Located between the cities of Austin and San Antonio, Texas Hill Country is comprised of many towns in the central area of the state.
I discovered amazing food quality, clever recipes, and tantalizing eats on a recent vacation to the Texas Hill Country with my family. The food was so impressive that I could not wait to share my experiences with our readers.
Most of the Hill Country restaurants buy local and offer delicious Tex Mex, Barbecue, and German-inspired dishes, three of my favorites. It was wonderful to find such good food and even better service and hospitality in the Lone Star state.
Here are the 8 places you should eat in the Texas Hill Country.
8 Places You Should Eat in Texas Hill Country
#1 Milagro’s Hill Country Tex-Mex, Wimberley
My husband, Eddie, and I stopped at Milagro’s Hill Country Tex-Mex with our dog, Priscilla, on our way into Canyon Lake. We sat on the outdoor patio, which was packed with large parties.
The Tex-Mex restaurant is artsy and festive; a great place for families with children as they have a large outdoor play area. Lively music played in the background.
The food at Milagro’s was a great way to kick-start our Texas family vacation. Chips, Queso, and Salsa were perfect and flavorful starters. Eddie and I shared the Top Shelf Chicken Fajita Nachos and the Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad. Our nachos had big chunks of succulent chicken and ooey-gooey melted cheese piled high on the chips. Scoops of sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, and jalapeños topped the nachos. They were impeccable! Eddie also loved Milagro’s Fire & Ice Margarita. Our waiter, Daniel P, provided excellent service.
#2 Gruene River Grill, New Braunfels
The Gruene River Grill caught my interest from the look of the inviting sign located out front. It is a beautifully designed and decorated restaurant with huge parlor rooms. One was filled with bookcases that reminded me of the library from the Beauty & the Beast movie. The Gruene River Grill’s design was rustic, yet chic, and it worked beautifully. Eddie, our daughter Taylor, and I enjoyed lunch on the outdoor patio with views of people floating in tubes down the Guadalupe River.
For lunch, we chose the Fried Shrimp Platter (with fries and Asian slaw), Queso Chicken (served with black beans and a rice dish), and Smoked Pork Tacos. The Asian slaw had black poppy seeds. I loved the sweet and crunchy tase and having a unique menu item.
The black beans in the Queso Chicken gave it an odd look since the color bled into the chicken and cheese, but the overall dish was superb! The chicken’s delicate queso sauce was the constancy of cheese fondue and tasted freaking nom! Eddie loved his Pork Tacos and Taylor devoured her shrimp.
For dessert, we shared Gruene River Grill’s Blackberry Cobbler; sweet and delicious! Do not miss this tasty little number.
#3 Silver Creek Beer Garden, Fredericksburg
My family met some friends in Fredericksburg and decided to stop for drinks. We picked the Silver Creek Beer Garden because of their huge selection of beers, cocktail menu, and appetizers.
The drinks that we selected were Moscow Mules, 30-ounce Margaritas (mostly ice, I would skip it), local wines, craft beer, peach Rum Bellinis (yum!), and a Texas favorite, cherry limeade Margaritas. The drinks definitely quenched our thirsts!
We ordered the Sausage Sampler with Bratwurst, Knackwurst, and Pepperwurst which was served with rye bread and German mustard. Another dish we tried was the Spinach Artichoke Dip, which came with veggies and red tortilla strips for dipping.
My favorite appetizer was the Fried Phyllo wrapped log of Triple Cream Brie Cheese. The log was topped with a velvety tomato cream sauce. It was really hard to share that Brie because I wanted it all for myself…what a clever recipe!
Silver Creek Beer Garden has a killer bar in the back. Musicians were entertaining the patio crowd with live music. This was definitely a fun and memorable stop.
#4 Rathskeller Restaurant, Fredericksburg
Rathskeller Restaurant is located in the basement of the circa 1800 old Keidel Hospital, which was a bit tricky to find. Our large party was given a private room at Rathskeller. Although I chose this place for its German cuisine, Rathskeller’s menu was limited in those choices.
