History

Hill Country Restaurants Among Longest-Running in Texas

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Food has brought people together since probably the beginning of time. Share a meal with someone and you have a connection that is hard to imitate. Food is a source of tradition, and that is perhaps most evident in the Texas Hill Country, where some of the state’s longest-running restaurants continue to bring people together.

1. Kreuz Market – Lockhart, 1900

Kreuz MarketPhoto: Facebook/Kreuz Market

Kreuz Market began in 1900 as a grocery store, where owner and founder Charles Kreuz smoked meats in the back and sold it on butcher paper. Customers had no complaints about eating off the paper with their hands. By the 1920s, the business had grown, so the Kreuz family expanded the location to allow customers to sit and eat inside. Kreuz’s sons ran the restaurant until the 1940s when a long-time employee bought it. Although Kreuz Market has undergone some changes since its beginning in 1900, they have become an icon in the area, and continue to pride themselves on their quality of meat, which, by the way, is still served on butcher paper.

2. OST Restaurant – Bandera, 1921

OST RestaurantPhoto: Facebook/David T Baum

Old Spanish Trail Restaurant was named after the trade route that ran throughout the southeastern states and provided smooth passage for the trade of horses and other supplies. One look inside the OST Restaurant, and it is easy to see that they are keeping the tradition of the trail alive. From a room dedicated to John Wayne to barstools made out of saddles, to their homestyle country cooking, the OST Restaurant in Bandera is one you won’t want to miss if you are a fan of Texas culture and tradition.

3. Blue Bonnet Cafe – Marble Falls, 1929

Blue Bonnet CafePhoto: Facebook/Blue Bonnet Cafe – Marble Falls, TX

A visit to Blue Bonnet Cafe is like a visit to a relative’s house. Many of the employees have been working there for decades and have truly provided diners with a welcoming, at-home feel, as well as friendly, speedy service. Although the chicken fried steak at Blue Bonnet will make any Texan proud, they are most known for their pies. The pies are all made from scratch daily and have become so famous, that there is a “pie happy hour” in the afternoons. Perhaps the most fascinating feature of the pies is the meringue topping, which seems to be stories tall, and is a true work of culinary art.

4. Black’s Barbecue – Lockhart, 1932

Black's BBQPhoto: Facebook/Black’s BBQ

In a town known for barbecue, Black’s prides itself in being the oldest restaurant that has stayed in the same family. Since 1932, the Black family has been slow-smoking and serving old-fashioned Texas barbecue. Although the original location is in Lockhart, the family has also opened another Black’s in Austin. Unlike their nearby competitor, Black’s takes such pride in their barbecue sauce and rub recipes that you can even buy bottles of it on site and online. From the rustic decor to the red checkered tablecloths to the slow-smoked meats, Black’s is a taste of Texas tradition.

5. Cypress Creek Inn – Comfort, 1952

Cypress Creek InnPhoto: Facebook/Cypress Creek Inn Restaurant

Although there is no longer an inn at the Cypress Creek Inn and the restaurant has moved several times since it opened in the 1950s, the atmosphere and homestyle cooking has not changed much, largely due to the fact that the same person has been doing most of the cooking for over twenty years. Cypress Creek Inn was opened by Damon and Charlotte Holmes. After Damon’s passing in the late 1980s, Charlotte ran the restaurant herself until the mid-90s, when she sold it to a loyal employee, who strives to this day to maintain the family atmosphere. Be sure and visit Cypress Creek Inn not only for a great meal but for a friendly face.