Where to Eat in Austin (During SXSW)
It’s that time of year again! SXSW is right around the corner, and crowds of tech and music-loving visitors will descend upon the city. Our best advice is to eat breakfast tacos and barbecue all day, every day. But we’ve also decided to round up our favorite spots – for tacos, barbecue and beyond – so you will never have to go hungry or eat a bad meal in this delicious city!
Anyone heading to Austin, has probably heard of Torchy’s Tacos. It’s all sorts of famous and has multiple food truck locations around town, plus a brick and mortar on South Congress. The crossroads taco was one of our favorites, but don’t stop there. Make sure to order the chips and queso, guacamole, and street corn on the side.
Veracruz All Natural
While Veracruz All Natural has a brick and mortar in North Austin these days, you’ll likely find yourself at the original location, servings tacos out of a school bus, on E Cesar Chavez. After a long night of live music, do yourself a favor and order a couple of migas tacos (ranked nationally!) and the watermelon agua fresca. That’ll set you right. In our humble opinions, this is the best breakfast taco spot in town!
When you need something quick with indoor space for sitting down with a group, Taco Joint is your spot. They will cook up just about any combination of breakfast tacos that you want, but the basic bean and cheese is pretty good on it’s own. Once your plate arrives, dress with one or all of the many hot sauces set out at the salsa bar.
Terry Black’s Barbecue
Everyone immediately wants to go after the brisket at Terry Black’s Barbecue, but the pork ribs just might be the best item on their menu. And you should also try the sausage. As for sides, the green beans and mac and cheese are especially good, but we won’t judge if you decide to try them all!
Right next door to Veracruz All Natural, the Kerlin BBQ truck serves arguably the best brisket in Austin. It isn’t as convenient to get as some of the bigger barbecue names in the city, only being open Thursday through Sunday from 11-4, but getting the best of anything in life isn’t always easy.
This curbside coffee shop serves “coffee, tacos, sandwiches, and prime people watching” on South Congress. Stop by to grab your morning pick-me-up, then walk around the corner to snap a photo in front of the “I love you so much” mural.
Located all over the city, Juiceland is the place to go for a refreshing break after eating loads of breakfast tacos, barbecue, and macaroni and cheese. The watermelon juice is on point. So is the recovery punch. They even offer a wide variety of smoothies.
Flat Track Coffee
What happens when a bike shop meets a coffee shop? Flat Track Coffee is born. And in this case it makes for the perfect spot to grab a cup, settle in at a table and catch up on a little work. Or just sit and relax. You’ll probably need to after a few nights at SXSW.
Put your name down for brunch at Magnolia Cafe, then wander the shops of South Congress. When it’s your turn for a table, take in the magnificent and eclectic interiors that are Magnolia Cafe. As for the food, you can never go wrong with the migas, but the menu is full of so much goodness, it’ll be hard to choose. Luckily, it’s a 24-hour menu, so you’ll likely be back to try more.
Kerbey Lane Cafe
This popular breakfast joint offers an extensive menu without losing the local diner vibes. You can order one of their specialty pancakes with a cinnamon swirl and glaze, or go the more savory route. If you do, the chilaquiles are especially good with queso on top. Oh, and if breakfast isn’t your thing, Kerbey Lane doesn’t discriminate, they’ll serve you any time of day, even late night.
Elizabeth Street Cafe
The Elizabeth Street Cafe serves amazing Vietnamese inspired cuisine, and is usually popping for brunch so try to go during an off time. While a big bowl of pho is amazing, don’t miss the chance to try their banh mi. The fried egg, crispy pork belly, avocado, and mint rendition is insanely good, while the griddled lemongrass tofu and mushrooms version is delicious and vegetarian-friendly. Finish up with a few of the housemade macarons. The best part? No matter what you order, the food always looks instagrammable!
While Launderette is famed for its dinner, we gave brunch a try and it was delicious. Seriously delicious. We ordered a plate of pancakes for the table, which were perhaps the best part, along with the fried egg BLT, the asparagus benny, a fried oyster special, and a side of bacon. This is one spot where you’ll want to snap the perfect flat lay before diving in to your food.
East Side King Thai-coon
When you want those Austin food truck vibes, but are over the tacos (is that even possible?) try East Side King Thai-coon. Thanks to their fun twist on Thai food, it’s hard to go wrong with just about anything on the menu. The crunchy cabbage appetizer is a tasty snack. It’s parked at Whisler’s so you can grab a drink and your late night eats all at the same time.