Amarillo Texas dining and restaurants
The acclaimed Coyote Bluff Cafe, located in Amarillo, Texas, at 2417 S. Grand

From Brick & Elm, Amarillo’s premier lifestyle magazine, our alphabetical and constantly updated guide to the best and most popular restaurants in the city. (Pro-tip: This list is long. We recommend Control+F to search out specific types of food or restaurants.)

1887 Social House
The name refers to the year Amarillo was founded, but the atmosphere is way more modern than that. This lunch and dinner spot inside the downtown Embassy Suites specializes in small bites. There’s a full restaurant setting, but the spacious, trendy bar area gets the most traffic. 550 S. Buchanan St., 806.803.5504, $$

575 Pizzeria
Owned by an Amarillo native, the two local 575 locations (plus a food truck) serve the best pizza in the city. Locals rave about the incomparably thin crust, the way the thin-sliced pepperoni crisps up in the oven, and the fresh ingredients. Their easy to-go ordering includes craft beer and wine by the bottle. 2803 Civic Circle/7710 Hillside Road, Suite 700/1204 N. Western St., 806.322.5575, $$

70×7 Hydro Bar
This unique nutrition shop near the intersection of North Osage and Amarillo Boulevard offers energy teas, low-calorie protein shakes, keto-friendly donuts, sandwiches, waffles and more. It opened in early 2024, hoping to introduce healthier habits and food options to the northeast quadrant of the city. 1806 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.471.0784 $

The 806 Coffee + Lounge
Art meets coffee—and a surprisingly delicious vegetarian and vegan menu—at this locally owned, atmospheric shop on Sixth. (The brunch is especially good.) Time it right and you’ll catch live music or an art show. If you’re ready to ditch the minimalist coffee scene, start here. 2812 SW Sixth Ave., 806.322.1806, $

80/20 Meal Prep
Healthy meals to go. Build your own meal using already prepped foods, or choose from a flexible menu of options based on diet needs, whether vegan, trying to manage diabetes, or wanting enough protein to add muscle. Gourmet meals and meal-prep using high-quality, whole food ingredients. 2511 S. Georgia St., 806.282.5434, $

9th Inning Brews & Bites
Billing itself as “Amarillo’s Newest Sports Bar,” this west-side location represents the rebranding of what once was J’s Bar & Grill in the Shops at Soncy. It offers 57 TVs, dozens of draft beers on tap, a reliable pub-style menu and a family-friendly environment for watching the game. 3130 S. Soncy Road, Suite 100, 806.358.2222, $

This longtime chain has its roots in Amarillo and an incredibly dedicated local clientele. The Tex-Mex is flavorful but the true draw is nostalgia. Also: margaritas. As a bonus, Abuelo’s offers some of the best event room and catering deals in the city. 3501 W. 45th Ave., 806.354.8294, $$ 

The Açaí Bar
Don’t worry about how to say it. Just order one of these fruity, flavorful bowls or smoothies. They’re perfect for post-workout refueling or a light, nutritious lunch. The ingredients are mostly organic and the owners are local. Pro tip: It’s pronounced “ah-saw-ee.” 7306 SW 34th Ave., Suite 9, 806.367.9724,

Aldaco’s Tacos
Look, if your name rhymes with “taco,” then it’s pretty much just fate. Tucked away on Sixth street in one of those iconic, recognizable old Toot-n-Totum buildings, this is the spot for affordable, authentic tacos and tamales. 3623 SW Sixth Ave., 806.374.4945 $$

Aloha Kitchen
Spam is on the menu at Aloha Kitchen, an authentic Hawaiian eatery located inside From 6th Collective in Bushland. A former food truck, Aloha Kitchen serves breakfast items like Moons Over Spammy, a breakfast sandwich with Spam, and egg and cheese on delectable malasada, a type of frybread. The Aloha Kitchen menu changes frequently, so check the menu before you visit. 18100 I-40 West, 806.557.8036 $

Applebee’s Grill + Bar
Look, it’s Applebee’s. You don’t need an introduction. You already know about the inexpensive family meals and daily lunch specials. You know it’s got a full bar and a “drink of the month.” You know it’s a decent spot for dates. But you may not know it now has food to-go and delivery. 2810 Soncy Road, 806.351.2810, $$

Asian Bistro 
Here’s what we know: A Hey Amarillo podcast guest of Laotian descent identified this spot on the Boulevard, across from Sonic, as her absolute favorite place for Asian food in Amarillo. It serves Lao, Thai and Vietnamese dishes and its pho is among the best in town. 1006 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.418.6143 $

Asian Buffet
Everyone was worried about buffets during 2020, but this diverse 34th and Bell buffet pivoted to offer pickup, delivery and extra sanitization practices. Not interested in a buffet? The Mongolian Barbecue feature—prepared fresh, right in front of you—is unique to Amarillo. 3347 Bell St., 806.803.9588 $

Aspen Creek Grill
This comfort casual chain has very few locations, but ours on I-40 is constantly busy. The appetizers are great for sharing and the popular Happy Hour is ridiculously affordable. Each location offers a signature menu. Try a Black Angus steak or pizza. 4110 I-40 West, 806.398.2776, $$ 

The Bagel Place
This beloved breakfast and lunch spot introduced bagels to the Panhandle years ago, and locals have been grateful ever since. Grab a fresh bagel to go and choose from a variety of cream cheese flavors. Or try the oversized homemade sweets. (Look, everything here is delicious.) 3301 Bell St., 806.353.5985, $

Bangkok Restaurant
In a city known for its Thai food, Bangkok is truly authentic—and a legit Amarillo Boulevard dive. Take it from patrons with experience: If they say it’s “spicy,” they mean it. Get ready, and make sure you’ve got plenty of water. 5901 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.383.9008 $

The name should give you an idea of the Asian fusion available here. The dining area is very small—thanks, weird triangle roofline!—but you can get fantastic Thai food combined with even better sushi. Takeout orders are quick, and it also now offers an expanded gluten-free menu. 2413 S. Western St., Suite A, 806.353.4777 $$

Bar 3
This out-of-the-way spot is located south of town at Preston West Golf Course, but it’s got a loyal patronage. We might even say it’s worth the, um, long drive. Hit it on Taco Tuesday, or grab traditional bar/grill food the rest of the week. Regular drink specials quench your thirst. 9101 S. Coulter St., 806.353.7003 $

Beef Burger Barrel
Hands-down this is the most unique restaurant design in Amarillo, and this classic walk-up joint has held down the same spot since 1952. You can’t miss it. Because, y’all, it’s a giant white barrel. Not in the mood for beef and/or burgers? Try a fish, ham or grilled cheese sandwich. 3102 Plains Blvd., 806.374.0101 $ 

Belmar Bakery 
This family-owned bakery is known across the city for its cookies and cakes, but the restaurant side has a passionate clientele of its own. Grab an enormous breakfast burrito with Roasters coffee. For lunch, try the soup or a panini. Belmar also has great box lunches and party trays. 3325 Bell St., 806.355.0141, $

Benjamin’s Donuts & Bakery
Local folks are serious about donuts, and there is definitely a “Benjamin’s donuts or no donuts at all” camp. Benjamin’s is family-owned and -operated, and you won’t find a bad option on the menu—from donuts to the pastries, kolaches, breakfast sandwiches and burritos. 7003 Bell St., 806.353.1100/1800 Western St., 806.803.1133 $

Big Jim’s Pizza Co.
Formerly La Bella Pizza on Olsen, a locally owned pizza place with a dedicated clientele and a delightfully diverse menu. The pizza is great, of course—the 24-inch size is one of the biggest available in town—but they also serve burgers, gyros, calzones, subs, ribs, chicken and more. Full dining room and a full bar with live music. 3801 Olsen Blvd., Suite 9, 806.352.5050,

