Buda positioning itself as food, dining hot spot in Central Texas

Shugabee's Texas BBQ  first opened in Buda in March 2011 and is known for its homemade tortillas and giant brisket tacos. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Shugabee's Texas BBQ first opened in Buda in March 2011 and is known for its homemade tortillas and giant brisket tacos. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Shugabee's Texas BBQ first opened in Buda in March 2011 and is known for its homemade tortillas and giant brisket tacos. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

The city of Buda has grown considerably in the last several years and is showing no signs of slowing down. From 2014 to 2019, its population nearly doubled, going from 9,443 to 15,565. New developments, both residential and commercial, are also advancing quickly.

Encompassed in that growth is an emerging food and dining scene, and most recently the city grabbed headlines when Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, which has been featured in the New York Times and Texas Monthly, announced this week it will soon be making Buda its new Central Texas home.

In roughly the last year, however, Buda has been quietly adding to the number of unique eateries, both brick and mortar and mobile, that are coming to the city just south of Austin. While not close to comprehensive, the list below highlights a smattering of noteworthy restaurants in Buda that are new or have an established reputation.

Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ announced May 10 that it will relocate its food trailer and restaurant to Buda within the next year. Currently operating at 11500 Manchaca Road, Austin, the restaurant plans to open in the Buda Mill and Grain Co. facility at 306 S. Main St., Buda. According to a company spokesperson, the space will require a full build out and is slated to open within the next year. Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ serves breakfast and lunch tacos, barbecue sandwiches, meat plates and sides. The new location will also have a full bar. 512-221-4248. www.valentinastexmexbbq.com

Louie’s Craft BBQ, located at 122 N. Main St., Buda, is officially moving from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar location at 108 N. Main St., Buda. Owner Matt Carver made the announcement May 10 and stated he will be working with the city of Buda to complete the project. Louie’s first opened in Buda in 2019, and aside from brisket, pulled pork, sausage and ribs, serves sandwiches and various types of loaded potatoes. Carver said the anticipated opening time frame is spring 2022, and in the meantime Louie’s will continue operations in the food truck. 512-649-2727. www.louiescraftbbq.com/

Mudbugs – A Cajun Joint, located at 306 S. Main St., Ste. 107, Buda, is expanding its outdoor seating patio area after being granted a permit from the city to build a deck. Restaurant management said the updated outdoor seating area will accommodate 60 more diners and should be ready by mid-July. Mud Bugs opened in March 2020, and specializes in seafood fare that includes gumbo, crawfish etouffee and walleye pontchartrain. 512-523-8241. www.peaceloveandcrawfish.com

A new coffee shop called Burgundy Star Espresso, which was inspired by similar businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest, opened April 22 in Buda at 1710 FM 1626. Burgundy Star Espresso is accepting walk-up customers, but owners plan to have a drive-thru function open by May. The shop sells specialty lattes, mochas, cold brews, frappes, macchiatos and more. 360-324-9567. www.burgundystarespresso.com

The mobile food truck known as Parasol opened for business April 14 at 400 N. Main St., Buda. The food truck’s featured menu items include the Chimichurry Steak Salad, Pork Karate Schnitzel Sandwich and cornflake-crusted “PBJ”. 512-333-4543. www.facebook.com/ParasolFood

Buda Full Foods, a food truck and catering company that specializes in pub food including burgers, charred brats, sliders, fried pickles and brat bites, has taken over the kitchen menu at Willie’s Joint, located at 824 Main St., Buda, as of March 15. Popular Buda food truck Bandit Tacos, which opened July 4, also operates under the Buda Full Foods company umbrella and relocated in October from 2610 Main St., Buda, at Sunfield Station to the parking lot of Willie’s Joint. 512-748-3932. www.williesjoint.com, www.bandittacos.com

