Best Foodie Road Trips in Texas
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From succulent barbecue, spicy Tex-Mex, and delightful gas station fare(!), to slurp-worthy oysters, delectable fruit, and fine wine, Texas is a foodie’s road trip dreamscape. In a state as big as this, you’ll be able to eat everything you can imagine, if not more!
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Ok, cowboys and cowgirls—let’s hit the road for the best foodie road trip in Texas!
In case you hadn’t heard, Dallas is kind of…a big deal. Enjoy the world-class Arts District, top-notch restaurants and bars, including elegant bistros and down-and-dirty dives, and incredible hotels, from the boutique, mid-century Statler to The Joule, a gorgeous Main St. gem.
Also, keep an eye out (you’ll get it when you see it) for some mind-blowing public art.
Momos, a Nepalese-style dumpling
What to do
Now, since this is a foodie road trip, we’re going to avoid the usual suspects and hit some less-heralded (but still delicious) spots in the Dallas area—starting with gas station food.
You read that right. No—you won’t be stuffing yourself full of corn dogs. Instead, the gas station fare we’re going to sample is, in a way, a microcosm of America—newcomers to Texas finding a place to cook up some truly out-of-this-world dishes, and revolutionizing the idea of gas station food in the process, not to mention building a uniquely Texas style of food.
In Irving, you’ve got to make a pitstop at Momo Stop, a Nepalese spot located at a Texaco station serving up yummy Nepalese street food, including precisely-folded steamed or fried momos, filled with delectable and seasoned-to-perfection meat or vegetables.
Just off the highway near Fort Worth, you’ll find Chef Point, a high-end eatery housed in a former Conoco station, offering tender steak and duck with plum sauce. Don’t miss out on the seafood-stuffed poblano peppers—delish!
If you’re heading south from the Dallas area on I-35, boy are you in for a treat—hit up Czech Stop in West Texas, just off the highway and right behind a Shell station. Grab a few kolaches, flaky, exquisite Eastern European pastries filled with fruit for your drive south. If you’re really hungry (this is a foodie road trip, right?) grab some meat-stuffed kolaches as well.
Also, if you’ve got some time, grab a Margarita at Mexican Sugar in Plano (not at a gas station, sorry), which offers a slew of concoctions from its stash of 140 tequilas, 40 mezcals, and a variety of freshly-squeezed juices. Try the classic frozen or the cucumber machete. Of course, never drink and drive, and always have a designated driver.
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Driving south from Dallas to Austin, make a stop along I-35 in Salado, and go back in time to the oldest restaurant in Texas.
A sunset over Salado, TX
What to do
No surprises here—head to the oldest restaurant in Texas! And by that, we mean The Stagecoach Inn Restaurant. Opened way back in 1861, this ol’ faithful has been serving up grub to hungry Texans since the Civil War. Enjoy a chicken fried steak on the Stagecoach deck, while contemplating your place in Texas history.
The attached hotel has also been beautifully renovated.
Austin—only one of the coolest places on earth, home to the South By Southwest music, tech and film festival, fantastic live music at Austin City Limits, and some finger-lickin’ good barbecue.
Original Chuy’s Fine Tex-Mex, Austin, Texas
What to do
The first thing you’ll want to do in Austin is hit up Fonda San Miguel for some authentic Mexican food. Its menu features dishes from the Mexican regions of Veracruz, Oaxaca, Puebla, and Yucatan. Try the brunch buffet for a sampling of all there is to offer and remember—there’s no such thing as “pacing yourself” on foodie road trips.
If you’d had your fill of Mexican food, we suggest clearing some room in your stomach because we’re not done—queso, a Mexican, cheesy delight, is an Austin favorite, so you best be getting yourself to Magnolia Cafe. Try the Sonora Queso—slow-roasted roast beef covered with queso (of course), pico de gallo, and avocado, along with some chips and salsa.
If you’re in Austin, you’ve got to try some Texas BBQ—head to Franklin’s Barbecue for its world-famous, melt-in-your-mouth brisket. Don’t forget to try Franklin’s delightful sausages, savory pulled pork, and creamy slaw. It’s heaven!
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Fredericksburg is in the heart of Texas hill country, full of vineyards, family farms, road-stands, and wineries. The area is also known for its exquisite peaches.
