With over 260,000 miles in Texas, the road trip options are endless! Jane here from A Taste of Koko – an Austin-based food and travel blog. I’ve lived in Texas almost my entire life, but I’ve only explored part of the state, so I hope to explore more. Here is my itinerary on road tripping through Texas as a foodie! Let’s start from North to South Texas – Plano, Salado, Austin and Fredericksburg.
Let’s start in North Austin with Plano – a small city located just 20 miles north of downtown Dallas that surprisingly has a lot of really good local restaurants.
THINGS TO DO IN PLANO
- Swim at The Texas Pool – this is a Texas-shaped swimming pool!
- Go shopping at The Shops at Legacy.
- Eat at Legacy Hall.
WHERE TO EAT IN PLANO
- Shumi Omakase - Normally omakase is a two- to three-hour dinner experience, but you can have an express omakase at Shumi Omakase for $40 at lunch! Omakase is the chef’s special tasting menu of sushi and sashimi selected from the day’s fresh catch. I enjoyed watching Chef David Seo create each sushi piece behind the bar.
- Sixty Vines – Sixty Vines has 60 different kinds of wines on tap from all around the world. By using kegs of wine, Sixty Vines has saved over 33,500 wine bottles from going to landfills!
- Yoshi Shabu Shabu – I had the steaming pot of tonkotsu soup with wagyu beef, pork belly, shrimp and scallops. Delicious.
- Legacy Hall – This is Plano’s own food hall with 24 artisanal food stalls run by local chefs.
- Wu Wei Din – This authentic Taiwanese restaurant has a delicious spicy beef noodle soup and xiaolongbao.
- Hiccups & Churroholic – Instagrammable churros with ice cream.
- Meccha Matcha – If you like matcha, you’ll love Meccha Matcha.
- Heavenly Kup – Order the mango shaved ice with fresh mangos and mango ice cream.
- Milky Treats Ice Cream – The black velvet cake ice cream is very Instagrammable, but I like the cookie monster or ube ice cream.
- Wow Donuts and Drips – This is the cutest donut shop, with over 120 creative toppings and fillings.
Find all of my favorite restaurants in Plano at A Taste of Koko.
From Plano to Salado is a two-and-a-half hour drive. Salado’s home to the oldest restaurant in Texas, Stagecoach Inn restaurant at the Stagecoach Inn. Salado is a tiny town filled with historic bed and breakfasts and vintage shops. You can easily park and walk around all the shops and restaurants.
THINGS TO DO IN SALADO
- Swim in Salado Creek.
- Shop at vintage antique shops like Village Mill Antiques.
- Hike Chalk Ridge Falls Park.
WHERE TO EAT IN SALADO
- Stagecoach Inn Restaurant – oldest restaurant in Texas with Southern favorites like chicken fried steak.
- Barrow Brewing Company – Bell County’s first microbrewery.
- Sugar Shack – candy shop with fill-your-own-bag.
- Chupacabra Kitchen – salads, sandwiches and soups.
- Miller’s Smokehouse – Located in Belton, this local barbecue spot is worth the drive. They are doing only curbside orders, so you can order ahead and pick up. I loved the ribs and the smoked chicken!
WHERE TO STAY IN SALADO
- Stagecoach Inn – this landmark hotel was built in 1816 and is believed to be the oldest remaining structure in Salado and houses the oldest restaurant in the Lone Star State.
From Salado, let’s head to Austin – the state capital and a city I’ve called home for the past 13 years! The city has grown dramatically in the last couple of years with new restaurants and local businesses.
THINGS TO DO IN AUSTIN
Austin is a haven for people who love the outdoors – the city is consistently voted one of the fittest cities in America.
- Paddleboard on Lady Bird Lake (full list of things to do in Austin).
- Hike the Greenbelt.
- Swim in Barton Springs.
- Eat Texas barbecue.
- Eat tacos and breakfast tacos.
