The Best Beaumont Bites Beloved by Locals
The iconic plates that define Beaumont dining represent the best of our culinary scene that can’t be found anywhere else. The collective dishes locals tout to visitors, while simultaneously serving as a staple of their meal rotations. These are the dishes you crave. The backbone of our dietary landscape. It’s these flavors, familiarity, consistency, and satisfaction that exemplifies the Beaumont dining scene and why you return to certain restaurants time and time again.
Come hungry, leave happy.
Oyster Nachos – J. Wilson’s
Cornmeal crusted gulf oysters served on crispy corn tortilla chips topped with pickled Fresno chilies, pesto aioli, and corn salsa, J. Wilson’s oyster nachos are as close to that one perfect bite as you can get in an appetizer. Featured in “One Great Dish” by the Houston Chronicle, it’s an umami explosion of savory, salty, and sweet. The hardest part will be ordering just one plate of them – or sharing.
While You’re There: Don’t miss the Man Candy, essentially candied bacon, or pork belly tossed in habanero jelly.
Hot Mess Fries – Sweet Basil
Vietnamese-Cajun fusion, Sweet Basil, is known for its harmonious melting pot of flavors. And yet, one of the best appetizers isn’t especially ethnic, but rather, a twist on an American classic. Fries topped with succulent rib eye, sweet soy sauce, spicy aioli, and scallions, don’t question it, just order it.
While You’re There: Try the seafood pho, which is a true blending of cuisines, or the shaken beef, another menu favorite.
Pad Kee Mao – Chaba Thai
Better known as Drunken Noodles, Chaba's Thai noodle plate is beloved by those that can handle the heat and crave a bit of spice. Made with ground pork, rice noodles, basil, bell pepper, onion, carrots, baby corn, and chili paste, owner Ping Pong (Sarah) says it’s the most popular dish on the menu and one you can’t find at any other local Thai restaurants.
While You’re There: Sit at one of the tables with the traditional tatami floor mats for an authentic Asian experience.
Queso – Carmela’s
Tex-Mex is a way of life in these parts, and Carmela’s boasts one of the top 10 quesos in all of Texas. Warm, thick, and melty, it’s the perfect ooey, gooey texture cheese dip to get that satisfying crunch of a tortilla chip or flavorful enough to top a platter of their sizzling fajitas. But be warned, it is addictive.
While You’re There: No meal is complete without a margarita, right?
Pecan Parmesan Crusted Chicken – Katharine & Co.
Only open for weekday lunches and brunch once a month, Katharine’s a “keep their customers wanting more” kind of place. Her signature pecan parmesan crusted chicken is available as a sandwich on their to-die-for homemade focaccia bread or as a salad for a lighter carb dish, but you can’t go wrong with either option.
While You’re There: Just try passing by their pastry counter without taking home a few brownies, cookies, or cake bites.
Mojarra (Whole Fried Fish) – Tacos La Bamba
It’s basically unheard of to get a whole fish for less than $10, but that’s what makes Tacos La Bamba’s Friday Fish Fry so special. And with their mosaic tables and colorful murals, it feels like a fiesta. Fried tilapia served bone-in, head-on on a bed of rice, beans, and veggies, don’t be surprised when your fish stares back at you, eyes and all.
While You’re There: Don’t miss the epic shrimp and beer platters, $1 taco nights, and hot mess (in the best possible way) micheladas.
Boudin Balls - Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp
Deep-fried pork and rice balls that are a popular appetizer to prepare for a long night of drinking, boudin balls are essentially Cajun bar food. No one does it better than Tia Jaunita's, which are made with local Zummo meat.
While You’re There: Their fried fish, shrimp, and Cajun delicacies are legit, but we all know you’re really there for a giant New Orleans style cocktail (no judgment).
Black Bean Burger – Daddio’s
While meat-eaters may scoff, many claim this vegetarian patty dressed up with chipotle sauce is the best they’ve ever had. Substitute the wheat bun for a jalapeño cheddar, and you’re in for a delightful Daddio’s treat that may just curb your carnivore ways (at least temporarily).
While You’re There: You can’t get a burger without fries. Or can you? Their parmesan truffle Brussel sprouts are the perfect way to round out a meatless meal. But fries are a perfectly acceptable guilty pleasure too.
Donuts “Churro Style” - Toasted Yolk
Despite opening just a few months ago, the Toasted Yolk has already cemented its place as one of Beaumont’s favorite brunch spots. And to do it right, you simply must order the hot cinnamon sugar donut tower as either an appetizer or dessert, which comes with a warm caramel dipping sauce to drizzle or douse.
While You’re There: The egg dishes come with a choice of sides, but don’t miss the cheesy hashbrown casserole.
Hamachi Crunch - Koi
Being deliciously close to the Gulf, good seafood is in no short supply, and sushi is no exception. Known for their “tapas,” or unique sashimi plates, one of the local favorites is Koi's Hamachi Crunch, yellowtail pieces topped with jalapeno, cilantro, and cashews in a chili ponzu sauce.
While You’re There: Other creative combinations like tuna melon and sweet onion salmon are also palate pleasers.
Bionicos – La Real Michochana
A Mexican ice cream joint with an array of colorful helado, homemade popsicles, and horchatas, if you’re not in the mood for a sugary dessert, the bionicos are an authentic Latin treat that is just as satisfying. Seasonal fruit and granola bowl topped with coconut, yogurt, and tajin, it’s a sweet and salty healthy-ish bowl to start or end the day.
While You’re There: Step up your Insta game with one of their elaborate and colorful freak shakes.
Brisket Tacos - Amelia Farm and Market
A third-generation pecan farm, Amelia, is one of the most beautiful settings in Beaumont. Be sure to try the house specialty, the brisket tacos. Locally sourced pork chosen for its rich taste and well-marbled meat, this bite of Texas ‘cue has been pit-smoked for 16 hours and is served with avocado crema and Pico de Gallo.
While You’re There: Admire the sunset view from the patio with one of their signature cocktails.
Bread Pudding – Republic Chicken
A typical dessert down South, bread pudding is one of those ubiquitous dishes that’s easy to make but tough to master. Many swear Republic Chicken’s is the best in the state with a rich, buttery, cinnamon flavor that’s the perfect end to a hearty, comfort meal (as long as you’re able to save some room).
While You’re There: The fried chicken and catfish are also house-favorites and come with unlimited family-style sides.