So if you know me you know I'm not a big fan of Fort Worth even though I'm a native and have lived here for nearly my whole life... except for the two years I lived in the Bay area of California (shout out to Mountain View, Fremont and Pleasanton... (if you haven't been to Palo Alto and roamed around their quaint downtown and toured the beautiful Stanford University campus it's a must do trip) right after getting married. I loved the weather in California and probably would have liked it even more if we had lived somewhere like Laguna beach, haha. I love that area and would move there in a nano second if the budget allowed. A girl can dream though.
But since I am where I am right now... (until I move in a few years... anyone like where they live? Arizona readers? Input would be welcomed in the comments) in the midst of "Cowtown" or "The Fort" as many call it I wanted to share with you some of the places I DO love! If you are thinking of moving did you know that Fort Worth is one of the top places to move to in the United States? That blows my mind, ya'll. I cannot believe it... anyways, let's get to a whirlwind tour of what I call The Best of Fort Worth (Billy Bob's is included, especially if Gary Allan is singing, yee-haw).
So if you're looking for pretty in Fort Worth this is it. Parts of the Trinity River ARE pretty... although I realize someone reading this living in Hawaii or Florida just spit coffee at the screen or laughed so hard they fell off their chair... yeah, I know... but we gotta work with what we have, folks, This is pretty here. The Trinity River trails are great place to take a walk or jog.... just be safe and go with a friend.
So this is one of my happy places in Fort Worth... I love it. Hoffbrau has the best burgers in my opinion and I LOVE their chicken fried steak (competing with Charleston's in my opinion). I cannot say enough good things about their margaritas or brau chips... good God those chips are divinely addictive. I could eat an entire basket. Take me here and I will love you. Extra points for perfect weather and patio seating.
Next are my two second favorite choices for burgers. One is Kincaid's which I always order the lil packet of fried okra and ranch dip to go with my burger... yum and then Fred's. I really really love Fred's... honestly I almost could choose their burger as number one... the only drawback is it is insanely messy... at least it is for me... maybe I'm just a slob because I'm always the girl with mustard on her shirt and just saying "Mmhmmmm" through most of the meal cause I'm enjoying my food moment.... but who knows. I made the mistake of ordering one on a date once... haha... that was epic-like funny. Maybe next time I should just order it and eat it alone in my car, messy mustard and all, haha.
As a little girl growing up in Fort Worth we went to Angelo's and I loved it. I still do... it's like a Fort Worth tradition and always delicious. I loved the stuffed bear in the lobby; it's a great photo op for your kids. Our second spot was Cousins which I love as well. I don't know that there's any barbecue to hate... it's all good. Most people I know love ribs but I'm happy with a chopped sandwich... with lots of sauce and onion... just gotta make sure I take my acid reflux meds first, haha.
Riscky's Barbecue... has two locations I believe... I had it once downtown years back when I was in my twenties and was too full of Billy Miner's top shelf margarita to really remember it... I was on a date with my ex (eye roll) but a couple years ago I went to the one in the Stockyards with my sister and her kids and my mom and loved it and the vibe. I really don't know how I happened to not go there during all the years of visiting the Fort Worth Stockyard (a must do; and eat at Cattleman's - I get the fried catfish, most folks get the steak). (Also if you love fried cod go to Zeke's on Camp Bowie, get the hush puppies, they are to die for). But if you come visit or move here I would advise checking out all the spots and I hope you find a favorite.
I love a nice patio... I'm such a sucker for a fun and festive atmosphere... and any lights strung.
Uncle Julio's fajitas.... I could seriously eat here once a week... for real.
When I go with friends they always let me have their sour cream which is sweet.