- Eat queso.
- Drink all the margaritas.
- Visit a local brewery (see my full list of breweries in Austin).
- Listen to live music.
WHERE TO EAT IN AUSTIN
Austin used to have only burgers, pizza and a couple of barbecue spots, but just in the past couple of years, the food scene has exploded thanks to restaurant entrepreneurs like Chef Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue and Chef Tyson Cole of Uchi and Uchiko that have made headlines in Bon Appétit and James Beard. Here are my favorite restaurants in Austin:
- Veracruz – best authentic tacos that started as a food trailer in East Austin.
- La Barbecue – popular barbecue spot that started as a food trailer in East Austin.
- J. Leonardi’s Barbeque – This Black-owned food truck makes really good barbecue served with an ice-cold glass of Kool-Aid.
- Uchiko – innovative Japanese restaurant that has made headlines.
- Suerte – popular new restaurant in East Austin that makes their own masa.
- Fresa’s – colorful Tex-Mex restaurant with sharable tacos and margaritas.
- Ramen Tatsu-ya – popular ramen shops with several locations and different concepts.
- Contigo – farm-to-table restaurant with outdoor dining and a great spot for brunch.
- Clark’s Oyster Bar – cute spot for seafood, but I love their burger that is half-off during happy hour.
- TenTen – New sushi restaurant on West 6th. Head over to their sister lounge, Devil May Care, for after-dinner drinks.
- Garage – cool secret bar hidden in, well, a garage. This is Drake’s favorite bar in Austin. This is currently closed due to statewide mandate.
Find all of my favorite restaurants in Austin on A Taste of Koko.
WHERE TO STAY IN AUSTIN
- Austin Proper – This is the newest hotel in Austin that’s located in downtown. You can easily walk around to all the local restaurants and Lady Bird Lake.
Just west of Austin is Fredericksburg. Did you know the Texas Hill Country is home to over 100 wineries and vineyards, and Fredericksburg is home to more than 50 wineries and tasting rooms? While most wineries are closed right now, most are offering delivery to your door.
THINGS TO DO IN FREDERICKSBURG
- Pick your own peaches at Jenschke Orchards.
- Wine tasting at 4.0 Cellars, Pedernales Cellars and Grape Creek Vineyards.
- Explore the flower gardens at Wildseed Farms.
- Hike LBJ State Park.
WHERE TO EAT IN FREDERICKSBURG
- Airport Diner – Watch the planes come and go from your booth at Airport Diner, a classic 1940’s diner.
- Burger Burger – home to the 8-inch 10-oz. prime rib burger.
- Otto’s – upscale German cuisine with organic and sustainable ingredients.
- Stout’s Trattoria – enjoy chef-inspired entrees and stone-baked pizzas with a view of Grape Creek Vineyards.
- Hye Market – located in the historical Hye Post Office is this market that serves salads, pizza and sandwiches.
WHERE TO STAY IN FREDERICKSBURG
- Farmhouse near Das Peach Haus – spacious and cozy farmhouse originally dated from 1910. Situated on 6+ acres and surrounded by another 60 acres of pecan and peach orchards, it is a true “country” retreat that is conveniently located just one mile from the Main Street shopping area.
- Dog Trot Cabins at Diamond Y Ranch – if you want more of a rustic cabin-in-the-woods experience, try the Dog Trot Cabins in Stonewall, Texas.
This article is meant to highlight road trip destinations throughout Texas to help support our local restaurants and businesses. Please take all safety measures to keep yourself and your neighbors safe! If you do plan to travel throughout Texas right now, please follow social distancing practices – wear a mask, wash your hands and keep your distance. If you are feeling sick, please stay home. Texas hotels and lodging are following enhanced industry cleaning, interaction and workplace guidelines. Texas’ “Texas Restaurant Promise” details new health standards restaurants are taking to keep you safe while dining and Texas state parks are opened at reduced capacity.