The Big Texan Steak Ranch & Brewery
This tourist destination is packed at all hours of the day. Everyone talks about the 72-ounce steak challenge, but other standouts include the popular “Mountain Oysters,” normal-sized steaks, chicken-fried steak and ribs. The onsite brewery recently added a hard seltzer to its menu. 7701 I-40 East, 806.372.6000, $$

Biti Pies
Take your favorite traditional pie, like buttermilk or chocolate, then make it itty-bitty and bite-sized. That’s the concept. And yes, tiny pies are just as delicious as normal-sized pies. Order yours to-go directly from Biti or get them from a variety of local retailers.  604 S. Maryland St., 806.367.6413, $

Black Bear Diner
Part of a restaurant chain mostly located west of the Mississippi, the Amarillo location takes advantage of the abundant traffic along I-40 headed east. It serves traditional, homestyle comfort food including burgers, sandwiches, chicken-fried steak, meatloaf and breakfast all day. Customers love the huge portions. We hear good things about the pie. 7000 I-40 East, 806.342.3080, $$

Blue Crane Bakery
This locally owned breakfast-and-lunch spot has a frequently changing menu, welcoming staff, and a reputation as one of the best keto-friendly bakeries in town. The homemade poptarts are incredibly popular. Or, grab a cookie, pie or cake—all served with coffee from The 806. 3223 SW Sixth Ave., 806.322.3233,

Blue Sky 
Burgers are big here, and locals almost always rate these the best in town, which is why Blue Sky’s two locations are always busy. We also love the homemade shakes, the fried anaheim chile sticks and the cheese fries. Families love the casual setting and outdoor dining. 4201 I-40 West, 06.355.8100/5060 S. Coulter St., 806.322.3888, $$

Bubba’s 33
This sports bar-style restaurant on I-40 is almost always busy, and is known for hosting three restaurants in one: family dining, the garage bar, and a dining area with a bar. The hand-tossed pizza is reliable, as are the fresh-ground burgers and flavorful wings. The concept was created by the late Kent Taylor, founder of Texas Roadhouse. 2813 I-40 West, 806.353.0033, $$

Buns Over Texas
“Amarillo, your buns are up!” This no-frills burger joint with the embarrassing announcements has locations elsewhere in the state, but started in Amarillo in 1989. Build your own burger, quench your thirst from a huge variety of iced tea, and don’t forget the best cheese fries in Amarillo. 6045 SW 34th Ave., 806.358.6808, $

Burrito Stop
A mainstay for downtown workers, this unique, collaborative restaurant between Taylor and Polk offers menu items from some of the city’s favorites: coffee from Roasters and food from Belmar Bakery and The Bagel Place. The tortillas are always fresh and the breakfast burritos are some of the best in town. Open early for breakfast and closes at 3 pm. 114 SE Ninth Ave., 806.418.2705, $

Butterlove Biscuits
Yes, the entire restaurant concept is built around biscuits and isn’t that all you really need to know? Biscuits are the ultimate comfort food and these are heavenly, with savory and sweet options and brunch cocktails in a fun environment—owned by the sweethearts behind Ruffled Cup. 3440 S. Bell, Suite 130, 806.418.8966, $$

Cada Vez Cocina Mexicana
This always-reliable Town Square restaurant continues to get raves for its classic Tex-Mex fare. The savory birria tacos are wonderful, and so are the salsa selections—with 22 beers on tap and excellent margaritas to wash it all down. Try the weekend brunch! 9200 Town Square Blvd., Suite 1000, 806.418.6976, $$

Cafe Marizon
Lots of nostalgia here, from the daily desserts (BTS cake!) to the historic photos and Amarillo memorabilia on the walls. The down-home burgers are favorites, served on homemade bread. Try the French dip, the spicy chicken salad, or lunch specials like the green chile pie. 6151 Hillside Road, 806.352.2046, $$ 

Calico County Restaurant
This Amarillo favorite isn’t fancy—the rusty farm tools on the cabin-style walls make that clear—but the homestyle food is always good, from breakfast fare to chicken-fried steak. This is the kind of friendly place where you always order the same thing (and you’re happy you did). 2410 Paramount Blvd., 806.358.7664, $$

Carniceria y Taqueria La Popular
You can’t go wrong at an eatery tucked into the back of a family-owned supermarket. Do your shopping, then hit the counter for a lunch of barbacoa tacos and tamales. On the way back, grab traditional Mexican sweetbreads like conchas and marranitos. 1505 SE Third Ave., 806.374.6451 $

Cask & Cork
The rooftop patio in southwest Amarillo offers unparalleled views of Panhandle sunsets. It’s also a great spot for live music and cocktails. And while we love the shareable apps, we’re most impressed by the attentive service here. Every employee seems eager to please. 5461 McKenna Square, Suite 101, 806.410.1113, $$

Cattleman’s Cafe 
Open 24 hours a day, this ancient restaurant has a reputation for one of the cheapest and best breakfasts in the city, with daily specials from 6 to 11 a.m. Expect to spend around $10 for almost everything. The portions are plentiful and the smoking section will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. 3801 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.383.4818 $ 

Cecil’s Last Chance Bar & Grill
If you’ve driven from Amarillo to the Metroplex, you’ve passed this wood-paneled dive right after exiting I-40 for 287. It’s open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays, and serves dinner until 7:45 p.m. on Fridays. The chicken-fried steak is highly rated, and the portions are huge for weekly specials like enchiladas and meatball subs. 12800 S. US 287, 806.335.1938 $

Cellar 55
A splashy new high-end concept from Chris Hazel—who has a well-earned reputation for his wine expertise—Cellar 55 has grabbed residents’ attention from its opening. Enjoy a sophisticated interior, indulgent meals and a truly impressive menu of wine and bourbon. A fantastic new entrant to Amarillo’s fine-dining scene. 2800 Civic Circle, Suite 500, 806.322.7655, $$

Cerveceria 18
The concept is new but the building isn’t. Cerveceria 18 revives the empty building once occupied by Kushi Yama. C18 offers reliable Mexican options including tacos, quesadillas and burritos, along with pizza, salad and wings. On the drink side, expect creative shots plus beer and aguas frescas. Interestingly, every item on the menu is $4. (Off-menu items will be more expensive.) 3319 I-40 West, 432.934.6801 $-$$

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Look, Cheddar’s is a comfort-food chain with origins in the Dallas area. That makes this I-40 mainstay only sort of local, but it is always, always busy for a reason. Families love the affordable menu. Seniors love the discounts. Human beings with working tastebuds appreciate the honey-butter croissants. 3901 I-40 West, 806.358.2111, $$

Chicken Salad Chick
The Amarillo franchise of this chain made a splash when it opened in Wolflin Square, serving chicken-salad flavors named after the friends of the Alabama stay-at-home mom who first launched the business. We advise trying all the flavors, but for non-fans of chicken salad, the chicken tortilla soup is delicious. 2620 Wolflin Ave., 806.808.0709, $$

There’s something delightfully throwback and comforting about a cash-only restaurant, and that may be why the Chiyo’s locations on Teckla and North Pierce have earned such a passionate customer base. The authentic, affordable Thai and Chinese dishes are worth the occasional wait. 4313 Teckla Blvd., 806.468.9385/810 N. Pierce St., 806.374.6146 $

Chop Chop Rice Co.
This long-standing fast-casual Asian restaurant is Amarillo-owned, with two locations here and three in Lubbock. It’s a favorite of high school and college students, who appreciate its generous portions and reasonable prices. 3300 S. Coulter St., Suite 1, 806.457.0700/2818 Wolflin Ave., 806.731.4499, $

City Café and Espresso
“Wanna eat at the PD?” Don’t be surprised at the question. This basement location at the Amarillo Police Department offers a full breakfast—it’s very affordable—and lunch menu with an espresso bar. The daily specials are popular, along with sandwiches, wraps, flat bread, burgers and salads. Call-in and to-go orders welcome. 200 SE Third Ave., Level B, 806.378.6104 $

