It is a well-known fact that every Texan likes to start their meal off the right way with bottomless chips and salsa, but the only culinary delight that could trump something as magnificent as that is by adding a bowl of queso to this classic mix. This liquid gold, or sometimes liquid white gold, cheese-based appetizer isn’t the official food of Texas, but it sure should be.
Every Texans can list off at least five of their favorite places to dunk their chips into this ooey-gooey cheese dip and each Texan has at least one tried-and-true recipe tucked away in their arsenal. Step away from the Velveeta, there’s a whole queso world out there with green chiles, poblano peppers, and ground beef. Queso fundido for life.
Y’all, we have comprised a list of the best queso in the Lone Star State to stuff your belly full of cheesy goodness—enjoy!
1. Austin: The Kerbey Queso at Kerbey Lane Café
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My personal favorite queso in the great state of Texas is Kerbey Lane Café’s white cheese-based masterpiece. Available in vegan or full-blown dairy, this queso is laced with guacamole and pico de gallo.
With seven locations around the Austin-area, most of which are open twenty-four hours a day, whenever you find yourself in this Capital City, be sure to pair your queso with their bottomless coffee or an effervescent mimosa.
2. San Antonio: The Queso Flameado at Rosario’s Mexican Café Y Cantina
With two locations serving up some of the best queso flameado you can stuff your face with outside of Mexico, Rosario’s Mexican Café Y Cantina prides itself on its queso asedero cheese, layered with succulent grilled onion, peppers, and your choice of chorizo or hongos guisados, all served with homemade tortillas.
I always opt for the chorizo because of its smoky-spicy kick. When it comes to Texas queso, can it every be too spicy?
3. Houston: The Chile con Queso at El Tiempo Cantina
A Houston establishment for over 55 years, El Tiempo Cantina has perfected the art of queso with their chile con queso — rich cheese melted with cilantro, onions, and tomatoes create a flavor trifecta of Tex-Mex perfection when combined with delicious tortilla chips.
Pair this party with a strawberry margarita for the full decadent experience. This is one queso that will win a blind taste test every time.
4. El Paso: The Chile con Queso at L and J Café
A locally-loved favorite, L and J Café has been serving delicious Mexican-inspired dishes since 1927 and their spicy beef chile con queso is about as authentic as you can get on this side of the border.
Spicy, creamy, and studded with chiles, this queso oozes rich cheese flavors with a spicy Mexican flare. Can anything go wrong when you have queso fresco?
5. Dallas: The Chile con Queso at Mia’s Tex-Mex Restaurant
“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” with a mantra as true as theirs, Mia’s Tex-Mex Restaurant prides itself on serving some truly authentic Tex-Mex platos and their chile con queso can’t be beat especially when paired with a Big Red-rita.
You read right — that’s a margarita infused with every Texan’s favorite, Big Red.
6. Laredo: The Queso Borracho at El Capataz
Loosely translating to “drunk cheese,” the queso at El Capataz is composed of lightly toasted cheese, a tequila infused chimichurri sauce, and served with warm, toasty baguette slices.
This explosion of zesty Mexican flavors goes best with one of their specialty cocktails. I suggest the Romerito, a tequila-based drink infused with a pear-rosemary nectar then finished with lime.
7. Fort Worth: The Caliente Queso at Enchiladas Olé
Melty white cheddar cheese gets a spicy kick from fresh jalapeños and flavorful sautéed onions, to create this caliente queso with a peppery punch.
With two locations around the Fort Worth-area catering to all of your Tex-Mex cravings, Enchiladas Olé’s queso is the best way to start any meal.
8. San Marcos: The Chile con Queso at Grin’s Restaurant
Okay y’all, I fell in love with Grin’s Restaurant while I was attending Texas State University and believe me when I say it is the must-stop place to hit between classes to get your cheese and margarita fix. You can order their chile con queso on its own or order the triple dipper to taste a little bit of their queso, salsa, and guacamole.
One thing is for certain, you must wash your meal down with a couple of their sangria margaritas—trust me on this one.
9. Beaumont: The Queso at Carmelas Mexican Restaurant
Upgrade your delicious, complimentary chips and salsa with Carmelas Mexican Restaurant’s specialty queso.
Their recipe stays true to the classic queso every Texan grew up on and will certainly satisfy anyone’s needs for melty, cheesy goodness. Add a giant house margarita and kick back into a food siesta.
10. College Station: The G-Q at Mad Taco
Mad Taco’s signature G-Q is half rich guacamole and half creamy white cheese queso topped with fiery chile oil. With their made-from-scratch menu, there is no way you could order anything that isn’t pure deliciousness.
My best advice, pair your G-Q with one of their mad ‘ritas, specifically the pineapple basil for a fruity and sweet finish to your meal.
Did your favorite queso in Texas make the list? Show us where you get your queso fix on Instagram with the hashtag, #WideOpenEats! Happy eating, y’all!