You know how three episodes into a Gilmore girls marathon, you think, I have to move there!? I often walk around downtown Rockwall thinking, I can’t believe I live here! It’s unbelievably quaint and charming and has an incredible farm-to-table food scene and fabulous shops. My sleepy lakeside town is just twenty minutes east of Dallas on the other side of the bridge. Rockwall is known for its Harbor District on the water but downtown Rockwall is a must if you want some good ol’ southern charm.
Bin 303 oozes with charm. This farm-to-fork restaurant is a renovated old house with creaky wood floors and cocktails served in mason jars. The menu changes regularly but the burgers and chicken sandwiches are always incredible. Whether you want a healthy salad or a jar of pimento cheese, Bin has you covered. While Bin is one of my favorite restaurants in town, it could stand to up its dessert game.
Zanata’s wood fired oven serves up authentic Italian-style pizza, the best crab dip in town, and a myriad of daily specials. The Sunday chicken is phenomenal and I’ve never had a pizza here that I haven’t loved. I’ve actually gone here for my birthday dinner two years in a row specifically to get the bananas foster cake. Y’all know how much I love bananas foster and lighting desserts on fire!
Be warned: It’s very crowded on Friday and Saturday night so either go early or be prepared to enjoy your glass of wine out on the patio for an hour waiting for your table. It’s also pretty noisy inside.
The Fatted Calf serves good old fashioned southern cooking. So southern in fact that they have mason jars full of housemade strawberry jam on every table. You’ll find biscuits and gravy, chicken and waffles, pimento cheese, and more on this Texas menu. They serve brunch every day (you heard me!) and have some of the best eggs benedict in town. Be sure to leave room for dessert to end lunch or dinner with s’mores in a jar. Just trust me. It’s technically plenty large to share but I’m not sure you’ll want to! The tables are huge and quite far apart from each other, so it’s a nice place to really catch up with friends. Fatted Calf also has live music on the weekends.
Book Club Cafe
My favorite little coffee shop! I don’t think I’ve had Starbucks once since I moved to Rockwall. I’ve never been for breakfast but my friends did bring over some cinnamon rolls from Book Club Cafe the other day and they were divine. I go for lunch pretty regularly and love the whacky sandwiches on the menu, such as shredded carrots and cheddar on a pretzel roll and a sausage and jam combo. Who’s ever heard of sausage and jam on a sandwich?
I’m obsessed with Mint Julep. I can’t even believe I waited so long to step foot inside. Everything about this shop is wonderful from the ample parking to the cute clothes to the incredible refurbished antiques. I found my perfect new side table at Mint Julep and have not stopped thinking about the chandelier selection. They have reasonable prices for the quality too.
Enjoy is a darling kitchen shop close to Book Club Cafe. I often pop in to pick up gifts for people. They have a wide selection of Stonewall Kitchen gourmet items, fun kitchen towels, and loads of beautiful serving pieces.
Vintage Home is a stone’s throw away from Zanata and even though it’s tiny, everything inside is cute. It’s very Magnolia Market (if you’re into that sort of thing) except more reasonably priced. They have linens, candles, home decor, and some great gift ideas.
Simply Kate is mostly fashion with whimsical tees, slouchy sweaters, jewelry, and Texas pride regalia. There are also some home items in the back. It’s right next to Zanata and fun to twirl through while digesting gelato!
Rockwall Drug and General
I have to give a shout out to the best pharmacy in the world. I actually always find darling gifts when I’m inside, such as towels, cards, and even clothing. Rockwall Drug and General also serves Blue Bell ice cream and has tons of candy. It’s as old fashioned as the rest of downtown Rockwall and I love it!
Rockwall Farmers Market
No article about downtown Rockwall would be complete without mentioning Rockwall Farmers Market. Every Saturday morning from May through September you’ll find a sea of locally grown produce, handmade cheeses, soaps, meat, bread, pasta, and other treats. My only complaint is that it isn’t year round!
The historic square comes alive at night with special events, live music, and strung lights. No matter what time of day you visit, there’s something fun waiting for you on Rockwall’s square!