Coffee Fixx
This cute little coffee shop on historic Sixth doesn’t just have a full coffee and tea menu, but serves breakfast items all day and a limited—but very affordable—lunch menu of sandwiches and burgers. Think of it as a coffee shop with a small grill, and really, really amazing breakfast burritos. 3020 SW Sixth Ave., 806.673.9924 $

Coyote Bluff Cafe
It’s located in a little shack. It’s been featured on national TV shows. It’s one of those places locals love to take visitors. This tiny, iconic burger joint has a big reputation for its green chile burgers, its ribeye steaks, and—if you can handle it—the mouth-blazing Burger from Hell. A true Amarillo dive. 2417 S. Grand St., 806.373.4640, $

Crackin’ Crab
With locations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Amarillo—not exactly obvious seafood destinations—this growing seafood boil chain brings Cajun flavor to the southwest. The house oysters are spicy and the servers are friendly. Locals recommend ordering the bread to soak up all the butter and delicious seasonings. 3350 Soncy Road, 806.437.1555, $$

Crazy Larry’s Fine Texas BBQ
On the Hey Amarillo podcast, Brick & Elm cofounder Jason Boyett once named this his favorite restaurant. This lunch-only eatery is famous for its Frito pie, delicious beans, and nostalgic chopped beef sandwiches, all made from scratch by husband-and-wife owners. 4315 Teckla Blvd., 806.359.3176, $$

Crush Wine Bar & Grill
A fixture of fine dining downtown, Crush serves great steaks, pasta and shareable appetizers in an upscale, modern environment. We love the bar area downstairs as well as the rooftop bar, which overlooks a busy Polk Street and occasionally hosts live music. On weekends, enjoy a street-side brunch. The service is consistently great and the wine menu extensive. 627 S. Polk St., 806.418.2011, $$

Daniel’s Drive In
In business for at least 40 years, this old-school drive-in off old Route 66 is pure nostalgia. The menu is simple but everything you want in a throwback, cash-only diner: fresh-cooked burgers, grilled cheese, Frito pie, tots, onion rings and soda fountain drinks. 2911 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.383.0066 $

David’s Mexican Restaurant
Maybe you haven’t heard of this River Road mainstay. Also, the name “David” doesn’t exactly scream DELICIOUS MEXICAN FOOD. But the hundreds and hundreds of reviews tell another story. This little dive needs to be on your radar, especially if you love fajitas, enchiladas, and margaritas. 400 E. Hastings Ave., 806.418.6333 $

Delvin’s Restaurant & Catering
After opening in 2015, this North Heights restaurant quickly gained a diverse, dedicated clientele from across the city thanks to its generous portions and made-from-scratch flavors. (The buttermilk pie is worth a trip by itself.) 1300 N. Hughes St., 806.310.9410, $

Doña Juanita Restaurant
The Boulevard is home to some of Amarillo’s oldest and best little dives, and few are as authentic as this one. The traditional Mexican dishes include homemade corn tortillas and some of the best refried beans in the city. Doña Juanitas is family-owned and has been around forever. Try the coffee with cinnamon! 2208 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.220.2610 $

Doug’s Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que
In Amarillo, nostalgia is spelled D-O-U-G-S. Generations of locals visit this teensy little shack, which developers have just built around at 34th and Georgia. Your friends ate here in high school, regardless of your age. You won’t go wrong with a chopped beef sandwich and a bowl of beans. 3313 S. Georgia St., 806.352.8471 $

The Drunken Oyster
The opulent, moody atmosphere of the Drunken Oyster feels like you’ve stepped out of the Panhandle and into the heart of the bayou. The Louisiana-style cuisine never disappoints, from the fresh oysters to the jambalaya and crawfish étouffée. It’s also a great spot for live music. 7606 SW 45th Ave., Suite 100, 806.418.6668, $$

Dyer’s Bar-B-Que
Locals are loyal to Dyer’s, and the Dyer’s family has been serving its original recipes in the Panhandle for decades. (In addition to the Amarillo fixture at Wellington Square, there’s also a location in Pampa.) Come for the family-style, all-you-can-eat lunch on Fridays and Saturdays. Or eat your fill of premium smoked prime rib, which is very popular. 1619 S. Kentucky St., Suite E526, 806.358.7104, $$

Eat-Rite Health Food & Restaurant
This legendary cafe is nestled inside a longtime health food store in Wolflin Square, so you can feel good about everything on the menu. Its owner pioneered serving organic food in Amarillo. We’ve always loved the marinated carrots and enchiladas. Thirsty? Try the juice bar. 2425 I-40 West, 806.353.7476, $$ 

El Bracero Mexican Grill
This family-owned restaurant has multiple locations but this one on Grand is the original and legendary for authentic Mexican comida. Appropriately, it’s painted red on the outside and green on the inside. We recommend the carne asada or spicy green chile enchiladas. 2116 S. Grand St., 806.373.4788 $$ 

El Burrito Rico
This little red-and-yellow, walk-up hut is one of the true gems in the River Road neighborhood. Located near Pleasant Valley Elementary, it’s locally owned and open early for breakfast, serving incredible breakfast burritos and tortas. The well-seasoned lunch and dinner portions are large. 4404 River Road, 806.383.4545 $

El Carbonero Restaurante y Pupuseria
Amarillo isn’t exclusively a destination for Tex-Mex food. This joint on the Boulevard offers authentic Salvadoran cuisine, including pupusas, plantains, salvadoran sausage, and pan con pollo. If you’re into flavorful grilled meats—or Salvadoran beer like Regia Extra—this is the place. 1702 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.373.1973, $

El Charro Mexican Restaurant
The prominent I-40 location probably negates the title “hidden gem,” but we suspect a large percentage of Amarillo’s Mexican-food aficionados haven’t visited El Charro. That’s a mistake. The fresh-made salsa is wonderful and the food flavorful and authentic. Travelers and locals alike rave about the friendly service. 4207 I-40 East, 806.373.4555 $ 

El Giro
A small, under-the-radar favorite for authentic Mexican food—not Tex-Mex—in west Amarillo. El Giro is well-known for its inexpensive tacos, including a huge taco box order with a dozen-plus tacos. Very much a go-to order for office meetings and small events. Look for their food truck around town, especially on the Boulevard. 1800 Bell St., 806.318.3859 $

El Jalapeño Cafe
Located in the Southlawn Shopping Center, this simple, small cafe serves breakfast and lunch only—with a traditional (not Tex-Mex) menu. The home-style Mexican breakfast plates are great, but so are the pancakes. The enchilada sauce is among Amarillo’s best. 4400 S. Washington St., 806.352.2879 $

El Manantial Restaurant
This Amarillo Boulevard dive is regularly highlighted by Hey Amarillo podcast guests as a favorite restaurant or ideal place to take out-of-towners. El Manantial serves the best chips in Amarillo, alongside fantastic salsa and a bowl of charro beans. On weekends you’ll hear mariachi music. 3823 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.383.1852, $-$$

El Paleton
Is it an ice cream parlor? A Mexican snack shop? We’re not sure how to fully categorize this northeast Amarillo business, other than to tell you to go check it out. The menu items are beautiful, handmade and colorful, from strawberries and cream to mangonadas, elote and an enormous selection of agua frescas. They cater, too! 818 Martin Road, 806.418.6155, $

El Patron Tex-Mex Restaurant
Don’t let the I-40 location fool you: This is a local Tex-Mex place with a friendly hometown attitude. Locals love the full bar, daily lunch specials from 11 to 3, and the amazing salsa verde. Brick & Elm staff tip: Try the stuffed avocado. 3401 I-40 West, 806.418.6934, $

El Rincón de la Cruda
First things first: The name is Spanish for “the Hangover Corner.” That’s intentional. The owners hail from Arandas, Mexico, and designed the traditional menu of this restaurant/bar to offer rich dishes to help out with hangovers. And if that doesn’t work, delicious drinks will help put off dealing with the feeling. 2706 S. Osage St., $$

