Austin is an amazing breakfast taco town. And for those with a sweet tooth, there’s no shortage of memorable donuts. But one breakfast choice that deserves more love is the incomparable kolache.
For those who have yet to experience these little pillows of perfection, kolaches (pronounced kuh-LAH-chee) are Czech and Slovak pastries that (thankfully) made their way to Texas and parts of the Midwest. Traditionally, a kolache is a ring of slightly sweet dough surrounding a dollop of fruit filling. In Texas, we’re lucky to have related versions with sausage, cheese, jalapeño and other savory fillings. Technically called a klobasnek, but often referred to as kolaches, these tasty treats look like pig in blankets on steroids.
Many will tell you the best kolaches are found in West, Texas a little over 100 miles north of Austin. However, before you make the pilgrimage, you should try all the wonderful kolache places right here in the ATX. They’re sometimes sold at donut shops and sometimes at dedicated shops. But where there’s a will to locate a tasty, warm kolache, there’s always a way. To get you started, here are just a few of my favorite kolache places in Austin.
1/ Kolache Creations
This small bakery in the Crestview neighborhood sells a number of baked goods. But, as the name implies, kolaches are the main event. They come with a wide variety of fruit fillings, including cherry, strawberry, pineapple and apricot. They also have more traditional Eastern European flavors including prune and poppy seed. The selection of savory kolaches is also expansive with combinations of sausage, bacon, ham and cheese.
Kolache Creations is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day except Sunday, so it’s possible to snag a lunch time kolache, as well! Pro tip: don’t get confused; the sign says “Kolache Shoppe.”
7113 Burnet Road – Yelp
2/ Donut 7
In an unassuming strip mall near The Domain, this family-owned donut shop has been in Austin since 1983. Donut 7 serves tacos, donuts and kolaches, all made fresh daily in-house. These kolaches are on the smaller side, which gives you an excuse to eat more than one. They stick to a savory selection including sausage, sausage and cheese, and jalapeño. The jalapeño kolache is a particular favorite of mine.
Donut 7 is open 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. every day except Sundays and holidays.
11005 Burnet Road – Website
3/ Moonlight Bakery
Heading down south, Moonlight Bakery on South Lamar is another kolache lover’s paradise. The business was opened in 2008 by Derek Stillson, a former culinary school teacher with deep roots in Austin. Stillson helped found the first in-store bakery at Whole Foods in 1982 and taught cooking skills in the Austin Independent School District for eight years.
Known for cakes and fresh-baked pastries, Moonlight Bakery has a wide selection of sweet and savory kolaches. It’s open from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
2300 S. Lamar Blvd. – Website
4/ Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery
Most of the places on this list have you covered for a morning or lunch kolache, but who can satisfy your late night kolache fix? Enter: Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery. In business since 1948, Mrs. Johnson’s serves warm donuts and kolaches until midnight, every night of the week. The kolache flavors are strictly savory and include old favorites like sausage and cheese, ham and cheese, and jalapeño.
If you didn’t have late night kolache cravings before, expect them to become a regular thing now.
4909 Airport Blvd. – Website
5/ Donut Taco Palace
Despite the misleading name, this local chain offers some decent kolaches as well. The original Donut Taco Palace opened in 2005 and there are now two locations in South Austin. All the stores sell basic savory kolache options daily from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m.
5446 W US Hwy 290 Service Road – Yelp
If you don’t currently have a kolache in your mouth, I recommend visiting one of these spots at your earliest convenience.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What’s your favorite kolache place in Austin? Share it so we can celebrate together as a community of carb-lovers.