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Round Top Travel Guide: Country Roads, Take Me Home!

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Round Top Travel Guide: Country Roads, Take Me Home!

It’s high time we shared our Round Top favorites, gathered over several years of exhibiting at the biannual antiques show. Round Top is a quiet little Texas hill country town situated between Austin and Houston, and we love it so much we decided to put down roots. We’re thrilled to swing open our doors, settle permanently in the heart of town, and welcome area residents and travelers throughout the year with a big dose of southern hospitality…and maybe a margarita or two!

Here’s the thing about Round Top: it’s refreshing slow pace, cultural vibrancy, and breathtaking beauty make it a slice of Texas worthy of a visit any month of the year. Whether you’re headed to the fields for Antiques Week or considering a visit another time of year, we’ve pulled together basic information and recommendations for dining, shopping, and accommodations. Have any questions? Just holler—we’d love to hear from you!

xxCB

 

ANTIQUES WEEK: WHAT TO KNOW

The Round Top Antiques Show has been a Texas institution since 1968! Each year, two main shows take place: the Spring Show in March/April and the Fall Show in October/November. Consider these dates prime visiting season—vendors come in from all over the world to showcase furnishings, linens, art, clothing, gifts, and more in mostly open-air tents. Scaled-down Winter and Summer Shows are scheduled during the months between the two main shows. If you’re a first-timer, this guide and this one are the places to start!

 

EAT AND DRINK

Duo Modern — Treat yourself to Nate's famous Dirty Martini as you peruse the ever-rotating menu that is determined day of based on what is seasonally available and what inspires the chefs. Sunday Brunch is a must!

The Little Cheese Shop — I could make a meal out of their hickory smoked salmon and a board of olives and cheese. They have everything you need for an impromptu picnic with the kids or relaxed date night with your better half.

Lulu’s — I’m obsessed with the grilled Caesar salad. After a 12-hour workday, the spaghetti and (massive) meatball is my soul’s salve. Other times, I opt for a fish dish.

Mandito’s — The margs and queso cannot be beat at this Tex-Mex institution.

Ellis Motel — This quirky gem in the middle of town is my nightly unwind of choice, offering a laid-back aesthetic ideal for hugging dealer friends and lingering over gin cocktails. Lee is a character and I look forward to moments of quick conversation with him!

Royers — I’d bet good money that Royers graces every Round Top guide out there, on account of their glorious pies. But here’s an under-the-radar pro tip: The fried chicken lunch special—served only on Sunday—is flaky, juicy, and might make you cry tears of joy.  

The Garden Co. — Order the Brussels sprouts. This is a great spot for a lazy lunch to punctuate a long day of shopping.

Round Top Mercantile — The deli sandwiches at this throwback general store are divine! Order at the counter but don’t stray from the sourdough bread. I like my turkey loaded with jalapeños, avocado, lettuce, tomato, pickle, mustard, very little mayo, and a side of iced tea. It never disappoints! While you’re there, grab tools, ice, sundries, and more.

Texas Rose — My favorite lunch stop on Highway 237. I recommend the chicken salad salad—the most delicious scoop of rosemary chicken salad atop incredibly fresh greens. The egg salad and pimento cheese are also no-fail options. ** Open only during Spring and Fall Antiques Week shows.

Round Top Smoke House — This is Lee Ellis’ latest concept, a collaboration with Cat Hunyh of Les Ba’get in Houston, and it’s the best BBQ in town. Order the Char Siu Chinese BBQ Spare Ribs and then double your order to-goyour family back home will thank you.

Local Roots — This little eatery owned by a professional caterer is not-to-miss! Sandwiches, homemade bread, desserts, and coffee—an easy, yummy go-to.

Jax’s Pizza at Prost — The wildly popular Brenham-based burger outfit serves up delectable wood-fired pizzas and artisanal salads that rotate regularly. Pair with a glass of wine and sit around the fire at Prost.

Lollitop Sweet Shop — When I’m working at my shop on Sunday, I always start my morning here. A cup of Neon Moon coffee and a sausage drop biscuit make for a winning breakfast combo. For later, I select a homemade confection to bring home to my boys (favorites thus far: Cap’n Krembo and French fry-shaped shortbread cookies) and an Asparagus Root Veg Galette for an easy dinner after a long day. 

 

SHOP

Round Top Ranch Antiques — A family-run outfit with nearly 40 years specializing in European antiques furniture. You’ll find a vast mix of aesthetics, fair pricing, and superb quality. With three warehouse-sized buildings, this is a must-visit! (And be sure to give the sweet shop dogs a scratch behind the ears.)

Round Top Antiques & Design Center — A blend of dealers and offerings, this year-round shopping destination boasts big style in a tiny town. Say "Hi" to Katy; promise you'll be greeted by the friendliest smile in town!

Curate by Stash — My dear friend Cheryl and her crew are incredible artists and leather is their medium of choice. I’ve never left empty handed! 

Richard Schmidt — Years ago I worked with Richard to customize a diamond and silver bracelet, and it’s never left my wrist since. He’s Round Top royalty.

Round Top Village — Our Round Top home, a chic new collection of eclectic specialty shops. We have amazing neighbors, including Richard Schmidt (see above), The Store, Cottonseed Trading Company, and Bella’s Candles. Pull up and park, browse around, stop in and sit a spell…we’d love to see you!

Paul Meyer — I RUN to Paul’s booth at Market Hill to see his latest work. Without fail each season, I am bowled over by his artistic capability and soulful renderings, portraits, and landscapes.

Melissa Ellis Fine Art — Round Top's newest art gallery teeming with a whole lotta eye candy from local talent. Don't miss Meredith Hadaway's vintage textile covered taxidermy.

Humble Donkey — Henkle Square's anchor owned by a dynamic artist-collector/husband-wife duo. I always, always return home with a favorite find from their shop.

Wimberly — Vintage boots and jewelry aplenty are the mainstays in this shop housed in an 1817 apothecary building situated in Henkel Square. Their bespoke snakeskin belts are a Texas staple for country fields and city streets.

Farmloft — Shop owner Darwa is a Round Top darling, and her depot features Bohemian finery, unique wares, home goods, jewels, and vintage treasurers.

 

STAY

 

Hotel Lulu – Round Top’s newest boutique hotel, Cinda and Armando Palacios’ latest and greatest 13-room venture is a showstopper and I cannot wait to stay!

The Frenchie — Situated walking distance from downtown with views of sprawling fields, this chic boutique hotel has the most cheerful interiors with a hot tub and pool to boot! 

Round Top Inn — A collection of vintage cottages and farmhouses in the heart of town. A wine bar is located on site and your stay comes with a hot breakfast: win-win!

The Vintage Round Top  — It’s hard to beat this four-cottage, pastoral property located walking distance to fall and spring show shopping. Pristine and modern interiors make for a luxurious and serene stay.

FlopHouze Shipping Container Hotel — An eclectic assortment of recycled shipping containers reimagined into smartly designed rentals. We’ve heard rave reviews!

Farmstead at Round Top — Built in 1833, this newly renovated seven-room boutique hotel is walking distance to anything and everything. Its thoughtfully decorated guest rooms strike the elusive balance between farmhouse authenticity and an unfussy, contemporary vibe.

Juxtaposition Farmhouse — The brains behind one of my favorite California-based shops opened a collection of Round Top cottage rentals. The property is a homerun with pared back, authentic spaces that allow the surrounding landscape — and communal fire pit to be the shining star.