In Texas, queso is king. The gooey cheese dip practically flows through the veins of every Texan. More often than not, when somebody asks where the group wants to go for dinner, the consensus is “somewhere with good queso.” In a pinch, a bowl of the delicious appetizer and some tortillas is a perfectly good meal.
In other words, we really like queso.
But not all queso is created equally. Despite what most folks outside of Texas think, the dish is *not* simply “melted Velveeta with a can of Rotel.” The perfect queso mixes several types of melty cheeses, often with green chiles, tomatoes, jalapeños, ground beef, guacamole or any other combination of amazing ingredients.
You can find fantastic variations of the dish all over Texas, from tiny dives to massive restaurants. Here are 10 of the best places to get queso in Texas.
10. Beaver’s Knocked Up Queso
Beaver’s in Houston offers this “knocked up” queso, the love-child of maple-smoked brisket and asedero cheese with chiles. It’s unlike any other offering in Texas and worth the trip.
9. Kerbey Lane Kerbey Queso
Kerbey Queso is a known life-saver for Austin’s college students pulling all-nighters to study for exams. But the dish has grown to be a favorite among more than just students. This famous queso combines white cheeses with pico de gallo, ground beef and guacamole.
8. Matt’s Rancho Bob Armstrong
Kerbey Queso may have Matt’s famous “Bob Armstrong” dip to thank for inspiration. The story goes that more than 40 years ago, the Texas land commissioner at the time Bob Armstrong walked into Matt’s and asked for “something different.” The chefs hid guacamole and spicy beef at the bottom of the queso to surprise Armstrong, who loved it. You can find it in the DFW area and Austin.
7. Ninfa’s Queso Flameado
Queso flameado holds a different consistency than most quesos. Instead of a soupy liquid, flameado is thicker and stringier, usually served with tortillas. Ninfa’s famous flameado in Houston is served with poblanos and chorizo meat.
6. Durango’s Chile Con Queso
The chile con queso at Durango’s in Lubbock is unlike any other queso. It’s lighter and has more chiles than traditional quesos. It’s usually combined with other melted cheeses separate from the actual queso dish. It is also perfect when placed on top of literally anything on the menu.
5. El Capataz Queso Borracho
El Capataz in Loredo offers queso borracho, which translates to “drunk cheese.” The cheese is melted with a tequila chimichurri and served with the more hearty baguettes instead of chips.
4. Fresco’s Mexicana Queso
Fresco’s in the DFW area (specifically Burleson) has been known for its reliably great queso for years. It’s probably the least flashy on the list, but also a great example of how simple queso can be incredible. Every now and then it’s served with Hatch green chiles if you ask!
3. L and J’s Cafe Queso
L&J’s in El Paso is routinely considered the best Tex-Mex in El Paso, and that’s saying something. This queso features larger chunks of chiles.
2. La Gloria Ice House Queso Flameado
The queso fundido at La Gloria in San Antonio is very similar to queso flambeado, but what makes this dip shine is the quality of meat and poblano peppers used. Big, flavorful chunks of ground beef bring out the best in this stringy cheese dish.
1. Torchy’s Queso
From its humble beginnings in a trailer park in Austin, Torchy’s has grown to have locations all over the state of Texas. Part of the reason is its delicious queso, which features guacamole, queso fresco, cilantro and Torchy’s diablo sauce.