Places to Eat

Calling all Foodies: How to Eat Your Way Through Boerne in 2 Days

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Photos by Marcy Stellfox

The town of Boerne, nestled on I-10, often gets overlooked in a rush to get to larger Hill Country destinations. But Boerne is worth a visit in its own right, especially for foodies. A recent infusion of growth has led to the development of a vibrant foodie scene worthy of a big city. Read on to see where to get the best eats in Boerne, both old and new.

Day 1

Breakfast: Dienger Trading Company

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Raymond and Lisa Lunsford transformed the Dienger Building, formerly the Boerne public library, into a friendly bistro that buzzes with casual business meetings, moms and toddlers, and coffee klatsches. A walk-up coffee bar invites you to order anything from the simplest to the most creative in coffee drinks. In a hurry? Grab a delicious baked treat to complement your cup ‘o joe.

Lisa comes in each day to oversee the bakery and her years of experience and passion resonate in each of the tasty goodies she creates. We loved the orange cranberry scone and the chocolate croissant – light and flaky with just the right amount of semi-sweet dark chocolate secreted away inside. Have more time? Get a table and stay for a traditional Hill Country breakfast of eggs, fried potatoes, locally sourced bacon or sausage, and toast. The bistro serves lunch and dinner, too. Diegner Trading Company (menu), 210 North Main Street, Boerne, (830) 331-2225; Breakfast and Lunch: Monday – Saturday 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Brunch: Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Dinner: Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Lunch: Bumdoodlers Lunch Company

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It’s usually only the locals who have the bead on the best hole in the wall to find a good bite. Here’s a little Boerne foodie secret.  Opened in 1982 when Gerri Fielder and her husband Ken served up their first sandwich, Bumdoodlers still pleases the palates of Boerne’s residents more than 30 years later.

Now under the ownership of Gerri and Ken’s youngest daughter, Jana Bezet and her husband Danny, the busy, no fuss lunch place hasn’t changed much from its humble beginnings. The Boerne townscape lines the walls in colorful folk art murals adding more local flavor to a place that still serves up its made-from-scratch soups, sandwiches, and dressings. Homemade sandwich rolls round and puffy with a straight-from-mamma’s-kitchen taste embrace sandwich fixings. Try the Bumdoodler’s Brainstorm, a traditional sub sandwich of salami, ham, turkey, cheddar and swiss on the largest of the Bum’s homemade buns dressed with lettuce, tomato, onions, mayonnaise, and mustard. And don’t miss the velvety broccoli cheese soup.

Save room for dessert, too. Gerri’s Pies shares the same space with Bumdoodlers. A glance into the display case stocked with decadent cheesecakes and pies topped with mile-high meringue have you ordering dessert first. Take one home or order one for a special occasion. Gerri’s Pies does wedding cakes and cakes for any other special occasion, too. Bumdoodlers Lunch Company (menu) 929 Main Street, Boerne, (830) 249-8836; Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., closed Sunday

Happy Hour: Cibolo Creek Brewing Company

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Hit Cibolo Creek Brewing Company for happy hour. Situated in a refurbished house, this bar and restaurant breathe out a friendly, neighborhood vibe. Of course, you need to try a beer, but Cibolo Creek has got some mighty good eats as well.

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First, pick a pint of your favorite poison. We tried the Whiskey Barrel Aged Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Stout which we dare even the biggest beer haters to dislike. Take a gander at the food menu for an appetizer to share. Try the market board with an ever-changing selection of artisanal cheeses and meats, and a side of beer mustard and housemade jam. Or choose the street taco made with juicy, slow roasted pork belly and red onions wrapped in a thick, warm corn tortilla. The restaurant encourages a no hurry attitude, and with great beer and nibbles, you’ll want to stay a while. Full lunch and dinner menu available, too. Cibolo Creek Brewery (menu), 448 South Main Street, Boerne, (830) 816-5275; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday – 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m., closed Tuesday.

Dinner: The Dodging Duck Brewhaus

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For dinner, it’s another brewpub – this time the Dodging Duck. The Duck introduced craft beer to Boerne back in 2002. The rotating beer menu of 20 different styles of brew beckons beer connoisseurs to come often for something new to taste.

From the food menu, try the Thai chicken lettuce wraps served with crisp lettuce leaves, diced chicken, shredded carrots, almond slivers, and crunchy Asian noodles. Then plop a big dollop of peanut sauce on top.

Sample some of the good old pub grub, too. The fish ‘n chips – a large lightly breaded fried Alaskan pollock fillet – served as the perfect party companion to the thick-cut golden fries. Tartar sauce completes the dish, whether you use it for the fish or the fries. And last, what’s a good beer without a juicy burger along for the ride? We loved the buffalo cheddar burger and sweet potato fries. The Dodging Duck Brewhaus (menu), 402 River Road, Boerne, (830) 248-3825; Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. 

