Gooey fruit centers. Doughy, soft rolls. You know exactly what I’m talking about: the heavenly goodness that is the Kolache. This Czech/Texan — Czexan? — delicacy is perfect as a breakfast bite or a mid-road trip snack. Kolaches first arrived on the Texas snack scene with the Czech immigrants of the 1800s (the same folks who brought us the incredible Painted Churches). Here’s a list of 9 kolache bakeries you’ve gotta Czech out!
So is it a Kolache or a Klobasnek?
Before we continue, let’s clear up a common misconception. I know you love getting “kolaches” at your local donut shop, but those pigs-in-a-blanket are actually called “klobasniky” (or singular “klobasnek.”) The sweet, typically fruit-filled, open-faced pastries are kolaches. Yet whether you’re munching a sweet kolache or a savory klobasnek, you’re in for a tasty treat!
Village Bakery – West, TX
West, TX is the kolache-kingdom of Texas — and it was officially dubbed Home of the Official Kolache by the Texas Legislature in 1997. So it makes sense that tucked away in this town is the little bakery that first began selling Texas’s favorite treat in 1952. Much less crowded than its highway-hugging neighbors (more about them below), the Village Bakery is the place to get authentic homemade kolache flavors like cream cheese and poppy seed. Rumor has it that they are also the creators of the meaty klobanesk, so obviously you’ve gotta get one of those too — spicy sausage! Just remember, road trip calories don’t count.
Czech Stop – West,TX
If you’re kolache-krazed, then you’re probably more than familiar with Exit 353 on I-35 — where kolache shops are abundant. And you’ve definitely already been to the Czech Stop which opened in 1983. It might just be one of Central Texas’s most famous. The tiny one-room bakery stuffed with breads stands like a delicious beacon, providing weary construction-dazed travelers a brief break from I-35 traffic and lots of pastries to choose from. For a truly Czech treat, order a poppy seed kolache.
Slovacek’s – West, TX
This bakery, which is also at Exit 353, might be viewed as the Czech Stop’s competition (especially since it didn’t pop up until 2013), but the Slovacek business actually started as a meat processing plant in Snook, TX in 1957 before deciding to expand to West, TX. And honestly, more kolache bakeries has never been a problem, right? However, to the kolache-connissuer, these two stops are quite different. While the Czech Stop is a sweet treat utopia, Slovacek’s specializes in klobasniky made with meats from their processing plant. I seriously suggest the jalapeno-popper klobasnek with bacon, cream cheese and jalapeno.
Hruska’s – Ellinger, TX
Kolache bliss isn’t only found in West, TX. Travel down 290 to find this bakery, which is also in a gas station as most great kolache stops are! They began cookin’ up their kolaches and klobasniky in 1962, and along with their 16 tasty flavors, Hruska’s is also strangely famous for their burgers (they made it on Texas Monthly’s Best Burgers list in 2009!) So stop in for lunch and a pan sausage klobasnek for a meaty dessert.
Weikel’s Bakery – La Grange, TX
Though they are near each other, Weikel’s and Hruska’s have less of a rivalry and more of a complimentary relationship. Weikel’s has been making kolaches since 1985 using the same recipe their family grew up making in Czechoslovakia. And while the meaty klobasniky are the things to get at Hruska’s, the locals swear that when they’re craving a fruit-filled pastry, Weikel’s is the place to go. Something about the sweeter bread at this bakery just makes it all the more delicious! If you want to venture past your typical cherry or strawberry, try a prune kolache!
Original Kountry Bakery – Schulenburg, TX
If you’ve spent any amount of time on I-10 between San Antonio and Houston, than you already know about this beloved bakery that’s been serving up kolaches since 1979. Locals swear by the cream cheese and cottage cheese kolaches (do you see the cheese theme here?) and you’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t also get a poppy seed roll and a sausage-and-sauerkraut klobanesk as well.
B-Jo’s Czech Bakery – El Campo, TX
You don’t even have to be in Central Texas to get your favorite Czech treats. Just south of Houston, Prasek’s Hillje Smokehouse is not only serving up delicious smoked meats, but also kolaches made with 4th generation Czech recipes. The klobasniky are stuffed with thick cut sausage from their meat processing plant and the kolaches come in fruity flavors like cherry and dewberry.
Zamykal Gourmet Kolaches – Dallas, TX
And now a brief interruption from all these historic kolache shops to bring you a newcomer worth trying. They opened their Dallas location in 2017 and use a recipe passed down from their great-grandmother who came from Czechoslovakia in 1918. These guys are doing some awesome remixes on the classic kolache with flavors like Raspberry Truffle, German Chocolate and Key Lime. And they make actual savory kolaches like meatball and pulled pork that aren’t pigs in a blanket but are actually open-faced like a typical kolache.
The Kolache Shop – Clute, TX
The Kolache Shop has a “kolache of the month” that’s more than worth the trip to the bakery just south of Houston — as I write this, it’s Italian Cream! Fun seasonal flavors include jalapeno cream cheese and cinnamon toast crunch. The bakery, which has been open since 1985, also has awesome Texas twists on classic klobasniky stuffed with mouth-watering ingredients like fajita with pepper jack cheese, and boudin!