Texas is one huge state with varying tastes and preferences. If you are a new tourist, it is all but impossible to find the best restaurants or cafes in Texas. In fact, the state has no shortage of eateries that would give tourists numerous options to satisfy their palates. But not all are worth the time and effort to visit. The list below enumerates some of the most popular restaurants and cafes in Texas that tourists should consider visiting, at least once.
1. Franklin Barbecue – Austin
Franklin Barbecue is a restaurant and barbecue joint in Austin, Texas that serves up some of the best barbecue in the nation. It's been called one of the best restaurants in America by Bon Appetit, Travel + Leisure, and CNN, and we think it's well-deserved.
Franklin Barbecue is known for its brisket, which is cooked for 18 hours over post oak wood and smoked at 225 degrees for about 4 hours. The result is a tender, juicy piece of meat that melts in your mouth. If you go with a group of friends or family members, you can order a whole brisket to share.
But this isn't just about the meat—there are plenty of sides to choose from as well! Try the mac n cheese or baked beans if you're feeling indulgent; if not, there are plenty of vegetables available as well! And don't forget dessert! Franklin Barbecue offers ice cream sandwiches made with homemade cookies and ice cream!
Franklin Barbecue has been open since 2009 when Chef Aaron Franklin opened his first location after years spent honing his craft as an apprentice under Bobby Mueller at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas (which itself has been open since 1949).
2. Henry's Majestic – Houston
Henry's Majestic – Houston is a great place for lunch or dinner. The food is always fresh, delicious and the service is great. The atmosphere is fun and the staff is friendly. The restaurant has been around for many years, so they must be doing something right!
They have an extensive menu that includes salads, sandwiches and pizzas as well as pasta dishes and more traditional entrees like chicken parmesan, salmon alfredo or lasagna. They also have a variety of desserts including cheesecake, brownies and whoopie pies!
The atmosphere at this restaurant is very relaxed, with plenty of room between tables so you don't feel like you're sitting on top of each other. There are TVs throughout so people can catch up on sports while they eat or just relax after their meal.
3. Pecan Lodge – Dallas
Pecan Lodge is a restaurant and cafe located in Dallas, Texas. It serves smoked meats, barbecue, sandwiches and more. The restaurant has been featured on the Food Network and Travel Channel's Best Thing I Ever Ate series.
The restaurant offers a variety of meats including beef brisket, pulled pork and turkey breast. Their most popular items include their signature burnt ends sandwich and the meaty mac & cheese dish.
The atmosphere of this place is casual with an outdoor patio area where patrons can enjoy their meal while enjoying some sunshine during warmer months or inside when weather conditions are not suitable for outdoor dining.
4. Torchy's Tacos – Austin, Dallas and Houston
Torchy's Tacos is a Tex-Mex restaurant and bar that offers tacos, queso and other Mexican favorites. The Austin-based restaurant has locations in Austin, Dallas and Houston, as well as an upcoming location in Fort Worth.
Torchy's serves breakfast tacos all day long. The menu offers breakfast tacos along with other Mexican favorites including queso and fajitas. You can also order burgers, salads and desserts if you're looking for something different to eat at Torchy's Tacos.
The restaurant is known for its unique taco offerings. Beyond traditional tacos like beef and chicken, you can also get pork belly or fried avocado tacos at Torchy's Tacos.
Torchy's Tacos offers several different types of margaritas at each location. You can choose from a classic margarita or a frozen blended margarita made with sangria or peach tea mixed in with tequila and lime juice for added flavor!
5. The Grape – San Antonio
The Grape is one of the best restaurants and cafes in Texas. They serve a variety of delicious food items including salads, sandwiches, pizzas, burgers, and more! The Grape offers a great selection of wine as well.
The Grape has an extensive menu with something for everyone. They have vegetarian options like the grilled avocado sandwich and vegan dishes such as the veggie burger that uses black beans instead of meat. They also have gluten free options like their gluten free pizza crust which is made from rice flour so it's lighter than most other pizza crusts available at restaurants.
It is located on San Antonio's Riverwalk where you can enjoy beautiful views of downtown San Antonio while dining inside or outside on their patio area.
6. Hopdoddy Burger Bar – Austin and Houston
Located in Austin and Houston, Hopdoddy is committed to serving only the freshest ingredients. They use locally sourced meats and vegetables, as well as hormone-free dairy products. Their burgers are made from hand-ground beef that is never frozen or processed. The bread they use is baked fresh daily, and they have an extensive selection of beers on tap.
Hopdoddy offers a number of vegetarian options, including their signature black bean burger. They also have vegan options like grilled cheese sandwiches and salads with black beans instead of cheese.
If you're looking for a great meal out with friends or family members in Austin or Houston, Hopdoddy Burger Bar should be your first stop!
7. Tacodeli – Austin, Denver and Fort Worth
Tacodeli is a restaurant chain that offers Mexican fare with an Austin flair. The menu features tacos, quesadillas, salads and breakfast options. Tacodeli was started by Roberto Espinosa who had worked at another popular taco spot called Torchy's Tacos before founding his own business. Tacodeli was born in Austin but has since expanded to include locations in Denver and Fort Worth as well.
The menu at Tacodeli is simple but very good. The ingredients are fresh, the portions are generous and the prices are reasonable. There are several healthy options on the menu including vegetarian tacos and salads as well as gluten-free items for those who need them.
Tacodeli has earned many awards over the years including “Best Breakfast” from CultureMap Houston, “Best Taco” from CultureMap Dallas/Fort Worth and “Best of” awards from Eater Austin and CultureMap Dallas/Fort Worth among many others which really speaks to their commitment to quality food made with fresh ingredients at reasonable prices.
8. Velvet Taco – Dallas, Houston and Plano
Velvet Taco is a popular restaurant in Dallas, Houston and Plano that features Mexican-inspired cuisine. The restaurant was founded by three friends who were passionate about food, and they wanted to create a place where people could come together over great food. They named the restaurant after the Velvet Underground, a band that helped define the punk rock movement.
The menu at Velvet Taco has something for everyone—from tacos to quesadillas to nachos and more. There are also several vegetarian options on the menu. All of their food is made from scratch daily using quality ingredients from local farms whenever possible.
Velvet Taco has been recognized as one of the top five best Mexican restaurants in Texas by Zagat's Guide and has received numerous awards from publications such as D Magazine, Dallas Observer and more. In addition to their locations in Dallas, Houston and Plano, they also have locations in Austin, San Antonio and Oklahoma City as well as another location opening soon in Fort Worth!
9. The Halal Guys – Dallas
The Halal Guys – Dallas is a restaurant and cafe you will love in texas. It is the best place to visit for Middle Eastern food. This place serves the best kebab, gyros, falafel, hummus, and baklava. The Halal Guys provides some of the most delicious food items that are available at affordable prices. You can either eat in or take out from this restaurant.
The halal menu at The Halal Guys – Dallas consists of chicken and shrimp shawarma, chicken kebab, beef gyro wrap and falafel wrap. You can also order their famous hummus with pita bread or french fries. Their chicken wings are also popular among their customers. They also have other options like salads and desserts like baklava and mango pudding.
Hopefully, this list of amazing places to grab something to eat in Texas inspired you to try something new. Maybe one of these would be a good place to bring the next big client or a future investor! Trust me, they're all worth visiting.
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