Restaurant Guide–Texas

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Austin Metro Area

Dallas/Fort Worth Metro Area

El Paso Metro Area

Houston Metro Area

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

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. (4-8-17)

Krua Thai–790 S. Leggett (Thai) Open Daily.  Reviewers think it is excellent. (4-8-17)

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. (4-8-17)

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. (4-8-17)

Note: Also see listing for Buffalo Gap

Alamo

Jalisco Mexico Taqueria–707 N. Alamo Rd. (Mexican).  Great place for street tacos, tortas, etc. (4-1-16)

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. (4-8-17)

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. (3-14-16)

Alpine

Alicia’s–708 E. Gallego Ave. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only.  Breakfast burritos are very popular. Green chile is spicy. (4-9-17)

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). (4-9-17)

Amarillo

Bangkok–5901 E. Amarillo Blvd. (Thai).  Very good Thai food, and seems to be exclusively Thai (I think this is good because it is hard to do a good job with Thai and Chinese food at the same time).  The building is old, so go for the food and not the ambiance. (4-9-17)

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. (4-9-17)

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. (4-9-17)

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). (4-9-17)

Sabaidee–3318 S. Georgia St. (Lao) Open daily except Sun evening.  Reviewers like the Thai food, but has Lao food (and sticky rice). (4-9-17)

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. (4-9-17)

Note: I have eaten at the Big Texan and other steak restaurants here.  They were good, but if you get a chance, go to Cagle’s in Lubbock (this was better)

Andrews

A Little Taste of Heaven–600 S. Main St. (American) Open noon to 9 pm (closed Sat;  open 2 pm to 7 pm on Sun).  Diner food, but not everything is greasy spoon food (has some healthy options). Burger, chicken salad, and strawberry shortcake are recommended. (4-9-17)

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. (4-9-176)

Taqueria Los Gavanes–105 NE Ave. F (Mexican) Closed Sun.  Basic but very good taco restaurant (authentic Mexican style). (4-9-17)

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). (3-14-16)

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. (3-19-17)

Brady

Mac’s BBQ–1903 S. Bridge St. (BBQ).  This is the “other” BBQ joint in town (the one with the second highest ratings).  The food here is very good, though.  Compared to The Spread there is 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).  Also they say the sauce is weak (thin and not very tasty).  I would say, though, that in Texas people usually eat the meal with no or very little sauce (thus the sauce is not of great importance).  It recently changed owners, so any older reviews would not apply here. (2-16-16)

The Spread Pit BBQ–2010 S. Bridge St. (BBQ) Open daily 10:30 am to 9 pm.  Texas has a lot of barbecue restaurants, but this looks worthy to put on a short list.  Brisket and ribs are the most popular.  In addition, has a lot of less common choices such as chicken, turkey, quail, and sausage. (2-16-16)

Brownsville

3 Marias–504 Jose Marti Blvd. (Mexican) Open daily 8 am to 10 pm.  Few reviews, so I’m judging partly from the pictures.  Looks good and authentic.  Has mole. (4-1-16)

Mr. Taco–1034 McDavitt Blvd. (Mexican).  Authentic street tacos.  Cheese is Mexican white cheese (not American style).  Very good reviews for the tacos. (4-1-16)

Sasi’s Thai–2100 FM 802 (Thai) Closed Sun. & Mon.  Good Asian food for Brownsville, but average when compared to other cities.  Stir fried (especially the basil dish) seems to be the best item here, and the only one with consistently good reviews.  Note: located on E. Ruben Torres Blvd. (4-1-16)

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. (10-14-17)

Chicken Oil Co.–3600 S. College Ave. (Burgers) Open Daily.  Good hamburgers, but I think the main attraction is the building (good college ambiance). (10-14-17)

El Sol de Mexico–705 N. Texas Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Authentic (serves aguas frescas). Reviewers say food is excellent. (10-14-17)

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. (10-14-17)

Taqueria Poblana–3200 Boonville Rd. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Thu-Sat.  Real deal Mexican food that specializes in tacos al pastor. (10-14-17)

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. (4-8-17)

Cameron

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. (11-15-15)

Canyon

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

College Station

555 Grill–2501 S. Texas Ave. (Chinese) Lunch Sat & Sun; dinner Tue-Sun.  Good reviews–at least some of the dishes seem to be authentic (Sichuan style). (10-14-17)

Conway

Thai and Chinese–299 Texas Hwy 207 (Thai) Closed Mon.  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). (2-15-16)

