1. Perini Ranch Steakhouse (Buffalo Gap)
Most people have never even heard of Buffalo Gap, considering its population is less than 500. That's a crying shame because Perini Ranch Steakhouse has not only been serving mouthwatering cuts of meat for nearly 40 years, but it's also located on a working ranch complete with longhorns and overnight accommodations! Come get a taste of how we do things here in Texas at 3002 FM 89, Buffalo Gap, TX 79508.
2. Fort Griffin General Merchandise Restaurant (Albany and Abilene)
One look at this replica Old West town way out in the boonies will leave images of cowboys and outlaws dancing in your head. This unassuming restaurant knows how to prepare meat the right way, just like it was done in the days of Bonnie & Clyde and duels at high-noon. You'll find Fort Griffin at 517 US-180, Albany, TX 76430, or at their second location, 442 Cedar St., Abilene, TX 79601.
3. Ranchman's Ponder Steakhouse (Ponder)
Ranchman's is one of the most legendary cafes in Texas and for good reason. The atmosphere, friendly staff, and delicious Southern food make it a prime example of everything our state is all about. The restaurant is located at 110 W Bailey St., Ponder, TX 76259.
4. Grey Moss Inn (Helotes)
Reminiscent of a secret garden, this romantic hideaway has been offering fine dining amidst lush, scenic surroundings for nearly a century. The steaks are simply prepared over mesquite coals and served with perfectly paired sides (don't skip the olive breadsticks), the wine list is extensive, and desserts are decadent. Come experience the magic firsthand at 19010 Scenic Loop Rd., Helotes, TX 78023.
5. Wildcatter Steakhouse (Graham)
Located on the vast and beautiful Wildcatter Ranch, this rustic eatery is the perfect North Texas getaway. Hand-cut and mesquite-grilled steaks are the main event, with a wide selection of sides rounding out the menu. You can even spend the night on the gorgeous property! You'll find the restaurant at 6062 TX-16, Graham, TX 76450.
6. Five D Cattle Company Steakhouse (Avinger)
One of the smallest towns we've come across, Avinger is home to just over 400 residents. Not many tourists wander into 5D Cattle Company, and the locals are more than okay with it — after all, that just means more scrumptious food for them! Operating out of a long-standing building, this hidden gem uses only the finest, herb & spice-rubbed, slow-cooked beef. The steakhouse is located at 8 N Main St., Avinger, TX 75630.
7. Cattleman's Steakhouse (Fabens)
Situated on the remote Indian Cliffs Ranch near El Paso, Cattleman's offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience that other restaurants simply can't stack up to. Not only are the steaks ginormous and cooked to perfection, but the meal comes with a complementary view of the vast West Texas desert. Time your visit around sunset for an absolutely unforgettable moment. Come immerse yourself in this unparalleled setting at 3450 S Fabens Carlsbad Rd., Fabens, TX 79838.
8. Hermann Sons Steak House (Hondo)
For three generations, Hermann Sons has been perfecting the art of cooking a good steak. According to public opinion, they've done a pretty bang-up job, claiming the #2 spot out of all the restaurants in Hondo. With a salad bar, large drink selection, and outdoor patio, you really can't go wrong. You'll find the steakhouse at 577 US Hwy. 90 E, Hondo, TX 78861.
9. Humphrey Pete's (Early)
While the decor at Humphrey Pete's is admittedly a tad cliche, it definitely leaves no question as to what state you're dining in. The steak is consistently good, and sides like fried pickles and okra add an undeniable down-home flair. The restaurant is located at 102 Early Blvd., Early, TX 76802.
10. Diggs Restaurant & Club (San Saba)
This little-known gem of a restaurant serves up mouthwatering mesquite-grilled steak in every cut your heart could possibly desire. Just look at that beautiful center... we're salivating already. Come take a bite for yourself at 1035 US-190, San Saba, TX 76877.
11. Leona General Store (Leona)
Leaving off this Texas icon would be wrong on so many levels. People travel from all over the state to try the legendary steak at this rural general store, and we have to concur that it's some of the best around. You'll find the restaurant at North Leona Blvd., 136 TX-75, Leona, TX 75850.
How many of these have you tried? What’s your favorite small-town steakhouse in Texas? Let us know if we missed any awesome joints!
Here are ten more epic rural restaurants in the Lone Star State.