Tyler has seen the arrival of many popular restaurant chains over the past few years.

Fuzzy’s Tacos and Rusty Tacos opened this month, joining franchises such as Smashburger, Mooyah, TCBY, Jimmy John’s, Chipotle, Chuy’s and BJ’s Brewhouse.

Using only midday traffic on S. Broadway as a metric, it seems Tyler is becoming busier and more urban than ever before. The restaurants that have popped up lately are perpetually crowded, and Smashburger and Jimmy John’s have already opened or are opening a second Tyler location.

Despite competition that seems to increase every few months, the restaurant business is booming.

It seems natural, then, to expect even more popular eateries to come our way. We looked at a few growing chains that recently have added Texas locations and compiled a list of the restaurants we would most like to see in Tyler.

1. In-N-Out Burger

In and Out first opened in 1948 in Southern California and for decades it was a regional staple. The chain eventually migrated to Utah, Nevada and Arizona, and the first Texas location opened in 2011. In just over a year, the company has added 12 restaurants in the DFW area with three more on the way.

Faithful customers often claim there is just something about In-N-Out burgers that make the restaurant stand above other fast-food joints. If the Texas locations prove as successful as their California counterparts, it doesn’t seem far-fetched to imagine In-N-Out Burger expanding to Tyler.

2. Joe’s Crab Shack

Joe’s is a seafood favorite with more than 100 locations in 28 states. The laid-back (though somewhat pricey) restaurant is famous for it’s beach-themed atmosphere.

Joe’s original location was in Houston, and the chain now has 29 Texas locations. Most are concentrated are Houston and DFW, but over the years Joe’s has expanded to other areas, including Lubbock. With most urban areas becoming pretty saturated, it would make sense for the chain to begin tapping into new cities.

A lot of people don’t realize Tyler is as close to Shreveport as it is to Dallas, and a lot of East Texans have roots in Louisiana. That means a lot of us appreciate good seafood, so there’s little doubt Joe’s could find an attractive market.

3. Freebirds World Burrito

Sure, Tyler has plenty of Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants. But as the numerous local burger joints have shown, you can never have too much of a good thing. You have to experience a Freebirds burrito for yourself to fully understand why, but trust me, this place would be a new Tyler hot spot.

The restaurant is already popular in college towns and urban areas, but it is quickly expanding to new markets. One upcoming store will be in San Angelo, Texas, a city with a population very similar to Tyler. Hopefully the company will soon set up shop in our neck of the woods.

4. P.F. Changs

This chain offers a popular Asian cuisine across America and around the world. Perhaps its main draw is a large and diverse menu that includes lamb and duck.

P.F. Changs is already popular in Texas’s common urban markets (Houston, DFW, Austin, San Antonio) and there’s no reason it couldn’t be as successful in Tyler.  If there’s a type of food East Texas could use more of, it has to be Asian. P.F. Changs would be the perfect addition to our dining culture.

5. Bone Daddy’s

This is the smallest chain on the list, but Bone Daddy’s has begun to settle in across Texas.

If there’s one thing East Texans can’t get enough of, it’s smokehouse BBQ, which is why Bone Daddy’s made the cut. The restaurant offers all the classic BBQ dishes along with a ton of side items and drink specials. It’s ideal for Tyler’s collective palate.


Are there any you’d add to this list?