Fredericksburg, Texas is in the heart of the scenic Texas Hill Country and a tourist destination near San Antonio and Austin. Fredericksburg is a great place for city dwellers to relax, enjoy state parks, and join a wine tasting tour where you let someone else drive you to local tasting rooms. (There are over 50 wineries in the county.)
Ever since German immigrants settled in the area and established Fredericksburg in 1846, you’re sure to find plenty of kids and beer here. But as you wander through the historic city center, you’ll not only notice German eateries, but also a solid selection of cafes and eateries serving everything from barbecue to half-shell oysters.
Here are eight delicious restaurants to try in Fredericksburg, Texas, in no particular order:
1. Chase’s Place Cocktails + Kitchen
Chase’s Place cocktails are a work of art. I watched the bartender make a drink called the Ghost Story, with ghost pepper tequila, liqueur, Tabasco sauce, lime, and agave. He poured it carefully into a salt-rimmed glass.
The food menu seems limited and makes you think you’ll have an easy decision for dinner, but that’s not the case. There are usually four additional promotions that keep you coming back every night you’re in town. Everything is made from scratch with the best ingredients so you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose. Several nights a week they serve oysters in the half shell.
The steak frites is a popular regular menu item that receives rave reviews. But I chose the Hill Country goulash, one of the chef’s specialties. I hadn’t planned to eat it all, but I couldn’t help it.
Pro tips: They are open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and do not take reservations. If they offer you a seat at the bar, take it so you can watch the bartender work his cocktail magic. You can also sit on the spacious terrace. Visit their website for hours.
2. Gourmet barbecue
At the west end of Main Street, Lance and Boo Eaker serve up beef, pork and turkey they’ve smoked over mesquite and post oak. Boo, originally from South Korea, is nicknamed the “queen of the sides”. You will see its influence at the restaurant with Gochujang pork ribs, kimchi, kimchi fried rice and Korean cucumber salad.
You can order meat by the pound and add sides, like Boo’s or traditional coleslaw, potato salad, or beans. You can also order a brisket or pulled pork sandwich. I ordered the beef brisket of choice and watched the juicy meat being sliced, diced, piled into a cool roll and topped with onions and gravy. You will need extra towels.
Pro tips: Eaker Barbecue is open for lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or whenever they sell out. And the risk of selling out is real, so plan accordingly. Check their website for directions and a full menu. They also have outdoor dining.
3. Hondo is on the Main
Cris Crouch Graham named Hondo’s after her father, John Russell “Hondo” Crouch. If his name means nothing to you, I’ll fill you in. Hondo Crouch bought the town of Luckenbach, Texas in 1970 and put it on the map (with help from Waylon Jennings).
Hondo’s serves Texas beer, including Altstadt beers and locally brewed margaritas. Menu items range from BBQ to Tex-Mex with jalapeno-topped burgers in between. I had the Supa Chalupa salad with black beans, grilled chicken, roasted corn, cheese and guacamole over romaine lettuce. They also have vegetarian options on the menu.
Hondo’s hosts put on live music that you can enjoy while having a drink or a full meal. For a list of upcoming shows, visit their schedule on the website.
Pro tips: This self-service restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Order at the bar and collect your meal at the kitchen window when your pager goes off. Also be sure to check their website for current hours.
4. The Hitchin’ Post Steakhouse
Open for lunch and dinner, Hitchin’ Post Steakhouse serves up comforting Texas cuisine. Appetizers include grilled shrimp sharing plates, steak bites, fried green tomatoes and fried crawfish tails. I ordered the onion rings lightly breaded and cooked to perfection.
Comfort dishes include fried chicken steak with peasant sauce, roasted mashed potatoes and ground beef. Their portions are the size of Texas. Fortunately, they also have reduced menu items. As the restaurant’s name suggests, the menu has a wide selection of house-cut, hand-cut steaks, but it also offers seafood, sandwiches, and hearty salads.
I opted for the steakhouse salad – a best meal of greens of both worlds topped with a generous portion of medium-cooked beef tenderloin, red onions, tomatoes, feta cheese, bacon bits and dressing with feta cheese.
