flavors here are especially good. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Vizo’s–4930 S. Loop 389 (African) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Good reviews for a type of food that was not available in Lubbock previously but opened in 2019. I don’t think it matters what you order–everything gets good reviews. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Note: Lubbock has many good eats, some of them in unexpected places (such as United Supermarket). Most Mexican, Chinese, and Italian that locals have said are good have been disappointing to me. I think there are good steaks other than Cagle’s, but I haven’t tried them and can’t recommend a specific one. Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse is not listed on “Steve’s List,” but it was interesting because you can talk to the other people around the table. It is hard to go wrong with any sandwich or lunch places in Lubbock. Josie’s was good for breakfast burritos. I found some really good smoothies near the Texas Tech campus, but I don’t know the names of specific ones. Lubbock had the last remaining Harrigan’s that I knew about–it is now gone but it shows that Lubbock keeps good restaurants going long after they fail in other cities.

Luling

City Market–633 E. Davis St. (BBQ) Open 10 am to 6 pm (closed Sun).  Many say it’s better than Lockhart. Brisket, ribs, & sausage. (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Marble Falls

Blue Bonnet Cafe–211 US 281 (American) Open daily except Sun dinner (open for breakfast).  Chicken & dumplings (served as a special), chicken fried steak, pot roast, pie. Regular menu seems to have better reviews than breakfast. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Marfa

Cochineal–107 W. San Antonio (International) Dinner only (open Fri & Sat only).  Serves “modern” style food. Web site says it is casual fine dining. Has a seasonal menu. Has good reviews. Probably too expensive for my list, but this is probably a destination restaurant that many will think is worth the money. (Dining room is open 8-18-21)

Convenience West–1411 W. San Antonio St. (BBQ) Dinner only (open Fri & Sat only).  A less expensive alternative to the upscale restaurants that has very good reviews (brisket seems to be its specialty). Has a veggie option that people also say is good. (Dining room is open 8-18-21)

Note: out of the the four restaurants on my list in 2019 only two remain in 2021. There are several other options in town and I think most of them are lower priced rather than the “destination restaurants” that were popular earlier. The higher end restaurants that remain have also cut down on their hours quite a bit.

Marlin

Big Creek Butcher Shop–606 N. Business Hwy. 6 (BBQ) Closed Sun.  Known for its brisket and other BBQ, but a hidden gem here is the sausage made with a recipe handed down from Germany. (I think it is only a store-not a restaurant 8-25-21)

Marshall

Best of Texas BBQ–323 Bailey Cut-Off Rd. (BBQ) Fri & Sat only (11 am to 6 pm).  Reviewers say brisket is excellent (but go to Bodacious for ribs). (Takeout only 8-23-21)

Bodacious BBQ–2018 Victory Dr. (BBQ) Open daily 10 am to 9 pm.  Ribs are excellent, many like the chopped beef. Many think the sides are excellent. (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Central Perks–211 N. Washington Ave. (Sandwiches) Lunch only (closed Sun & Mon).  Healthy food–has a vegan menu.  Specializes in wraps & lunch plates. (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Medina’s–510 S. Alamo Blvd. (Mexican) Closed Sat evening & Sun.  Authentic and home made. Enchiladas have red or green sauce (this is not Tex-Mex food). (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

Taste of India–304 I-20 E. (Indian) Open daily 9 am to 10 pm.  Punjabi style Indian food that is said to be authentic and very good. (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Meridian

Zur Autobahn–10668 State Highway 22 (about 5 mi. west of town)  (German) Dinner only (Wed-Sat only).  Reviews are consistent, saying that the food tastes authentic and home made. Only seats about 22 people, but because of its location it is not likely to be full. Map (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Midland

Cafe Unique–3303 N. Midkiff Rd. (Venezuelan) Lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Fri & Sat.  Reviews say this gives a true taste of Venezuela, and doesn’t just serve some of the more popular dishes such as arepas. Flavors are said to be bold but not spicy. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

