If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Santa Fe, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered a list of the top eateries and hidden locales in town. So you can experience the best food in Santa Fe without having to stress about where to go. From authentic Mexican cuisine to classic American cooking, there’s a little bit of something for everyone in our roundup of the best restaurants and cafes in Santa Fe, TX.
Rated as one of the best smokehouses in the Houston area, few places do it better than Kat’s when it comes to BBQ. This family-founded joint specializes in authentic Texas-style BBQ in a laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere. From the outside, the place doesn’t look like much. But there’s a world of flavor bursting through the kitchen doors of this modest BBQ joint. Everything is cooked to perfection, from the brisket and ribs to the chicken and sausages. And all of the plates are “big-boy sized,” so they’re not being stingy with the portions. From mac and cheese to baked beans, they have all the essential supporting characters. And you can’t leave before picking up a slice of pie or a cobbler from the bakery where everything is made from scratch. At Kat’s BBQ, you’ll get a vintage taste of the Lone Star State and everything that makes it special.
3805 FM646, Santa Fe, TX 77510
Pook’s Crawfish Hole
Jennifer and Gregg Vicknair opened Pook’s Crawfish Hole in 2012. And they’ve quickly cemented their status as the premier destination for crawfish in Santa Fe. That’s no small feat in a Gulf Coast town where crawfish is king. What’s their secret? For starters, their crawfish is sourced fresh from Louisiana daily. And that standard for quality ingredients and from-scratch cooking extends to the remainder of the menu, of course. The restaurant offers a down-to-earth atmosphere to let loose and enjoy a savory platter of boiled mudbugs drizzled with house-made garlic butter and deliciously adorned with shrimp, crab meat, sausages, potatoes, and corn cobs. They also have indoor and outdoor picnic-style seating to furnish the place with the neighborly charm of a local crawfish boil. Bring your own beer and catch a game while meeting old friends and making new ones at Pook’s.
4015 FM646, Santa Fe, TX 77510
If you’re looking for the best slice around, you’ll want to head to Lorenzo’s Pizza. The pizza here is made only with the freshest, highest-quality toppings and cheeses that the artists in this kitchen can get ahold of. And the dough is prepared fresh daily, resulting in a bubbly, crispy, full-bodied crust. The menu features equally classic and creative pizzas, from Meat Supreme to Bacon Cheeseburger. But you’re not limited to only the specialty pizzas. You can create your signature slice from their extensive selection of toppings, crusts, and cheeses. But if you’re in the mood for something other than a slice of pizza, the menu also features zesty buffalo wings along with breadsticks and melty cheese bread. Whatever you find most appetizing on the menu, you can’t visit Santa Fe without trying a slice from Allstar Pizza.
12995 Hwy 6, Santa Fe, TX 77510
Flippers Coastal Seafood
The Galveston area is fertile ground for first-rate seafood restaurants. And Flipper’s Coastal Seafood specializes in some of the best seafood in this competitive region. Some of their most popular menu items are Catfish Étouffée, Ceviche, Seafood Gumbo, Grilled Catfish, and the Fried Seafood Platter that will let you get a little taste of everything. The owner is always on-site greeting customers to guarantee that everyone is treated to a high-quality dining experience. The handmade, ornate light fixtures and decorative art imbue the restaurant with a vibrant, colorful atmosphere that enriches the layers of flavor coming out of the kitchen.
628 Farm to Market 517 Rd W, Dickinson, TX 77539
TJ Reed’s Better Burgers & Shakes
TJ Reed’s Better Burgers & Shakes specializes in American-style burgers with savvy creations inspired by the eclectic flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine. The restaurant grinds and combines a tried-and-true ratio of brisket and chuck for a vintage Texas burger. Not to mention, they support local Texas businesses by sourcing all their beef from Nolan Ryan Beef, based out of Austin. They have classic options like the Bacon Cheeseburger. But TJ’s definitive flare shines through such specialty burgers as the Mexi Burger with chile con queso, avocado slices, blistered jalepeño, beer-braised onions, and chipotle mayo. The menu also features everything from Cholula Chicken Sandwiches to Pacific Cod Sandwiches. And there’s no better way to wash down a TJ’s burger than with a creamy milkshake or a luscious custard made in-house. For a burger and malt combo that tastes as nostalgic as the Happy Days theme song, swing by TJ Reed’s Better Burgers & Shakes.
