- Rachel Nipper
As the second largest and second most populous state in the union, Texas has a lot to offer and is a fantastic place for every cultural foodie. We list 10 of the best places in the state for fantastic local culinary experiences.
Dallas | Barbecue
Dallas, Texas, is the prime destination to meet one’s Texas barbecue needs. With several of the state’s best and most delicious and authentic barbecue joints, the city’s barbecue restaurants are well worth the trip from anywhere across the Lone Star State. Dallas’ Lockhart Smokehouse serves delectable, mouthwatering Central Texas-style barbecue with the motto ‘No Forks, No Sauce.’ Lockhart Smokehouse’s meat definitely speaks for itself. Another favorite, Pecan Lodge is a must-visit spot in Deep Ellum. Try the ‘Hott Mess,’ a large sweet potato topped with barbacoa and chipotle cream. Other delicious choices include Slow Bone, Off the Bone and Mike Anderson’s BBQ House.
Pecan Lodge, 2702 Main St, Dallas, TX, USA, +1 214-748-8900
Off the Bone, 1734 S Lamar St, Dallas, TX, USA, +1 214-565-9551
Slow Bone, 2234 Irving Blvd, Dallas, TX, USA, +1 214-377-7727
Austin | Food Trucks
Austin is a well-known foodie’s paradise, and both locals and visitors flock to the myriad food truck parks located throughout the city. From Korean cuisine, tacos and fried chicken to cupcakes, ice cream and doughnuts, the possibilities when visiting Austin food trucks are endless. Visit Gourdough’s truck and try one of many unique and delicious doughnuts, like the ‘Fat Elvis’ (grilled bananas with honey and peanut butter icing) or the ‘Son of a Peach’ (peach filling with sugar, cinnamon and a cake mix topping). The East Side King food truck is popular for its Asian fusion, serving dishes like beet home fries, Brussels sprouts salad and ‘curry buns.’ Other fantastic food trucks include Kerlin BBQ, Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts, Kebabalicious and Ms. P’s Electric Cock.
Houston | Hugo’s
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Hugo’s of Houston is a great foodie destination at any time of the day. Located in the city’s Montrose area, Hugo’s’ authentic Mexican cooking styles and cuisine make the restaurant stand apart in the large city of Houston. With its upscale ambience and fresh, delicious ingredients, Hugo’s serves up menu items such as ‘tostadas de Atún’ (tostadas with marinated tuna, refritos, napa cabbage and nopales), ‘chile relleno’ (a chile stuffed with chicken and Chihuahua cheese) and ‘callo de Hacha’ (pan-seared scallops with corn, Mexican squash, a poblano pepper and salsa). Be sure to try Hugo’s ‘queso flameado’ (with steak, onions, mushrooms and rajas) or the ‘ceviche verde’ with lime-cured snapper.
Hugo’s, 1600 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 524 7744
San Antonio | Biga on the Banks
Biga on the Banks, serving ‘very new American cuisine,’ is located on San Antonio’s famous River Walk and serves exquisite, beautiful and delicious meals. One of the highest-rated restaurants on the River Walk, Biga on the Banks is a definite component of any Texas foodie’s bucket list. The fine-dining experience of the restaurant stems from native North Londoner chef Bruce Auden’s delectable culinary skills and creativity. Auden’s menu changes daily, but previous menus have included such offerings as house apple-smoked salmon nachos, yellow lentil curry soup, mustard-crusted Australian lamb rack, amaretto crème brulee and Texas peach soup.
Biga on the Banks, 203 South St. Mary’s St., San Antonio, TX, USA, +1 210 225 0722
Houston | Burgers and Brunch
As the most populous city in Texas, it is no surprise that Houston offers some of the best culinary destinations in the state. From brunch to burgers, the city offers an array of well-received restaurants that make Houston a must-visit location for any foodie. When hungry for an amazing, unique, mouth-watering burger, look no further than Houston’s myriad burger joints. Try Lankford Grocery, where you may choose from 20 different burgers, such as a Wasabi Burger or a Greek Burger. Other notable places include Little Bigs (famous for its hamburger sliders), Kenny & Ziggy’s and Bernie’s Burger Bus. Also famous for its many incredible brunches, Houston’s 51 Fifteen Restaurant & Lounge (serving bacon waffles and ‘green’ eggs) and Baby Barnaby’s Café (serving barbecue brisket eggs benedict and salmon omelets) are top foodie destinations.
