Can you imagine visiting a new destination and not trying out some of the local eateries? We always try to uncover those places that draw in the city’s residents, since they usually have some of the best dishes. During our trip to Amarillo, we had plenty of opportunities to sample a wide range of restaurants. With so many great options, we are sure you will find dishes to satisfy even the pickiest eater. Let’s take a look back at the variety we discovered while dining on the Panhandle.
We want to thank Visit Amarillo and all of the local businesses for hosting this amazing visit. Rest assured all opinions are our own.
Girasol Cafe & Bakery
There’s no better place to start than with breakfast. An early morning stop at Girasol Cafe & Bakery had us going green. Their dedication to fresh ingredients and wholesome touches on their dishes made our morning meal special. It is worth noting that breakfast is not the only meal that they serve. Rumor has it that they bring out the “Wow” factor at lunchtime, as well. We have perused pictures of some of their midday meals and wish we had taken an opportunity to drop back by for a second meal. Oh well, we will just let you all tell us about it. Drop a note in the comments section below, if you’ve had lunch at Girasol Cafe.
While not every place that we visit will end up with its article, we still like to bring attention to them in these overviews. A case in point was Youngblood’s Cafe, which we visited the morning we were leaving Amarillo. The life stories we find in each city we visit never cease to amaze us. The owner of this eatery is an Amarillo native who has worked in the restaurant business for decades. Wanting to increase his knowledge and culinary skills, he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America after 20 years in the industry. For us, that says a lot about his determination to always be his best.
After working at some upscale establishments in New York City, he finally returned to his hometown to bring his knowledge to bear for his neighbors. The return to town gave him a chance to go back to creating delectable Texas-style dishes that fill up hungry guests. Dining on the Panhandle means enjoying down-home meals served by people who care. Their location in the stockyards means you may see people in cowboy hats and spurs at the next table. Welcome to Texas!
It was clear that many of the restaurants we visited had a long history in their community. A morning meal at Calico County proved that even after 35 years, people still flock to a good breakfast stop. From the moment we approached the barn-red structure, we had an overwhelming sense of down-home country food. Once our meal was served, we were not disappointed. From the freshly baked cinnamon rolls to the mason jar-shaped waffles, it was all delightful. Just the kind of filling meal we needed to fuel a day full of exploring.
Bracero’s Mexican Grill
One of our reasons for starting our Texas travels in Amarillo is their history of residing on Route 66. The Mother Road has been part of our lives since our youngest days, so we just had to explore some of the most notable sights. On the inner-city stretch of America’s first Highway, we had a chance to stop for lunch at Braceros Mexican Grill & Cantina. What a delicious way to brighten our day. The use of color in their dishes made for a memorable meal. It was also a chance to sample a dish that we had never seen before.
Coyote Bluff Cafe
Dining on the Panhandle will offer plenty of opportunities to meet the locals. It was not unusual to be sitting next to a table filled with high plains cowboys. Coyote Bluff Cafe would be the kind of place that many would pass by without giving a second look. Unfortunately, they don’t know what they would be missing. Inside this tiny eatery, we found some massive burgers that come with a variety of toppings. The menu is designed to satisfy Texas-sized appetites, after the morning of riding the range.
In Amarillo, we discovered that not every meal needs to be eaten indoors. During our day at Palo Duro Canyon, we had a chance to visit the Texas Outdoor Musical. Before the show, they offer up a chuckwagon-style meal that will satisfy even the biggest appetite. After passing through the serving line, we joined our new friends at the outdoor picnic tables for a meal under the Texas sky. If you have never tasted Texas-style barbecue then you are in for a real treat. They do it up right at this event and even throw in a serving of cobbler to top it all off.
The Big Texan
Maybe your idea of dining on the Panhandle would include challenging yourself to finish off the 72 oz. Steak Challenge at The Big Texan. If so, you would be in good company, if you can accomplish the task. Suffice to say, there was no way that either of us was going to attempt this gut-busting trial. Even though no one was up for the task during our visit, we still found the ambiance of the place to be amazing. If you enjoy having plenty to see, while you dine, then this place should be at the top of your list. Make sure you save some time to explore the common areas outside of the dining room, as well.
With all of those engaging dining opportunities making your minds rush, perhaps there will be a moment that you just want to unwind. Might we suggest taking in a meal at Public House? This upscale eatery has a relaxed atmosphere that’s the perfect fit for a break from the rush of exploring. With an eclectic assortment of menu items, it’s easy to find plenty that sounds scrumptious. We also found that they are quite adept at creating craft cocktails.
Dining On The Panhandle
While it may seem that we spent our entire visit eating, we realize that we missed lots of other dining options. Amarillo has lots of eateries across a broad spectrum of cuisines. Discriminating diners will find upscale chophouses and even a fun speakeasy. Families can find a variety of restaurants that have something to offer everyone in the group. While we hope that you test out some of the places we have shared in this article, we’d also love to hear about other eateries you uncover. Drop us a note in the comment section, so that we can begin creating our list for the next time we are dining on the Panhandle. Bon Apetit!