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Stop at Buc-ee’s, obviously
Courtney Pierce/Eater

Where To Eat In Between Dallas and San Antonio

The best pitstops for a long road trip.

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Stop at Buc-ee’s, obviously
| Courtney Pierce/Eater

The arrival of summer means one thing: vacation can’t be too far away. For many folks in DFW, it’s a summer tradition to trip to sunny San Antonio, home of the Alamo, the tourist-packed Riverwalk, and tons of family-friendly attractions. The city’s culinary scene has also grown dramatically in recent years, but you’re still going to have to eat before you arrive.

As such, it’s important to plan ahead. Alongside your best road trip mixtape, a tee repping the Dallas Mavericks in the land of the Spurs, and plenty of underwear, pack this guide of excellent dining spots — from beef jerky at Buc-ee’s to authentic German fare.

Looking to make a barbecue detour? Check out Eater Austin’s guide to the Hill Country’s best smoked meat spots.

Is your favorite Dallas-to-SA road trip rest stop missing? Let us know in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Slovacek’s West

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214 Melodie Dr
West, TX 76691

Sweet, danish-like kolaches, and savory, sausage-filled versions await at this West institution, along with house-made meats, sandwiches, breads and so much more. Protip: get extras. These sweet or savory baked goods are superb for breakfast and/or late night eats. Just pop ‘em in the microwave for a few seconds (or don’t). Or, if you’re staying with someone in SA, you’ll be their new best friend if you bring them a box full of kolaches.

Slovacek’s West/Facebook

2. Lula Jane's

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406 Elm St
Waco, TX
(254) 366-0862
Visit Website

If Magnolia Market’s cupcakes didn’t tempt your sweet tooth, try the pies and cookies at Lula Jane’s in Waco. Made-from-scratch-daily breads, cookies, pies and other baked goods, Lula Jane’s features park seating and a self-sustained garden full of vegetables on site.

Lula Jane's/Facebook

3. Dr Pepper Museum

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300 S 5th St
Waco, TX
(254) 757-1024
Visit Website

Stop for a Dr. Pepper float at the soda fountain and get a taste for the real thing (which may spoil you for the canned version), plus a peek into the history of the Texas-born brand of soda. This little museum in Waco is no World of Coke, but it’s full of memorabilia, history and merch.

Dr Pepper Museum/Facebook

4. Magnolia Market

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601 Webster Ave
Waco, TX

If you’re fans of a certain couple on HGTV, you’ll know that they’ve built an enormous market and shrine to Fixer Upper culture in their hometown of Waco, TX. From crepes to coffee and everything in between, food trucks make picnicking an easy choice, but if you haven’t had enough baked goods by this point in your trip, the Bakery at the Silos offers muffins, cupcakes, biscuits and more.

Magnolia Market/Facebook

5. Buc-ee’s

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4155 N General Bruce Dr
Temple, TX 76501

Do you like nuts? Do you like beef jerky? How about every flavor and variety of each of those you can imagine? If you’ve never been to a Buc-ee’s, you haven’t road-tripped in Texas properly. Stop for gas and come out with meat, nuts and whatever else (perhaps a metal sign of some sort?). You won’t regret it.

Courtney Pierce/Eater

6. Stagecoach Inn Motel

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401 S Stagecoach Rd
Salado, TX

Originally built in 1852, The Stagecoach Inn is hosting its grand re-opening on June 14 after being completely renovated by La Corscha Hospitality Group. These are the folks behind The Stonleigh Hotel in Dallas, The Driskill Hotel in Austin, The Saint Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, as well as several Austin restaurants. This I-35 pit stop is worth it just to take in the supreme history of the place. And if you have time for hushpuppies, they’re a worthy choice.

Stagecoach Inn Motel/Facebook

7. Walburg Restaurant

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3777 FM 972
Walburg, TX
(512) 863-8440
Visit Website

There’s a German restaurant in the town of Walburg featuring a biergarten, a lunch buffet and the Walburg Boys performing for happy diners on Friday and Saturday nights year-round. Sounds like heaven. Rumor has it the owner had to import pigs from Germany to get the flavor just right for many of the authentic German dishes.

