Although Austin is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," there is a growing foodie scene with an abundance of patios and restaurants to check out. There are many restaurants and food trucks that are unique to Austin — whether you're a meat-lover, vegan, vegetarian, or somewhere in between, we guarantee you'll find something you'll love in Austin. Here are nine places you HAVE to try when you're visiting for SXSW.
For your fried chicken fix, make sure to visit Lucy's Fried Chicken. Located near South Congress with a bar and outdoor patio, Lucy's has wings, tons of variations of fried chicken, sweet tea pie and so much more. It has a homey atmosphere to make things cozy and comfortable.
Where: 2218 College Ave. Austin, TX 78704
Hours: Mon-Thur 11 AM-11 PM; Fri-Sat 11 AM-12 AM; Sun 10 AM-11 PM (Brunch until 3 PM)
Got a sweet tooth? Donut worry — Gourdough's has got you covered. They're known for their crazy donuts that range from sweet maple and bacon to a donut burger with guacamole. The downtown location is a food truck tucked away on their bar patio. It is close to the SXSW venues, so it is perfect for a quick bite between events.
Where: 209 W 5th St, Suite B. Austin, TX 78701
Hours: Sun-Wed 11 AM-12 AM; Thurs-Sat 11 AM-3 AM
Irene's has an large outdoor patio and cute wall that's great for Instagram pictures — making it the perfect brunch spot. Their trendy menu consists of toasts, sandwiches, salads and cocktails — plus, they even have a happy hour on weekdays.
Where: 506 West Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Hours: Everyday 7 AM-2 AM
Banger's is a beer garden located on historic Rainey street. It is a renovated 100-year-old home with outdoor picnic tables so you never know who you'll sit with. They have everything from wild game to vegetarian sausages, plus a large selection of beers and wines. They're are know for their "Manmosa," which is an entire bottle of champagne poured into a huge mug with just a touch of orange juice. You can also listen to some live music on their outdoor stage.
Where: 79 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701
Hours: Sun-Wed 10 AM-11 PM; Thurs-Sat 11 AM-12 AM
Torchy's Tacos is an Austin classic — they are so good that they now have locations all over Texas. Make sure to check out their secret menu if you want to try something new. They have a large variety of tacos but the queso is worth a stop — just ask Obama.
Where: 2809 S 1st St. Austin, TX 78704
Hours: Mon-Thurs 7 AM-10 PM; Fri 7 AM-11 PM; Sat 8 AM-11 PM; Sun 8 AM-10 PM
You can't go visit Texas without getting some fresh BBQ. There's so many BBQ restaurants in Austin, but Lambert's is downtown, so it is easier to get to if you're already in the area for SXSW. Lambert's is a renovated general store turned barbecue restaurant with a bar upstairs. This place was named one of the top 50 best BBQ joints in the world by Texas Monthly so you might want to make a reservation in advance.
Where: 401 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701
Hours: Thur-Sat 11 AM-10:30 PM; Sun-Wed 11 AM-10 PM
Italic is a chic Italian restaurant located on 6th with all the pizza and pasta choices you could want. The menu changes often so you never know what you might get to try. Plus, they have an extensive wine and cocktail list, AND they're open late on Friday and Saturday. Skip the food truck pizza and get Italic after a night of drinking instead.
Where: 123 W. 6th St. Austin, TX
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 AM-10 PM; Fri 8 AM-12:30 AM; Sat 5 PM-12:20 AM; Sun 5 PM-10 PM
With its farm fresh ingredients and outdoor patio, Vinaigrette is your go-to place if you're looking for Austin vibes. Their menu is healthy and delicious, so you can get some good energy during SXSW. There is a full bar and large window for lighting your Instagram pictures.
Where: 2201 College Ave. Austin, TX 78704
Hours: Sun-Thur 11 AM-9 PM; Fri-Sat 9 AM-10 PM
It's not just biscuits and gravy here — this food truck is a tasty breakfast spot that serves whatever kind of biscuits and gravy combo you could want. If you love food puns, it is definitely worth a stop because the menu items are named after famous 70's musicians like the "Village Biscuits."
Where: 1210 Duval St. Austin, TX 78751
Hours: Mon-Fri 9 AM-2 PM; Sat-Sun 8:30 PM-2 PM
Austin has so much to offer — live music, great food, and an even greater community. Enjoy all the pop-ups and SXSW exhibitions while you're here, but don't neglect the poppin' food scene — it's one-of-a-kind.