On the Road
Sink your teeth into legendary barbecue in film-famous Taylor
The quintessential small Texas town of Taylor doesn’t just have stunning sunsets, fields of cotton, a historic downtown with local shops, and even some horseback-riding cowboys in the mix — it has also been the site for scenes from a whole host of movies and shows, including Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Rookie, Varsity Blues, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead, among others.
But you should also know that Taylor has another bold claim to fame: its world-famous barbecue.
Located just about 30-ish minutes outside of Austin, the town is in the heart of the Texas Barbecue Trail and boasts two champions of their craft.
Louie Mueller Barbecue is a family-owned, legendary Texas icon, originally established by Louie Mueller in 1949. They've served guests from around the world with all the staples, including thick slabs of salt-and-pepper crusted brisket, sausage, ribs, pork, steaks, turkey, and chicken. At this “Cathedral of Smoke,” all meats are slow-cooked for hours in age-old pits using post oak wood. The place has shown up on Food Network, the Travel Channel, and in several documentaries.
Sure, Davis Barbeque serves up tender brisket with a crunchy bark and ribs that fall off the bone. But it is owner and pitmaster James Davis Jr.’s secret "Come Back Juice" barbecue sauce that’s the game-changer here.
In addition to these hot spots in the “barbecue belt,” Taylor also has a range of local eateries with world-class flavors from Poland, Peru, Latin America, Czechoslovakia, Asia, and beyond.
Plowman's Kitchen, located inside of the historic Old Taylor High School, is known especially for its massive Breakfast Board: eight silver dollar pancakes, eight French toast triangles, fresh fruit, bacon, sausage, French toast glaze, butter, whipped cream, and syrup.
If you feel the need to work off some of these calories, set out on the city's architectural walking tour. It passes by more than 25 buildings, including the Renaissance Revival-style post office and St. Marys Church, the site of the oldest Catholic school in Williamson County (it opened in 1896).
On Saturdays, you can tour the Moody Museum, which dates back to 1887 and is the former home of Texas governor Dan Moody, who served two terms from 1927-1931 and is best known for reducing the KKK presence in Texas.
There are a variety of parks where you can pause and connect with nature, as well as the new skatepark, Pierce Park. Or if shopping if your cardio, drop into any of the more than 20 unique stores in the downtown shopping district.
Be sure to check the community's event calendar before your trip, to make sure you're not missing annual celebrations like the Taylor Rodeo, Christmas Parade, Main Street Car Show, and numerous barbecue cook-offs throughout the year.
Learn more about this small town with big flavors at Taylor Made Texas.