A Fredericksburg vineyard
What to do
Driving west on US290 from Austin, blasting “Eat A Peach” (ok, the Allman Brothers Band was from Georgia, not Texas, but just go with us here, ok?) as you roar through the lush Texas country, head to Jenschke Orchards to have your pick of more than 20 varieties of peaches (see?) on this 3000-acre orchard, run by the same family for seven generations.
After you’ve filled your peach baskets, head to Texas Wine Collective to sample all the fine wines that the region has to offer. The collective is made up of three wineries on one estate. Indulge in wine tastings and sample exquisite wine and cheese pairings on a gorgeous outdoor patio. As always, be responsible—don’t drink and drive.
MORE: DUI vs. DWI
San Antonio is one of America’s most walkable cities. Its Expanded Riverwalk allows you to enjoy 15 miles of walking paths and hiking trails that connect four of the city’s five 18th-century frontier fortresses, not including The Alamo (though you might want to make a trip to see that, too). The Riverwalk also connects to the San Antonio Museum of Art, as well as the hip Pearl District.
Restaurants along the San Antonio River Walk
What to do
San Antonio is known as the Tex-Mex Capital of the World, so we’ll be getting some pizza.
Kidding—pizza is for another day. Today, head to The Original Blanco Cafe, for some downhome, authentic Tex-Mex fare. Try the Enchiladas Verdes, filled with your choice of beef, chicken, or pork and topped with some spicy salsa verde and white cheese for good measure. Muy picante.
If tacos are more your thing, head to Ray’s Drive Inn, open since 1956 and famous for its Texas twist on the taco—the original “puffy taco”. We’re talking about deep-fried tortillas, stuffed full of beef picadillo, lettuce, and tomatoes. At Ray’s, they keep it simple.
Besides the food (we’ll get to that), Houston, the most ethnically diverse American city, has tons to offer. The live theatre scene is second in the U.S. only to New York in terms of plays, shows, symphonies, and ballets. Don’t forget to put your egghead on with a visit to Johnson Space Center.
Houston—do we have a problem? Not today we don’t.
Pho at a restaurant in TX
What to do
At this point, your car might be weighed down by all that extra weight you and your fellow road trippers have gained on your Texas-sized foodie tour. Well, prepare to get even heavier, because you haven’t eaten in Houston yet!
If you’re looking for a quick bite to go, head to Cali Sandwich & Pho, a local hole-in-the-wall but a staple of high-quality Vietnamese eats. Enjoy some piping hot pho, delicious buns, hearty banh mi sandwiches, chicken fried rice, and more.
A trip to Houston wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Gulf of Mexico to slurp down some oysters. At Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House, you need to know two very important things. First, the oysters at Pier 6 are as fresh as anywhere in town and second, no, oysters don’t “taste like chicken.”
Gulp down some grilled oysters, such as the Hot Blooded Oysters with habanero butter, garlic, and sriracha. If you’re in a more refined mood, try a flight of oysters accompanied by a glass of champagne. Very sophisticated.
You’ve eaten no candy on this trip—this is a problem, but it will be rectified upon inhaling some Texas Frito Brittle at Chocolate Bar. This sugar-rush of a treat is a combination of Fritos, pecans, and pretzels covered in milk chocolate. Sweeeeet!
Roadside assistance for your Texas foodie road trip
When you’re roaring down the Texas highways to your next pants-busting destination, it’s always a good idea to be protected in case you blow a tire, or if your engine spontaneously combusts (ok, we’re kidding about that last one).
With a roadside assistance membership from Jerry, you’ll drive easy knowing that if you blow a tire, lock yourself out of your car, or run out of gas on the side of the road, help will be on the way! Jerry’s roadside membership costs just $6.99—not a bad price to pay for peace of mind.
Protect your car and yourself with car insurance from Jerry
When you’re on the road in Texas, you’ll need car insurance, and Jerry is the best place on the web to find it.
Jerry is a smart car insurance broker and comparison shopping app that will find you a great car insurance policy at a low price. Browse up to 50 quotes from the country’s best insurers, and then Jerry will sign you up for your new policy and cancel your old one for you.
Best of all, Jerry is 100% free to use! Happy road tripping!
Where is the best place to do a foodie road trip in Texas?
Literally anywhere. Texas is full of incredible edible experiences—this guide is just scratching the surface of everything Texas’ cities have to offer. Explore and enjoy!
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