El Tejavan
Plenty of locals identify El Tejavan as their favorite Mexican food restaurant in Amarillo, especially the original location on east I-40. The guacamole and salsa are fantastic, along with homemade tortillas, tacos and barbacoa made from recipes passed down for generations. 3801 I-40 East, 806.372.5250; 3420 I-40 West, 806.354.2444, $$

Elmo’s Drive Inn

Ordering a burger in this long-lived San Jacinto drive-in feels like stepping back in time—in all the best ways. You may wait a few minutes for your order, but the old-fashioned burgers and fountain drinks are worth the wait. One of the carhops has worked there for more than 30 years! 2618 SW Third Ave., 806.374.3566 $

FAVs stands for “Fruits and Vegetables,” and that’s precisely the healthy focus of this small, family-owned shop. Beyond the smoothies and fruit bowls, FAVs serves salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups and fresh pressed juice, now with two locations in Amarillo. 706 SW 16th Ave., 806.803.9171/3333 Coulter St., D4, 806.318.2243, $

Feng Cha Bubble Tea
Tea is a big deal in the Panhandle, but this isn’t just another place for blueberry green iced tea. Feng Cha offers bubble tea and milk foam teas with decidedly not-quite-Texan flavors like cream cheese, matcha, taru and durian. Add-ins include boba, lychee jelly, grass jelly and more. Enjoy the sleek Instagrammable atmosphere, and try the dessert menu. 5611 Gem Lake Road, 806.437.1556, $

Fire Slice Pizzeria
A little hard to find—this pizzeria is hidden on the back-alley side of the Summit Shopping Center—but it’s definitely worth the discovery. We love the fun atmosphere, calzones, paninis, craft beer and shareable starters. The brick-oven pizza toppings are inventive, too. 7306 SW 34th Ave., Space 10, 806.331.2232, $$

Firehouse Subs

You probably think you know all the submarine sandwich places, but Firehouse does things a little differently. To start, the subs are steamed before serving, releasing a rush of flavors. Founded by firemen, this chain sets aside a portion of every purchase to donate to local first responders, helping provide life-saving equipment. 1901 S. Georgia St., 806.418.6651/3450 S. Soncy Road, 806.398.0056, $

Flamingo’s Latin Bar & Grill
Located in an old Taco Villa building, this locally owned lunch-and-dinner spot offers traditional Mexican dishes with Latin American flair. The birria tacos and barbacoa tacos are customer favorites, as is the dessert menu. Local foodies rave about this place. 701 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.367.7304 $

Freddie’s Fish & Grill 
Remember FatCat? That’s the heritage of this fry shack, and the catfish is still the best thing on the menu. (Good news: It’s actual, freshwater catfish.) The new incarnation serves beer and boasts an updated interior. The menu feels familiar to the FatCat of old: Lots of fried seafood, hushpuppies, fries, and the popular Build-Your-Own-Bucket boil. 1309 Dumas Drive, 806.373.3581 $

It’s easy to miss this tiny shop located right behind Fiesta Foods on Southeast 10th. Don’t miss it! Inside you’ll find beautiful ceviche, colorful fruit cups, gazpacho, shrimp cocktail, elote en vaso (corn in a cup), bubble tea and addictive Doritos chili pie. 1010 SE 10th Ave., 806.370.6761 $

Fun Noodle Bar 
A relative newcomer to the city’s Asian restaurant scene, this is one of just a few places with decent ramen, dumplings and bao in Amarillo. The lunch specials are served until 3 p.m. and the orders arrive fast. Like most new restaurants around here, it stays busy. 2219 S. Georgia St., 806.803.2219 $$

The owners at Furrbie’s are quirky and fun, the burgers are delicious, and the desserts are definitely worth the extra calories. But the best thing about this downtown lunch stop is the fact that they’ve figured out how to replicate Char-Kel’s cheese fritters from the 1980s and ’90s. YES. 210 SW Sixth Ave., 806.220.0841 $

Georgia Street Taphouse
This locally owned sports bar in Wolflin Square offers a really solid bar and a nice outdoor patio. The craft beer selection is diverse, with daily drink specials, making it a popular place to kick back for Happy Hour. Foodwise, expect typical pub fare. The fries are tasty, and the pizza, burger and app menus never disappoint. 2001 S. Georgia St., 806.803.7000, $$

Girasol Cafe & Bakery
We are huge fans of Girasol, where the weekly specials are always creative, filling and delicious. The Saturday brunch never disappoints either, especially in the new outdoor dining area on a sunny morning. Girasol is lunch-only, so grab some baked goods or bread when you leave. 3201 S. Coulter St., 806.322.0023 $

Gloria’s Oyster Bar
One of the original Mexican seafood places in Amarillo, Gloria’s is known for its soups, oysters and traditional Mexican dishes like chile rellenos. In a city filled with quality Mexican food, Gloria’s stands out as unique. And the capirotada (Mexcian bread pudding) is incredible. 1300 S. Grand St., 806.373.2722 $

The Golden Light Cafe
This doesn’t need an introduction from us, but are you a real Amarilloan if you’ve never dined within this iconic dive? In business since 1946 at the same location, it’s the oldest-operating restaurant in Amarillo and maybe even along Route 66. Fantastic greasy burgers with outdoor dining and a music venue next door. 2908 SW Sixth Ave., 806.374.9237, $

Golden Rose Tea Room 
If you’re searching for traditional British tea service, look no further. Golden Rose has carved out its place in this delightful niche, offering all the coziness and tradition of a delicate tea service. Expect three pours per meal, balanced alongside a three-tiered food service, including savory sandwiches and dessert. Reservations are required for meal service, but stop-ins for dessert and tea only are always available. Proper fun! 3314 Olsen-B, 806.803.1450, $$

Golden Waffle Company
One of the proprietors of this women-owned business also owns the Golden Light, so its local heritage is already strong. This strip-mall spot features sweet and savory waffles with toppings. Its weekend brunch is extremely popular, along with its creative mimosas and micheladas. 6017 Hillside Road, Suite 250, 806.367.8141, $

The recent expansion of downtown restaurants hasn’t stopped Gooney’s from thriving. This mainstay on Polk has been around for years in the setting of an old department store. The inventive pan-Asian food is amazing—locals love the kimchi fries and wontons—but get ready to wait a while for your meal. Full bar. 705 S. Polk St., 806.367.9585 $

Grandma’s Burritos
Whether from its original location on Western or the new one between Amarillo and Canyon, these small Mexican restaurants serve inexpensive, homemade dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The lunch burritos are very popular (the barbacoa: so good). The salsa is wonderfully spicy! 7012 S. Western St., 806.355.0475/ 8700 Clinton Glen Road, 806.699.1470 $

Grandma’s Cocina
Just like Abuela’s house, the full menu is available all day long at this little spot on 45th. New owners took over in early 2021, but the quality continues. Locals swear by the breakfast burritos as well as the fresh-cut fries and burgers and Tex-Mex favorites like asada and chili verde plates.  3609 SW 45th Ave., 806.398.9999 $

Green Chile Willy’s Grill
This iconic location on I-27, tucked away between Amarillo and Canyon, is worth the short drive if you’re a fan of chicken-fried steak, country music, and a homespun family restaurant feel. The green chile gravy is amazing, as are the hand-cut grilled steaks, burgers, and grilled chicken. 13651 I-27, 806.622.2200, $$

The Handle Bar and Grill
Yes, it’s a biker bar, but don’t let the fact that you drive a Subaru keep you from this Texas-style comfort food. The fried bologna sandwiches are *chef’s kiss* and the gigantic Bloody Mary might as well be a meal. The outdoor dining on Sixth Street really gets our motors running. 3514 SW Sixth Ave., 806.803.9538, $

