Texan Top 10: After-hours eateries

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A couple enjoys dinner at Magnolia Cafe on South Congress Avenue. Magnolia displays work from local artists and photographers on their walls and has become a Austin mainstay since opening its first branch on Lake Austin Boulevard in 1979.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

Sometimes on-campus dining doesn’t cut it at 2 a.m., and UT students are forced to find food beyond Jester City Limits or the Texas Union. This week’s Texan Top 10 lists a variety of restaurants and eateries open late to serve the needs of starving students.

1. 24 Diner: If the name doesn’t give it away, the 24 Diner is open 24 hours every day except for Wednesday, when it’s open from 1 to 6 in the morning. Decked out in 1950s-style decor, the 24 Diner features daily specials from area farmers as well as gluten-free options and a full bar. Wander down to Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard after a night on the town for what the diner’s website calls “chef-inspired comfort food.”

2. Frank: Serving “hot dogs, cold beer,” Frank is open until midnight on weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends with a late-night menu featuring a variety of hotdogs and cheese fries topped with all things unhealthy. The joint on Fourth and Colorado streets offers drinks, sides as well as desserts.

3. Kerbey Lane: The Kerbey Lane location on the Drag has become a staple spot for UT students staying up studying, staggering off the E-bus or just starving at any hour in the day. Kerbey Lane is famous for its pancakes and seasonal selection of foods of every type from frijoles to fruit. Sit down and stay awhile, as Kerbey Lane is open 24 hours on the Drag and two other locations in Northwest and South Austin.

4. Mozart’s Coffee Roasters: Quiet, classy and with a beautiful view of the Lake Austin, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters serves gelato, bottomless coffee, cappuccino, cheesecake and other baked goods until midnight every evening. The late-night coffee shop is great for studying, post-date talk sessions or just winding down.

5. Trudy’s Tex-Mex Restaurant and Bar: With the original North Campus location nestled along 30th Street, Trudy’s is open until 2 a.m. every evening. Offering a twist on Tex-Mex, Trudy’s serves traditional enchilada platters alongside chicken fried steak, salad and salsa. Celebrate 21st birthdays with a Mexican martini on the house.

6. Magnolia Cafe: Keeping true to the “keep Austin weird” mantra, Magnolia offers a lot of interesting artwork for visitors easily distracted. The 24-hour cafe, located on Lake Austin Boulevard and South Congress Avenue, serves breakfast, Tex-Mex, sandwiches, soups, salad and more. Take your food and a T-shirt to-go after stopping by the Magnolia gift shop.

7. Pluckers Wing Bar: Located along Rio Grande Street in West Campus, the “original” Plucker’s serves favorites such as fried macaroni and fried pickles alongside chicken wings that come with the diner’s choice of 19 different wing sauces. Open until 2 a.m., Plucker’s also serves burgers and salads for those not so into chicken.

8. Big Bite Pizza and Grill: For those who can’t decide what to order at the restaurants mentioned before, Big Bite on 24th Street offers signature “Phat Sandwiches” featuring a little bit of everything. Options like the “Phat Goomba,” which serves chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, french fries and marinara all in one bun, keep late-night eaters more than full. Open until 4 a.m., Big Bite also offers regular meals such as pizza and paninis.

9. Subway: If the thought of eating cheese sticks and chicken strips on a sandwich makes one worry about calories, those looking to stick to their diet can stop by the Subway located on Guadalupe and 29th streets until 2 a.m. for “fresh-fit” meals that account for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

10. Ken’s Donuts: Situated down the street from Subway, Ken’s Donuts serves breakfast pastries, doughnuts and kolaches as well as coffee and assorted beverages day or night. Unlike conventional doughnut shops which close after breakfast hours, Ken’s Donuts is open 24 hours to serve all sweet-tooth needs.

Published on Thursday, November 10, 2011 as: Top 10: After-hours eateries for students