Between the seven of us, we tried the Chicken Sandwich, Chicken Artichoke (fabulous!), Chicken Philly Sandwich, Creole-Style Red Beans & Rice (smoked jalapeño cheddar sausage), Jaeger Schnitzel, and the “Lois” Speared Salmon Filet. The salmon wa paired nicely with a lemon caper butter sauce and sautéed spinach. My Schnitzel came with a tangy red cabbage that wasn’t too tart or too sweet, German potato salad, and sauerkraut. We all enjoyed each of our dishes. Oi Oi Oi!
#5 Mamacita’s Restaurant & Cantina, Fredericksburg
Mamacita’s is a chain restaurant and has 5 locations in Hill Country. We stopped there after touring the wineries in Fredericksburg. Inside this huge eatery are unique stained glass windows, a bustling arcade, and many happy diners.
A staff member continually house-made made flour tortillas. The puffy and piping hot tortillas were incredible to taste, piled high with salsa or plain butter.
For our dinner, we began with traditional Chili Con Queso to accompany the complimentary chips and salsa. Mamacita’s also gave us an avocado/sour cream based sauce for the table that was ultimate!
For dinner, Taylor and I shared an enormous Chicken Quesadilla. The rest of the family chose Tamales (highly recommended!) and a Chicken Burrito with Mole Sauce. The mole sauce, with deep and rich flavors, was some of the best that I had ever eaten.
You’ll most definitely need a pitcher of tasty gold margaritas to go with the yummy Mexican fare.
#6 Lucky’s Sports Bar & Grill, Canyon Lake
Lucky’s Sports Bar & Grill was close to the resort we stayed at in Canyon Lake. The food was so impressive that we ate there twice. We loved every dish we tried.
The Cuban Sandwich was definitely something to write home about. It was so flavorful and loaded with meat. I could have eaten two orders of the yummy side of Parmesan-dusted fries.
For lunch on our second visit, we ordered cups of Gumbo, a Chicken Sandwich, Soft Tacos with Beans & Rice, Green Chili Cheeseburger, and the Pulled Pork Cuban Sandwich. Lucky’s gumbo was spot on and we immediately wished we had ordered bowls instead of cups.
Lucky’s decor is standard for a sports bar, with sports memorabilia on the walls and several TV’s. The cleanliness of the restaurant and bathrooms was remarkable. Lucky’s also has a huge outdoor patio where a huge crowd gathered nightly.
#7 On The Rocks Food and Spirits, Cottonwood Shores
On the Rocks Food and Spirits is another restaurant that was close to where we stayed in the Texas Hill Country. It was my favorite for food quality and impeccable service.
This fun eatery gets rave reviews for its live music, the wide selection of tap beers, and premium cocktails. We visited there for lunch and dug right into the Queso, Chips, and Salsa on the starters menu. The four of us fought over the velvety smooth Queso.
For our main dishes, we chose Fish & Chips with hand-cut fries, Wings, BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich and the Pulled Pork Chile Relleno. The first thing we noticed is that the wings were super meaty and tasted divine. My Chile Relleno was served with an off-the-hook Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese. I enjoyed the artichoke vegetable medley equally. This dish scores a perfect 10 for its originality and deliciousness.
Our server, Michelle, also gets a round of applause for being the best waitress we had during our week-long visit to the Texas Hill Country. This foodie ranks On the Rocks an A+ all the way!
#8 Rio Rio Cantina, San Antonio
Rio Rio was the restaurant that we picked while on the San Antonio River Walk. The Tex Mex menu and location appealed to our cravings.
We began with Chile Con Queso (are you seeing a trend?) which was more like a luscious fondue. It was phenomenal! Our lunch choices were Chicken Fajitas, Burrito de Barbacoa, Mexican Rice and Refried Beans, and Combination Enchiladas. For those of you not familiar, barbacoa is a Texas delicacy—super rich and tender Akaushi beef cheeks that are oh-so-flavorful.
I did not care for Rio Rio’s guacamole and thought the rice was dry and uneventful. Other than that, everything else was enjoyable. Our waiter was entertaining and offered us a discount card for reviewing the restaurant on Trip Advisor. Rio Rio Cantina offers impressive happy hour specials. Do not miss ordering their Premium Margarita’s by the pitcher. They are certain to wet your whistle and whet your appetite.
Eating My Way Through Hill Country
And there you have it, my list of 8 places to eat in Texas Hill Country. If you have ever been to any of the restaurants mentioned, I would love to know what you thought of your meal. Do you have any other suggestions for my next visit?
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