The classic diner is a hallmark of American eating, and it’s no different here in the Lone Star State. Well, except maybe a little bit better. Texas diners not only serve delicious hot breakfasts and mouth-watering hamburgers, they also add in Texas originals like chicken fried steak and queso. Some diners are open 24/7, some serve alcohol, and some are barely bigger than a walk-in closet, but they all have one thing in common: delicious food.
There are some incredible diners all across Texas, and whether you’re looking for a good burger, an amazing waffle or a unique kind of queso, trust me, Texas has it. Check out these 10 awesome Texas diners and add them to your foodie bucket list.
10. Pig Stand – San Antonio
The San Antonio Pig Stand is the remnant of what was once the first chain of diners in Dallas. Opened in 1921, the chain expanded across Texas, but now, every other one has shut down. Unlike the original, the Pig Stand in San Antonio has a lunch counter, tables and booths. Don’t leave without trying the pig sandwich, a sliced BBQ pork on a bun.
9. Rock Inn Cafe – Seymour
Opened in 1933, the Rock Inn Cafe is a storied and well-loved establishment in the tiny north Texas town of Seymour. The Rock Inn is a classic style diner that mixes good food with great service, and it was even featured in a 2008 Texas Monthly article. Make sure to try the chicken fried steak.
8. Lulu’s Bakery and Cafe – San Antonio
Known for their famous 3-pound cinnamon rolls, Lulu’s is something of a San Antonio tradition. The storied cafe has been featured on Man vs. Food and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network.
7. House of Pies – Houston
Houston’s famous House of Pies is open 24/7, and for good reason, because they’re almost always packed. The diner offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as some of the best pies in Houston. For a real treat try the Bayou Goo pie, a cream cheese and vanilla custard pie with chocolate, whipped cream and a pecan crust, what more could you ask for?
6. Counter Cafe – Austin
What’s in a name? Practically everything at this place. The Counter Cafe in Austin is literally just a lunch counter and a few two-seater tables. Don’t let the size fool you though, what they lack in space, they make up in flavor. Try the blueberry pancakes for a delicious treat!
5. Original Market Diner – Dallas
The place Dallasites now know as the Original Market Diner has gone by many names, but it is still the same family-owned restaurant that has been in operation on Harry Hines Boulevard since 1951. Don’t stop by if you’re dieting, because you probably won’t be able to pass up the cinnamon roll french toast or Sam’s Benedict (like classic eggs benedict but with sausage instead of Canadian bacon.)
4. Tel-Wink Grill – Houston
Located on Telephone Road in South Houston, Tel-Wink Grill has been in operation in its current location since 1962. Diners say Tel-Wink has the best waffles you’ll ever eat.
3. Maxine’s on Main – Bastrop
For a small town that is rapidly becoming a big town, Bastrop is still holding on to it’s small town feel. Part of that can be found at Maxine’s on Main. The little cafe was ranked among the best small town cafes in Texas by Texas Monthly, and is a big hit with locals and travelers alike. For some genuine southern fare, try the fried green tomatoes.
2. Magnolia Cafe – Austin
From the eclectic local art adorning the walls to the unique mixture of classic American and southwestern fare, Magnolia Cafe is distinctly Austin. Go in pretty much any time of day or night and try out the Egg-scape or the Mag Mud and you won’t be sorry they’re open.
1. Bluebonnet Cafe – Marble Falls
This cute little home cooking joint is a definite must for any hungry Texans traveling to or through the small Hill Country town of Marble Falls. Try out the chicken fried steak, and afterward, have a slice of their famous coconut cream pie.