Top 10 Places to Eat in Killeen, Texas
In Killeen, Texas – we have no shortage of delectable, international food offerings that cover the four corners of our town. Being given the difficult task of narrowing my list of favorite eateries to only ten was daunting, though I’m confident that you’ll find treasure in each of the spots I’ve nominated below!
Without further ado – I give you the 2017 Top 10 Places to Eat in Killeen (which I’ve sorted by category, rather than rank them)……so in no particular order at all:
BEST FOOD TRUCK: HOT SPOT GRILL
This mobile unicorn is undoubtedly the best food truck within a 100-mile radius. EASILY. Its simple, yet overwhelmingly tasty menu features Puerto Rican dishes that are sure to please even the most scrutinizing palates. Its founder, CEO and mainstay: Yesenia “The Empanada Lady” Santiago breathes brilliance into every delivered plate and her enthusiasm for customer happiness is unsurpassed. And also, her Spanish Rice is made with BACON, so then there’s that. During the holidays, ask her about her Coquito-infused sweet treats!
Follow the Hot Spot Grill on Facebook for her weekly menu and locations to spot her truck!
Favorite Dish: ANY of the empanadas, Coquito popsicles
Bottom Line: Call in your order, come by to check it out for yourself, or have it catered!
Give a Hi-5 to: Yesenia “The Empanada Lady”
BEST HAPPY HOUR: CHILL GRILL
For those seeking a simple fix, paired with an ice cold beer on a patio with some friends…..look no further than Chill Grill. Most known for its backyard atmosphere with music and games, Chill Grill is the only spot in town to choose when you need to rest your weary feet after a long day of work. Bring a date, bring a friend, bring whomever – just make sure you’re bringing your goodtimin’ pants with you!
Follow Chill Grill on Facebook for events, menus and specials!
Favorite Dish: Believe it or not, the Yakimandu
Bottom Line: Tell your friend to meet you there for Happy Hour every day this week
Give a Hi-5 to: Dustin, the animal running the joint!
KILLEEN EXPERIENCE ON ‘ROIDS…..dot com: TAIWAN DRAGON
A Killeen must-visit since 1981! Known for its original Chinese fare and its colorful and most-enthusiastic owner, Jackson Huang, this is easily your family winner when no one can decide where to eat. Except on Saturday and Sunday when they’re closed. While there, take a spin around the restaurant, and check out Jackson’s Wall of Fame, featuring local military brass, families and community leaders – altogether patrons of his famed restaurant. If you decide to disappear quietly to your table, be warned that Jackson will bring the Wall of Fame *TO YOU*, while barking his introductions over your table. Don’t know any of the faces on the wall? Ask his laser pointer…
Check out Taiwan Dragon’s Facebook page for more!
Favorite Dish: Rainbow Rice <<<The reason rice was invented
Bottom Line: Great food, great family atmosphere, feisty owner
Give a Hi-5 to: Jackson!
BEST $5 YOU EVER SPENT ON FOOD: KILLLEEN NUTRITIONAL CENTER
I’d lived here for over 30 years before I knew this place even existed. I’ve driven by the “Killeen Nutritional Center” in downtown Killeen probably 600+ times looking at their sign and thinking to myself, “NOPE! Don’t need any nutritional centers today! I’ll pick up a burger on my way back to work.” Trust I did myself a disservice all those many wasted years! This place is a Caribbean grocery store, gift shop and café all in one place! They recently renovated their outdoor patio area so that you may enjoy your meal among the trees that line their bustling downtown corner. You can walk up and order, or you can call ahead (which I recommend, because this place is being discovered by the droves!) When you pick up your order, be sure to help yourself to a delicious Malta Goya from the fridge and you can be meal-all-in for less than $5!
Check out The Killeen Nutritional Center’s Facebook page for more details!
Favorite Dish: Cuban Sandwich, hard loaded
Bottom Line: Easy on the wallet, and delicious! Call in your order about 15-30 min ahead of time, and you’ll be glad you did.
BEST LATE NITE/HANGOVER OPTION: HALLMARK RESTAURANT
You haven’t “done” Killeen until you’ve been doubled-over in belly laughter at 3am in a booth at Hallmark Restaurant with your friends. A traditional truck-stop-type diner, it serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner at any time of day, on any day of the year. I could bore every reader by reminiscing the many late nights I’ve spent in a booth at Hallmark Restaurant – but I’ll save my mother the embarrassment.
Check out Hallmark Restaurant’s Facebook page for more details!
Favorite Dish: Vegetable Beef Soup, The Judge
Bottom Line: Good food for anyone on any budget with any palate, any time of day, any day of the week. Unless you’re one of those who’s allergic to bacon and fun……
Give a Hi-5 to: Flo…..nah I’m only kidding!
