fter a night out in West Campus or a long study session at the library, there are multiple 24-hour diners around town to fulfill the craving for late-night comfort food. Diners open around the clock are an essential staple of Austin culture, which makes choosing just one favorite a nearly impossible task.
Many establishments are beginning to offer vegan and gluten-free options. As diners adapt and evolve, it is even easier for students to find a spot for the whole group to enjoy.
The Magnolia Cafe:
The Magnolia Cafe offers more than the traditional pancakes and burgers. With its iconic neon lights, funky wall art and the “Sorry We’re Open” sign, it also delivers in terms of aesthetics. This diner is the perfect place to grab a late-night snack with friends and get an Instagram-worthy picture while you’re at it.
The menu here is unconventional, going beyond breakfast and dinner food to include tacos, enchiladas and quesadillas. All menu items are just as good as Magnolia Cafe’s migas and pancakes.
Magnolia Cafe has locations on South Congress Avenue and Lake Austin Boulevard.
Kerbey Lane Cafe:
Students can be found here at any hour of the day. Just steps away from campus on The Drag, Kerbey Lane provides flavorful dinner food along with many popular vegan options. Nearly every entrée on the menu has a vegan or gluten-free option.
Kerbey Lane also offers a host of seasonal menu variations, such as apple pie pancakes and the ‘Fall Harvest Salad’ this autumn. Offering a different specialty pancake every two weeks, customers are in for a tasty surprise every visit. Another one of the most renowned food items on Kerbey Lane’s menu is the ‘Kerbey Queso.’ Next in line is the ‘Vegan Queso.’
Although the Guadalupe Street location is the most accessible, there are seven other locations around town to check out.
Fun fact: The founder of Kerbey Lane, Patricia Ayer, used to work at Magnolia Cafe in the 1970s back when it was Omelettry West. She introduced the pancake recipe that they have today.
The one and only. Located in the heart of North Lamar Street, 24 Diner is steps away from Waterloo Records and Amy’s Ice Cream. This is the perfect spot to go after a night out downtown.
Straying from the conventional diner look, 24 Diner has its own take on diner decor — making it modern and sleek.
24 Diner is known for putting a fancy spin on diner food, or “chef-inspired comfort food,” as defined by their website. Although the eatery is popular for its milkshakes and chicken and waffles, a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options are offered here as well.
Star Seeds Cafe:
Last, but certainly not least, Star Seeds Cafe is an integral food joint in the Austin community. With its checkered floors and quintessential diner bar stools, Star Seeds Cafe delivers the classic diner experience. From decorations to food, this place takes it back a few decades.
Star Seeds Cafe offers a variety of breakfast foods, burgers and even an entire section dedicated to vegetarian options. Although their menu isn’t as vegan-friendly as some others, it is certainly college budget-friendly, with most meals priced at $10 or less.
This diner was recently bought out by a new owner and will soon be renamed “Stars Cafe.”