What started as a cotton town in Central Texas, grew into a top BBQ destination, now is slated to be a manufactring hub for Samsung Semiconductors. Taylor, Texas, offers visitors a rich experience, east of Austin with unique shopping and dining within a walkable district. Start in the historic downtown that’s rumored to be haunted and stroll the streets that’s also a cultural arts district. During the day, lines form for legendary BBQ then as the ligth fades top musical acts roll into town to play.. Though now people flock to the area for quaint historic homes and small town smiles. Read on for what to do in Taylor, Texas.
What to do in Taylor Texas
As an Amtrak station at the intersection of two train lines trains hum through town regularly. And from Taylor, visitors can ride the rails in from Chicago, Dallas or even Los Angeles. It was the home to Dan Moody, a former Texas Governor, who’s house is open for tours. Bill Pickett, a cowboy legend also called Taylor home and a statue stands at Main St. in downtown. Finally Tex Avery, the creator of Bugs Bunny, also lived in Taylor.
Foodie Musts in Taylor
Louie Mueller’s BBQ
As the winner of the James Beard Foundation American Classics this BBQ joint is a must. And find atmosphere is a good as the brisket. Inside the walls are tinted a rich umber brown from years of the pecan wood fires.
A multi-generational establishment, it all began with Louie Mueller in 1949. Then his son Bobbie took over and finally Wayne, the grandson, took the helm as the pitmaster. Find the accolades covering the dining room’s walls. It’s been on Texas Monthly’s Best BBQ Joints for decades. That’s like the Academy Awards for BBQ.
Located at 206 West Second Street. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or when the food runs out.
Chocolate makes everything better.
Enjoy the sweet smell of chocolate dance across the threshold as chocolate lovers enter the retail shop and factory. Sample its bean to bar product, like the Café au Lait bar or the Hundo or 100% cacao bar and find lots of seasonal flavors as well.
Head to Srsly Chocolate’s monthly bean-to-bar class to learn chocolate making. Start with the beans for roasting and winnowing, or removal the husks, then pound it into a paste. And then the real fun begins, students create their own specialty mini-bars.
Located at 117 E. 3rd St. Open Thursday to Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.
Enjoy upscale Italian small plates along with housemade pasta in an intimate space that caters to date nights and foodies. Peruse the wine list and save room for dessert.
Favorites include the Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Capers and seasonal pastas, and its home to the best pizza in town. Then cap off your experience with the Almond Tart.
Dinner only from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Wednesday to Saturday, reservations reccommended for Friday and Saturday. Located at 203 N. Main. St.
Dine in a vintage high school band hall, delightfully updated with mid-century modern booths and banks of windows that let in bounties of natural light.
With a menu packed with American classics, find staples like Caesar Salad along with Chicken Fried Steak. Step out of the ordinary and sample the Shrimp Tacos or a Pear Gorgonzola Salad.
And Anglophiles delight with daily afternoon tea from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can enjoy milk and fresh baked cookies any time, thanks to the on-site baker.
Find Plowman’s Kitchen on the 9th Street side of the complex that spans two city blocks. The revitalized complex, the Old Taylor High, meshes residential with dining and entertainment.
Located at 305 W. 9th St. Open everyday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Greenhouse Craft Foods
In the Black Sparrow Music Parlour, find an eatery serving lunch and dinner along with brunch on weekends. Can’t go wrong with a sandwich, like the Turkey Club and the Local Burger is juicy on a sweet bun. The house chips are addictive.
Located at 113 W. 2nd St. Open Wednesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Along 2nd Street, fill up your favorite cuppa. Find locally roasted coffee along with in-house baked sweet and savory treats along with light lunch items.
And new to the line up, enjoy a light weekend brunch. So order a in-house made quiche or a slice of avocado toast and sit at a bistro table.
Located at 114 W. 2nd Street. Open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Farmers Market on Main Street
Stroll the covered pavilion in Heritage Square Park for fresh meats, local eggs and farm fresh vegetables and flowers.
Located at 400 Main St. Held every Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Moody House Museum
Learn about the youngest Texas governor while walking through his boyhood home. As a district attorney for Williamson County he successfully prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan in 1924 ending with four members serving time.