Copperas Cove

Pam’s Place–107 Cove Terr. (American) Lunch Mon-Fri; dinner Thu & Fri.  Fried seafood (shrimp, catfish, etc.) that reviewers say is as good as you will get on the coast. (4-15-16)

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

Cancun Seafood–11862 State Hwy. 361 (Seafood) Open daily (until 11 pm on Fri & Sat).  Mostly fried seafood, but seems to be a little more upscale than other places in town.  Yelp reviewers like the food but downgrade the rating based on the service.  Despite the name it does not seem to be a Mexican restaurant in any way. (3-14-16)

Ginger Cafe–7009 S. Staples St. (Middle Eastern) Open daily except Sun evening.  Good Lebanese food.  Menu has vegan and vegetarian dinners.  However, reviews seem to be best for the meat items. (3-14-16)

Linda’s–4033 Gollihar Rd. (Mexican).  Breakfast tacos, puffy tacos, enchiladas with green sauce are very popular.  This seems to be a favorite Mexican place with locals. (3-14-16)

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. (3-14-16)

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.  I’m listing two Vietnamese restaurants in CC because I can’t find a Chinese rest. I want to list. (3-14-16)

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. (3-14-16)

Snoopy’s Pier–13313 S. Padre Island Dr. (Seafood) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  Popular for fried fish, fried shrimp, fish & chips.  Many recommend the mahi mahi.  On the waterfront with a good view. (3-14-16)

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. (3-14-16)

Vietnam–701 N. Water St. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  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. (3-14-16)

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.  Cookies–cherry icebox, cinnamon vanilla.  Many people say this place is hyped up, though.  Also has a location on I-45 and a Bellmead (Waco) location. (4-15-16)

Del Rio

El Patio–1206 E. Gibbs St. (Mexican) Lunch daily; Dinner Thu-Sun.  Being a border town, Del Rio should have some good Mexican food. Most restaurants, though, have some reviews that give good ratings because the food is authentic and some that downgrade them because they are Tex-Mex. Not having consistent information, though, I think the best bet is to put El Patio on the list because its specialty is enchiladas suizas (which in my experience have always been good when they are done the right way). (4-9-17)

Denison

Old Mining Camp–3116 Regency Ln. (BBQ) Closed Sun & Mon.  Good reviews for the brisket, ribs, and huckleberry pie. Some reviewers say they charge a surcharge if you pay by credit card, and it’s best to pay cash (I don’t know why this is the case, but I’m just passing on the information). (3-19-17)

Dickinson

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). (5-16-17)

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). (4-15-16)

Dumas

Alley Cafe–102 E. 7th St. (American) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sat & Sun).  Specializes in soups & sandwiches.  Some favorites are Reuben, shepherds pie, potato soup, and any of the desserts. (2-15-16)

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. (4-8-17)

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). (4-1-16)

El Campo

Prasek’s Hillje Smokehouse–29714 US 59 (BBQ) Open 7 days.  Chopped beef sandwich, chicken, kolaches, homemade pies. (3-14-16)

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. (5-16-17)

Flint

Purple Pig–19785 Hwy 155 S. (BBQ) Open Daily.  Brisket and pulled pork sandwiches are good.  Also has catfish. (1-7-16)

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. (4-9-17)

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. (11-13-17)

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). (11-13-17)

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. (11-13-17)

Otto’s–316 E. Austin St. (German) Dinner daily (4 pm to 11 pm) plus Sun brunch.  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. (11-13-17)

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. (5-16-17)

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. (5-16-17)

Happy Coffee Shop–5102 Broadway St. (Cambodian) Open daily (breakfast & lunch only–most days open until 6 pm).  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. (5-16-17)

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). (5-16-17)

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. (5-16-17)

Shrimp & Stuff–3901 Ave. O (Seafood) Open Daily.  Fried shrimp, cole slaw, gumbo. Has large crowds but they can handle it. There is a second location at 216 23rd St. (5-16-17)

Gonzales

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. (3-14-16)

Lexington Grill–614 St. Paul St. (American) Breakfast daily; lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Fri & Sat.  Upscale restaurant.  Has typical American food but they are a step up from most restaurants.  Sunday brunch is popular. (3-14-16)

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. (4-1-16)

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). (4-1-16)

Hempstead

Hill Country BBQ–27004 Hwy. 6 (BBQ) Open Tue-Sat (lunch only Tue-Wed).  Real Texas BBQ. Ribs, sausage, brisket are recommended. (5-16-17)

Huntsville

New Zion Missionary Baptist–2601 Montgomery Rd. (BBQ) Open Thu-Sat lunch & dinner.  Ribs, Sweet Potato pie (McKenzie’s may be better for brisket). (5-16-17)

