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Well-seasoned ribs on a metal tray
Ribs from Kreuz Market
Kreuz Market

Where to Eat and Drink in Lockhart

Explore barbecue, natural wine, and more at these 15 local hotspots

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Ribs from Kreuz Market
| Kreuz Market

Roughly 35 miles southeast of Austin lies the quaint town of Lockhart. Known as the “BBQ Capital of Texas,” the city has plenty to offer tourists and daytrippers, like its adorable square, the historic Caldwell County Courthouse, and, of course, plenty to eat and drink.

Some of Austin’s favorite sons and daughters have made outposts in Lockhart, including Nickel City’s Travis Tober and Better Half’s Rich Reimbolt at Old Pal Bar, Foreign & Domestic’s Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley at Commerce Cafe, and Casey Wilcox, formerly of Justine’s Brasserie, at Little Trouble.

So, whether you’re in the mood for some of the best barbecue in Texas or tinned fish and natural wine, here’s where to saddle up in Lockhart.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Kreuz Market

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While there are several delicious BBQ joints in Lockhart, Kreuz Market is a Lockhart legacy, dating back to 1900. Yes, there will likely be a line for the cafeteria-style restaurant, and, no, they will not give you forks or sauce — so don’t even bother asking. Get the pork chop.

La Cantera Mexican Restaurant

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Family-owned and operated, La Cantera offers homestyle Mexican cooking just like abuela used to make. Pick up some of Doña Mari’s famous homemade tortillas on your way out. 

The PEARL

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The Pearl is a no-frills live music venue. Grab a cold one and enjoy the show. 

Lockhart Arts and Craft

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This women-owned watering hole aims to be the friendliest neighborhood bar in Lockhart, but it’s much more than that. It’s also a place where people meet up to craft together, listen to music, brave an open mic night, or dominate in trivia while sipping beer, wine, and wine-based cocktails. 

Loop & Lil's Pizza

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One of the first of the new wave of Lockhart hotspots, Loop & Lil’s Pizza calls itself the “Oldest Best Friend Owned Pizzeria in Lockhart.” Serving family-style hand-tossed pizza pies, along with hot sandwiches, and a full bar, Loop & Lil’s has been one of the town’s de facto meeting spots since it opened in 2015. 

Little Trouble

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Housed in a former bank vault below the 1898 Brock Building, Wilcox’s Little Trouble opened right before quarantine shut them back down in 2020. But, now, the former Justine’s chef is churning out out-of-the-box culinary creations with German/Mexican influences and a cheeky flair. Don’t skip the TX tartare.

The Culinary Room

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Shop at the Culinary Room to pick up gourmet gifts and goods, grab-and-go prepared meals, baked goodies, beer and wine, and their famous banana pudding, available by the scoop. 

Good Things Grocery

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Opened out of necessity during the pandemic, the Chaparral Coffee owners knew they needed to start selling much more than coffee to survive. After creating a grocery/market in Martindale, they followed suit in Lockhart, where they sell fancy tinned fish, house-made pimento cheese, natural wine, and more. 

Best Little Wine & Books

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This spring, Nickel City co-owner Travis Tober teamed up with sommelier Kaye Askins to open up a small but mighty wine and book store just off the square. With roughly 150 bottles to choose from, you can enjoy in the store or take your loot to go. Make sure to pet Askins’ dog Chicken before you leave. 

Commerce Cafe

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Foreign & Domestic co-owners and chefs opened this casual cafe in 2020, offering sandwiches, salads, and larger plates of pasta, chicken fried steak, roasted chicken, and seasonal pies. Of course, they also serve Foreign & Domestic’s famous gruyere popovers. 

Load Off Fannys

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Enjoy live music, cold beer, and good vibes at this local hangout. Head out back to their “secret patio” to enjoy hand-pressed burgers, local produce, and other house-made specials, including cauliflower wings with a smattering of spicy sauces. 

Chaparral Coffee

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Open daily from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., it seems like all of Lockhart passes through these doors at least once a day. Toasts, sandwiches, beer, and wine complement the robust java menu. 

Smitty's Market

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Prepare to smell like smoke after leaving this establishment. Smitty’s and Kreuz are always mentioned in the same breath due to a long-ago landlord dispute between the two barbecue families. Much like visiting Philly, where it’s unfair not to try both Pat’s and Geno’s warring cheesesteaks, sample both Lockhart barbecue legends. Do not skip the smoked prime rib. 

