Restaurant Guide–Texas

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Austin Metro Area

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  • 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. (5-19-19)

Don Luis Cafe–3370 N. 1st St. (Cuban) Open daily until 9 pm.  Also serves Mexican food, but the Cuban is what most reviewers like. (5-19-19)

Krua Thai–790 S. Leggett (Thai) Open Daily.  Reviewers think it is excellent. (5-19-19)

Mian Bistro–6410 Buffalo Gap Rd. (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  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. (5-19-19)

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). (5-19-19)

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. (5-19-19)

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. (5-19-19)

Note: Also see listing for Buffalo Gap

Alamo

Jalisco Mexico Taqueria–707 N. Alamo Rd. (Mexican) Open daily 7am to 11pm.  Great place for street tacos, tortas, etc. (1-21-19)

Albany

Fort Griffin–525 US 180 W (Steakhouse) 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. (5-28-19)

Alice

El Jalisiense–1915 E. Main St. (Mexican) Open daily 6 am to 10 pm.  Authentic taqueria style Mexican food, but has a very diverse menu. Some say for breakfast, though, go to Juanita’s. (1-21-19)

Evant Cafe–202 N. US 281 (American).  Reviewers say it has very good home cooked style meals. They have recently added Mexican food, and this is said to be good as well. (1-21-19)

Alpine

Alicia’s–708 E. Gallego Ave. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only.  Breakfast burritos are very popular. Green chile is spicy. (5-28-19)

Reata–203 N. 5th St. (Steakhouse) Closed Sun (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). (5-28-19)

Thai-Way–100 N. 5th St. (Thai) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2 to 4 pm).  Food seems to be very authentic, but it is served from a food truck with picnic tables outside where you can eat. Located across the street from the Amtrak station. (5-28-19)

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). (2-15-19)

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. (2-15-19)

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). (2-15-19)

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. (2-15-19)

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). (2-15-19)

Sabaidee–3318 S. Georgia St. (Lao) Closed Sun.  Reviewers like the Thai food, but has Lao food (and sticky rice). (2-15-19)

Tyler’s BBQ–2014 Paramount Blvd. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 7:30 pm (closed Sun, Mon, & Sat evening).  Well regarded BBQ. Ribs are recommended. (2-15-19)

Andrews

A Little Taste of Heaven–600 S. Main St. (American) Closed Sun).  Diner food, but not everything is greasy spoon food (has some healthy options). Burger, chicken salad, and strawberry shortcake are recommended. (2-15-19)

Buddy’s Drive In–106 E. Broadway St. (American) Closed Mon.  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. (2-15-19)

La Morena–500 S. Main St. (Mexican).  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. (2-15-19)

Taqueria Los Gavanes–105 NE Ave. F (Mexican) Closed Sun.  Basic but very good taco restaurant (authentic Mexican style). (2-15-19)

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). (1-21-19)

Belton

Miller’s Smokehouse–300 E. Central Ave. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 3 pm (closes 9 pm on Fri & 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. (5-12-19)

Bonham

Bamboo House–413 N. Main St. (Asian) Closed Tue & closed Sun evening.  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. (5-28-19)

Brady

Mac’s BBQ–1903 S. Bridge St. (BBQ).  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). (4-29-19)

Brownsville

3 Marias–3231 Pablo Kisel Blvd. (Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening.  Known for its quesadillas, but reviewers say all the food is fresh and authentic. Has mole. (1-21-19)

Mr. Taco–1034 McDavitt Blvd. (Mexican).  Authentic street tacos. Cheese is Mexican white cheese (not American style). Very good reviews for the tacos. (1-21-19)

Pho and Chinese–2155 Ruben Torres Blvd. (Vietnamese and Chinese) Open Daily.  Reviewers say this is the best Asian restaurant in the valley, and that both Vietnamese and Chinese food are good. (1-21-19)

The best fish dinner I ever had was in Matamoros, so consider crossing the border if the security situation permits. For seafood restaurants in the U.S., it seems to be best to go to Port Isabel or South Padre Island.

