Finding good food in the large cities of the Lone Star State is easy. Any time a new hot restaurant opens in Austin or Dallas it’s covered by the local news and then by statewide media. Even if you don’t catch the grand openings, you can still find good eateries. All you have to do is go to Yelp to see what the locals like in any of the larger cities all across Texas.
In small towns, though, it’s not as easy. Some places are incredible, some are so-so, and some are not great but continue to survive just because they’ve always been there. A surefire way to find out a great place to eat is to ask the locals. So we consulted locals from around the state to find some of the best small town restaurants in Texas.
10. Paradise Key Dockside Bar & Grill – Rockport
“THE best calamari I’ve ever had! and I’ve tried a lot.” – Emily Leach
Located on the water in the small coastal town of Rockport is Paradise Key where you can get gulf shrimp and seafood, and because this is Texas, they also offer a chicken fried New York Strip. Wear your stretchy waist pants to this place.
9. Filipp’s Cafe – Danbury
“It’s good food served by good people!” – Amanda Parker
You can find Filipp’s Cafe in the small town of Danbury in Brazoria County, not far outside of Angleton. The house favorites tend toward the chicken fried chicken and the apple dumplings.
8. Blessings Tea Room- Seymour
“Homemade everything everyday. The bread is amazing and the pasta salad is my fave. Always fresh and garnished with fruit. So good!” – Lauren Bush
In the tiny North Texas town of Seymour you’ll find more than just ancient Precambrian dimetrodons. Just a half mile away from the Whiteside Museum of Natural History you can find Blessings in more ways than one. Locals are blessed by the pickled okra roll up and the chicken and dumplings.
7. Leona General Store – Leona
“Best thing to get is the steak. I love the atmosphere and the people who own it (jerry and Cynthia house) are incredible. Also again…the steak!” – JoAnna Grissom
One of Texas’s best-kept secrets is now out. If you want to try the amazing steak or all you can eat catfish at Leona General Store you’d better plan your visit carefully, because they’re only open from 5:30 to 8:30 on Thursday, and 5:30-9:00 on Friday and Saturday.
6. Peacock’s – Stephenville
“Homey atmosphere, best biscuits and gravy EVER! You can get lunch and dinner there, but I always order off the breakfast menu, regardless of the time of day.” – Katheryn Moore
Peacocks is a breakfast and brunch cafe. It is the perfect place to stop if you’re traveling through the small town of Stephenville, or if you’re dropping your kid off for their first semester at Tarleton State University.
5. Mary’s Cafe – Strawn
“Their chicken fried steak is amazing. People drive from all the area towns to eat there.” – Beth Moore
Mary’s Cafe serves up enormous burgers and traditional Southern cooking that has been pleasing hungry Texans for generations. Located on Grant Avenue in the tiny North Texas town of Strawn, Mary’s is a local favorite you’ve gotta try.
4. Napoli’s Pasta & Pizza – Joshua
“Authentic, fresh, delicious Italian meals at a great price. Their brick oven pizzas are not to be missed!” – Cheri Isaacs
Napoli’s in Joshua is a family-owned pizza and pasta restaurant that some have compared to rural Sicilian or Northern Italian food. Olive Garden it is not. So check it out the next time you’re passing through Joshua.
3. Mel’s Country Cafe – Tomball
“Good food. The burgers are HUGE and insane! It’s a small town cafe with good service.” – Ashley Morris
Tomball sits just north of Houston but with just over 6,000 residents, it’s still a small town. Small town or not, the burgers at Mel’s are absolutely enormous and so good. So come with an appetite and try out some of the delicious menu offerings from this family-owned cafe.
2. Maxine’s on Main – Bastrop
“I cannot tell you how much I love this place. I recommend it to everyone! Best food and prices are reasonable for such delicious food and wonderful service!!! Yum!” – Joanna De La Cerda
Maxine’s has developed quite a following in the little central Texas town of Bastrop. The sweet tea is delicious and of course, served in mason jars. The food is excellent and there’s a wide variety on the menu, and the service is nothing but the best Southern hospitality.
1. Bluebonnet Cafe – Marble Falls
“Make sure you save room for some of the very best pie in Texas.” – Jason Crouch
If you haven’t yet heard of the Bluebonnet Cafe, then it’s time you did. The little Texas gem is located in the hill country town of Marble Falls. It’s known for its comfort food and of course, the delicious variety of home baked pies. Without a doubt, this is one of Texas’s favorite small town restaurants.