Cafe on the Square offers classic eats and family atmosphere in historic downtown San Marcos


The first time Linda Hoerner and her husband, David, sat down to eat at Cafe on the Square in San Marcos, they said they enjoyed the small-town feel of the cozy restaurant.

“David and I ate at different places; we liked trying different restaurants; but we decided we liked this place best,” Hoerner said.

They enjoyed the view of the historic courthouse, and the cafe became one of their spots—a place they could sit and people-watch.

When her husband of 42 years died four years ago, Hoerner said she felt lost.

“I actually wasn’t sure that I could make new friends,” Hoerner said. “And then I started coming back here again, and the girls here have been really good to me. They helped me realize I can still go out there and meet new people.”

Hoerner now eats at the restaurant almost every day, and calls it her home away from home.

Regulars such as Hoerner is why longtime manager Esther Henk calls the restaurant a family.

“We’re not just feeding her belly; we’re feeding her soul,” Henk said. “And to me, that’s hugely important.”

Cafe on the Square serves breakfast all day, but also has a diverse menu of Tex-Mex and diner-style eats. Even if something is not on the menu, Henk says the staff is always open to seeing what they have in the kitchen.

“If we got it back there, we’ll make it for them,” Henk said.

Owner Mike Dawoud first opened Cafe on the Square at its current location in 1999, when he moved his business to the former location of Cafe de Corte. Henk joined his staff shortly after.

Though development in the downtown area has led to some growing pains for the cafe, Henk says the staff is happy to be a place where people can catch up with old friends and take a break from the noise.

“It’s downtown, hometown, good people and good food,” Henk said.

Cafe on the Square
126 N. LBJ Drive, San Marcos
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

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