Happy Burrito
A good burrito always makes people happy, and this small dine-in and takeout restaurant on the Boulevard does it right. Almost everything on the menu is less than $5, and loyal customers tend to order online and pick it up. Interestingly, we hear a lot about the burgers here. 908 Amarillo Blvd. East, Suite B, 806.379.8226 $

Hoffbrau Steak & Grill House
Locally owned for three decades, Hoffbrau is exactly the kind of steak place you’d expect to find in a city like ours—no-fuss and plenty delicious. The I-40 location is both family-friendly and traveler-friendly, with Texas steaks, comfort food, outdoor dining and a separate bar area. 7203 I-40 West, 806.358.6595, $$

Hook & Reel
This Cajun/Creole seafood franchise offers mix-and-match seafood boils, allowing customers to pair a favorite catch (think crab legs, lobster tail or crawfish) with their favorite sauces, spices and add-ons. The breaded-and-fried baskets are also made to please, including fresh flounder, catfish, oysters and more. 5807 SW 45th Ave., Suite 205, 806.803.3133, $$

House Divided Restaurant & Sports Grill
This locally owned, sports-themed bar and restaurant in west Amarillo serves pretty much everything—pub grub, steaks, Texas-style entrees, pizza, Italian and Mexican food, salads, sandwiches and burgers. Trying to find a place everyone will like? Go here. 7609 Hillside Road, 806.350.4377, $$ 

House of Donuts
Amarillo loves its donuts, and this little indie stop on North Grand has a faithful following, served fresh by an always-friendly team. Moms and dads will love the colorful gourmet options kids go crazy for, as well as more grown-up treats like kolaches, breakfast sandwiches and breakfast burritos. 1615 N. Grand St., 806.803.0845 $

Drive past any of the Hud’s locations (now there’s a food truck, too!) before 10 a.m. and you’re likely to see a drive-thru line that sometimes extends into the street. Customers are either clamoring for its famous limeades or breakfast burritos. Later in the day, the burgers and chicken nuggets are amazing, too. 7311 Amarillo Blvd. West, 806.351.1499/4411 Bell St., 806.331.4837 $

Hummers Sports Cafe
Hummers is an Amarillo landmark dating back to the early 1980s, before sports bars were all the rage. This institution and its environs on Paramount have evolved since then, but the burgers are still fresh and delicious, the beer is still ice-cold and the good times are still really good. Our recommendation? Order the steak bites. 2600 Paramount Blvd., Suite B2, 806.353.0723, $$ 

Ichiban Noodle Bar & Asian Cuisine
If you want ramen in Amarillo, look no further. Ichiban is so wonderful and … so rarely open. Watch your food and noodles being prepared thanks to the open kitchen. Stop by for lunch. It shuts down mid-afternoon but re-opens in time for dinner. Most days. Closed on weekends. 3309 Wimberly Road, 806.355.5031 $

Indian Oven 
Tikka bite at this long-standing Indian restaurant, where everything—from the homemade naan to each item in the lunch buffet—is worth a try. The samosas are crispy and the chicken vindaloo tangy. A number of meals are offered as vegan options. 2406 Paramount Blvd., 806.335.3600, $$

It’s a Punjabi Affair
Indian food is hard to find in Amarillo, but this hut across from Sam Houston Park takes a friendly, youthful approach to Indian-style street food. Our go-to orders include the butter chicken, lamb curry, and marinated and fried tilapia—plus options for vegans and vegetarians (the detox lentils are especially tasty). 4201 Bushland Blvd., 806.414.2114, $

Jacobo’s Cafe
This cute, diner-style storefront on Olsen serves down-home meals with a focus on Mexican food. The pancakes and breakfast burritos are super-popular, as are the spicy chilaquiles. Family-owned, fair prices and always worth a visit. 3701 Olsen Blvd., Suite L, 806.418.8850, $

Jason’s Deli
We know why this deli chain is always busy. It’s definitely the amazing salad bar. And probably the free, family-friendly soft-serve ice cream. Or maybe it’s all the other generously-portioned menu options, including sandwiches, paninis, wraps, baked potatoes and soups. (We happen to like the muffalettas.) 7406 SW 34th Ave., 806.353.4440/2600 Wolflin Ave., 806.803.9160, $

Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches
The three franchise locations of this national chain are owned and operated by a local, and we always appreciate the fresh ingredients and friendly service. We also love the vegetarian options. The downtown Jimmy John’s is conveniently located right across from the ballpark. 2330 Soncy Road, 806.354.9200/2807 S. Western St., 806.352.4540/790 S. Buchanan St., Suite 110, 806.803.9070, $

Joe Taco
This Amarillo stand-by has a solid reputation for fast service and great Tex-Mex, with Amarillo and Canyon locations. The bar and outdoor patio at the Wallace location, near the hospitals, are always hopping with live music on weekends. A new location is currently under construction at 58th and Georgia. 7312 Wallace Blvd., 806.331.8226, $$  (58th & Georgia)

Joe’s Pizza & Pasta
Technically, this venerable Bushland restaurant isn’t in Amarillo, but it’s absolutely worth the drive and frequently visited by Amarillo residents. You’ll be surprised at the quality of this Italian food, from the New York-style pizza to the hot subs, pasta, lasagna and even the steak. The sauce is homemade and you can tell. 19151 I-40 West, 806.356.8191 $

Jorge’s Tacos Garcia 
Tacos Garcia is consistently one of the highest-ranking Tex-Mex stops in the city, whether you’re into the family-friendly atmosphere or the full bar. (The house batch margaritas are legendary.) 1100 Ross St., 806.371.0411, $$

K-N Root Beer Drive-In
This legendary, traditional drive-in opened in 1968. And while it recently lost its iconic covered parking in a windstorm, the wonderful burgers, shakes and floats are still around. And the root beer is served in a frosty cold mug! As the sign used to say, it’s “truly a bargain at today’s prices.” 3900 Olsen Blvd., 806.355.4391, $

Kabuki Romanza Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar
The first true Japanese steakhouse in Amarillo—vintage Amarilloans remember it from way before the move to the boat-shaped dining room on I-40—Kabuki always pleases. If you like flamboyant fried-rice prep interrupted by rain and light shows, this is your spot. Dinner only, with 2 p.m. openings on weekends. 8130 I-40 West, 806.358.7799, $$ 

Kathy’s Kitchen
Breakfast is drive-thru only from 5 to 8 a.m., then the dining area opens at 10 a.m. for breakfast and lunch only. The northeast Loop location and homestyle food are perfect for drives up to Lake Meredith/Borger or northeast to Pampa. Low prices and generous portions. 4517 Highway 136, 806.268.1465 $

La Fiesta Grande
The Bara family is iconic in Amarillo because of their long-lasting, family-owned restaurants featuring generational recipes. The family-friendly menu is true Tex-Mex, with lots of fun Happy Hour specials in the bar area. We’ve loved this place since we were kids. 2200 Ross St., 806.374.3689/7415 SW 45th Ave., 806.352.1330, $$ 

La Frontera
This neighborhood eatery has been open for more than 30 years and has a well-deserved reputation for extra cheesy Tex-Mex. Seriously: Everything’s covered in fresh grated cheese and that’s a good thing. (So is La Frontera’s generous community support.) Try the unique hot sauce! 1401 S. Arthur St., 806.372.4593 $

La Pasadita
You don’t really expect to find this little, walk-up restaurant in the middle of a residential area, but just get in line and go for it (the line moves quick). The menu is limited but the Chihuahua-style food is fresh, traditional, and fast. Takeout only. Try a breakfast burrito, menudo, barbacoa or chile rellenos. 2730 NE 16th Ave., 806.381.2309 $

Las Parrilladas Norteñas
In Spanish, parrilladas refers to mixed grill items designed to feed more than one person. This is definitely the case here, with northern Mexico cuisine served with impressive presentation, including a lot of seafood. Customers love the buffet with traditional Mexican entrees and sides. 1706 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.418.8321 $$