He went on to become the Texas Attorney General then announced he was running for governor in 1926. Beating out incompetent “Ma” Ferguson in 1927, he was a two-term governor.
Located at 114 W. 9th St. Open Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Free
Black Sparrow Music Parlor
With the vibe of a vintage honky-tonk the Black Sparrow’s old pine floors and bead board ceiling mellow the sound. Though don’t let make you think it’s all country and swing.
The speaker stacks push the sound out the door and beckon the punk crowds or the singer-songwriters. And the tiny, beaded light fixtures and books behind the bar appeal to the big band crowds.
Home to a variety of music genres, this is the destination for serious audiophiles. And true to its hometown vibe, live music fans bring their kids to the earlier shows.
Located at 113 W. 2nd Street.
The Howard Theater
Take in a new block buster in a theater from 100 years ago. This theater has been restored and offers two screens.
Located at 308 N. Main St. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday with several showings a day. All seats $8.
Art Off Center
Learn to throw a pot, the artistic way. Wander down Potter’s Alley behind the McCrory-Timmerman Building, to turn a ball of clay into a vessel. The class schedule includes everything from date night projects to mommy and me classes.
Located at 116 W. 2nd Street, find Art Off Center through the double doors off Potter’s Alley and head to the basement. Reservations required.
Dotted across the historic downtown find art indoors and out. The McCrory-Timmerman building on the corner of Second and Main offers the largest concentration of art in Taylor.
Painted Pianos Project–A public arts exhibit, find four painted pianos across Taylor’s historic district. Each was artist created in plein air style.
Bill Pickett Statue—Find the bronze of the bull dogging cowboy legend in front of the Texas Beer Company.
Texas Beer Company Mural—Locatd inside the TBC brewery.
Stomp-n-Holler Mural—Find it on the Talbot Street side of the McCrory-Timmerman building.
Potter’s Alley—Find street art from several local artists along with the popular wings.
Texas Flag—Painted on the side of Louie Mueller’s Barbeque.
Gateway Mural—Welcoming all to town, find the mural with Taylor legends, Tex Avery and Bill Pickett, on the Taylor’d Flowers For You building on West Second Street.
Welcome to 4th and Main Mural—Located on the side of the Trouvaille Antiques building.
Gathering Places in Taylor
Texas Beer Company
In 2016, The Texas Beer Company settled in at the intersection of Main Street and 2nd Street. Head to the tap room for a mix of live music and camaraderie with craft brew enthusiasts. Find locally inspired brews like, Local Blonde Lager, Bill Pickett Porter and the King Grackle Stout.
Take a tour then take a swig. The Texas Beer Company hosts Brewery Tours on Saturdays from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. Get a souvenir glass along with three pours of what’s in production. Located at 1331 W. 2nd St. at the production facility. $10.
Taproom located at 201 North Main Street in the McCrory Timmerman Building. Open Tuesday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. Closed on Monday.
The Loose Screw Craft Beer House and Garden
Enjoy any of the 42 beers on tap, find a new favorite with a menu that’s always changing. The outdoor beer garden hosts live music on weekends. Find kids and dogs running about the grounds too.
Located at 410 W. 7th St. Open Monday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.
Red Cap Cigar Lounge
Sit back in a tufted leather chair and savor a cigar in The Study. Or grab a friend and watch the game while sampling a new brand in The Loft. Find it all and more at The Red Cap Cigar Lounge.
Located at 215 N. Main St. Open Tuesday to Thursday from noon to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Parks in Taylor
Pierce Park Skate Park
Kids of all ages flock to the Pierce Park for an Evergreen Skate Park built flow park. Named in honor of Lt. Commander Thomas Floyd Pierce, it’s BMX and skateboard friendly.
Located at 200 E 4th St. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.Free
Heritage Square Splash Pad
If the weather is warm out, head to the splash pad at Heritage Square. This revitalized park also includes climbing structures and an amphitheater.
Located at 400 N. Main St. Free
Where to Stay in Taylor Texas