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. (5-11-19)

Chicken Oil Co.–3600 S. College Ave. (Burgers) Open Daily.  Good hamburgers, but I think the main attraction is the building (good college ambiance). (5-11-19)

El Sol de Mexico–705 N. Texas Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Authentic (serves aguas frescas). Reviewers say food is excellent. (5-11-19)

Kluay Kluay Thai–3203 Freedom Blvd. (Thai) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say it is high quality Thai (like food served in big cities) and that lunch specials are a very good deal. (5-11-19)

Taqueria Poblana–3200 Boonville Rd. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Thu-Sat.  Real deal Mexican food that specializes in tacos al pastor. (5-11-19)

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. (5-19-19)

Cameron

Dutch Towne Deli & Cafe–412 W. Batte St. (Sandwiches) Open daily until 3 pm.  This is not the typical sandwich shop–food is more toward the gourmet end. Also has daily specials such as meat loaf and chicken and dumplings. (2-10-19)

Hayashi–1607 N. Travis Ave. (Japanese).  Big city style Japanese food (owner used to have a restaurant in Houston). Will prepare items off the menu for an authentic meal. (2-10-19)

Canyon

Ranch House Cafe–810 23rd St. (American) Open daily except Sat evening & Sun evening.  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. (2-15-19)

Sayakomarn Thai & Lao–419 16th St. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Green curry is a favorite of reviewers. (2-15-19)

College Station

555 Grill–2501 S. Texas Ave. (Chinese) Closed Mon (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Good reviews–at least some of the dishes seem to be authentic (Sichuan style). (5-11-19)

Conway

Thai and Chinese–299 Texas Hwy 207 (Thai) Closed Sun. I’m working with limited information about the name of the restaurant, the address, and the hours.  What I believe is correct is that it is located just off of Interstate 40 Exit 96 (the Conway exit east of Amarillo) and that the Thai food is good (according to the one review I have seen). Located on the south side of Interstate 40. (2-26-19)

Copperas Cove

Yongs–310 Cove Terrace Shopping Center (Korean). 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. (4-29-19)

Yum Yum Thai–107 Cove Terrace Shopping Center (Thai) Closed Mon.  Reviewers say the food tastes like a “Thai mom” would make in her own home. (4-29-19)

Note: C & H Hawaiian Grill at 105 E. Ave. E is also highly rated–see Killeen listings for info. on their sister restaurant.

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. (5-3-19)

Linda’s–4033 Gollihar Rd. (Tex-Mex).  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. (5-3-19)

Little Manila Lumpia House–2124 Waldron Rd. (Filipino).  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. (5-3-19)

Pho Saigon–3735 S. Alameda St. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun. Many say the pho is better than at Vietnam Restaurant, but some other items are not as good. Lemongrass chicken (or any noodle bowl) is good. Restaurant is said to be “clean” but not as upscale as Vietnam. I’m listing two Vietnamese restaurants in CC because I can’t find a Chinese rest. I want to list. (5-3-19)

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. (5-3-19)

Snoopy’s Pier–13313 S. Padre Island Dr. (Seafood) Open Daily. Popular for fried fish, fried shrimp, fish & chips. Many recommend the mahi mahi. On the waterfront with a good view. (5-3-19)

Thai Cottage–5830 McArdle Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 3 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.). (5-3-19)

The Blue Cove–5884 Everhart Rd. (Seafood) 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. (5-3-19)

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.” (5-3-19)

Z Counter–1220 Airline Rd. (Asian Fusion) Open Daily.  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. (5-3-19)

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. (2-10-19)

Corsicana Garden–111 Northwood Blvd. (Chinese).  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. (2-10-19)

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. (5-11-19)

La Hacienda–330 Pecan St. (Mexican) Open daily to 7 pm (9 pm on Fri, 6 pm on Sun).  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. (5-11-19)

Pho Rio–321 S. Main St. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say the pho is fine but you do not get basil with it. They do like the fact that there is some decent Asian food in town. (5-11-19)

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). (5-22-19)

Dickinson

Flippers Coastal Seafood–628 FM 517 W (Seafood) Open Daily.  Has Cajun style seafood, which reviewers say is very good. (5-28-19)

Pho 20–2251 FM 646 W. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun.  For quality it is similar to Houston restaurants, but not as many menu options (the menu is large, though, for the Galveston-Texas City area). Sushi is also said to be quite good. (5-28-19)

Dublin

Dr. Pepper Museum–105 E. Elm St. (Soda Shop) Closed Mon. 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). (5-11-19)

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. (5-8-19)

Eastland

Circle M BBQ–345 IH-20 E (BBQ) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun & Mon). Reviewers say this is worthy of being called Texas BBQ (brisket and ribs are noteworthy). Chicken fried steak and hamburgers, though, are equally good. (5-28-19)

