The Top 10 Restaurants In Brownsville, Texas

Photo of Rachel Nipper
9 February 2017

Located on the northern bank of the Rio Grande, at the southernmost tip of the state of Texas, the city of Brownsville is a large, populous metropolitan area with a variety of amazing restaurants. Because of its proximity to Mexico and the fact that it is right across from Metamoros, Tamalipas, Brownsville offers a large array of delicious Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants. Here are some of the best.

St. Joseph’s Academy, Brownsville | © Boston Public Library/flickrcommons


Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
Gazpachos is a great location to enjoy exquisite Spanish, and Latin cuisine. With an upscale atmosphere, artistic decorations and delicious food, Gazpachos is a local favorite. Many love its lemonade and Azteca soup, a tomato soup with chipotle sauce, served with tortilla strips, fresh avocado, sour cream and cheese. Other menu items at Gazpachos include delicious ceviche, paninis, a Gazpachos salad, chicken-stuffed avocado, incredible tortilla soup, mouth-watering fajitas, roast beef sandwiches and medallion and mushroom crepes. Top off your meal with delectable desserts like crème brulee and flan, or enjoy Gazpachos’ cool, fruity sangria.

Toddle Inn Restaurant

Restaurant, Mexican
The Toddle Inn Restaurant in Brownsville is an American, Mexican food venue open for breakfast and brunch, and known for its delicious and authentic Mexican breakfast dishes. With amazingly tasty salsa, Toddle Inn specializes in Southern Texas/Northern Mexican cuisine and is well-loved for its wonderful Tex-Mex breakfasts. Try the flour tortilla breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs and bacon, heuvos rancheros, chilaquiles (fried tortilla strips with cheese), migas monterrey or the ‘El Mexicano’ plate with beans, eggs, hash browns, and barbacoa meat. Extremely friendly service, genuinely authentic food, and complimentary dessert with weekday breakfasts, such as arroz con leche, sets the Toddle Inn apart.


Restaurant, Vegetarian, $$$
Mike Marchand, Buddy’s BBQ & Grill
Mike Marchand, Buddy’s BBQ & Grill | Courtesy Mike Marchan
Madeira is a modern fine-dining restaurant with a dark, elegant atmosphere, high-quality food and great cocktails and drinks. Menu items at Madeira have included lobster salad, snapper with spicy chile piquin lemon sauce, ahi tuna, salmon with capers, amazing shrimp tacos, ceviche with mango, lamb chops, beef tenderloin with mushrooms, petites de longosta, sake sea bass and an array of seafood dishes. Relax on the outdoor patio overlooking the Resaca and enjoy amazing desserts, such as Madeira’s pear tart, or delectable drinks, including mojitos, wine, martinis, sangria, margaritas and amazing coffee.

Buddy’s BBQ & Grill

Opened in 2014, Buddy’s BBQ & Grill is a family-owned barbecue joint that specializes in ‘BBQ with a twist.’ Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Buddy’s delicious barbecue, exceedingly friendly service and rustic atmosphere make it a great place to enjoy authentic and delightful south Texas cuisine. Buddy’s seasons its meats (including pork ribs, pulled pork, house-made sausage, turkey, chicken wings and brisket) with secret, special spices and slow-smokes them with mesquite, hickory or pecan wood. For breakfast, they offer traditional and Tex-Mex menu items, and add baked and stuffed potatoes and an array of burgers and sandwiches for lunch and dinner. To accompany one’s barbecue, Buddy’s offers a plethora of tasty sides, including coleslaw, potato salad, cream corn, cornbread and house-made beans. Finish with a sweet note with Buddy’s incredible bread pudding, house-made cheesecake, peach cobbler or banana bread.

Buddy’s BBQ, 7115 S Padre Island Hwy, Brownsville, TX, USA +1 956 545 0848

Palo Alto Steakhouse

Restaurant, American, Steakhouse, Vegetarian
Palo Alto Steakhouse is an upscale, beautiful restaurant serving amazing steaks and sides. With low lighting, an elegant ambience and an atmosphere distinctive from other places in the city, it is a great place for a meeting or for a romantic date. Palo Alto is set apart from other places in Brownsville due to this atmosphere, its attractive food, friendly service and even the occasional live music. Try the mouth-watering rib eye steak, loaded baked potato, ham steak, prosciutto tacos or mashed potatoes. Palo Alto also serves breakfast buffets with bottomless mimosas and an accompanying dessert table. Accompany your meal with a delicious dessert, like the chocolate flan cake, or a scrumptious cocktail, such as Palo Alto’s mango margarita.

