It’s no secret that people are obsessed with Texas. The attention isn’t always flattering, but the state leaves such a strong impression that a number of bars and restaurants outside of our borders have made Texas their theme. From a bar created by Texpats in Seoul to a South African attempt at some Texas hospitality, these spots all have their take on what “Texas” means. On this list, you’ll see interpretations of barbecue, tacos, cowboys, Tex-Mex, and even some honky tonk.
This list is by no means comprehensive—there’s no way there are only nine places in the world attempting to capture a Texas vibe. This also doesn’t mean that we’ve personally vetted the places on this list—that’s not in our travel budget. But if you ever find yourself in some far-flung corner of the world and stumble upon a place attempting to replicate Texas, let us know how close they come to getting it right.
Texas Honky Tonk and Cantina
The Texas Honky Tonk and Cantina considers itself a sort of Texas “embassy” for Estonia. The family-owned and -operated restaurant has been around serving up Tex-Mex since 1998. Their menu boasts everything from chicken fried steak to stuffed enchiladas to what they’re calling a “Texas Size Burger,” which we’re guessing is, you know, really big.
Texas Bar n’ Grill
Texas Bar n’ Grill is on a mission “to bring real Texas style food to Brisbane.” To accomplish this, their food is locally sourced and freshly prepared on site at their two locations in East Brisbane and Camp Hill.
Big Texas Niagara
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
This smokehouse serves as both a restaurant serving up hickory-smoked barbecue and a venue for live acts. Big Texas Niagara claims to be waging a “war against the middleman markups” that plague music venues, so covers are only $5 after 10pm on Friday. Bonus: they have Karaoke Thursdays.
This small bar in Meguro, Tokyo calls itself the “World’s Smallest Texas Honky Tonk.” We’re not actually sure what that means, but any place serving up Texas steak alongside spam nigiri is bound to be interesting. Little Texas also has country music (sometimes with a live band) and a small dance floor for visitors who want to two-step.
HomeState: A Texas Kitchen
Los Angeles, USA
When it comes to representing Texas outside the state’s borders, some people take the barbecue approach, while others go the Tex-Mex route. In LA, the restaurant is offering up a variety of taco options, including the breakfast taco, a staple that Texas has popularized (and fought over).
Texas Rock Bar
Potchefstroom, South Africa
Texas Rock Bar was opened in 2005 and definitely attempts to give South Africans their idea of a good time in Texas, helped by wait staff dressed as cowboys and cowgirls. They put effort into the “rock” part of their name too, with menu items named after bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.
Hill Country Barbecue Market
New York and Washington, DC, USA
Hill Country Barbecue Market is attempting to rep Texas for the East Coast with three locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Washington, DC. The Texas roots run deep in Marc Glosserman, the founder and CEO: his grandfather was once the mayor of Lockhart, a town known in Central Texas for its BBQ.
Bubba’s Texas-Style Barbeque & Saloon
Holding down the Texas BBQ front in China is Ken Walker, the founder of Bubba’s. Not only does the restaurant aim to offer an “authentic American-style barbecue joint in China,” they’re also bringing some Texas culture to Shanghai by hosting events such as annual chili and barbecue cook-offs.
Seoul, South Korea
Founded by two former UT Austin students, Southside Parlor has some promising cocktails, along with a “Come and Take It” flag behind the bar, but their tacos catch my eye. One of their recent stylings are the “Yuca Talkin’ To Me” tacos featuring Yucatan grilled chicken, salsa, and cilantro.