M A R F A
Where To Eat & Drink in Marfa
Before exploring the always magical & mystical Marfa, check out the hours of operation for your desired eateries & galleries online. Your options Monday- Wednesday will be limited so I recommend first time visitors plan their Marfa travels between Thursday- Saturday.
Al Campo: Al Campo is a Marfa newcomer and a Willow House favorite. The food is awesome, ambiance is unbeatable, and wine flows freely. You feel like you've walked into your friends living room who has an open door policy. Characters from all walks of life converse on the screened patio while Tatanka, the owner, greets every guest with a smile. Menu changes frequently but if queso is being offered, order it. Wine & Beer Only.
Vibe: Cool & Casual
Capri: A beautiful space- interior and exterior alike. Truly unique. Creative & delicious cocktails. Stop by around 6 pm on a Friday or Saturday, hopefully there will be some live music outside.
Vibe: Sophisticated yet casual, Whimsical
Pizza Foundation: Located in a minimalistic warehouse, Pizza Foundation offers homemade pizza, beer and wine Friday through Saturday. You can order at the counter, call in for pick-up, or enjoy pizza by the slice. Sometimes I purposely don't call ahead. I grab a bottle of red wine, sit at the folding tables, and decompress.
Vibe: Super Casual & To-Go Orders Common
Cochineal: Would likely be considered one of the nicest restaurant in Marfa. Simple yet elegantly built. Reservations recommended. Originally started by NYC based chef. Delicious food.
Vibe: Sophisticated & Sleek
The Get Go: Small Curated grocery store. Sophisticated offerings considering how remote Marfa is. They carry everything from essentials (olive oil, eggs, butter) to unlikely Marfa finds (wide selection of Kambucha, specialty hummus). I am always pleasantly surprised to find all ingredients to make an impressive charcuterie board at The Get Go.
Vibes: Trendy Grocery Store Vibes
Planet Marfa: This gem of a watering hole captures funkiness in all the right ways. Planet Marfa has a menu that always hits the spot. It leaves 'Marfa Minimalism' for its neighbors and embraces the 'more is more' motto that leaves us feeling reminiscent of Santa Fe. A ping toss, a school bus, a large teepee, and a ping pong table are among the many attractions Planet Marfa has to offer. Note - not open year round.
Vibe: Light Hearted & Super Casual
Stellina: Located in one of the most beautiful buildings in Marfa (The Brite Building), Stellina is a small and sophisticated dinner spot. The simple build out feels airy and peaceful. The food is served in small yet satisfying portions.
Vibe: Sophisticated & Airy
Saint George Restaurant & Bars: The Saint George Hotel, the newest of the Marfa hotel offerings. Well designed & executed with an extremely well-curated bookstore- any Marfa first-timer should check it out. The Saint George restaurant has good food, nice cocktails, and most importantly... is almost always open- a true rarity in Marfa.
Vibe: Chic & Everyone Welcome
Food Shark: The Mediterranean food truck that Beyonce famously ate at while stopping through Marfa. Hours of operation are minimal. It is worth a stop if it happens to be open when you are passing by.
Vibe: Super Casual & Outdoor Picnic Tables
Do Your Thing Coffee: Probably the most notable coffee & breakfast option in Marfa. This is definitely what true coffee lovers will be looking for when waking up in Marfa.
Vibes: Coffee Shop Vibes
What to Do in Marfa
The Chianti Foundation: Most recognized for Donald Judd's 15 works of concrete, The Chinati Foundation is what put Marfa on the international art scene. The Chinati Foundation opened to the public in 1986 as an independent, non-profit, publicly funded institution. Located on 340 acres of land on the former site of Fort D.A. Russell, The Chinati Foundation provides a truly unique experience for art enthusiasts as well as active artists through their internship and artist-in-residence programs. A notable addition to The Chinati Foundations collection: Robert Irwin's 2016 Untitled (dusk to dawn). Guided Tours available. Check Foundation hours prior to visiting.
