Feast on delicious dishes and dreamy desserts in Texas's three foodiest cities
Tucked into Texas's major cities are neighborhoods that draw their energy, in large part, from culinary hot spots. These are the spots that locals know — where up-and-coming chefs make their names, and innovative, locally sourced eats and drinks rule.
It might surprise you to learn that Houston has more than 10,000 restaurants. The variety is outstanding, ranging from award-winning establishments to food trucks to ethnic restaurants representing more than 70 countries. To appreciate the diversity, visit one of the city’s many Asian markets or eat souvlaki, pho or Korean barbecue from a food truck. Go for sushi at Uchi, goat dumplings at Underbelly or ceviche with prickly pear marmalade at Hugo’s. Dine at Reef for stand-out seafood. At Oxheart, sample Texan ingredients such as wild boar and persimmon sorbet. Or, let Houston Culinary Tours guide your exploration — the company offers tours by neighborhood as well as chef-guided excursions. Houston Restaurant Weeks, celebrated annually in August, provide another tantalizing overview as establishments across the city offer special menus.
At Cured in San Antonio, dine on house-cured meats accompanied by Texas craft beer
San Antonio neighborhoods buzz with chef-driven restaurants. In the Southtown area, browse art galleries before stopping for dinner at Hot Joy, popular for eclectic Asian fare such as smoked brisket ramen. Follow the San Antonio River Walk to museums and The Pearl, a 19th-century brewery that’s being revitalized as a food-centric urban neighborhood. The Pearl includes a campus of The Culinary Institute of America, where you can watch a cooking demo or take a class. Afterward, stroll to a neighboring bar or restaurant. Cured is a good choice for pairing house-cured meats with Texas craft beer. The Granary acquaints diners with traditional central Texas barbecue. At La Gloria, acclaimed chef Johnny Hernandez interprets the culinary creations of Mexican street vendors, taquerias and home kitchens. For dessert, Lick Honest Ice Creams is a must, crafting decadent flavors with whole, pure ingredients — including Texas honey and peaches — from local farmers and artisans.
Fredericksburg's German heritage is evident in its hearty cuisine and its artisan brews
Leave the city of San Antonio for the breathtaking countryside of Fredericksburg, with rolling hills and river valleys. In a short drive, you’ll discover wineries, summertime peach-picking and authentic German cuisine such as sweet pastries and savory Schnitzel. (Taste Fredericksburg’s German heritage cooking — and brewing — inside the town’s bistros, bakeries and beer gardens, symbols of the German pioneers who settled in the area more than 150 years ago.) Shop Fredericksburg’s historic downtown for artisan food boutiques — sample smoked sausage at Opa’s Market and Deli and indulge in wine-infused confections at Quintessential Chocolates.
Fredericksburg, with its scenic Hill Country setting, makes an inviting locale for al fresco dining