Last August, I took a trip to visit my friend in Fort Worth, Texas. While I was there, we also visited the infamous city of Waco and the not so infamous town of Godley. (Don’t be fooled, small towns are where it’s at. Literally.) If you’re making the trip out to this part of Texas, I’ve compiled a few of the things we experienced that were my favorite!
#1 Homemade Tortillas
Quite honestly, I’m not sure it really matters where you get them as long as they’re homemade, which is basically every tortilla in Texas. Tortillas in Texas are like lobsters in Maine…they’re everywhere and you really can’t go wrong. I will say that I visited Joe T. Garcia’s, which is referred to as the “Best Mexican food in Fort Worth, TX”. Seriously. Google it. They only have two things on the dinner menu, fajitas and enchiladas, which can only mean one thing: They know what they’re doing and they’re doing it right. The atmosphere of the restaurant in and of itself is worth the visit. Plus, it’s right next to the Fort Worth Stockyards.
#2 The Fort Worth Stock Yards
There’s not really much to actually do here, but the experience of watching the cattle drive basically qualifies you as a purebred Texan for the 40 seconds the long horns are running by. (Make sure you time it right – it only happens twice a day, once at 11:30 AM and once at 4:30 PM.) The whole experience is fun and unique. Plus, you get to see the first indoor rodeo building (pictured below!).
Did you really go to Texas if you didn’t eat at Whattaburger? Probably not. To be honest, I wasn’t floored by this the same way my friends were floored when they realized I had never eaten a burger on Texas Toast. (Dear Texans, this is not a thing outside of Texas…) So, I had my first burger on Texas Toast and tried Whattaburger ketchup. If you know you’re going to be doing fast food, this is a good choice and it’s part of an authentic Texas experience.
#3 Downtown Fort Worth
Downtown Fort Worth has really cool murals scattered around that make great photo ops. There was this amazing bread place and cute coffee shops, but if I could give you one recommendation while you’re there, go to Bentley’s. Best. Hot dog. Ever. Make sure you get the fries. There’s two types: Parmesan and Buffalo Blue Cheese. Get one and have a friend get the other, then split them. You have to try both.
#4 Magnolia Market at the Silos
First of all, if you’re going to visit this place, you have to read Chip and JoJo’s book. I wasn’t obsessed with Fixer Upper like the rest of America but I wanted to know the Gaines’ story before visiting. You will appreciate the entire experience 1,000 times more if you know it. To see their dream manifested in real life is the coolest thing, especially because you can’t help but love them. It’s a quaint little location on the corner of a block in downtown Waco. When you walk inside, you basically feel like you’re in an over-sized Pier 1 Imports. There are food trucks out back (I had a fancy grilled cheese sandwich and lemon flower sparkling water from Cheddar Box with fries from Milo. Don’t leave without getting those fries…). With fake grass, swings, and sheltered picnic tables, it creates a bit of relaxing space to hangout and eat or let the kids run around. When you first walk up, you can’t miss the bakery, Silos Baking Co. I had a ShipLap cupcake, which is basically just a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting (usually I’m much more adventurous than that). Friend, this was hands down the best cupcake I have ever had. If you buy anything while you’re in Texas, buy a cupcake from this place. I don’t know why, maybe JoJo sprinkles magic into the batter the same way she tosses it on run down houses, but I am not exaggerating.
Let’s just say this experience was so extraordinary I don’t actually have pictures of it. Just down the street from the Silos is this place called Spice Village and I need you to believe me when I say it is some of the most fabulous shopping I have ever experienced. And ya’ll, I shop like it’s an Olympic sport. In lieu of a picture of me shopping my heart out at Spice, enjoy this here picture of me with an authentic cactus in our next destination, Godley, Texas.
#6 Del Norte Tacos
In the same way I have no picture of me shopping at Spice Village, I have no words for this hidden gem. Driving out to Godley (about a half an hour outside of Fort Worth) was probably my favorite part about the whole trip. First of all, there is nothing like the wide open space of Texas countryside. It is absolutely stunning and I loved every single second of driving through it. Secondly, to get to this restaurant you have to drive down Main Street, which legitimately looks like a frontier town. Passing the saloon style buildings it’s almost like you’re on set in an old western film. Thirdly, BEANS. Instead of chips while you’re waiting on your food, you get beans. The best beans you will ever eat in your life. And lastly, tacos. Tacos, tacos, tacos. I love tacos and I especially love tacos from Del Norte. These were probably the best tacos I’ve ever had.
Thank you again, Shelby, for such an amazing trip. You were an incredible host and I was so blessed!