Pictured are tacos from Mexican Inn and enchiladas from Rio Mambo
A Fort Worth post is not complete without Mexican Restaurants. I have many opinions on this, haha. I love Chuy's more for the bright fun atmosphere than anything. Caution; their margaritas are strong if you're a lightweight. The Original is where I grew up going to eat with my family along with Pulido's... I don't go to either of those places anymore but they are considered "old Fort Worth favorites" among the natives. I really love Uncle Julio's.... ( I get the beef tacos or chicken fajitas) they have my FAVORITE chips and salsa tied with RIO MAMBO (I order the sour cream sauce chicken enchildas with beans and rice) ... I think I eat my weight and then some in chips and salsa at both restaurants. I like the fajitas at Julio's and their patio is perfect in great weather... I don't like to eat there if it's not patio weather because inside it can get really loud and den-like making it hard to hear what the person you're with is saying... unless you want to say "Huh?" every five seconds during your meal. Mexican Inn is good for tacos, beans and rice and a margarita... I wish the location on Camp Bowie (pictured) was still painted turquoise... I loved the bright fun vibe... they recently repainted it creamy white.
There are so many more great Mexican Restaurants in Fort Worth, the list is long ya'll and the time is short... or the stomach can only handle so much at a time. A few more favorites... El Rancho Grande (I get the enchilada plate dinner, yum) is good located on the North Side and perfect for a night out right before going to Billy Bobs for dancing and a concert. Joe T Garcia's has a phenomenal patio with a pool and flowers.... perfect for a large party or date night. Just be sure to take cash, that's all they accept. Los Vaqueros has a relaxed vibe (on the North Side) and has so many great options... this was where my kids grew up going when they were really little. The nacho plate is good and tacos.
If you're married to someone who cannot get through a meal without screaming at a game on tv and you want to go out BoomerJacks is your go to place because the food is really good... I order the grilled chicken sandwich with cheese and a side of fries.
If you're wanting a good place for a date night Gloria's Latin Cuisine is the place to go. I love the patio and the string lights outside... it's beautiful. Pretty atmosphere and good food. Take a stroll afterward and then walk down to Target for a couple pints of ice cream to eat in the car with the sunroof open and make wishes on stars... or something romantic like that. If you're having a girls night out Blue Mesa (not pictured) is the place to go...great margaritas and a FREE quesadilla bar... yes, I said FREE... I have done it many times and it's a great time.
Central Market is a must go to place... I know, you're thinking a grocery store, really, Jen?! But this isn't just any grocery store. They have an awesome to go bar with any kind of food you can imagine. I've had the salmon, the baked potatoes, the quesadillas, barbecue sandwich and the PIZZA! The pizza is divine... take a low key date night, or a laid back night out with your mom (yes, your mama!) or a pack of your daughter's friends and go there... sit on the balcony or patio in the evening and watch the band play... it's an awesome night.
Next up are some spots I love that don't involve food... shocking, I know! Museums... art has always been a love of mine since I was little and a side hobby of painting as well. But a favorite thing to do is to visit the art museums and the thing I love about the Cultural District in Fort Worth is there are such a variety of types of art to choose from. There's truly something for everyone. The Kimbell Art Museum I grew up going to and is always a favorite for more traditional art. The Amon Carter (not pictured due to their current renovation I couldn't get a photo) is geared toward western art and The Modern toward modern art... obviously.
More favorites are the Fort Worth Zoo (that has a train, carousel, restaurants and petting zoo) and The Fort Worth Botanic Garden, (as of now it's free but in July 2019 they will begin charging admittance. Such a favorite spot and holds so many great memories for me. A wonderful place to take family photos, bridal pictures, have a picnic and relax.
So I know this doesn't anywhere NEAR cover all the best of Fort Worth... this covers a lot of the "old school" parts of it... but in that there will be more posts. I'm thinking of doing a bakery post for sweets and even a post on ClearFork too... it's more trendy and I've checked out a few spots that I like but for the most part I like the places that evoke Fort Worth tradition. I hope you enjoyed this post... I had fun creating it. If you're a Fort Worth restaurant owner and you'd like me to do a post/review I'd welcome it. If you have an idea for what you call best of Fort Worth please share it in the comments, I'd love to hear about it. Till next time, ya'll take care and eat up... I'm hungry now!