Walburg Restaurant/Facebook

8. Blue Bonnet Cafe

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211 US-281
Marble Falls, TX 78654

The pies at Blue Bonnet Cafe are baked fresh each day and topped with either meringue or real whipped cream. You’ve got your creme pies, your meringue pies and your fruit pies. If you can make it work, try to arrive between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. on a weekday because that’s Pie Happy Hour, where Blue Bonnet slices of pie come topped with soft serve for four bucks. Need a pre-dessert? The Cafe serves daily soups, blue plate specials, award-winning breakfasts and more.

Blue Bonnet Cafe/Facebook

9. Mr. Pfrank’s

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200 E Pecan St
Pflugerville, TX 78660

In the town with the funny name, there’s a mom & pop hot dog joint that likes to have some fun. For $5 flat you can walk out with a kosher hot dog topped with your choice of toppings: chili, cheese, onions, jalepenos or sourkraut. There’s frito pie, nachos and Eskimo Pie on the menu, too. Tastes like the good ol’ days.

Mr. Pfrank’s/Facebook

10. Black’s BBQ

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300 N Colorado St
Lockhart, TX 78644

Would you even consider going on a road trip in Texas without at least one stop for barbecue? It’s heresy not to. If you’ve got room in your belly, in between Austin and San Antonio, why not veer off a teensy bit to Lockhart for Black’s Barbecue?

Black’s BBQ/Facebook

11. The Downtowner Bar & Kitchen

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208 S Castell Ave
New Braunfels, TX

In downtown New Braunfels, splashing distance from the Schlitterbahn water park, there’s a Southern-American restaurant serving up brunch, lunch, dinner, and late night fare, plus craft cocktails made from Texas purveyors like 44 Farms, Texas Quail Farmers in Lockhart, TX, Vital Farms eggs and more.

The Downtowner Bar & Kitchen/Facebook

12. La Gloria

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100 E Grayson St
San Antonio, TX
(210) 267-9040
Visit Website

Once you get to San Antonio, margaritas are in order (because when are they not?). Hit up La Gloria, because you while you can find great Tex-Mex in Dallas, the festive atmosphere and modern Mexican flavors won’t steer you wrong.

La Gloria/Facebook

1. Slovacek’s West

214 Melodie Dr, West, TX 76691
Slovacek’s West/Facebook

Sweet, danish-like kolaches, and savory, sausage-filled versions await at this West institution, along with house-made meats, sandwiches, breads and so much more. Protip: get extras. These sweet or savory baked goods are superb for breakfast and/or late night eats. Just pop ‘em in the microwave for a few seconds (or don’t). Or, if you’re staying with someone in SA, you’ll be their new best friend if you bring them a box full of kolaches.

214 Melodie Dr
West, TX 76691

2. Lula Jane's

406 Elm St, Waco, TX
Lula Jane's/Facebook

If Magnolia Market’s cupcakes didn’t tempt your sweet tooth, try the pies and cookies at Lula Jane’s in Waco. Made-from-scratch-daily breads, cookies, pies and other baked goods, Lula Jane’s features park seating and a self-sustained garden full of vegetables on site.

406 Elm St
Waco, TX

3. Dr Pepper Museum

300 S 5th St, Waco, TX
Dr Pepper Museum/Facebook

Stop for a Dr. Pepper float at the soda fountain and get a taste for the real thing (which may spoil you for the canned version), plus a peek into the history of the Texas-born brand of soda. This little museum in Waco is no World of Coke, but it’s full of memorabilia, history and merch.

300 S 5th St
Waco, TX

4. Magnolia Market

601 Webster Ave, Waco, TX
Magnolia Market/Facebook

If you’re fans of a certain couple on HGTV, you’ll know that they’ve built an enormous market and shrine to Fixer Upper culture in their hometown of Waco, TX. From crepes to coffee and everything in between, food trucks make picnicking an easy choice, but if you haven’t had enough baked goods by this point in your trip, the Bakery at the Silos offers muffins, cupcakes, biscuits and more.

