Okay, so I’m kind of LOLing inside about this post. Because a ‘Guide’ to Bryan / College Station seems a little, well, pointless & funny ( especially since my only other city guides are to LA & NYC ).
BUT, hear me out– I have been living here for almost 4 years now, and I have searched high & low for actually good food, fun things to do, places to shop, etc. Aggieland has a few hidden gems that I may have overlooked if I hadn’t been so adamant about finding unique & cool things about this area.
So, here are a few of my favorites spots in the Bryan / College Station area! Some of these are a little obvious, but some are a little less obvious. I tried to curate a list of things that are more unique to us locally rather than including big corporate chains and such. I like things to be a bit more authentic, anyways. Let me know if y’all think I missed something.
RESTUARANTS, BARS & CAFES
This is BY FAR my favorite restaurant in BCS. Its kind of low-key & hidden, and I LOVE IT. They had the best Mascarpone Shrimp & Grits that I’ve ever had ( seriously better than the shrimp & grits in New Orleans… yeah, I said it ) and this really freaking delicious Ricotta Cheesecake. You MUST try Amico Nave if you live here.
I like this place for brunch on Sundays. Get the Chicken & Waffles if you’re being… well, me on a Sunday. They also have a Southern Belle breakfast that is healthy & light. For lunch/dinner, I hear that the Pulled Pork Sliders are yum and you always gotta get a side of the Truffle Fries. And, obviously, one of their many refreshing brews. Blackwater also delivers, so….. yeah.
This one is relatively obvious, but I had to put it on here anyways. They have SO many Gluten Free options here ( pasta, pizza, dessert ), which is kind of rare for around here. My favorite things to order are the cheese plate, hummus & pita, and the Citrus Chicken for the meal. The Gluten Free brownie with Gelato is the most heavenly dessert of all time. Their cocktail list is also pretty great, too.
Village is a place to go to get a nice, locally-sourced & quality meal. They use clean, seasonal produce and good-for-you ingredients. I also like to post up as Village with a Skinny Latte to study & such. I ALWAYS get the Dr. Rex’s Breakfast with scrambled egg whites ( & lots of hot sauce ), bacon, fruit, & gluten free bread ( for their insane jam ). NOM. Also see: Apple Mimosas.
Grub is pretty well-known, and for a good reason. It’s fast, casual & relatively cheap. I like to get the Front Porch Burger wrapped in lettuce with Fries. Their milkshakes ( & BOOZY MILKSHAKES ) are killer.
This is the Wine Bar right next to Village in Downtown Bryan. They have a more extensive wine selection than most of the restaurants in BCS ( obviously ) and a pretty solid dinner menu. ~Fancy~. They also offers promos and such ( like half-off wine bottles, etc. ), so be sure to ‘Like’ their Facebook page for updates on these important matters.
I haven’t been to Madden’s personally, but all my friends have raved about it since freshman year. From my understanding, its pretty nice and the ‘casual gourmet’ menu is a little fancier than your average College Station restaurant. I’m planning on going V soon.
West End Elixir Co.
They always have sweet specials through the ‘Hooked’ app ( download for sure! ) on food & drinks. Get a cocktail or, obviously, wine and the Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza!
Harvest Coffee Bar
OMG– this is my favorite coffee shop to study in right now. They play all the country music of my childhood ( johnny cash, willie nelson, waylon jennings, etc. ) & they have really good lattes. I like the Candlelight latte with almond milk the best.
Northgate Juice Joint
NJJ is RIGHT on Northgate. I walk to this little cafe from my apartment to drink some greens ( holy moly is my favorite ), have a breakfast bowl ( basically a smoothie with granola & fruit on top ), & knock back a wellness shot or 2. They have a big outdoor area with wifi for studying & working. I bring Drogo here a lot and they always set out a little water bowl for him ( key to my heart: being nice to my dog ). They use fresh/local/organic produce… & it makes me think I’m back in LA. *sobs* This is definitely the place to come when getting over a hangover from hell.
Lakeside Ice House at Lake Bryan
The Ice House is usually only open during warmer-weather months, which kinda sucks, but you GOTTA go when it is. Its right on Lake Bryan, and they’ll occasionally have some sort of live music thing happening. Fun stuff, fun stuff.
Chicken Oil Company
For those of you who don’t know, this is different from the famous Dixie Chicken. I have been eating at the Chicken Oil Company before/after Aggie football games for pretty much my entire life. It’s just a classic Texas-y place to grab a burger & a beer. The best thing ever. PS: I shot this look and this look right in front of this place.
