1. Renfro Foods
In the midst of the Great Depression, George and Arthurine (the famous Mrs.) Renfro co-founded the George Renfro Food Company in the garage of their Fort Worth home. Nearly 75 years later, the company produces more than 30 salsas, peppers, relishes, and sauces that are sold in all 50 states and even a few other countries.
Mrs. Renfro’s salsas are popular for anything from chip-dipping to soup-making to meat-marinating. One of my favorite ways to put these jars to use is to top a block of cream cheese with a salsa of choice (mine being raspberry chipotle) and serve with Wheat Thins or pita chips for dipping.
Next time your mom asks for your company on a trip to the grocery store, take her to the salsa aisle and introduce her to Mrs. Renfro.
2. Pizza Snob
Arguably one of the most bragged about, drooled over, and withdrawal-causing places in Fort Worth, Pizza Snob was opened on University Drive, just across from TCU’s campus, in January of 2014. Although Frog Bucks won’t do students any good, Pizza Snob is probably the one place you could get anybody to spend their own precious cash.
Do your visiting friends a favor and change their taste buds forever by treating them to the greatness that is Pizza Snob. And yes, it’s completely okay to call yourself a pizza snob here: rosemary goat cheese, buttermilk alfredo, beer glazed onions, and garlic-buttered meatballs are absolutely worth it.
When TCU grad Justin Anderson couldn’t satisfy his crunchy granola craving due to the teenaged road blocks called braces, he set out to make something better. At age 16, with a $500 loan from his grandmother, Anderson had already started his own company.
Described as “the ideal combination of natural goodness and indulgent fun,” WOATS come in four different flavors: Nuts About Berries, Cookies ‘n’ Dreams, Peanut Butter Graham Slam (my personal favorite), and Jammin Strawberry Shortbread.
4. Sweet Sammie’s
As a staple in many TCU students’ diets, Sweet Sammies has worked its way into the heart (and belly) of Fort Worth. Opened in 2010, Sweet Sammies is known for nothing less: a “sweet” “sammie.” Blue Bell ice cream is sandwiched between your choice of made-from-scratch and freshly baked cookies.
Although rivaled by the Steel City Pops and new competitor Tiff’s Treats, Sweet Sammies is the only Fort Worth native when it comes to satisfying a sweet tooth on West 7th. Fun fact: you can ask for a triple decker “sammie.”
5. Fuzzy’s Tacos
Although the chain can claim almost 80 spots in 10 different states, the original Fuzzy’s Tacos still sits on Berry Street, just off of TCU’s campus. Without a doubt, Fuzzy’s is the number one choice of any TCU student for late night chips and queso.
Friends who don’t know Fuzzy’s may question the authenticity and legitimacy of a taco being called “Fuzzy,” but just a few bites will have them sold.
6. Rahr & Sons Brewing Co.
TCU grad Fritz Rahr and wife Erin founded Rahr & Sons Brewing Company in 2004, right in the heart of Fort Worth. The brewery produces about 20,000 barrels of beer per year and has been nationally recognized more than 50 times.
Rahr & Sons sponsors plenty of brew-centered events, but also hosts guests for tours and tastings twice a week. You can quench your thirst with a Rahr & Sons brew at just about any Fort Worth restaurant.
Featured in this article, Buzzfeed claims that Brewed should be on your coffee shop bucket list. However, it’s probably worthy of even more. Known for its vintage-y, eclectic decor, stellar drink menu, and unbelievably friendly wait staff, any first-time visitor is likely to be back as soon as humanly possible.
Whether it’s the fire pits on the patio, the couches in the game room, or the insanely delicious candy bar latte, Brewed can turn just about anybody into a regular. Bring your out-of-town friends and family here and prove to them why Fort Worth is better than just about anywhere else.
Warning, though: you will probably feel like a style failure after a trip to Brewed. The trendiness is unreal.
8. Melt Ice Creams
Just one block from Brewed sits Melt Ice Creams. If you can drive past this building and miss it, you’re probably colorblind. Painted the brightest shade of yellow and paired with wide black and white stripes, this place just begs for a pit-stop.
Not only was Melt founded in Fort Worth, but its most popular claim-to-fame is its featuring of other Fort Worth favorites. Every ice cream flavor showcases an ingredient from another local business. No matter the choice, whether it’s donuts from Bluebonnet Bakery, coffee from Avoca, or pie crust from Stir Crazy, your scoop won’t disappoint you.
9. Joe T. Garcia’s
The answer to “I’m going to Fort Worth for the first time…where should I eat?” is almost always Joe T’s. Opened in 1935 by Mr. and Mrs. Joe T. Garcia, this cozy little spot had room for only 16 customers. Fast forward 80 years and Joe T’s takes up an entire block in the Fort Worth Stockyards with room for more than 1000 customers.
Don’t expect a menu, though. Your choices are fajitas or enchiladas, and that’s that. However, you simply can’t go wrong. Come hungry, leave miserably full. No regrets.
10. Rodeo Goat
In my humble opinion, I’ve saved the best for last. I don’t think you can call yourself a Fort Worth citizen if you haven’t graced your taste buds with the inexplicable bliss of a Rodeo Goat burger. I won’t even begin to get started with the Cheese Fries, Steaming Pile, or Goat Balls….those are up to you to discover for yourself.
I may or may not have worked my way through the entire menu. I highly recommend you get started doing the same.
Although the restaurant recently became a chain by opening a second location in Dallas, we’re claiming Rodeo Goat as our own. Fort Worth born, Fort Worth bred. You will never take our beloved Goat, Dallas.
Whether you’re looking for a place to take your family from out-of-town or a gift to bring home, this list should give you a little bit of a head start.
Texas on the brain? Let’s solve that problem: