image by Kerry Kirk

This week kicks off Round Top’s annual Fall Antique Week, and we are dishing on everything you need to know before you plan your trip! We tapped Round Top Queen and Houston based interior designer, Julie Dodson, to ensure we have the most comprehensive list for you!  Caroline attended her Designer Dream Spree last week and is going back this week for some more shopping!  We can’t wait to explore some of her new-to-us recommendations!

photo courtesy of Marburger Farm Antique Show
image by Kerry Kirk for Designer Dream Spree

In case you haven’t been before, Round Top is a small town between Houston and Austin that hosts two big annual antique shows a year featuring 22 miles of vendors. Interior design enthusiasts travel from across the country, and even the world, to scour the markets for treasured finds and major publications like Texas Monthly and PaperCity dedicate entire issues to this destination.  Visiting Round Top is always so much fun and a great excuse to put on your cowboy boots and do a bit of shopping. If you’re planning a trip, be sure to read on below for our insiders guide!

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Where to Shop

Excess: You will find some of the most creative in the industry down here. The prices tend to be a little bit better than most, and you can score some really good buys!  Keep an open mind when shopping, it’s amazing how a coat of paint or new hardware can transform a treasure!

The Compound: You will find a little bit of everything here, from fine antiques to architectural elements and from rugs to lighting. With a mix of English, Dutch, and French antiques, you will see the most traditional pieces as well as mid century modern finds. It’s a treasure trove. Also directly across the street from The Compound is an amazing little group of antique dealers that have some pretty special pieces. I don’t know the name of the field, but it’s a fun place to stop in and you never know what you’re going to find just lying in the grass.

Arbors: The Arbors are not to be missed. You will find anything and everything from antiques to jewelry and from art to lighting. There is also bedding and some of the most beautiful of textiles from across the globe, both new and old! If you are hoping to score a bolt of designer fabrics, there is an amazing vendor here that has a wide array from Schumacher to ZAK + FOX, Travers, and Zimmer + Rohde, just to name a few!

Marburger: Oh how I long for this one to open up! It is tents and tents and tents of some of the finest antiques you will see. This is a not to be missed venue. Marburger is one of the last to open so make sure to check the calendar for dates! They again have a little bit of everything and dealers from all across the country. I love every single dealer in here so I can’t pick just one. But do note it is HUGE, prepare to spend several hours at this venue.

*When you are at Marburger, be sure to stop by Canterbury Court Antiques by the food stand.  The dealer is from my hometown of Corsicana! He travels to Europe (mostly England) 4-6 times a year and his prices can’t be beat!  Hurry, because he sells out fast! – Caroline

Tip: Since Marburger is one of the most popular shows at Round Top, we recommend that you and your gang get there at least half an hour early and with your tickets ($25) purchased in advance!

Big Red Barn: This is the one that started this whole show that we call Round Top. Big Red Barn opens the Monday before Marburger. You can find some of the most beautiful early American antiques here.

*This is where I found the stools under my entry table on my first Round Top trip! – Caroline

Blue Hills:  They have (again) a little bit of everything. If you were looking for botanicals they have the most amazing dealer with some of the most beautiful things you have ever seen.

Townsend Provisions: Located in Rummel Square, this charming antique shop is the picture of classic American antiquing. Run by a husband and wife and their antique-expert mothers, this shop is a must if you’re looking for classic vintage pieces for your home like industrial lighting fixtures, retro casserole dishes and a myriad of unique vintage trinkets to bring some texture to your home.

Old World Antieks: Located in The Stables, Old World Antieks boasts a range of large furniture items like couches and door frames as well as smaller accent pieces like vintage metal pales and decorative Italian wine bottles. Sourcing their one-of-a-kind products from over 13 countries, the shop brings a unique sense of cultural diversity to the Texas fair.

The Boot Room: No trip to Round Top is complete without paying a visit to the boot room. With over 400 pairs of vintage cowboy boots, the boot room is the perfect place to get that Insta-worthy shot from your time at the festival!  And since you are walking around in fields for the most part, you may want to wear your purchase! 🙂

photo courtesy of Bader Brasserie

Caffeinate

Expressions: A great morning stop to fuel up for a busy day of shopping.  We recommend a breakfast taco and a vanilla latte!

Two Sparrows: The perfect stop to caffeinate for a long day of shopping!  Stop by for a refreshing cold brew!

Expressions Coffee and Art: For a little caffeine pick-me-up, Expressions Coffee and Art offers all of your classic coffee shop favorites plus fresh quiche and breakfast tacos on the weekend!

image by Kerry Kirk for Designer Dream Spree

Where to Eat

For such a small community, there is no shortage of amazing restaurants in Round Top. 

The Garden Co.: Jeff and Stevie offer one of the most delicious menus and beautiful atmospheres in town.  The sophisticated decor and menu is something you would only expect to find in big cities.  This is a local favorite and a can’t miss for brunch or cocktails. 

