What does “Texas” mean to you? For some, Texas is cowboy culture and historic sites (Remember The Alamo?). For others, it’s the bigger-is-better mantra that includes everything from the state’s national parks to NASA’s Johnson Space Center to its larger-than-life attractions. Some, meanwhile, associate Texas with football and college sports. And, of course, there’s the “black gold” for which Texas is celebrated. What everyone can agree on, though, is that Texas’ cuisine is an inextricable part of its identity. Barbecue and chili, tacos and Tex-Mex — bold flavors and hearty fare are what makes Texas, Texas. Tex-Mex, in particular, is an authentically Texas creation that perfectly marries Mexico and the Lone Star State in one big, bold, spicy dish. And in Austin, Matt’s El Rancho is one of the oldest Tex-Mex restaurants in Texas, proudly serving hungry diners since 1952.

Interested to learn about other unique American small businesses? Our 2022 Small Business Spotlight series highlights the often-overlooked work of small business owners across the country, from Massachusetts to Southern California.

Many thanks to General Manager Paul Counter for sharing the story of this long-standing Tex-Mex restaurant. Learn more about Matt’s El Rancho at its website, Facebook, and Instagram pages.

Of course, Matt’s El Rancho is just one of the many amazing family-owned businesses in Texas; please nominate your favorite attractions and businesses for a chance to be featured in an upcoming Only In Texas article. And be sure to follow Only In Texas on Facebook and Instagram to learn about this region of the Lone Star State’s most incredible places, attractions, and events.

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.

Explore Texas