TO EXPLORE THE Texas treasure trove that is known as Antique Weeks (March 17-April 3) in Round Top, you’ll need plenty of fuel for the hunt. From quick to leisurely and down-home to garden-chic, here’s where to eat and drink along the antique corridor this spring.
Round Top SmokehouseRestaurateur Lee Ellis, who formerly owned and operated State Fare, Liberty Kitchen, BRC, Pi Pizza and other comfort-food-fab spots in Houston, packed up his knives and moved to the Hill Country to start his own smokehouse on Henkel Square. Smoked chicken, juicy brisket and ribs, plus lighter fare such as salmon, shrimp tacos and fresh salads, headline the menu.
Lulu’s, Round Top Houstonians Armando and Cinda Palacios made their debut in Round Top with Italian-esque Lulu’s, which has been duplicated in Houston on Kirby. Expect a dreamy space with whitewashed walls, linen-clothed tables, hardwood floors and lots of windows; the upscale menu is robust with dinner dishes and weekend brunch. Think grilled Caesar salad, braised short rib, and meatballs and polenta with truffle.
The Garden Co. - Feed & Firewater
The Garden Co. – Feed & Firewater, Round Top Take a load off at this charming café — a local favorite and go-to for brunch or cocktails. Try the roasted Brussels sprouts, gourmet burger with truffle fries, and the watermelon mojito if it’s on the seasonal menu. Gluten-free options available.
Mandito’s, Round Top Quell Tex-Mex cravings at this upbeat café owned by Houston restaurateur Armando Palacios of Armando’s and Lulu’s. On the menu, look for classic tacos, myriad enchiladas, grilled fajitas and the signature queso flameado. Wash it down with the house margarita. Lunch, dinner, brunch.
Popi Burger, Round Top Housed in a 160-year-old former general store, this cool spot is flipping patties made with local beef, as well as dishing out hot dogs, bowls, chicken salad, pimiento cheese, milk shakes and fancy coffees.
Royer’s Round Top CaféFor over 30 years, Royer’s has been baking up sweet pies and serving lunch and dinner. Expect rib-sticking down home plates like fried chicken sandwich; Big Café salads; Todd’s pork tenderloin; and Jud’s Great Steak.
RELAX WITH A GLASS
Il Cuculo at Hotel Lulu, Round Top Here’s a slice of the big city in a charming small town. Choose chic indoor seating or outdoor tables by the pool for craft cocktails and bar nibbles.
Prost Wine Bar on Block 29, Round Top Kick back in this beautifully restored German stone house, which is now an intimate wine shop with cheese, charcuterie, breads, veggie snacks and wines by the glass. Don’t miss the great little patio with a fire pit!
Ellis Motel Emporium & Lounge, Round Top Proprietor Lee Ellis calls his namesake the “best little dive bar in Texas.” Sorry, there are no rooms to rent, just lots of gossip and people watching at the eclectic bar, quirky furniture and art for sale — and the occasional pop-up barbecue.
The Wine Bar at the Grand Fayette Hotel, Fayetteville Chill out over a glass of wine to pair with small plates and tapas.
Kooper Family Whiskey Co. and Tasting Room, Ledbetter Just a quick drive from Austin, Houston, College Station and everywhere in between, Kooper Family Whiskey Co. guests can sip premium samples including fine Texas rye whiskey and bourbon. Old Fashioned cocktails and creative limited-edition whiskeys are also on offer.
Round Top Brewing, Round Top This nano-brewery and taproom serves a chef-driven counter-service menu — including Sunday breakfast specials.