You pull up to Hopdoddy with an empty stomach and see that the line is wrapped around the building…twice. Texas students are all too familiar with this heart-breaking scene. Luckily enough, Austin has many great alternatives to its most popular restaurants when you just can’t wait for the crowds to clear. Next time the cravings hit, try one of these.
You’re craving: the Classic burger at Hopdoddy
Try: the Cheeseburger at Nau’s Enfield Drug
Nau’s is an Austin classic that the locals love. The store has been around since the 1950s and still functions as a full-service pharmacy while serving up some of the tastiest burgers in town. Come in early to take advantage of the breakfast specials, including a variety of omelets and breakfast tacos. The friendly staff and old-timers that have been coming for years will make you feel right at home. So take a seat at the back counter, grab a burger and one of their delicious milkshakes, and feel nostalgic for days gone by.
Location: 1115 West Lynn Street, Austin, TX 78703
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7:30 am-4:15 pm, Sat: 8:00 am-4:15 pm, Sun: 10:30 am-3:30 pm
You’re craving: Margherita Pizza from Homeslice
Try: Marge pizza at East Side Pies
Find equally delicious, equally large slices of pizza at any of East Side Pies’ three locations around Austin. With locally sourced ingredients and six sauces, your pizza possibilities are endless. It also has gluten-free dough for eaters with sensitive stomachs. Craft a masterpiece or let the chefs do some of the deciding for you and grab a ready-made slice at the counter. My personal favorite is the Tremor, topped with homemade meatballs, roasted onions, red peppers and spinach. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to get East Side Pies delivered to your door, if binge-watching Scandal has you glued to your couch.
Location: 1401 Rosewood Avenue, Austin, TX 78702
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11 am-10 pm; Fri-Sat: 11 am-11 pm
You’re craving: Don Juan from Juan in a Million
Try: Migas Open-Face taco at Taco Joint
Location: 2807 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, TX 78712
Hours: Mon-Tues: 7 am-3 pm, Wed-Fri: 7 am-8 pm, Sat: 8 am-3 pm, Closed Sunday
While it is impossible to rival the Don Juan in pure size, the tacos at Taco Joint pack a huge punch of flavor. Delicious food, friendly atmosphere and proximity to campus have made this local taqueria a favorite of engineering students stumbling out of the ETC for some grub after an all-night study session. Try the traditional Street Taco with steak, onion and avocado or the El 4/20 with beef carnitas and shoestring papitas. Breakfast tacos are a hit too, no matter what time it is. The homemade tortillas and salsa will make this joint your new favorite.
Go find these Austin gems for yourself: