Austin is a Foodie town through and through. If you are looking for what to eat on a weekend trip, here is your guide! If you leave Austin hungry, you’re doing it wrong.
On Wednesday I discussed my favorite things to do in Austin, TX. Not to beat a dead horse but I thought the food in Austin deserved it’s own post. Yes, it was THAT good. Food is my favorite 4 letter word, and favorite word starting with F, next to Friday of course, so let’s find out what food we ate in Austin, and then I’ll cry a little bit about all the food we left behind! If only Albany would catch up…
How to Find Restaurants When Traveling
When traveling it’s easy to go with what you know. However, I think the best part about traveling is finding food that the locals eat and that the tourists travel for. Sometimes it means you have to take some risks, wait in lines and spend more money than you had intended. I work so that I can eat, real life truth. This trip was all about the food, but also ended up being 1,001% about the company. The amazing part was all of my friends were on board to try all the food, no matter what it was.
Not sure where to start when traveling? Here are the 4 major means/resources I use when traveling:
Friends & Family
Ask around! That’s what I did. I asked who had gone to Austin before and what they would recommend. I got a lot of people saying they drank their way through the town and didn’t remember much, so that was less than helpful. However, others were so quick to recount their trips and their favorites, doesn’t hurt to ask! Not to mention, my friend Laura grew up in Austin so she was able to help us navigate the whole time.
Bloggers & Influencers
The nice thing about 2018 is the access to social media and blogs. I follow a lot of foodies so it made it easy to find suggestions. For this trip I found a few tips from these bloggers: PaleOMG, Cookie + Kate, and A Taste of Koko.
Apps & The Internet
I use apps like Yelp and of course Google to find my way through a town. I love to read reviews and usually discredit the 1 stars and sometimes the 5 stars. Dig into the 3-4 stars to find out what you really want to know! You can also find out hours, if they take reservations, attire and so much more. These come into handy especially when you had a plan but need a plan B! I also spent a lot of time on Eater Austin.
ASK! We asked everyone we could what to eat, do and see while in Austin. We got some great recommendations while at CrossFit Central and on our Uber/Lyft rides. It never hurts to ask.
Favorite Austin Food
Okay, what you came here for. Once again this is not an exhaustive list. This is only the places that we went to (and loved). I need to go back because there is no way you can eat all that you want in Austin in 4 short days!
We landed upon this one by accident. We took far too long getting ready and no one could make up their mind, not to mention we had a late (read: 5pm) lunch/appetizer. We went down to 6th street and were dropped off between Corner & Second Bar + Kitchen. How did we decide? We went for the one that was more crowded, which happened to be Corner. I ordered the carnitas tacos and then was treated to my friend’s leftover pancetta brussels sprouts. A+
This came highly recommended. The nice part was that we only had to wait in the bar for 20 minutes. I enjoyed a tasty jalapeno margarita and then for dinner ordered a few tasty tacos. Highly recommend for the atmosphere and the food. The guacamole was good but we ordered WAY too much. 1 large guacamole would’ve been plenty for a table of 10.
This is where you will find the I Love You So Much sign. The coffee is superb and they even have breakfast tacos. We enjoyed our last morning in Austin here by sitting outside sipping on our coffee and being super touristy. I ordered a latte even though it was hot, I have to start my day with a hot cup of coffee, no matter the temperature.
How can you pass up a place that is called Juan in a Million?! We were told we had to hit up this location, so this was our last meal in Austin, and boy did it leave a good taste in our mouths! I ordered the Migas as I had never heard of it before and needed to know what it was. You know what it was?! Delicious. If you want more of a description it is a scrambled egg dish loaded with onions, tomatoes, veggies & the star ingredient, corn tortilla chips. I got mine with cheese and guacamole because, duh!
We happened upon this as it was the closest coffee shop to our AirBnB. I had their nitro cold brew mixed with my favorite oat milk, Oatly. I may have had this around 7pm but hey when you are trying to keep up in Austin, coffee is necessary at all hours!
Popsicles from Food Carts
The homemade popsicles we found in food carts around the city were SO necessary and happened to be delicious. You can bet in a food conscience town like Austin, the ingredients were real and the taste was real good. The 2 we happened upon:
This is worth the 30-40 minute trip out of the city, I promise you. While most locals recommend Franklin BBQ, we were not prepared to wait in line for food. At The Salt Lick you can score a reservation if you have 10 or more. Since 10 of us wanted to go, it worked out perfectly. This was some of the best BBQ I had ever had. We opted for the All-You-Can-Eat which included brisket (ask for moist & for the burnt ends), pork ribs & sausage as well as potato salad, coleslaw, bread and baked beans. Make sure you don’t fill up on the bread, save some room for dessert and ask the waiter/waitress to bring you pickles, onions & jalapeños. It is a BYOB and Cash Only so come prepared!
My friend Laura, who came with us, grew up in Austin and still has some friends there. One happens to now own a bakery known as Paper Route Bakery. She (and my other amazing friends) surprised me with a gluten-free chocolate & berry birthday cake. I’m not a huge cake or dessert person, but this cake changed my mind. It was SO SO SO SO SOOOOOO good. So good in fact we ate it that morning for breakfast and even went out of our way to find a tupperware container so we could bring it home with us. If you are in Austin PLEASE go check out this bakery, they will customize your cakes and feed you cookies and desserts galore.
Welp, this was the best brunch I’m ever going to have. We were told to call ahead 1 hour before we wanted to eat, which we did and which made us get our act together to go get food. When we got there, the matre’d told us if we wanted we could go sit on the back patio and pull as many tables/chairs together as we needed. We decided, why not?! Well it was semi-hot but luckily the tables were in the shade and they had fans going to cool you off. I ordered a Bloody Mary (OMG!!!!) and then I ordered the Short Rib Hash and opted for 2 poached eggs. I’m still licking my chops from this place and hope to recreate this dish soon.
While I am so pleased with how much and what we ate in Austin, it left me wanting more. Thanks to the suggestions from the locals and some friends, I have an entire list of places I want to go next time I’m in town. Believe me, I’m hoping there is a next time real soon, who’s with me?
…and many MANY more.
Have you ever been to Austin? If so, where are your favorite places to eat?!