Lankford Grocery, 88 Dennis St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713-522-9555
Little Bigs, 4621 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713-521-2447
Kenny & Ziggy’s, 2327 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713-871-8883
Bernie’s Burger Bus, 5407 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, TX, USA, +1 713-349-9400
Baby Barnaby’s Cafe, 602 Fairview St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713-522-4229
Austin | Uchi
Uchi is one of Austin’s most popular and loved restaurants, serving contemporary Japanese sushi and cuisine. With food presentations like works of art and amazing, unique menu items, food lovers will certainly find Uchi worth a visit. With fresh ingredients and a changing menu, Uchi serves appetizers, sushi, sashimi, agemono, makimono and desserts. For an appetizer, try the ‘walu walu,’ oak-grilled escolar with candied citrus and myoga, or maguro sashimi with goat cheese. Sushi and sashimi options range from octopus to torch-seared beef, flounder, striped bass, spicy scallops and tuna loin. Be sure to try one of Uchi’s sushi rolls or tiger shrimp, cauliflower, sea eel or Japanese pumpkin tempura. End your meal with one of Uchi’s amazing desserts, like lemon gelato or coffee panna cotta.
Dallas | Smoke
A popular and incredibly delicious restaurant in Dallas, Smoke is one of the best places in the state for a delectable breakfast or brunch. Smoke’s homemade biscuits with spicy sausage gravy, smoked brisket cornbread hash, ‘heavy handed’ blueberry pancakes and baked cheddar grits-hominy casserole are sure to please any hungry foodie. Try the ‘Hungry Bear’ smoked ham steak and farm egg fritter meal, with a sweet corn griddlecake topped with Dublin Dr. Pepper red eye gravy, or the smoked salmon and collard green eggs Florentine with goat cheese potato cakes. From the entrees to the sides (like buttermilk dill toast), it is hard to beat a home-cooked, southern breakfast at Smoke.
Smoke, 901 Fort Worth Ave., Dallas, TX, USA, +1 214 393 4141
Marathon | 12 Gage Restaurant
The Gage Hotel is a 1927 legendary resort in far West Texas. Located in the small town of Marathon, the hotel is considered one of the best small hotels in the state and its award-winning restaurant, the 12 Gage Restaurant, is highly rated. With Texas-inspired menus and décor, the 12 Gage Restaurant is an obvious Texas foodie destination. The restaurant offers seasonal menus with ingredients grown in the hotel’s own garden, fresh seafood and locally-sourced meats. Previous menus have included appetizers such as hoisin-glazed pork skewers and roasted red beet salads. The 12 Gage Restaurant also serves delicious entrees, like sriracha-braised ossobuco, beef rib eye, vegetarian ramen bowls and Colombia River king salmon with a citrus-soy glaze.
12 Gage Restaurant, 102 Northwest 1st St., Marathon, TX, USA, +1 432 386 4205
Brenham | Bluebell Creamery
A well-loved Texas tradition, many know Bluebell ice cream as a staple of the Texan diet. The Bluebell Creamery in Brenham, Texas, offers tours of the functioning ice cream factory, highlighting the history of the Bluebell company and showcasing the everyday methods and operations of Bluebell’s factory workers in the making of their product. From the blending of ingredients to the packaging and storing, this tour features an interesting insight into the manufacturing of Texas’ ice cream. The tour also includes a walk through Bluebell’s quaint gift shop and – of course – a generous sampling of its product.
Bluebell Creamery, 1101 South Blue Bell Rd., Brenham, TX, USA, +1 800 327 8135
El Paso | Chico’s Tacos
Chico’s Tacos is an El Paso tradition and a must-visit location for any Texan foodie. Chico’s tacos are unique in that they are rolled, fried and covered in a tomato chili sauce and cheese. With its diner-like atmosphere, Chico’s Tacos has been serving up amazing Mexican food to El Paso locals and visitors for decades. Try Chico’s taquitos, smothered in Chico’s spicy green sauce, or the much-loved crinkle-cut fries. Chico’s also serves unique twists on hot dogs, burgers and burritos.
Chico’s Tacos, 4230 Alameda Ave., El Paso, TX, USA, +1 915 533 0975
By Rachel Nipper
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