We love getting to know our northern neighbors better and better when we’re there for business or to see friends. And so, we want to share a few of our favorite things about Round Rock.
The Great Outdoors
Round Rock is named for an actual round rock, which rests in the bed of Brushy Creek on the west side of the city. Continuing further west, down Hairy Man Rd (a colorful local legend), you’ll arrive at the Brushy Creek Trail, which meanders into Cedar Park and a 38-acre recreation park and lake. The largest in the city’s parks system is Old Settler’s Park, adjacent to the Dell Diamond, home of the Round Rock Express. For less strenuous recreation that is within reach of a glass of wine, there is bocce under the trees at Wine Sensation in downtown.
Kitchens of Distinction
We love that this small city offers up a diverse palate of international cuisine, including specialties we haven’t seen anywhere else in the Austin area, including:
There are only a few restaurants in the US that have salteñas on their daily menu, and there’s just one in Texas, Papi’s Pies. Made with a family recipe honed over decades, these hand-held pies are filled with delectable broth, vegetables, meat (or a vegan version), making them a cross between an empanada and a soup dumpling.
One of the best espressos can be found at 3 Star Candy Shop. Owner Elvis Marte loves Dominican coffee so much that he installed an espresso machine into his shop, and fortunately, he shares by offering cappuccinos, lattes, café con leche, and the classic cortadito on his soda fountain menu. He also makes a perfect New York egg cream.
Lomo saltado is a steak stir fry on top of French fries. Need we say more? In addition to this dish that personifies Peru’s Chinese history, QuinoaGrill also has a selection of Peruvian wines from vineyards near Lima, the owner’s hometown.
Little Mama’s Authentic Filipino Cuisine serves up this classic dessert with flan, crushed ice, ice cream, condensed milk, fruit and more. It’s filled with textures and flavors -- and calories – so sometimes we share with a friend. And sometimes we don’t.
The public school district includes multiple arts-focused schools, revealing the district’s support for the arts, whether in STEAM careers or purely arts-focused careers. Round Rock is also home to award-winning charter schools like the Meridien School, as well as higher ed campuses of A&M, ACC, and Texas State University.
The most interesting historic figure in Round Rock is Barbette, who graduated from Round Rock High School, and went on to perform his innovative aerialist act abroad and in drag. Making 1920’s Paris his home, he was the paramour of Jean Cocteau (who, with photographer Man Ray, wrote a book about Barbette), as well as a contemporary and friend of Josephine Baker, Chanel, and other Jazz Age icons. As a child, he would practice an imaginary high-wire act along the clothes-drying line in his backyard just a few blocks from downtown Round Rock.
Art & Entertainment
With over 30 arts groups and businesses, Round Rock is growing not just in population, but in its support for the arts. The City’s Arts & Culture department does a great job of collecting arts events into one calendar, and in the private sector, fundraising for a performing arts center is in full swing. Downtown bars and restaurants also offer up live music, including regular appearances by a local Sinatra crooner. There’s also an annual Diwali festival, Chalk Walk Festival, Dia de los Muertos festival and procession, and other events that show off the growing diversity of the city.