Exploring Bastrop, Texas

Took a few hours to poke around Bastrop, Texas! Located 30ish miles east of Austin, Bastrop is “The Heart of Lost Pines” tucked right next to the Colorado River.

I visited a few places, but honestly, most of the spots were closed! I would for sure plan your visit for the weekend, and take the business hours you find on Google as a suggestion. It’s very much a, “We’re open when we want to be open” kind of small town.

My first stop was Tough Cookie Bakery, a wonderfully unique cafe tucked in downtown Bastrop next to Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard (soon to be moving to the old Lock Drug Store space on Main Street!). Its cozy, LGBTQ-friendly atmosphere make it the perfect spot to chill, eat a vegetarian (or vegan) meal, and drink a delicious cup of coffee. If you’re just swinging through on a quick trip, snag a loaf of their daily fresh baked bread (the pretzel bread is super popular), one of their gluten-free pastries, and an organic espresso to go.

Next, we walked across the street to Painted Porch Books. Painted Porch Books is an independent bookstore right on Main St. It’s a truly adorable little shop with a highly curated collection. 

Owner Ryan Holiday says, “The Painted Porch carries a small collection of only our absolute favorite books. We don’t care what’s new or trendy, only what’s amazing. If it’s on our shelves, it’s because we’ve read it and think you should too. Period.”

If you’ve seen anything from Painted Porch Books, it’s probably their awesome fireplace.

Astro Record Store is located right next door (actually, they’re connected), specializing in rare, vintage, and unusual LPs, CDs, and music memoribilia. 

After the bookstore, we walked to Chestnut Grove Food Truck Court. The space is nice – restrooms, covered seating, and lots of tables. Only two of the trucks were open (see what I mean?) but I didn’t mind. I was there to try Sunshine Sister Coffee and they were open with espresso machine roaring!

Sunshine Sister Coffee is an ADORABLE new sister-owned coffee truck. I saw them on Instagram and knew I needed to stop by. They roast their own beans in the truck (which makes me wish I’d ordered coffee new!), and I think that’s really cool. 

I ordered my usual matcha latte and was VERY impressed. Great powdery, matcha flavor with just enough sweetness. I was nervous to add vanilla syrup because I hate sweet drinks, but the amount they put in is perfect. Just enough to really compliment the matcha, not make it a syrupy-sweet drink.

Their menu is pretty large! In addition to the traditional hot and cold espresso bar drinks, they have fun seasonal drinks and lots of non-coffee teas and lemonades.

While I didn’t visit them on this trip (because… they were closed!) The Bearded Baking Company has a brick and mortar in Bastrop now. They used to have a truck located at Still Austin Distilling. They cook up incredible baked goods (that C4 cookie is to die for), delicious breakfast and lunch items, and perfect buttermilk biscuits. They’ve got a real “chic southern lumberjack” vibe and I dig it.

As I visit Bastrop more, I’ll update this blog! Let me know your favorite spots in the comments below.

Author: Kelly

Kelly Phillips is the writer and photographer behind DiscoveringATX.com. You can view more of her photos on Instagram @DiscoveringATX and her photography portfolio at kphilphoto.com.

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