Frito Pie

Frito chips topped with chili, cheese, and onions, plus maybe lettuce, tomato, and jalapeno slices: That is a Frito pie. It may be served in a bowl or on a plate, but the classic way to have it – some would say the historic way – is to slice off the top of single-serving bag of Fritos and pile the ingredients right on in. The chili softens some of the chips and melts the cheese atop it. Plant a plastic fork in the bag and you’ve got what once was known as a walking taco. Dallas loyalists have their own version of Frito pie’s beginnings, but the long-told story is that it was invented in the 1960s by Teresa Hernandez, a cook at the Woolworth’s lunch counter on the Plaza at the heart of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Although its roots are Tex-Mex-New-Mex, Frito pie is no longer strictly regional. It is popular across a wide swath of the Southwest from Arkansas to Arizona and appears on western-themed menus everywhere. Variations include Flagstaff pie in Amarillo and the Hot Springs, Arkansas, spread, which also includes tamales. At Billy’s on Burnet in Austin, Texas, the El Jefe Burger comes with all of a Frito pie piled atop the meat patty. Pass the napkins, please.

Restaurants With This Dish

Kamp Dog | The Crazy-Good Wiener of Connecticut


Golden Light Cafe


Highland Park Soda Fountain


Carl’s Drive-In


Pecan Lodge


Double bacon cheeseburger, fully dressed
Pick Quick Drive-In



What do you think of Frito Pie?

Latest Articles & Guides

Where to Eat Breakfast in Pittsburgh | Roadfood Bests

Breakfast in Pittsburgh is especially wonderful It is one of the nation's great breakfast...

Multi-meat BBQ meal
Road Trip: Phoenix to the Grand Canyon | Roadfood Bests

Arizona Road Trip! This three day Roadfood Adventure from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon,...

Roadfood Adventures: Scottsdale to Bisbee, Arizona

Scottsdale to Bisbee, Arizona Roadfood Adventures are not just quests for great food...

Seattle’s Best Hidden Gem Restaurants | Roadfood Bests

Maybe because it is such a coffee Mecca, Seattle also happens to be one of the nation's best...

Roadfood Adventures: Winter Park to Miami, Florida

From Orlando and Winter Park down the east coast of Florida to Miami is a journey of...

Roadfood Adventures: Selma to Montgomery, Alabama

Sweet Home Alabama! from Selma – Queen City of the Blackbelt – to Montgomery -- the Heart...


Connect with us #Roadfood