Edinburg

Snowbite–2405 W. University Dr. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun.  In addition to a regular Vietnamese menu, it also has Vietnamese-Mexican fusion food (such as Mexican meats in a banh mi sandwich). (1-21-19)

El Campo

Prasek’s Hillje Smokehouse–29714 US 59 (BBQ) Open Daily. 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. Junior’s in Wharton also has a Czech-Texas combination of food, but seems to specialize in sausage. (3-25-19)

Ellinger

Hruska’s Bakery–109 W. Hwy 71 (Kolaches) Open Daily.  Many say this is the best place to stop for kolaches between Houston and Austin. (5-28-19)

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. (3-25-19)

Flint

Purple Pig–19785 Hwy 155 S. (BBQ) Open Daily.  Brisket and pulled pork sandwiches are good. Also has catfish. (2-26-19)

Fort Stockton

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. (5-11-19)

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. (6-23-19)

Der Lindenbaum–312 E. Main St. (German) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  Jagerschnitzel is recommended. Visa and Mastercard are not accepted (most people pay cash). (6-23-19)

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. (6-23-19)

Otto’s–316 E. Austin St. (German) Dinner daily (4 pm to 10:30 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. (6-23-19)

Galveston

BLVD Seafood–28th & Seawall Blvd. (Seafood) Open daily (open until 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. (2-27-19)

Darlene’s Shrimp Shack (Seafood) Open Daily.  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). (2-27-19)

Gaido’s–3828 Seawall Blvd. (Seafood) Open daily (open until 9 pm).  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. (2-27-19)

Happy Coffee Shop–5102 Broadway St. (Cambodian) Open daily (breakfast & lunch only–open until 6 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. (2-27-19)

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). (2-27-19)

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. (2-27-19)

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. (2-27-19)

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. (3-25-19)

Gonzales Food Market–311 St. Lawrence St. (BBQ).  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. (3-25-19)

Harlingen

Las Vegas–1101 W. Harrison Ave. (Mexican) Closed Sun. The food is good in general, but best items are the daily specials (chile relleno on Mon, enchiladas suizas on Tue, etc.). Serves breakfast starting 6 am. Enchiladas appear to be Tex-Mex style. (1-21-19)

Pacific Island Kitchen–2224 S. 77 Sunshine Strip (Filipino) Open 8 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Filipino plate is recommended (pancit, lumpia, and adobo). (1-21-19)

Hempstead

Hill Country BBQ–27004 Hwy. 6 (BBQ) Open Tue-Sun (lunch only Tue, Wed, Sun).  Real Texas BBQ. Brisket and banana pudding are said to be the best items. (5-28-19)

Hillsboro

R & K Restaurant–103 N. Waco St. (American) Open daily except Sun evening.  This is the highest rated restaurant in town–known for the meat with 3 sides. Spanish omelette is recommended for breakfast. (4-12-18)

Huntsville

Carbonero–1524 11th St. (El Salvadorian) Open daily except Sun evening.  One of the highest rated restaurants in Huntsville. Rotisserie chicken is said to be very good (and pupusas). (6-23-19)

Farmhouse Cafe–1004 14th St. (Southern) Closed Sun.  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 don’t like it still actually like it, but say it is not any better than many other places. (6-23-19)

New Zion Missionary Baptist–2601 Montgomery Rd. (BBQ) Open Thu-Sat lunch & dinner.  Ribs, Sweet Potato pie (McKenzie’s may be better for brisket). (6-23-19)

Jasper

Senor Bill’s–N. Wheeler St. (BBQ).  Small BBQ joint that is the real deal. (5-28-19)

Son Asian Bistro–610 W. Gibson St. (Asian) Open Daily.  Serves several Asian cuisines. Reviews are good for Thai and Vietnamese, but not so good for the Chinese food. (5-28-19)

Jefferson

Joseph’s Riverport BBQ–201 N. Polk St. (BBQ) Closed Mon (lunch only).  One of the best BBQ places in TX. Ribs, brisket, sausage. Brisket seems to be especially good. (5-28-19)

Kerrville

Mary’s Tacos–1616 Broadway St. (Mexican).  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. (5-12-19)

Thai Ocha–417 Water St. (Thai) Open daily 11 am to 9:30 pm. 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. (5-12-19)

