In the Heart of Texas
Collected by Andi Fisher, AFAR Local Expert
Texas is massive! There are several well-known cities: Dallas, Austin, Houston and more, each with their own distinct personalities, but always uniquely Texan.
Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX, USA
One of Dallas’s earliest neighborhoods, this formerly industrial area just east of downtown has a long history as an entertainment hub, from its days as a hotbed of blues and jazz clubs in the 1920s, to the 1980s, when local bands like the...
2624 Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75226, USA
The ultimate hole in the wall. Probably not a good idea to wear white cause you'll likely get black marker on it (you'll see what i mean when you get there). Cheap beer (yum Lonestar Beer). Awesome hamburgers are pretty much the only thing on the...
601 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208, USA
As if it were the sweetest blossom in a cluster of flowers, this taco joint is always buzzing with locals, to the exclusion of the neighboring taquerias. With authentic Mexican tacos that will fill your belly and leave your wallet largely unharmed...
4434 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75219, USA
Here are the rules for a good diner: Breakfast served all day and extra points are awarded for thick cut bacon and crispy hash browns. Busy waitresses who never get flustered are key—ideally she'll be calling customers "honey" and keeping their...
5900 Bishop Blvd, Dallas, TX 75205, USA
Located near the entrance to SMU's campus, The Meadows Museum houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. Its works date from the 10th to the 21st century, covering a thousand years of Spanish...
108 E San Antonio St, Marfa, TX 79843, USA
A new addition to the art hub in the middle of nowhere, Marfa Contemporary occupies a former gas station. Expect to see cutting-edge works by regional and international artists. This appeared in the March/April 2013 issue.
112 Academy Dr, Austin, TX 78704, USA
A compound-like hideaway on a leafy street a block from trendy South Congress, Hotel Saint Cecilia is a retro-glam love letter to the 1960s and '70s rock music scene, named for the patron saint of music and poetry. But that doesn’t mean that...
1209 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
A restaurant and specialty grocery store located in the old Hillside Drugstore building beautifully restored using original pharmacy cabinetry. It's hip, it's cozy, it will challenge your taste buds and it's the perfect way to start your evening...
1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, USA
There is nothing like chilling on a great patio with friends on a nice afternoon. When the weather is perfect I usually rally the troupes and head to Perla's to lounge under the huge oak trees, play shuffle board, snack on great appetizers, and...
16710 Ranch Rd 965, Fredericksburg, TX 78624, USA
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is truly a mystical place, filled with Native American folklore. The Tonkawa people who inhabited the area in the 16th century thought it was special because they thought they saw ghost fires flickering at the top...
Amarillo, TX, TX, USA
CATCH (Do): You may have heard of the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo Texas: the series of painted Cadillacs, rear up and situated in a line in the middle of a field. But you've probably never seen VW Beetle Ranch in Conway, Texas, just a short...
7701 Interstate 40 Access Rd, Amarillo, TX 79118, USA
It isn’t fancy, but it is the most interesting hotel in town—all charming, if somewhat faded, classic Texas kitsch. Next door is the famous Big Texan Steak Ranch, where your 72-ounce slab of beef is free if you eat the entire meal in an hour. 7701...
6555 Burnet Rd #400, Austin, TX 78757, USA
From a metal trailer to a brick and mortar restaurant, Bryce Gilmore, owner and head chef at Barley Swine, has elevated food truck cuisine to not only compete with the best restaurants in Austin, but garner himself not one but two Beard Award...
18300 Farm to Market Rd 1826, Driftwood, TX 78619, USA
One of the best things about Texas is the BBQ and the best ones are an hour or so outside the city. I went to the Salt Lick at Driftwood, about an hour or so outside of Austin. They have the best smoked sausage! Make a day trip out of this and...
Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, USA
The East Austin Studio Tour is held yearly, two weekends in November when local artist's open their studios and workshops to the public. It's a great way to uncover the neighborhood's concentrated talent and unlikely art scene. I came upon this...
San Antonio, TX 78205, USA
Festive Plaza in La Villita, a complex with shops run by local artisans, offers a more unique experience than the souvenir-selling El Mercado. Aside from shopping for authentic handmade goods, you can learn about its rich history. Self-guided...
801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, USA
Uchi takes Japanese cuisine and dials it up a notch. Hama Chili, thinly sliced fresh tuna with chili, soy and grapefruit—who would have thought of such a combination? It's a party in your mouth, truly creative fresh Japanese dining. I'll be going...
6550 Comanche Trail, Austin, TX 78732, USA
Seriously, almost every night, you can enjoy a perfect sunset here. This is one money-maker, an enormous restaurant on a hilltop overlooking Lake Travis, outside Austin. The Oasis. The drinks are cold, and there's lots of room; the drinks are...
6959 Lebanon Rd, Frisco, TX 75034, USA
Bonnie Ruth's award-winning cuisine comes with casual atmosphere and the Frisco vibe. Sitting at the quaint bistro or near the courtyard fireplace, it's the perfect place to get cozy. House favorites include: the Sunday Brunch Buffet, Signature...
6959 Lebanon Rd #108, Frisco, TX 75034, USA
With fresh catches in a comfortable environment, Kotta is probably the tastiest and most enjoyable sushi place in Frisco. The appetizers, hibachi-styled entres, and ambient atmosphere set the mood for a fabulous meal. The staff is friendly and...
1996, 11660 Legacy Dr, Frisco, TX 75034, USA
A family-owned bakery and coffeehouse, Coffee N Cream churns out 30 pastry items from scratch daily. The outdoor seating is a bonus when the sun is out: It's a great place to relax and indulge. In Texas, you can get just about anything at a...
18300 Farm to Market Rd 1826, Driftwood, TX 78619, USA
I have dreams about the family style BBQ from the Salt Lick, it's that good. Located beneath the oak trees in a sprawling space in Driftwood, Texas, it is the perfect place to gather with friends and family and celebrate all things Texan. On the...
4620 N 10th St, McAllen, TX 78504, USA
Pepper’s at Uptown in McAllen Texas was quite a surprise. Located in a shopping center along the main drag I really didn’t know what to expect with a sort of sports bar, casual vibe. Chef/General manager Richard Sauceda has the culinary drive in...
5825 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77057, USA
When my coworker, who is Lebanese and lived in Houston, suggested Mary's for the best Lebanese food in town, I didn't doubt her for a second. It is a family-owned business that has held a good name during its many years in Houston. If you ever...
2520 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006, USA
My good friend, who is originally from Houston, told me of the high-energy restaurant Niko Niko's. Being Greek, she has found some of her favorite dishes here that taste just like the way her mother made them. This place is authentic! Try their...
12538 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77024, USA
Owner Paul Miller and Chef Juan Arellano head to the farmer's market twice a week to fuel their local ingredient based, globally inspired menu. This is what allows them to create the most appealing menu possible. People's bodies need foods that...
12141 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077, USA
Crisp, homemade plantain chips with mango salsa and chimichurri is the perfect five o'clock snack. If you disagree, there are 10,000 products from over 50 countries of exotic, hard-to-find goods. The great prices they can offer come from the...
608 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006, USA
Chef Marco Wiles focuses on Italian wines and Italian small plates at Vinoteca Poscol. The wines are chosen to complement each dish. The standard of quality that Chef Wiles upholds is what has built his reputation, especially now, with three...
4123 Cedar Springs Rd #110, Dallas, TX 75219, USA
(note: Cedar Grove restaurant is formally known as Dish) Dish made a veritable splash upon entering Dallas' dining scene in 2009, and the fact that it's remained a culinary bright spot since is a testament to its fantastic reinventions. The...
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