Marfa, TX. Coming back after Round 2, most of our co-workers had the same question – “What do you even do in Marfa?” The answer? Everything and absolutely nothing mixed with a little of this and that. Seriously Marfa isn’t for everyone – But for some it’s a magical, artistic, lax oasis in the West-Texas desert that drives you to connect to the cosmos, food, play and leisure in a way you can’t in other cities. Marfa is special. Plain and simple. And secret’s out – we’ll be there again in two months. In the meantime – we’re giving you our second go-around of The (Not-So) Locals Guide: Marfa. If you missed our first trip, no worries it's here.
Usually on trips, our first night in a city is a little disorienting. We usually get in a little late, are hangry and unsure of how to spend our first night exploring. The perk of traveling to a city again is the comfort of knowing what to expect, and when it came to Marfa, we didn’t even have to ask Siri how to get anywhere this go around – In a town no bigger than a few miles wide, it’s easy to memorize landmarks (Looking at you Pizza Foundation).
Remember the last Marfa go-around when I mentioned I first discovered Marfa by watching Courtney Kerr’s show on Bravo? Well to refresh you – she took a road trip with her besties, visited Prada Marfa and was almost arrested for biking in the streets. She stayed at the Thunderbird Hotel, and ever since that episode I dreamed of doing the same. While we knew we wanted to do at least one night at El Cosmico, Thunderbird was a non-negotiable for a few reasons. We’re doing a full feature on this oasis – but trust us when we say, a stay is definitely worth it.
The last meal we ate during our first round of Marfa was Pizza Foundation. It’s located on the east side of town, across from the Dollar General (Seriously, landmarks are key here). It’s in a blue building, and has a staff that seems to never rotate. Everything is made in-house, and it’s a no-frills version of your favorite pizza shop. They have beers and wines along with a myriad of fresh ingredients. The pizza is so good, and so popular we showed up on Friday night with an hour and a half wait. Hour. And. A. Half. And here’s the deal – We were good. We went and got supplies, drove around. But you have to get there before 8:00 PM or you’re not getting pizza for the night – Sorry this isn’t your local Dominos. We hate saying this, but one of the best parts aside from your delicious, incredible pizza is watching vacationing patrons freak out about not getting to experience these heavenly slices.
One of the places locals rave about, the Internet goes crazy for, and remains a true, unique mystery (hours in particular) is Marfa Burrito. Literally in a house off the side of the highway, this tiny, authentic place serves up some pretty simple, but pretty delectable breakfast burritos. Your choices are few – Chorizo and egg, Potato and egg, Bacon and egg – and you may have to pull out some Spanish to order, but everything is simply done well. No frills, no fuss, and you may even run into some eclectic locals. Best part? The pictures of Matthew Mcconaughey all over the walls – My mom would have been in Burrito- Mcconaughey heaven.
We went back to Jett’s – It’s one of those places that’s super solid, deliciously made and a guaranteed solid meal. Feel free to check out Jett’s review from Marfa Round One to find out our favorites. We opted for Squeeze one afternoon – It’s a great mix of fresh foods for breakfast and lunch with a secluded, quiet patio. They make their own juices and everything will leave you feeling a little lighter (Minus the bag of ruffles, but what southerner doesn’t put ruffles in their sandwich for the extra crunch? We definitely do)
One of our best discoveries this go around was the new Marpho (pronounced Mar-pha… clever, right?) This was truly the vision of the younger, hip Marfa. We have too much to say, so check out the full review.
Our second favorite thing to do is shop – and while you can’t visit the comforts of a J.Crew, you can find some awesome locally run shops. We checked out Freda and Mirth last go-around, and this time Patricio stumbled upon his dream shop. Mano Mercantile is an indigo-dyed, eclectic shop right out of Patricio’s favorite things list. It’s gorgeously merchandised, with the most insane displays of hand-crafted merchandise we’ve seen. From Indigo-dyed blankets, to vintage Japanese Kimonos crafted into small jackets – I knew Patricio was walking away with something. And he did – An indigo-dyed bandana that was meant to live around his neck.
This go around we checked out the Chinati Foundation to check out the contemporary works of Donald Judd. You can view some of his famous concrete boxes out in the fields by driving down certain streets and they’re free to the public for view. Trust us when we say – Opt for the tour. While you’re guided, you really get to explore these works almost entirely on your own. The use of space, light and color is apparent and is such a contradiction in the desert. Opt for a day where the temperature dances under 85 – Because the sun gets brutal, and you’re in for an expansive tour of the land during your artistic sojourn.
When you’re rounding out the day and need a cool place to hang, Planet Marfa is your place. It’s red and yellow outer layer doesn’t even do justice to what you’re in store for when you walk in. There’s a teepee, rooftop for eight, beer garden and plenty of places to settle in and enjoy. It’s not high-brow and super-accessible from all of the hotels (perfect if you’ve already been boozing at the pool all day). They have small assortment of finger foods – The bean, cheese and jalapeño nachos are a heavenly treat when you need to nosh. Go in expecting nothing, and you’re going to have an amazing time. Biggest perk? Pet friendly! Bring your best friend and man’s best friend to this whimsical playground (for adults).
If we could move to Marfa tomorrow, we would. My only requirements are a Target within a 100 mile radius, and guess what? We found one. Granted we can’t peruse the dollar aisle at this one, but it’s still comforting to see that red circle. But in all seriousness, Marfa is magical. It’s tiny, and getting waved at while driving down the street never gets old. We’d love to be greeted with familiarity at The Get Go, or for the Pizza Foundation to know our pizza order by heart. It’s a small town full of fun, leisure and creativity. Even if you’re having an inkling about going – Do it. Even in this teeny-tiny town, there’s so much to do and see.
Who knows? Beyonce and Jenna Lyons are also known to roam these streets.