Mi Pueblito Restaurant Bar & Grill

Bar, Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Bowl of Chili
Bowl of Chili | (C) Jeremy Keith/flickrcommons
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Mi Pueblito serves hot and spicy meals fresh from the grill. First opened in 1989, the Mexican-courtyard ambience and delicious, authentic Mexican food still makes this restaurant the perfect place for a delicious meal out. Mi Pueblito offers delicious breakfast items like chilaquiles, heuvos motuleños (sunny-side up eggs atop ham with a fried banana, refried beans and a special house sauce) and the ‘Mi Pueblito special’ (eggs atop a corn tortilla with ham, salsa and refried beans). Featured meals have included ‘fajita zarape’ (beef fajitas with a poblano pepper, cheese and onions), ‘puntas de filete a la mexicana’ (Mexican-style tenderloin tips with refried beans and rice) and ‘champiñones al ajillo’ (mushrooms with white wine, guajillo pepper and garlic).

Vermillion Restaurant

Restaurant, Dessert Shop, Pastry Shop, Mexican, $$$
Vermilion is a ‘restaurant and watering hole’ that has been operating in Brownsville since 1934. The restaurant serves a wide array of nachos and appetizers, such as ‘Irish nachos’ (cheese, bacon and sour cream atop steak fries), Vermillion wings and a zucchini melt (steamed zucchini topped with cheese). Other menu items at Vermillion include homemade chili, salads, charbroiled steaks, a roast beef platter, chicken-fried chicken and steak, burgers and sandwiches. Vermillion also serves Mexican specialties, like fajitas, tacos and chalupas. Check out Vermillion’s website to find daily specials like chicken-fried steak, rib eye and fried or boiled fish and shrimp. Vermillion also serves up amazing desserts, like a white-chocolate tuxedo cheesecake and old-fashioned chocolate cake.

Mr. Taco

Restaurant, Mexican
Mr. Taco is known as an authentically Mexican, Spanish-speaking ethnic dive with amazingly delectable street-style tacos. With a large array of delicious, made-to-order tacos, Mr. Taco is the perfect place to get one’s Mexican fix. Tacos come loaded with cilantro, cheese, grilled onions and lime. Especialidades sides at Mr. Taco include charro beans, frijoles especiales (charro beans with bistec, avocado and queso fresco) and bean tostadas, and the restaurant also serves Mexican sodas and lemonade.

Spanky’s Burgers

Spanky’s Burgers, open since 2001, serves delectable, juicy hamburgers made with its own special recipe. Known for its old-fashioned hamburgers and vintage wall decorations, Spanky’s serves burgers, nachos, soups, salads, sandwiches and Mexican dishes. Pair the nacho, Swiss mushroom or avocado burger or the turkey or patty melt sandwich with amazing sides of onion rings, fried mushrooms, wings, French fries or chili-cheese fries. Seafood at Spanky’s includes fish and shrimp baskets, fish sandwiches, fried and grilled shrimp and tuna fish salad. If you’re feeling a Mexican-inspired meal, try Spanky’s beef or cheese enchiladas, chicken flautas or soft or crispy tacos.

Spanky’s Burgers, 1355 Palm Blvd., Brownsville, TX, USA, +1 956 504 0344

City Po-Boy Ho

Bakery, Restaurant, American
For something different in Brownsville, try City Po-Boy House, serving authentic New-Orleans style comfort food cuisine, including large po-boy sandwiches. The owner of City Po-Boy grew up in Houma, Louisiana, and learned to cook the Creole/Cajun dishes found at the restaurant by watching his parents, grandmother, friends and family. Opened in 2013 and run by the owner/chef and his son, City Po-Boys friendly, personal service and delicious food make this place a Brownsville treasure. Menu items include the classic slow-cooked, pulled-roast beef in gravy po-boy served on well-known Gambino’s Bakery French Bread, seafood gumbo, red beans and rice, smoked Andouille sausage, jambalaya, crawfish etouffee and delicious, creamy potato salad.

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