Lone Star Bar & Grill
“No small steaks, no hot beer” is the motto of this Texas-style hideaway on the road out to Lake Tanglewood, and its steaks and burgers never disappoint. In fact, the steaks are quietly some of the best in the Panhandle. Plus: Pool tables! Avoid the big chain steakhouses and try this one, in business for more than 30 years. 935 E. FM 1151, 806.622.9827 $$ 

The original Lupita’s tortilleria is home to the best tortillas, burritos and tamales in town—that means something in Amarillo—and this family restaurant has now expanded to multiple locations. Some are takeout only. All are good. So good. For holiday tamales, order early! 4013 SE 10th Ave., 806.372.3537/2403 Hardin Drive, 806.350.7637/1706 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.350.7614/1901 SE 11th St., 806.350.7398/2801 SE 27th, 806.418.6476/1007 Ross St./3309 Bell St., 806.350.7297 $

Mac Joe’s Kitchen & Cellar
Always a popular date-night choice, Mac Joe’s is an Amarillo institution known for elegant ambiance and attentive service. The menu relies on Italian dishes but also offers fantastic steaks—with one of the best wine lists in all of the Texas Panhandle. Get the mob queso as an appetizer. 1619 S. Kentucky St., Suite D1500, 806.358.8990, $$-$$$

Maria’s Cocina Mexicana
This little hole-in-the-wall on 10th is close to downtown in the heart of the Barrio. There’s not a ton of parking, but if you can find a place you’ll enjoy authentic Mexican dishes like fresh tamales, menudo, chile verde, and traditional enchiladas. Warning: Maria means it when she says her hot sauce is hot. 1316 SE 10th Ave., 806.373.8841 $

Metropolitan Steak & Seafood
Part of Town Square from its 2016 beginning, this elegant environment offers great service, a full bar, and excellent cuisine. It’s open for lunch at 11 a.m., but also makes for a delightful date-night in the evenings. Metropolitan is a sweet spot to linger, with a seasonal menu, full bar and live music. 9181 Town Square Blvd., Suite 1201, 806.242.0117, $$

Mi Gente
With a food-truck kitchen and a brick-and-mortar dining area across from Hodgetown, the Latin-inspired menu of Mi Gente (“my people”) offers a unique indoor/outdoor experience. Chef Paul Leal arrived in Amarillo from a high-end Metroplex restaurant career in 2020. His savory, fusion-style dishes like the Cuban Sanguish and Steak Fajita Eggroll have attracted a dedicated clientele. 800 S. Buchanan St., 806.576.5467 $$

Mitch’s Texas Style BBQ
You may have seen Mitch’s big black BBQ trailer at local events, but the brick-and-mortar Mitch’s—located inside Toot ‘n Totum complexes—serves up food way better than anyone expects of “barbecue from a convenience store.” The portions are huge. We love the Meme’s fried pies. Traveling? You can also find Mitch’s in Plainview and Clayton, New Mexico. 3320 S. Georgia St., 806.350.6550; 8507 I-40 East, 806.220.0978; 1500 FM 2381, 806.354.0422, $$

Mr. Gatti’s Pizza
A longstanding pizza presence in Amarillo, Mr. Gatti’s was popular with kids a generation ago, and now those kids have grown up and bring the next generation to the unlimited pizza buffet, pasta, salad bar, and huge gameroom. 4412 S. Western St., 806.355.5601, $

My Thai
One of the original Thai food restaurants in a city famous for them. My Thai has been family-owned since 1986 and is absolutely a local favorite. In fact, My Thai is probably the standard for comparing the quality of the rest of the city’s Thai restaurants. Lunch specials daily. 2029 Coulter St., 355.9541,

Napoli’s Italian Restaurant
This downtown favorite offers live music, a full bar and a spacious private patio with views of one of the 2021 Hoodoo murals. Expect to become addicted to the house-baked bread knots, and to find something you love on the traditional Italian menu. The calzones are huge and worth sharing. 700 S. Taylor St., 806.220.2588 $$

Nomad Napoletana 
Nomad Napoletana has turned up the temperature on an iconic stretch of Polk Street. Diners can expect east coast-style pizza in an upscale dining area and bar. Beyond pizza, feast on a complimentary dish of stecca, a Sicilian version of the baguette drizzled in olive oil and served with tender, spreadable garlic confit. Don’t miss the scratch-made meatballs, braised all day in California tomatoes and tomato sauce, then served with a dollop of ricotta. 601 S. Polk St., 806.376.4700, $-$$

North Heights Discount & Cafe
If you’ve ever thought twice about dining inside a convenience store, this will change your mind. This place serves some of the best soul food in the city. It’s known for huge portions—the nachos probably weigh three pounds—as well as its ribs, pork chops, fried catfish and breakfast items. 1621 NW 18th Ave., 806.418.6751 $

OHMS Cafe & Bar
The Fuller family has operated this eatery for more than 30 years, and it consistently offers Amarillo’s best fine dining. We love the bar area and outdoor patio, as well as its buffet-style lunch and weekly specials from Chef Josh Fuller. Pro tip: The Bar Burger is the best burger in town. 619 S. Tyler St., 806.373.3233, $$-$$$

Oishii Japanese Sushi & Sake 
Oishii elevates the local sushi experience with creative flavor combinations and presentation. The menu is huge. The seafood is fresh. The dishes are designed to induce gasps as they arrive at the table. All the sauces are made from scratch in-house. If sushi’s not your thing, the traditional Asian staples are just as worthwhile. 2721 Virginia Circle, 806.877.2464 $$-$$$

Pacific Rim
This longtime establishment on Paramount is one of our favorites, thanks to its excellent Asian-Fusion cuisine and huge portions. We love the build-your-own stir fry options and speedy delivery. Pay attention to the menu’s spiciness levels, though. Level 5 (“Hurting”) is no joke. 2061 Paramount Blvd., 806.353.9179, $

Pancho Villa Restaurant
Amarillo’s other restaurant with “Villa” in the name, this small place in River Road has exactly as much legacy and character as the faux-wood paneling suggests. Locals rave about the chips and salsa, along with the authentic barbacoa, enchiladas, menudo and low prices. 4601 River Road, 806.381.0105 $

Pan-Handlers Cafe
The best restaurants never seem to shout their presence, and this applies to this tasteful lunch spot hidden in the basement of Amarillo National Bank Plaza One. It’s locally owned and has a fantastic salad bar, plus sandwiches and daily specials. It’s always, always good. 410 S. Taylor St., 806.352.2590, $

Pescaraz Italian Restaurant 
This locally owned Italian place is very involved in the community, has a full bar, and serves up the most irresistible free bread twists in the city. You’ll eat so many, you won’t be able to finish your pasta, pizza or calzone. In the evenings at Pescaraz, you’ll almost always hear live music. 3415-K Bell St., 806.350.5430, $$

Pho 84
In a city with few traditional Vietnamese options, Pho 84 is a local favorite. We love the pho, of course, but you also won’t go wrong with the spring rolls, dumplings, curry and other Asian fusion dishes. Plus: Vietnamese coffee. 5713 SW 34th Ave., 806.437.1626 $

Pizza Planet
We don’t know exactly what’s in the ranch dressing at Pizza Planet, but we are hopelessly addicted to it. The pizza at this Amarillo original may be legendary, but locals swear on the chef salad, which is piled high with fresh grated cheese, shredded Canadian bacon and black olives. 2400 Paramount Blvd., 806.353.6666/6801 Bell St., Suite 100, 806.352.6666, E. Hastings Ave., 806.381.2333, $$

Pizzeria Nomad
A relative newcomer with a food truck origin story, Pizzeria Nomad catches your eye with its colorful exterior mural, then brings you inside for inventive toppings and a lot of local acclaim. That brick-oven crust, y’all. The young, husband-and-wife-led team is also known for convenient call-in and online ordering. 2648 SW 34th Ave., 806.477.2660, $$

