International travel is pricey these days so why not transport yourself to your favorite countries by way of a delicious dinner out! The family-friendly northern suburb of Austin, Round Rock is sometimes known for the Dell Diamond baseball stadium or the headquarters of Dell, but one can travel ‘round the globe in a culinary journey in Round Rock and enjoy every cultural bite.
Buonasera! Live like an Italian at the new Milano on Highway 79 (formerly MasFajitas) in the HEB Plus shopping center. We love the Italian lifestyle because it’s all about enjoying great food and chianti with those you care about. That’s what you can experience at Milano (no need to head to Florence for this). The chianti comes from the Tuscany region of Italy and the pasta is all housemade. Bellissima!
Start with the warm bread that beckons to an empty stomach. Enjoy the Eggplant Rollatini, melted and comforting. Then, treat yourself to the Farfalle con Pesto topped with grilled chicken. And remember, the proper way to enjoy this true Italian meal is with people you love, not on a schedule and slowing down to savor the moment.
Hola, como estas? Me encanta la comida. I love Mexican food! When I travel (as I do often as the Travel Editor), I want to go eat Tex-Mex as soon as I get back home to Texas. Recuerdos (which means “memories” in Spanish) will leave a lasting memory of enchiladas in your mind. That’s what they’re known for- those comfort food tortillas, filled with beef, chicken or cheese, and smothered in a chili cheese or sour cream sauce. Nothing beats a hearty enchilada meal, but they also offer delicious carne guisada plates and other traditional Tex-Mex dishes filled with tortillas, meat and melted cheese. You’ll find them on Main Street in downtown Round Rock, right next to the piano bar on a block filled with nightlife.
Order up: Filipino food! Most don’t know about the legendary Filipino appetizer that rivals an eggroll: lumpia. They look like an eggroll but have a slightly different flavor. Natives grow up making this delightful app, with recipes passed down generation to generation. Little Mamas, a carry-out only restaurant in an unassuming strip center on Mays Street, offers these crunchy delights in packs of 6 or 12. You’ve got to know where you’re going to find Little Mama’s because the signage is sparse. Make sure you put in your carry out order early, too, because they close at 5 pm. For an entrée that is flavorful and hearty, go with the fried rice with chicken.
It wouldn’t be Texas without some delicious BBQ! Situated perfectly on Main Street in downtown RR, the owner has long local roots. Let us tell you, not all Texas BBQ is created equal. Liberty is a shining star for sumptuous brisket, sausage and all the sides that sing! If you catch them on Sunday, you can choose from special brunch menu items, such as their Briskuits and Gravy– house-made biscuits, scratch cream gravy, brisket, hash browns, and 2 eggs (we recommend scrambled); B.O.B. – BBQ On Brioche- their spin on a traditional BBQ Sandwich (try the pulled pork), or you can go the typical 2 meat plate route as their potato salad and cole slaw rock ‘round any choice of meat.
Opa! We all know the Mediterranean diet is the most healthy way to eat. This is just one reason to visit Zorba, located in a shopping center at the intersection of I-35 and the 45 Toll Road (an area that took the brunt of the latest tornado). If, like me, one of your favorite movies is “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” you might find a resemblance here. Their traditional hummus has the perfect consistency and is served with most meals or you can enjoy the creamy goodness as a starter. You can’t go wrong with their Gyro Plate, thin slices of lamb and beef, served with warm, fresh pita, rice pilaf and hummus. For a one-dish wonder, the Falafel Wrap is nóstimo
(delicious in Greek), packed with fresh cucumber, tomato and onion, covered in tzatziki.
Looking for some luck of the Irish, try Cork & Barrel where the craic is 90!
Wanting to bathe in some British deliciousness? Kenney Fort Pub is the place to let the good times roll, with fish & chips, of course.
You just want a good ole American burger? For a hearty, but not too-big, burger, head to Hopdoddy. The line might look intimidating at first, but hang in there as it moves fast. Their truffle parmesan fries are a tasty side, as is the kate ceasar salad. The burgers are thick and you can choose from spicy to gourmet with their selections.
Cover photo from Eaters Collective on Unsplash
Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career in 2002 with Austin Woman Magazine and now writes their “The Texas Traveler” section. She can be seen as a contributor on TV shows across Texas, offering travel tips.