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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Ten places to try around the Bryan-College Station area

Photo by By Taylor Chojecki

The Bryan-College Station area is home to many unique cafe’s and restaurants that are within quick driving distance of each other.

With a combined population of just under 200,000 citizens, the Bryan-College Station area surrounding Texas A&M is home to about 70,000 undergraduate and graduate college students. Aside from housing both Blinn’s Bryan campus and Texas A&M, the B-CS area also serves as a home to numerous local and homegrown restaurants and cafés, giving students a wide variety of options for affordable meals, relaxing study spaces and the occasional late-night snack.
To help narrow down the countless options, here is a list of student-frequented cafés and restaurants in the B-CS area.
Pizza by the slice
By far one of the more popular late night restaurants for Aggies to frequent is Antonio’s Pizza, located in College Station’s Northgate District off of University Drive. Originally opened in 1991 in Amherst, Massachusetts, Antonio’s has a total of eight locations along the East Coast and only one in Texas. Antonio’s general manager Yazi Fehri said that one thing in particular that separates the pizza shop from most restaurants in the B-CS area is their ingredients.
“Everything is fresh, from the meat to our vegetables and cheese,” Fehri said.
Antonio’s typically sells its pizza by the slice. According to Fehri, with the most popular flavors being the Mac N’ Cheese Pizza served with Alfredo sauce and their Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza, all served on a thick, fresh crust. Thursday through Saturday, Antonio’s Pizza can be expected to remain open until 2 a.m. (ish).
Layne’s Chicken
Fried chicken, Aggie style
First opened in 1994, Layne’s Chicken is an Aggie owned and operated restaurant, known throughout College Station for its classic breaded chicken fingers, tenders and sandwiches. One of the more popular orders at Layne’s is “The Box,” served with five chicken fingers, a slice of toast and side of fries and potato salad, all for a total of $6.50. There are a total of three  different Layne’s Chickens in the B-CS area, the two closest locations to campus are located off of Wellborn Road and Southwest Parkway and the other located off of Texas Avenue.
During the football season, lines at Layne’s “can reach outside of the door”  Layne’s shift manager Kristen Neubauer said. More information on Layne’s of College Station can be found by visiting their Facebook Page.
Dixie Chicken
The oldest bar on Northgate
Established in 1974 by Don Ganter, the Dixie Chicken has been a College Station icon for over 40 years. The bar and restaurant features hundreds of memorabilia donated by guests within the past few decades, from signs and license plates to deer antlers and vintage photos.
The Dixie Chicken serves a variety of classic Texas burgers, including the “Freddy Burger”, a ½ pound beef burger with a choice of fries and other sides. Dixie Chicken is active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with constant updates of menu changes.
“This is the one that withstood the test of time,” marketing director Adam Drake said. “The kids year after year, generation after generation still gravitate to The Chicken.”
Mad Taco
Local Taco Shop with a big-town feel
Relatively new to the B-CS area, Mad Taco, owned by Peter Madden of McAllen, Texas has attracted much attention since first opening in May 2015.
Madden refers to his taqueria as “the Ferrari of tacos.” From the pork, shrimp and carne guisada tacos to it’s wide variety of margaritas, Mad Taco takes great pride in “amazing its guests,” according to general manager, Carly Cantwell.
Mad Taco also implements a pay-it-forward system known as the “BlackWall,” where customers may leave the first name of the desired future customer with the cashier and pay for their meal in advance.
Harvey Washbanger’s
Laundromat and restaurant: the best of both worlds
Since arriving to the B-CS area in 1999, Harvey Washbanger’s has held its position as one of the most unique restaurants in town.
Half-classic American restaurant and half-local laundromat, it is hard to miss Harvey Washbanger’s on a must-visit list of the area. General Manager Michael Lair said Harvey Washbanger’s prides itself in the homemade recipes of its menu.
“All food on the menu is scratch-made right here, in-house,” Lair said.
Some of the restaurant’s most popular burgers include the original cajun burger and the chorizo burger topped with eggs. “We like to have fun with the concept, we play with the menu,” Lair said.
Gumby’s Pizza
Late night pizza: dine-in and delivery
With two locations in the College Station area, Gumby’s Pizza is a well-known eatery among the students of Texas A&M. Located off of Texas Avenue and Dominik Drive, the first Gumby’s to the B-CS area is by far one of the most popular pizza locations in College Station, especially for students. Gumby’s is popular for its $1.50 pepperoni pizza rolls and now features Specialty Rolls with various options for fillings. On Tuesday’s, Gumby’s offers pepperoni rolls for only 75 cents.
Gumby’s Pizza is typically open late-nights until about 3 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and now features an online ordering service for pickup and delivery.
Hullabaloo Diner
Classic homestyle breakfast and lunch
One of the more popular home-grown restaurants in the B-CS area is the Hullabaloo Diner, owned by Rich Ribbon and Sydney Steinbacher. Located just off of Wellborn Road in south College Station, this Texas diner has received much attention for its homemade breakfast and lunch recipes as well as its original 1938 diner frame purchased from Albany, NY.
According to Sydney Steinbacher, there is a “50/50 mix of families and students” with large rushes before and after Saturday football games. Some of Hullabaloo Diner’s most popular orders include the Philly Cheese Steak, Biscuits and Gravy and Homemade Meatloaf.
Hullabaloo Diner was even featured on an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” hosted by Guy Fieri on the Food Network.
Sweet Eugene’s House of Java
The study spot
Since opening in 1993, Sweet Eugene’s has remained one of College Station’s most popular off-campus study locations, mainly due to it’s relaxing environment, comfortable seating and of course, its free wifi accessibility. Katie Connor, a manager at Sweet Eugene’s since 2015, describes the coffee house as a “fun and positive environment” with “late hours and an eclectic ambiance.”
Sweet Eugene’s offers a variety of café choices including lattés, donuts, kolaches and apple fritters.
RX Pizza
Neo-new york style pizza
Another relatively new restaurant in the BCS area is RX Pizza, which opened in May of 2016 and is owned by Jake Mitchell, Class of 2009. Located in Downtown Bryan, RX Pizza operates in the building of a former pharmacy named the “James Pharmacy,” built in 1906. RX Pizza bakes all of its pizza in a woodfire oven and according to Mitchell, the pizza shop specializes in making “Neo-New York style pizzas.”
RX Pizza hosts a “Wine Wednesday” every week as well as Thursday Trivia nights from 9 p.m.  to 11 p.m. with various prizes gifted to the trivia winner.
Chicken Oil Company
Old-fashioned beer and burgers
Formerly a gas station turned restaurant, Bryan’s Chicken Oil Company is another Texas classic. Founded by Dixie Chicken’s Don Ganter as well, Chicken Oil Co. has been in the B-CS area since 1977. The restaurant offers an array of burgers, sandwiches, fried seafood and even various vegetarian options. Also popular among the menu options at Chicken Oil Co. are the “Tijuana Fries” and chicken fried steak sandwiches. Chicken Oil Co. also hosts a music ‘Open Mic Night’ on Thursday nights.
While owned and managed by the same family as Dixie Chicken, Chicken Oil Co. is more “Geared towards family,” marketing director Adam Drake said. “[It is] less ‘Outlaw’ than the Dixie Chicken.”

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