Located on one of many flattest areas of North America, Lubbock, Texas, is an oasis of arts, tradition, wine manufacturing, and fantastic eating one won’t anticipate within the far western reaches of Texas.

Texas is the fifth-largest wine-producing state in the USA, and of all of the wine grapes grown in Texas, almost 90 p.c are grown in and round Lubbock, as I realized on a current hosted journey to Lubbock. (All opinions are my very own.)

The Excessive Plains of West Texas does “the soiled work” of rising the grapes whereas the Hill Nation will get all of the love. Whereas Lubbock stands out as the unsung hero of wine within the Lone Star State, it’s additionally a scorching spot for arts, as nicely, with quite a few fantastic arts galleries, the First Friday Art Trail, and courses and exhibits within the Lubbock Cultural District.

All these cultural and progressive steps in Lubbock have additionally created a vibrant eating scene that ranges from hearty and meaty Texas barbecue joints to fantastic eating that rivals any huge metropolis in North America with dozens of unbelievable eating places to attempt in Lubbock, Texas.

Whereas exploring the general public artwork sculptures on the Texas Tech campus, studying about rock and roll legend Buddy Holly on the Buddy Holly Center, or sipping wines at McPherson Cellars and Llano Estacado Winery, you’ll work up fairly an urge for food.

Listed below are six unbelievable eating places to attempt in Lubbock, Texas.

Cocina de La Sirena in Lubbock
Picture Credit score: Heide Brandes

1. La Sirena

A neighborhood favourite situated within the Cactus Alley Courtyard, Cochina La Sirena presents a singular collection of coastal delicacies spiced up with Latin aptitude.

Underneath the course of Cat Traxler, culinary director, and Govt Chef Jessica Fultz, this humble and fantastically adorned restaurant excels at dishes just like the poblano fries, pulled quail empanadas, and the hearty tequila brined pork chop, a double boned chop served up with roasted potato, spicy fermented cabbage, heat pear, and persimmon compote and crispy shallot.

I selected the Peruvian spiced hen, an enormous marinated hen quarter nestled amongst duck fats, fried potatoes, greens, and tomato with aji amarillo and aji verde dipping sauces. The Latin lusciousness isn’t restricted to meat dishes, nonetheless; the restaurant additionally has vegan choices just like the vegan mushroom farro “risotto,” which options grilled locally-grown mushrooms, pea tendrils, candy peas, and extra. 

In fact, you’ll need to wash down all that good spicy meals with a cocktail. La Sirena is legendary for its Cactus Water made with Cimarron Blanco Tequila, Topo Chico, and a giant squeeze of recent lime juice; or the number of tequila and mezcal flights to pattern.

The hibiscus berry margarita can also be a well-liked cocktail, made with Cimarron Reposado Tequila, Naranja Liqueur, recent lime juice, home made hibiscus berry syrup, and a salt and sugar rim.

Slice of pie from Cast Iron Grill in Lubbock
Picture Credit score: Heide Brandes

2. Forged Iron Grill

In the event you’ve by no means indulged in an enormous piece of Jack Daniels-infused pecan pie or coconut cream pie for breakfast, nicely, accomplice, have you ever actually lived? The Cast Iron Grill isn’t simply recognized for its western really feel and bigger-than-life breakfast platters, it’s well-known for its pie (which normally sells out earlier than the lunch rush).

Proprietor Teresa Stephens opened the Forged Iron Grill in October 2007 with solely 55 seats in an workplace constructing situated at 18th and Ok. After 5 years, the restaurant grew in recognition to 167 seats — and 24 staff engaged on prime of one another — and in 2012, “the Lord selected a special journey for the CIG. We relocated the CIG and opened our doorways on January 2, 2013, simply 4 blocks away from the outdated location,” mentioned Teresa.

Teresa, who hadn’t been a baker earlier than opening the restaurant, rapidly scoured her grandmother’s recipes and began baking a whole bunch of pies for the restaurant herself. In 2011, she baked over 1,000 pies and the picks maintain increasing.

The restaurant presents a full menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and mains, however breakfast is the place the actual magic shines. From country-fried steak and eggs to huevos rancheros, The Forged Iron Grill is an area scorching spot for breakfast and lunch.

After which there are the pies. Made recent on daily basis, the pies vary out of your typical coconut cream and chocolate cream pies to Lubbock originals just like the Jack Daniels Pecan Pie, a Sawdust Pie (shock your self with this wealthy and gooey choice), and blueberry banana break up pies.

You’ll by no means really feel so good about having pie for breakfast.

Professional Tip: Get there early in order for you pie. The picks rotate out every day, however the pies inevitably promote out by late morning.

Bottles of wine at Burklee Hill in Lubbock
Picture Credit score: Heide Brandes

3. Burklee Hill

For lunch, bask in a collection of meals pairings with the delicate and daring tastes of the Burklee Hill Vineyards wines at Burklee Hill Bistro & Tasting Room in downtown Lubbock.

Chace and Elizabeth Hill based Burklee Hill Vineyards, and at our lunch, we sampled their delectable meals menu paired with picks of their very own wines. This common lunch and brunch scorching spot serves up pizzettes (small pizzas), recent salads (I like to recommend the harvest salad made with blended greens, feta, apples, shallots, cranberries, glazed pecans, and creamy lemon French dressing), a wide range of sandwiches, and wraps and shareables, just like the hummus, the charcuterie, and the artichoke schmear (tastes approach higher than it sounds).

