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Take a burger break in Waco
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Where to Eat on the Road in Between Dallas and Austin

The drive’s best barbecue, kolaches, and more

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Take a burger break in Waco
| Health Camp/Facebook

Located just a few hours south of Dallas, Austin is an obvious road trip destination. Whether in search of the city’s best eats, a trip to Austin City Limits, or looking to see the Longhorns play, Dallasites can find no shortage of reasons to hang out in Texas’ capitol city pretty much any time of year.

Upon arriving in Austin, the bounty of excellent food that awaits is endless. Driving along Interstate 35, the dining options aren’t quite as plentiful, but there’s still plenty of spots for a solid lunch, dinner, or snack along the way during this three-hour drive.

Before making the drive, bookmark this guide to the best spots for kolaches, barbecue, burgers and more in between Dallas and Austin.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Catfish Plantation

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814 Water St
Waxahachie, TX
(972) 937-9468
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Allegedly haunted and questionably named, this 1895 mansion is also home to some of the finest fried catfish in Waxahachie. Kick off a decadent Cajun feast with a crawfish-stuffed meat pie, then dive head first into the bounty of fried seafood that awaits. The catfish platters are classic, but there’s also shrimp, steaks, and fried chicken.

2. Gerik’s Ole Czech Bakery

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511 W Oak St
West, TX

If a true kolache pilgrimage is in order, venture just slightly off the highway into West and check out Gerik’s, now located inside Pizza Palace. Grab a bag of blueberry, apricot, and poppyseed kolaches for the drive home, or stick around and enjoy the dive-bar-style atmosphere.

3. Czech Stop

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104 S George Kacir Dr
West, TX 76691

This legendary gas station in West, TX is home to what many people consider to be Texas’ finest kolaches. Whether or not that is actually true, the apricot, blueberry, and peach topping tucked into yeasty dough will certainly keep you satisfied all the way down I-35.

4. Slovacek's West

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214 Melodie Dr
West, TX
(254) 826-4525
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Located across the highway from Czech Stop, Slovacek’s is really the clutch move when it comes to pre-Austin road trip fare. The selection of pastries and snacks is more broad than Slovacek’s nearby competitor, and the kolaches are solid.

5. Silos Baking Co.

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601 Webster Ave
Waco, TX

Owned by reality TV stars Joanna and Chip Gaines, Silos Baking Co. is located in the buzzy Magnolia district, also a Gaines brainchild. Score Syrian doughnuts, muffins, and other sweet treats, and perhaps get a glimpse of one of the world’s biggest reality stars?

6. Vitek's

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1600 Speight Ave
Waco, TX
(254) 752-7591
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Known for its legendary “Gut Pak,” Vitek’s is the place to go when you’re trying to sleep for the rest of the drive. Topped with brisket, this pile of Fritos, cheese, beans, pickles, onions, jalapenos, and barbecue sauce is aptly named. If that’s a little overly indulgent, sandwiches, barbecue-stuffed baked potatoes, and nachos are on offer.

7. George's Restaurant & Catering

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1925 Speight Ave
Waco, TX
(254) 753-1421
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This massive menu of Tex-Mex, burgers, sandwiches, and steaks at this Waco institution will satisfy everyone in your group, and everyone but the designated driver will really appreciate George’s “Big O’s,” or beers and cocktails (like margaritas and bellinis) served in big ol’ 18-ounce glasses.

8. Health Camp

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2601 Circle Rd
Waco, TX
(254) 752-2081
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Baylor students and tourists alike make it a point to stop at this cheekily-named greasy spoon, where the double meat, double cheeseburgers are probably not doctor-approved. Pair yours with tater tots or onion rings, and save room for a scoop of custard in flavors like coconut cheesecake, root beer, and peanut butter.

9. Schoepf’s Old Time Pit BBQ

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702 E Central Ave
Belton, TX 76513

This old-school barbecue joint has earned raves from plenty of publications, but the food speaks for itself. Stick with traditional brisket and sausage, or try Schoepf’s brisket queso nachos. If someone in the car isn’t a beef fan, Shoepf’s also serves up a damn fine chicken salad sandwich on croissant.

10. Robertson’s Hams The Choppin' Block

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1420 N Robertson Rd
Salado, TX
(254) 947-5562
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Skip the sketchy convenience store sandwich in favor of a porcine lunch that is actually good at Robertson’s. The sugar-cured hams prepared here grace countless holiday tables, and taste equally delicious when sliced and slapped in between two slices of bread. There’s also a decent selection of beef jerky, cheese, and plenty of snacks.

11. Louie Mueller Barbecue

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206 W 2nd St
Taylor, TX
(512) 352-6206
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It’s about 20 minutes out of the way, but do yourself a favor and make the detour to Taylor in order to try this legendary Hill Country barbecue joint. The gigantic smoked beef rib is definitely a favorite, and the brisket can’t be beat. Note: Louie Mueller is only open Wednesday through Saturday.

Daniel Krieger/Eater

12. Round Rock Donuts

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106 W Liberty St
Round Rock, TX
(512) 255-3629
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This shop’s gigantic glazed doughnut is a Texas icon, and worth a quick stop in Round Rock at least once in a lifetime. If that enormous pastry sounds like too many carbs for one drive, opt for a smaller round of classic fried dough, or perhaps a chocolate-dipped cake doughnut.

