We live in the foodie paradise that is Austin, TX — home to the best tacos, brunches, and brisket in the state. However, that doesn't mean the rest of Central Texas doesn't have amazing food. Below, I've listed three of my favorite day trip destinations that I visit solely for the food. Whether it's BBQ, German fare, or pie, the main point is that you should check out these food destinations that fall slightly off the eaten path. 

Lockhart, Texas

sandwich, bread
Hayden Pigott

Lockhart is, quite possibly, the BBQ haven of Texas. It may be off the eaten path, but with four separate award-winning BBQ locations, there's no reason you can't take the 30-minute drive down south. Start your day with Kreuz Market, established in 1900, where it is all about the meat. They don't even have forks because the BBQ is finger-licking good. This was the first place I at BBQ on a saltine cracker instead of white bread and I have to say, I didn't hate it. I recommend the brisket and the sausage (specifically, the jalapeno cheese). However, skip the sides — you don't want to get too full with three more restaurants to visit.

cheddar, cheese, bacon, egg
Hayden Pigott

Get back in your car and drive to downtown Lockhart where Black's BBQ is located. Opened in 1932, Black's BBQ claims to be the "oldest BBQ joint in Texas", and there are currently four generations in the Black family. I recommend the beef brisket, which is delicate and mouth-watering, and a side of black eyed peas if you really want to feel Southern. Getting a little beef-ed out? The turkey sandwich is a moist and delicious alternative. Sit down at one of the tables covered in red and white checkered tablecloths and get eatin'. 

Next on your list is Smitty's Market, the former Kreuz Market that was purchased by the Smitty family in 1948. The restaurant is located downtown, not too far from Black's, so taking a walk there might be a good way to ward off food coma. There are communal picnic tables, a BBQ staple, and a focus on the food. Get the pork ribs — the meat is tender and falls off the bone. Another star on the menu is the jalapeno sausage, which has just the right amount of spice. 

Chisholm Trail BBQ has been providing BBQ to the people of Lockhart since 1978. Located south of town, you'll have to take a short drive drive to this cafeteria-style BBQ joint. Chisholm Trail smokes their meat in oakwood pits, and their pitmasters have over three decades of combined experience. Since this is your last stop, try something a little different with the BBQ chicken plate with macaroni and cheese, cucumber salad and fried okra. Save the last remaining bit of room in your stomach for banana pudding or a slice of pecan pie. 


Fredericksburg was founded in 1846 by German settlers, so the German food in town is second to none in the state of Texas. I wouldn't say it is off the eaten path, but there is no where else you can have German food for breakfast, lunch and dinner other than in this charming little town.

Start at the Old German Bakery and Restaurant, which opens at 7 a.m. to house the breakfast crowd. The German pancakes are the way to go, but if you aren't looking for something sweet they have delicious breakfast sausage. Want to hit shopping early? Get something from the pastry case and you won't be disappointed. 

After all of that shopping, get lunch at Der Lindenbaum. The restaurant and biergarten are located in a historic limestone building on Main Street. They serve traditional German foods like Gulasch, Rinderbraten, Schweinekotelett and Bratwurst. Tuck into some hearty food and mingle with good company at what feels like your German grandmother's home. 

Otto's German Bistro is the way to end a day in Fredericksburg. Their menu changes each week depending on the season, as they try to use the freshest ingredients possible. If schnitzel is on the menu, get it and thank me later — this dish is perfectly-breaded, melt-in-your mouth goodness. The Wurst Platte is also worth getting because Otto's make their own sausage. The sauerkraut served with it will make you feel like you're in Germany while you eat it.

Round Top

chocolate, caramel, cream
Hayden Pigott

Royers Roundtop Cafe is infamous on many of your friends' Instagrams, but it's definitely off the eaten path since most people have never heard of Round Top. The inside of the restaurant is covered in memorabilia from years past. Under its current management, it has been open since 1987. I recommend that you go for the pie and stay for the food — the Great Bud Burger is best washed down with 1/2&1/2 (iced tea and lemonade) and a slice of the Texas Trash Pie, which has chocolate chips, pretzels, coconut, caramel, pecans and graham crackers. It also happens to be one of the best desserts I have ever put in my mouth. 

Though Austin's variety of restaurants is a haven for foodies, get out of Austin for a little while and drive to these towns for some amazing food adventures away from the city. There are tons of delicious places in the state of Texas, and we're lucky to be so close to so many of them.