Highlights of the weekend dinner menu embrace an herb-crusted rack of lamb and a blackened Atlantic cod, whereas the brunch menu consists of picks like bananas foster French toast, and shrimp and grits.

Most of all, you’ll need to attempt the wines from Burklee Hill. 

Professional Tip: In the event you plan to go to for dinner or brunch, make a reservation early. This common restaurant fills up fairly rapidly.

Barbecue at Evie Mae's in Lubbock
Picture Credit score: Heide Brandes

4. Evie Mae’s

In June 2017, Texas Month-to-month revealed its record of the highest 50 barbecue joints in Texas that nobody ought to miss earlier than dying, and Evie Mae’s Pit Barbecue in Lubbock got here in on the quantity 9 spot.

It’s simple to see why. Based by Arnis and Mallory Robbins, the wooden-floored, cow-decorated barbecue joint was really born when Arnis was recognized with celiac illness. After grilling grew to become mainstream within the Robbins household (Arnis even constructed his personal smoker), the couple started getting requests for barbecue and smoked meats.

Gaining a rabid following after shifting to Lubbock, the Robbins broke floor at their brick and mortar constructing in Lubbock in January of 2016, and the enterprise has been smokin’ scorching ever since.

Evie Mae’s serves up conventional barbecue favorites like pulled pork, brisket, smoked turkey, sausage, and chopped brisket, however the sides are simply nearly as good as that tender meat. Strive the jalapeno cornbread, inexperienced chile cheese grits, the brisket chili, or the inexperienced beans. 

Oh, and are available hungry. Evie Mae’s doesn’t skimp on portion measurement, so put on your free pants and skip breakfast — you’ll replenish on a lot good Texas barbecue, you won’t have the ability to transfer later.

Food offerings from Ninety-Two Bakery & Cafe
Picture Credit score: Heide Brandes

5. Ninety-Two Bakery & Cafe

I’ve by no means had a croissant so delicate and flaky because the one at Ninety-Two Bakery & Cafe, considered one of Lubbock’s latest eateries, impressed by the French countryside. 

Basic Supervisor Drew Warren took his love of the Lord and good meals to Lubbock and imagined a bakery and occasional store that will develop into a “third place,” a comfy and comforting spot between your first place (dwelling) or your second place (work). Along with freshly baked pastries and breads, barista-style coffees, and easy, French-style breakfasts, Ninety-Two Bakery & Cafe is a greenery-draped, soothingly lit piece of French model within the Excessive Plains.

I had the easy French Breakfast, a sampling of the freshly-baked breads with whipped butter, a wide range of jams, and even candy butters. Different breakfast gadgets that had been too good to move up embrace the Croque Madame, which consists of toasted sourdough topped with stone floor mustard, black forest ham, gruyère cheese, and a poached egg, lined in a creamy béchamel sauce. The all the time common avocado toast is made with toasted sourdough bread topped with herbed ricotta, mashed avocado, watermelon radish, arugula, and an area recent poached egg.

This French bistro additionally has lunch picks, together with French onion soup, salads, and a wide range of sandwiches. 

If nothing else, you completely should attempt the croissant. It’s so good it brings tears to the eyes.

A dish at Nicolett in Lubbock
Picture Credit score: Heide Brandes

6. Nicolett

The Nicolett is a brand new fine-dining vacation spot in Lubbock from Chef Finn Walter, and the elegant menu showcases substances which might be pure to the area. Bringing with him coaching from his time in Paris, Austin, Napa Valley, and Santa Fe, Walter opened Nicolett to pay homage to the historical past of the West Texas area and its distinctive substances.

We dined privately that night time within the outside greenhouse, a lush, vine-covered historic house that glowed with delicate string lighting and intimate candles. To be trustworthy, it was a magical house within the outside, however the restaurant itself is located in an older dwelling, so all the place is intimate and wonderful.

Let’s speak concerning the menu. With starters, like elk tartare and dessert salad, the menu instantly pulls within the flavors of West Texas. The menu modifications seasonally, however a typical “fall menu” might embrace such dishes as beef cheek brisket with Japanese pickles and black truffle, the quail baked in brioche, or a triple-seared Denver steak.

The desserts are simply as high-brow and delectable. Strive the roasted white chocolate made with juniper and preserved winter fruit or the black truffle-triple cream cheese Brillat-Savarin.

The Nicolett additionally presents a brunch with crab benedict, ache perdu (French toast), and numerous latkes. As for cocktails, you’ll need to attempt the Autumn Gimlet made with native Dripping Springs Artisan Gin (I’m a gin fanatic), cranberry-rosemary syrup, blood orange, and lime, or the Desert Margarita made with Desert Door Sotol, Ancho Reyes, habanero bitters, and lime.

If in case you have somebody you need to impress, or simply want a flowery night time out in town, you’ll need to make a reservation ASAP at Nicolett.

Professional Tip: Nicolett presents a particular cocktail hour from 4 to six p.m. Tuesday via Friday. No reservations are wanted, and you’ll get pleasure from $7 home wine or $5 draft beer together with charcuterie from Antonelli’s of Austin.

Many Texas cities have famous eating places that deserve a go to. Take into account:

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