This is a ‘my parents are in town’ go-to for sure. For brunch, they have a mimosa bar & some hearty scramblers that are really the key to success. For dinner, I like the chicken street tacos with one of their on-the-rocks margaritas ( the Puro Verde is good & most of their ‘special’ drinks are too! They make one with jalapeño-infused tequila that rock my world ). DESSERT, OMG: the Creme Brûlée Cheesecake ( with oreo crust ) and the Cinnamon Toast S’more are both making me drool just thinking about that. *Ew.*
BEAUTY & FITNESS
I am a member at Facelogic here in College Station, which means I pay $55/month and get either a facial or massage each month as well as discounts on other services ( from waxing to makeup to tanning ) and products ( they sell EMINENCE! my favorite ). Facelogic is really the only spa in this area that I trust, tbh.
So, I’ll admit, I love a good spray tan. I wear a LOT of SPF on a daily basis, and I really cannot stand fake-baking, so a pretty spray tan is basically my best friend. For $50/month, you can get an unlimited spray membership at Darque Tan. I think its worth it….. #brat. I prefer the Mystic Tan to the Versa, but they’re both included in the spray tan membership, so you can see which one works best for you!
Unleashed MMA & Fitness
I need to do an updated boxing post, but for those of you who follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you know boxing is my freaking favorite thing ever. I walked into Unleashed about 3 years ago ( as a bebe freshman ) & started taking one-on-one classes with Carl ( the owner/trainer at Unleashed MMA & Fitness ) until I brought a few of my friends in. We have all fallen in love. If you want to get your ASS KICKED in a badass gym, definitely try this place out. I’m not one for the exercise ‘class’ environment, so this place is perfect for me. 2-3 of my friends and I go in early in the morning about twice a week, and the workout is always a little bit different. We definitely leave feeling like we are about to die…. and its freaking awesome.
Innovative Fitness BCS
I took a hot yoga class at Innovative Fitness some time ago, and I really liked it ( though I’m not much of a yoga person ). Now, I’ve been told they do a ‘Vertical Fitness’ class ( aka: POLE DANCING ) and I’m trying this class ASAP. Exciting stuff, y’all.
Obviously. I’ve always liked shopping at Pine a lot. They always have really trendy options and you can usually find a few quality things for a good deal. The buyers at Pine have done a really good job of bringing in affordable ( but ALSO cute & well-made ) options for us College Station girls.
This shop is in Downtown Bryan and is filled with really pretty pieces. On average, it is a little bit more expensive than other stores around here, but the brands are all super trendy and in-style. HEMLINE Bryan is part of the larger HEMLINE family ( with lots of locations all over Texas/the South ) but is Aggie Owned and Operated ( sooo Gig ‘Em! ).
Gem + Tonic
My good friend Jac runs this cute AF jewelry shop ( see Instagram here ). Amongst a ton of other jewelry makers, Jac always seems to win out in the FREAKING ALWAYS CUTE department. I’m super picky about jewelry ( quality, design, etc ) and Gem + Tonic jewelry never disappoints. Also, you can reach out to her for customized pieces, so you can get exactly what you want.
Farm Patch Farmer’s Market
I LOVE the farmer’s market here. You cannot be UPSET/PISSED/STRESSED when you’re at a legit Farmer’s Market. I’m not sure why it makes me so happy, but it really does ( FRESH PRODUCE YA ). I always try to swing getting my produce and such here ( rather than the grocery store ) because it is often cheaper & fresher. I love this place so much that I shot a recent collaboration at the Farm Patch ( as seen here ). What a gem.
Okay so this is a chain, I know, but I love World Market SO much. From affordable home/kitchen stuff to unique foodie options to WINE galore, World Market is just a one-stop shop for everything cool ever.
Brazos Valley Natural Foods
Okay, so if you’re looking for a real HEALTH & WELLNESS store to by any obscure healthy ingredients, always organic products or things like oils, supplements, etc., Brazos Valley Natural Foods is your go-to. I’ll run by to look around and pick up a few wellness-junkie must-haves on occasion. It’s just kinda fun.
THINGS TO DO
( Besides the obvious University-Affiliated athletic events and such )
I have been into shooting guns ( for fun/sport ) since I was about 15. This indoor shooting range is right on Texas Ave, and I just think its a little exciting/different to go shoot at some targets for a bit if I’m having a boring day/week. Stone cold killer, ya know?
Grand Station Entertainment
OK– I really have only been here once, and it was to go bowling on Ladies’ Night ( so girls bowl for free… I think ) I had such a good time, LOL. I’m not usually one for places like this, but they have a bar right next to the bowling area so that makes the decision to go or not a little more simple.
This one is a little random, but I really like bringing my dog to Research Park to run around and play. When the weather is nice out, I’ll bring a little blanket and sit/watch and let him explore a little. If it makes Drogo happy, it makes me happy.
You can get pretty much anything that you want delivered right to your door ( food, things from the gas station, groceries, etc. ) & that, my friends, is a blessing.
This app has a ton of local promotions for students for restaurants & bars.
What do y’all think? Let me know what else I should add if I’ve missed something sweet!