(…But that are worth a visit)
New Braunfels is just a few miles down the road from San Antonio but feels like a world away. Summer is a super popular time to visit, thanks to the rivers and Schlitterbahn, but fall is one of the most lovely times to check out this historic town. Once the tourists leave when summer ends, the town breathes a little sigh of relief and really shines.
While there are fun parks, natural beauty to explore, and shops to pop into, the food scene in New Braunfels has really blossomed in the past few years. As the population of the town grows (The New York Times recently reported that New Braunfels’ population grew by 56% over the past decade, adding more than 32,500 new residents to this community.), the food scene has matured and diversified a bit. Sure, most people come to New Braunfels expecting good BBQ and maybe some German food, but other cuisines have begun to fill in the gaps and have turned this town into a fun place to get a memorable meal.
Whether you’re looking for a date night destination or a family-friendly spot, here are a few New Braunfels-area restaurants that are slightly off the beaten path but well worth the trip.
Located in Canyon Lake (less than 30 minutes from the Stone Oak area), Gennaro’s Trattoria is super authentic Italian food with patio dining that will legitimately make you feel like you are vacationing on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. This family-owned restaurant is operated by authentic Neapolitans who know a thing or two about pizza, lasagna, and other fresh seafood-centric Italian dishes.
188 South is a new addition to the New Braunfels food scene and is really making a splash. This farm-to-table eatery features bold recipes crafted using directly sourced ingredients. The ambiance is gorgeous and probably better suited for date night rather than a bring-all-the-kids kind of outing. Located just a block off of the main drag in downtown New Braunfels, you’re still close enough to the downtown bars to wrap up the evening with a nightcap after a delicious meal at 188 South.
Located in the heart of the New Braunfels downtown district, Muck & Fuss is a must-stop for the most incredible, chef-inspired burgers. They have a great craft beer selection as well, and the atmosphere is so very New Braunfels and eclectic. Insider tip: plan to pop into the Sidecar bar, located next door, in the basement of the Prince Solms Inn. The Sidecar is reportedly a former speakeasy and still has that dramatic, cozy feel. Perfect for date night!
German classics and Texan favorites are what’s on the menu at this popular downtown restaurant. The large, open biergarten is great for large groups and to let kids run around a bit. Live music is a big draw to this eatery, as is the beverage menu and even some healthy options on the menu!
Tucked away in a charming little neighborhood near downtown New Braunfels, Huisache Grill manages to be both casual and intimate. The menu boasts some comfort foods with a twist and there is really something for everyone at Huisache Grill. A great date night destination, and just steps from the nightlife in downtown New Braunfels, Huisache is a favorite among locals.
(All right, so I’m realizing that this post is heavy on the Italian fare, but come on… who doesn’t love Italian?)
Noli’s Vite is another fabulous, authentic Italian spot in New Braunfels that’s well worth a mention. This family-run restaurant is tucked away among doctor’s offices and a hospital, so it’s easy to drive right by unnoticed, but once you find it, you won’t want to go anywhere else. The owner of Noli’s Vite (Kosovo native, Noli), studied Italian cuisine extensively before coming to America. Now, he relishes creating traditional Italian fare and going above and beyond to care for his customers. The service is top-notch and the food is some of the best in New Braunfels.
Come for the beer, but stay for the pizza at Guadalupe Brewing Company! My kids recently went to Guadalupe Brewing Company with some friends and came home raving about the pizza—and that’s saying a lot. With an extensive and ambitious beer menu, as well as plentiful outdoor seating and live music, Guadalupe Brewing Company is the perfect spot for a family night out or date night with friends.
When most people go to Gruene, they head directly for The Gristmill when it’s lunch or dinner time. And don’t get me wrong, The Gristmill is a must-do at least once for anyone visiting Gruene. But Mozie’s is a lesser-known eatery located right across the street from The Gristmill and features a delicious menu. Mozie’s is located in the H.D. Gruene Mercantile building, catty-corner from Gruene Hall, and is a sports bar with a full menu. In fact, word on the street is that most musicians who play at Gruene Hall eat at Mozie’s prior to the show—so the food is celebrity-approved!
If a traditional New Braunfels experience is what you’re after, Freiheit Country Store is your place. Featuring burgers that are out of this world, fries that will knock your socks off, and live music, Freiheit is an institution in New Braunfels. It’s the perfect spot to grab dinner and see some live music for an off-the-beaten-path date night or a family-friendly daytime excursion.
Tin Top Burgers and Beer is located in an old house, right down the street from Schlitterbahn. The burgers at Tin Top are flavorful and done right. Some have a gourmet flare and some are more traditional—appealing to the picky eaters in your life. With a staggeringly interesting craft beer menu and an ice cream shop right next door, Tin Top is a family-friendly destination right in the heart of downtown New Braunfels.