Thrillist put out a list of the coolest suburbs in the United States and included four from the great state of Texas. So, how did they choose the coolest Texas suburbs? They took into consideration the quality of the food and drink scene, whether or not it had an easy commute to the nearest city and the uniqueness of the suburb.
So, not exactly a science, but they did consult local residents for input. Arguments ensued, but eventually culminated into this list. Let's count them down.
With a population of 105,547, Round Rock is a cheaper alternative to Austin living with its own unique characteristics. Sitting just 20 miles north of the heart of Austin, the commute is on the shorter side than some other major suburbs. Notable places to grab some good grub or a drink are Round Rock Donuts, Tortuga Flats, Hoody's Sub Shop, Flix Brewhouse and newly-opened Veracruz All Natural.
Just 30 miles north of Dallas, McKinney is known for having a wonderful school system, plenty of parks, a vibrant downtown area and an abundance of jobs. If it's any testament to the town, Money Magazine rated is the #1 Place to Live in America in 2014. Notable restaurants and watering holes include Square Burger, Cadillac Pizza Pub, The Celt and Spoons Cafe.
With a population just over 100,000 and a commute of just 20 miles to downtown Houston, Pearland is definitely an ideal suburb. While it has its fair share of commercialized shops and chain restaurants, they have some delicious signature food as well, like the ribs from Killen's Barbecue. Restaurant owner Ronnie Killen also owns the famous Killen's Steakhouse which is a must try.
A smaller community with just 60,000 residents, New Braunfels was founded in 1845 by German settlers. A town that takes pride in their history, you'll find plenty of German restaurants to dine at and the annual Wurstfest. It's also known for some great spots for tubing and floating on the Guadalupe or Comal Rivers, or even splashing around at enormous Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Chow down at Alpine Haus, Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar or Pour Haus.
Texas Monthly did a rebuttal post of Thrillist's list of best Texas suburbs and felt they left a few burbs out of the mix that should have been included.
For Austin, Texas Monthly also recommends Georgetown, artsy Wimberley and BBQ hot spot Lockhart. Dallas suburbs they suggest are music infused Denton, Lewisville, Waxahachie and Grapevine. When it comes to Houston, they list history rich Galveston, new town The Woodlands, Richmond and Sugar Land as alternatives. For San Antonio, TM recommends suburbs like Boerne, Castroville and "rootin' tootin' Bandera" instead.