Lima 21

Jan 7, 2020 By Texas Monthly

Chef Efren Yanez brings the flavors of his native Peru to the Valley.

Salomé on Main

Jun 11, 2019 By Texas Monthly

Modern presentation and age-old techniques combine in this swanky new traditional Mexican restaurant.

La Cucina

Nov 27, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Pizzas, pastas, and even empanadas are on the menu at La Cucina.

El Callejón de los Milagros

Jul 25, 2017 By Texas Monthly

The bright murals on the walls depict a fiesta, but don’t think El Callejón—this is the second location—is your typical border Tex-Mex joint. The owners are from the Mexican coastal state of Veracruz, and they know that region’s lusty cuisine. We shared the Molcajete Milagroso, a sizzling hot molcajete (stone…


Jun 26, 2017 By Texas Monthly

“New American Table” describes this place to a T.

Boka 400

May 22, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Tall trees splashed with purple lights give this contemporary bistro a sophisticated feel, and the diverse menu ranges from gourmet burgers to slow-roasted suckling pig. Start with the crispy cauliflower, a quarter head roasted and offered with a Greek yogurt dressing and basil curry sauce. Then move on to grilled…


Mar 2, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Europa is a feast for the senses, with a hopping bar scene and even bowling lanes. Perched high atop stilts, the lofty place serves elevated bar fare, like arancini with pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, and a tangy marinara and the towering Big Tex Burger: two patties, brisket, applewood-smoked bacon, and pulled…

La Playa Fajita Grill

Dec 12, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Since La Playa calls their McAllen outpost a “Fajita Grill,” that’s just what we turned to on a menu packed with Tex-Mex favorites. Our ears perked up when we heard our lunch come sizzling toward us, and our eyes got their fill of seared beef over grilled peppers and onions…

Market Barbeque

Oct 4, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Market Barbeque brings mellow hickory smoke to the borderlands, a region where sharp native mesquite reigns supreme. We enjoyed that more-subtle flavor in our moist brisket and meaty pork ribs, but the star of the show was the enormous beef ribs with crusty bark. The sides were good too, especially…

Nuri Food Truck

Sep 12, 2016 By Texas Monthly

The Nuri Food Truck is much more than just another taco truck. In fact, the Nuri Taco (seared cecina steak, chori-queso, and Oaxaca cheese with grilled onions) and the Devine Swine (Asian pork belly, pickled red onions and carrots, and ponzu sauce) are so good they would have been solid…

Zucca 83

Sep 12, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Fresco-style painted ceilings bring a classic touch to this modern Italian bistro. We started with chef Marcel Fortuin’s steamed mussels, served in a bowl brimming with white wine sauce that begged to be sopped up with the crusty house-baked bread. Chilean sea bass alla Zucca was as delicious as it…

Copper Moon

Jul 27, 2016 By Texas Monthly

New Orleans po’boys originated in the twenties, when a coffee stand owner pledged his support for striking streetcar drivers by feeding them free of charge. The meals ended up being anything on hand served in a French loaf, and the rest is history. The Big Easy influence is in evidence…

Orchard Lounge

Jun 8, 2016 By Texas Monthly

While the Orchard Lounge is one of McAllen’s newest places for nightlife, the temptation of mimosas drew us in for brunch. The imaginative menu features regional fare with a fancy twist, like the fun Concha Burger, with a grilled beef-and-chorizo patty topped with Gouda cheese and bacon on a concha…

El Pastor Mexican Grill

May 25, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Originally from Reynosa, El Pastor has been known for great cabrito since the sixties. Here at their newest outpost on our side of the Rio Grande, it’s prepared al pastor, resulting in meat that’s crispy crusted, moist, and full of flavor. They also offer other traditional dishes, like tampiqueñas.

Il Forna a Legna

Apr 7, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Il Forno is McAllen’s new hot spot for serious Italian food. We were so delighted with our server’s recommendation of grilled eggplant with prosciutto that we followed his lead to the veal saltimbocca. And we were so happy with our tender sautéed medallions that we couldn’t resist his recommendation to…

The Lunch Box

Mar 23, 2016 By Texas Monthly

For those still lamenting the day the doors closed at Bistro M: behold and rejoice. Chef Marcel Fortuin has reopened, decking out his former French bistro with vintage lunch boxes. We started with grilled shrimp over mixed greens perfectly coated in a light vinaigrette (prepared à la minute). The fish…


Feb 9, 2016 By Texas Monthly

While the Valley is renowned for its delicious Mexican food, that heavy, cheesy fare can be infamously bad for you. The folks behind Fit-Fillet are valiantly countering the bad rap with dishes that are tasty and also healthy. We enjoyed our tender Akaushi skirt steak with house-made chimichurri so much…

La Costa Grill

Feb 3, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Don’t fill up on the fresh salsas, soup, and refried beans, because you won’t want to miss out on your main course at this authentic interior Mexican grill. We loved the La Costa Molcajete, although we worried our server may have lost his eyebrows from the unexpected flame that shot…

Bodega Tavern & Kitchen

Feb 3, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Exposed pipes and subway tiles set an industrial tone at Bodega, which boasts modern South Texas cuisine and the only house-cured charcuterie south of the Alamo. Take a group to share several options, from the delicate duck prosciutto to the peppery brisket pastrami. We declared the beet fries topped with…

Los Asados

Nov 19, 2015 By Texas Monthly

We love bustling Mexican food joints, but sometimes they’re so loud we can’t hear ourselves think. The new, upscale McAllen location of Los Asados, however, is so well designed we can hear the sizzle of fajitas across the room. The chips and fresh salsas, including a dynamite habanero, set our…

The Mighty House

Oct 5, 2015 By Texas Monthly

The Mighty Food Truck has moved its eclectic fare into a permanent home. We started with the Strawberry Fields, fresh greens topped with grilled chicken, candied pecans, and strawberries, then moved on to the Miami Nights, the Mighty’s take on a classic Cuban with shredded pork, ham, pickles, and cheese.

La Caravane

Sep 25, 2015 By Texas Monthly

Mobile vendors have a place to call home at McAllen’s new food park, located under the palm trees near the chamber of commerce. From La Caravane’s menu of gourmet fare on a stick, we enjoyed a skewer of grilled shrimp, chicken, beef, and vegetables served with a spicy chipotle sauce.

PJ’s Pies

Aug 24, 2015 By Texas Monthly

When a young preacher with a knack for baking was tasked with making something out of a case of ripe mangos, he came up with a pie—think sweet apple with smoky mango. It was so good that it launched him into business baking for local restaurants, an enterprise that grew…

Lone Star Bar-B-Q

May 3, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

In all of Texas, only a handful of places have sausage you can get excited about. This is one of them.