Located between the cities of Austin and San Antonio is the Texas Hill Country, comprised of many towns in the state’s central area. I discovered fantastic food quality, innovative recipes, and tantalizing eats on my travels there, with styles like Tex-Mex, Barbecue, and German. Here are the tasty Texas Hill Country restaurants you’ll want to try on your visit.
Milagro’s Hill Country Tex-Mex, Wimberley
My husband, Eddie, and I stopped at Milagro’s Hill Country Tex-Mex on our way into Canyon Lake, Texas. We sat on the outdoor patio, which was packed with large parties. Milagro’s is pet-friendly, artsy, festive, and a perfect place to take children. They even have a large outside play area.
Dinner at Milagro’s was a great way to kick-start our Texas family vacation. The chips, salsa, and queso made perfect starters. The Southwest Chicken Caesar salad and Top Shelf Chicken Fajita Nachos were perfect for sharing.
Our nachos had big chunks of succulent chicken and ooey-gooey melted cheese piled high on the chips and topped with mounds of sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, and jalapeños. They were impeccable! Eddie loved Milagro’s Fire & Ice Margarita, an excellent accompaniment for the meal.
Gruene River Grill, New Braunfels
The Gruene River Grill caught my interest from the look of the inviting sign 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.
Gruene River Grill’s design is rustic yet chic and worked beautifully. Eddie, our daughter Taylor, and I enjoyed lunch on the outdoor patio while watching people floating in tubes down the Guadalupe River beneath us.
For lunch, we had the Fried Shrimp Platter (with Asian slaw), Queso Chicken (with black beans and rice), and Smoked Pork Tacos. The Asian slaw had black poppy seeds. I loved the sweet and crunchy taste; it was a unique menu item.
The Queso 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.
We shared Gruene River Grill’s Blackberry Cobbler for dessert, sweet and delicious! Do not miss this tasty little number.
Gristmill River Restaurant, Historic Gruene
Right smack dab in the heart of historic Gruene lies the Gristmill River Restaurant, one of the most popular eateries in town celebrating 45 years in business. You’ll want to make reservations because this one, underneath the water tower, fills up fast.
The enormous menu is filled with tasty items, many with fresh local ingredients, but we are old-school and started off our meal with classic double-dipped hand-breaded onion rings. My husband had a jalapeño margarita, which he raved about. I settled on unsweet tea, which I, too, was darned happy with.
Next, we moved onto lunch entrees of a Chicken Salad Sandwich and fall-off-the-bone Baby Back Ribs. My chicken salad came with a side of my choice, I selected the pasta poblano salad, one of the house specialities. Eddie’s side choices were a side salad and the original round cut fries, a yummy option.
Our food was delicious, and the service attentive. I will mention that an entree could easily be split—it was a lot of food.
Taqueria Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant, New Braunfels
There are so many great authentic Mexican restaurants to choose from in Texas Hill Country, and we really hit the jackpot with this one. Taqueria Guadalajara had all our favorites (Gorditas, flautas, fajitas, quesadillas), plus really good salsa and queso.
My husband and I shared the #23 Fantastic Chicken plate, with grilled chicken topped with 2 different cheeses, rancho sauce, with rice and beans on the side. We found the meal to be full of flavor, reasonably priced, and an all around good choice.
Silver Creek Beer Garden, Fredericksburg
My family met some friends in Fredericksburg and stopped for drinks. We chose Silver Creek Beer Garden because of its massive selection of beers, cocktail menu, and appetizers. Drinks ranging from a Moscow Mule, 30-ounce Margaritas (mostly ice, I would skip it), craft beer, peach Rum Bellinis (yum!), and cherry limeade Margaritas (a Texas favorite) quenched our thirsts!
To munch on, we had the beautiful Sausage Sampler with Bratwurst, Knackwurst, and Pepperwurst served with rye bread and German mustard. Another dish we tried was the Spinach Artichoke Dip, with veggies and red tortilla strips for dipping.
My favorite appetizer was the Fried Phyllo wrapped log of Triple Cream Brie Cheese, topped with a velvety tomato cream sauce. It was tough to share that Brie because I wanted it all.
Silver Creek Beer Garden had musicians entertaining the patio crowd and a killer bar in the back. It was a memorable and fun stop in Fredericksburg.
Rathskeller Restaurant, Fredericksburg
Rathskeller Restaurant is in the basement of the circa 1800-old Keidel Hospital, which was a bit tricky to find. They gave our large party 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..nom), Jaeger Schnitzel, and the “Lois” Speared Salmon Filet. The salmon was 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 sweet, a German potato salad, and sauerkraut. We all enjoyed each of our dishes. Oi Oi Oi!