The Plaza Restaurant & Bar
If you remember its original strip-mall location with the indoor, lighted fountain, then you’re already a loyal customer of this longtime Tex-Mex favorite. The menu is still affordable, with excellent fajitas, enchiladas and sopapillas—with a full bar. 2101 S. Soncy Road., 806.358.4897, $

Pondaseta Brewing Co.
Already popular for its craft beer, a new mobile trailer enables the brewery to serve a food truck-style menu. The focus is pub-style food like burgers, sandwiches and mac-and-cheese bites. Kids meals are available. The adults will want the charcuterie adventure board, with hummus, cheese, meat and crackers. 7500 SW 45th Ave., 806.418.6282, $$

Pork n Things BBQ
Owner Denny Antel has expanded his successful food truck business into the old Outlaws Supper Club building east of town. Summer visitors to Pork n Things BBQ will enjoy a beer garden, outdoor activities like cornhole, a fantastic open-air patio and a lot of televisions. Patrons rave about Antel’s brisket, Kansas City-style ribs, burnt ends and green chile hominy. Everything on the menu is tender and flavorful thanks to the massive smoker out back. 10816 SE Third Ave., 806.699.7675, $$

The Potato Factory 
Think potatoes aren’t exciting? Then you’ve never had one of the gigantic spuds at this local institution, where you can load your tater with one of more than 20 unique toppings. The prices are affordable and the hot dogs are good, too. (Surprise: There are hot dogs!) Decadent and delectable. 4631 S. Western St., 806.463.7783 $

Public House
Known for one of the best brunches in town, this southwest side hangout boasts inventive cuisine and an upscale, service-oriented atmosphere. The Happy Hour menu is extraordinary, as are the whiskey and wine lists. Give one of the daily bar and food specials a try. 3333 S. Coulter St., 806.398.7777, $$

Rain Premier Sushi Bar & Lounge 
The sushi is good and the all-day Wednesday Happy Hour specials are even better. Popular with the downtown crowd, this spot is open for lunch and dinner, with a full bar and contemporary Asian cuisine. During Happy Hour, sushi rolls and appetizers are incredibly affordable. 817 S. Polk St., 806.331.1155, $$

Red River Steakhouse 
It’s not hard to find a decent steak in the Panhandle, so when a local steakhouse earns a reputation for its hand-cut steaks, you pay attention. The Amarillo version of the owner’s original Red River Steakhouse in McLean, this old-fashioned establishment may be one of the area’s best-kept secrets. 4332 SW 45th Ave., 806.316.5082, $$

Rise ‘N’ Shine Donuts
The doughnut wars are a thing in Amarillo, and we’re ready to proclaim at least one victor: Rise ‘N’ Shine has the best doughnut  holes in the city. Really! Beyond the usual glazed, cake or filled doughnuts, you can grab fresh pastries, kolaches and croissant breakfast sandwiches. 3605 SW 45th Ave, 806.398.9622; 5901 S. Coulter St., 806.437.1511 $

Rocket Brews
Seemingly made for Instagram, this Boulevard location quietly built a loyal clientele. Then it got featured in Season 14 of the Texas Bucket List. Head there for to-go micheladas and daiquiris with Jalisco-style snack trays and bowls. Locally owned by Palo Duro grads. 1506 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.350.7830, $

Roosters Cafe
This coffee, breakfast and lunch stop near 34th and Bell is quietly one of the best dessert places in the city. (That apple pie: Whoa.) But the quiche, sandwiches, soups, and salads are also worth an order. Be advised: The dining room fills up quickly for lunch, but we love the cute outdoor area. 3440 S. Bell St., Unit 110, 806.353.7309, $

Rosa’s Café & Tortilla Factory
Owned by the same company that owns Taco Villa, locals can be forgiven for loving this regional Tex-Mex chain. The portions are big and the prices affordable. Patrons love the convenient drive-thru, the queso, the free salsa bar (inside dining only) and the homemade tortillas. It gets really busy on Taco Tuesday. 4312 SW 45th Ave., 806.351.1194/3820 I-40 West, 806.352.8227/6007 S. Soncy Road, 806.803.9145, $

The Ruffled Cup 
It all started with cupcakes, but now this beloved bakery also serves a daily lunch menu of straight-up comfort food, including soups, salads, and hot and cold sandwiches on fresh-baked bread. Grab a to-go order, and don’t forget to order some of those cupcakes for dessert. 3440 S. Bell St., Suite 100, 806.318.3961, $$

Saigon Restaurant
Lots of Thai food in Amarillo, but few authentic Vietnamese restaurants. For that category, Saigon is the best. It’s family-owned, with amazing pho and crispy bird nest noodles. We love the great service, vegan-friendly menu, and of course the Vietnamese coffee. Closed on Wednesdays. 2909 I-40 West, 806.373.3456 $

Sam’s Southern Eatery
This Louisiana-based chain has been around for more than a decade, but the Amarillo location is still pretty new. The portions are big and the prices are low for shrimp or crawfish po’boys, catfish, crab, seafood platters, shrimp and more. Our city may not be known for seafood, but Sam’s is.  4317 Teckla Ave., 806.437.1349, $$

Savór Tapas Bar
Amarillo has needed a true tapas bar, and finally it’s here. A product of Chef Rory Schepisi, Savor offers a swanky, modern vibe in the Greenways, with a full bar and a delicious selection of small-bite plates. Order a bunch of everything for the table, and don’t forget the dessert. 7669 Hillside Road, Suite, 600, 806.310.2600, $$

Scott’s Oyster Bar
There are dives and then there are places like Scott’s Oyster Bar, a legit, shackety-shack hidden in a mostly residential area off Paramount. This tiny place has been here forever, though the interior and menu have changed slightly since Scott sold it a few years ago. Fresh oysters, tasty shrimp creole and classic Amarillo hospitality. 4150 Paramount Blvd., 806.354.9110 $$

Scratch Made Bakery & Cafe
Here’s all you need to know: The owner won an episode of “Cupcake Wars” and then moved to Amarillo. She and a business partner teamed up, and Scratch Made is the downtown result. It’s as good as you expect. 118 SW Sixth Ave., 806.731.4477, $

Shark Beach Burgers
The FM 1151 location south of town isn’t particularly convenient for Amarillo residents. But this shack is worth the bite. The big cheeseburgers are amazing, as is the busted-egg sandwich. (For a side, get the cheese curds.) Then grab a cherry-lime or Mexican Coke and enjoy it on the nice, sunny patio. 1505 E. FM 1151, 806.335.5644, $

Sharky’s Burrito Company
When a national build-your-own-burrito place opened up in Amarillo, locals were largely unimpressed. Because Sharky’s is far better, and it’s been here way longer. Besides, the owners are very community oriented. Sharky’s catering is one of our favorites for large groups. 1612 S. Georgia St., 806.359.7330, $

Shelby’s Diner
Never had a reason to go out to Tradewinds Airport? Now you do. This fun, home-cooking menu comes with runway views of private-plane takeoffs and landings. Locals love the breakfast options—served from 6:30 a.m. until 11—as well as the burgers on the lunch menu. Open for dinner on Thursdays and Fridays. 4105 Tradewind St, 806.699.1008, $

Shi Lee’s Barbecue & Soul Food Cafe
We love this place. One of the owners calls his chicken-fried chicken the “comeback kid,” because if you order it, you’re guaranteed to come back. He’s right. But everything on the menu is good, especially for takeout given the small dining area. (The portions are always big, though.) 1213 SW Third Ave., 806.220.0032 $

Sinaloa Hot Dogs and Mexican Food
If you’ve never had a Mexican hot dog, then stop reading and head over to the Boulevard right now. This is a small place but the flavor is huge. We also love the fire-grilled chicken, tacos, tortas, carne asada, quesadillas, burritos, and mulitas. But that hot dog! (You’ll need napkins.) 2618 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.367.8935 $

