Food Trails in the Old West

Feed your appetite and your soul. This is a real experience, food as authentic as the people that craft it, drawing inspiration and ingredients from the land.



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The launch-point for this foodie journey starts in the downtown of this true western town: Bandera. Folks still ride horses into town and you can be sure they gather around good food. Listen to the music and laughter pouring out of the honkey tonks. Take a deep breath and– mmm, smell that? That’s your next meal.

TJs at the Old Forge


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You’ll smell the smokers before you walk in. Hefty dishes are treated with care, balancing heavy smoky meat cuts with delicate flavors like avocado, pecans and honey.

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This isn’t the place to hold back. Go for 14 oz. Rib Eye, or, for a meal you can’t always get, try the Southern Style Meatloaf. It’s housemade Angus with savory brown gravy.

Samantha’s of Bandera


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Bandera has German roots and Samantha’s embraces that history and tweaks it with southern Texas flair.

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Can’t go wrong with Wienerschnitzel: breaded veal or chicken cutlet pan-seared and then sautéed in a lemon-butter caper sauce.

Pipe Creek

This eastern portion of Bandera County is known for farm-grown Christmas trees, pumpkin picking and clear aqua-blue bodies of water. Farm-fresh products add a scrumptious touch to every plate.

Backyard Bistro

Cozy and welcoming, pet pot belly pigs great guests at this bistro. Part of the bistro really is a backyard, decorated to feel just like a picnic at a beloved friend’s. The bistro is part of Country Accents Antiques but nothing is antiquated about the food.

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Indulge in a French favorite– Chicken Roulade. This version is stuffed with mushroom duxelle and covered with a truffle glaze. And make sure to save room for dessert. All desserts, including the ice cream, are homemade. Savor Hoja Santa and Texas Wildflower honey ice cream, Buttermilk Pie or for the adventurous– cinnamon, basil and black pepper ice cream.

11th St. Cowboy Bar


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It’s billed as the biggest little bar in Texas and it stands up to the hype. The live music is good, the beer is cold and the people are from all walks of life. You’ll hear locals swapping stories and see people gathering for a good time.

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Here’s the catch, at 11th Street Cowboy Bar, you make the food. On Wednesdays, bring your own meat and grill it on the Texas sized barbecue pits. The bar provides all the fixings, side orders for sale and of course, good music to go with it. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience in the heart of hill country.

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