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McAllen, TX Local Flavor/Food Overview

McAllen's dining scene offers diverse menus and atmospheres

By Marc Acton on August 11, 2014

Salt New American Table in McAllen, TX
McAllen / Rigo Rodriguez with Fusion Media

McAllen’s food scene is as hot as its South Texas locale, with a rich blend of international and local cuisines that the most metropolitan Texas cities would envy. 

Tex Mex & Mexican

Over the last 20 years, McAllen’s own Suarez brothers have built Koko’s into a McAllen landmark. Its uptown location draws diners from all over the McAllen area. Other favorites for Mexican food include Poncho’s Mexican Nuevo and Cabrito Nuevo Leon.

McAllen Airport Receives Significant Expansion


To heat things up, especially your taste buds, try the popular lunch buffet at Taste of India, or pick your favorite dish at Thai Red Chili’s, an authentic Thai restaurant that’s been in business since 2005. If Japanese is your thing, Shinko Sushi Bar and Catering offers a variety of sushi and entrees, including octopus and creamy chicken sake.

Fine Dining

Fromage Bistro brings a little France to the Rio Grande Valley. Its menu is ambitious, its food is exquisite, and its presentation is among the most refined in McAllen. And don’t miss Alberico Fine Wine, a wine retail store and restaurant pairing a perfect meal with a perfect bottle at an affordable price. 


Locals rave about the wood-fire pizzas at Rio Pizza RGV. This pizza joint specializes in “Valley”-style pizza, which uses a Neapolitan brick oven, local mesquite and oak wood, and local and Italian ingredients. 

Republic of the Rio Grande in McAllen

Traditional American

Try some good ol’ American fare at Corner Bakery Café, where they don’t just bake bread – they fill it with all sorts of delicious things, or check out the Pub Steakhouse. Other American favorites include Saltgrass Steakhouse, which serves Certified Angus Beef topped with garlic butter and special Saltgrass-7 Steak Spice. Salt New American Table puts a spin on traditional favorites, and customers can watch the chefs prepare their meal.

Dinner With Entertainment

For more music with your meal, check out the view and sounds at The Patio on Guerra, or mix Old-World and New School at Infusions, which hosts live acts nightly. Another nighttime hot spot is Santa Fe Steakhouse and Cantina, where you’ll find themed music events and music by pianist Paquito Suarez.

Coffee and Sweets

When it’s time for a break or a sweet treat, Coffee Zone’s two locations, Birdie Cakes and Bakery, and Shipley’s Donuts are sure to satisfy the craving.

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