Day 2

Breakfast: Bear Moon Bakery

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Day two may find you less hungry, but here’s a little trick that will bring your appetite right back. Stand under the large vent on the East Theissen street side of the Bear Moon Bakery for a few minutes. Inhale the intoxicating sweet smells of fresh-baked croissants, donuts, and scones. You’ll drift in a hypnotized daze through the front door around the corner in no time.

Try to resist pressing your nose against the display case bursting of baked goods. Kolaches, known as “piggies,” adorn the shelves as do every kind of baked goodness imaginable. Need something more hearty? Try the breakfast buffet. Regular morning fare is well-represented – bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, fruit, and mini pastries. A special scramble of eggs, mozzarella, basil, and tomato fills throws off hints of Italy. A daily specialty pancake (like the golden griddle cake infused with almond) vies for attention as well, making the buffet the perfect choice for a smorgasbord of sampling. Bear Moon Bakery (no online menu), 401 South Main Street, Boerne, (830) 816-2327; Tuesday – Saturday 6 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed Monday.

Lunch: Cypress Grille

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Next up – lunch at Cypress Grille. The rustic decor and warmly stained concrete floors of this Main Street eatery echo with the gentle burbling conversation throughout the dining room. Grapevines intertwine with twinkling lights, and a real cypress tree hugs a mural-painted wall and reaches through the ceiling bringing the outdoors in.

First, a complementary conical-shaped basket of warm, flaky focaccia and olive oil dipping sauce arrives at the table. The menu reads like a food lovers dream. An impressive list of salads includes options for adding a crab cake or fried oysters. The sandwich section features a smoked salmon and prosciutto club or a smoked barbecue pork sandwich. The daily features section offers menu items that only appear on special days.

Thursday’s special lists chicken pot pie, a dish that carries a stellar reputation. On top of a flaky puff pastry crust nestles a small portion of perfectly sauteed green beans. Dive in to find potatoes, carrots, and chicken soaking in a creamy, buttery sauce. It’s so good that grandma would order this for herself. Cypress Grille (menu), 170 South Main Street, Boerne, (830) 248-1353; Lunch: Tuesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., closed Monday

Happy Hour: Peggy’s on the Green

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For the perfect place for cocktails and appetizers outside, hit Peggy’s on the Green located at the Kendall Inn. Mark Bohanon chef and owner of Bohanon’s Steak and Seafood in San Antonio recently opened this Southern-inspired restaurant and steakhouse. It’s comfort food with an upscale twist.

The wraparound patio along Cibolo Creek makes a beautiful setting to enjoy a cocktail. On chilly evenings, a large stone fireplace radiates warmth and cheer. Try a signature cocktail like the Hill Country Mule (a play on the Moscow Mule) or Peggy’s margarita named after Chef Bohanon’s mother.

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Candied jalapenos and crostini with whipped cream cheese will appear at your table without prompt. Next, order the pimento cheese spread with bacon and jalapenos served with crackers and celery. The chicken fried quail with cornmeal johnnycakes and maple cayenne syrup epitomize Bohannon’s vision.

For a special occasion, make a reservation at Peggy’s on the Green and save yourself a trip to the big city. This is big city upscale dining at its best. Peggy’s on the Green (menu), 128 West Blanco Road, Boerne, (830) 572-5000; Dinner: Tuesday – Thursday & Sunday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., and Saturday 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., closed Monday

Dinner: Little Gretel

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For dinner try Little Gretel on River Road. Established in 2009, Little Gretel serves European cuisine but sneaks a few yummy stateside choices onto the menu as well.

Try the German potato pancakes served with homemade apple sauce and sour cream. The wild game sausage plate gives carnivores the chance to try savory links of wild boar, venison, and buffalo. The appetizer plate comes with fresh apple slices and Gouda cheese and spicy mustard. Think that the only good clam chowder comes from New England? Give Little Gretel’s version a try made with bacon, clams, potatoes, and cream ladled into a sourdough bowl.

Trade the appetizer sausage plate in for the entree and get spaetzle, rye bread, and sauerkraut as accompaniments. A variety of schnitzels honor the cuisine of Austria, and a herb roasted duck selection and sauerbraten and dumpling plate give a nod to Bohemia and the Czech Republic. Bavaria shows up with a meatloaf entree and a German version of fried chicken. Littel Gretel (menu), 518 River Road, Boerne, (830) 331-1368; Breakfast:Monday – Saturday 7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m., Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Lunch: Weekdays 11 a.m. -2:30 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dinner: Wednesday – Saturday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.