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Borunda's Bar & Grill: A Taste of the Past

by Magdalin Leonardo

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All text and images © 1998 Magdalin Leonardo, email  

While filming "Giant," James Dean's favorite restaurant in Marfa was The Old Borunda Cafe on San Antonio Street. Although the once-famous eatery is now a gift shop, you can still get a taste of Jimmy's favorite grub at Borunda''s Bar & Grill.


This lively bar/restaurant is located just down the street from where The Old Borunda Cafe used to be. Its owner, Pancho Borunda, is the nephew of Carolina Borunda, who owned the original establishment. He’s the one responsible for continuing his family's delicious tradition. Both his wife, Judy, and daughter, Angela, help run Borunda’s, which boasts the best Chicken Tacos this side of the border. You can shoot some pool, sit down and eat at a table, or just relax at the bar. Borunda's is one of only two bars in the entire town. And it's one of the only places you can eat after 7:00 p.m.


Marfa is small, remember? You won't find any fast food places here. But Borunda's beats McDonald's any day. Especially if you're a Dean fan.

the road sign

Behind the bar, Pancho has Marfa's original black and white "Dean" street sign on display. (The town renamed the road in 1955 after Dean and company completed filming "Giant").

the masher

Here's Pancho's most treasured item: the antique bean masher his aunt used at The Old Borunda Cafe. Inscribed with her name, it's the very same utensil used to mash Jimmy's beans--Pancho swears it!

Pancho is proud of his family's small part in the "Giant" legacy, but there IS one Dean item he is desperately seeking: a photo of Dean in a car, with Marfa's original "Dean" street sign in the background. If you or any other Dean fan has this photo, or knows where you can get a copy, please contact me at and I'll pass the information along to Pancho. He would be most grateful--thanks!

All text and images © 1998 Magdalin Leonardo email

NEXT: Faces and Places

Continue Your Voyage:

  1. Overview: Where the heck is Marfa?
  2. Getting There
  3. The Arcón Inn
  4. Part one, Reata Ruins
  5. Part two, The Ruins of Reata
  6. Little Reata
  7. El Paisano Hotel
  8. Borunda’s Bar and Grill
  9. Part One, Faces and Places
  10. Faces and Places Part Two
  11. “Jimmy Beans”
  12. Part One, Reata Restaurant, Alpine
  13. Reata Restaurant, Alpine, Part Two
  14. About the Author

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Logo graphics © copyright 1997 by Mark K. Kinnaman, artist to the fans.

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