Sure, there' are thousands of great places to eat scattered throughout cities and towns all across Texas, and a Main Street Cafe on just about every corner of every berg from Wink to Brownsville. But there are those really special places that qualify as the Best of the Best - the unique and extraordinary -  the unusual, and just plain great places to eat. They shouldn't be missed when traveling down the long roads of Texas.

 

Take a tour of our personal picks and schedule lunch or dinner next time you're in the neighborhood. And don't forget to check back often, because our hungry staff of restaurant explorers are always on the look for that special place you can't afford to miss. Bon Appetite!

 

CHEF'S HOUSE Restaurant - Port Isabel

Don't even think about visiting Deep South Texas (The Valley) without stopping by the The Chef's House in Port Isabel - just across the bridge from South Padre Island. Open for breakfast and lunch only, the visit is worth it - the best dining experience int he Valley - bar none! The Chef and his wife run this place - only five tables (linen tablecloths), and the food and plating is extraordinary. Do not miss this little hideaway at 101 Queen Isabella Blvd (main drag). They don't have a web site, but if you miss it, you lose! 956-943-7362

 

EL CHILE Cafe & Cantina - Austin

Tex-Mex is an art in itself, but in spite of it being the national food of Texas, it is rare for a restaurant to get in "perfectly right". In Austin, El Chile does that - and more. From the homemade smoked chile salsa to the perfect chile relleno, this hot little spot will send you away sated and ready for more (when you eat again). A good menu with lots of choices - a perfect Tex-Mex experience. MORE

 

ANCELET'S FRENCH MARKET - Port Arthur

"GAURANTEED" great Cajun food, especially their rope sausage, boudain, hog cracklins and crawfish boil. Ummm good! Ancelet's has been around a long time but the food has never changed. Outstanding taste and original recipes. Nothing fancy here, just good eats and fun atmosphere - where the local's hang. Come hungry and get ready to loosen the belt upon departure. No web site, so you're on your own here. But don't miss it.  7901 N Twin City Hwy, Port Arthur. MORE

 

COUNTRY TAVERN - Kilgore

Not exactly in the heart of Kilgore (Northeast Texas) but located on a Farm-to-Market road outside of town, this long time favorite is still serving up some of the best BBQ ribs in the state. Nothing fancy here, but good service and melt0in-your-mouth food to die for! Order by the pound and get enough to take some home. Highly recommended if you appreciate ribs Texas Style!

Hwy 31 & FM 2767, Kilgore - MORE

 

50 YARD LINE STEAKS - LUBBOCK

This restaurant has been around a few years - and for good reason. If you enjoy prime steak, look no further,. In addition to award winning steaks, you'll find great chops and burgers - all of it char-broiled to perfection. For us, the blueberry muffins - a standard and served with every meal - make th e the place well worth the visit. MORE

 

Bonnell's In Fort Worth

The tastes of thye great Southwest infused with regional influences of Texas -- from Creole to Mexican. From wild boar and venison to oysters and quail, almost every main ingredient is from Texas and is uniquely combined to create a perfect Texas experience. Venison Carpaccio and crispy quail legs are great starters; entrees include a smoked chicken salad topped with a jalapeño and garlic vinaigrette, a filet served with a albino pepper and Tasso cream sauce and the scrumptious Southwestern chicken stack. MORE

 

Kerbey Lane Café in Austin

The original location is an Austin institution and the must-eat destination that's a throwback to the pre-technology boom days. Healthy food and with a twist! With its huge pancake breakfast featuring gingerbread and apple whole wheat pancakes as well as the traditional buttermilk, you won't find a butter breakfast! Be prepared, Kerbey Lane is known for its long lines on weekends The alluring aroma of hot pancakes and smoked bacon are enough to overlook the wait. Great lunch menu as well. MORE

 

Cap'n Roys of South Padre Island

It's getting harder to find authentic Texas coastal food, but Captain Leroy in South Padre Island still serves it up in a traditional style with all the right flavors. You guessed it: Fish, shrimp and oysters rule here - simple and plain, but woonderfully tasteful. Plus a few extra menu items like poblano cream sause fettucini, award winning Diablo Shrimp, and a few Mexican dishes that will also please. If you've got the time, ask for Capn Roy and a few of his favorite poems! He's not only good - he's great.  MORE

 

U&I Restaurant - Corpus Christi

Not every good eatery has to be a modern work of architecture, decor or fancy menu full of foo-foo foods. Such is the case of the U&I Restaurant in Corpus Christi. More a diner than a fancy restaurant, locals have been enjoying great local fare at this downtown location for years. The menu is diverse, the food is extra-special and the service is good. Skip the fancy and just get some good eats! MORE

 

Elite Circle Grille in Waco

Another typical Texas diner, the Elite in Waco has been serving up big helpings of Texas for as long as anyone can remember! The first Elite Cafe opened in downtown Waco in 1919. The Elite was the first restaurant in Waco to use refrigeration in 1923 and air conditioning in 1941. Inviting to all, whether local banker or long haul trucker, it is no wonder The Elite gained the slogan "Where the elite meet to eat." Don't expect fancy - but you can expect good food. A large variety menu and a tradition that's hard to beat anywhere else in the Lone Star State! MORE

 

Hill Top Cafe - Fredericksburg

It may not seem like much to look at - at first glimpse. But after stepping inside and wrapping your body around an expertly prepared meal, the place takes on a whole new look and feel! Specializing in Greek and cajun dishes, the restaurant is the pride of famous blues musician Johnny Nicholas and wife Brenda. Highly recommended!  MORE

 

Tortuga Coastal Cantina - Galveston

Relax with family and friends while enjoying the fun and flavors of Mexico on Galveston Island. The Tortuga staff always greets you with a warm smile and a bountiful basket of warm corn tortilla chips, freshly prepared. Nothing goes better with their chips than their famous salsa! Well worth the visit! MORE

 

Uchi - of Austin

You say Uchi, I say sushi. Well alright - here you can have your cake and eat it too. Actually, no cake here, but plenty of expertly prepared Japanese dishes you won't find anywhere else - except Japan. And yes, sushi is high on the menu - and it's fabulous! Music, food and spirits - Japanese style at Uchi!   MORE

 

City Market - Luling

You can never say enough about good Texas barbeque. But the famous City Market just outside of Luling doesn't serve "good" BBQ - they serve some of the best! They cook their meat over Post Oak wood in specially designed pits, giving a flavor that can't be beat. With a large cult following, you need to arrive early! MORE

 

The Blue Bonnet Cafe - Marble Falls

For 67 years this diner has been pleasing the famous as well as all the locals and visitors too! This is what home cooking is all about, but this home cooking is out-of-this-world! Always busy (open breakfast, lunch and dinner), you need to come early. And don't forget the home made pies - they are to die for! Visit the Blue Bonnet and discover bliss on a plate. MORE

 

Water Street Oyster Bar - Corpus Christi

There is nothing as delightful to the palate as eating freshly prepared seafood while dining by the bay front. Water Street Oyster Bar in Corpus Christi fits the bill. They've been pleasing customers for over 20 years. You'll find some of the best seafood in Texas at this chic, bayfront restaurant. Be sure to try their Pecan Crusted Shrimp -- you'll  come back for more. MORE