Texas Town Lays Claim To The ‘Oldest Café In The State’ – Really?
There may be a few restaurants around the Great State of Texas that would want to argue that, but Café Texan is claiming the title of "Oldest Café," which may very well be true. Let's dig in...
I heard the Café Texan had recently re-opened just a few short weeks ago, and when on my way back from Houston after Mother's Day I had a chance to give it a whirl, so I did.
Way back in the day ('95-'96), I worked in Huntsville at a great little radio station there called KSAM, right there off I-45 not far from the giant Sam Houston Statue.
The crazy thing is back when I was working there, I never took the opportunity to eat at the Café Texan downtown. No idea why, it just worked out that way.
As I understand, the Café Texan was forced to close its doors early in 2020 during the whole Covid thing. The location was recently purchased by Vance and Karen Howard with the idea of getting the café/museum back open but in a different way than ever before, this time it would be a non-profit business. You heard right, non-profit.
According to an interview on ABC13.com, Vance and Karen want all the proceeds to go to local and state charities. This is their way of giving back.
The building is quite old, Café Texan opened in this location 87 years ago, but under the new owners has been completely reborn. The Café Texan's decor feels very... Texan, but with a new and modern look. The waitstaff is young and most are probably students at Sam Houston State University. The menu has been updated with more modern fare but that famous Chicken Fried Steak is still there.
I had the Turkey Grill along with their house chips and a big glass of iced tea, which was all delicious, but I must admit, I wish I had gotten the chicken fried steak. I saw one go by to another table, it bummed me out a little. It looked really good.
Be sure you check out the museum part of the Café Texan before or after your meal, they have some amazing things there from all over the world. Plus a tribute to Marcus Lutrell, and President George H. W. Bush, some early Texican gear, and even some items from long-time Houston TV News Personality and Huntsvillian, Dave Ward, who used to eat there as a kid.
Café Texan - Huntsville, Texas
The Café Texan is open Monday - Saturday 6 AM - 2 PM, and Sunday 10 AM - 3 PM.
The Museum is open Tuesday - Saturday 8 AM - 2 PM, and Sunday 10 AM - 3 PM.
Located at: 1120 Sam Houston Ave Huntsville, TX 77340
Is Café Texan really the oldest café in Texas, we'll take their word for it for now. But either way, it's for sure one to put on your Texas Travel Food list.