Yeo-Bo’s Cafe–804 Water St. (Korean) Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner Wed-Fri.  Stone bowl, bulgogi, and beef soup are good choices. (5-12-19)

Kilgore

Country Tavern–1526 FM 2767 (BBQ) Closed Sun. Ribs are specialty, but brisket & turkey are also outstanding. West of town toward Tyler. (2-26-19)

Killeen

Bululu Bar and Grill–104 W. Elms Rd. (Venezuelan) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Has a large selection of Venezuelan food to try (not just arepas). People give very good reviews of the food. (5-12-19)

C & H Hawaiian Grill–903 E. Rancier Ave. (Hawaiian) Open 10:30 am to 7:30 pm (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. (4-29-19)

Peking–307 N. 8th St. (Korean) Closed Sun & Mon.  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). (5-12-19)

Tex-Rican–908 S. Fort Hood St. (Puerto Rican) Lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Fri & Sat.  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. (5-12-19)

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.  Highly rated Mexican restaurant that serves plate dinners (is not a taco place or hole in the wall). (1-21-19)

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). (1-21-19)

La Grange

Prause Meat Market–253 W. Travis St. (BBQ) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sat & Sun).  Very popular Texas style BBQ. Ribs and brisket are recommended. (6-23-19)

Weikel’s Bakery–2247 W. Hwy 71 (Kolaches) Open Daily.  Cherry kolaches are recommended. (6-23-19)

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. (5-12-19)

Laredo

Comida Caribena–2819 San Bernardo Ave. (Cuban) Closed Sun dinner & Mon.  Reviewers say it has authentic Cuban food. (5-26-19)

Danny’s–4320 McPherson Ave. (Mexican).  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. (5-26-19)

El Meson de San Augustin–908 Grant St. (Mexican) Lunch only–closes at 4:30 pm (closed Sun).  Pechuga de pollo rellena. From the photos this looks authentic and is a place I would want to try. (5-26-19)

Las Kekas–3914 McPherson Ave. (Mexican) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Specializes in keka, a Mayan dish like a gordita. Authentic food from a region of Mexico not often represented by US restaurants. (5-26-19)

Palenque Grill–7220 NE Bob Bullock Loop (Mexican) Open Daily (open until midnight).  Authentic north Mexican style food in an upscale setting. (5-26-19)

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. (5-26-19)

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. (2-10-19)

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). (5-12-19)

Lockhart

Black’s BBQ–215 N. Main St. (BBQ) Open daily 10 am to 8 pm.  Beef ribs & brisket are best, chicken is good, burnt ends are excellent, cherry cobbler and slaw are excellent (prob. better than Smitty’s). (6-23-19)

Smitty’s Market–208 S. Commerce St. (BBQ) Open daily until 6 pm.  Brisket, ribs, sausage. (6-23-19)

Longview

Bodacious Bar-B-Q–2227 S. Mobberly Ave. (BBQ) Lunch only (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). (2-26-19)

Hick and Frog–108 E. Tyler Ave. (French) Lunch Tue-Fri; dinner Fri & Sat.  Very good reviews. This is a bistro type of French restaurant (sandwiches, etc.) and is affordable for the type of food served. (2-26-19)

Lil Thai House–212 N. Fredonia St. (Thai) Lunch Tue-Fri; dinner Fri.  Reviewers say the food is authentic and delicious (it’s worth seeking out despite the restaurant’s limited hours). (2-26-19)

Ramen Saikou–1426 McCann Rd. (Japanese) Closed Sun evening & closed Mon.  Good reviews (it may not be up to Dallas standards but it seems to be close). Good variety of ramen. Also has bao. (2-26-19)

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. (4-17-19)

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). (4-17-19)

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. (4-17-19)

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. (4-17-19)

Joel’s–3116 Amherst St. (Tex-Mex) Breakfast & lunch daily.  Small neighborhood rest. that is the “go to” place for many locals. (4-17-19)

La Sirena–2610 Salem Ave. (Latin American) Dinner only (closed Sun).  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. (4-17-19)

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. (4-17-19)

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. (4-17-19)

Saigon Cafe–4515 50th St. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 8:30 pm (closed 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). (4-17-19)

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. (4-17-19)

Vizo’s–4930 S. Loop 389 (African) Closed 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. (4-17-19)

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) Closes at 6 pm (closed Sun).  Many say it’s better than Lockhart. Brisket, ribs, & sausage. (6-29-19)