601 Webster Ave
Waco, TX

5. Buc-ee’s

4155 N General Bruce Dr, Temple, TX 76501
Courtney Pierce/Eater

Do you like nuts? Do you like beef jerky? How about every flavor and variety of each of those you can imagine? If you’ve never been to a Buc-ee’s, you haven’t road-tripped in Texas properly. Stop for gas and come out with meat, nuts and whatever else (perhaps a metal sign of some sort?). You won’t regret it.

4155 N General Bruce Dr
Temple, TX 76501

6. Stagecoach Inn Motel

401 S Stagecoach Rd, Salado, TX
Stagecoach Inn Motel/Facebook

Originally built in 1852, The Stagecoach Inn is hosting its grand re-opening on June 14 after being completely renovated by La Corscha Hospitality Group. These are the folks behind The Stonleigh Hotel in Dallas, The Driskill Hotel in Austin, The Saint Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, as well as several Austin restaurants. This I-35 pit stop is worth it just to take in the supreme history of the place. And if you have time for hushpuppies, they’re a worthy choice.

401 S Stagecoach Rd
Salado, TX

7. Walburg Restaurant

3777 FM 972, Walburg, TX
Walburg Restaurant/Facebook

There’s a German restaurant in the town of Walburg featuring a biergarten, a lunch buffet and the Walburg Boys performing for happy diners on Friday and Saturday nights year-round. Sounds like heaven. Rumor has it the owner had to import pigs from Germany to get the flavor just right for many of the authentic German dishes.

3777 FM 972
Walburg, TX

8. Blue Bonnet Cafe

211 US-281, Marble Falls, TX 78654
Blue Bonnet Cafe/Facebook

The pies at Blue Bonnet Cafe are baked fresh each day and topped with either meringue or real whipped cream. You’ve got your creme pies, your meringue pies and your fruit pies. If you can make it work, try to arrive between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. on a weekday because that’s Pie Happy Hour, where Blue Bonnet slices of pie come topped with soft serve for four bucks. Need a pre-dessert? The Cafe serves daily soups, blue plate specials, award-winning breakfasts and more.

211 US-281
Marble Falls, TX 78654

9. Mr. Pfrank’s

200 E Pecan St, Pflugerville, TX 78660
Mr. Pfrank’s/Facebook

In the town with the funny name, there’s a mom & pop hot dog joint that likes to have some fun. For $5 flat you can walk out with a kosher hot dog topped with your choice of toppings: chili, cheese, onions, jalepenos or sourkraut. There’s frito pie, nachos and Eskimo Pie on the menu, too. Tastes like the good ol’ days.

200 E Pecan St
Pflugerville, TX 78660

10. Black’s BBQ

300 N Colorado St, Lockhart, TX 78644
Black’s BBQ/Facebook

Would you even consider going on a road trip in Texas without at least one stop for barbecue? It’s heresy not to. If you’ve got room in your belly, in between Austin and San Antonio, why not veer off a teensy bit to Lockhart for Black’s Barbecue?

300 N Colorado St
Lockhart, TX 78644

11. The Downtowner Bar & Kitchen

208 S Castell Ave, New Braunfels, TX
The Downtowner Bar & Kitchen/Facebook

In downtown New Braunfels, splashing distance from the Schlitterbahn water park, there’s a Southern-American restaurant serving up brunch, lunch, dinner, and late night fare, plus craft cocktails made from Texas purveyors like 44 Farms, Texas Quail Farmers in Lockhart, TX, Vital Farms eggs and more.

208 S Castell Ave
New Braunfels, TX

12. La Gloria

100 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX
La Gloria/Facebook

Once you get to San Antonio, margaritas are in order (because when are they not?). Hit up La Gloria, because you while you can find great Tex-Mex in Dallas, the festive atmosphere and modern Mexican flavors won’t steer you wrong.

100 E Grayson St
San Antonio, TX

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