614 Farm to Market 517 Rd W, Dickinson, TX 77539
Beyond Burger boldly lays claim to the “Best Burger in Texas City.” However, such savory hubris may still be underselling how *chef’s kiss* these burgers truly are. In fact, Beyond Burger might be serving up one of the best burgers along the whole Gulf Coast. They have a straightforward formula. A burger with fries is as classic of a combo as there is within the canon of American cuisine. You know what to expect when you take a bite: a juicy beef patty nestled inside a soft but sturdy bun. With that in mind, Beyond Burger strives to surprise with every bite. And they do just that with a menu of burgers featuring a myriad of mouthwatering flavors. The Memphis Burger with pulled pork, caramelized onions, and cheddar. The South of the Border Burger with spicy chorizo, fried egg, and pepper jack cheese. The Good Morning Burger with bacon, fried egg, and American cheese. And so much more, from healthy options like Bison Burgers and Salmon Patties to upscale options like Kobe Burgers and Rib Eye Steak Sandwiches. Or you can build your own signature burger at the comprehensive Build Your Own Burger Bar.
10510 Emmett F Lowry Expy, Texas City, TX 77591
If you’re looking for the best fast-casual Mexican food in Santa Fe, TX, look no further than this local food truck and hidden gem: Taqueria Flores. The menu features traditional breakfast and lunch plates of Mexican cuisine, from rancheros and chilaquiles to flautas and enchiladas. Here are some of their most popular breakfast items: the enchiladas chihuahua, an egg scramble with potatoes and beans stuffed into scratch-made corn tortillas and smothered with chile colorado sauce and cheese; build-your-own breakfast tortas; dulce de leche french toast; and the breakfast burritos and tacos. For lunch, the Carne Guisada is the best in town. And the aromatic Caldo de Res with Pollo is perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather. The staff is extremely friendly, and they always have a smile when you walk in.
12995 E Hwy 6, Santa Fe, TX 77510
Dillon Donuts is easily the sweetest breakfast spot in Santa Fe, TX. This quaint, little donut shop offers an eclectic menu of donuts, kolaches, breakfast tacos, and croissant sandwiches. Their array of donuts and kolaches is perfect for satisfying any craving, whether it’s something sweet — like a cream cheese kolache with fruit jam or a decadent red velvet donut unique red velvet — or something savory — like a chorizo and egg kolache or a maple bacon donut. And there’s no better way to start your morning than picking up a couple of breakfast tacos or grabbing a flaky, buttery breakfast sandwich before work. Not to mention, they have some of the best fresh-brewed coffee in town, as well flavorful Thai teas. Great food aside, what truly makes Dillon Donuts stand out is outstanding customer service. The owners of this beloved local spot are extraordinarily warm and welcoming. If you’re looking for a place that makes you feel right at home, there’s no better way to kick off your day than with a donut and smile from Dillon Donuts.
10527 FM1764, Santa Fe, TX 77510
Mama Frances Soul Kitchen
Mama Frances Soul Kitchen is owner Shirley Crowder’s love letter to Soul food. She opened the restaurant in 2014. And it’s become one of the most celebrated eateries in all of Texas. The food here tastes like home-cooked nostalgia, even if it’s your first time ever experiencing the heart-warming embrace of Soul food; in that case, there’s no better way to start than this “small place with a big taste” where the only thing with more soul than the food is the gospel music filling the air. They have a rotating selection of daily menus featuring smothered pork chops, baked or fried chicken, fried catfish, smothered steak with onions, oxtails with gravy, cobblers, pies, sides, and more. If this restaurant is a love letter, then tasting what’s coming out of Mrs. Crowder’s kitchen is love at first sight.
199 Vauthier Rd Unit D, La Marque, TX 77568
I Love Lucy’s Cafe
I Love Lucy’s Cafe is Santa Fe’s most charming spot for a cute and quaint dining experience of fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine. It’s an intimate cafe with only a few passionate women operating everything from serving to cooking, but there’s a world of Mexican flare and flavor exploding out of their little kitchen. The cafe has a laid-back atmosphere. No frills, just good food. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy homemade Mexican dishes for any meal of the day. The menu offers a mouthwatering medley of tacos, gorditas, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, flautas, as well as traditional breakfast dishes. But I Love Lucy’s Cafe is really famous for having the best menudos and tamales in Santa Fe. For authentic Mexican cooking that tastes as nostalgic as your honorary Abuelo’s cocina, check out I Love Lucy’s Cafe.
17722 Hwy 6, Algoa, TX 77511
Santa Fe may only be a suburb of Houston, but it is home to some of the best restaurants on the Gulf Coast. If you are looking for an amazing dining experience, look no further than these ten spots. From seafood classics to Southern comfort food, Santa Fe has something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Visit these restaurants today and see for yourself why Santa Fe is a low-key culinary hotspot. By the way, there are also some pretty fun places to drink in Santa Fe, TX.