Everything is bigger—and better!—in Texas, especially when it comes to food. The Lone Star State is known for staples such as chicken fried steak, tex-mex, barbecue and comfort cuisine, all done up in a Southern-style way.
If anyone is wanting to eat like a true Texan, then these restaurants are the places to go. Some specialize in one thing, while others have menus that boast all of the classics. And if anyone happens to get real hungry while reading this, we definitely understand… and we hope that everyone can visit these spots real soon!
10 Blue Bonnet Cafe
The Blue Bonnet Cafe has been in Marble Falls since 1929. This is one of those places that just feels comfortable and easy, with yummy menu selections and friendly people. The chicken fried steak, pot roast, and breakfast options are bragged about all the time, but the pies here are famous! This cafe has also won numerous honors, such as being named one of the Top 10 Restaurants in Texas by Texas Highways Magazine, having one of the Top 100 Breakfasts according to Travel & Leisure Magazine, and being called one of the Best Restaurants Coast-to-Coast by Road Food Magazine.
9 Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar
In the Texas Hill Country lies the Gruene Historic District, and there visitors can find the Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar. It is located right under the town’s iconic water tower and inside a building that was a cotton gin in the 1800s. So the location is already something to check out, and we haven’t even mentioned the food yet! The menu offers up steaks, burgers, cocktails, sides, desserts and more, and many of the options are made from scratch. Furthermore, live music can be enjoyed in the beer garden, which is like the cherry on top of this experience.
8 Franklin Barbecue
There are so many great BBQ places in this state, but Franklin Barbecue in Austin is usually at the top of all the lists. In fact, Texas Monthly has dubbed it the Best Barbecue Joint in Texas, and Bon Appetit has said that it is the Best Barbecue Joint in America! The line at this establishment is always super long, but it is worth the wait. Brisket, ribs, pulled pork, sausage, potato salad, slaw, beans… The menu here is simple because the people know what they want. Yes, for some true Texas cuisine, this is a must.
7 The Big Texan Steak Ranch & Brewery
Another staple in this part of the country is steak, and The Big Texan Steak Ranch & Brewery is considered the best steakhouse in Texas. This place is a true landmark, it is located in Amarillo, and it has a challenge that is quite famous; guests can order a meal that consists of shrimp cocktail, a baked potato, a salad, a roll, and a 72 oz. steak. If all of this—including this giant hunk of meat!—is eaten in one hour, the meal is free. Even if that sounds like too much for some, this is a restaurant to try and enjoy, for sure.
6 Ol' South Pancake House
Fort Worth’s Ol’ South Pancake House is all about home-style cooking. It is opened 24/7, breakfast is served all day, and the world-famous German pancakes are served over 40 thousand times every year. Since this spot opened up in 1962, it has catered to celebrities, congressmen, musicians, athletes, tons of college students (it is right beside Texas Christian University), local families, and visitors from all over. Ol’ South also offers choices like pork chops, ribeyes, and chicken tenders, which come with Texas toast and two sides such as mashed potato, fried squash or fried okra.
5 Torchy's Tacos
Mexican and tex-mex food is also big in the Lone Star State, and many flock to Torchy's Tacos to satisfy this craving. This joint was started by Mike Rypka, who set up with his food trailer and his red Vespa in Austin. After he opened, he started hearing people say, “damn, these tacos are good”. Now, there are over 60 locations, and each of them are known for their high-quality, cooked-to-order, top-notch tacos… which are damn good. Torchy’s also sells its Diablo Hot Sauce, which comes in a pocket-friendly flask and which “Tastes Like Heaven, Burns Like Hell”.
4 Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q
A man named Max Aue founded a town called Leon Springs in the 1800s, and his son, Rudolph opened a gas station, garage, and grocery store there. In 1989, this spot also started serving barbecue, and now there are Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q joints all over the Southwest. The meat here is prepared with an oak-fired pit and a dry spice, which gives it a distinct taste. While people can still shop at this store, most come to gather around picnic-style tables and enjoy moist brisket, pork loin, baby back ribs, jalapeno sausage, cream corn, banana pudding and more.
3 Mary's Cafe
Stawn, Texas is a town with only 653 people, so it may surprise some to find out that what may be the best chicken fried steak around can be found here. Yes, Mary’s Cafe has exciting options such as beans & cornbread, tamales, Frito pie, chicken gizzards & livers, calf fries, beef livers and sides like fried green beans, fried green tomatoes, and fried pickles. But this restaurant is known all over for its CFS, which is truly Texas-sized. So remember; if anyone is wanting to get a real food experience here, this is the place to go.
2 Woodson Inn
A town that is even smaller than Strawn is Woodson—population 296. There are no stoplights, there is only one school where students K through 12 go, and there is the Woodson Inn. Here, locals know they can count on homemade desserts like bread pudding, cherry streusel, and German chocolate cheesecake. People from surrounding communities stop in for fried chicken after church, and large groups gather on the weekends for all-you-can-eat catfish, BYOB and live music on the patio. This restaurant—which used to be an inn where Bonnie and Clyde may or may not have stayed—has been a staple for years, and it is another suggestion for yummy Southern grub.
Whataburger has been around since 1950, when Harmon Dobson wanted to create a burger so big it needed two hands to hold it and a burger so good that people could only say one thing: “What a burger!” While his idea came to life in Corpus Christi, there are now more than 800 Whataburgers across the nation. This fast food restaurant is family owned and operated, it is opened 24/7, and its classic burgers are made to order with 100 percent pure beef on a big, toasted bun. Can’t get much more Texan than this!