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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.

Slovacek’s West

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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

Lula Jane's

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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

Dr Pepper Museum

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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

Magnolia Market

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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

Buc-ee’s

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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

Stagecoach Inn Motel

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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

Walburg Restaurant

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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

Blue Bonnet Cafe

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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

Mr. Pfrank’s

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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

Black’s BBQ

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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

The Downtowner Bar & Kitchen

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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

La Gloria

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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

Slovacek’s West

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.

Slovacek’s West/Facebook

Lula Jane's

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.

Lula Jane's/Facebook

Dr Pepper Museum

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.

Dr Pepper Museum/Facebook

Magnolia Market

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.

Magnolia Market/Facebook

Buc-ee’s

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.

Courtney Pierce/Eater

Stagecoach Inn Motel

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.

Stagecoach Inn Motel/Facebook

Walburg Restaurant

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.

Walburg Restaurant/Facebook

Blue Bonnet Cafe

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.

Blue Bonnet Cafe/Facebook

Mr. Pfrank’s

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.

Mr. Pfrank’s/Facebook

Black’s BBQ

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?

Black’s BBQ/Facebook

The Downtowner Bar & Kitchen

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.

The Downtowner Bar & Kitchen/Facebook

La Gloria

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.

La Gloria/Facebook

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