2015 ACL Austin Restaurant Guide

Looking for the best food in Austin for SXSW, F1, or Austin City Limits? This food guide will show you the best spots in Austin, from a local!

Austin Restaurant Guide / loveandlemons.com

Whether you’re heading to Austin for South by Southwest or ACL (or just for fun!), here’s a list of some of my personal favorite food recommendations. These are sorted by neighborhood:

Near Downtown:
La Condessa – my favorite mexican food & best guacamole
Josephine House – pretty spot, good wine, dinner, brunch
flagship Whole Foods – the Disneyland of Whole Foods-es
SFC Downtown Farmers Market – Saturdays 9am to 1pm
Snap Kitchen – for a quick & healthy meal to go. (vegan, gf, paleo options)

South Lamar Area:

Juiceland – veggie juices & smoothies
Henri’s – tiny neighborhood spot – great food, cheese & wine
East Side King – Paul Qui’s food trucks (although this one’s not a truck)
Ramen Tatsu-ya – come hungry, vegan options
P Terry’s – it’s like Austin’s In-N-Out Burger
Odd Duck – Texas farm-to-table, lunch, brunch or dinner
Uchi – yep, there’s good sushi in Texas
Casa De Luz – vegan, macrobiotic, hippie & healing
Lick Ice Cream – local ingredients, vegan options (try the vegan vanilla pear)
House Wine – hidden wine gem, half-price wines on Sundays

Austin Restaurant Guide / loveandlemons.com

South 1st Area:

Bouldin Creek Cafe – vegetarian, vegan, fun, cheap
Thai Fresh – casual Thai, coffee, vegan & gf desserts
Elizabeth St. Cafe – vietnamese cute cafe that I frequent often
Sway – upscale Thai but so good, love their patio
Dolce Neve Gelato – best gelato in Austin, owned by two cute Italians
Seventh Flag Coffee – good coffee, cute space
Lenoir – 3 course local & seasonal menu (with veggie options!)
(also check out Metier Cook’s Supply, next to Lenoir)

South Congress:

Hopdoddy – skip Shake Shack and go here (unless the line is long)
South Congress Cafe – get the migas or carrot cake french toast for brunch
Perla’s – mostly seafood, great vegetable sides, my favorite patio
San Jose Hotel – favorite patio for drinks
Joe’s Coffee – favorite spot to people watch

Austin Restaurant Guide / loveandlemons.com

Taco Deli – everyone has their pick for best tacos – this is mine
Peached Tortilla – one of my favorite trucks, turned restaurant
Olamaie – southern food but delicious vegetable dishes too

Veracruz All Natural – the 2nd place you should go for tacos.
Launderette – farm to table, chic vibe, love having dinner here
Justine’s – french food, near the airport – our fave late night post-flight bite
East Side Show Room – a favorite for cocktails (& cool decor)
Whistlers – for cocktails, late night bite from Thai Khun

If you have favorites that I have missed, feel free to leave them in the comments!

All photos taken from my Instagram account. Follow along to see where we’re currently eating!


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  1. Gail

    Counter Culture Restaurant, on the East Side, and Counter Culture Jr. on S. First are not to be missed!

  2. Erica

    Thank you! Just in time for my trip to Austin tomorrow!

  3. Crista from peacelovequinoa.com

    I heart Austin.
    Thanks for a sharing a great list! I’ll bookmark it for my next trip for sure….

  4. We’re heading to Austin on the 17th and I literally came over to see if you had a places to eat list. AND HERE IT WAS – front and center. You read my mind. We’re hitting up The Peached Tortilla on Sat night:) Thanks for the recs!

    • jeanine

      Ha, so glad! You’ll love the Peached Tortilla 🙂

  5. Alex

    I would add…
    Texas French Bread (near UT campus)
    Vivo- get the puffy tacos
    Sno Beach snow cones (multiple locations)
    Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery- best glazed donuts- Only open from 11PM to 6 AM

    • jeanine

      oh you’re right – those donuts are insane (that blueberry glazed one especially!)

  6. Okay, for some odd reason I have been following your blog for a few months now (your food photography drew me in–you’re insanely great!) and yet I just figured out I live in the same city as you guys! Austin has been my new home with my fiance since June this year. We LOVE it here, and have already tried many places on this list. I would only add Gourdough’s to the list because it’s just an indulgent treat people must try!

    • jeanine

      Ha, aw thanks! and welcome!

  7. Jordan from junehymnblog.blogspot.com

    Have you ever tried East Side Cafe? It’s so good! They have a garden out back and cook seasonally based on what is growing in the garden at the time. You should definitely try it sometime!

    • Alex

      I agree this place is delicious. It’s one of my Austin must eats.

    • jeanine

      yep! Haven’t been in a long time, thanks for the reminder 🙂

  8. Kim from therewillbeeeating.blogspot.com

    Great list!

    Except I would add Little Barrel and Brown, Lucky Robot, and Vespaio for times when you can’t get into South Congress Cafe or Bouldin Creek 🙂

    I’m surprised you didn’t list Veracruz All Natural for East Austin. Have you tried their migas tacos yet?

    • jeanine

      I do like Lucky Robot (actually their lack of line is one of their perks, ha!). I do like Veracruz All Natural – I’ll be sure to list it when I do a Taco roundup 🙂

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.