Old Pal Texas Tavern

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For those looking for the vibe of Nickel City, look no further than Old Pal. There’s an agave- and whiskey-focused cocktail menu coupled with free-range fried chicken, mouth-watering burgers, hearty salads, fish and chips, and other modern takes on traditional bar grub — but the brightest star is the Whata-Frozen cocktail, made with bourbon, Montenegro, and Dr. Pepper. Save room for pie.

Market Street Cafe

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Think made-from-scratch breakfast and lunch classics, like shrimp and grits, huge sandwiches made from a 30-year-old sourdough starter, and fried chicken. While the cafe offers limited hours, their affiliated deli is open until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Kreuz Market

While there are several delicious BBQ joints in Lockhart, Kreuz Market is a Lockhart legacy, dating back to 1900. Yes, there will likely be a line for the cafeteria-style restaurant, and, no, they will not give you forks or sauce — so don’t even bother asking. Get the pork chop.

La Cantera Mexican Restaurant

Family-owned and operated, La Cantera offers homestyle Mexican cooking just like abuela used to make. Pick up some of Doña Mari’s famous homemade tortillas on your way out. 

The PEARL

The Pearl is a no-frills live music venue. Grab a cold one and enjoy the show. 

Lockhart Arts and Craft

This women-owned watering hole aims to be the friendliest neighborhood bar in Lockhart, but it’s much more than that. It’s also a place where people meet up to craft together, listen to music, brave an open mic night, or dominate in trivia while sipping beer, wine, and wine-based cocktails. 

Loop & Lil's Pizza

One of the first of the new wave of Lockhart hotspots, Loop & Lil’s Pizza calls itself the “Oldest Best Friend Owned Pizzeria in Lockhart.” Serving family-style hand-tossed pizza pies, along with hot sandwiches, and a full bar, Loop & Lil’s has been one of the town’s de facto meeting spots since it opened in 2015. 

Little Trouble

Housed in a former bank vault below the 1898 Brock Building, Wilcox’s Little Trouble opened right before quarantine shut them back down in 2020. But, now, the former Justine’s chef is churning out out-of-the-box culinary creations with German/Mexican influences and a cheeky flair. Don’t skip the TX tartare.

The Culinary Room

Shop at the Culinary Room to pick up gourmet gifts and goods, grab-and-go prepared meals, baked goodies, beer and wine, and their famous banana pudding, available by the scoop. 

Good Things Grocery

Opened out of necessity during the pandemic, the Chaparral Coffee owners knew they needed to start selling much more than coffee to survive. After creating a grocery/market in Martindale, they followed suit in Lockhart, where they sell fancy tinned fish, house-made pimento cheese, natural wine, and more. 

Best Little Wine & Books

This spring, Nickel City co-owner Travis Tober teamed up with sommelier Kaye Askins to open up a small but mighty wine and book store just off the square. With roughly 150 bottles to choose from, you can enjoy in the store or take your loot to go. Make sure to pet Askins’ dog Chicken before you leave. 

Commerce Cafe

Foreign & Domestic co-owners and chefs opened this casual cafe in 2020, offering sandwiches, salads, and larger plates of pasta, chicken fried steak, roasted chicken, and seasonal pies. Of course, they also serve Foreign & Domestic’s famous gruyere popovers. 

Load Off Fannys

Enjoy live music, cold beer, and good vibes at this local hangout. Head out back to their “secret patio” to enjoy hand-pressed burgers, local produce, and other house-made specials, including cauliflower wings with a smattering of spicy sauces. 

Chaparral Coffee

Open daily from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., it seems like all of Lockhart passes through these doors at least once a day. Toasts, sandwiches, beer, and wine complement the robust java menu. 

Smitty's Market

Prepare to smell like smoke after leaving this establishment. Smitty’s and Kreuz are always mentioned in the same breath due to a long-ago landlord dispute between the two barbecue families. Much like visiting Philly, where it’s unfair not to try both Pat’s and Geno’s warring cheesesteaks, sample both Lockhart barbecue legends. Do not skip the smoked prime rib. 

Old Pal Texas Tavern

For those looking for the vibe of Nickel City, look no further than Old Pal. There’s an agave- and whiskey-focused cocktail menu coupled with free-range fried chicken, mouth-watering burgers, hearty salads, fish and chips, and other modern takes on traditional bar grub — but the brightest star is the Whata-Frozen cocktail, made with bourbon, Montenegro, and Dr. Pepper. Save room for pie.

Market Street Cafe

Think made-from-scratch breakfast and lunch classics, like shrimp and grits, huge sandwiches made from a 30-year-old sourdough starter, and fried chicken. While the cafe offers limited hours, their affiliated deli is open until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

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