8 Reasons to Drive to Round Rock

By Megan Giller
February 6, 2014

Anyone who lives north of the river knows that Austinites can sometimes be snotty about their zip code (ahem, 78704, ahem). But past downtown, past Hyde Park, and even past the Arboretum and Domain, there are some pretty tasty restaurant options. From all-local American food to barbecue and ethnic options, these eight stops are sure to get you pumped up for a (short) road trip.

  • Greenhouse Craft Foods

    The recently opened farm-to-table restaurant features local produce and proteins as well as spotlights Texas beer and wine (and even fair-trade, organic sodas from Dublin Bottling Works). Try New American comfort dishes like bacon dumplings, a fried shrimp sandwich with house slaw and lemon-horseradish aïoli, and more from chef Rob Snow, formerly of the Mansion at Judges’ Hill.

    1400 E. Old Settlers Blvd., 
Round Rock; 512-366-5567

  • Photo by: Spencer Selvidge

    Taste of Ethiopia

    Fork over your fork and eat with your hands at this traditional Ethiopian restaurant, where dishes are served family-style on spongy bread called injera. We like the vegetarian entrees like ater kik (split peas) and tikil gomen (cabbage with carrots, onions and tomatoes) best, but the doro wot beef stew and lamb tibbs with clarified butter are sure to satisfy too.

    1100 Grand Ave. Pkwy., Pflugerville; 512-251-4053

  • Curly’s Carolina

    For those who think Texas-style barbecue is already well-represented throughout town, check out this Carolina-style joint. Go for the pulled pork (of course) in its many different sandwich incarnations: the Charleston, which features mustard-based sauce; the Tennessean, with a smoky red sauce; and more. Or go for meat by the pound and hit up some brisket too. Just be sure to load up on napkins.

    112 E. Main St., 
Round Rock; 512-541-5049

  • Tortuga Flats

    The Mexican icehouse just opened about six months ago, and it brings together farm-to-table and Tex-Mex for one powerful combination. Try tacos, fajitas or mains like rellenas de verduras (with kale, quinoa, sweet potatoes, cranberries, queso fresco and walnuts), and don’t skip the intoxicating specialty margaritas and creative cocktails.

    3107 S. IH-35, Round Rock; 512-388-1445

  • In-N-Out Burger

    The beloved burger chain launched its first Austin location up in Round Rock in December, and the lines were crazy long but moved quickly. Though a second location opened on Airport Boulevard a few weeks later, the Round Rock spot is still the place to be. Head up there and let your inner animal loose.

    4251 N. IH-35, Round Rock; 800-786-1000

  • Jack Allen’s Kitchen

    Chef Jack Gilmore knows that it’s not all about Central Austin. The chef opened a second outpost of his original Oak Hill restaurant in, you guessed it, Round Rock, so that everyone can have farm-fresh comfort food, whether you live south or north. Don’t miss the over-the-top buffet brunch with silver-dollar pancakes and biscuits served at the table, plus loads of family-style goodies for the taking (we think about that tomato-basil pie every Sunday morning).

    2500 Hoppe Trail, Round Rock; 512-215-0372

  • Salt Lick

    It’s not the original location of the famous barbecue joint, but the meat is just as smoky and tender. Go for a mouthwatering chopped-beef sandwich, or treat everyone and order family-style: $19.95 gets you family-size helpings of brisket, sausage, pork ribs, potato salad, coleslaw, beans and homemade bread, plus pickles, onions and sauce. Don’t skip the pecan pie or peach cobbler for dessert.

    3350 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock; 512-386-1044

  • Ka-Prow Thai & Sushi Bistro

    The Pan-Asian restaurant serves everything from the cheese rangoons everyone loves to grilled Chilean sea bass topped with chile sauce with broccoli and fried rice. The locale features a Thai-heavy menu as well as expansive sushi options. Fusion makes its way to the rolls too, with options like the bacon roll with avocado and cream cheese, as well as traditional maki-like salmon.

    1200 W. Howard Ln., Round Rock; 512-990-2111


Places Mentioned

The Salt Lick, Inc.

Barbecue • Round Rock

Food24 Decor23 Service23 Cost$24
IN-N-OUT Burger

Fast Food • Round Rock

Food- Decor- Service- Cost 
Greenhouse Craft Food

American • Round Rock

Food- Decor- Service- Cost 
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