Many of the 65,000 ACL fans headed to Zilker Park this weekend will spend hours huddled over their pocket schedules, plotting their path from stage to stage and vainly hoping to traverse the park to catch both Neko Case and Phoenix without missing anything good.
Band conflicts are impossible to solve, but Eater has put together a foolproof eating schedule for ACL's elaborate and impressive array of dining and drinking. In true street food style, participating chefs and restaurant owners hawk their favorite dishes. For those venturing for food outside of the festival, Eater also has complied a map of Zilker-adjacent eats.
(Note: This menu assumes that you're a carnivore with no food allergies. A number of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are also available. These are noted where appropriate.)
Noble Sandwich's Thai Chicken Sandwich ($8)
Northwest Austin's worst-kept secret, Noble consistently turns out the city's best sandwiches. Their secret – they make everything in-house, from pickles to bread. You can try one at the park this weekend, then get excited for their new Rosedale location to open later this year.
"My favorite item is our Thai chicken. Boneless chicken braised in red curry with a spicy slaw packed with cabbage, mint, Basil and cilantro is perfect for a day at Zilker park. Our pickles are also going to rock – they're garlic cucumber pickle slices with red chili flakes." – John Bates
GoodPop's Hibiscus Mint Popsicle ($4).
GoodPop's products are organic and locally sourced. They'll also help you through the hottest projected day of the festival.
Real Ale Cans.
Hallelujah! After years of prodding, cajoling, and even Twitter trolling, Austin-area craft brew has arrived en masse at the fest. The advance word is that Fireman's #4 cans will be available throughout the park, while Four Squared and Hans Pils cans will be available at select locations. Regardless of your selection, it'll be a major upgrade from that big beer tall boy also on offer.
The Peached Tortilla's BBQ Brisket Taco (2 for $8)
While vegetarians can also opt for a Thai summer salad, Eric Silverstein recommends tacos as his top pick.
"Our BBQ brisket taco is the perfect portable food item for ACL. We braise our brisket for five hours, then top it with creamy apple slaw and peach BBQ sauce. It'll fill you up, but is light enough to not slow you down." - Eric Silverstein
Chilantro's Korean BBQ Tacos (2 for $8)
While food celebs like Aaron Sanchez dig Chilantro's kimchi fries, the portability and lightness of the tacos, served on corn tortillas with cilantro, onion, and a soy vinagrette, makes them perfect for the fest. The beef bulgogi is the most popular order, with chicken and vegetarian options also available.
La Condesa Street Corn ($5)
Elote is sweet, spicy, and delicious. Have some.
"We're serving our famous Mexican Street Corn. It's perfect ACL snack because you can eat it without utensils. It's vegetarian, which helps to counteract all your 'non-vegetarian' (wink, wink) ACL consumption." – Jesse Herman
Founders All Day IPA at Barton Springs Beer Hall
This beer is new to Texas for 2013, and is a great summer sipper. It's a rare balance of pale, hoppy goodness at a sessionable alcohol level of 4.7%. This is perfect outside band-watching beer that won't slow you down.
Seedling Truck's Short Rib Grilled Cheese ($9)
This sounds like the most gluttonous thing on offer at the park. You'll deny yourself the first time you see it, but everyone will eventually buckle.
"Our favorite dish is our short rib grilled cheese sandwich with peppernata jam and gruyere. It's comfort food with rich ingredients – it'll fill you up." – Dan Stacy
Second Bar & Kitchen Banh Mi ($8)
David Bull sells so many banh mis each year that he sets up an entire temporary restaurant facility to prepare – something he's documented extensively on Instagram. The bottom line: it's David Bull, and he won't let you down on ingredients, flavor, or style.
"We chose banh mi sandwiches for ACL again because it's the perfect festival food. It's easy to eat, but big enough for a snack later on. My favorite is our pork belly because it's tender, spicy and has lots of crunch from the vegetable slaw. We also have a delicious vegan option." – David Bull
Hope Market "Frios Mio" Cold Brew Coffee ($3)
By Sunday afternoon, you won't need snacks, you'll need energy. East Austin's Hope market will have you covered with hot coffee, cold brew, and even pastries for your 3 p.m. coffeehouse fix.
Stone IPA or Lagunitas IPA at Barton Springs Beer Hall
After your afternoon coffee fix, you'll have enough energy to handle one last big beer. The new options from California titans Stone and Lagunitas are excellent, and combine West Coast hoppiness with excellent balance. If you prefer malty beers, sub in Left Hand's Milk Stout here.
Love Shack's Pork Tamales (2 for $7)
Fort Worth's Tim Love curates the ACL Food Court, so he's contractually required to bring his A-game. For vegetarians, there's also a jalapeno and cheese option available.
"I am excited about my Pork Tamales with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa. It's filling, very tasty and has some zip from the chilies. Plus it is new for the festival!" – Tim Love
— Tom Thornton
· All Austin City Limits Coverage[EATX]