January 27, 2022
Something for Everyone: A Taste of Amarillo’s Vibrant Food Scene
Food is what connects us as a community. It brings us together to share a meal, a few stories, and some laughs. Amarillo is fortunate to have a vibrant and flourishing local food scene built around the multitude of flavors of our diverse community.
People from across the Panhandle make the trip to Amarillo for the amazing eateries and food. We’re best known for beef, BBQ, and Tex-Mex – for good reason, we do those things incredibly well – and if that’s what you want, you’ll find no shortage of top-notch options.
But the Amarillo food scene is much more than the expected Texas fare. It’s full of unique offerings and unexpected surprises, drawing on the region’s traditional dishes and the cultures of our refugee community.
Here’s just a sampling of some of the great restaurants you’ll encounter in Amarillo. They include a variety of styles that serve people from all walks of life, from artists and entrepreneurs to nine-to-fivers and daily grinders.
OHMS Cafe & Bar – Located in the heart of downtown, this upscale American eatery boasts exceptional food and an intimate atmosphere. The menu features elevated comfort foods such as buttermilk fried chicken and smoked double bone pork chops with white truffle macaroni, as well as creative fare like surf and turf tortellini, oven-roasted duck breast, and seared organic elk tenderloin with local mushroom risotto.
And don’t pass up dessert – the owner got her start making to-die-for cinnamon buns. Those skills have been passed on to her daughter, who now crafts her own tempting treats.
The Drunken Oyster – Inspired by the early days of New Orleans’ French Quarter, The Drunken Oyster specializes in fresh fish and oysters that are flown in daily and Cajun-inspired dishes such as jambalaya, po’boys, gator, crawfish, and an authentic Cajun boil. Featuring Dixieland music, gas lanterns, heavy drapes, aged brick, and a library ladder, the atmosphere will transport you to Bourbon Street.
While you’re there, be sure to check out Amarillo’s first absinthe bar, which features drip service for the full absinthe experience and over 300 varieties of liquor.
Coffee and Tea
Texas might be known for oil, but Amarillo may very well run on caffeine. We’re home to a thriving coffee and tea scene that fuels the growing population of entrepreneurs and students while offering the ability to co-work, network, and socialize. Here are just some of the shops around town:
- Palace Coffee
- Roasters Coffee & Tea Company
- Cliffside Coffee
- The 806 Coffee + Lounge
- 5 Senses Coffee House
- The Grindstone Coffee and Co-working
Bakeries, Breakfast, and Brunch
Scratch Made Bakery – If you’re looking for something sweet, they bake homemade sweet treats daily, from divine macarons, cookies, and cakes to cupcakes that took home the trophy on “Cupcake Wars.” Scratch Made Bakery also serves brunch on the weekend (and with bottomless mimosas to boot).
Girasol – Don’t be fooled by the humble locale (it’s attached to a gas station), because Girasol serves up beautiful and delicious scratch-made breakfasts and lunches. This artisan bakery with “a lil’ Latin sol” offers up everything from huevos rancheros and Bali breakfast tacos to sweet potato and quinoa tacos and the Girasol burger, a half-pound patty with bacon jam and cream cheese garlic aioli.
Butterlove Biscuits – If you love biscuits, welcome to heaven. They serve buttery, flaky, made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits in over 20 flavors. Indulge in everything from traditional biscuits and gravy and biscuit pot pie to creative sandwiches such as the Well Bless Your Heart (chicken fried steak with bacon covered in pepper gravy) and the Hot Mess (fried chicken, ham, pulled pork, sharp cheddar cheese, tater tots, fried egg, and sausage gravy). If sweet is your thing, there are also mouth-watering biscuit desserts.
The Donut Stop – We love our donuts in Amarillo, and The Donut Stop is a local treasure. Established in 1974, there are now seven locations (six in Amarillo and one in Canyon), each putting out delicious donuts daily.
Thai Arawan – A family-owned restaurant serving authentic Thai and Chinese dishes, Thai Arawan’s owner and head chef, Lan, has been recognized for his unique interpretations of traditional Thai classics. He and his wife Chalisa have made it their mission to ensure everyone in Amarillo can get a taste of Thailand right here at home.
Sushi House – Sushi in Amarillo? Absolutely. Specializing in sushi, they offer everything from the expected (California rolls and sashimi) to the unexpected (spider rolls and honeymoon shooters) and everything in between.
It’s a Punjabi Affair – If you’re in the mood for Indian food, you can’t go wrong with this highly ranked and regarded restaurant. In addition to delicious food, they emphasize customer service and make it a point to make everyone feel like a part of the family.
Wine, Cocktails, and Beer
Paramount Recreation Club – Located in the Barfield Hotel, this revived speakeasy pours classically inspired cocktails and vintage spirits in an atmosphere that harks back to the roaring 20s and the days of prohibition.
Pondaseta Brewing Co. – The founders started off together in a Texas country band. A shared love of beer and a decade of homebrewing led them to start Pondaseta Brewing Co. This brewery and taproom have a little of something for everyone – from easy-drinking lagers and hoppy IPAs to indulgent stouts and barrel-aged beers. If beer isn’t your thing, they even have hard seltzers.
Cask & Cork – Striking a balance between casual comfort and elevated dining, Cask & Cork offers the type of menu that could easily place it in the upscale dining category. Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, they have a creative menu that boasts everything from charcuterie and portobello fries to artisan flatbreads and braised short ribs.
The food, however, may be overshadowed by a rooftop patio and expansive drink menu that are perfect for day drinking, a happy hour, or a nightcap. The westerly view offers picturesque sunsets, while the bar serves up an impressive selection of approachable wines, craft beer, and creative cocktails.
Something for Everyone
The Amarillo food scene has a little bit of everything, offering something for everyone while providing endless opportunities to explore different spots and cuisines.
The eateries highlighted here are just a snapshot and one that doesn’t do justice to the full Amarillo food scene. No matter your tastes, whether it’s smokehouses, dives, and diners or gastropubs, ethnic cuisine, and fine dining, we’ve got you covered.