Youngs AW Carrin Welch

Eating Like A Local In San Saba

San Saba is widely known for pecans (we’re the Pecan Capital of the World for a reason after all). We’re also pretty well known for the gem of a winery that is Wedding Oak Wine (and its incubator program at Old Man Scary Cellars). We have built a reputation with our beautiful outdoor parks – and of course, there’s the historic Regency Bridge and the Wedding Oak Tree. Lesser known is the down home cookin’ of San Saba.

You won’t find any James Beard judges poking around town — fancy isn’t our style. What you will find is friendly service, scratch cooking from family recipes and tasty Texan treats. From barbecue cooked over an open pit to Iranian ice cream to pecan pralines, butter, and pies — here are the things that locals love to eat.

Breakfast and Soup from Oliver & Co.

Oliver & Co. offers the best breakfast in town (heck, or in a 100-mile radius). Waffles (try the loaded waffles with fresh berries, pecans or chocolate chips), quiche and pastries satiate your morning hunger. They also make fantastic sandwiches, salads and delicious soups daily. Don’t miss green chile chicken soup on Wednesdays. Local tip: pick up a charcuterie board to enjoy with a bottle of wine a couple of doors down.

Photo: Austin Woman Magazine/Carrin Welch

Barbecue + burritos from Young’s BBQ

Everything from the sides to the dessert to the mesquite smoked meats at Young’s Burritos & BBQ is made from scratch. Pork ribs, brisket and pulled pork, are tender and moist. Perfect served on a plate or wrapped in a homemade tortilla with plenty of fresh toppings of choice. Local tip: save room for dessert. Young’s features unique, homemade ice-creams like Bastani (an Iranian ice cream) — with rose water, saffron and pistachio — and bread pudding with sweet cream.

Photo: Texas Monthly Magazine/Daniel Vaughn

Steak and baked potato from Digg’s Steakhouse

The best steak in town is down the road at Digg’s Steakhouse. The Texas-sized steaks hit the mesquite grill and are full of flavor. Add a baked potato and it’s a classic Texas meal. Also worth a mention is their quail. Local tip: work dinner off with a few rounds of pool or dancing in the pool hall.

Photo: Found Media Group/Mitchell Hallmark

The Sourdough Jalapeño Cheeseburger from Dairy Mart

Ask any local where to find the best burger in town and they will enthusiastically point you to Dairy Mart with a specific order: the Sourdough Jalapeño Cheeseburger. It’s an old school, family operation specializing in burgers and steak fingers (which deserve a mention in their own right).


Texas Pecan Coffee and everything Pecan at Alamo Pecan & Coffee

Alamo Pecan & Coffee serves dang fine coffee. Their gourmet Texas pecan coffee gives you a real taste of San Saba’s roots. While you wait for your cappuccino, browse their sweet and savory treats. Local tip: we love the chocolate amaretto covered pecans, the pecan pie in a jar and the chocolate pecan butter.

Photo: Austin Woman Magazine/Carrin Welch

Pork Steaks from Double G Pit Stop

Bobby Galindo has been ‘cuing meat since he was in high school. The result, 30 years of sage experience goes into your fork tender, perfectly seasoned pork. Here are the sentiments of Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly’s BBQ Snob, on Galindo’s age-old methods.

Photo: Texas Hill Country Magazine/Jessica Pickett

“All of the meats are seasoned simply with salt and pepper. Galindo scoffs at other pitmasters who fool with fancy rubs. “All they’re doing is wasting their money on spices.” He also gets all he can out of that salt. On Thursday he seasons the meat and places it together in large tubs which sit in the cooler until he’s ready to begin cooking early Saturday morning. It gives the meat a distinct cured, hammy flavor. Even in the dense, triple-thick chop, it was well seasoned to the core. When I ate on a Sunday, the cuts had been sitting in salt for four days, and it affected the texture of the meat. Even with a plastic knife, the slices left a clean cut edge instead of the fibrous texture you’d expect. The meat fibers had tightened in the curing process, but it wasn’t tough. The pork was like a mix between smoked ham and a grilled pork chop. Slices of the pork steak were similar, but more tender. With more surface area for seasoning, and better marbling, I preferred it slightly over the leaner chop, but you won’t be disappointed with either. Both are at once unique and familiar, but with a deep flavor from the mesquite coals.” – Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly, 2014

Photo: Texas Monthly Magazine/Daniel Vaughn

Local tip: this spot is only open on weekends. It’s also well worth bringing along a cooler with some cold ones and water as you wait for your meat.

Chicken Fried Steak at Gage’s BBQ

A non-traditional barbecue spot, Gage’s BBQ offers some great scratch fried chicken (and their grilled chicken plate is just as delightful), as well as tender ribs, burgers, and salads. Local tip: opt to dine in or make use of the convenient drive-thru.

All you can eat catfish at Bar D Brewhouse

Bar D Brewhouse brews 10 varieties of craft beer in house. But, they also have all-you-can eat catfish on Fridays. Make sure to try the homemade beans if they are still available!

Enchiladas at Pepperbelly’s

Pepperbelly’s sits off across from our beautiful courthouse. When we’re after good-ole Tex-Mex, we head to Pepperbelly’s for their enchiladas. With seven options to choose from, you’re sure to leave happy. 

So there y’all have it folks, the spots local San Sabians love. Everything served with Texas-sized hospitality and small town charm. Hop in the car and escape to a slower pace, a smile and some tasty eats.