Top 5 Best Foods in Texas for Celebrations
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While Texas is large and varied, there are some dishes that every true Texan will miss if they are away from home for an extended period of time.
If you ask a Texan where they get their hands on these delicacies, they'll probably tell you their favorite place, and if you end up making Texas your permanent home, you'll probably have your own list of favorites.
Here are the five most talked-about dishes in all of Texas, and more importantly, where in Texas you can find them.
1. Barbecue in Texas
Barbecue - Photo: HoustonChronicle.com
Texas is fiercely proud of its barbecue, and for good reason—Texas-style barbecue restaurants can now be found in Paris!—as it has gained a reputation around the world. Although there may be slight variations in preparation methods depending on the region you're eating in, beef is usually the main attraction.
- Notable Texas City for Barbecue: Lockhart
- Notable Restaurants: Franklin Barbecue (Austin), Killen’s BBQ (Pearland), Kreuz Market (Lockhart), La Barbecue (Austin), Louie Mueller Barbecue (Taylor), Pecan Lodge (Dallas), Terry Black’s Barbecue (Austin), The Salt Lick (Driftwood)
2. Tacos in Texas
Tacos - Photo: EaterAustin.com
It's not surprising that Texas has a strong love for — dare we say obsession with — tacos given the state's significant Mexican immigrant population and the fact that the region was once a part of Mexico. While the exact origins of tacos in Mexico are still up for debate, they are now widely available in Texas at fast food chains, high-end restaurants, gas station counters, food trucks in parking lots, and gas stations. The breakfast taco, a favorite breakfast dish of Texans, merits a special mention as well.
- Notable Texas City for Tacos: San Antonio
- Notable Restaurants: Maria’s Café (San Antonio), Ray’s Drive Inn (San Antonio), Tacos A Go Go (various locations), Taco House (various locations), Tacos La Banqueta (various locations), Tacos Tierra Caliente (Houston), Tacodeli (various locations), Taquitos West Ave (San Antonio), Torchy’s Tacos (various locations), Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que (Brownsville)
3. Chile con Queso in Texas
Chile con Queso - Photo: Onceuponachef.com
A mouthwatering bowl of hot, melted cheese is impossible to resist. Tex-Mex restaurants frequently serve the highly addictive appetizer chile con queso with a basket of tortilla chips for dipping. During the 1900s, chile con queso began to appear on restaurant menus (and the first Texas recipe debuted). You can enjoy more decadent versions of the dish by adding pico de gallo, guacamole, ground beef, or beans. The dish can be as straightforward as melted cheese with bits of chili pepper and tomato.
- Notable Texas City for Chile con Queso: Austin
- Notable Restaurants: El Tiempo Cantina (Houston), Kerbey Lane Café (various locations), Matt’s El Rancho (Austin), Matt’s Rancho Martinez (various locations), Torchy’s Tacos (various locations), La Grange (Houston)
4. Kolaches in Texas
Kolaches - Photo: Saveur.com
Although kolaches are actually a traditional Czech pastry, they are now frequently eaten for breakfast in Texas as a result of the 19th-century immigration of Czechs to central Texas. Kolaches are dough rounds that are sometimes filled with sweet cheese and fruit. You may also find kolaches, which are technically klobasniky but are still delicious, made with sausage, cheese, and jalapenos in donut shops and bakeries throughout the state.
- Notable Texas City for Kolaches: West
- Notable Restaurants: Czech Stop (West), Hruska’s Store & Bakery (Ellinger), Old Main Street Bakery (Rosenberg), Original Kountry Bakery (various locations), The Village Bakery (West), Weikel’s Bakery (La Grange), Two Czech Chicks (Danbury)
5. Crawfish in Texas
Crawfish fever crossed the border from Louisiana to Texas, where it has become a part of the state's culture. In Texas, crawfish are still frequently cooked and consumed Cajun-style, but Vietnamese restaurants also serve a delectable variation on the dish.
From roughly March to May, when crawfish are at their freshest, you can find a lot of restaurants (and friends) hosting crawfish boils. The fun of eating crawfish is in the ritual, and you can ask a local how they break open the shell to get at the delectable meat inside.
- Notable Texas City for Crawfish: Houston
- Notable Restaurants: 88 Boiling Crawfish & Seafood Restaurant (Houston), Circle M Crawfish (Big Sandy), Crawfish & Noodles (Houston), Crawfish Café (Houston), Crawfish Shack (Crosby), LA Crawfish (various locations), Ragin Cajun (various locations), The Catch (various locations), Wade’s Place (Chandler).
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