Shugabee’s Texas BBQ has been a mainstay for residents of Hays County since it first opened in March 2011, said Victor Garcia, who co-owns the establishment with his wife, Sarah, and his son, Victor Jr. Originally located at the corner of FM 967 and FM 1626 in Buda, it has since taken residence a few miles south at 1750 FM 1626, Buda, in the lot outside of local music venue Buck’s Backyard. Garcia said Shugabee’s is most known for two items, both of which are made on-site and combine into what he describes as one of the joint’s top sellers. “Our No. 1 item is our brisket, and it’s always been,” he said. “It’s just a really good cut of beef. And then, we’re also known for our homemade flour tortillas. They’re about 12 inches, so we’re able to get about a half pound of brisket on there.” 512-749-6340. www.shugabees.com

Tejas Birria, located at 2390 FM 2001, Buda, opened its doors Dec. 4. Tejas Birria is a food truck specializing in different variations of birria, which is a traditional beef stew with origins in Jalisco, Mexico, made with meat that is cooked for 12-16 hours. Co-owner Alex Hernandez said their version of birria is more in line with the Tijuana style that is more known for beef rather than goat. Hernandez said there is no phone number, but Tejas Birria has a website pending to facilitate an upcoming online ordering platform.

The central focus for Los Brothers Mexican Kitchen is authenticity—not toward the Tex-Mex cuisine that permeates the Central Texas area, said co-owner Adele Tinoco, but toward full Mexican recipes. Tinoco, who in 2019 opened the food truck with her husband, Sven Muehlhan, at its location at 204 FM 2001 in Buda, said her ambitions centered on providing another option for the community. “Around here, we have a lot of Tex-Mex,” she said. “So, here [at Los Brothers] we have authentic Mexican food.” The food truck has a diverse menu that includes breakfast tacos and combo platters, but two of the most popular items include the beef fajita (fajita de res) taco with peppers and onions and the compechanos taco, which has asada, or skirt steak, and chorizo dressed with cilantro and onions. 512-361-0477. www.losbrothersmexicankitchen.com
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


Photo of Congress Street
The Moontower Comedy Festival will return in September

Headliners for the four-day festival include Margaret Cho, Dave Attell and others.

Juneteenth BBQ Cookoff. (Courtesy San Marcos Juneteenth Foundation)
From musicals to pro wrestling, events abound in the San Marcos-Buda-Kyle area in June and July

Throughout June and into July, the cities of San Marcos, Buda and Kyle have plenty of recreational activities and events to attend.

In Hays County and beyond, Central Texas community comes together to drive up vaccination rates

Convincing hesitant people to get vaccinated is the goal for Central Texas health authorities, volunteer groups and physicians. Working in conjunction to reach these pockets of vaccine-hesitant Texans, they hope to boost vaccination rates past the threshold for herd immunity.

The extension of Kenney Fort Boulevard is underway north of Hwy. 79. (Amy Bryant/Community Impact Newspaper)
North-south road in Round Rock makes progress; homestead exemption OK'd in Leander and more Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

Courtesy Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ
5 new businesses now open or coming soon to Buda and Kyle

As Buda and Kyle continue to grow rapidly in Hays County, more and more businesses are planting roots there.

Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper
HVAC service, Hawaiian food and vinyl records: 10 new businesses now open or coming soon to San Marcos

From the resurrection of a beloved local record store to new dining establishments, the businesses continue to open locally.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from Hays County. (Community Impact staff)
Hays County reports 125 active COVID-19 cases, new death

The death of a Kyle woman in her 80s was attributed to COVID-19 by Hays County.

Hays CISD board members, leadership and community stakeholders participated in a June 9 groundbreaking of Sunfield Elementary School. (Courtesy Hays CISD)
Hays CISD breaks ground on Buda elementary school

Buda's new Hays CISD elementary school in the Sunfield devlopment is planned to open for the fall 2022 semester.

Gov. Greg Abbott, center signed Senate Bills 2 and 3 into law June 8 in response to the devastating winter storm last February. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Abbott signs bills to reform ERCOT and weatherize Texas power grid

The bills will go into effect Sept. 1 and aim to reform ERCOT leadership and increase accountability and communication among power agencies.