History of West Side Cafe in Fort Worth, TX

It’s 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday and you enter a low-slung building to a crowded waiting area, adorned with mismatched frames displaying veterans gone by. After elbowing past the vinyl bar stools, you’re seated at a slightly wobbly table in a chair that was probably pulled from a community center closet. The walls are sepia toned, the air smells like bacon grease, and you’re in for good ole country cookin’ surrounded by fading ephemera.

Fort Worth’s West Side Cafe, an authentic American diner at 7950 Camp Bowie W. Blvd., capitalizes on nostalgia.

Originally built in 1972 as a Pizza Inn, the diner was home to two other restaurants before opening as West Side Cafe in 1996. It was founded by Tracey Sanford, who died in June 2021 just shy of the restaurant’s 25th anniversary, and Bill and Judie Byrd. The eatery is now managed by Sue Mitchell, who ensures that hordes of loyal patrons get their comfort food fix every day from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Photo of red and green mural.

What could feel more like home than a Christmas-colored mural and hand-sewn floral curtains? | Photo by @FTWtoday

Rather than modernizing like the updated Paris Coffee Shop, West Side Cafe is paying tribute to its history. This summer, local artist Matt Cliffwho has designed artwork for Pat Green and Leon Bridgesadded a new mural to the cafe’s eastern exterior wall. The mural features a vintage walking coffee pot that nods to the restaurant’s Norman Rockwell feel.

The cafe is also keeping breakfast on a budget with reduced prices. Guests aged 55+ can get breakfast for $5.99 and a lunch or dinner plate for $8.99.

Need a break from food trends? The full menu includes home-cooked favorites like buttermilk pancakes, biscuits and gravy, or chicken fried steak with a side of squash casserole. Family meal deals and curbside service are also available.

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