Harlingen's Restaurants Serve Everyone Right
You've got to eat, so you might as well eat well – and the food scene in Harlingen is alive and well. Here are some hotspots to try if you haven't already:
Panaderias is the Spanish word for bakeries, and two of the best panaderias in Harlingen are Lara's Bakery and Nelda's Bakery. Lara's makes its fresh pastries and bread every five hours, and bills itself as having the best donuts and sweet bread in town. Neida's also has interesting taste treats, such as pumpkin empanadas, apple fritters and pan dulce. The staff even prepares spicy tacos for breakfast customers each morning.
The citrus industry is understandably successful in Harlingen because of the tropical climate, and two thriving companies are Pittman & Davis and Granny Clare's Citrus Grove. Pittman & Davis has been in business since the late 1920s, specializing in home delivery of orchard fruit, smoked meats, cheeses, pastries and candies. Much of its business is transacted via its website. Granny Clare's Citrus Grove sells fresh items such as Rio Red grapefruit, navel oranges, Marrs oranges, rare Mandarin limes and a variety of lemons.
Texas is known for its barbecue, and The Lone Star Restaurant has been serving mesquite-smoked barbecue since the mid-1980s. Its menu also includes steak, burgers, Mexican food, seafood and pasta. The restaurant is known for its 46-ounce margaritas. Other top barbecue destinations in the Harlingen area: Big John's Barbecue, Smokey Joe's BBQ and Longhorn Cattle Company BBQ & Steak (in San Benito).
Harlingen has a number of interesting restaurants to suit a variety of tastes including the Jerusalem Cafe, which serves Israeli dishes and other Mediterranean cuisine. Meanwhile, the menu at New York Deli II is filled with favorites such as big salads, soups and thickly stacked sandwiches. Main Street Grill in the downtown district cooks more than 100 of its renowned burgers each day, while the best menu item at La Playa Mexican Cafe is arguably the San Lucas snapper. At Azafran, two popular dishes are Chilean sea bass and the Rio Grande lasagna.
Harlingen Farmers Market
An overall interest in healthier foods has increased the popularity of farmers markets throughout the U.S., and Harlingen Farmers Market is no exception. Each Saturday it features dozens of different produce items for sale as well as eggs, bread, flowers, plants and fresh meat.