Packed full of restaurants serving Texas-style hearty Southern fare, foodies in McAllen have a huge array of tempting dining establishments to choose from. Whether you’re after the finest Tomahawk rib eye steak, a platter of poached lobster medallions or simply fancy a juicy burger topped with bacon and bleu cheese – McAllen has just what you’re looking for. We’ve picked our 10 favorite restaurants to help you narrow down the choices next time you’re in town.
Restaurant, American, Fast Food, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
Famous for its fresh salads, homemade pizzas, tasty wraps and po’ boys, Blue Onion is a popular restaurant for wholesome and filling meals. A few of the dishes on offer include the grilled veggie and feta salad, the pesto chicken po’boy and the blue onion, roasted garlic and mozzarella pizza. Alongside the fantastic food options, Blue Onion also takes pride in serving a fine selection of micro-brews. As well as stocking more than 22 of the more unusual and obscure beers to be found around the world on tap, Blue Onion also brews its own new concoctions every week.
Costa Messa Restaurant Original, McAllen | Courtesy Delia's Tamales
Voted favorite Mexican food restaurant in the city, Costa Messa is extremely proud of the loyal following it has managed to achieve over the last few years. A casual yet lively establishment, Costa Messa often puts on live music to keep diners entertained long after they’ve polished off their fajitas, and special event nights are organized to celebrate annual holidays, such as Halloween, in style. A fantastic choice restaurant for anyone eager to have a good time in McAllen, be sure to sample a strawberry margarita alongside the mouth-watering tempting food.
Keeping the city dwellers stocked up with gluten free tamales seven days a week, Delia’s Tamales began as a humble door-to-door service 29 years ago before opening as a restaurant in 1998. Still as loved today as they were in the beginning, Delia’s tamales are steamed throughout the day to give them that extra special delicious taste. With an abundance of flavor variations to choose from, diners can choose to order tamales by the dozen or half dozen and can mix and match flavor combinations with their lunch companions. Some of the regular choices include pork, spicy chicken, or bean and jalapeno, while Delia’s range of specialty flavors include chicken and cheese cooked in a green sauce, sweet tamales, and cream cheese and jalapeno.
Bar, Restaurant, American, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Mexican, Contemporary
Serving award-winning cocktails as well as exquisite Mexican dishes, Frida’s is one of the most famed restaurants in McAllen. Both a grill and a cantina, guests can enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday night after the dinner service and great food every day except Sunday and Monday when the restaurant is closed. The traditional Mexican dishes are served with a contemporary twist and are presented beautifully. For a meal to remember, try the stuffed avocado pancho, the charbroiled beef rib fajitas and the jumbo Gulf shrimp served with cilantro rice.
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Offering 130 wines by the glass, bottle or case, House Wine & Bistro makes for the perfect dining destination for gourmands and lovers of the alcohol grape. Both vintage and contemporary wines can be served with a platter of hor d’oeuvres or alongside a light lunch, or hearty dinner. House Wine & Bistro opened in 2008 and has been growing in success each year since. The menu is full of tempting dishes such as seared duck breast served over sautéed spinach and toasted almonds with caramelized honey onions, seared ahi tuna with an arugula and fresh tomato caper relish and lamb chops served with a bleu cheese cream.
Offering its diners a delicious variety of succulent meats, fresh seafood, Mexican classics and a warm and inviting bar area, Palenque Grill takes its name from the picturesque little town of Palenque in Mexico. Guests can enjoy an array of tasty starters including melted cheese with chorizo, ceviche, abulon and quesadillas. For the main course, there are even more delightful options including beef fajitas with grilled onions, Palenque ribs, fresh oysters and devilled shrimp. Those with a sweet enough tooth will enjoy finishing their meal with a plate of sweet churros with a caramel sauce or a tres leches cake. The frozen margaritas are not to be missed either.
Loved for its live entertainment and happy hour as well as for its delicious menu options, The Patio on Guerra is a great place to bring out of town guests or to enjoy a lovely dinner in large groups. Serving exquisitely presented top quality dishes alongside award-winning wines and exotic cocktails, The Patio on Guerra is sure to have something to tempt everyone. The Tomahawk ribeye steak is available at both lunch and dinner and is the sure fire way to satisfy any steak lover’s appetite. The oven-roasted lobster tail is the perfect dish for those with a preference for seafood over meat and the ahi tuna and rack of lamb are also both excellent choices.
As much a venue for enjoying McAllen’s nightlife as for its tasty food, Pepper’s in the uptown part of the city features a lunch, burger, dinner and drinks menu sure to please any palette. Stop by for a bacon bleu BBQ burger topped with onion rings and barbecue sauce. Alternatively, indulge in a hearty three course dinner of mini crab cakes or mozzarella cheese sticks, pan grilled tilapia with a chipotle cream sauce or a 16 ounce rib eye steak served with mashed potatoes and sautéed mushrooms, finished with a slice of either the banana cream pie or New York cheesecake. The fare is satisfyingly filling and tastes incredibly good too. To top it all off, there’s also live entertainment in the bar area every night ranging from chilled sing-alongs to lively retro nights.
Restaurant, Mexican, American, Steakhouse, Vegan, Vegetarian, Fast Food, $$$
A beautifully decorated and romantically lit restaurant, Republic of the Rio Grande is an excellent restaurant for both lunch and dinner. Reserve a table now to enjoy a fantastic variety of Republic of the Rio Grande’s signature dishes which include chimichurri flat iron steak, Swiss enchiladas, avocado chicken and baby back ribs. Alongside the tasty food dishes, this fine establishment also boasts a terrific array of revolutionary spirits and signature drinks. Guests can choose between a champagne cocktail, a cucumber martini or simply choose to swig a measure of brandy, cognac or blended scotch.
Serving new American cuisine in elegant, colorful displays, SALT restaurant is open for dinner every day of the week except Sunday. Guests are advised to reserve a table ahead of their visit to enjoy this intricately crafted tasty fare without having to endure a long wait to be seated. Order a selection of small plates to share as an appetizer for the table. Quail knots, sweet breads and steamed clams are just a few of the sharing plates available. For their main course, guests can choose to stick with what they know by ordering the pork chop or hanger steak, or they can revel in trying something new with the braised Texas rabbit and ricotta gnocchi combination dish. Perfect for special occasions and romantic dinners, SALT should not be missed.