The 11 Best Eateries Where You Can Take a Deserved Break Along the I-45

Road trip season is upon us, and there’s nothing sweeter than heading down the Interstate. Half of the fun is getting there! While there are many different directions that you can take to wander through the 268,820 square miles of land that we call Texas, one of the great thoroughfares is the I-45. 

Running from the Gulf Coast to the Dallas/Ft.Worth metroplex, the I-45 covers 285 miles of beautiful Texas terrain. Originally known as Highway 75, the I-45 officially replaced the U.S. highway by 1987. However, there are still some delinquent signs for the U.S 75 posted.

Regardless of what you want to call this highway, it is one of the best ways to tour some of the lesser-known small towns of the state; towns that are the guardians of foodie gems for some of the nation’s most devout carnivores – the Texans.

To help you unearth these local destinations, here are 11 spots where you can stop and take a load off as you travel up and down the Texas I-45.

Pecan Grove Cafe

296 S Leona Blvd, Leona, Texas

TODAYS SPECIAL: shrimp & grits ? #shrimpandgrits

A post shared by Pecan Grove Cafe (@pecangrovecafe) on

From Yelp: “There was too much on both plates. The sidewinder fries are cut and fried to perfection. I can’t wait to go back.”

When a Texan says the plates are overloaded, you know you have to test the claim.

Vernon’s Kuntry Katfish

5901 W. Davis, Conroe, Texas

From Yelp: “I normally won’t eat catfish, because in the past when I have it is just disgusting. So I tried it here and this is the only place I’ll eat it.”

Mississippi raised catfish done up in a Texas style. Get it fried, lemon peppered, or blackened. However, you eat it, make sure that you get yourself a side of fried green tomatoes.

New Zion Missionary Baptist Church Barbeque

2601 Montgomery Rd, Huntsville, Texas

In praise of BBQ at New Zion Baptist Church BBQ. Open since 1968. #texasbbq #easttexas #traveltexas #foodwaystexas #igtexas

A post shared by Robert Jacob Lerma (@robertjacoblerma) on

From Yelp: “Wow! I’ve been trying to get here for years and finally was in the area at the right time. It’s divine. As my husband says, the sauce had angel tears in it, it’s so good. Tender, meaty pork ribs. Fall-apart beef brisket. Spicy sausage. Unadulterated pinto beans. Good potato salad. Very sweet staff. I love southern soul food BBQ and this is the best I’ve found in TX.”

With an honorary mention in the Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ, this little out-of-the-way joint won’t remain unknown for long. Prepare for lines.

Gyros King

8975 Highway 242, Conroe, Texas

From Yelp: “What’s not to love about A damn good gyro? While the experience driving up could be a lil scary for some – fuugeetabbutit…Cute Greek Owners opened this joint 25 some odd years ago.. Just imagine… Simple fresh Greek food, Greek flicks playing on TV and quick and easy fare…  Deeel–llissshhh !”

Greek food in Texas that gets a mention? I bet you’re curiosity is getting the better of you. Now you’re going to have to drive the I-45 to try it out.

Woody’s Smokehouse

947 W St. Mary’s St, Centerville, Texas

From Yelp: “Clean bathrooms. Amazingly clean bathrooms. Very good jerky, a nice selection of snacks and goodies.”

We know you’re just stopping for the immaculate bathrooms. And the jerky of course.

Sam’s Restaurant

Interstate 45, Fairfield, Texas

#lunch #dessert

A post shared by Jeff Swindle (@random0042) on

From Yelp:”This is the location that makes people remember Fairfield, TX as home.”

You might leave, but once you’ve tried it, you’ll never forget it.

Across The Street Diner

125 N Beaton St, Corsicana, Texas

lunch at a Texas soda shop #Corsicana #texas #diner

A post shared by Caroline Harper Knapp (@houseofharper) on

From Yelp: “What an awesome find! An old time diner set in an historic Main Street downtown area. Great atmosphere and FANTASTIC burgers!”

Take yourself back in time. Sit at an old-school counter and enjoy some old school flavor.

Bubba’s Bar-B-Q & Steakhouse

I-45, Exit 251, Ennis, Texas

From Yelp: “Best ribs I’ve ever had in my life and great spicy bbq sauce. “

They are also known to have gargantuan proportions which can be welcome after a long day in the car.

La Zacatecana

220 W 5th St, Ferris, Texas

#tacoplate #lunchspecial #fajita #steak #carneasada #tacos #lunch #lazacatecana #ferristx #food #restaurant #i45s #mexican #taqueria

A post shared by ??La Zacatecana™?? (@lazacatecanatx) on

From Yelp: “Everything is made from scratch as it should be. Even the complimentary chips are fresh made. The guacamole is amazing as is everything. Nothing is a shortcut.”

Homemade in a small town. You can’t get much more down home or authentic than that.

Oma’s Jiffy Burger

403 Water St, Waxahachie, Texas

On the road to Dallas and had to stop at the burger joint of my youth.

A post shared by Justin Brookhart (@justinbrookhart) on

From Yelp: “This is my favorite burger. Anywhere. Period. There is NOTHING fancy about Oma’s. And, they don’t cook much. Just awesome burgers. Lots of them, on an alarming small and well-seasoned grill.”

Hiding in this tiny corner of Texas, Oma’s serves up unapologetically traditional burgers.

Bubba’s Cooks Country

6617 Hillcrest Ave, Dallas, Texas

From Yelp: “The cinnamon roll was unnecessary with the feast of gigantic pancake, egg and bacon, but who passes on a cinnamon roll?  Not I…not I…”

Start or end your journey with a good, hearty, country meal.

Read More: 10 Delicious Places in Texas to Take a Break Along the I-20