In our Must Do Things Around Greater Houston series, we take a look at Houston’s vast array of communities, neighborhoods and destinations to bring you five fun, tasty, surprising and enticing reasons you should give each one a visit.
Over the years, Tomball has grown from its origins as a railroad outpost into the bustling, small city that it is today, a perfect compromise between big city life and the quiet countryside.
From a place serving craft chocolate and smoked meat to the historic train depot, there’s plenty to do and see in this neighborhood.
Note: For the purposes of this list, Tomball is defined by the area covered in this map.
5 Must Do Things in Tomball
Double your pleasure at Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue
Not only does Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue make some seriously excellent artisan chocolates, it also makes some seriously excellent barbecue.
Hit the dual concept to grab truffles and chocolates in unique flavors like jalapeño fig and key lime pie, then fill up on barbecue salt-and-pepper-kissed, fat-rendered smoked brisket, and ribs by the pound, plus some chocolate bread pudding with cajeta caramel sauce for good measure.
Explore Old Town Tomball
You should definitely check out Tomball’s historic downtown when it hosts yearly events including the Tomball German Heritage Festival and Tomball German Christmas Market, but it’s also fun to stroll through year-round.
There’s music venue Main Street Crossing, where you’ll find a slate of live jams alongside pub grub and drinks.
You can also tour historic homes and buildings at the Tomball Museum Center or check out the family-friendly Railroad Depot.
And when you’ve worked up an appetite, go for smokehouse burgers at Tejas’ sibling establishment Tejas Burger Joint, dine on tea sandwiches and raspberry cream cake at Whistle Stop Tea Room, go for sweet and savory crepe and blini at Wholly Crepe!! Russian Bistro, and unwind with wine and cheese at The Empty Glass, a rustic chic wine bar and tasting room with a true Texas feel.
Hit a brewery & explore local craft suds
Right in Old Town Tomball, Fire Ant Brewing rocks elevated pub grub and onsite brews at its brewpub, where you can go for American style Cream Ales and Summer Craze Blondes alongside Pimento Cheeseburgers and Togarashi Fries.
One of the co-founders of Paradigm Brewing Company is affectionately known as “Professor Pils” (he teaches a Brewery Operations and Management class at Texas A&M), so you know you’re getting a superior product, here. Take a brewery tour, or pop in the restaurant to sip hoppy suds like the clean and classic Precision IPA alongside Korean Pork Belly Bites, Nashville Hot Chicken, and Brewmaster Burgers.
Shop local at the Tomball Farmers Market
This rain-or-shine market is open Saturdays year-round.
Show up early for the best selection of goods from over 50 vendors, featuring local produce, pasture-raised meats, farm fresh eggs, cheeses, seafood, and artisan treats like gourmet jams and local honey, freshly baked bread and handmade pasta, local coffee, and fiery salsas.
Open Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
Take the Mega Mel Challenge at Mel’s Country Cafe
Prepare your stomachs because the long-awaited reopening of Mel’s Country Cafe is on the way (slated for fall 2023).
You may be tempted to get the incredible, bigger-than-the-plate chicken fried steak on nearly every visit to Mel’s (as you should be), but you have to try the greasy spoon’s crazy burger challenge at least once in your lifetime.
The challenge works like this: finish the burger plate, featuring one and a half pounds of ground beef, a full pound of bacon, quarter pound of cheese and all the trimmings, in under 2 hours without help (and be able to walk and talk without getting sick), and you’ll earn yourself eternal glory.
Oh, and a highly-coveted spot on the wall.
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