13. Magnolia Table

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2132 S Valley Mills Dr
Waco, TX 76706
(254) 265-6859
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Also operated by Chip and Joanna Gaines, this breakfast-and-lunch restaurant is a must for shiplap obsessives. Order Joanna’s famed buttermilk biscuits, or caramel cornflake french toast in the morning, or try the burger made with Texas’s own 44 Farms beef for lunch. Note: there will likely be a wait, so this isn’t a stop for anyone that’s in a hurry.

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1. Catfish Plantation

814 Water St, Waxahachie, TX

Allegedly haunted and questionably named, this 1895 mansion is also home to some of the finest fried catfish in Waxahachie. Kick off a decadent Cajun feast with a crawfish-stuffed meat pie, then dive head first into the bounty of fried seafood that awaits. The catfish platters are classic, but there’s also shrimp, steaks, and fried chicken.

814 Water St
Waxahachie, TX

2. Gerik’s Ole Czech Bakery

511 W Oak St, West, TX

If a true kolache pilgrimage is in order, venture just slightly off the highway into West and check out Gerik’s, now located inside Pizza Palace. Grab a bag of blueberry, apricot, and poppyseed kolaches for the drive home, or stick around and enjoy the dive-bar-style atmosphere.

511 W Oak St
West, TX

3. Czech Stop

104 S George Kacir Dr, West, TX 76691

This legendary gas station in West, TX is home to what many people consider to be Texas’ finest kolaches. Whether or not that is actually true, the apricot, blueberry, and peach topping tucked into yeasty dough will certainly keep you satisfied all the way down I-35.

104 S George Kacir Dr
West, TX 76691

4. Slovacek's West

214 Melodie Dr, West, TX

Located across the highway from Czech Stop, Slovacek’s is really the clutch move when it comes to pre-Austin road trip fare. The selection of pastries and snacks is more broad than Slovacek’s nearby competitor, and the kolaches are solid.

214 Melodie Dr
West, TX

5. Silos Baking Co.

601 Webster Ave, Waco, TX

Owned by reality TV stars Joanna and Chip Gaines, Silos Baking Co. is located in the buzzy Magnolia district, also a Gaines brainchild. Score Syrian doughnuts, muffins, and other sweet treats, and perhaps get a glimpse of one of the world’s biggest reality stars?

601 Webster Ave
Waco, TX

6. Vitek's

1600 Speight Ave, Waco, TX

Known for its legendary “Gut Pak,” Vitek’s is the place to go when you’re trying to sleep for the rest of the drive. Topped with brisket, this pile of Fritos, cheese, beans, pickles, onions, jalapenos, and barbecue sauce is aptly named. If that’s a little overly indulgent, sandwiches, barbecue-stuffed baked potatoes, and nachos are on offer.

1600 Speight Ave
Waco, TX

7. George's Restaurant & Catering

1925 Speight Ave, Waco, TX

This massive menu of Tex-Mex, burgers, sandwiches, and steaks at this Waco institution will satisfy everyone in your group, and everyone but the designated driver will really appreciate George’s “Big O’s,” or beers and cocktails (like margaritas and bellinis) served in big ol’ 18-ounce glasses.

1925 Speight Ave
Waco, TX

8. Health Camp

2601 Circle Rd, Waco, TX

Baylor students and tourists alike make it a point to stop at this cheekily-named greasy spoon, where the double meat, double cheeseburgers are probably not doctor-approved. Pair yours with tater tots or onion rings, and save room for a scoop of custard in flavors like coconut cheesecake, root beer, and peanut butter.

2601 Circle Rd
Waco, TX

9. Schoepf’s Old Time Pit BBQ

702 E Central Ave, Belton, TX 76513

This old-school barbecue joint has earned raves from plenty of publications, but the food speaks for itself. Stick with traditional brisket and sausage, or try Schoepf’s brisket queso nachos. If someone in the car isn’t a beef fan, Shoepf’s also serves up a damn fine chicken salad sandwich on croissant.

702 E Central Ave
Belton, TX 76513

10. Robertson’s Hams The Choppin' Block

1420 N Robertson Rd, Salado, TX

Skip the sketchy convenience store sandwich in favor of a porcine lunch that is actually good at Robertson’s. The sugar-cured hams prepared here grace countless holiday tables, and taste equally delicious when sliced and slapped in between two slices of bread. There’s also a decent selection of beef jerky, cheese, and plenty of snacks.

1420 N Robertson Rd
Salado, TX

11. Louie Mueller Barbecue

206 W 2nd St, Taylor, TX
Daniel Krieger/Eater

It’s about 20 minutes out of the way, but do yourself a favor and make the detour to Taylor in order to try this legendary Hill Country barbecue joint. The gigantic smoked beef rib is definitely a favorite, and the brisket can’t be beat. Note: Louie Mueller is only open Wednesday through Saturday.

206 W 2nd St
Taylor, TX

12. Round Rock Donuts

106 W Liberty St, Round Rock, TX

This shop’s gigantic glazed doughnut is a Texas icon, and worth a quick stop in Round Rock at least once in a lifetime. If that enormous pastry sounds like too many carbs for one drive, opt for a smaller round of classic fried dough, or perhaps a chocolate-dipped cake doughnut.

106 W Liberty St
Round Rock, TX

13. Magnolia Table

2132 S Valley Mills Dr, Waco, TX 76706

Also operated by Chip and Joanna Gaines, this breakfast-and-lunch restaurant is a must for shiplap obsessives. Order Joanna’s famed buttermilk biscuits, or caramel cornflake french toast in the morning, or try the burger made with Texas’s own 44 Farms beef for lunch. Note: there will likely be a wait, so this isn’t a stop for anyone that’s in a hurry.

2132 S Valley Mills Dr
Waco, TX 76706

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