Grabbing a quick bite between back-to-back shows during South By Southwest can be stressful. Luckily, there is no need to forgo quality for convenience if you hit up one of these five areas serving classic Austin cuisine — from barbecue to tacos — near the festival.
South Bites Trailer Park
Where: 604 Driskill St.
With 13 food trucks in their line-up, the official SXSW eating area has a wide-range of options. Popular returning trucks include: Chi’Lantro, serving Korean and Mexican-fused barbecue, East Side King, owned by “Top Chef’s” Paul Qui who specializes in Asian street food, Juice Austin’s fresh smoothies and Nomad Street Cuisine’s gourmet burgers and sandwiches.
From The Happy Lobster’s seafood to Petite Rouge Café Camionette’s mobile espresso bar, South Bites is sure to have something to offer everyone close to SXSW’s events.
Austin’s infamous street, known for its bars and nightlife, has a lot to offer when it comes to food. With doughnut options ranging from vegan to the Bacon Maple Bar, pastry lovers are sure to find something to satisfy their sweet-tooth at Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts. Customers should get there earlier because of a first come, first serve basis and be aware that the restaurant only takes cash.
Four blocks east is Daruma Ramen, a cozy ramen shop with a simple, delicious menu. Five ramen options are available, two of which are vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. Another block east is Easy Tiger, a bakeshop and beer garden with a diverse menu. Customers can enjoy their purchase inside the large restaurant or venture outside to play pingpong in their large courtyard.
Convention Center Area
Where: 500 E. Cesar Chavez St.
As the central area for SXSW activities, the Austin Convention Center is surrounded by delicious food options. The Peached Tortilla food truck prepares southern comfort food with an Asian twist including the JapaJam Burger, a beef patty covered in sweet tomato jam and a fried egg, and their barbecue brisket sliders.
The Short Bus Subs food truck is also parked nearby, with fresh hot sandwiches made with local ingredients. Burro Cheese Kitchen will park outside the convention center as well, serving customers artisan grilled cheese sandwiches.
South of the convention center, Rainey Street offers many bars and food spots in the downtown area. The Art of Tacos food truck makes ready-to-order, authentic Mexican tacos for each of its customers. Through an artistic menu, Art of Tacos allows its customers to choose their canvas (taco, quesadilla, burrito), palette (meat or vegetables) and paint (toppings) to create their own taco masterpiece.
With a large seating area and live concerts, Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden serves its customers a variety of homemade sausages and over 150 beers with the 3rd largest draft system in Texas. The restaurant has a dog park and caters to pets with specialty sausages available on the menu. Masala Dhaba food truck serves authentic Indian cuisine and is best known for its chicken tikka masala. Vegetarian options are available as well.
South Congress Avenue
Take a break from the downtown festivities and venture to South Congress Avenue to enjoy classic Austin cuisine. The Fat Cactus food truck specializes in gourmet southwestern Navajo fry bread tacos and nachos. The truck serves ground beef, pulled pork and roasted chicken tacos on pinto beans and vegetables. Vegetarian options are also available.
Ms P’s Electric Cock takes pride in serving southern comfort cuisine, ranging from their famous fried chicken to 15 taco possibilities. Farther north, Home Slice Pizza offers authentic New York-style pizza by the pie or by the slice. Customers should note that the pizza joint could have a wait and limited seating is available. Home Slice Pizza has vegetarian but not gluten-free options.