Six Car Pub & Brewery
One of the best things to hit downtown since the Sod Poodles, this Polk Street restaurant is known for its craft beers, amazing outdoor patio and rooftop, and its trendy vibe. The Nashville chicken sandwich is one of the best in the city. Like IPAs? Make Good Choices. 625 S. Polk St., 806.576.3396, $$

Somali African Safari Restaurant
Amarillo has a strong Somali community and this restaurant is their gift to us. Expect East African meals like goat with basmati rice, or a surprise daily special. The flavors are big and bold. This place is a true dive—there’s no formal menu so just ask for what you’d like, or what they recommend. 5945 Amarillo Blvd. East, 806.471.0490 $$

Spicy Mike’s Bar-B-Q Haven
The spice is nice at this very popular barbecue joint in west Amarillo, known for chopped brisket sandwiches, tender pork ribs and more. We also love the daily specials—like Saturday’s smoked turkey sandwich—and homemade cobbler for dessert. 6723 S. Western St., 806.358.8550, $

Sunday’s Kitchen
Everyone loves Chef Ron, but they especially love his West Texas twist on Gulf Coast and Cajun cuisine. This downtown dive is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday. It’s closed on Saturdays, but don’t miss the Sunday brunch. Try the Pit Master Mac & Cheese. 112 SW Sixth Ave., 806.418.6477 $$

Taqueria El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant 
Most locals assume the most authentic Mexican food is on the city’s east side, but this joint serves authentic Jalisco-style Mexican food near 34th and Coulter. The menu is huge, but we love the breakfast, massive parrillada meals and seafood. (There’s also a Dumas location.) 3410 S. Coulter St., 806.331.6248; 5630 Amarillo Blvd. West, 806.803.3220, $

Teddy Jack’s Armadillo Grill
With a vast, no-frills menu, this regional restaurant concept was created by former NFL safety and Texas Tech standout Curtis Jordan, who turned to the food biz after retiring in the 1980s. The outdoor area is great and so is the brick-oven pizza. A fun place to watch the big game. 5080 S. Coulter St., 806.322.0113, $$

Toom’s Restaurant
Experts know that a lot of “Thai” food actually has origins in Laos, and that fusion is on display at Toom’s, one of our favorite spots on the northeast side. The family owners are super friendly, the space is incredibly clean, and the authentic flavors pop. Get the sticky rice and beef jerky. 3416 NE 24th Ave., 806.381.2568 $

Toscana Italian Steakhouse
Housed in The Barfield Hotel, Toscana Italian Steakhouse offers authentic Texas steakhouse fare with savory Italian flair. Heavy on premium Panhandle beef and locally grown vegetables, Toscana’s menu also includes scratch-made pastas and sauces made in house. Don’t miss the melt-in-your-mouth zeppoles. Think of them as tiny Italian doughnuts, available with a variety of toppings. 600 S. Polk St., 806.414.2200, $$-$$$

Tyler’s Barbeque
Amarillo has no shortage of authentic Texas barbecue, but Tyler’s always seems to be residents’ first choice. Maybe it’s because he’s got a reputation all over the Lone Star State. Or maybe it’s secretly because of the Frito pie and green chile stew. Plan ahead: Most menu items sell out. 3301 Olsen Blvd., 806.331.2271, $$

Wesley’s BBQ
River Road restaurants aren’t always on the radar of every local resident, but Wesley’s has been around forever and deserves its legendary reputation. Loyal customers return again and again for the genuine Texas-style barbecue, especially the baby-back ribs, brisket and—yep—the beans. 6406 River Road, 806.381.2893, $

The Western Horseman Club
In the 1980s, the Western Horseman Club was one of the hottest country-and-western bars in the city. Now, prominent local chef Rory Schepisi has taken on the task of breathing new life into the storied club. Schepisi has transformed the once-dingy, sprawling space with a swanky, modern-saloon vibe. The menu is western-focused, with options like Angus Beef burgers and sandwiches, Prime Certified Angus Beef steaks, chicken-fried steak, catfish and more. 2501 I-40 East, 806.877-1600, $$-$$$

YCSF Craft
It started as a “food truck without wheels” and now this street food experiment is one of the city’s favorite restaurants, and one of the only vegan/vegetarian places in town. Definitely try the animal fries and diablo shrimp tacos. The burgers, craft beer and wine list are all wonderful. 2916 Wolflin Ave., 806.353.9273, $

Youngblood’s Cafe
An Amarillo classic, where you can grab a hearty breakfast starting every day at 6 a.m. or wait a few hours to try its illustrious chicken-fried steaks. Our favorite thing at Youngblood’s? It’s gotta be the free banana pudding for dessert (while supplies last). 620 SW 16th Ave., 806.342.9411, $$

X– Steakhouse
The name is a play on cattle brands—say “X-Bar”—and this Town Square steakhouse definitely knows beef. It’s locally owned, has a full bar, and the prices are extremely reasonable for such a swanky atmosphere. We hear great things about the weekend brunch, too. 9181 Town Square Blvd., Suite 1311, 806.322.4227, $$-$$$

Where to Eat in Canyon

Don’t miss the opportunity to drive 15 minutes south of Amarillo for dining in Canyon, Texas, home to West Texas A&M University, a charming downtown square, and the gateway to Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Buenos Dias
There’s a lot to love about a place that specializes in breakfast, and definitely a lot to love about a locally owned, small-town diner. Buenos Dias was born in 2018 as a home-cooking gem that specializes in breakfast. The cafe opens at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 7:30 on weekends serving up breakfast and brunch every Wednesday through Sunday. 1202 23rd St., 806.452.7277, $

This small, locally owned spot advertises itself as an “old-school diner with a new school touch.” That’s a great description. The college crowd and Canyon families love the homestyle comfort food, including burgers, sandwiches, and daily specials. Try the breakfast burritos. 2201 Fourth Ave. (Canyon), 806.655.2833, $

Honey Buzz Winery
The honey is made onsite from Creek House’s hard-working bees, and those fresh, sweet flavors find their way into homemade items from cheese boards to salads, sandwiches and baked goods. Check social media for daily specials, and definitely try the impeccably brewed mead. 5005 Fourth Ave. (Canyon), 806.381.3446, $

Hudspeth House Coffee House
Georgia O’Keeffe once lived in this historic boarding house, and the newly opened coffee house has become a beloved weekday spot for light breakfast items, quiche, baked goods, sandwiches and soup, and even afternoon tea. The scones are almost as amazing as the history here. 1905 Fourth Ave. (Canyon), 806.655.9800, $

Mickey’s Place
Family-owned, this restaurant offers Italian specialties and craft cocktails right off the Square in downtown Canyon. The two outdoor patio areas are perfect for warm evenings. The pizza is great and the rest of the homestyle menu offers fresh pasta specialties along with steak and salmon. The complimentary bread and sauce nearly steal the show. 1512 Fifth Ave. (Canyon), 806.452.7320, $$

Ranch House Cafe
Every bit what you’d expect from a small-town, home-cooking restaurant. This is comfort food at its best, with all-day breakfast, chicken-fry and steaks, Tex-Mex specialties and desserts made from scratch. You didn’t hear it from us, but whole pies are available to order. 810 23rd St. (Canyon), 806.655.8785, $

Rockin’ Zebra Soda Shoppe

The motto here is “life is short, eat dessert first” and we can’t disagree with that. Everything at Rockin’ Zebra is pure nostalgia, from the ’50s-era barstools and soda fountain to the abundant signage on the walls. (Not to mention Canyon’s Square right outside the diner.) An ideal setting for a classic cheeseburger and milkshake. Or splurge on a Monte Cristo and an ice cream soda. 404 15th St, Canyon, 806.655.3381 $

Sayakomarn’s Restaurant
This traditional Thai and Laotian place is extremely popular with locals, who mostly have given up trying to pronounce the name and instead call it “Soccer Moms.” (It’s … close.) We love the pretty dining area and separate to-go pickup entrance. We also love the Boba tea. 421 16th St. (Canyon), 806.655.2698, $$