I Luv Pho–3303 N. Midkiff Rd. (Vietnamese) Open daily 10 am to 9 pm.  Has excellent reviews if you are looking for Asian food. (Dining room is open 6-11-20)

King and I–801 N. Big Spring St. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Good Thai food, cheap prices, friendly staff. Building looks like an old Taco Bell. It’s small and gets crowded at lunch (but it’s worth the wait). I liked the pad thai better than the curry, though. (Dining room is open 6-11-20)

Noodle House–3200 Andrews Hwy. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Specializes in noodles, dumplings, pot stickers, and spicy broth beef soup. Reviewers say, though, to stick with the Chinese food (pho, ramen, etc. do not have reviews that are as good). (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Strawberry Fields Cafe–2311 W. Wadley Ave. (Organic) Closed Sat dinner; closed Sun).  In addition to obviously healthy food, it also has some very good brownies. (Located inside Natural Foods Market). (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Taqueria El Gallo de Jalisco–1422 Rankin Hwy. (Mexican) Open daily 8 am to 11 pm.  Has Mexican style (authentic) tacos. I have looked at the reviews for some of the fancy Mexican restaurants in town, and it looks as if this restaurant is more worthwhile than the others (tacos seem simple, but reviewers say a lot goes into the ones here). Serves enchiladas with green salsa. Traditionally Odessa has been considered a better city for Mexican food, but this is one place in Midland I would try. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Morton

Dream Big Cafe–107 W. Washington Ave. (American) Closed Sat; closed Sun evening; other days closes at 7 pm.  The special item here (and the reason I added it to the list) is steak kabobs. Apparently, though, it is an off menu special and not available all the time. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

R&H Grill–503 E. State Hwy. 114 (American) Closed Tue (Thu & Sat are dinner only).  Has American standards, but the big seller here is a green chile cheeseburger (Morton is 15 mi. from the New Mexico state line). Also has tacos and burritos (presumably with green chile if you want it). (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Odessa

Ajuua’s–2100 Andrews Hwy. (Mexican) Open daily (open late).  Reviewers like the food but do not like the service. Hoping that this can be fixed, I think it would be worth a shot. Upscale Mexican food. I don’t know if it is related to Ajuua’s in Ciudad Juarez, but if so this would be even more reason to try it. (Dining room is open 6-11-20)

Elva’s Taco Casa–807 Royalty Ave. (Mexican) Open Mon-Fri 9:30 am to 4:00 pm.  Small place with about 4 tables that everyone says is great (salsas are very good also). Chicken taco is recommended. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Odessa Donuts & Deli–1520 N. Grant Ave. (Cambodian) Open 5 am to 7 pm (closed Sun). Hours probably refer to the donut shop. Cambodian food is available for lunch and is said to be very good. (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Taqueria Guadalupana–1255 S. Grant Ave. (Mexican) Open 8:30 am to 3 pm (closed Mon).  There are two reasons I think this is a good place: (1) I have seen the reviews and photos on Yelp, and (2) it is located south of the Interstate. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Pampa

Mejia’s Bakery–319 W. Foster Ave. (Mexican) Open daily (including breakfast). Authentic Mexican food–specializes in street tacos. Has some interesting looking plate lunches (with red or green sauce). Also has fresh bakery items. (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Yum Yum Thai–1201 N. Hobart St. (Thai) Closed Sat & Sun.  Reviewers say the pad thai is good (I don’t know what else they have because this seems to be the only thing reviewers order). (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

Pecos

La Norteña Tortilla Factory–211 E. 3rd St. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Mon). Tamales are excellent (worth a detour from the Interstate). However, it is not a restaurant, but take-out only. (Take-out and drive-through only 8-18-21)

Permian Cafe–495 FM 1450 (American) Open daily (begins serving breakfast at 3 am).  Reviewers say it has fresh tasting American food, but the menu changes daily (people like the Wed. night steak night). (Dining room is open 8-18-21)

