Nuzzled between The Davies Mountains and Big Bend National Park is a small town with an immense personality. For only having a population of just above 2,000 residents, Marfa dodges a small-town identity by creating a place that marvels in art, inimitable architecture and funky culture. This mysterious town is often chattered about amongst fellow Texans, but the truly brave venture into the West Texas desert to see what the Marfa buzz is all about.
Breakfast: Squeeze Marfa
111 West Lincoln St.
Relating to its name, Squeeze Marfa was originally a sandwich shop that offered a copious selection of juices and chocolate. Yes, we said chocolate. This is the only location in America that sells the one of a kind Vollweinder chocolate directly from Switzerland. As the admiration of the bar grew, the menu followed in pursuit. Today, a daily selection of breakfast items are served as well, including a Swiss dish called Birchermüesli. Just to top it all off, Squeeze Marfa is now partnered with Third Coast Coffee, which originates from Austin, Texas.
The core of Marfa’s culture comes from its richness of contemporary art. One of the most known art projects in the town is Prada Marfa, which is a permanent art installation co-produced between The Art Fund and Ballroom Marfa in 2005. This is a piece that is meant to epitomize commercial art. Ballroom Marfa is a non-profit organization that offers a grand tour of contemporary art inside of their space, which once served as a dance hall. The Chinati Foundation is another art project that spans across the desert lands and 15 different buildings. Often times The Chinati Foundation will have a couple temporary exhibitions along with its permanent collection. The small town of Marfa sometimes runs on its own clock, which means that most art exhibits require a reservation beforehand.
Lunch: Buns N’ Roses
1613 West San Antonio
To immerse yourself into the local’s scene, this is your spot. This steel farmhouse-esque space is part florist, part brunch spot. It’s eclectic, chic style makes it a great place for sipping on a cup of coffee and trying their infamous donuts. Besides creating great pastries, Buns N’ Roses also designs floral arrangements.
The Marfa retail business is all about supporting locals. Like Cobra Rock Boot Company, most items sold in stores are locally grown or hand-crafted. Cobra Rock Boot Company was started in 2011. The handmade leather boots were so well-received that in order to purchase a pair, buyers are put on a waitlist. The Get Go, a Marfa grocery market, marvels in fresh, locally grown products. Unlike a typical grocer, their outlook is to provide mostly organic goods from Marfa and the surrounding areas, such as Marfa Maid Goat Cheese. What appears to be a church in the Marfa desert is actually The Wrong Store, which is an amusing spot for checking out a collection of art products for sale along with an assortment of other classic entities, such as a colt 45 revolver. This church-turned store is hard to miss with its trademark orange horseshoe outside and hard to forget with its memorabilia inside.
Dinner: Museum of Electronic Wonders and Grilled Cheese Parlour
300 W San Antonio St.
There is a small chef’s window located inside of museum of old technology, including blinking bubble televisions, that serves a grilled cheese that many claim is the best they have ever had. The parlour was started under the wing of The Food Shark owner, Adam Bork. Because he has mastered the art of creating a grilled cheese, often there is a long line of eager guests outside of the door. Although this place is only open Friday and Saturday nights, it’s a must-eat on the voyage to Marfa.
The Marfa Mystery Lights
The desert night sky is the perfect back-drop to admire these glowing orbs of colorful lights. For years, Marfa tourists watch for the enigmatic glows, sometimes in guided tours. Reports claim that the lights move across the sky, leaving tourists speculating about celestial life.