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Sopapilla at Banderas in Paris, TX | © Amy Claxton / Flickr
Sopapilla at Banderas in Paris, TX | © Amy Claxton / Flickr
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18 Foods That Are Bigger and Better in Texas

Picture of Sarah Karney
Updated: 5 February 2017
“Everything is bigger in Texas” is more than a motto – Texans take their meals very seriously. Don’t miss these dishes that are both bigger and arguably better in the Lone Star State.

Steak

Beef is the primary protein of choice in Texas, and it’s not hard to find a great steak, no matter which part of the state you’re visiting. If you’re up for a big challenge, stop by The Big Texan for their famous 72-ounce steak.

A juicy 18-ounce steak
A juicy 18-ounce steak | © Eugene Kim

Queso

Can you even call it a Tex-Mex meal if you’re not starting it off with a heaping bowl of melty cheese and fresh tortilla chips? Queso gets even better when you add optional ingredients like guacamole, pico de gallo, or seared beef.

Queso at Magnolia Cafe in Austin
Queso at Magnolia Cafe in Austin | © Valerie Hinojosa

Burgers

Believe it or not, the hamburger was invented in Texas, so you could say they know a thing or two about grilling great – and huge – burgers.

Chris Madrid’s Macho Burger in San Antonio
Chris Madrid’s Macho Burger in San Antonio | © H. Michael Karshis

Margaritas

With patio season making up a majority of the year in most Texas cities, there’s no wrong time to wash down a delicious Mexican meal with a frothy margarita.

Share a pitch of margaritas with friends
Share a pitch of margaritas with friends | © Valakirka

Donuts

Just north of Austin, Round Rock Donuts specializes in donuts the size of your face.

A massive glazed donut
A massive glazed donut | © Round Rock Donuts

Pizza

Dirt Road Cookers makes eight-foot (2.4-meter) pizzas that can feed multiple families. Their mobile cooker allows them to take this dish on the road, and you can both help make it and grab a slice if you find them at the right time.

Dirt Road Cookers pizza at UTOPiAfest
Dirt Road Cookers pizza at UTOPiAfest | © Ralph Arvesen

BBQ

It doesn’t matter how you slice it – if you order a barbecue plate in Texas, you’re not going to go hungry for at least the rest of the day.

Pecan Lodge Barbecue in Dallas
Pecan Lodge Barbecue in Dallas | © David Hale Smith

Cinnamon Rolls

This cinnamon roll from Lulu’s Bakery and Cafe in San Antonio weighs in at a hefty three pounds (1.3 kilograms). You don’t have to visit Texas to get your mouth on one of these – Lulu’s ships their cinnamon rolls nationwide.

Cinnamon roll at Lulu’s in San Antonio
Cinnamon roll at Lulu’s in San Antonio | © Lulu's Bakery and Cafe

Nachos

Are you catching on to the Mexican food theme here? Thanks to the state’s proximity to Mexico’s border and large Mexican population, Mexican food can be found all around Texas, and it’s authentic and delicious. If these nachos from Casa Maria in Austin are making your mouth water, check out these other top spots to grab Mexican food in Austin.

Nachos at Casa Maria in Austin
Nachos at Casa Maria in Austin | © Sarah Karney

Corndogs

The food at the Texas State Fair is an integral part of the whole experience, especially the footlong, freshly made corndogs.

Corndogs in Grapevine
Corndogs in Grapevine | © John Tornow

Breakfast

Breakfast, brunch – whenever you eat it, you can find a Texas spot to serve up a full selection, complete with creamy grits, fluffy biscuits, and chicken and waffles.

Breakfast in Houston
Breakfast in Houston | © Ed T.

Tacos

Tacos don’t have to be filled with meat to be huge – and delicious. You can find different types of tacos all around Texas, but the breakfast variety is an excellent and satisfying way to start your day.

Hearty vegan tempeh taco
Hearty vegan tempeh taco | © Stephanie

Texas Sheet Cake

This cake is made to share, and you’ll find it at most Texan potlucks and picnics. It’s a large, flat sheet cake usually made with sour cream, unsweetened cocoa powder, and walnuts.

Texas sheet cake
Texas sheet cake | © Counselman Collection

Kolache

If you’re driving on I-35 between Dallas and Austin, you should plan your pit stop in West, Texas to try one of Czech Stop‘s famous kolaches. While most Texans designate kolaches as any treat made with this savory dough, these treats are technically fruit-filled, while klobasnek are the sausage-filled variety. Whatever you call them, they’re a must-try.

Kolache in Spring, TX
Kolache in Spring, TX | © Vivian D. Nguyen

Sopapilla

Finish off your Tex-Mex meal with a sopapilla, a fried pastry coated in cinnamon sugar or honey and usually accompanied by whipped cream or ice cream.

Sopapilla at Banderas in Paris, TX
Sopapilla at Banderas in Paris, TX | © Amy Claxton / Flickr

Chicken Fried Steak

Not to be confused with your average steak, chicken fried steak is a piece of tenderized beef coated and deep fried in the same manner you would make fried chicken. It’s not complete without a huge ladle of gravy – Tip Top Cafe in San Antonio serves it under their enormous chicken fried steak to make it a bit easier to consume.

Chicken fried steak at Tip Top Cafe in San Antonio
Chicken fried steak at Tip Top Cafe in San Antonio | © H. Michael Karshis

Seafood Baskets

No trip to a Southern state is complete without a good seafood basket, usually containing catfish or shrimp, hushpuppies, French fries, and the essential condiments.

Catfish dinner in Sheldon, TX
Catfish dinner in Sheldon, TX | © Joe Nevill

Beer

What better way to wash down all of this oversized, delicious food than with a Texas-brewed beer? Shiner Bock is the most well-known Texan beer, but there are also many craft breweries around the state that you can tour.

Alamo beer
Alamo beer | © Nan Palmero