As the main thoroughfare between San Antonio and Dallas, the I-35 is a well-traversed and crowded route. Constantly under construction and a great barometer of the popularity of a football game, driving this highway can be an undertaking at the best of times.
Whether you’re traveling to and from the University of Texas, coming home from Texas State, or you just want a nice drive into the Hill Country, this highway is the most direct way to access many of the desirable locales within central Texas.
However, you don’t want to find yourself caught in one of those inevitable traffic jams only to realize that you’re starving and have no idea where to stop. So, to help you avoid encountering this particularly unpleasant situation, here are 15 stop-offs that have been vetted by locals and Yelpers alike.
Now, for the best parts of each stop. I don’t think you’re ready for this deliciousness.
Gerik’s Ole Czech Bakery
511 West Oak Street, West, Texas
We’ve all heard of the Czech Stop, but have you ever actually been here? Many even contend that the kolaches at Gerik’s are superior to Czech Stop’s.
Plus, their oversized cinnamon rolls are a standout, even in kolache-saturated West, Texas.
1600 Speight Avenue, Waco, Texas
If you prefer to travel in a food coma, then make a stop at Vitek’s. Home of the “Gut Pak”, you sure won’t leave hungry.
This unholy concoction consists of Fritos, chopped beef, sausage, cheese, beans, onions, jalapeños, and bread.
2601 Circle Rd, Waco, TX
If you’re looking for something quick and all-American, Health Camp is your stop. Don’t let the name dissuade you. This restaurant serves an exclusive menu hamburgers, tater tots, onion rings and a wide variety of milkshakes.
Not to mention the price is right, too; a cheeseburger with fries and a shake is only $9.
702 East Central Avenue, Belton, Texas
Sure Central Texas has tons of BBQ, but how many have venison sausage? Yum.
500 South Austin Avenue, Georgetown, Texas
If Guy Fieri and Matthew McConaughey have stopped here, naturally you have to too.
It is also worth mentioning that this retro diner has deliciously comforting homestyle dishes, like the King Ranch Casserole just how mama makes it.
Greenhouse Craft Food
1400 E Old Settlers Blvd, Round Rock, Texas
Farm-to-table cuisine right off I-35? Yup, it’s real.
Using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, this restaurant crafts homey-yet-elevated dishes like Wagyu burgers and fried bacon dumplings with beer cheese sauce.
Round Rock Donuts
106 W Liberty, Round Rock, Texas
Big as your face donuts are legendary. Pretty much every child in Central Texas has had one as their birthday cake at some point.
If you have made it through Round Rock without having tried one, you haven’t lived.
5621 Airport Blvd, Austin, Texas
It’s called Quality Seafood for a reason. The fish they serve is über fresh – an accomplishment in the middle of Texas.
Somehow they do it though, and their fish is so good that you’ll be thankful that they sell their fish by the pound wrapped in ice for the journey.
709 E 6th St, Austin, Texas
Upstairs artisanal bakery, downstairs German beer garden on the river, and the biggest pretzels you’ve ever seen.
This unique combination might be so much fun that you find yourself a bit late getting back on the road.
Blanco Bowling Club and Cafe
310 4th Street, Blanco, Texas
Stop and stretch your legs while you have a little bit of fun and eat six inch high meringue pies. Need there be more reasons to take a break here?
Texas Pie Company
202 W Center St, Kyle, Texas
When you're road tripping from Austin to San Antonio and need a snack! Of course you stop at The Texas Pie Company in Kyle…of course! So worth the stop if you're on route 35 ? #Delish #TheTexasPieCompany #Pie #Kyle #InstaFood #AustinToSanAntonio #OnMyWay #Route35 #Texas #TexasTriangle #Roadtrip #USA #TravelOnTheDaily #TravelIsGoodForTheSoul #Globetrotter #Wanderlust #Travelgram #Wander #Travel #Explore #TravelInsta #TravelInstagram #AustinTX #VisitAustin #ExploreAustin #VisitTexas #ExploreTexas
For those times when you don’t want a meal but a sweet treat, there is the Texas Pie Company. With dozens of different flavors that are made in season, these pies are irresistible.
Thank goodness you can buy individually sized ones.
Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar
1287 Gruene Rd, Gruene, Texas
The generous portions of all-American food that are served up here are nothing to write home about. But the views and the atmosphere certainly make up for that.
Located in a converted historic old building that was once the boiler room of a cotton mill, this restaurant is perched on the picturesque banks of the Guadalupe river.
Cooper’s Old-Time Pit BBQ
1125 Route 337 Loop, New Braunfels, Texas
Although the original is in Llano, this outpost brands itself as a “carbon-copy of the mothership Llano restaurant.”
Good thing, because this satellite cafe just saved you an hour of driving to get some of the finest smoked meat in Central Texas.
Arcade Midtown Kitchen
303 Pearl Parkway, San Antonio, Texas
There’s no better way to celebrate your arrival in San Antonio with a good craft beer and gourmet tapas like lobster soft tacos served with poblano cream or a white bean hummus meatball topped with citrusy sour cream. Welcome to foodie heaven, y’all.
Did we miss any of your favorite stops? Let us know in the comments!