About Highland Park Cafeteria

Highland Park Cafeteria MomWhat makes us “America’s Cafeteria?”


A Texas institution since 1925, Highland Park Cafeteria has been “America’s Cafeteria” ever since the New York Times gave us the name in 1981. Why do we deserve that honor? We think it’s because Highland Park Cafeteria has:

A respect for history

Ernest "Mister B" Bowens

Ernest “Mister B” Bowens, dedicated cook… since 1956 on Knox Street

When something is good, you don’t let it go. That’s why we still use favorite recipes from decades past, like our famous Squash Casserole. That’s why we hold on tight to the best cooks, like Mr. Ernest Bowens, who’s been cooking for us since 1956. And that’s why owner Jeff Snoyer saved the Highland Park Cafeteria after it had fallen on hard times.

We’ve not only kept the recipes and the cooks, but another piece of history: the wall of U.S. presidents. After a long search for new portraits (the original ones were donated to Highland Park High School), we commissioned a set that includes more information about each president as well as all of the first ladies. The set also includes a typo—if you can spot it, we’ll give you a free dessert!

Fresh local food, prepared from scratch

We believe that simple food is best, made from scratch with top-quality ingredients. You can taste the proof in the 100-plus menu items we prepare by hand every day, in the home-baked goodness of our desserts, and in the fresh local produce. We’re proud to work with vendors so exacting that they choose our produce row by row from the fields where it grows.

Live music during lunch and dinner

We know that a dining experience isn’t just about food, so we’ve created a serene environment for you to enjoy. No blaring canned music, but a place where you can talk over your meal or be entertained by some of the area’s finest professional pianists, who play during lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

And our special ingredient…

Our food tastes so good that people often ask us if we have a special ingredient. According to our longtime cook Ernest “Mister B” Bowens, it’s “come-back.” That’s right, we put a little “come-back” into everything we make, so you’ll want to come back again and again. And we’ll be happy to see you.