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Texas Lakes Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Historic Restaurants


Lunch offering in a historic restaurant
Rex Cafe & Bakery, McAllen

WHERE THE HISTORY IS OLD AND THE FOOD IS FRESH

Texans have a pretty big menu to choose from when it comes to eating out. But what about heritage travelers who would like to enjoy a bit of history with their meal? Stagecoach travel brought considerable amenities to Texas travelers including overnight accommodations and meals, inspiring some of the first “roadside” service. The Stagecoach Inn in Salado continues to serve travelers hushpuppies in its historic dining room, a bit of southern hospitality that began in 1860. Settlement, railroads, and coastal shipping ports were ultimately responsible for advancing fine dining, particularly throughout the late 19th century when Texas began its transition from a provincial agrarian society to one drawn to large commercial urban centers. Perhaps the heart of that historic fine dining lies at the Driskill Hotel, a cattle baron’s showplace built in 1886 in the state’s capital. Today, the Driskill continues its traditions of luxury, elegance, and fine dining with beautifully restored architecture and the award-winning Driskill Grill and its 1886 Café & Bakery. Paved roads and greater access to the automobile gave birth to the roadside diner and the drive-in restaurant, still popular traditions in large and small cities. Hungry heritage travelers who prefer that more relaxed atmosphere and some authentic Texas beef can’t miss at any number of historic BBQ pit stops scattered across the state. Almost all of them tout their goods as the “best in Texas”, leaving the rest of us with a delicious dilemma – trying them all to determine for ourselves who indeed has the best BBQ in the state.

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