If you haven't been to Lubbock, Texas, it's a city of roughly 250,000 tucked into the western panhandle of the state. Known as the "hub city" for being the central location for smaller, bordering cities such as Amarillo, Plainview, Shallowater, and Wolfforth, Lubbock is unique for its suburban feel and expanding downtown scene near the Texas Tech University campus. One of its most notable areas is Depot District, the city's former urban center which now boasts lively bars, preserved red brick streets, a historic local theater, a weekly farmer's market, free yoga in the summer, and intriguing, neglected warehouses here and there.

While Lubbock's list of fun things to do might not exceed those of Houston, Dallas, or their respective suburbs, I was born and raised in the city and have discovered over time a generous handful of delicious restaurants you can't find anywhere else. In honor of the city where Buddy Holly came of age, and the city named 2014's "Most Boring City in America", here's a list — in no particular order — of my favorite eateries found only in Lubbock, Texas.

1. Bangkok Restaurant

This place deserves a spot at the top of my list because my family has been getting takeout from here for as long as I can remember. Though not as popular as Thai Pepper near Texas Tech University, this Thai restaurant serves generous portions of authentic noodles, rice, meat, and curries from its modest location.

My favorite dishes are the green chicken curry, yellow curry (Bangkok Special), and the Kouy Tiew Nau Sub, a flat rice noodle dish smothered in dark Thai gravy and tossed with ground beef, tomatoes, and leafy steamed vegetables. My dad has come home many nights after work with towering takeout bags of their hot food, and I swear it's always delicious.

2. Lubbock Breakfast House

This place was so popular in Lubbock that a second location quickly opened after this one. I have many happy memories of my friends and I eating their heaping plates of hot breakfast scramble (think hash browns, scrambled egg, peppers, mushrooms, cheese, potatoes, and tomatoes), and their Eggs Benedict are some of the best I've ever had. Plus, the servers are super friendly and take pride in the bustling crowd they have for brunch on any weekend morning.

3. One Guy From Italy

One Guy's has the best calzones in Lubbock, period. They're delicious to the point of forgetting what life was like before you took that first bite of thick, melted mozzarella, tomato sauce, sausage, pepperoni, and dough. The crust is really unique in that it's thin and crispy toward the center of the calzone, but soft and doughy near the crust. The stuffing inside is so rich and fragrant that eating one of these puppies is an all-consuming experience that engages every one of your senses. Share one (or don't), and be transported to another time and place.

#SpoonTip: the vegetarian option is just as delicious, and is reminiscent of a Supreme-style pizza wrapped into a calzone!

4. Royal Indian Cuisine

I only recently discovered this place this past summer, but the food here has always been impressive. Co-operated by a few families who teamed up to run this restaurant (one of which my high school friend belongs to), the food here is cooked by the mother of one of the owners, in the traditional style found in India.

At Royal Indian Cuisine,  the entrees are served in cool etched metal bowls, the naan is to die for, and they offer a thin, crispy appetizer made of seasoned dough called papadum, served with sweet chutney and green herb sauce. They also have a wide selection of curries and basmati rice entrees (both with and without meat) to choose from. Some tried-and-true classics are the Chicken Tikka Masala and the paneer dishes, but I've randomly chosen dishes from the menu and have been pleasantly surprised with delicious meals each time.

5. The Plaza

A proper list of Lubbock restaurants would not be complete without a Mexican eatery. Lubbock is known for its delicious and often extremely authentic Mexican food places. While I can't say how authentic The Plaza is or whether it classifies more as a Tex-Mex place, I can say that it's been a big hit with the locals since its opening last summer.

The Plaza menu offers the classic enchiladas, fajitas, and burritos, as well as more artful dishes such as the Crispy Relleno (a deep-fried chile pepper stuffed with meat and cheese), the Smothered Sopapilla, the Stuffed Avocado, the El Grande Burrito, and the Mexican Steak. My family loves Mexican food and have tried a ton of places, so if this place gets our approval, you can trust that it's good.

6. Lite Bite Mediterranean Cafe

Lite Bite Mediterranean Cafe is famous for its authentic Greek plates, delicious gyros, and fresh-baked desserts. The baklavas are flaky and sweet, layered with honey and pistachios, and regularly made in-house. Another unique offering of Lite Bite is its market near the back section, which is stocked with canned goods, decor, and even rugs imported from the Mediterranean region. My sister and I loved to wander the large back room after our meals and admire all the objects and exotic splendor it has to offer. For those who don't want lamb as part of their Mediterranean experience, Lite Bite serves up beef and chicken that dishes that are just as tasty. 

7. J's Creamery

Oh, J's Creamery. Formerly known as Sheridan's Frozen Custard, this was, and still is, the destination for late night ice cream (the soft, creamy kind that's delicious with mix-ins) with friends and family. The location features a large neon sign flanked by two ice cream cone fixtures, as well as a casual outdoor seating area near its walk-up order window. While driving past J's Creamery in the summertime, you will always see families with children hanging out at the location. My favorite things to order are the Horchata Shake, the Blackberry Brownie, and the Tropical Mango Tango, though the Dirt and Worms and Birthday Cake concretes are other local favorites. You can also build your own custard, or choose from a variety of shakes, coffee, gourmet sodas, and even cake. 

8. Saigon Cafe

This is another place I've eaten at my whole life and continuously appreciate for its down-to-earth, family-style food. Known to locals for its authentic Vietnamese food, Saigon Cafe is a great pick for pho, egg noodles, coconut curry, whole fish platters, and Vietnamese spring rolls. Locals love to grab lunch here during the week, or dinners on the weekends. The waiters are also always super friendly, and the decor has a comfortingly nostalgic East Asian quality that hasn't changed in years.

9. Aloha BBQ

I seriously cannot say enough good things about Aloha BBQ. Their entrees are almost all priced at around eight dollars and come with a heaping plate of barbecued meat, a bed of white rice, sides of macaroni salad and cole slaw, and rich gravies and sauces for dipping. I've never had barbecue quite like this, and if you haven't either I highly recommend you do. My family's favorites include the Loco Moco (beef patties topped with runny fried eggs and brown gravy) and the Katsu Chicken (crispy chicken fillet served with their famous dipping sauce). What makes their food even better is that one takeout container can feed a single person for at least two meals, and three containers can easily feed a family of four. 

10. Capital Pizza

Capital Pizza is singlehandedly one of the best, if not the best, pizza place in Lubbock. The portions are generous, the ingredients are high quality, and the flavor combinations are aromatic and hearty. Lighter and vegetarian options are also available, and the pizza crust boasts the restaurant's signature scrunched-up design. Located near my elementary school, next to an old-fashioned ice cream shop, this place will always have a special place in my heart.  

11. The Choc'late Mousse Pie Bar

Last but not least, the Choc'late Mousse Pie Bar, or just Pie Bar for short, has been a favorite of my friends and locals since it opened toward the end of my high school years. The flavors include cobbler-style peach and cherry pies, as well as beloved mousse-like pie fillings that are named after alcoholic beverages (example: the "Pie-tini"), over a crust crumble of your choice (Thin Mint is my favorite). The pie fillings are creamy and light, and my favorites are Snickerdoodle, Strawberry Banana, Dark Chocolate, Red Velvet, and Oreo (can you tell I've been here many times)? Their famous Pie Flight is also a popular choice for groups of friends who want to sample six flavors at a time, served in shot glasses on a wooden tray.

If you ever find yourself in Lubbock someday for whatever reason, you have my list of the best spots to grab a bite. Be sure to stay a little while, check out these local favorites, and stop to admire the expanses of cotton fields set against a West Texas sunset on your way out of the city.