Pody’s BBQ–1330 S. Cedar St. (BBQ) Open Wed-Fri 11 am to 2 pm.  Reviewers say BBQ is as good as the ones on Texas Monthly’s “50 best” list. Brisket is the most popular, but they like other meats as well. They usually run out of their best selling meats earlier than the 2 pm closing time. (Dining room is open 8-18-21)

Plainview

Taqueria Jalisco–1001 N. Interstate 27 (Mexican) Open daily 7 am to 10 pm.  Mexican style street tacos, enchiladas verdes, etc. Restaurant seems to be very authentic with very little American influence (except that they have good quality ingredients and good flavor). (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Weekends BBQ–1007 Mesa Dr. (BBQ) Lunch Fri-Sun; dinner Fri & Sat.  Seems to be a destination BBQ place for the panhandle area. Brisket is the most popular meat but chicken and others get good reviews as well. (Takeout only 9-3-21)

Port Aransas

La Playa–222 Beach Ave. (Mexican) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Specializes in seafood dishes. Crab and shrimp enchiladas, ceviche, Island Pepper (I couldn’t find out what it was but reviewers say it is excellent). The food is Tex-Mex, but it looks as if you have the option of getting more traditional Mexican style (such as if you order green sauce enchiladas). (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Phoenix–3500 Island Moorings Pkwy. (Seafood) Dinner only (closed Mon & Tue).  Ahi tuna is recommended (Yelp reviewers say get the “tuna stack,” which may be the same thing). Get grilled fish here (not the fried). Some say Roosevelt is more upscale and better (and I suspect more expensive). Reviewers say Phoenix is the most upscale place in town that allows casual attire. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Roaring Springs

Taco-Q–1st St. (BBQ & Mexican) Open Tue-Fri 7 am to 10 am and Sat from 5 pm to 10 pm.  This restaurant is so quirky and has such good reviews I had to include it on the list. It is a barbecue restaurant that also serves tacos (and reviewers love the fact that you get chips and salsa with every meal, and that it is excellent salsa). The BBQ menu is pork ribs, brisket sandwich, and chicken with bacon, cream cheese, and jalapenos (the taco menu is larger than the BBQ menu). Roaring Springs is about 10 mi. S of Matador (and about 70 mi. NE of Lubbock). Map (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Rockport

Latitude 28’02–105 N. Austin St. (Seafood) Dinner only (closed Sun). Upscale seafood. Some of the things people recommend are oysters rockefeller, crab stuffed mushrooms, and fish oscar. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Old Fulton Seafood–2828 Hwy 35 N (Seafood) Closed Sun & Mon.  The recommended items here are the local specialties such as flounder and fried shrimp. This is not a romantic, upscale restaurant next to the water, but they do seem to have good food. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Note: Flower’s Shrimp Market seems to be highly recommended if you want to buy shrimp and take it home to cook.

Rowena

Lowake Steak House–12143 US Hwy 67 (Steakhouse) Closed Mon & Tue.  Known for very good steaks in a country setting. Note: it moved from Lowake to Rowena and has new owners. Most say the steaks are still as good as before, but some do not like the other items (including salad and chicken fried steak). Map (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Salt Flat

Cornudas Cafe–Hwy 62 (American) Open 7 am to 5 pm (open daily).  Located between El Paso and the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and it may be the only place to eat on this stretch of road. I have passed by many times and it looked closed, but it must have been because it was past its closing time. Reviewers on Yelp say very good things about the food, although the menu is pretty simple (sandwiches, burgers, burritos, eggs and omelettes). Map (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

