Free food is the ultimate cheap eats, where no money is lost and all the eating is gained. The methods vary in Austin, where there are bars with free food; complimentary dishes from restaurants; buy one, get one free; and much more. Here’s a breakdown of the best ways to take advantage of those deals.
Eating is important while drinking, and free food is even better. Over at Draught House, there are free sausages on Saturdays starting at 5 p.m.. Rental store I Luv Video pour out free beer for its customers every Tuesday from 6 p.m. until midnight. The Guadalupe location sticks to bottles and cans while the Airport spot uses kegs. Down south, Corner Bar teams up with excellent barbecue purveyor and onsite trailer Brown’s Bar-B-Que for free barbecue plates starting at 3 p.m. on Sundays. The catch? Everyone needs to have a $10 bar tab.
To accompany wine, beer, and cocktails, happy hour at Italic includes free cheese tastings from Mondays through Fridays, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Don’t forget that children need to eat sometimes, too. There are kid-friendly places that offer completely free meals just for the little ones. At the last remaining Frisco, young ones dine at the Night Hawk diner for free, with the purchase of one adult entree, after 5 p.m. every day. For kids that stay up really late, or early, meals at all locations of Kerbey Lane are free for them on Tuesdays; at Westlake, it’s on Thursdays. Wednesday nights are for families at the pork-centric Slab BBQ, where everyone 12 years old and younger eat for free from 4-9 p.m.
Buy one, get one free deals work well for cheap date nights, meeting up with friends, or just a really, really big individual meal. From 6-10 p.m. at Hut’s Hamburgers, get two-for-one vegetarian burgers on Mondays or beef burgers on Wednesdays. Jo’s Coffee in downtown has the same burger special on Mondays.
Make eating work to your advantage by using frequent buyer cards. Jo’s Coffee, Amy’s Ice Cream, and Pacha all have some variation of a punch card. There are also places with rewards cards, where users get bonus discounts or treats, like Alamo Drafthouse’s Victory program, Tacodeli’s VIP gold card, and Kerbey Lane’s enthusiasm card.
Though it’s not edible, for those unafraid of commitment, diners from Banger’s who bring their receipts to tattoo shop Platinum Ink can get the sausage house’s logo inked on their skin for free. True love. No word on if this means you’ll get a free sausage every time you visit.