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Written by Texas Highways

Plan your food-inspired road trip with these 33 mom-and-pop restaurants across Texas.

Vanessa Brundrett and co-owner and chef Tiana Worsham

Chef Tiana Worsham’s earliest memories of cooking for others “happened in a little house on Polaris Drive in Portland,” her childhood home in the Corpus Christi suburb across the bay from The Phoenix Restaurant and Bar in Port Aransas, which she co-owns with her partner Vanessa Brundrett.

Stonehenge II and Easter Island Head II in Ingram

The Texas Arts and Crafts Fair, which the legislature deemed the official arts and crafts fair of the Lone Star State in 1995, is returning this fall after five years of absence. The Hill Country Arts Foundation will debut its newly updated Ingram campus to an estimated 5,000 guests in support of more than 150 Texas artists Sept. 28-30.

These 10 County Courthouses Show off the Beauty and History of Small Town Texas

Texas' Historic County Courthouses shine with grandiosity and ambition. Often politically controversial because of their expense, courthouse projects in the 19th and early 20th centuries lasted years as counties selected architects and builders, quarried and imported materials, then painstakingly assembled the larger-than-life landmarks in the middle of town. It’s not hard to imagine a farmer stopping by a courthouse construction site to take in the scene, scratching his head at the columns, parapets, and towers rising from the prairie.

Find Museum-Quality Art in These 8 Texas Hotels

We’ve rounded up eight hotels across Texas where cultural enlightenment is a bonus amenity, and the hospitality extends beyond spas and room service. Best of all, most of these works are on display for everyone, whether staying the night or popping in for a look around.

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Experience One of the Best Live Music Experiences in Texas at Houston’s Silver Slipper

In broad daylight, the Silver Slipper is hardly a looker. The compact building 4 miles northeast of downtown Houston is about as long and wide as an eight-lane bowling alley—“indistinct Minimal Traditional,” according to The Handbook of Texas. Three days a week, it’s a bar, short-order eatery, and neighborhood hangout.

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Silver Slipper

3717 Crane St. in Houston
Hosts live rhythm and blues Sat 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Doors open 8 p.m. $5 cover.
713-673-9004

A caprese wedge salad on a plate

When chef Denise Shavandy walks into the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, she often wonders if she’s dreaming. Before she found her way to cooking, Shavandy considered other career paths that might have landed her in a place like this. Fortuitously, her job as executive chef of Café Modern, the museum’s restaurant, involves crafting beautiful food next to some of the most important art anywhere, inside a building created by one of the world’s foremost design talents.

Pair savory smoked sausage with the sweet-tart intensity of sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and a hit of garlic and Parmesan in this 30-minute gnocchi dish that melds German and Italian flavors.

Opa's sausages on a platter

Walking into Opa’s Smoked Meats in Fredericksburg is a bit like stepping foot in your grandparents’ kitchen—especially if you call your grandparents oma and opa. Long shelves are curated with odds and ends like jars of red cabbage and bottles of vinegar, and beer steins sit next to faded drop horns, cast iron pans, and copies of The New German Cookbook. Every day, the staff sets out a large board of samples with cheese and meat, slices of sausage, and red bell peppers filled with zesty dips.

A sotol margarita rests on the bar

In 2016, graduate students Judson Kauffman, Brent Looby, and Ryan Campbell stood around in a college parking garage drinking Mexican sotol from the bottle before class. 

“Not half bad,” Kauffman remembers as the collective reaction. 

Illustration of downtown Brenham

There aren’t enough synonyms for “quaint” in describing Brenham, that rare landlocked town that feels like it should have a lighthouse. Arranged around an Art Deco courthouse which, built in 1939, is one of the newer buildings downtown, Brenham keeps history in its place.

Railroad with train crossing and paddleboarders in the Brazos River below

Despite its title, this story is not a parody of a famous novel with a similar name. It is about a love affair, however, one that endures between the people of Waco and their bridges. And this love story begins with a tortilla. 

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