With the sun dipping low on the horizon, I headed into downtown, where a wheel-shaped sign for the Bici Bistro caught my eye. The restaurant is housed in a former dry-goods store that sold arms during the Mexican Revolution, but skylights added in the most recent restoration imbue a modern feel to the structure. The airy atmosphere complements the menu’s emphasis on healthy options. I ordered a delectable vuelve a la vida cocktail with shrimp, oysters, calamari, and fish in a light tomato sauce. The name translates to “return to life,” which seemed fitting after a day spent visiting historic places that have not only been preserved but also made new again for future generations.

As for the “bici” in the bistro’s name? An avid cyclist, owner Jesus Treviño stores a fleet of bicycles in the basement, and in addition to running his bistro, he offers historical tours of downtown Brownsville.

Read more about this road trip through the Rio Grande Valley

The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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