San Angelo

Armenta’s Cafe–1325 S. Oakes St. (Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening.  Reviews indicate that it is authentic and very good (but I think it also has Tex-Mex for those who want it). (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Ban Moon–405 W. Ave. N (Lao) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun).  Reviewers say this is the best Asian food in San Angelo. Spicy pad thai, red curry, drunken noodles are recommended. Many dishes here are familiar to those who know Thai food, but the style seems to be northern Thai or Lao. (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Donutopia–2563 Sunset Dr. (Cambodian) Open 6 am to 1 pm (open daily).  Cambodian BBQ plate lunch or pho are recommended. Also has a good variety of donuts. (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Old Central Firehouse–200 S. Magdalen St. (Pizza) Closed Sun & Mon.  The menu here is simple–pizza and beer (I think they might have some other drinks available). To me the pizza might be mostly something of a novelty–they have varieties such as brisket, Mexican street taco (people put lime on it), and pickle (the owners made it on a whim and found out it was good). There are many local Texas beers on tap. The owners rescued the old Trost designed fire station and use it as a restaurant and hotel. (Dining room is open 10-11-21)

Western Sky Steakhouse–2024 N. Chadbourne St. (Steaks) Open daily except Sun evening.  Recommended for steaks by reviewers (but other items such as chicken fried steak are not as popular). (Dining room is open 6-11-20)

Seminole

Friends Diner–1008 SW Ave. G (American) Open 6 am to 2 pm; 6 to 11 am on Sat (closed Sun).  I assume this is Mennonite owned. Reviews indicate it has the same kind of excellent home made food I found at a Mennonite restaurant in Kansas. Hamburgers, biscuits, and breakfast items are especially popular, but also has tuna salad, philly sandwich, and other items. Green chile can be added to any dish. Map (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

Pizzeria La Sierra–618 S. Main St. (Pizza) Closed Sun.  There is a large Mennonite community in Seminole, and this is a restaurant that was imported from Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua and uses Mennonite cheese that originated in Mexico. Map (Dining room is open 6-20-21)

Shamrock

Mesquite Canyon Steakhouse–6511 US 83 (Steaks) Open daily except Sun evening.  Nothing fancy–just Texas style steak that reviewers say is very good and at a better price than you will find in most restaurants. Some reviewers say to skip the chicken fried steak–just get the steak. Located about a mile north of town on US 83. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Sherman

La Placita–1015 W. Houston St. (Salvadoran) Closed Sun.  Both Yelp and the old Urbanspoon site rated this a top place in town with consistently excellent food. Pupusas, tamales, plantains, etc. are popular. (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Mariposa Cuban Cuisine–213 E. Houston St. (Cuban) Closed Sun & Mon.  Has good reviews and looks like an interesting restaurant with a cuisine not found in many cities (especially ones this size). (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Namiku Hibachi–1728 S. FM 1417 (Japanese) Closed Mon.  Reviewers say this is the best Asian food in Sherman. They say it stacks up with hibachi places in other cities. (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Note: see 1836 Cafe in Bells

Somerville

Freedom Ranch–10180 Park Rd. 57 (American) Open daily (breakfast, lunch & dinner).  Mainly a burger place, but has other items such as chicken fried steak, traditional breakfasts, and even black bean veggie burgers (and reviewers say all of these are excellent). Map (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Stephenville

Greer’s Ranch Cafe–190 W. College St. (American) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Has rather upscale, healthy entrees as well as the standard chicken fried steak and similar items (but these are also high quality). (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Hard Eight BBQ–1091 Glen Rose Rd. (BBQ) Open Daily. Most people like the ribs best, but brisket, chicken, and turkey are also good. This is a good example of real pit BBQ. Also has several locations in the Metroplex. (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Jake & Dorothy’s Cafe–406 E. Washington St. (American) Open daily 7 am to 11 pm.  Known for its chicken fried steak, and has been featured on many travel shows as being an iconic example of CFS. Also well known for its breakfast. (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Stinnett

Double XXL Ranch & Steakhouse–7900 SH 152 (w. of Stinnett). Reservations are required (and you can get directions and hours). Steak is said to be the best many guests have ever had. Has other items (salmon & shrimp has an apricot & jalapaaeno glaze). This is a destination restaurant located out in the middle of the country. (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

