Fine Dining in Texas Hill Country

By: Allen Shaw

No trip through the Texas Hill Country would be complete without experiencing the region's numerous fine dining locales. As an avid traveler through the state of Texas, I make it a point to stop at a different local restaurant every time I travel through the area.


But first, what are the actual boundaries of the famous Lone Star state region known as the Texas Hill Country? Simple: The limestone hills north of San Antonio to Austin's western suburbs; the eastern portion of the Edwards Plateau to the Balcones Fault to the East and the Llano Uplift to the west and north. The Texas Hill Country is also the small portion of Central Texas known as the center of the Texas wine industry.


Because of the area's strong influences in the German, Swiss, Austrian, Alsatian and Czech cultures, the restaurant industry has become the region's top draws. One my personal favorites is a little Italian restaurant called Capparelli's in northern San Antonio, very near some of the most beautiful underground caverns in the United States. Last time I was there, the wait for a table was nearly 20 minutes. Not exactly my favorite part of the meal, but speaks volumes about the popularity of the place.

"The house salad at Capparelli's is one of a kind. A visit would not be complete without trying it!" - Rachel Wimberly, a born and bred native of the Texas Hill Country

Another well-known aspect of the Texas Hill Country region is the numerous Tex-Mex eating establishments sprinkled across the area. One of the best is La Zona Rosa in Austin. La Zona Rosa is a popular place for groups to gather and the last time I traveled through, there were at least two rehearsal dinners taking place.


There are plenty other restaurants to experience in the area - restaurants for even the most discriminating palate. Here are but a few:

•The Cotton Gin is Fredericksburg is a definite "not miss" for the fine dining connoisseur who relishes the absolute best service. Specializing in Hill Country cuisine, The Cotton Gin emphasizes top-notch service by limiting the number of tables per server.

•Chantilly Lace Country Inn in Johnson City is proof positive that the east coast is not the only place that knows how to provide a fantastic bed and breakfast.

•Also in Johnson City, what trip through the Texas Hill country would be complete without stopping at Ronnie's Barbeque? After all, the world's best barbeque is one of the hallmarks of Texas fine dining.

So the next time you are traveling through from Dallas to Austin or making westward sojourn from Houston to San Antonio, treat yourself to something a little more memorable than the nearest fast food joint. Texas is part of the south and the south equates to the world famous "Southern Hospitality." Southern hospitality has always translated into "really good food." The dining that can be found throughout the Texas Hill Country is a prime example.

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