‘Local in source, Texan in spirit’ is the motto at Jack Allen’s Kitchen. This venture is dedicated to Southern flavors and seasonal eating from owner and executive chef Jack Gilmore and co-owner Tom Kamm. Guests are welcomed with a complimentary plate of the restaurant’s signature flatbread crackers and pimento cheese while nightly changing menus offer sophisticated specials and dishes such as the grilled ruby trout with sundried tomato and walnut pesto, apple-pecan relish, vegetable rice and wilted spinach, which are perfect when paired with its many beers and wines or seasonal craft cocktails.
Jack Allen’s Kitchen, 2500 Hoppe Trail, Round Rock, TX, USA, +1 512 215 0372
With a menu inspired by the cuisines of southern and coastal Mexico, inventively re-imagined classic dishes and quite possibly the most extensive list of tequilas in Round Rock, Tortuga Flats is a must-try. The restaurant’s interior, a mix of natural woods, industrial elements and vibrant blues, makes for a stylish alternative to the typical taquerias and the ideal location in which to sample Tortuga Flats’ mouth-watering cocktails, which include seven different varieties of margarita. Menu highlights include Cochinita Pibil – pork marinated in achiote and served with pickled onions, cilantro, black beans and white rice, and a number of tacos, fajitas, enchiladas and tortas.
Tortuga Flats, 3107 South IH-35, Round Rock, TX, USA, +1 512 388 1445
An unpretentious farm-to-table restaurant offering counter serve and home-style comfort food, Greenhouse Craft Food showcases the bounty of Texan farmers and artisans. Greenhouse Craft Food’s regular menu features dishes like the shrimp boat hoagie (stuffed with lightly fried Gulf shrimp, tomato, lemon-horseradish aioli and slaw), Taco Tuesdays nights, weekly chef specials and Texan crafts beers and wines. Its relaxed, homely dining room is perfect for both romantic meals and family dining.
High Country Market is a café and diner serving casual, artisan dishes which conveniently doubles as a food market. Guests can unwind in High Country Market’s simple, casual interior or its roadside patio with a glass of wine or on tap craft beer before feasting on delicious dishes like specialty New York-style pizzas, gourmet sandwiches, bar bites and salads. High Country Market’s grocery section offers an extensive range of unique ingredients and over 400 beers and wines with weekly wine tastings that showcase its wares.
High Country Market, 3701 Gattis School Road, Round Rock, TX, USA, +1 512 541 3499
The Scarlet Rabbit describes itself as ‘an immersive trip down a culinary rabbit hole’ offering quirky and adventurous Texas-style bistro dishes crafted from regionally sourced ingredients. The Scarlet Rabbit’s creative and unique menu features standout dishes like the Texas bouillabaisse of gulf shrimp, oysters, mussels and black drum in a spicy broth or the crispy chicken breast with zucchini waffles, spinach and a jalapeno maple glaze. The food is complemented by an offbeat, Alice in Wonderland inspired interior and a charming patio dining area.
The Scarlet Rabbit, 410 West Main Street, Round Rock, TX, USA, +1 512 502 5164
When eating out in Round Rock, fans of seafood should look no further than Deckhand Oyster Bar, a casual, laid-back restaurant serving fresh oysters, creative fish dishes and ice cold beers. Start with a bowl of Tom Yum Seafood Soup, a spicy Thai-style broth of shrimp, black mussel and fish claimed by Deckhand Oyster Bar as a ‘natural hangover remedy’, before sampling an entrée like the 13 ounce stuffed with pico de gallo, crab meat and chopped bacon served with toast and seasonal vegetables. The main event here is oysters so try the grilled Tokyo oysters topped with homemade masago sauce, green onions and mayo.
Deckhand Oyster Bar, 500 Parker Drive, Round Rock, TX, USA, +1 512 368 3379
Round Rock’s favorite sandwich shop The Blind Squirrel features a scratch-made kitchen serving up unique concoctions that combine the humble sandwich with eclectic fusion cuisine. Choose from hearty sandwiches such as the The Godfather (ciabatta filled with grilled New York strip steak, sautéed crimini mushrooms and sweet onion topped with fresh mozzarella and roasted garlic aioli), or the carved ham (melted creamy brie, arugula and spicy mango chutney stuffed Fine Swine), and team with sides that include house made twisted chips and Asian coleslaw.
The Blind Squirrel, 1105 South Mays Street, Round Rock, TX, USA, +1 512 244 6888
If you’re looking for legendary barbecue and warm, Texas Hill Country hospitality then look no further than The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que. Established in 1967 by Thurman Roberts, the restaurant today features three locations and is owned and operated by his son and expert smoke pit master Scott Roberts. It maintains tradition by basing its fare on family recipes from the owners’ great grandmother dating back to the late 1800s. The Salt Lick’s rustic Round Rock branch includes a full bar and patio terrace and serves the kind of mouth-watering barbecue that the restaurant has become renowned for, pulled pork, beef ribs, brisket and many other smoked meats.
For Cajun food with attitude, head on down to the Louisiana Longhorn Café, a downtown Round Rock restaurant owned and operated by Louisiana natives Melinda and Ray Overstreet. A cozy, casual interior sets the scene in which to enjoy the Louisiana Longhorn Café’s simple yet palate-pleasing dishes, which are all crafted from recipes lovingly borrowed from the owners’ family and friends. Try the chicken and sausage gumbo, crawfish etoufee or Louisiana-style tender pork ribs. Team your meal with a typically Deep South sides like hushpuppies or fried okra and a drink from its bar, which serves the ‘world’s coldest beer’.