TAKE THE WHOLE FAM-DAMILY: BIG HOSS BBQ
Whether you have out-of-towners visiting, need a spot to host an event, or simply have a hankering for some good, old-fashioned Texas BBQ, look no further than Big Hoss BBQ on the south side of town. Veteran owned and operated, Big Hoss is known for its friendly atmosphere and casual/country dining experience, and proprietors Walter and Sheryl Brown ensure that every patron leaves perfectly satisfied……right down to the little ones! They were named Small Business of the Year in 2015 by the Killeen Chamber of Commerce because of the tireless support they provide to our neighbors at Fort Hood. They regularly host seasonal events and have live music entertainment – so load up the fam, and go check it out!
See Big Hoss BBQ’s latest menu offerings and upcoming events on their Facebook Page!
Favorite Dish: Pork Spare Ribs
Bottom Line: By supporting them, you’re supporting one of the single largest local supporters of our military neighbors at Fort Hood. AND their food and atmosphere are tops!
Give a Hi-5 to: Walter, Sheryl – or their son Kelly. And maybe a goat or feral barn cat on your way out the door!
GRAB ‘n GO: COSPER’S COUNTRY MEAT MARKET
Recently under new ownership, this place is a GEM. With regular daily lunch plate specials (see Facebook), their friendly, hometown vibe makes this a sure-stop for your next delicious lunch crusade! Just walk up and order, and your plate will be cut and prepared on the spot. While you wait, checkout their seemingly ENDLESS offering of meats from pork to beef to chicken…..to oxtails….venison, lamb…..you name it! They even process and smoke meats for you! I was shocked to see the price for their thick slab bacon (already sliced) rivaled the most economical offerings at HEB – so I’ve begun buying my bacon from them, too. It’s also a great place to find locally- and Texas-curated items like pickles, cheeses and seasonings, which may be hard to find otherwise around here.
See Cosper’s Meat Market’s latest menu offerings and upcoming events on their Facebook Page!
Favorite Dish: $8 Catfish Wednesday!
Bottom Line: A locally-owned, traditional meat market that offers reasonable, DELIGHTFUL lunch plates
Give a Hi-5 to: Tami & Paul
BEST MARGARITA IN TOWN: LOS CABOS SEAFOOD BAR
I realize I may open myself up to criticism by labeling this as the top place for a margarita instead of recognizing it for its world-class menu……but I’m not wild about seafood, so I hasten to speculate. I have graced the threshold several times now, accompanying friends who DO play dietary roulette with shellfish, and I can relay that the enthusiastic consensus stands – that Los Cabos’ food is literally here to stay! Meanwhile, across the table, I’m busy inhaling the best dang frozen margarita I’ve *EVER* had (and I’m arguably a connoisseur). With a nicely appointed patio, they are known to host events regularly which have steamy Latin themes and I hear they’re a blast, too!
See Los Cabos Seafood Bar’s menu offerings and list of steamy upcoming events on their Facebook Page!
Favorite Dish: THE. BEST. SANGRIA. SWIRL. MARGARITA. EVER.
Bottom Line: The restaurant can meet every vibe, the food can satisfy the most challenging critic, and don’t have just one marg while you’re there!
BEST BRUNCH SPOT: SCRATCH ELEVATED BISTRO
MMMmmm….Scratch….a notch above any other brunch spot within a 60-mile radius, hands down! Located on the most prime corner in downtown Killeen and recently under new leadership, Scratch’s menu is simple, yet the delivered plate is rich and complex! The restaurant itself is delightfully old-world, small and quaint. On a perfect morning, you’ll want to sit at one of the bistro tables on the patio with a flute of mimosa stuck to your hand! Well, my ideal morning, anyway!
Check out the latest updates from Scratch Elevated Bistro here on Facebook!
Favorite Dish: Nutella Stuffed French Toast, $3 Mimosas
Bottom Line: Take a date, take your mom, meet a professional acquaintance, or go alone and take your laptop!
Give a Hi-5 to: Mihla, and me. I’m the “Regular” at the patio bistro table pounding mimosas in between naps.
BEST SPOT FOR A FIRST DATE: STILLHOUSE WINE ROOM
I’m so happy this place exists. Before, it was probably a better bet NOT to go on that first date, as your best bet for a locale was a seedy bar or your average franchise cornerstone. Until Stillhouse opened its doors, there wasn’t a place inside the Killeen city limits that preserved sophistication, while keeping a regular line up of entertainment for the more mature after hours or weekend crowd. Located in a plaza off of Stan Schlueter Loop, it has a big wraparound bar in addition to various sized tables and sitting areas with lounges/couches. With an extensive wine list, and TO-DIE-FOR tapas – this is a great bet for a first date, a 100th date, girl’s night or the like!
Check out the latest updates and special events from Stillhouse Wine Room here on Facebook!
Favorite Dish: Chocolate Covered Moscato Infused Strawberries, Zuccardi Malbec
Bottom Line: Top date spot – no questions asked!