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15 must-visit Texas restaurants

Pack your appetite and dig in to diverse—and delicious! —food and drink all across the state

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Travel Texas


15 must-visit Texas restaurants
6 days ago
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One of the most exciting parts of any vacation is the opportunity to taste the local cuisine—and Texas serves up a veritable smorgasbord of fabulous fare to please every palate.

With thousands of barbecue restaurants across the state, you could spend an entire holiday seeking the pit master with the best brisket, but Texas offers so much more. From its big cities to its small towns, the state is a one-stop shop for delicious global cuisine. 

Whether you’re a foodie looking to try the best of the best or a planner who wants to plot the perfect places to eat throughout their travels, here are 15 must-try culinary destinations across the Lone Star State. 

Becker Vineyards

Region: Hill Country

One of the multitude of wineries across Hill Country, this award-winning vineyard in Stonewall produces an average of 100,000 cases of wine per year from 11 grape varietals, including Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Malbec and Sangiovese. Enjoy private or group tastings (six wines per tasting), with or without a charcuterie-board accompaniment. 

The Big Texan Steak Ranch

Region: Panhandle Plains

The Lone Star State is synonymous with steak, and the behemoth menu at this popular steakhouse in Amarillo delivers a genuine Texan experience. Try a 24-oz. porterhouse, 30-oz. T-bone or 56-oz. rib-eye. And don’t forget to check out the Big Texan gift shop on your way out to peruse the Route 66 merchandise, as well as homemade steak seasoning, stickers and more.

The Breakfast Klub

Region: Gulf Coast

Grab a spot in the inevitable lineup outside this Houston institution that’s repeatedly been voted one of the best breakfast restaurants in the United States. Its menu of scrumptious, soulful breakfast and lunch options includes pancakes, waffles, catfish and grits, biscuits and gravy, and wings and waffles. 

DipDipDip Tatsu-ya

Region: Hill Country

One of Austin’s most novel and most popular eateries is this award-winning, out-of-this-world Japanese “hot pot” restaurant. Here, cooked-right-at-the-table meats, vegetables and dumplings can be dipped in an extravagant array of unique sauces, from wasabi chimichurri and karashi mustard to eggplant relish and charred shishito.

Dolli’s Diner

Region: Piney Woods

For a charming small-town dining experience ideal for families or fun-seekers, pull up a chair at this old-timey café in Nacogdoches, complete with checkerboard floor tiles and vinyl tablecloths. Dolli’s great grub includes such classics as burgers, sandwiches and meatloaf, as well as hearty breakfasts and plenty of wallet-friendly daily specials.

Gaido’s

Region: Gulf Coast

No Gulf Coast vacation would be complete without fresh seafood, and the house-made dishes at this historic restaurant in Galveston have been delighting diners since 1911. Using family recipes passed down through generations, the extensive menu includes fresh-from-the Gulf shrimp, oysters, scallops, red snapper, yellowfin tuna, catfish and crab.

The Grove Kitchen & Gardens

Region: Piney Woods

Located on a sprawling rural property in Tyler, this restaurant delivers true farm-to-table dining with a side of live entertainment. Chef Arturo Lara’s thoughtfully created lunch, dinner and weekend-brunch dishes include fresh-from-the-farm salads and regional favourites such as shrimp and grits, as well as pastas, steaks and prime-rib French-dip sandwiches. 

Himalayan Kitchen

Region: South Texas Plains

This family-owned restaurant on the west side of San Antonio cooks up authentic Indian, Nepalese and Indo-Chinese cuisine. Its massive menu—which includes a wide assortment of vegetarian dishes—features an extensive selection of traditional rice and noodle dishes; curries, kormas and paneers; and tandoor-cooked delights. (Tip: try the momos!) 

L&J Café

Region: Big Bend Country

Step into history at this El Paso restaurant and bar specializing in Mexican fare, including tacos, burritos, machaca and flautas. Opened in 1927 and passed down through generations of the same family ever since, its landmark location still has the false walls that once hid slot machines and liquor during Prohibition!  

La King’s Confectionery

Region: Gulf Coast

Time also stands still in this one-of-a-kind ice-cream parlor and soda shop in Galveston, filled with 19th-century equipment and an authentic 1920s soda fountain. Cool off with ice cream, banana splits, sundaes, and specialty shakes and malts. Or choose from more than 50 types of award-winning house-made confections, including divinity candy, pecan pralines and fresh salt-water taffy.  

Life of Pie

Region: Panhandle Plains

This bistro in Abilene whips up a rotating selection of desserts with unique flavour combinations and ingredients. Order by the slice, buy a whole pie, or shop the grab-and-go pantry. Be sure to try the Sweet Heat pie—a peach-cream pie infused with Carolina Reaper pepper—or a slice of classic pecan, the official state pie of Texas.

Paris 7th Restaurant Français

Region: Prairies & Lakes

Feeling fancy? No need to hit the streets of Paris to savour haute cuisine! This sophisticated Fort Worth dinner restaurant—with a strict dress code—offers a broad range of traditional French fare, from caviar and amuse bouches to boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin and foie gras, plus an extensive menu of French wines.

Taconeta

Region: Big Bend Country

A 2024 James Beard Award semifinalist, Taconeta is, as its name suggests, a go-to spot for tacos in El Paso. Celebrating the authentic flavours of Mexico, the taqueros use traditional techniques and premium ingredients to recreate and reimagine classic dishes, and all the tortillas are made from scratch using nixtamalized heirloom corn imported from Mexico.

Toro Kitchen and Bar

Region: South Texas Plains

Touted as a locally crafted Spanish culinary experience, this is the place to get authentic Spanish paella, montaditos and tapas to share. Add a touch of theatrical flair with specialty cocktail experiences and live flamenco nights, and a memorable dining experience awaits. 

Via Triozzi

Region: Prairies & Lakes

For Italian fine dining, the small but mighty-tasty menu at chef Leigh Hutchinson’s restaurant in Dallas offers authentic dishes made with handmade pasta, freshly pulled mozzarella and local ingredients. House specialties include lasagna al forno (with bolognese and besciamella sauces) and bistecca alla fiorentina (a Texas-raised porterhouse for two). 

Looking for more regional dining destinations? Visit Travel Texas for great suggestions on where to fill your belly! And check out our Hello, Texas hub to see what else Texas has in store.

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