Weekend Guide to Laredo: Top Things to Do
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Weekend Guide to Laredo: Top Things to Do

Bolillo’s Café Enchiladas Mexicanas 

Laredo has been often been called one of the best road trip destinations in South Texas (see this and this, for example). And we agree. If you’ve been to Laredo a dozen times or you’ve never visited before, there are some things you just shouldn’t miss. Here’s a list of some of the top things to do in Laredo on a weekend trip, and share your own ideas and photos with us on social media using the hashtag #HolaLaredo.

The Queen of Cuisine

Big cities like San Antonio pride themselves on their Mexican cuisine, but Laredo is arguably the best place to find delicious, Mexican-inspired dishes in South Texas. Bolillos is one of Laredo’s most popular Mexican spots, where the options range from fish tacos to enchiladas and Mexican hot dogs—all very authentic. On a weekend trip to Laredo, eating starts early with breakfast and brunch, so visit during breakfast hours to try out its signature bolillos—oval shaped bread with all the breakfast fixin’s on top. (The cafe is joined with a bakery, Cakeland, making it ideal for diners to grab sweets after their meals.)

Lolita’s Bistro Chicken & Waffles 

Another popular spot for brunch is Lolita’s Bistro, a fun spot with original paintings on the walls, rainbow-colored tables, and a chalkboard wall behind the bar. For brunch, it’s famous for chicken and waffles and chorizo chilaquiles. This is an old-meets-new flavors kind of spot with signature Southwestern menu items like sea bass ceviche, tostaditas and chocolate abuelita cake, but there’s also fine-dining dishes like three cheese lobster mac, ribeye steaks and coconut curry mussels.
Border Foundry Appetizers 

Not everything trends Mexican. Some local spots do Texas flavors like only Texas restaurants can. Serving the public since 2013, Border Foundry gives diners a true sense of history when dining here. Inside, there’s a posh cocktail bar and a steampunk-meets-farmhouse vibe with clockwork paintings, antique pulleys and other preserved industrial artifacts. Items on the menu include crab cakes, oyster nachos, pizza and rib eye steaks.
Brunch at Scratch Sandwich 
And you might be in Texas, but that doesn’t mean Laredo can’t do New York flavors. At Scratch Sandwich, everything is completely made from scratch and the deli works hard to maintain its authentic New York vibe. Expect to find pastrami sandwiches, grilled cheese and soups with quirky names like “When Harry Meets Sally,” and “When Pigs Fly.” Don’t forget to try “The Mile High Club,” a local favorite with Thanksgiving turkey flavors in a freshly baked sandwich roll. Beer lovers appreciate the impressive craft beer menu at Scratch, too.
Siete Banderas Dinner 
Finally, there’s no better place to unwind with a cocktail than Siete Banderas. Located in the heart of the downtown district, the restaurant has its own spacious patio bar where you can dine (menu items include grilled quail, shrimp and scallops risotto, rack of lamb and more) or sit outside with a drink and enjoy live music, which plays Thursday through Sunday most weeks. Inside, each room at Siete Banderas has its own color theme with neon lights glowing dark blue or red throughout the vicinity, giving it a cool, club-like feel.
Plaza San Agustin 

A Taste of the Local Culture

Now that the most important item is out of the way (where to eat), then it’s time to figure out what to do. Laredo’s downtown—properly identified as the San Agustin de Laredo Historic District—is one of the coolest places to visit in Texas, mostly because it doesn’t look like any place else. The streets are made from bricks, and many of the buildings have Spanish and Mexican influence. This district is home to must-see places including La Posada Hotel (a 4-diamond hotel whose entrance was once the first Laredo High School), the San Agustin Cathedral and the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum—all of which border the San Agustin Plaza, the heart of Old Laredo. A number of historically significant buildings are scattered throughout the historic district. Check out this page for a do-it-yourself tour of the area.

Av San Bernardo 

After touring the historic district, your next destination should be San Bernardo Avenue, a 40-block shopping destination (and Laredo’s original main street) filled with eclectic stores selling some of the best imported Mexican goods in the United States. Expect to find a wide range of Mexican dresses, pottery, trinkets, housewares and original artwork. Laredo is also home to a number of malls and shopping plazas.

Mall Del Norte, for example, is one of the largest malls in the entire state with 160 stores. Located near Mall del Norte is Fountain Centre, which has smaller boutiques with one-of-a-kind items. See all of Laredo’s shopping destinations here.

Laredo’s location in South Texas means warm temperatures throughout the year, so golf is an option no matter when you visit. The best spot to book a tee time is the Max A. Mandel Golf Course (locals call it “The Max”), where holes range from challenging terrains to easy sections for first timers. Famed architect Robert Trent Jones II designed the 18-hole golf course, creating a stunning course that overlooks the Rio Grande River. Mesquite trees provide shade for golfers on the course, and the 9,000-sq.-ft. clubhouse with its own gift shop and a restaurant.

Laredo has a number of options when it comes to nightlife, too. Cozy up to a bar for a cocktail at one of the town’s restaurants or nightclubs. They range from country western clubs to Mexican lounges to sports bars. Another option for a night out in Laredo is a live concert. The city is home to the prestigious Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra that often puts on shows playing classical music from the likes of Beethoven and Mozart. To catch a more modern concert, check out the upcoming shows at Laredo Energy Arena that often headlines Mexican rock bands, bluegrass groups, hip hop acts and more. The arena can hold up to 10,000 attendees, making it the top concert venue in the region.

Finally, for a true taste of the local culture, you might try to time your trip with one of the annual events that celebrates Laredo and everything that makes it unique. In December don’t miss the NavidadFest at the Arena. Laredo has an ongoing tradition – celebrating Washington’s Birthday starting in January. Other popular events during the year include the Laredo Birding Festival in February, as wll as the Laredo International Sister Cities Festival during the summer, and the Big Bad BBQ Cook Off in November, which has quickly become a local favorite. Check the calendar of events for more events year round in Laredo.


This is just a snapshot of some of the must-dos on a weekend trip to Laredo, but there’s much more to this town, including ideas for family fun, outdoor sports and more. Download or request a Visitor Guide for more details on planning a trip to one of the coolest border towns in the country—Laredo.

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