Visiting New Braunfels, TX

Looking down at some of the historic store fronts in New Braunfels, Texas.
Looking down at some of the historic store fronts in New Braunfels, Texas.

We were recently able to take an extended weekend vacation to New Braunfels, Texas, while celebrating the wedding of our friends in the area. An easy drive from the DFW metro area (roughly five hours if you’re like us and avoid the interstate), we decided to take advantage of the offerings in the historical downtown area for the days we were in town visiting New Braunfels.

Lodging in New Braunfels

The historic Faust Hotel in New Braunfels, Texas.
The historic Faust Hotel in New Braunfels, Texas.

Whenever I’m given the opportunity to stay at a boutique or historic hotel, I’ll take it. For this trip, we found the Faust Hotel located in the middle of downtown New Braunfels, which put us within walking distance of many interesting destinations we wanted to visit.

The hotel rooms are a bit on the small side (as you would expect from older buildings), but the beds are comfy, the AC & heating units work well for their age, and the staff was welcoming and helpful.

The hotel has a bar & restaurant onsite, and has a handful of Faust Brewing beers on tap. (The brewery was until recently housed on-site at the hotel, but has relocated down the street to a larger location.) I’d recommend grabbing a pint of any of their German-style beers to go along with their pretzel bites, with a side of beer cheese sauce for dipping.

Pro-tip: If you’re booking through a third-party app like Expedia, it might be worth your time to contact the hotel directly after booking. Even though we had received confirmation of our reservation AND direct communication from hotel, there was a mix-up with our room and we had to spend our first evening in a different room than the one we had reserved. The staff was able to sort it out quickly, but it seems that – for now – there seems to be some disconnect between the property and third-party reservation systems.

Food & Drink in New Braunfels

New Braunfels Brewing Company in New Braunfels, Texas.
New Braunfels Brewing Company in New Braunfels, Texas.

Craft Beer & Wine

If you’re friends of ours (or have been following this blog for any length of time), you’ll know we love finding the local craft brews and spirits in any town we visit. We had a great time over the weekend checking out several of the watering holes around our hotel.

  • New Braunfels Brewing Company. This brewery originally made a name for itself for it’s line of sour beers, but has also branched out into a variety of beer styles to suit any particular palette. The tap room is located in the heart of downtown, and has a cozy bar situated outside of the beer vats, which lets patrons have some fun conversations with the brewers as they move through the building.
  • Water2Wine. This winery is located across the street from the Faust Hotel, and has dozens of options in both red and white varietals. Water to Wine also offers charcuterie and cheese plates from a local provider, so you can easily make a meal out of their offerings while sharing a flight or two of wine. (Not interested in a meat & cheese appetizer? They have pizza on site, too!) While we tend to gravitate towards red wines personally, we found we enjoyed their whites and picked up a few bottles to take home.
  • Stave Beer and Wine House. – This hidden gem is steps away from the new Faust Brewing Company location (which was currently closed when we walked by). This small, converted-to-a-taproom house has four to five beers on tap, a small wine rack, and two unassuming refrigerators with a smattering of beer bottles and cans. In spite of a relatively small stock, Stave has handpicked a variety of local, national, and international offerings that you may not find anywhere else. But what really sets this venue apart was the cicerone, Clayton, who was able to guide us through all of the beers on hand. We had a marvelous time trying several new-to-us brews.

German-Inspired Eateries

As you may have gathered reading this post, New Braunfels was initially settled by German immigrants in the mid-1800’s, and the town’s food and beverage options frequently reflect this heritage. In addition to stopping by our standard options for local drinks and such, we also made it a point to check out several of the German-inspired restaurants in the downtown area.

The indoor biergarten at Krause's Cafe in New Braunfels, TX.
The indoor biergarten at Krause’s Cafe in New Braunfels, TX.
  • Krause’s Cafe. It was a surprisingly cold-to-us weekend here in Texas, but we made it a point to drop by this biergarten and cafe behind our hotel. The food is a good blend of comfort food and the standard German options you’d expect to find at similar restaurants. The real draw here is beautiful indoor glasshouse-style seating combined with dozens of taps filled entirely with imported German brews. Czechvar, please!
  • Alpine Haus. This was the point of the trip when I really felt I might be back in Austria. This historic house-turned-restaurant has an incredibly cozy feeling while providing a fine dining experience in the heart of downtown New Braunfels. The menu is expansive, but I went with my go-to dish – Goulash – and was delighted. The imported German beer list here is outstanding, and the service top-notch. I’d highly recommend this location if you’re looking for a higher-end dining option.

All in all, this was a delightful trip visiting New Braunfels for an extended weekend vacation within easy driving distance from the Dallas area. Good food, great beer!