Royers Round Top Café: This quintessential restaurant is the one that started it all and is not to be missed! Said to have the best piece of pie at Round Top by seasoned festival-goers, this is the place to go for an unbeatable slice of pie and their famous fried chicken. Not only does Royers offer the best classic southern comfort food under the Round Top, but its owner, Bud Royer, affectionately referred to as “The Pieman” is sure to put a smile on your face with his avant-garde southern style and a warm welcome.

Lulu’s: If you are craving Italian you cannot go wrong with here.  This is one of two of Cinda and Armando’s incredible eateries!

Mandito’s:  If you are craving Mexican food and a margarita, this is your spot! The queso and refried beans are out of this world!

Round Top Mercantile: If you are on the go and just want to grab a quick sandwich, this is a favorite for a quick bite. If you are out shopping in the fields, many of them have little restaurants on site where you can grab something quick and easy so you can keep on browsing!

Oui Oui Bader Brasserie: If you’re looking for a more decadent dining experience while still enjoying that inimitable Texas flare, Bader Brasserie is the place for you. Offering a more formal dining experience, Oui Oui’s menu includes southern staples like pork rib-eye and mac ‘n cheese as well as French-inspired cuisine like rabbit pâté. Be sure to make reservations if you’d like to try their raved-about four course dinner.

The Stone Cellar: This pub/restaurant serves up some of the best pizza at Round Top, according to many regular festival attendees. The also have an impressive wine and beer menu if you’re looking to unwind with a glass of wine or a chilled draft and a slice of freshly baked pizza.

photo courtesy of Condé Nast Traveler

Drinks

“After a long day of shopping there is no better way to unwind then with a glass of wine or a cocktail. If a glass of wine is what you are in the mood for, head to Prost and make sure to grab a cheese plate (ask for extra chocolate!). If your speed is more of an Old Fashioned and a bite to eat, head to Teague’s Tavern.” – Julie Dodson

Prost on Block 29: Cap of your day with a glass of wine from this intimate bar on Bauer Rummel. Enjoy a glass of fine wine in the stunning historic cottage while munching on an Instagram-worthy charcuterie board or veggie plate. Be sure to check it out during the weekend, though, as it’s only open Thursday-Saturday!

Teague’s Tavern: For a more laid back, no-reservation-required scene where you can get a chilled, locally distilled draft, Teague’s Tavern is the place to be. In addition to an extensive wine and cocktail list, this Round Top hot spot also offers a selection of some of your favorite southern dishes like jalapeño deviled eggs and Frito pie.

Suzie Q’s Saloon: If you’re looking to get away from the festival chaos for an evening, consider taking a short drive to the neighboring town of Fayetteville for a chilled draft at Suzie Q’s Saloon. With a classic Old West saloon atmosphere, you’re sure to enjoy a laid-back evening with your drink of choice in this quaint Texas bar.

photo courtesy of The Vintage Round Top

Where to Stay

“In Round Top you are limited as far as where to stay. Some of my go-to’s are the Round Top Inn, The Frenchie, and The Vintage Round Top. You can also go to the Round Top Chambers website and they have a great selection of different bed and breakfasts in the area and other places to stay. Brenham, Texas,  the most nearby town,  has several hotels, and Houston and Austin are relatively close if you’re looking to do a day trip.”  – Julie Dodson

The Vintage Round Top: Husband and wife Paige and Smoot Hull own a string of quaint, flawlessly-decorated cottages that feel like an extension of the almost palpable charm and style of the Round Top festival. The main property has 2 large cottages which are full sized homes that sleep up to 7 
and 8 guests. Once the small cottages are complete, the property will sleep
up to 21 with use of daybeds. 

Rancho Pillow: Single houses (and one teepee!) are available to rent for groups on this stunning 20-acre property. Rancho Pillow offers the ultimate elegant farmhouse experience; from luxurious amenities like a heated saltwater pool to fun activities such as croquet and frisbee golf.

The Umland St. Sunday Haus: This charming German farm stay bed & bath provides you and your group with a tranquil getaway to rest your feet after a long day at the shops. The house accommodates up to six guests and offers such amenities as a vintage clawfoot bathtub, a covered porch and an outdoor fire pit perfect for roasting s’mores and chatting about the day’s festivities!

A huge thank you to Julie Dodson for contributing her insider knowledge and expert tips to this article!  Julie is a Houston based Interior Designer who hosted the third annual Designer Dream Spree in Round Top this year.  Her family has a home in the area and has been attending Round Top since before it was “Round Top!”  I highly encourage you to follow her beautiful work on Instagram!  

Are you heading out to Round Top? We’d love to hear your favorite spots in the comments below!  Be sure to tag us if you use our guide! Happy shopping! xo