Jarrell

Ruby’s Cafe–305 Limestone Terr. (American).  Good homestyle American food.  Some say it has the best chicken fried steak ever.  Potato salad, homemade slaw, and vegetables are also very good.  This is one the south side of Jarrell (one reviewer says to take Exit 275 if you’re going northbound, and turn right just before the truck stop). (4-15-16)

Jasper

Senor Bill’s–N. Wheeler St. (BBQ).  Small BBQ joint that is the real deal. (5-16-17)

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. (5-16-17)

Jefferson

Joseph’s Riverport BBQ–201 N. Polk St. (BBQ) Closed Mon.  One of the best BBQ places in TX. Ribs, brisket, sausage. Brisket seems to be especially good. (5-16-17)

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 and burritos seem to be the most popular. (2-2-16)

Thai Ocha–417 Water St. (Thai) Open daily 11 am to 9 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. (2-2-16)

Yeo-Bo’s Cafe–804 Water St. (Korean) Closed Sat & Sun (according to Yelp) and closed from 3 to 5 pm.  Stone bowl, bulgogi, and beef soup are good choices. (2-2-16)

Kilgore

Country Tavern–1526 FM 2767 (BBQ) Closed Sun.  Ribs are specialty, but brisket & turkey are also outstanding.  West of town toward Tyler. (1-7-16)

Killeen

C & H Hawaiian Grill–903 E. Rancier Ave. (Hawaiian) Open 10:30 am to 7:30 pm (closed Sun).  Excellent Hawaiian food.  Reviewers say the chicken is their favorite (katsu or teriyaki).  Kalua pork and ribs are also very good.  Note: also has a location in Copperas Cove. (4-15-16)

Hupply Pupply–3300 Florence Rd. (Egyptian) Open Daily.  Good and authentic Middle Eastern food.  Has a hookah bar, so I’m not sure if that means there will be smoking in the restaurant (but reviewers say the food is good). (4-15-16)

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. (4-15-16)

That Thai Place–616 N. Fort Hood St. (Thai) Closed Sun & closes at 6:00 pm on Sat.  Good reviews, and commenters say the food is flavorful.  Putting together information from different sources, I surmise that they have another location called “Thai Esan” at 5103 S. Fort Hood St. which is northeast Thailand style–there are no reviews of Thai Esan but it is listed as being open every day. (4-15-16)

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

Kingsville

Spice Station–809 W. King Ave. (Indian) Open noon to 9 pm (closed 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). (3-14-16)

La Grange

Prause Meat Market–253 W. Travis St. (BBQ) Breakfast & lunch daily; dinner Fri (closes at 1 pm on Sat).  Very popular Texas style BBQ. Ribs and brisket are recommended. (5-16-17)

Weikel’s Bakery–2247 W. Hwy 71 (Kolaches) Open Daily.  Cherry kolaches are recommended. (5-16-17)

Lampasas

Eve’s Cafe–521 E. 3rd St. (German) Lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Thu-Sat.  Good schnitzel, reuben, & pastries. (2-2-16)

Laredo

Comida Caribena–2819 San Bernardo Ave. (Cuban) Closed Sun dinner & Mon.  Reviewers say it has authentic Cuban food. (5-16-17)

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. (5-16-17)

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. (5-16-17)

Las Kekas–3914 McPherson Ave. (Mexican) Closed Mon.  Specializes in keka, a Mayan dish like a gordita. Authentic food from a region of Mexico not often represented by US restaurants. (5-16-17)

Palenque Grill–7220 Bob Bullock Loop (Mexican) Open Daily (open until midnight).  Authentic north Mexican style food in an upscale setting. (5-16-17)

Pho Oi–2348 Monarch Dr. (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Laredo is not known for Asian food, but reviewers say this is authentic and good flavored. (5-16-17)

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. (5-16-17)

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). (2-2-16)

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). (5-16-17)

Smitty’s Market–208 S. Commerce St. (BBQ) Open daily until 6 pm.  Brisket, ribs, sausage. (5-16-17)

Longview

Lil Thai House–212 N. Fredonia St. (Thai) Lunch Tue-Fri; dinner Thu & Fri.  Reviewers say the food is authentic and delicious (it’s worth seeking out despite the restaurant’s limited hours). (1-7-16)

Lowake

Lowake Steak House–24913 FM 381 (Steakhouse) Closed Mon.  Very good steaks in a country setting. (4-8-27)

