At Texas Highways, we love our small towns and hidden-gem destinations. But sometimes when traveling to or staying in these off-the-path locales, it can be hard to find places to eat. Stop by one of these mom-and-pop grocery stores on your next road trip to ensure you enjoy your time in peace and quiet without going hungry. These markets carry everything you might need for a successful stay, whether it’s in a lakeside cabin in East Texas or a rustic teepee in West Texas.
Big Bend National Park is, well, big. In fact, it’s about a 75-mile drive from Marathon—one of the park’s main entry points—to the Chisos Basin—pretty much the only place in the park to get a substantial meal. In other words, you’ll want to enter the park with provisions. Spend some time putting together a picnic using the good eats at French Co. Grocer. The store has yummy made-to-order sandwiches, as well as wine, cheese, and grub that travels well in a backpack.
Located between Austin and Houston, this old school mercantile is run by the third generation of the Hruska family, and carries a wide range of goods, including kolaches, women’s clothes, fishing gear, gourmet food, deli sandwiches stuffed with exotic game, handcrafted outdoor furniture, and fire pits. “I can spend hours at this place,” says Houston resident Lori Lemmon. As an added bonus, the restrooms are super clean.
Located in McKinney’s downtown, Local Yocal sells locally-farmed beef as well as a variety of snacks, seasonings, cheeses, and other goodies made by area producers. Kelli Campbell, who has lived in McKinney for 20 years, says the shop is her favorite place to load up for a celebration. “If there is some grill time built into your trip or when you get back home, then bring a cooler and buy a fantastic cut of meat for a meal fit for a king,” she says.
The Get Go, Marfa
While Marfa is known for its hip food scene, the restaurants there don’t operate as regularly as city restaurants. Some eateries close random days or hours during the week, or close completely in the off season. At least you can always count on the Get Go, which is open every day and has upscale versions of essentials like wine, tortilla chips, ice cream, and meat. The store’s branded $14 tote bag is the cool souvenir you don’t want to leave town without.
The Blue Store, Noonday
Old school in all the best ways, the Blue Store in Noonday has been serving East Texas communities near Lake Palestine for decades. While it doesn’t have a website, it does have really good smash-burgers and all the necessities required of a gas station grocer worth its salt. “Their food is not your typical gas station fare, and the scene is always funny, says M.E. Danielson Harbold, a lifelong Tylerite who now lives just up the road from the store. “In the morning, it’s the yard crews fueling up for the day; on the weekends, it’s the lake folks coming out; and in the summertime, it’s Pine Cove camp counselors.”