Food & Drink

Fort Worth’s most iconic restaurant turns 81 on July 4th

Joe T. Garcia’s opened in 1935 as a 16-seat restaurant serving barbecue and Mexican dishes.
Joe T. Garcia’s opened in 1935 as a 16-seat restaurant serving barbecue and Mexican dishes. Joe T. Garcia’s

On July 4, 1935, a 16-seat restaurant serving barbecue and Mexican food opened on Fort Worth’s north side, not far from the Stockyards.

In the eight decades since, Joe T. Garcia’s has become a true American success story.

The restaurant, still run by the Garcia and Lancarte families, now seats 1,600 people and is famous for its expansive, hacienda-style patio full of tropical plants, flowers and water features. People wait in line for hours to nab a spot near the pool, where the Garcia and Lancarte children used to swim, and they sip potent margaritas and enjoy the same Mexican recipes that Mama Suz used to make.

Over the decades, Joe T.’s has served sports stars and rock stars, presidents and average people, but the iconic Cowtown dining experience endures. Is it the best Mexican food in Fort Worth? Many people would argue that it isn’t. But for every detractor, you’ll find two or three defenders.

Expect big crowds and plenty of mariachi music on July 4th this year as fans and the Joe T.’s family celebrate the restaurant’s 81st birthday, still going strong.

Devoted diners serenade the iconic Fort Worth restaurant, which first opened as a 16-seat restaurant on Independence Day in 1935. It now seats 1,600, with its original dining area and beloved hacienda-style patio in the Stockyards. We salute this

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