Texas Living

It’s Always Time for Kolaches at Czech Stop

By Abby Kinsinger 6.29.20

Before visiting Czech Stop, you might have crowned trail mix or boxed candy or a jumbo latte in a thermos the ultimate road trip treat. But after a stop at the famed Czech bakery and deli just off I-35 in the small town of West, Texas, the answer is decidedly none of these things. It’s kolaches.

A destination in itself, Czech Stop has been charming locals and visitors alike for nearly four decades. The outside is nondescript, tucked behind a Shell station and at first hard to find unless you follow the roadside signs. But upon entering, you’ll soon understand its magic.

In the swirl of authentic Czech pastries, jams, and pickled things, it can be hard to know where to begin. You can’t go wrong with a kolache — choose from sausage and jalapeño, blueberry, poppy seed, strawberry and cream cheese, and countless other varieties — but you’d be wise not to stop there. Snag a savory klobásník or a sack of jalapeño poppers, or pick up a pie or sweet bread to share (or not). Or you can pop across the street to the Little Czech Bakery, where you’ll find more pastries. (We’ve heard whispers of Nutella kolaches. This is not a drill.)

Czech Stop is not the only bakery of its kind in the area. Because of the large Czech population that settled in Central Texas after the revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire, Texas continues to have the largest population of Czech-Americans of any state in the country, so you won’t be hard-pressed to find other authentic Czech bakeries nearby. Since its inception in 1983, however, the beloved Czech Stop has been the mother of them all; the spot that the insiders insist you just can’t miss.

Not sure when your next stop will be? You can order a shipment — just make sure the weather is above 50 degrees so that the made-from-scratch goodness makes its way to you just as fresh and delicious as it should be.

If you do plan to make a pilgrimage, weary travelers, rejoice: At Czech Stop, the doors never close. They’re open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so you can count on the spot to keep serving its treats to an estimated 600 people a day. Which makes it official: At Czech Stop, it is always a good time for a kolache.

Czech Stop, 105 N. College St., West, TX 76691; czechstop.net

Find more classic Texas roadside stops here.

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