Strawn

Mary’s Cafe–119 Grant Ave. (American) Open daily 11 am to 9:30 pm. Chicken fried steak is the specialty. One order is likely enough to feed two people (if you are budget conscious). Map (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Temple

Mee Mee’s Thai–2807 W. Adams Ave. (Thai) Closed Sun & Mon. Most Thai restaurants have their best reviews either for the curries or the noodle dishes. Here, though, it looks as if some of the best items are fried rice, tom yum soup, and steamed dumplings. Fried tilapia in garlic pepper sauce also looks good. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Pit Stop Barbeque–502 S. 1st St. (BBQ) Lunch only (closed Sun-Tue).  Reviewers say this is legit Texas BBQ (with brisket that is good plain without the sauce, although there is nothing wrong with the sauce). This place is interesting because it also has Korean food (many like to get kimchee with the BBQ). (Takeout only 8-12-21)

Saigon Cafe–220 SW HK Dodgen Loop (Asian) Open Daily.  Has several types of Asian food, but the specialty seems to be Malaysian. The down side seems to be that the food is not always prepared properly (undercooked, etc.). If you eat in the restaurant, though (don’t get take-out) any problems can be corrected. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Thai Cafe–107 W. Central Ave. (Thai) Closed Sun.  Thai restaurant best known for its curry, and is highly rated. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Terlingua

El Milagro–210 Ivey Rd. (Mexican).  Serves authentic Mexican style street tacos, and has better reviews than other Mexican restaurants in Terlingua (although other local options, including non-Mexican ones, look pretty good). Map (Dining room is open 8-18-21)

Texarkana

Eden Bubble Tea–3003 Richmond Rd. (Chinese) Open 11 am to 9:30 pm (closed Sun). In addition to bubble tea, it has authentic Chinese food (and yes, this seems to be for real). I call this the home cooking type of Chinese food (napa cabbage with meat, noodles, twice cooked bacon, etc.) rather than the more expensive “banquet food.” Located a few blocks north of Interstate 30. (Takeout only 8-12-21)

Naaman’s BBQ–5309 N. State Line Ave. (BBQ) Closed Sun.  Located in an old gas station. People recommend the brisket very highly. (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

Tulia

El Burrito–402 SE 2nd St. (Mexican) Open 7 am to 8 pm (closed Sun evening).  Old school Tex-Mex that I liked because they know how to do this style of food in Texas. Reviewers say the best thing here is the breakfast burrito (but I didn’t try it). Map (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

Tyler

Athena–1592 W. Southwest Loop 323 (Greek) Open Daily.  Gyros is the most popular item, but also has chicken, etc. Vegetables are prepared Greek style. (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

Mikoto Ramen–6611 S. Broadway (Japanese) Open Daily.  Some say it is not as good as Houston restaurants, but most say it is good. Tonkatsu is the most popular ramen. Also serves sushi. (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

Pho Hot–4903 S. Broadway Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon.  Commenters say it has a huge menu, yet most people order the pho (and a few get pad thai). I think it does have other items, though. Some say skip the Thai tea (it is not very good). (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

Stanley’s–525 S. Beckham Ave. (BBQ) Closed Sun. Famous for its brisket (you get a choice of lean, fatty, crispy, or burnt ends). Sausage is probably the second most popular item. (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

Villa Montez–3324 Old Henderson Hwy. (Latin American) Dinner only (closed Sun). Reviewers say it is Latin American and not Mexican, although dinners include chips and salsa (something not normally found in Latin America, including Mexico). I’m including it because it is upscale and is supposed to have very good food. However, I think this is more because they use good ingredients (such as high quality shrimp and Chilean sea bass) than because the recipes are authentically Latin American (however, anything is possible, and it may be very authentic also). (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

For other BBQ options, see listings for Flint, Kilgore and Longview

Uvalde

Taco Bliss–735 W. Main St. (Mexican) Open 6 am to 8 pm (9 pm on Fri); (closed Sun).  Not just tacos, but has plate dinners also. However, the carne asada tacos are one of the most recommended dishes. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Valera

