From fine wines and State Fair confections to tender meats and local ales, there’s plenty of mouth-watering food and drink to sample in the Lone Star State.
The 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 in 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 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 a local favorite. To try them all, head to the Texas State fair's blue ribbon contest.
Game-day chili loaded with meat, beans, tomato, and spices might be most beloved by Texas football fans. Classic diners or truck stops on historic Route 66 are worthy of a chili stop. The Flagstaff area of the route even has its own Chili Society that holds a Route 66 Chili Cook Off. Just be ready for a spicy kick.
Southern sweet tea is another way to tame the heat of a spicy Texas dish—and it's certainly sugary enough to douse any fire your taste buds might not be able to handle. Usually loaded with ice and sugar, and sometimes used in cocktails, a tall glass goes with any dish and is sure to provide relief from the hot sun.
It's no surprise that fried treats are popular in Texas, but what you'll find in fried form here might not be what you'd expect. The State Fair of Texas has plenty of offbeat fried confections, like deep-fried chicken pot pie, fried Jell-O, fried Oreos, and deep-fried cheesecake. Across the state you can also find traditional chicken-fried steak, fried okra, and delicious old-fashioned donuts.