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. (6-29-19)

Marfa

Capri Kitchen–603 W. San Antonio (International).  Eclectic food that mostly has good reviews. Older reviews said they had Filipino food on Sunday and Monday (I don’t know if they still do). Specializes in local cuisine (and sometimes runs out of items in the early afternoon). (6-29-19)

Cochineal–107 W. San Antonio (International) Open 5 pm to 10 pm (closed Tue & Wed).  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. (6-29-19)

Convenience West–1411 W. San Antonio St. (BBQ) Open 5 pm to 9 pm Fri-Sun 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. (6-29-19)

Stellina–103 Highland St. (Italian) Open 5 pm to 9:30 pm (closed Sun-Tue).  Serves small plates (so you don’t pay for food you’re not going to eat). This seems to have consistently good reviews for both the food and the service. (6-29-19)

Marlin

Big Creek Butcher Shop–606 N. Business Hwy. 6 (BBQ) Lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Wed-Fri.  Known for its brisket and other BBQ, but a hidden gem here is the sausage made with a recipe handed down from Germany. (4-12-18)

Marshall

Best of Texas BBQ–323 Bailey Cut-Off Rd. (BBQ) Open Thu-Sat only.  Reviewers say brisket is excellent (but go to Bodacious for ribs). (7-7-19)

Bodacious BBQ–2018 Victory Dr. (BBQ) Open Daily.  Ribs are excellent, many like the chopped beef. Many think the sides are excellent. (7-7-19)

Central Perks–211 N. Washington Ave. (Sandwiches) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  Healthy food–has a vegan menu.  Specializes in wraps & lunch plates. (7-7-19)

Medina’s–510 S. Alamo Blvd. (Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening.  Authentic and home made. Enchiladas have red or green sauce (this is not Tex-Mex food). (7-7-19)

Taste of India–304 I-20 E. (Indian) Open Daily.  Punjabi style Indian food that is said to be authentic and very good. (7-7-19)

McAllen

Delia’s–4800 S. 23rd St. (Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening.  Only serves tamales, but reviewers say these are the best you will find outside of Mexico. (1-21-19)

Hop Tung–4200 N. 10th St. (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Serves both Vietnamese & Chinese food, but Chinese food is American style.  Most people like the food–the issues people have is usually with the service, though. (1-21-19)

La Pasada Taqueria–2228 N. 10th St. (Mexican) Closed Sun-Mon (& Wed evening).  Mexican style street tacos, but also has a regular menu (enchiladas suizas are popular). (1-21-19)

Lebanese Bistro–4037 W. Expwy. 83 (Lebanese) Closed Sun.  Many people (who have traveled to many other cities) say the falafel here is the best they have ever eaten. (1-21-19)

Schneider’s–5507 N. Ware Rd. (German) Dinner only (closed Sun-Tue).  Large menu & good food. This rest. compares with New Braunfels or Fredericksburg. (1-21-19)

Meridian

Zur Autobahn–Highway 22 about 5 mi. west of town (German) Not sure about the hours but it seems to be dinner 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. (4-12-18)

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. (6-29-19)

I Love Pho–3303 N. Midkiff Rd. (Vietnamese).  Has excellent reviews if you are looking for Asian food. (6-29-19)

King and I–801 N. Big Spring St. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 3 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. (6-29-19)

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). (6-29-19)

Strawberry Fields Cafe–2311 W. Wadley Ave. (Organic) Open until 7 pm (closed Sun).  In addition to obviously healthy food, it also has some very good brownies. (Located inside Natural Foods Market). (6-29-19)

Taqueria El Gallo de Jalisco–1422 Rankin Hwy. (Mexican).  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. (6-29-19)

Mission

Pho Le Lai–2307 E. Griffin Pkwy. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun.  Very good pho. Has other Vietnamese items on the menu–they are southern Cal. quality, but probably the selection here is much more limited. (1-21-19)

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. (6-29-19)

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. (6-29-19)

Odessa Donuts & Deli–1520 N. Grant Ave. (Cambodian) Open 24 hrs according to Yelp. Probably the donut shop is open 24 hours and the restaurant is not, but lunch is available until 3:30 (this is all the information I have about the hours). It is apparent, though, that the Cambodian food is very good. (6-29-19)

Taqueria Guadalupana–1255 S. Grant Ave. (Mexican) Open daily (open past midnight).  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. (6-29-19)