Lubbock

Abuelo’s–4401 82nd St. (Tex-Mex) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  When I was young 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 have been very impressed with the food lately. It is more than Tex-Mex– it offers several very authentic styled Mexican dishes that are very good (try the carnitas tacos). I also liked their New Mexico green sauce. (3-19-17)

Aloha BBQ–9810 Indiana Ave. (Hawaiian) Closed Mon.  Casual, fast food style rest. with Hawaiian plate lunches (the one in El Paso is excellent). (3-19-17)

Cagle Steaks–8732 4th St. (Steaks) Dinner only (closed Sun).  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. (3-19-17)

Choochai Thai–2330 19th St. (Thai) Lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Tue-Sat.  Very small hole in the wall with very good curries.  When you order it spicy they are not shy in making it that way. (3-19-17)

Joel’s–3116 Amherst St. (Tex-Mex) Breakfast & lunch daily; dinner Fri & Sat.  Small neighborhood rest. that is the “go to” place for many locals. (3-19-17)

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. (3-19-17)

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. (3-19-17)

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). (3-19-17)

Thai Kitchen–2302 Texas Ave. (Thai) Open daily 10:30 am to 9 pm.  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. (3-19-17)

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

Luling City Market–633 E. Davis St. (BBQ) Closes at 6 pm (closed Sun).  Many say it’s better than Lockhart.  Brisket, ribs, & sausage. (5-16-17)

Marble Falls

Blue Bonnet Cafe–211 US 281 (American) Closed Sun dinner (open for breakfast).  Chicken & dumplings (served as a special), chicken fried steak, breakfast, pie. (4-9-17)

Marfa

Capri Kitchen–603 W. San Antonio (International).  Excellent reviews, but I have not seen the menu and I don’t know what type of cuisine they serve.  However, they have Filipino food on Sunday and Monday. Reviews only mention lunch (I’m not sure if they are open for dinner). Specializes in local cuisine (and sometimes runs out of items in the early afternoon). Some reviewers say Stellina is better. (4-9-17)

Cochineal–107 W. San Antonio (International) Open daily (serves breakfast).  Reviews are not as good as Maiya’s (but it seems that it should be on this list). Serves “modern” style food. Huevos rancheros for breakfast are recommended. (4-9-17)

Marshall

Bodacious BBQ–2018 Victory Dr. (BBQ) Open Daily.  Ribs are excellent, many like the chopped beef. Many think the sides are excellent. (5-16-17)

Central Perks–211 N. Washington Ave. (Sandwiches) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  Healthy food–has a vegan menu.  Specializes in wraps & lunch plates. (5-16-17)

Medina’s–510 S. Alamo Blvd. (Mexican) Closed Sun.  Authentic and home made. Enchiladas have red or green sauce (this is not Tex-Mex food). (5-16-17)

Mathis

Swinney Switch Cafe–926 FM 3024 (American) Lunch Thu, Fri, & Sun; dinner Fri & Sat.  Great home cooked meals (reviewers say).  Pot roast and cobbler are very popular.  Has a buffet (every 1st and 3rd Sat. the buffet has prime rib).  You can order from the menu if you don’t want the buffet.  It looks as if they have different items on different days (pot roast on Sun. but I’m not sure about other days).  The location is at the intersection of FM 534 and FM 3024, about 11 mi. north of Mathis off Interstate 37. (3-14-16)

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. (4-1-16)

Hop Tung–4200 N. 10th St. (Vietnamese).  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. (4-1-16)

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). (4-1-16)

Lebanese Bistro–4037 W. Expwy. 83 (Lebanese) Closed Tue.  Many people (who have traveled to many other cities) say the falafel here is the best they have ever eaten. (4-1-16)

Schneider’s–5507 N. Ware Rd. (German) Dinner only (closed Sun-Tue).  Large menu & good food.  This rest. compares with New Braunfels or Fredericksburg. (4-1-16)

Midland

Cafe Unique–3303 N. Midkiff Rd. (Venezuelan) Lunch only (closed Sun).  One thing that sounds good from the reviews is that the arepas are “crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.” They say the flavors are bold but not spicy. (4-8-17)

I Love Pho–3303 N. Midkiff Rd. (Vietnamese).  Has excellent reviews if you are looking for Asian food. (4-8-17)

King and I–801 N. Big Spring St. (Thai) Closed Sun.  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. (4-8-17)

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). (4-8-17)

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. (4-8-17)

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. (4-1-16)

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. (4-8-17)

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. (4-8-17)

Taqueria Guadalupana–1253 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. (4-8-17)

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). (2-15-16)

