Put these small Texas towns with great food on your radar.
You don’t have to enjoy great Texas food in the big city. Try out these smaller towns for food and experiences that rival the big cities in Texas. When you finish drooling over all the goodness, please share your favorite restaurant in a small Texas town with us in the comments. We may feature it in a future post.
Get ready to experience flavorful Texas food! These small towns boast some of the best eats and hometown charm in the Lone Star State. Here are a few small towns that will delight you and your palate on your next road trip or weekend getaway.
Dig Into These Small Towns With Great Food
Eating out is part of traveling, and we all have a few meals that stand out when we reflect on the cities we visited. Here, you will find some of our favorite food experiences in smaller towns in Texas…and they are just as good as the big-city options.
FYI – According to TravelAwaits, towns with 25,000 people or less are considered small towns.
Dutchman’s Hidden Valley – Hamilton, TX
Hamilton, Population 3050
Located in Central Texas off Hwy 281 south of Glen Rose is this roadside stop that I try to make every time I drive home from the hill country. I usually order a sandwich with sourdough bread or ice cream. I always ask to buy a sourdough loaf, but it’s always sold out when I get there!
Tip: The Sourdough Bread is the Bomb. Order on Thursday if you know you know you’ll be driving by on the weekend.
Vaudeville In Fredericksburg
Fredericksburg, Population 12,000
Fredericksburg gets all the hype, and for a good reason—it rocks. And so does this restaurant on the main street going through town. A winery we had visited earlier that day suggested Vaudeville and a few other restaurants to us. I’m so glad we chose this one because the French dip was that good.
Adeina ordered her meal first, which sounded so good that I had to order the same thing. We would most definitely return here for another meal! They serve gluten-free options and have daily specials. There is also a boutique on the street level, and the restaurant is downstairs. I’m not sure if there is wheelchair accessibility, but it might be in the back.
Of course, there are a gazillion more restaurants in Fredericksburg to try. Most of the ones I’ve been to are located downtown. I’ve not been disappointed with any. The Texas Hill Country’s small Texas towns with great food are everywhere!
Mary’s Cafe – Strawn, TX
Strawn, Population 540
If you want big southern-style hamburgers or huge chicken-fried steak dinners, head to this small town west of Fort Worth.
Address: 119 Grant Ave.
Louie Mueller – Taylor, TX
Taylor (Near Austin), Population 16,300
If you are still looking for the best food in Texas, check out these Texas barbeque pits off the beaten path. While the big cities dominate the barbeque eats, you can still get great BBQ in a small Texas town like Taylor (39 miles from Austin).
Thirty-three (33) barbeque pits that made the Texas Monthly list of the best 50 places to eat BBQ in Texas were small towns. One of the best out there is Louie Mueller in Taylor, Texas. It opened in 1949, run by three generations of Muellers, and located 40 minutes Southeast of Austin, with seven Barbeque restaurants on the list. Still, there are a lot of hot spots in small towns everywhere.
Blue Bonnet Cafe – Marble Falls Hwy 281
Marble Falls, Population – 7050
For Pie Happy Hour and the best pie in Texas, be sure to stop by between 3-5 pm on weekdays. They also serve up a big breakfast for a great price.
Address: East side on Hwy 281. Lines are always long but worth the wait.
Desi’s Restaurant – Batesville, TX
Batesville, Population 1090
One of my readers nominated this restaurant as the best small town with great food.
Address: 14560 E US Hwy 57 (142 School House St). Located southwest of San Antonio.
Tip: Best Mexican Food In A Small Town
Blacksmith Grill – Boerne, TX
Boerne, Population – 18,000
On a trip to the Hill Country to visit wineries, we stayed in Boerne, and before heading to the hotel, we stopped for a semi-late evening meal at the Blacksmith Grill on Main Street. Though I wasn’t that hungry, I ordered an appetizer and the best homemade vanilla bean shake ever! It was all I could do to finish it, but I put the appetizer aside and slurped this shake to the end!
Boerne has many restaurants up and down Main Street; sometimes, choosing which one you want to try is hard. I’ve been to quite a few, but I can’t say which ones are the best because they all are!
Tillie’s Restaurant at Camp Lucy – Dripping Springs, TX
Dripping Springs – Texas Hill Country, Population 4700
Located in Dripping Spring is Camp Lucy – a quaint country resort in the woods. Their onsite restaurant is Tillie’s, named after one of the original owners of the land. You don’t have to stay at the resort to eat at the restaurant. I suggest breakfast, but if not, dinner is the best. It’s an upscale restaurant, and the prices are $$$$. It’s a place to take a date or your wife on your anniversary – it’s that nice.
Tip: Personally, I think this is the best breakfast in the Hill Country. Open to the public.
Gruene River Grill – Gruene, TX
New Braunfels, Population in 2023 – unknown
In 2000, the population was only 20 people. Even though Gruene is part of New Braunfels, it’s worth mentioning here because, well, look at the chicken fried steak! Plus, most tourists believe it to be its own town. Wrap your mouth around the huge chicken dinner at Gruene River Grill for only $14 bucks.
Address: 1259 Gruene Rd.
Pint And Barrell Drafthouse – Palestine, TX
Palestine, Population – 19,000
Pint And Barrell made the list because of its location in Old Town Palestine and its nice outdoor area with picnic tables under shade trees. Go early – lines can get long. Order inside, and they will bring it out to you for pub food – sandwiches, hamburgers, and some darn good fries. Closed Sundays and open late at night.
Address: 302 E. Crawford St.
When planning your next trip to Texas, don’t forget the small towns within the state. These towns offer great food and experiences that rival their bigger neighbors.