This out-of-the-way retreat turned West Texas hot spot still buzzes, thanks to new shops and old standbys.
The Thunderbird Hotel, Marfa
Photograph by Dan Klepper


Spare but chic sums up this refurbished motor court. A cowhide rug, a wood-and-metal table, and a single framed art poster is the extent of the interior decor, but you never feel deprived of accoutrements. After a day of sightseeing, take a splash in the pool or walk across the street to the office, where you’ll find a wine bar and free Wi-Fi. Before leaving, stock up on lollipops embedded with scorpions and tin votives from the gift shop. 601 W. San Antonio, 432-729-1984,


Grab a copy of the Sunday New York Times around the corner at the Get Go grocery—the only place in town to buy one—then come here to eat and read your morning away in the minimalist courtyard. A table inside is set up with help-yourself coffee, cream, and sugar, but the rest of the menu is full-service. Try the fluffy egg-white omelet or the sourdough French toast with powdered sugar and maple syrup. Either will keep you sated for a day of gallery hopping. 107 W. San Antonio, 432-729-3300

3. The Pizza Foundation

Housed in a former gas station, this pizza joint was one of the first in a wave of restaurants opened by East Coasters who now call this speck of a town home. Saarin Keck and her staff turn out made-from-scratch slices with a thin crust that is both satisfyingly chewy and crisp. Even those on a pie-free diet can take part by ordering the yummy spinach salad topped with warm bacon, blue cheese, and tangy balsamic dressing. 100 E. San Antonio, 432-729-3377,

4. Marfa Book Company

Before an abundance of galleries and restaurants transformed downtown, this bookstore was the place to gather and socialize—and it still is. Proprietor Tim Johnson stocks weighty coffee-table books, collections of poetry, and best-sellers, but a big draw is the selection of reads dedicated to Texas history and culture. A regular rotation of musicians traveling between gigs stops in to

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