Mamacita’s Restaurant & Cantina, Fredericksburg
Mamacita’s is a chain restaurant with five locations in the Texas Hill Country. We stopped there after touring the Fredericksburg wineries to get our Mexican fix. There are unique stained glass windows, a bustling arcade, and many happy diners inside Mamacita’s colossal restaurant.
A staff member makes house-made flour tortillas, and they come to the table puffy and piping hot. For dinner, we started with traditional Chili Con Queso. Mamacita’s also gives a complimentary avocado/sour cream-based sauce that is ultimate!
An enormous Chicken Quesadilla, Tamales (highly recommended!), and Chicken Burrito with Mole Sauce completed our dinner orders. Mamacita’s mole sauce was rich and flavorful, honestly one of the best I had ever eaten.
You’ll need a pitcher of tasty gold margaritas to go with the yummy Mexican fare.
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 is certainly something to write home about. It was so flavorful and chock full of meat. I could have eaten two orders of the yummy Parmesan-dusted fries side dish.
On our second visit, we tried the Gumbo, Chicken Sandwich, Soft Tacos with Beans & Rice, Green Chili Cheeseburger, and the Pulled Pork Cuban Sandwich. Lucky’s gumbo was freaking delicious, and we all wished we had gone for the bowl instead of cup-size serving.
Lucky’s decor is standard for a sports bar, with memorabilia on the walls and several TVs. The cleanliness of the restaurant and bathrooms was impressive. Lucky’s also has a vast outdoor patio where a huge crowd gathered nightly.
Wild Flour Artisan Bakery & Grill, Canyon Lake
One of my favorite places I found on my last Texas Hill Country trip was Wild Flour, an artisan bakery and grill in Canyon Lake. Though closed on Mondays and after lunch on Sunday, Wild Flour serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus has a bakery counter available in the front that is filled with dozens of homemade goodies.
Daily breakfast and Sunday’s brunch has special features like Eggs Benedict, Chicken & Waffles, and Geraldine’s Tomato Pie. I tried the tomato pie, a Southern favorite, as an appetizer during dinner, and wow, it will knock your socks off.
The lunch menu is mostly soup, salads, and sandwiches, while the dinner choices are more comfort food items and burgers.
For dinner, I chose the four side Combo Plate, with green beans, a vegetable medley, sweet potato waffle fries, and WCP mashed potatoes. My second choice is what my husband ordered, the Chicken Fried Chicken, with the most luscious and delicious jalapeño béchamel sauce, and a side of mashed potatoes. I asked for a side of the béchamel to go with my potatoes, which really took them over the top.
We loved our meal at Wild Flour, and found the choices a nice change from typical restaurants, and the homemade desserts incredibly wonderful.
Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden, Austin
We happened upon a food truck park built around a destination coffee shop on Pickle Road in Austin, Texas. Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden has an arsenal of specialty drinks, many original and clever.
I opted for the iced Mole Mocha, but the Cosmic Comet (cold brew with Mexican vanilla, orange honey, and oat milk) was a close contender. Matcha, boozy coffees, and cosmic highballs (think Ranch Water and Black Cherry Lemonade) are other favorites.
My top pick of the food trucks is Pueblo Viejo, with excellent quesadillas and the best refried beans. Gorditas are another popular item, but they were sold out on our visit. Choose between some tasty salsa options, like black habanero, creamy Serrano green, and roja, to name a few.
Kerbey Lane Cafe, San Marcos
Kerbey Lane Cafe in San Marcos offers a terrific brunch, with a fantastic patio overlooking the Blanco River. There are 11 locations around the Hill Country area, but we think the one that my husband and I picked has the best outdoor setting of them all.
We had to try the Queso because theirs wins awards and is well-known around the Texas Hill Country region. There are four varieties to choose from, but we tried the Classic Queso with pork chorizo. Yummy!
Brunch dishes at Kerbey Lane Cafe feature omelets, chilaquiles, migas, benedicts, and more. I opted for the Chicken and Pancakes, cinnamon beignet pancakes to be exact. The mouthwatering stack is dropped with buffalo sauce, sweet & spicy maple syrup, and dusted with powdered sugar. Mmm, mmm, good. This plate packs a powerful punch.
My husband had the Eggs Benedict, another awesome choice. Kerbey Lane Cafe has plenty of vegan and gluten-free options available.
Eating Through Tasty Texas Hill Country Restaurants
We hope you will enjoy these tasty Texas Hill Country restaurants and suggestions we have made for your visit. If you have ever been to any of the restaurants mentioned, I would love to know what you thought of your meal.
Where shall we eat next?
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