A couple of months ago on the Lubbock Lights Facebook page I asked a simple question: What are the best five Lubbock restaurants ranked in order first through fifth?
About 40 people shared their opinions (thanks!) and here are their answers.
The top restaurant was one no longer in business. We’ll get to that in a bit and all the results.
But first, here’s how we created the list from your preferences. (If you’re not a process nerd, feel free to skip down to the results.)
We compiled the results and … like golf … a lower score was better.
If a restaurant was listed as someone’s number one pick it got one point. If it was listed as number five it got five points.
We compiled the total number of points a restaurant received and divided it by the number of people who voted for that restaurant to get an average score.
But I had a concern.
Let’s say one restaurant had an average score of 2.7 with four total votes and another restaurant had a total score of 2.7 with 13 votes. Obviously more people thought highly of the second restaurant but with more votes, it could have a higher average.
So we decided to take one-tenth of a point off the average score for each vote the restaurant received.
And restaurants needed at least four votes … there were 19 of those and, because of ties, that came out to a top ten.
Here they are:
- Farm to Fork (five votes, average of 0.7): I’d eaten twice at this restaurant in Ransom Canyon that has since closed, but still operates its food truck and intends to open another restaurant in Lubbock. I was very impressed, but the location, I’ve been told, was not optimal. Four people listed Farm to Fork as their number one and one other as number two … the most consistent high rankings. It was even number one before taking off a tenth of a point for each of its five votes.
- Crafthouse Gastropub (ten votes, average of 1.2): This very popular place on 34th Street also had four number one votes and boasts the most soccer scarves in town.
- Three-way tie for Double Nickel/seven votes, Orlando’s/five votes, West Table/12 votes (all with an average of 1.3). A high-end steak restaurant on Slide Road, a family Italian eatery with two locations and an upscale downtown restaurant that’s been very popular since opening. Orlando’s was a bit of a surprise to be ranked even with the other two restaurants … but maybe not. I was recently talking with someone in town and told him I was surprised Campisi’s location on 82nd and Quaker didn’t stay in business. He said: “People in Lubbock love Orlando’s red sauce.” Yes, yes they do and I’m one of them.
- Las Brisas Steakhouse (13 votes, average of 1.4): The most votes of any restaurant, but only three of them were number-one votes. Still, a lot of support and love for this south Lubbock restaurant.
- Two-way tie for Albarran’s/four votes and Italian Garden/nine votes (both with an average of 1.8). Both of these have not been open a long time (as compared to some of the other restaurants) but are obviously well thought of by the voters.
- Two-way tie for Cagle’s/four votes and LaSirena/five votes (both with an average of 2.1): Cagle’s is my personal favorite place to go for steak. We do not lack for great places for steak in Lubbock. Want to get a good discussion going at a dinner party? Ask for favorite steak places. I usually get passionate arguments in favor of Cagle’s, Las Brisas, Double Nickel, Triple J and others. LaSirena has taken over from where Manna was in the Cactus Alley Courtyard and offers an innovative menu.
- Four-way tie for LaDiosa/four votes, The Plaza/four votes, The Shack/four votes and Triple J/ten votes (all with an average of 2.3): The Plaza, a fairly new Mexican restaurant on Milwaukee has become popular quickly, LaDiosa and Triple J are Depot District stars and The Shack is an excellent barbecue joint on North Frankford people rave about.
- Stella’s (eight votes, average of 2.4): The sixth-highest number of votes of any restaurant, but no number one votes. Regardless, the 50th Street restaurant is a favorite for many people.
- Three-way tie for Abuelo’s/five votes, Evie Mae’s/seven votes and Jalisco’s/four votes (all with an average of 3.1): Not surprised Abuelo’s ended up on the list … it’s always packed. But I know a lot of people who swear by Jalisco’s on Avenue Q and say it’s maybe the most authentic Mexican restaurant in town. Want to start another passionate discussion? Ask for the best barbecue joints in town. Evie Mae’s in Wolfforth was recently named 9th best in Texas by Texas Monthly Magazine and is insanely popular. It had more votes than The Shack, but The Shack’s average was higher. So which is better?
- Funky Door (four votes, average of 3.8): The new location on Milwaukee is impressive and if you like wine, this is becoming an epicenter of where to find great wine.
Ten other restaurants got three votes. In alphabetical order:
- Cafe J
- Cast Iron Grill
- King Street Pub
- P.F. Chang’s
- Rain Uptown
- Saltgrass Steakhouse
- Texas Roadhouse
- Thai Pepper
Thirty-seven other restaurants received two votes or one vote.
When I asked the original question … what is the best restaurant? … my thoughts were upscale places with innovative menus, which are growing in Lubbock. But it was meant to be an open-ended question. I wanted to know your opinions.
Not everyone loves the places I had in mind with that question … but every one of them is reflected in the top ten.
Is Chick-fil-A as good a restaurant as Rain Uptown?
I think most people would say no … but they received the same number of votes and people love Chick-fil-A!
I was surprised the 50-Yard Line, Caprock Cafe or Montelongo’s did not receive one vote. Lord knows they’ve been very popular places over the years and will continue to be. This is a snapshot from our audience that reflects their age and tastes.
We intend to update this list from time to time and the more we do it I hope more people will share their opinions. It’ll be interesting to see how it may or may not change.
But before we revisit this list, we’re going to ask y’all about different types of food through our Facebook page.
Best barbecue? Burger? Steak? Mexican? Asian?
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for those and more.
And as your mom said, chew your food!