Our Stop For Kolaches At A Texas Interstate Gas Station

by joeheg

It’s understandable if you’ve never heard of a kolache before. We’d never seen them before we started visiting Texas and the first ones we tried were from the local Buc-ee’s.

Originally, the kolache was a Czech pastry typically with a fruit filling. Every Eastern European country has a take on this with variations of the dough and fillings. The kolache was brought to Texas by Czech immigrants in the late 1800s. That’s how a small town in Texas called West has become the kolache capital of Texas.

Located on I-35 just north of Waco, West, TX has several establishments dishing out classic fruit kolaches alongside the Texasified meat-filled varieties. Here’s a good article about West and how it became known for kolaches.

We’d never heard about the town before one of our friends in Dallas said we had to stop if we were driving to Austin. When we said we had kolaches before, she said if they weren’t from West, then we didn’t really have kolaches.

How could we not stop to check it out? Check. Czech. Get it? OK, enough with the dad jokes.

First of all, we weren’t sure we found the right place as it looked like we were going to a gas station. However, how many gas stations have an auxiliary parking lot next door?

a gas station with cars parked in front of it

The Czech Stop/Little Czech Bakery are two stores that sell the same items. They’re so busy that they need two storefronts.

Walking into the store, it looked like most other interstate gas stations. There were coolers along the walls and aisles of sundries and snacks.

a store with shelves of food

However, lining the walls were autographed pictures of every famous (or semi-famous) person who stopped by. The line wound from the counter around the back wall. We definitely found the right place. The coolers around the store didn’t sell the usual gas station items, instead, they were selling local meats and sausages. It reminded me more of the Polish butcher from my hometown instead of a gas station.

a refrigerator with food in it

When we got to the counter, we saw the many varieties of kolaches for sale.

a display case of food in a storea display case with pastries and pastries a trays of pastries on a rack a shelf of pastries with price tags

In addition to the pastries, they also sold a large assortment of pre-made sandwiches.

a display case with pastries and pastries

I tried the sausage/sauerkraut kolache, which was a mix of Texas variety while sticking to Czech ingredients.

a close up of food

I also tried one of the poppy seed kolaches, which is a very classic filling (and one I remember from the pastries of my childhood.) Sorry, no pictures of that one as I ate it before remembering to capture it for posterity.

Sharon went for the Nutella-filled version, which she enjoyed. To be honest, is there anything bad if it’s filled with Nutella?

While we went to The Czech Stop, which seems to be very popular with the locals passing through town, there are other locations besides the interstate, as well as in the town. We didn’t try them all as I doubt we’d be able to distinguish the difference from one to another.

While it was difficult to admit, the kolaches we got in West, TX are better than the ones from Buc-ee’s. But since we’re not going to drive 2 hours from Austin, we’ll have to make do with those until we’re back in the area.

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Biscuit June 25, 2022 - 10:50 pm

Yes!!! Right off I-35 their cinnamon rolls 🤤

Rebecca K Ordiway June 28, 2022 - 3:08 pm

Hello! Another place where kolaches are the best is in my hometown of La Grange and the place is called Weikel’s. Their kolaches are to die for!! So so good. Weikel’s is on Hwy 71 West business Road. Hruska’s is also the best ever too. Downtown in La Grange we have Lukas Bakery and they have great kolaches and their pig in the blanket ‘s are the best in my book! You will enjoy!!!

Dee June 26, 2022 - 11:46 am

You left out the picture and the actual word for the sausage filled pastries: klobasniki. You were definitely in the right place. The signs are on the wall. Please spread the word. If one can learn to say kolache, they can just as easily learn to say klobasnik.

Marc Anthony Ferryman June 26, 2022 - 5:28 pm

Hruskas on 71, between Austin and Houston.

Darryl L Laake June 27, 2022 - 2:54 am

Right on! Ellinger Texas is known for the best kolaches and the home of Peter’s bbq the best bbq around

Mathgran June 26, 2022 - 6:59 pm

Can’t say I would choose the nutella. That’s pushing it.

DddddddB June 26, 2022 - 8:17 pm

The world’s best kolache by a long shot, is at .. The Kolache Kitchen in Temple, Tx 🤠

Brandon Crawford June 26, 2022 - 10:53 pm

On the opposite side of the highway is a place called Slovacks very nice store they have really good kolaches also give them a try.

Sean D June 27, 2022 - 12:51 am

It’s Slovacek’s.

It’s no longer owned by the founding family, unfortunately (my stepdad is part of them). But they have decent BBQ and fresh meats (butcher counter) as well.

Michael Pinkston June 27, 2022 - 10:21 pm

Billy’s donuts in Pearland has the best kolaches and kablosniks.

Dale Hardwick June 29, 2022 - 12:41 am

I grew up in West,Tx. I have eaten my share of Kolaches and Klobasnik I love the people in West. Graduated from there in 1962. Still love the West Fest. Love the Artical


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