Marfa Lights: Since the 19th century, accounts of strange and unexplained source-less dancing lights have mystified visitors and generations of West Texas natives. The official Marfa Lights Viewing Area is located 9 miles east of town on Highway 90, towards Alpine. The Marfa Visitor center recommends you bring an open mind. Read more here. Additionally, the Marfa Lights Festival takes place on Labor Day weekend each year with food and craft vendors open around the historic Presidio County Courthouse.
Cobra Rock Boot Compan
El Cosmico Gift Shop
Marfa Book Store in Hotel Saint George lobby
Paisano Gift Shop
Annual Events & Weekends in Marfa
Thur.-Sun. September 20-23, 2018
Each year, a group of intrepid wanderers convene at El Cosmico for a weekend of live music, sandlot baseball, workshops, vendors, and much more in the majesty of Marfa. Tickets are currently on sale on El Cosmico's website, where you can buy a Music Only band, or a Music and Camping band. Be sure to grab yours before it sells out!
Fri.-Sat. September 21-22, 2018
Everyday 11am - 4pm
This year we've created something special. A collaboration between Willow House and Al Campo, Marfa Sol is the first ever opening party for Trans-Pecos festival. Come for a weekend filled with food, friends, music, art, hand poke tattoos, booze, and pop-up creations. Each wristband includes brunch or lunch, an open bar with beer and wine, and live music. Line up to follow.
June 6-10, 2018
Agave Festival Marfa is an annual festival celebrating the agave and its influence on culture through food, film, music and science. The Festival treats the agave as the indicator species for a region that is binational, multilingual, and deeply informed by indigenous history. It brings communities together through outstanding free and accessible programming including talks by preeminent historians, botanists, artists, anthropologists and archaeologists. Films, exhibitions, and tastings with agave spirit producers as well as unforgettable dining experiences are offered to everyone. Performances by leading artists in contemporary and regional music add dimension to the lively 5-day event.
Once a year, the Chinati Foundation facilitates a weekend with open studios, gallery exhibitions, speakers, mercantile events, and performances throughout Marfa. The Chinati Foundation offers free admission to its permanent collection, exhibitions, talks and music, and welcomes all to experience the contemporary art on display.
July 11-15, 2018
For five magical days, films that transcend time will be screened with indelible images and engaging storytelling, reminding us that the art of cinema can change our lives and renew the world. Because Marfa's wide-open plain, distant mountains and incomparably starry nights are part of the draw, Marfa Film Festival will have outdoor screenings during the festival. Indoor screenings - over 60 programs of features, shorts and experimental works will be shown.
Where to Stay in Marfa
The minimalist Thunderbird hotel is a renovated ‘motel-style’ property (all doors exterior facing into central courtyard). The décor is true Marfa Minimalism- concrete floors, colorful Mexican textile accents, mid-century modern furniture. Clean, walking distance to most all locations, typically reasonably priced unless its an exceptionally busy Marfa weekend, and cool courtyard vibes.
Ahead of its time in the ‘glamping’ arena, El Cosmico has been creating unique tent/ TP/ airstream experiences for its guest for roughly 10 years. At El Cosmico, the appeal is less about the place you are sleeping and more about the property as a whole. There is an incredible amount of freeness in the air. I find it hard for anyone to compete with Liz Lambert, founder and owner, when it comes to setting a mood and tone. As trendy as El Cosmico has become, the magic hasn’t exited the quirky ‘campground’. Live music at the mini stage 3-4 nights a week and a truly awesome gift shop makes El Cosmico unlike anywhere I have visited previously.
The El Cosmico team also rents out an upstairs loft in the Brite Building. If you have the opportunity to stay there, is beautiful and arguably the best location in town.
The Saint George Hotel, the newest and 'fanciest' of the Marfa hotel offerings, feels like it could be located in a number of cities across the country. Well designed & executed, but not particularly 'Marfa' in any way. For those who travel to this part of the world often, it is a great addition. It is clean, high quality, and offers more services than any other hotel in the area. However, if you are looking for a one time only true Marfa experience, this is probably not your best option.
The historic Paisano hotel was at one time, Marfa’s crown jewel in hospitality. While younger and prettier hotel options have invaded Marfa, Paisano still holds its own. Clean but dated rooms, decent restaurant, and multiple gift shops.