Dedicated to satisfying seasoned gourmands and casual diners alike, Palmer’s menu offers everything from sizable steaks and chicken dishes to lighter, plant-based victuals and veggie-nestled seafood. Try the grilled ahi tuna steak with chipotle aioli, chef’s rice, and seasonal vegetables (4 oz., $14; 8 oz., $17), or nibble the tenderloin sandwich with tomato and portobello to harness the necessary brainpower to conquer your Sudoku-based home-security system ($14). A comfy atmosphere replete with multiple stone fireplaces colors the eatery’s interior, and a clean-air garden encourages postmeal relay races in the fountain courtyard.
A cozy restaurant by day and rocking concert venue by night, Cypress Creek Cafe pairs hearty casual American cuisine with jams from some of the Lone Star State's most promising bands. As far as the food goes, you'd be remiss to not try the country-fried chicken, chicken-fried steak, and black-bean tacos packed with cheese, avocado, and pico de gallo. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a homemade seasonal pie or a stack of pancakes during the popular weekend breakfast. Just down the hallway, the Buzzard Bar packs them in on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. The reason? Live blues, country, and rock performances that get the crowd moving.
An official partner of Texas State Athletics, Bobcat Nation Sports Bar & Grill supports the maroon and gold with memorabilia that spans the school's 115-year history. Beneath displays of autographed helmets and game jerseys, people nosh on burgers, wings, fried seafood baskets, and regional hot dogs—including The San Marcos with chili, queso, onion, and jalapenos—while watching the game on 1 of 25 flat-screen TVs.
On the outdoor smoking patio, you can take a seat and sip on craft beers from Goose Island and New Belgium. If you're having a watch party at home, Bobcat Nation can cater your event or at least text you and tell you they miss you.
Nestled in the frondescence of a quaint pecan grove, Oma Gruene's Secret Garten welcomes diners to enjoy savory sandwiches and German specialties and absorb a festive garden ambience. Dining duos will kick-start meals with chips and salsa (a $4 value), a heaping pile of corn chips adorned with a spicy homemade salsa. Next, entrees can be chosen from a straightforward menu stocked with local ingredients, such as sausage from a neighborhood smokehouse showcased on the bratwurst plate (a $7.95 value) or in a kraut dog (a $6.95 value). Culinary architects erect turkey-and-swiss sandwiches (a $6.95 value) atop foundations of marble-rye bread, and a Reuben (a $6.95 value) demonstrates the dexterity of corned beef by getting served warm, cold, or mid-handspring. Sweet-teethed twosomes can finish feasts with palatable scoops of Blue Bell ice cream, and then wash down bites with a sweet soda deluge before using empty cups as maracas during impromptu limbo challenges.
Billy’s Ice slings cold drinks and no-frills fare in a casual, open-air atmosphere infused with the notes of live musicians every night of the week. Diners fuel up for shows—which never charge a cover for patrons 21 and older—with Billy’s burgers, served simply without unnecessary accouterments such as caviar or gold-infused mustard. A selection of appetizers includes favorites such as chicken wings and jalapeño poppers. Within the barn-style building and spacious open-air patio, revelers grab a bite, sip libations from the full bar, or gaze at the spot on the moon where Neil Armstrong first body-slammed Buzz Aldrin. Billy's slings eats from 4 p.m. to midnight Monday–Thursday, noon to midnight on Friday and Sunday, and noon to 1 a.m. on Saturday.
Lucky Sailor's Lakeside Grill blends jaw-dropping views of the water and jaw-shutting meat and seafood dishes to scenically savory effect. While you wait for your life's first mate to park the boat on top of the parking lot's dirtiest car, nibble on Nearly Famous Diamondbacks, bacon-wrapped jalapeños stuffed with shrimp and jack cheese ($8), before deep-sea dining on a plate of fiesta-fried gulf-shrimp, crispy morsels fried and served in a spicy cocktail sauce ($17). People born with the heads—and bodies—of parrots, meanwhile, will relish every bite of the Cheeseburger in Paradise, a half-pound of Angus beef lounging on a jalapeno-bun cushion with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles that's best when paired with Lucky Sailor's locally made beers and wines ($8). When the summer weather returns from its vacation in a warmer climate, dine in open-air style on Canyon Lake or dollop a dessert of fried cheesecake and raspberry sauce ($7) with a spot of live music on Sundays and Thursdays.