Off-the-beaten-path gems offer unforgettable Texas meals.
Texas cities like Austin and Houston may get a lot of attention for their delicious eats, but with over 268,000 square miles, the Lone Star State has plenty of space for off-the-beaten path offerings too. These restaurants might take a bit of planning and forethought to get to, but that only makes the experience more rewarding. A stop at any of these businesses is well worth the time it may take to reach them. Just make sure you don’t eat too much—you’ll still need to drive back home, after all.
Store House Market & Eatery - Bastrop
Built one year after Texas statehood and at various times home to a brothel, market and funeral parlor, the Store House now offers more palatable, locally sourced dishes from Eden East Farm, such as golden beet carpaccio and chicken liver mousse. Located roughly 30 miles south of Austin, the quaint locale on Bastrop’s Main Street is a great detour for brunch or dinner.
Emma + Ollie Restaurant + Bakery - Fredericksburg
This charming restaurant and bakery situated an hour north of San Antonio offers delicious, made-from-scratch breakfasts and homemade pastries like strawberry muffins and beignets. It’s as popular as it is tiny, so be sure to get there early enough to snag a table for brunch.
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House - San Leon
San Leon may be home to only 5,000 or so locals, but Pier 6’s prime location in Galveston Bay and talented chefs make it a happening spot six days a week. Fresh seafood meals like pan-seared grouper and grilled and raw oysters keep the customers coming, along with their decadent blue crab grilled cheese sandwich. Plan a weekend brunch jaunt to make the most of their mimosa flights and “Baller Bloody Mary” that includes shrimp and oyster.
Perini Ranch Steakhouse - Buffalo Gap
It doesn’t get more Texas cowboy than the Perini Ranch Steakhouse. Opened in 1983 by chuck wagon veteran Tom Perini, the rustic restaurant located in a town of under 500 residents is a meat lover’s paradise. In 2014, the Steakhouse was even awarded the James Beard Foundation’s prestigious America’s Classic’s designation.
Little Gretel Restaurant - Boerne
A trip to this heritage-heavy eatery will take you just north of San Antonio and into Texas Hill Country. Honoring Texan Czech and German dishes, Little Gretel’s homemade, traditional fare is about as authentic as they come—rotating wild game offerings, schnitzels, sauerbraten, kolaches and, of course, a seriously tasty beer selection.