Pampa

Mejia’s Bakery–319 W. Foster Ave. (Mexican) Open Mon-Sat 6:30 am to 7 pm; Sun breakfast & lunch. Authentic Mexican food–specializes in street tacos. Has some interesting looking plate lunches (with red or green sauce). Also has fresh bakery items. (5-8-19)

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. (5-11-19)

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). (5-11-19)

Plainview

Taqueria Jalisco–1001 N. Interstate 27 (Mexican).  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). (5-8-19)

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). Note: I have seen no reviews after the hurricane, so I’m not sure if it’s still open. (10-14-17)

Phoenix–337 N. Alister St. (Seafood) Lunch daily; Dinner Wed-Sun.  Ahi tuna is recommended (Yelp reviewers say get the “tuna stack,” which may be the same thing). Get grilled fish here (not the fried). However, some say Roosevelt is more upscale and better (and I suspect more expensive). Note: Yelp says it has reopened after the hurricane. (10-14-17)

Port Isabel

Chef House–313 E. Queen Isabella Blvd. (New American) Breakfast & lunch only.  Upscale Amer. food & seafood, but also has good moles and other Mexican food. (7-7-19)

Joe’s Oyster Bar–207 E. Maxan St. (Seafood) Open daily 11 am to 7 pm.  Good and cheap fried shrimp if you’re not looking for an upscale setting (just good food). (7-7-19)

Manuel’s–313 E. Maxan St. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (Closed Mon).  Mexican style breakfast is the specialty. (7-7-19)

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. (3-25-19)

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. (3-25-19)

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.  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). (6-26-19)

Salt Flat

Cornudas Cafe–Hwy 62 (American) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Mon & Tue).  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 of 3 pm (4 pm on Sat & Sun). Reviewers on Yelp say very good things about the food, although the menu is pretty simple (sandwiches, burgers, burritos, eggs and omelettes). (4-22-19)

San Angelo

Armenta’s Cafe–1325 S. Oakes St. (Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening (open for breakfast).  Reviews indicate that it is authentic and very good (but I think it also has Tex-Mex for those who want it). (4-8-17)

Ban Moon–405 W. Ave. N (Lao) 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. (6-26-19)

Donutopia–2563 Sunset Dr. (Cambodian) Breakfast and lunch only (closed Sun).  Cambodian BBQ plate lunch or pho are recommended. Also has a good variety of donuts. Note: closes at noon Mon & Sat, 1:00 pm Tue-Fri. (6-26-19)

Peepsi’s BBQ–208 S. Oakes St. (BBQ) Lunch Wed-Sun; dinner Wed-Sat.  Ribs, brisket, pulled pork are recommended. (4-8-17)

Zentner’s Daughter--1901 Knickerbocker Rd. (Steaks) Open daily except Sun. lunch.  This has been around for years and has a large following.  These days, though, I hear that Lowake is even better (in Lowake, TX). (4-8-17)

Sherman

La Placita–1015 W. Houston St. (El Salvador) 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. (5-22-19)

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). (2-10-19)

South Padre Island

Cap’n Roy’s–1313 Padre Blvd. (Seafood) Open Daily.  Shrimp, fish tacos (serves a variety of Mexican food). Fish tacos seem to be the specialty. (5-22-19)

F&B–3109 Padre Blvd. (Seafood) Open daily (dinner only but brunch & dinner on Sun).  Upscale food that specializes in seafood, but this is not all they have (another specialty is Italian, but this seems to be mostly for side dishes). Costs about $40 per person. If someone has made a special trip to SPI and they want the best seafood possible, this seems to be a good bet. (5-22-19)

Gabriella’s–700 Padre Blvd. (Italian) Open daily (dinner only).  I think this has a connection with Gabriella’s in Oklahoma City and Isle of Capri in Krebs, OK. The reason I’m including it, though, is because it has good reviews. However, reviews are very skewed between 5 stars and 1 or 2 stars. (5-22-19)

Pier 19–1 Padre Blvd. (Seafood) Open Daily.  Tourist place with a view, but not a tourist trap (many say the food is some of the best). Fried shrimp, coconut shrimp, blackened fish, ceviche, oysters Rockefeller are recommended. (5-22-19)

Stephenville

Bangkok Thai–2101 W. Washington St. (Thai) Open Daily.  Seems like pretty solid Thai food (yellow curry and Panang curry are recommended). Has papaya salad. Also has Japanese food. (4-22-19)

