Some would argue that chicken fried steak is chicken fried steak no matter where you get it. Those people are obviously not from Texas. Us Texans know that there is a very fine art to making this dish: getting the breading just right so that it’s not too crisp, making sure the coating to chicken ratio is even so as not to allow one element to overpower the other, and concocting a perfectly rich, creamy gravy that offsets the crunchiness of the crust, making every mouthful a song from heaven above. So without further ado, here are 10 restaurants that serve the best chicken fried steak in Texas!
10. Jake and Dorothy's Cafe (Stephenville)
I've never heard of the gravy being underneath the steak...interesting. But the coating looks scrumptious!
9. Lulu's Bakery and Cafe (San Antonio)
You better come here with an appetite! Everyone knows Lulu's for their (in)famous Texas-sized cinnamon roll, but their CFS is of similar caliber. And if you can manage to stuff anything else down your gullet, I've heard their sides are pretty good, too.
8. DeWese's Tip Top Cafe (San Antonio)
Countless readers recommended this chicken fried steak for various reasons: the size, the crunch that gives way to tender, juicy steak on the inside, and the delicious gravy (not pictured).
7. Ranchman's Cafe (Ponder)
Mmm, look at all that gravy. There'll be enough left over to mix with everything else on the plate and send your taste buds to heaven.
6. Barbecue Inn (Houston)
Surprisingly, some of the best CFS in the state can be found in our biggest city. It's definitely a hidden gem with its old-fashioned, small town atmosphere. The chicken fried steak is the star of the menu - it's simply delicious. And that leaf of kale makes the whole meal healthy, right?
5. Mama's Cafe (San Antonio)
Who knew this Hispanic city was such a hotspot for southern fried goodness? You'll find all the standard country fare at this cute cafe: biscuits and sausage gravy, fried okra, mashed potatoes, etc...but once you sink your teeth into their chicken fried steak, you'll never order anything else. The cut of meat is so plump and full-bodied, and it's breaded just right to not lose that tenderness in an ocean of crust. Come get you some, y'all.
4. Blue Bonnet Cafe (Marble Falls)
Blue Bonnet Cafe is southern to its core, and the down home cookin' sure reflects that. Red beans and rice with sausage, fried okra, and the most moist yet crispy chicken fried steak you ever did eat. (P.S.: I know this article is strictly about CFS, but save room for pie. You're welcome.)
3. Babe's Chicken Dinner House (Carrollton)
A restaurant that just serves fried chicken?! (And sides, but we all know what's really important here.) Sign me up!
2. Mary's Cafe (Strawn)
Mary's is the perfect little southern cafe with charming waitresses and good ol' greasy, fried eats. This CFS gives even Lulu's a run for its money! (The gravy is served in a bowl by itself on the side, to give you an idea of just how big this steak is.) Hey, everything's bigger in Texas, right? And bigger doesn't necessarily mean better...unless you're talking about food.
1. Gristmill River Restaurant (Gruene)
Surprised? I was too when I got an overwhelming amount of reader comments claiming this chicken fried steak is the very best in Texas. But they were definitely telling the truth - the gravy is the richest and creamiest it could possibly be without making the breading soggy. The textures and tastes work so well together to produce a heavenly meal that one wouldn't typically associate with the hill country. And an added bonus: you get a breathtaking view of the surrounding river while you chow down.
Have you tried the chicken fried steak at any of these restaurants? If so, what’s your take on it? What other restaurants in Texas serve up a mean CFS? Let us know in the comments!