Despite being a small town of nearly 1,000, Bandera  has several noteworthy restaurants catering to locals and the city slickers who invade the community most weekends. To get a true taste of Bandera, drop by OST Restaurant (305 Main St., 830/796-3836, $6–13). The acronym stands for Old Spanish Trail, which used to run through the area, and the Western theme permeates everything from the menu to the John Wayne–inspired décor. The OST’s specialty is breakfast, including staples such as biscuits and gravy, hash browns, and huevos rancheros, served at any time. The soups and chicken-fried steak are local favorites.
Another busy downtown place to get good country vittles is Busbee’s Bar-B-Q (319 Main St., 830/796-3153, $5–12). Busbee’s serves up traditional Texas barbecue—brisket, sausage, and ribs—along with standard side dishes like cole slaw, potato salad, and beans.
For a good Tex-Mex fix, visitors can stick close to downtown for their fill of tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and breakfast burritos at the tiny El Jacalito (306 11th St., 830/460-3853, closed Sun. and Mon.) or the slightly larger and equally tasty Sombrero Jalisco (706 Main St., 830/796-8047, closed Sun.).