Rancho Loma–2969 CR 422 (Steaks) Fri & Sat nights only. A destination steakhouse out in the middle of the country. Located about 6 mi. w. of Coleman (and about 2 mi. n. of the town of Valera). Map (Dining room is open-reservations seem to be necessary 8-12-21)

Van Horn

Chuy’s–1200 W. Broadway St. (Mexican) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Famous for its John Madden memorabilia (John Madden has stopped here several times on his cross country trips). Serves El Paso style red enchiladas (which I think are better than the Tex-Mex enchiladas to the east, but not quite as good as if you continue west to El Paso). (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Note: El Capitan Hotel in town also gets good reviews but it is expensive–mostly known for steaks (I’m not sure about the prices but it is not a quick place to eat if time is a concern). (8-12-21)

Vega

Hickory Inn Cafe–1004 Vega Blvd. (American) Breakfast & lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Thu & Fri, closed Sun. Diner style food with a home cooking taste. Breakfast with chicken fried steak is popular, biscuits and gravy are very good, and it seems that breakfast is the most popular meal. For lunch or dinner they have burgers and chicken, among other things (chicken fried chicken is popular). Peach cobbler is good for dessert. Hickory Inn is on old US 66 at the intersection of US 385. Map (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Punjabi Dhaba–3650 Interstate 40 (Indian) Open daily 8 am to 10 pm.  Located on the SE corner of I-40 and US 385 interchange. Good reviews (I’m not listing it just because it is Indian food in a small town). Facebook page says they have a buffet all day. Map (Dining room is open 10-30-21)

Vernon

Brown Cow–3205 US 287 (Mexican) Open daily except Sat evening & Sun evening.  Has Mexican food and other items such as chicken fried steak. Most people apparently eat from the buffet, but their favorite is the breakfast buffet. Note: is on the south frontage road of the freeway. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Toro Japanese–3110 US 287 Bus. (Japanese) Closed Mon (closed from 2:30 to 4:30 pm).  Food apparently is better than other Asian options, and I don’t see American restaurants in town with a higher rating than this place. Some say the problem is that they use MSG even when you ask them not to (but I am not sure if this is the truth). Sushi is popular but they have other items also. Note: the Japanese steakhouse in town with excellent reviews seems to have close about the time Toro opened. (Takeout only 8-12-21)

Victoria

Mumphord’s Place BBQ–1202 E. Juan Linn St. (BBQ) Lunch only (dinner on Fri); closed Sun & Mon.  One of the highest rated barbecue restaurants in Victoria. Brisket is said to be the star but some say it is inconsistent (sometimes dry). Many recommend getting the three meat plate because they like everything served here. Cooker uses a combination of mesquite and oak. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Noot’s Thai–6360 N. Navarro St. (Thai) Closed Mon. Good green & red curry. Pad thai does not get good reviews. (Takeout only 8-12-21)

Waco

Clay Pot–416 Franklin Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon & Tue.  Seems to be the best choice in town for Asian food served in a restaurant (not a food truck). Good reviews for the pho, but has other items such as Vietnamese pork chop. (Dining room is open 6-20-21)

Magnolia Table–2132 S. Valley Mills Dr. (American) Open breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun.).  A project of Chip and Joanna Gaines–frequently has a waiting line to get a table (wait can be up to 2 hours). Some say the food was not really that special, but certain items such as the gravy makes it worth it. (Dining room is open 6-20-21)

Rufi’s Cocina–1801 N. 25th St. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Tue).  Based on the photos on Yelp this is the place I would most like to try, although there are several other Mexican restaurants in Waco that also look good (and are traditional Mexican style–not Tex Mex). This one has Michoacan cuisine. (Dining room is open 6-20-21)

The Blasian Asian–720 Franklin Ave. (Cambodian) Closed Mon.  Located in the Union Hall Food Court and seems to be the place to go if you want authentic southeast Asian food. Yelp reviews give good tips about what to order–some are that the rice and yellow noodles are very good. Some say the spicy items are over the top with cumin (but not everything here is spicy). (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Wall

