Armadillo Eggs, Migas, and More Iconic Texas Foods You Have to Try

Texas Foods

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Texas Foods
Cheapism / Liudmyla Chuhunova/bhofack2/pvcrossi/istockphoto

Everything Is Bigger in Texas

While we've heard that everything is bigger in the Lone Star State, Texans will proudly tell you that everything tastes better, too. According to a recent WalletHub study, Texas is the second most culturally diverse state in the country (second only to California, another great destination for food). This melting pot of cultures brings together some of the most mouthwatering dishes and food traditions around — your Tex-Mex, your BBQ, and a whole lot more.

When you're in Texas, here are some foods you absolutely have to try.

Liudmyla Chuhunova / iStock

1. Kolaches

What may seem like a glorified, oversized pig in a blanket is, in fact, one of the most iconic foods in Central Texas, introduced by Czech settlers in the 1800s. This pillowy pastry, which is filled with a variety of ingredients but typically smoked sausage, jalapeños, and cheese, is what every true-blooded Texan will offer you for breakfast when there's no taco in sight.

Related: The True Origins of 18 Classic 'American' Foods

Frito Pie

2. Frito Pie

Few things are as Texan as Frito pie — crunchy Fritos topped with hot chili, melted cheese, zesty onions, and jalapeños. It started back in 1962 when a recipe popped up on millions of chip bags: "Heat chili, pour over Fritos, add cheese and onions." Since then, everyone from high school football game vendors to Texas school cafeterias has stuck to this tasty tradition. Whether at a football game, a state fair, or a cozy night in, do as the Texans do and eat Frito pie directly from the Frito bag. Just make sure you have enough napkins because, well, grease!

Related: 17 Delicious Tex-Mex Recipes Your Family Will Love

Armadillo Eggs
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3. Armadillo Eggs

 Don’t worry, no actual armadillos are involved! These are jalapeños stuffed with cheese, wrapped in sausage, and fried to crispy perfection. They pack a spicy punch and are the perfect appetizer or snack for any gathering. If you love a bit of heat, armadillo eggs are a must-try.

Chicken-fried Steak
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4. Chicken-Fried Steak

The best proof that everything is bigger in Texas is the chicken fried steak — double the size you usually get in other states, smothered in creamy gravy, and usually served with mashed potatoes and beans. Found in diners and greasy spoon cafes all over the state, chicken fried steak is Texan comfort food at its finest. This dish is so Texan that October 26th is legally declared as "Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day."

Related: Chicken Fried Steak and Other Incredibly Indulgent Breakfast Recipes

Texas Caviar
Elena Rui / iStock

5. Texas Caviar

Don’t let the fancy name fool you, Texas Caviar, also known as Cowboy Caviar, is as down-home as it gets. This dish which is Texan answer to salsa is a mix of black-eyed peas, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and a zesty vinaigrette. Serve it at your next BBQ or potluck, and watch it disappear faster than you can say “Yeehaw!”

Pecan Pie

6. Pecan Pie

If you're as American as apple pie, you're as Texan as pecan pie — this country has an odd obsession with measuring national or local pride with pies.  Texas is one of the biggest producers of pecans in the country and the state's pecans are known for their potent flavor and perfect crunch. One bite, and you'll see why this pie is a Texas staple.

Cooking Chili Con Carne in Dutch Oven over Logfire
Beef Brisket on the BBQ
Breakfast Taco
bhofack2 / iStock

9. Breakfast Taco

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but in Texas, it’s most important for it to be wrapped in a warm tortilla. They typically include scrambled eggs, a choice of meat such as sausage, bacon, or chorizo, and crispy potatoes or hash browns. Fresh vegetables like diced onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapeños add a tasty crunch.

Gustavo Muñoz Soriano / iStock

10. Migas

Migas are the ultimate Tex-Mex breakfast that’ll kickstart your day. Scrambled eggs mixed with crispy tortilla strips, tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and plenty of melted cheese.

King Ranch Casserole

11. King Ranch Casserole

A Texan classic that’s pure comfort food is basically a Tex-Mex lasagna, with layers of shredded chicken, tortillas, cheese, and a creamy, spicy sauce made from tomatoes, green chiles, and onions. It's hearty, cheesy, and packed with flavor. Named after the famous King Ranch in South Texas, this casserole is perfect for family gatherings or potlucks.

Related: King Ranch, Sweet Potato, and More Tasty Southern Casseroles

Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits
Grilled Spicy Hot Spare Pork Ribs Barbecue

13. Barbecue

In Texas, barbecue is a religion. If you find a town without a BBQ joint, you're probably not in Texas anymore. Influenced by German and Czech immigrants who settled in Central Texas in the 19th century, Texans have elevated the technique of smoking meat to an art form synonymous with the state. Central Texas is famous for its salt-and-pepper brisket smoked with oak, while East Texas loves its sweet, saucy ribs. Head west, and you'll find cowboy-style barbecue grilled over mesquite for a bold taste. In South Texas, Mexican influences blend with smoky barbacoa for a unique flavor.

Related: 8 Regional BBQ Styles That Will Make Texans Faint