Welcome to Buda, Texas! This town is about 15 miles south of Austin, and it was BY FAR the most popular request for me to start covering…everyone wants to know about things to do in Buda TX! I’ve been making some day trips to Buda to check out all the cute shops, delicious restaurants, and fun things to do with the family. I am SO excited to bring this guide to you. I hope it helps you plan your own day trip to Buda.
Quick facts about Buda:
– 15 miles south of Austin
– It’s growing FAST! As the population of Austin continues to grow, more and more folks are choosing to settle down in Buda for competitive housing prices and the fun family-friendly community.
– It’s more than a commuter city. Sure, some people choose to live here and commute into Austin to work, but Buda is quickly becoming its own city with a fun community of people, things to do, and amazing restaurants to try.
– It’s an historic town (hey 1881!) built along the railroad that went from San Antonio to Austin. The main downtown of Buda still runs right along that railroad.
I’m going to cover fun things to do, the best restaurants in Buda, and some annual events you should check out! Keep in mind that as I’m writing this, we’re still in the pandemic and lots of businesses have changed their hours. Check their websites for the most up-to-date info.
1. VISIT THE HISTORIC HOUSES
There are a number of historic houses in Buda, located in downtown Buda and at the Stagecoach Park. Some of them are more than a century old! (And to all you east-coasters: that’s really old for Texas cities… )
2. Get breakfast tacos at Helen’s Casa Alde
This beloved Tex Mex restaurant has been family-owned since 1980. It’s now run by Helen’s children and grandchildren. Even amidst a pandemic and a horrible fire that sadly burned down the main restaurant, Casa Alde remains as a food truck. It’s a popular choice among Budans who want their breakfast taco fix on a homemade tortilla. Try the Fattie’s – it’s full of bacon, sausage, potato, egg, and cheese.
3. Go Fishing at Bradfield Village Park
There’s a huge pond here that’s stocked with catfish. If you’d enjoy a morning of fishing, this is for you!
4. Shop the cute boutique stores
The Mercantile at Buda Grain and Mill is a delightful little shop. Every item is hand-selected by the owner, so you’ll be sure to find some unique gift ideas for yourself or others.
5. Browse the Downtown Buda Farmers Market on Sundays
If you’re visiting Buda on a Sunday, get some fresh organic baked goods, fruits, veggies, homemade jams, hand-crafted candles, and more at the Farmers Market. It’s located at the Mill + Grain, right in the heart of all the action!
6. Get your sugar fix at Sweet Cakes 4 U
You can’t leave Buda without trying one (or a few!) slices of cake at Sweet Cakes. The menu changes daily (look on their instagram page for updates) and the fun flavors are available by the slice. I love the hummingbird cake, tres leches, and triple chocolate!
7. Brunch at Brooklyn's Down South
Brooklyn’s is located in historic downtown Buda. It’s a great place for weekend brunch! They have amazing southern staples like buttermilk pancakes, a cajun benedict with tasso ham, and fried chicken and waffles with crystal honey drizzle.
8. Lunch Date at Los Olivos
This is one of the most high-end places to eat in Buda, and it’s a great option for a nice lunch date, a glass of wine at the bar, or a delicious dinner out. Try the chicken karaage (that funky aioli is sooo good!) or the Hereford Ribeye Steak, and then shop the market for some old-world culinary delicacies and Texas wine to bring home with you.
9. Check Out The Seasonal Events in Buda
From their 4th of July show, the Weiner dog races, a downtown sip & stroll, holiday trail of lights, and so much more! Check out the Buda events page to see what’s current and happening in the season you’ll be visiting. Buda is so good at creating a fun and welcoming environment for its residents.
10. Eat Tex Mex at Esthers
If you’re craving some big plates of fajitas and a pitcher of margaritas, Esther’s Tex-Mex is for you.
11. Shop The Historic Downtown District
Make some time to stop in the antique stores, boutique shops, and restaurants located in Buda’s historic downtown district. There’s a hiking store, an well-renowned bike company, a custom furniture company (my husband and I had them make our bedroom nightstands and mirror) and lots more!
