You might not find better barbecue anywhere else, but that’s just the beginning of Texas’ beloved food scene. From fine wines and State Fair confections to tender meats and local ales, there’s plenty of mouthwatering food and drink to sample in Texas.
Texas Hill Country is home to dozens of wineries and a variety of fine wines—from reds and whites to sparkling rosé. The sunny Hill Country Wine Trail boasts miles of wildflower-filled fields, farms and vineyards fit for exploring. Relax at a tasting room or tour the vines for a sampling of the uniquely acidic wines this region’s limestone-based soil produces.
Slow-smoked pit barbecue is the one meal you must try in Texas. With festivals and food trucks around every corner, brisket, pulled pork and ribs are never too far away. Pit-style barbecue is covered and slowly cooked for hours over a wood fire until it’s tender enough to fall off the bone. Slathered in sauce or dry rubbed, there are plenty of styles to try across the state.
If Mexican food is your favorite way to tame your appetite, look no further than Tex-Mex tacos, fajitas and breakfast burritos. Smothered enchiladas and spicy tortilla soup are best enjoyed close to the border, and chimichangas are rumored to have been invented in Texas—where else would deep-fried burritos be born?
Washing down spicy cuisine calls for cold Texas beer, and craft brewers in Austin, Houston, Dallas and beyond can help. From festivals to beer gardens and understated tasting rooms, big name brewers like Brash Brewing and Austin Beerworks draw crowds with floral IPAs, rich stouts and every ale and lager in between.
For a decadent southern dessert, find your favorite pies while exploring Texas’ many bakeries, fairs and farms. Homemade pecan pie is one of the most popular and delicious, though fruit pies and thick meringues are also local favorites. To try them all, head to the State Fair of Texas’ pie contest.
Game-day chili loaded with meat, beans, tomato and spices might be most beloved by Texas football fans. Classic diners and truck stops on historic Route 66 along with other restaurants around the state, are worthy of a chili stop. Just be ready for a spicy kick.