Grown-Up Getaway: Wine and dine in Lubbock Texas

Last spring, we outlined the perfect Grown-Up Getaway to charming Fredericksburg, Texas, in the Hill Country. Now we’re back with one more–perhaps unexpected–Texas getaway: Lubbock. Everywhere I went in Fredericksburg, I was told by winemakers that their grapes came from this city in the West Plains. So naturally, I had to go see Lubbock for myself.

If you’ve driven through Lubbock, Texas before, you might assume this west Texas city of approximately 250,000 is primarily comprised of strip malls and suburbs. However, dig a little deeper into the heart of Lubbock, and you’ll find some true gems hiding in plain sight.

What to do on a Lubbock Texas getaway:

Lubbock is a college town, so most of its culture spans out from Texas Tech and the recently growing urban downtown core area.

Starting your days:

Starting with your morning cup of joe, head to J&B Coffee in the college district for great drip brew and breakfast sandwiches, or to Sugar Brown’s Coffee, where you can soak up great ambiance inside or outside. Take a pic by the Made in LBK sign on their outside wall on your way in.

Wine tasting:

This is big country, with an abundance of land. As winemaker Bobby Cox of Pheasant Ridge put it, if Texas wineries planted on half the land available, they’d grow more grapes than Europe’. As a result, tasting rooms in Lubbock’s AVA can be spread out, and often, vineyards are off-site. That said, here are the best options for your Texas wine tasting tours.

Kim McPherson of McPherson Cellars

Berklee Hills/Trilogy: With an inviting tasting room located in Levelland (about thirty minutes from Lubbock), Trilogy offers $5 tastings that can be enjoyed indoors or out, on their patio. The owner (who will be combining Berklee Hills with Trilogy) has been growing grapes since 2002, and has been custom crushing since 2016.  They make a particularly good dry Muscat, and have won awards for their Malbec.

McPherson Cellars: Back in town, McPherson Cellars is run by Kim McPherson, whose father, Doc McPherson is considered the pioneer of Texas wine. McPherson Cellars offered the best of anything I tasted in Lubbock, so it’s a must-do. Plus, the tasting room is easy to get to, and fun and funky. The outdoor patio is inviting with couches and sculpture art, and across the street, McPherson’s wife runs one of the best restaurants in town (see below). Not to be missed at McPherson: the dry rosé, Grenache, Tempranillo, and Sangiovese.

CapRock Winery: Located out-of-town on Woodrow Road, CapRock Winery is also the real deal: their huge facility is putting forth serious contenders for the best wine in Lubbock, in my opinion.

 

Pheasant Ridge: Out of town on Courtney Road, Pheasant Ridge is the oldest winery in the area, and the 7th oldest in Texas, bought in 1978. They grow seven varietals on-site, and while the tasting room isn’t fancy, there’s a nice canopied seating area out front, with views of their 30 acres of vines (more are off-site), and like CapRock and McPherson, especially, their staff in the tasting room know their stuff.

Are you more of a beer person? Brewery LBK is the area’s up-and-coming brewery, located downtown in the Pioneer Building!

Dining:

If you follow our plan for a Lubbock weekend, you’ll spend the bulk of your day at area wineries, so plan on light bites and charcuterie plates until dinner. I promise you’ll want to come to the following restaurants hungry.

The West Table Kitchen and Bar:

With a seasonally-changing menu and a young chef who has returned to his hometown after training in California and working across the US, the West Table on Broadway Street makes use of prime downtown space in what used to be the historic Lubbock Hotel. Now, it’s a fine dining venue with high ceilings, tile floors, and exposed beams, with an attached coffee shop and artisan wine event space and the afore-mentioned Brewery LBK in the same building. Make sure to try one of their craft cocktails; I loved their spin on a Whiskey Smash. Get the roasted poblano peppers if they’re offered as an appetizer.

Tip: Upstairs the Pioneer Pocket Hotel offers renovated suites with clean lines and contemporary touches. Stay here and you can go right downstairs for coffee in the mornings.

La Diosa Cellars:

Tucked away in downtown Lubbock across the street from McPherson Cellars, La Diosa is the success story of Sylvia McPherson, wife of winery owner Kim McPherson. She’s put her interior decorating background to work to create a warm, eclectic atmosphere, and her tapas-forward menu is the real deal. She’s tapped into her family’s Spanish and Mexican heritage to create a unique and truly beautiful menu. Start with the sangria, and don’t be afraid to be adventurous.

Cocina de La Sirena:

This gem for modern Latin American cuisine is located right off the highway, and looks quite unassuming behind an old motel-turned-artisan boutique strip. But step into the courtyard and you’ll find patio dining under twinkling lights and a cozy interior with a stellar bar. Come for happy hour and small plates, or settle in for dinner, but either way, the margaritas and homemade salsas outshine almost everything (and that’s saying something). The owner is truly passionate about local sourcing, and everything is fresh.

Funky Door Bistro & Wine Room:

Best known for its fondue (in West Texas? Yep!) this restaurant serves to showcase the best of Texas wine, plus varietals from around the world. They have over 650 labels, so plan to stay awhile!

Want more to do? Try to plan your trip for the First Friday Art Walk downtown, which features food trucks and multiple gallery openings, and learn more about Lubbock native Buddy Holly’s history at the Buddy Holly Center. In spring of 2020, a huge downtown development project, the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts & Sciences, will open across from the civic center, offering theater space and event space with the capacity to host Broadway productions and world-class musical guests.

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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