Greer’s Ranch Cafe–190 W. College St. (American) Open daily except Sun evening.  Has rather upscale, healthy entrees as well as the standard chicken fried steak and similar items (but these are also high quality). (4-22-19)

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. (4-22-19)

Jake & Dorothy’s Cafe–406 E. Washington St. (American) Open daily 5:30 am to midnight.  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. (4-22-19)

Strawn

Mary’s Cafe–119 Grant Ave. (American) Open daily 11 am to 11 pm. Chicken fried steak is the specialty. One order is likely enough to feed two people (if you are budget conscious). (4-22-19)

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. (5-12-19)

Pit Stop Barbeque–502 S. 1st St. (BBQ) Lunch only (closed Sun & Mon).  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). (5-12-19)

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. (5-12-19)

Thai Cafe–107 W. Central Ave. (Thai) Closed Mon.  Thai restaurant best known for its curry, and is highly rated. (4-12-18)

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. (2-26-19)

Naaman’s BBQ–5309 N. State Line Ave. (BBQ) Closed Sun.  Located in an old gas station. People recommend the brisket very highly. (2-26-19)

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. (2-26-19)

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. (2-26-19)

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). (2-26-19)

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. (2-26-19)

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). (2-26-19)

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

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). (4-22-19)

Van Horn

Chuy’s–1200 W. Broadway St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  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). (5-11-19)

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). (5-11-19)

Vega

Hickory Inn Cafe–1004 Vega Blvd. (American) Breakfast & lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Thu & Fri. 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. (5-8-19)

Vernon

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. (6-26-19)

Victoria

Mumphord’s Place BBQ–1202 E. Juan Linn St. (BBQ) Lunch only (dinner on Fri).  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. (3-24-19)

Noot’s Thai–6360 N. Navarro St. (Thai) Closed Mon. Good green & red curry. Pad thai does not get good reviews. (3-24-19)

Waco

Clay Pot–416 Franklin Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon.  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. (4-12-18)

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. (4-12-18)

Rufi’s Cocina–1801 N. 25th St. (Mexican) Lunch daily except Tue; dinner Fri & Sat only.  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). (4-12-18)

The Blasian Asian–202 S. University Parks Dr. (Cambodian) Closed Mon.  This is a food truck but seems to be the place to go if you want authentic southeast Asian food. Food may have MSG which may already be mixed in and cannot be omitted, but I doubt that all items served would have MSG. (4-12-18)

Weslaco

Mi Pueblo Bakery–1504 W. Pike Blvd. (Bakery).  Very popular Mexican bakery. Some say the restaurant next door (Ciro’s) is also very good. A local on Chowhound said the best hole-in-the-wall Mexican place was Mi Taqueria Jalisco. (1-21-19)

Note: Reviewers on Chowhound recommend the following places in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico: Arturo’s (well known, more upscale restaurant) and La Fogata.  You can park in a pay parking lot on the Texas side of the river–it is about a quarter mile walk to Arturo’s.

West

Picha’s Czech-American–220 N. Main (Czech) Closed Sun & Tue dinner.  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. (4-12-18)

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. (3-25-19)

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. (5-16-17)

Highlander Public House–726 Scott Ave. (Irish) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Irish pub where the food has very good reviews (shepherd’s pie, fish and chips with malt vinegar, pork chop are recommended). (6-26-19)

Hunan–4516 Maplewood Ave. (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  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. (5-17-17)

Jasten’s Ice & Banh Mi–3401 Kemp Blvd. (Vietnamese) Open to 8 pm (7 pm on Sun–closed Mon).  Fresh food–people eat here because the sandwiches are good (it’s not just a novelty in a town otherwise mostly devoid of Asian food). (5-16-17)

Opa’s Schnitzel Haus–2611 Plaza Parkway (German) Closed Sun & Mon.  Jagerschnitzel, strudel for dessert (seems to be known for its schnitzels). (6-26-19)

Prine’s Barbecue–1209 13th St. (BBQ) Open Tue-Sat 8 am to 7 pm.  Most people agree that this is good barbecue–true Texas style. Many types of meat are recommended, including turkey. (5-16-17)

 

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)

eGullet (Texas)

Houstonia (Darlene’s in Galveston)

Houston Press (Galveston seafood)

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

Yelp (Texas)

Zomato (Lubbock)