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The main terminal at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
The main terminal at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

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Where to Eat at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA)

Best airport dining and drinking bets, from barbecue to breakfast tacos to coffee

The small but mighty Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) really aims to embody the city it serves without seeming inauthentic. The terminal smells like barbecue, the walls are full of local artwork, and, often, there’s some twangy singer-songwriter strumming a guitar for departing and arriving travelers. And even better: there are plentiful local restaurants and shops.

More and more people have been cautiously and safely traveling as vaccination rates have increased during the coronavirus pandemic. Still, there have been many changes for the Austin airport. People are still required to wear masks when inside American airports and airplanes (though they’re allowed to take them off for eating and drinking purposes). There are plexiglass dividers set up at the counters of shops and restaurants, tables are socially distanced, and there are now contactless ordering methods.

Now, since it’s the beginning of the summer travel season, Eater presents this updated dining guide of the 13 most promising places to grab food and drinks at ABIA as well as outside of the airport (eight within, five nearby). Keep in mind that the airport also includes the completely separate South Terminal (for those flying Allegiant or Frontier airlines), though its dedicated food truck is still temporarily closed. Outside of the airport, everything from barbecue to burgers to fun French cuisine is just a quick drive away.

Traveling elsewhere or stuck with connections and layovers? Browse through Eater’s other city airport guides.

Best Bets Inside Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Barbara Jordan Terminal (aka the main terminal)

Where to Grab Food:

Salt Lick Barbecue
No, it's nothing like heading out to the original Driftwood restaurant and loading up on piles of smoked meats, but if a quick taste of Texas is required, the airport's Salt Lick stand will do just the trick. It comes with a mostly Texas-wine bar too.
Service Style: Takeout, dine-in
Location: Between Gates 21 and 22
Hours: 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily

Breakfast tacos are very, very, very important for those with early flights. Austin's favorite new-school taco chain has ’em, with favorites like the Otto and migas, plus salsa and its famous doña sauce. For quicker service, take advantage of the digital ordering kiosks.
Service Style: Takeout, dine-in
Location: Next to Gate 24
Hours: 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Annie’s Cafe in the Austin airport
Annie’s Cafe in the Austin airport
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport/Facebook

Peached Tortilla
The Eater 38 Southern-Asian fusion restaurant branched out with an airport location. On deck are morning-only breakfast tacos filled with eggs, brisket, and crispy pork belly, along with familiar, favorite dishes available throughout the day, like barbecue brisket or pad Thai tacos, banh mi bowls, that JapaJam burger, and bacon jam fries.
Service Style: Takeout, dine-in
Location: Gate 16
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

Annie’s Bar & Cafe
Even though the downtown Austin restaurant shut down in 2018, its spirit still lives on at the airport. The bistro serves sandwiches, burgers, and snacks for folks who seek something light. Plus, the to-go section is perfect for in-flight meals.
Service Style: Takeout, dine-in
Location: Between Gates 27 and 29
Hours: 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily

Amy’s Ice Creams
To satiate sweet urges, head to the airport location of the favorite local ice cream chain. Its signature Mexican vanilla ice cream is available, alongside an array of other flavors plus vegan options, smoothies, and to-go pints.
Service Style: Takeout, dine-in; online ordering is available
Location: Across from Gate 21
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays

Where to Grab Drinks:

Jo’s Coffee
The Austin cafe’s airport location features a strong menu of coffee drinks — including its sweet iced Turbo concoction — as well as breakfast tacos and pastries.
Service Style: Takeout
Location: Across from Gate 19
Hours: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Austin Beerdrop
The airport beer bar focuses on offerings from beloved local brewery Austin Beerworks, as well as other local and national breweries, in cans, bottles, and drafts.
Service Style: Dine-in
Location: Across from Gate 13
Hours: Not noted

Second Bar + Kitchen
There are now only two locations of the New American restaurant left in Austin after the original one closed last fall. This airport iteration is the best place for a good cocktail, from a Negroni to choose-your-own-spirit Painted Mule to a bloody mary. Food-wise, there’s a solid grab-and-go menu and a full menu.
Service Style: Takeout, dine-in; online ordering is available
Location: Between Gates 15 and 16
Hours: 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Austin Beerdrop at the Austin airport
Austin Beerdrop at the Austin airport
Cambrella Photography/Austin-Bergstrom International Airport/Facebook

Best Bets Outside Austin-Bergstrom International

(You’ll need at least three hours to get there, eat, and get back.)

Live Oak Brewing Company
Right across the street from the airport is Austin’s oldest brewery, brewing up German- and Czech-style beers, along with German food truck Black Forest. Take advantage of the spacious beer garden.
Service Style: On-site, to-go beer
Location: 1615 Crozier Lane, five minutes from the airport
Hours: noon to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Dan’s Hamburgers
Burgers in Austin should get more credit, and nobody argues about this longtime joint, with a convenient location in Govalle. If you’re in a pinch, the drive-thru is about the best you could ask for. Order that cheeseburger and spring for a side of spiced curly fries. Early birds can grab an omelet.
Service Style: Takeout, drive-thru, dine-in
Location: 844 Airport Boulevard, 13 minutes from the airport
Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

La Barbecue
The renowned smoked meats palace from LeAnn Mueller moved into a new forever-home on East Cesar Chavez this spring, bringing it that much closer to the airport for quality barbecue needs. The Holly restaurant serves up pounds of meat from brisket to turkey to sauces, alongside hot dogs, sandwiches, and sides. Those looking to bring back some Austin barbecue can also order deli meats, packaged whole briskets, and cold sausages. Bypass the long line by preordering ahead of time.
Service Style: Takeout, dine-in
Location: 2401 East Cesar Chavez Street, 13 minutes from the airport
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday

Live Oak Brewing Company
Live Oak Brewing Company
Live Oak Brewing Company/Facebook

Justine’s Brasserie
For a slightly fancier option, this French-inspired East Side classic is an easy cab ride away with nice outdoor seating, an excellent menu, and good drinks.
Service Style: Takeout, reservations-only dine-in
Location: 4710 East Fifth Street, nine minutes from the airport
Hours: 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Monday

Jacoby’s Restaurant and Mercantile
Ranch-to-table dining is made easier with the New Texan restaurant in Govalle, which sources all of its beef from the owner’s family farm out in Melvin. Nothing beats that view of the Colorado River.
Service Style: Takeout, dine-in
Location: 3235 East Cesar Chavez Street, 13 minutes from the airport
Hours: 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

Mad Greens [Airport]

3600 Presidential Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78719 Visit Website

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