The exterior of a wooden barn and green grass

A barn at Kreische Brewery

A person pours a bright beer from a silver tap

Fresh pours from La Grange Brewing Company

Ask a Texan if they know where La Grange is and they’ll probably tell you one of two things: “I’ve driven past there,” or “Like the ZZ Top song?” Yes, La Grange’s claim to fame is the Chicken Ranch, the famed brothel with “a lotta nice girls,” as ZZ Top mumbles in the song that shares the town’s name—the same brothel that the movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is based on. But the town has a rich history beyond the Chicken Ranch. Its growth was fueled by an influx of Czech and German immigrants in the mid-1800s, many of whose descendants still reside in the area. The Fayette County Courthouse looms over the town square, which is lined with restaurants and boutiques perfect for picking up tchotchkes. Over the past decade, La Grange’s new businesses have proven the small town is more than just a place to pass through on a drive between Austin and Houston. It’s well worth stopping a night or two to experience what the community has to offer.

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A collage of images of places mentioned in this story







Airbnbs dot La Grange’s historic square, but if you’re looking for a boutique hotel, neighboring community Round Top (famous for the twice-a-year antique fair) has plenty to pick from. One standout is the Flophouze, a complex of converted shipping containers that features a pool and views of the Hill Country. Each lodging is beautifully furnished with a kitchen and bathroom. Stays start at $175/night.

In 1849, German immigrant Heinrich Ludwig Kreische purchased 172 acres on what residents call “The Bluff,” a neighborhood just outside city limits. Kreische found fresh spring water under his family home and opened the brewery. When he died in 1882, the brewery died with him, but visitors can tour the ruins and learn about Texas brewing history on a beautiful plot just off the Colorado River.

If you’re visiting La Grange, you’re basically required to eat a kolache. And no, not the meat-filled ones—those are called klobasniky. You’ll want the real thing from Weikel’s Bakery. For an authentic Texas Czech experience, opt for apricot or poppy seed (or better yet, treat yourself to a variety six-pack). Weikel’s also serves homemade noodles and made-to-order sandwiches

Visitors can take a drive out to La Grange Brewing Company, located on Blissful Folly Farm, to taste local beers, wines, meads, and ciders brewed on the farm. It offers farm tours where visitors can learn about sustainable brewing techniques, check out the apiary, and pet goats. For visitors 21 and up, tasting tours are offered on Saturdays at 3 p.m. and cost $30 per person.

Texas is home to more Czech Americans than any other state in the U.S., and La Grange’s museum showcases that with cultural artifacts and memorabilia. The local paper’s 2023 People’s Choice winner for best museum in Fayette County, the museum houses the Texas Czech Village—several buildings with historical significance to the Texas Czech community.

For lunch or dinner, look no further than Reba’s Deli and Pizzeria, opened in 1999 by former New Yorker Joe Schroeder and named after his youngest daughter. The pizza is delicious, but you can also order flatbreads, hot sandwiches, salads, homemade fudge, and hand-dipped Blue Bell ice cream. The family-friendly spot stands just a few blocks from the town square.

A cozy, cute little spot on the town square, Bodega Wine Market offers wine, of course, as well as craft beer; a variety of cheese boards; and a full menu offering flatbreads, soups, and sandwiches. Only open on weekdays and only until 7 p.m., it’s a great spot to start your evening before heading over to daiquiri bar Mac’s Daqs (on the opposite side of the town square) or Jay Dee’z, the local sports bar.

Located in a yellow and green train depot built in 1897, the M-K-T Depot Museum pays tribute to the history of local railroads. The original building, located on the same site near the present-day town square, was open for only 10 years before it burned down. Visitors can see memorabilia and artifacts relating to the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad, as well as a couple of historic train cars.

A painted mural of a man in a hat playing accordionCulture? Czech!

On May 19, the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center hosts May Fest, an annual celebration of all things Czech. The slavnost, or festival, kicks off at 10:30 a.m. with a tribute to Czech immigrants who settled in Texas. The tribute is followed by a fried chicken lunch and live music all afternoon from Donnie Wavra & Friends Orchestra. Visitors can enjoy a kolache table, dancing, a classic car show, a country store, and more fun activities celebrating the Czech community.

An illustration of an RV

The Suncatcher RV Park
The Suncatcher RV Park on US 77 is located on a quiet slice of country land about a 5-minute drive from the heart of La Grange. The park offers showers, restrooms, and Wi-Fi.

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