Rogue Kitchen–8022 Loop 570 (American) Breakfast & lunch Sun-Fri; Dinner Tue-Fri (closed Sat).  Popular place for people from San Angelo who want something more unusual and upscale than most other restaurants (especially popular for Sun. brunch). Some of their popular items are bugers, brisket queso, steak medallions, mac & cheese, club sandwich, breakfast tacos, and free beignets served with the Sunday brunch. Map (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

West

Picha’s Czech-American–220 N. Main (Czech) Lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Wed-Sat.  When I ate here it may have had different owners, but it was so good it started my search for Czech restaurants wherever I could find them. This place still serves Czech food, and reviewers say the Czech dinner is recommended (particularly the cabbage rolls, combo plate, etc). What I liked most was the goulash, but I’m not sure it is on the menu any more. Map (Dining room is open 9-10-20)

Note: There are also some kolache stores along Interstate 35 that are quite popular (but they are not full Czech restaurants).

Wharton

Junior’s Smokehouse–164 Co. Rd. 467 (BBQ) Open Daily.  Has good reviews for both its old world specialties (sausage and kolaches) and the local favorites of brisket and jerky. Similar to Prasek’s in El Campo in that it gives you a combination of Czech and Texas flavors, but reviewers say Prasek’s has a larger variety of smoked meats and a particularly good selection of kolaches. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Wichita Falls

El Norteno–110 N. Burnett St. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch daily; dinner Fri & Sat.  Mexican street tacos, house made tortillas, gorditas, green enchiladas, breakfast burritos. Taco Tuesdays are popular. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Highlander Public House–726 Scott Ave. (Irish) Closed Mon.  Irish pub where the food has very good reviews (shepherd’s pie, fish and chips with malt vinegar, pork chop are recommended). (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Hunan–4516 Maplewood Ave. (Chinese) Open Daily.  In reading reviews of other restaurants I believe there is no Chinese restaurant in WF better than Hunan. I enjoyed the family style bean curd (this is an American style dish, but done very well). The service was very good, the tea was good, and prices were cheap. (Dining room is open according to restaurant’s web site–I think it still has the buffet. 7-7-20)

Opa’s Schnitzel Haus–2611 Plaza Parkway (German) Dinner Tue-Sat; lunch Thu-Sat.  Jagerschnitzel, strudel for dessert (seems to be known for its schnitzels). (Dining room is open 7-7-20)

Prine’s Barbecue–1209 13th St. (BBQ) Open Tue-Sat 8 am to 6:30  pm.  Most people agree that this is good barbecue–true Texas style. Many types of meat are recommended, including turkey. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

Salt & Pepper–2611 Plaza Pkwy. (Greek & American) Lunch Tue-Fri; Dinner Thu-Sat.  Casual restaurant with a nice atmosphere. Some of the menu is legitimate Greek food (not gyros) with Greek salad, bruschetta with a Mediterranean twist, hummus, and volos chicken. Rack of lamb and pork chop are diner favorites (but I don’t know if they are Greek style). Yelp says it is $$$ so it may be more expensive than restaurants that should be on this list (but the cuisine is somewhat unique for Texas). (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

Texas Underground BBQ–612 7th St. (BBQ) Lunch Wed-Sat; Dinner Fri & Sat.  Many options for meat, but brisket is the most popular. Ribs are also said to be especially good. Pork burnt ends are something that many BBQ places in Texas do not have. (Dining room is open 9-10-21)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

Chowhound (Texas)

City-Data (Texas Barbecue)

Coastal Texas Barbecue Trail (Victoria, Goliad)

Culture Trip (Texas)

Dine Rank

eGullet (Texas)

Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog

Google Maps

Houstonia (Darlene’s in Galveston)

Houston Press (Galveston seafood)

Texas Bucket List

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Texas)

Zomato (Lubbock)