12. Get Ice Cream At Buda Soda Fountain
Ready to cool off? Stop in the Buda Soda Fountain for a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough in a cone or some vintage candy.
13. Take Photos at the Historic Stagecoach Park
There are two historic buildings, along with acres and acres of gorgeous Oak and Mesuite trees, a pavilion, a playground, and a great trail system. This is a beautiful place to plan a photo shoot, get a little exercise, or plan a picnic lunch.
14. Get A Coffee or Cocktail at Nate's
Nate’s is a great place to stop in the middle of the day to rest your feet after shopping. Grab a cocktail, rest on the beautiful patio that’s shaded by a 75-year-old live oak tree.
15. Eat at Louie's BBQ
Louie’s BBQ roamed around Austin for a few years before deciding to settle down in Buda, and Budans are lucky to have such a great BBQ joint permanently parked on main street. The sausage is my favorite, and I love the massive BBQ sandwiches here. (Want to order something truly outrageous? Get the loaded baked potato – it’s HUGE!)
15. Catch a flick a Doc's Drive-In
This place is so precious! Doc’s Drive-In shows nightly movies on their two outdoor screens. Buy your ticket in advance, and show up early to get some refreshments at their food stand.
16. Pick Up Sandwiches at Proof Liquor & Deli
You’ll have to drive about 10 minutes out of the main street of Buda, but Proof Liquor & Deli is a must-visit while you’re in town. (Tip: get their sandwiches wrapped up to-go and then bring them to City Park or Stagecoach Park for picnic while your little ones run around.) The Angry Bird and The Reuben are two popular choices, and all of the pies and cookies are homemade and delicious.
17. Play at Buda City Park
My toddler loves this place! It’s a huge, beautiful new park (my photo isn’t doing it justice..) with a fantastic playground, basketball courts, a pavilion with lots of shaded picnic tables, a rock climbing wall, and more. This is the heart of Buda, with lots of annual events taking place within the Buda City Park.
18. Water 2 Wine
Although it looks small from the outside, this is a fully-funtioning urban winery that makes all of their own wine inside the store! The staff will kindly create a tasting flight for you with four pours so you can taste a variety of wines, or you can order wine by-the-glass to sip while you enjoy live music in the evenings. Water 2 Wine does custom bottle labels – this would be such a cute idea for a wedding favor!
19. Book a dinner at Mud Bugs
I am OBSESSED with Mud Bugs! The name makes it seem like a dive-y sort of joint, but it’s actually quite upscale….in a relaxed and welcoming way. (They call themselves “elevated, not refiuned”, meaning you could dress up for a nice date night out, or you could show up in jeans and a t-shirt. Either way, come very hungry!) I love the Crab and Spinach fondue with housemade crackers and the Shrimp & Grits (butter and cream and gouda and bacon!)
20. Jackson Tyler Norris Memorial Skate Park
All sports with wheels welcome here! The Skate Park is open to anyone who wants to bring a skateboard and spend the afternoon working on their heelflip.
21. Get Friday Pizza at Pie Shack
Pie Shack in Buda always has a steady stream of orders coming in for Friday night pizza night! It’s a beautiful food truck parked at the Mill + Grain. I love the margherita pizza and the mushroom + herb. They also offer unbaked chicken pot pies that you can order and keep in the fridge and then bake for a quick weeknight dinner.
22. Eat at Amici
Located right next to Pie Shack, and if you’re going to splurge on some pizza you should get some pasta to go with it! The owners of Amici had an italian restaurant in NYC for decades before deciding to move down and open up shop in Texas. They chose Buda as a location for its friendly residents and family-centered environment.
Thanks for reading my guide to Buda, TX! Do you have more ideas? Leave a comment below to help out everyone who checks out this guide! Follow me on instagram to see my Buda story highlight where you can see me exploring all of these places!