Skip to main content
  • Sculptures celebrating Texas' cowboy roots in Dallas
    View more

    Dallas: The Big Heart of Texas

  • A hamburger and onion rings at Kincaid’s in Fort Worth, Texas
    View more

    Fort Worth: Museums, Historic Stockyards and Classic Eats

  • Kolaches, Czech pastries with sweet or savory fillings, popular in West, Texas
    View more

    West: Czech Heritage in Central Texas

  • A sampling of cuisine from Georgetown, Texas
    View more

    Georgetown: Visit Texas Hill Country

  • A stuffed ancho chile at Fonda San Miguel in Austin, Texas
    View more

    Austin: Toe-tapping, Belly-filling Fun

The twice daily cattle drive at Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District in Texas
View more

Dallas to Austin: A Texas-sized Foodie Road Trip

By Idoia Gkikas

  • Route distance:
    407.00 km
  • Suggested Time:
    5 days

Texas is known for its larger-than-life personality. The state is bigger, the people are friendlier and the food… Well, the food just might be tastier.

Texas has an interesting mix of highly diverse urban centers and rural outposts. With its Southern locale and proximity to Mexico, the Texas dining scene mingles hearty country cooking with flavors from Mexico and the USA’s Southwest. Hit the road for this journey to culinary bliss in Texas.

01
Sculptures celebrating Texas' cowboy roots in Dallas
View more

Dallas: The Big Heart of Texas

Catch a flight to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and pick up a rental car from Avis. Dallas began as a typical Texas railroad town; today, it’s one of the largest cities in the USA and the urban hub of the South.

If there’s one dish that is quintessential Texas, it’s chili, a hearty stew full of beans, meat and a tomato-based sauce. The place to try it: Tolbert’s Restaurant & Chili Parlor. Order the classic Bowl of Red and wash it down with a cold beer. There’s live music almost every night, too. Save room for Sweet Georgia Brown Bar-B-Que, where gravy-smothered pork chops, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and other soul food staples are served cafeteria-style.

Dallas is brimming with attractions – from presidential (George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum) to cultural (Dallas Museum of Art) to family-friendly (Dallas Zoo). Wander the historic Deep Ellum neighborhood, taking photos of street art and listening to live music. Don’t miss a trip to the top of Reunion Tower for 360-degree views of the city. The tower lights up at night and has two restaurants. Leave enough time to explore before driving to nearby Fort Worth.

51 km
0.75 hours by car
02
A hamburger and onion rings at Kincaid’s in Fort Worth, Texas
View more

Fort Worth: Museums, Historic Stockyards and Classic Eats

Interstate 30 cuts through the city as you drive west to Fort Worth. This is not simply a Dallas neighbor; Fort Worth holds its own as one of the biggest cities in Texas and has an abundance of activities to show for it: NASCAR at Texas Motor Speedway, nightlife at Sundance Square; professional football and baseball, and a wealth of museums – more than 30 in all. A few not to miss: Sid Richardson Museum, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Texas Civil War Museum and the Kimbell Art Museum, whose Louis Kahn-designed building is a landmark of modern architecture.

For all its big-city size, Fort Worth holds true to its country-Western roots in places like the Stockyards National Historic District, where you can watch a real rodeo every Friday and Saturday night at Fort Worth Stockyards Rodeo.

So, what’s a good place to eat? Ask any local and they’ll point you to Kincaid’s, a former grocery store known for its wholly American classics: burgers, crinkle fries, crispy onion rings and thick milkshakes. Up next: A trip south to the town of West.

114 km
1 hour by car
03
Kolaches, Czech pastries with sweet or savory fillings, popular in West, Texas
View more

West: Czech Heritage in Central Texas

During a one-hour drive, you’ll transition from urban Fort Worth to the rural side of Texas as long, flat land spreads out before you. The town of West is a like many small Texas towns – built on farming and railroads – but stands out for its Czech heritage that took root when a wave of Eastern European immigrants settled throughout central Texas in the late 1800s. You can learn all about the town’s ranching and Czech history at the History of West Museum. Next door at Village Bakery, order a kolache, a Czech pastry dough with sweet or savory fillings. It’s part of the Kolache Trail of Texas that highlights the best places to try this delicacy throughout the state. Order a kolache (or two) before traveling to Georgetown, an hour and a half south.

More information
148 km
1.5 hours by car
04
A sampling of cuisine from Georgetown, Texas
View more

Georgetown: Visit Texas Hill Country

Make a pit stop in Waco to see mammoth fossils at the Waco Mammoth National Monument and tour the Dr. Pepper Museum. There’s also a zoo and a walkable downtown with local shops and eateries.

Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, Georgetown is known for its brilliant red poppies that bloom in the spring and a historic district lined with beautifully preserved Victorian architecture. The Monument Café downtown claims to make some of the best pies in state. True? There’s only one way to find out. Start with a classic diner-style meal of chicken-fried steak or a tasty burger followed up with – what else? – a slice of homemade pie. Try the Monument chocolate pie or the daily fried slice for something a little different.

Afterward, stroll the shops of Georgetown’s ultra-quaint town square and walk to Blue Hole Park for a swim. Other things to do include boating and fishing at Lake Georgetown and touring the ancient underground at Inner Space Cavern. Your last stop, the music-loving city of Austin, is up ahead.

45 km
0.5 hours by car
05
A stuffed ancho chile at Fonda San Miguel in Austin, Texas
View more

Austin: Toe-tapping, Belly-filling Fun

After just 30 short minutes driving through Texas suburbs, you’ll arrive in the energetic city of Austin. If you’re a music fan, Austin is a bucket-list destination. From the concentration of live music venues on Sixth Street and South Congress to major music festivals like SXSW (March) and Austin City Limits Festival (October), there’s no shortage of ways to get your groove on.

When hunger strikes, sit down for regional Mexican specialties like the stuffed ancho chiles and Mexican corn soup at Fonda San Miguel. The vibe is elegant, but you’ll find quirky décor hiding all around the dining room. Franklin Barbecue is another Austin staple. People gladly get up early and wait in super-long lines for mouthwatering brisket and ribs. Beer aficionados and craft cocktail lovers can bar hop along Rainey Street, a lively district where old bungalow houses have been converted to bars and breweries.

On Sundays, Maria’s Taco Xpress is the only logical choice. Order the migas breakfast burrito (eggs scrambled with onions, garlic and pico de gallo salsa) and stay for Hippie Church – basically, an hours-long dance fest in true Austin style. Return home on a flight out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS).

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
View more
Continue exploring