Twice a year, the tiny town of Round Top becomes the epicenter of the biggest, most mind-boggling shopping experience in the state. The Round Top Antiques Show—which actually stretches across numerous small communities along State Highway 237 between Brenham and LaGrange—attracts thousands of vendors from all over the world peddling everything from Dolly Parton records and turquoise baubles to mid-century Eames chairs and fine Italian ceramics. Whatever your heart desires, there is a pretty good chance you can find it in one of the numerous fields, tents, or barns that morph into merchandise-stuffed shopping venues during the show. In 2021, the spring event will run March 17- April 3 and the fall one runs Oct. 14-31.
Of course, the tens of thousands of treasure-hunting shoppers tramping their way from field to field are bound to get hungry from their efforts. Rest assured, there are plenty of options for good eating, from elaborately outfitted sit-down dinners to humble ham salad sandwiches. According to Polly Hitt, a Tyler-based jewelry vendor who has seen the food scene explode in her 20-plus years working the show, “Eating has become such a major part of it that you could do a food festival. If you go hungry at Round Top, it’s your own fault.” Here are a just a few solid options to try.
Open year-round on Main Street in Round Top, Royer’s lives up to the hype. Known for its delicious assortment of pies like the stuffed-with-every-kind-of fruit-imaginable Junk Berry and Food Network-fave Sweet ‘n Salty, the restaurant also serves solid lunch and dinner entrees including a shrimp BLT, steak, and grilled fish in white wine sauce. Make reservations early, don’t be late, and be sure to say hi to local icon Bud Royer as he oversees the happenings from the porch. Pro tip: Just a short walk away on Henkel Square, Royer’s Pie Haven serves up coffee and breakfast pies in addition to the traditional pie selection.
During the spring 2021 show, this lovely venue near Round Top will serve fresh, healthy food in a remodeled, climate-controlled dining area. Whether you want to grab a quick lunch while you shop or sit down and sip rosé at a family-style dinner, you’ll be in for a treat noshing at one of the restaurant’s communal tables. In the past, menu items included pulled pork sandwiches and hand-pressed burgers for lunch and prime rib and lime pepper shrimp for dinner.
Where does a busy interior decorator eat lunch during the antique show? For Austin’s Andree Chalaron, it’s Methodist Men BBQ, which pops up in the Blue Hills shopping venue near Carmine. “It’s really delicious and quick, there’s always a place to sit, and I’m happy that it supports a good cause,” she says. “Plus, they have giant Arnold Palmers with refills, and you have to stay hydrated out in that dusty heat!” Located in between showrooms, the volunteers in this mostly-outdoor restaurant offer up brisket, chicken, cantaloupe salad, and homemade desserts to raise money for numerous area charities like Fayette County Habitat for Humanity and Samaritan’s Purse.
As evidenced by the line snaking out the front door of this old wooden building, you’d be hard pressed to find a better chicken salad (or ham salad, or pimento cheese) sandwich during the show than the one at this tried-and-true Warrenton spot. Despite the queue, an assembly-line system usually means lunch comes together quickly, and even those who have to wait mostly remember how much they enjoyed the perfectly thick slices of fresh bread and all the self-serve pickle spears they could eat.