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SMART Airports; El Paso Eats

Attend SMART Airports in El Paso to experience how top airports drive regional economic development while implementing the latest innovations. Stay a few extra days to bring out the foodie in everyone!

According to, El Paso perfected the art of Tex-Mex more than any other city in the world. Tex-Mex is a fusion of Mexican and American cuisine that originated from Texans of Mexican descent known as Tejanos. Although this popular cuisine has spread throughout the US and beyond, venture to El Paso and you’ll get the real deal. El Paso has a vibrant food scene with plenty of bistros boasting eclectic menus, fresh and authentic fare, and lively atmospheres. Check out our list of essential El Paso eats.

  1. Chicos Tacos
    Chico’s Tacos is a legend of El Paso and a must have while visiting The Sun City. Chico’s has appeared on Food Network show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and was mentioned in Gabriel Iglesias’ comedy special “I’m Not Fluffy I’m Fat”. They’re most famous for their rolled tacos, called flautas. If this all wasn’t enough to make you want to head straight there off the plane, they’re cheap to boot!
  2. L&J Cafe
    One of the most popular in El Paso, this fourth-generation family-owned Mexican restaurant is “a uniquely flavorful link between past and present”. L&J boasts lively, inviting space, excellent service, creative takes on classic dishes, and a dining room adorned with photos of celebrities who have visited. In 2018, L&J was named the best Tex-Mex in Texas, and their owner was inducted into the Texas Restaurant Association’s Hall of Honor. Check this place out while you’re here—you won’t regret it!
  3. Carlos & Mickey’s
    The Arrambide family opened this restaurant 65 years ago, and has been perfecting the art of Mexican food ever since. You’ll feel right at home when you walk in with their festive decor lining the walls from floor to ceiling. Their claim to fame are their “Texas-sized” margaritas, a seven-time winner of the Best Margarita in El Paso award. They limit them to one per customer, and at a whopping 42 ounces, it’s not hard to imagine why! Once you have a drink in hand, head into La Cantina for some amazing Mexican food and live daily music or try their famous Sunday brunch.
  4. Cattleman’s Steakhouse
    For an immersive cultural experience and great food, look no further than a trip to Cattleman’s Steakhouse at Indian Cliffs Ranch. Arrive early, put your name in at the host stand and then have fun exploring the ranch! Travel back in time to experience the Southwest as it once was in the Wild West. Family friendly, the ranch includes a children’s zoo, aviary, hayride, maze, antique wagons, Adobe dwellings, and an Old Western town that was a set for many famous movies! After you’ve worked up an appetite, head back to the Steakhouse for their award-winning steak and other cowboy classics like beans, baked potatoes, and corn on the cob, all while overlooking the vivid desert sunset.
  5. Cafe Central
    Looking for a more upscale experience? Head to Cafe Central. This eatery has won the Distinguished Restaurants of North America Award for the past 5 years, and it shows. Enjoy elegant ambiance, exceptional wine, and international cuisine with a southwestern flair. With menu items like their famous Cream of Green Chile Soup, foodies love this place for a lunch spot or a fancy date night out.
  6. Park Tavern
    Located in the downtown historic district, Park Tavern is famous for their new american cuisine with a southwestern flare. Enjoy a cocktail from their modern craft bar. Their warm and casual atmosphere invites you to sit back, relax and savor the moment.

For more ideas on what to see and do, head over to Visit El Paso. Post your conference experience using #itsallgoodep and #SMRTAirportsElPaso.

Next step? Register for SMART Airports click here.

Stay tuned for our next installment in our El Paso for SMART Airports series. To read the previous article, click here.

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