Pro tip: They are closed on Wednesdays to this day. Please visit their website for current hours and location for downtown Fredericksburg.
5. The Old German Bakery and Restaurant
A breakfast and lunch spot, the Old German Bakery and Restaurant serves American dishes and German pancakes for breakfast. Homemade American and German dishes are on the lunch menu — pot roast, pork chops, schnitzel (pork cutlets), sauerbraten (marinated roast beef), and hackbraten (beef and pork meatloaf). Some breakfast items also remain on the menu for lunch.
If you want to eat the dessert first or skip the main course altogether, you’re in luck. The owner of Old German Bakery and Restaurant was a baker in Germany for 20 years before coming to Fredericksburg. The bakery counter near the entrance to the restaurant features fruit danishes, berliners, cinnamon and caramel rolls, and stollen. In addition to sweet pastries, they make bread and sausage rolls (kolaches). I didn’t leave the restaurant without a loaf of stollen – a soft braided bread with candied fruit, nuts, spices and a drizzle of perfect glaze.
Pro tip: The restaurant is open Friday through Tuesday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Check their website for current hours.
6. Fredericksburg Pie Company
Fredericksburg Pie Company occupies a charming old house with a welcoming porch one block from Main Street. The goal of the family-owned Fredericksburg Pie Company is to “serve pies as good or better than what our mothers and grandmothers made”. They bake 20 pies from scratch each morning, including Bourbon Orange Pecan Pie, Cherry Pie, Praline Peach Pie, German Chocolate, Key Lime Pie, and Buttermilk Pie. I ordered the traditional pecan pie. The flaky crust and the bountiful pecans added up to a pie that was better than the one made by my grandma (sorry, grandma).
The cozy dining room has several tables and a buffet with delicious self-service house coffees. After your pie, you can browse the house for a unique souvenir or a jar of canned local peaches.
Pro tip: Fredericksburg Pie Company opens at 10 a.m. and closes when the pies are sold out (usually between 2 and 4 p.m.). This being family run, they are not open every day. Please visit their website for a current schedule.
7. Clear River Ice Cream, Bakery and Deli
At this former Main Street soda fountain, popular with tourists and locals alike, you’ll see kids enjoying an after-school treat. The deli serves soup of the day, salads, sandwiches and wraps that you can enjoy at a retro Naugahyde stand. The stars of the restaurant, however, are the homemade desserts and ice cream.
Bakery crates are filled with decorated sugar cookies, macaroons, bars and slices of pie and cheesecake. Or you can opt for one of their award-winning ice creams – Mexican Vanilla or Peach and Pecan Amaretto. In all, they serve 35 different flavors of homemade ice cream every day, so you’re sure to find one you like.
That’s not the point of the restaurant, but if you’re feeling nostalgic after finishing your salted caramel ice cream which I highly recommend, head across the street to Dooley’s 5, 10 & 25 Cent Store. Inside, you’ll find everything from toys that run on imagination instead of batteries, to a retro-designed oilcloth that covers your picnic table.
Pro tip: They are currently open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., but check their website several hours before you visit.
8. Messina Hof Hill Country Vineyard
Ten miles east of Fredericksburg on Highway 290, Messina Hof winery pairs locally sourced light bites with its award-winning wine. The menu changes, but when I visited they had cheese and charcuterie boards, bruschetta, panini, and chocolates made by Fredericksburg Fudge.
Marine Corps veteran Paul Bonarrigo is CEO and head winemaker at Messina Hof, a Texas winery his father founded in the 1970s. He uses only Texas-grown grapes, including those from the property. of Fredericksburg. With a wine tasting, you choose the wines you want to sample rather than tasting from a set menu. They are happy to help you choose from the dozens of wines they make. Reservations are recommended on Saturday.
Pro tips: The family cellar welcomes children in their tasting rooms. Messina Hof has both indoor and outdoor seating, and four quaint guest rooms on their Hill Country property. Visit their website for hours and reservations.
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