Pecos

La Norteña Tortilla Factory–212 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. (2-2-16)

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). (2-16-16)

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. (10-14-17)

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). (10-14-17)

Manuel’s–313 E. Maxan St. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (Closed Mon).  Mexican style breakfast is the specialty. (10-14-17)

Rockport

Latitude 28’02–105 N. Austin St. (Seafood) Dinner only (closed Sun).  Upscale seafood. (10-14-17)

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. (4-8-17)

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. (4-8-17)

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).  Both Yelp and the old Urbanspoon site rated this a top place in town with consistently excellent food. Pupusas, tamales, plantains, etc. are popular. (3-19-17)

Snook

Czech-Tex–111 County Rd. 269 W (Czech) Open Thu-Sun.  It’s supposed to have good Czech food and kolaches.  Hours are limited and seem to be a little sporatic.  Located about 5 miles outside of College Station, so at least it’s close to civilization (if you go and they happen to be closed). (11-15-15)

South Padre Island

Cap’n Roy’s–1313 Padre Blvd. (Seafood) Open Daily.  Shrimp, fish tacos. (10-14-17)

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. (10-14-17)

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). (10-14-17)

Stephenville

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). (4-15-16)

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. (2-2-16)

Strawn

Mary’s Cafe–119 Grant Ave. (American) Open daily 11 am to 11 pm.  CFS is the specialty. One order is likely enough to feed two people (if you are budget conscious). (2-2-16)

Temple

IGott Island Cuisine–2825 Thornton Ln. (Jamaican) Closed Sun.  An especially good presentation of Caribbean cuisine.  Goat curry, jerk chicken, oxtails, snapper, and plantains are popular. (2-2-16)

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 and tom yum soup.  Fried tilapia in garlic pepper sauce also looks good. (2-2-16)

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. (1-8-16)

Tyler

Stanley’s–525 S. Beckham Ave. (BBQ) Closed Sun.  Famous for its brisket (but not the ribs). (1-7-16)

Three Z–5201 S. Broadway Ave. (Asian Fusion) Open daily except Sun evening.  Fusion restaurant–I don’t expect it to be authentic but reviewers say it is very good.  Has Mongolian tofu and honey seared tofu for vegetarians (both are good). (1-8-16)

Villa Montez–3324 Old Henderson Hwy. (Latin American) 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). (1-8-16)

For other BBQ options, see listings for Flint and Kilgore

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). (2-2-16)

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). (3-19-17)

Margie’s Bakery–404 W. Broadway St. (American) Breakfast & lunch Wed-Mon; dinner Thu-Sat.  Most restaurants in the borderland are either American restaurants with Mexican food or the other way around.  Margie’s is popular for breakfast (breakfast burritos, sausage & egg biscuits) and the lunch/dinner menu (burritos and sandwiches).  Reviews are very good for everything except the price (but the price is better than other restaurants in town). (3-19-17)

Note: El Capitan Hotel in town also gets good reviews but it is fine dining (I’m not sure about the prices but it is not a quick place to eat if time is a concern). (3-19-17)

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.  This restaurant is very similar to the Windy Cow in Wildorado.  Of the two this restaurant seems to have a more varied menu, but the Windy Cow is open for dinner Mon-Sat (and also is known for its pies).  The two towns are about 10 miles apart, and both on I-40.  Hickory Inn is on old US 66 at the intersection of US 385. (2-16-16)

Vernon

Tokyo Japanese Steak House–1601 US 287 E. (Japanese) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 4:30 pm).  Good reviews–mostly because of large portions at good prices. Steak and other meats are good quality. (5-16-17)

Victoria

Noot’s Thai–6360 N. Navarro St. (Thai) Closed Mon.  Good green & red curry.  Pad thai does not get good reviews. (3-14-16)

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. (4-1-16)

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. (1-7-16)

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

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) Open daily until 2 am.  Irish pub where the food has very good reviews (shepherd’s pie, fish and chips with malt vinegar, pork chop are recommended). (5-16-17)

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 Mon & Sun night.  Jagerschnitzel, strudel for dessert. (5-16-17)

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)

Wildorado

The Windy Cow–709 W. Interstate 40 (American) Open 7 am to 8:30 pm (closed Sun).  A classic diner/cafe with good home cooking style food.  The reviews on Yelp are so good it almost looks as if people are getting paid to say good things (but I really don’t think they are).  People like the chicken fried steak and anything with gravy on it, bacon, pie, and cake. (2-15-16)

 

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)

eGullet (Texas)

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

Yelp (Texas)

Zomato (Lubbock)

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *