Harry Styles is playing a whopping six nights of concerts in Austin beginning next week, which means the city will get to spend a lot of time with one of the world’s biggest pop stars — vice versa.
Styles’ shows at the relatively new Moody Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus on Robert Dedman Drive take place on Sunday and Monday, September 25 and 26; Wednesday and Thursday, September 28 and 29; and then Sunday and Monday, October 2 and 3. It also doesn’t hurt that he is also starring in the much-discussed film Don’t Worry Darling, which premieres in Austin this week. (Harry is also donating and sharing action items from gun safety nonprofit Everytown during the length of this Harry’s House/Love on Tour because of the Uvalde school shooting.)
With that, here is Eater Austin’s guide for the best eating and drinking in the city for Harry Styles fans, concert attendees, and Mr. Styles himself, all while supporting local restaurants, trucks, cafes, and bars
Where to Grab Coffee and Breakfast Tacos Before Standing in the 7 a.m. Pit Wristbands Lines
Harry fans are devoted enough for the Moody to ban overnight camping for attendees with general admission pit tickets. Instead, the lines for numbered wristbands are allowed to begin at 7 a.m., with the actual distribution happening at 9 a.m. for either the first 1,000 people or until 11 a.m. (whichever happens first), and then the official pit line begins at 4:30 p. m. for those with wristbands before the concert.
This means concert-goers will need coffee and breakfast tacos to overcome the inevitable chaos. For the best pit stop before arriving at the line, go to Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop (2305 East Seventh Street, Holly) for fantastic breakfast tacos, Mexican meals, and easy coffee. It opens at 6 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services, and takeout orders can be placed in person.
For a closer coffee spot on the other side of the I-35 highway, Bennu Coffee (2001 East Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Blackland) brews up cold and hot coffee and espresso drinks. It opens at 6 a.m. daily; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas; and takeout orders can be placed online.
And for another early morning breakfast taco spot also on the other side of the highway, head to taco truck and gas station restaurant El Xolo Tacos (1901 East Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Blackland). It opens at 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday, there are outdoor tables, and takeout orders can be placed in person.
Where to Grab Coffee and Food After the Pit Wristbands Lines
The best one-two coffee and taco combination after everyone secures their wristbands is taco restaurant Vaquero Taquero and on-site coffee trailer Square Peg Coffee (104 East 31st Street, North Campus). Vaquero Taquero opens at 7 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, and takeout orders can be placed online. Square Peg opens at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and takeout orders can be placed online.
And then, also, since you’re up already and you’re maybe not from Austin, you should get some barbecue. It’s worth going to the other side of the highway and standing in another line for the actually-worth-it award-winning Franklin Barbecue (900 East 11th Street, Central East Austin), which opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday, but yes, the line starts well before that hour. Otherwise, for less of a line-line thing, head a bit east to Micklethwait Craft Meats (1309 Rosewood Avenue, Central East Austin), which opens at 11 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. Online takeout orders are sometimes available.
Where to Eat and Drink Before the Concerts
Okay, now that you have secured pit wristbands or have already bought your tickets ahead of time, it’s time to fuel up before an evening of dancing and general funness. The line for the GA wristbands begins at 4:30 p.m and closes at 5:30 p.m., and doors open at 6:30 p.m. for all ticketholders. Here are your best dining bests, arranged by location:
West of Campus
For drinks: The longtime campus dive bar Hole in the Wall is legendary for good reason. Find beers, mixed drinks, and live music (Ethan Hawke is a fan). It’s open from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. (2538 Guadalupe Street, the Drag)
North of Campus
For beers, queso, and burgers: Dive restaurant Posse East is a chill place for food and drinks. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the kitchen serving from noon to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and then from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. (2900 Duval Street, North Campus)
Across the Highway/Central East Austin
For tacos: Food truck Cuantos Tacos is quite awesome. Its menu focuses on small Mexico City-style tacos, so get a bunch of ’em, but especially the cachete and champinones. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are outdoor dine-in areas. (1108 East 12th Street, Central East Austin)
For casual New Texan fare plus a great patio: The most casual of the Bryce Gilmore restaurants, Sour Duck Market makes for an easy dining destination, offering everything from daylong breakfast tacos, sandwiches, cocktails, and superb pastries. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday; and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Bonus: there’s 20 percent off entire orders from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. (1814 East Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Blackland)
For easy drinks: Nickel City is one of the best bars in town and has a drink for every taste. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. (1133 East 11th Street, Central East Austin)
Across the Highway/Cherrywood
For Southern fare: What sounds better than chicken fried steak and a beet margarita at Hoover’s Cooking? There are indoor dine-in services; takeout orders can be placed online. (2002 Manor Road, Cherrywood)
Where to Eat During the Concerts at Moody Center
Okay! Once everyone is settled into their places within the Moody Center by 8 p.m., ready for hours of Harry singing and dancing, you might want to eat and drink some more. Luckily, the arena sells food and beverages. Keep in mind that cash is not accepted; only Apple Pay, Google Play, and credit/debit cards are accepted. Also, alcohol sales end 30 minutes before the end of the show.
Koko’s Bavarian: It makes sense that the Bavarian prince-backed German restaurant in Austin would be at the arena: one of the venue partners is concert promotion company C3 Presents, and one of the restaurant’s partners is C3 co-founder Charles Attal. And in the Oktoberfest spirit, order the jalapeno-cheddar sausage paired with barbecue sauce. (Main concourse near section 123 and portal 13)
Tony C’s: The Austin mini-chain’s pizza offerings in Moody include an array of New York-style coal-fired slices from pepperoni to sausage to cheese. (Main concourse near section 114 and portal nine)
Big Chicken: The Moody Center contains the only Austin location of fast-casual chain restaurant Big Chicken, which is co-owned by basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, so maybe go with the MDE, the fried chicken sandwich with pickles and sauce. (Main concourse near sections 102 and 103 and portal two)
Dig Vegetarian Grill: Styles is pescatarian himself, so go the meatless route at the presumably house restaurant with the Impossible gyro made with vegan meat plus cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, greens, and tzatziki sauce in a pita. (Upper concourse near section 212 and portal 26)
Right On ‘Cue Tacos: It’s Austin, get tacos. This stand’s Buffalo chicken tacos made with blue cheese coleslaw and shaved celery/carrots will do the trick. (Upper concourse near section 220)
Gelato: It’s unclear where the frozen sweets are sourced but still, it fulfills those sweets-and-potentially-boozy needs. Order a scoop or go for the Lemon Drop made with lemon gelato plus Tito’s Vodka and Sprite. (Main concourse near section 104 and portal three)
Where to Eat and Drink After the Concerts
Everyone will be riled up after the show and there is one perfect place to go: Outer Heaven Disco Club for more dancing, drinking, and karaoke with the latter available from Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. (1808 East 12th Street, Central East Austin)
And then for late-night dining (and talking), head across the river to Rosita’s al Pastor for wonderful tacos (and yes, get the namesake one). It’s open until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. (1801 East Riverside Drive, Riverside)
Where to Eat in Austin Like a Harry Styles Song
Styles often makes food and drink references in his songs, so here’s a mini-guide on how to eat and drink like a Harry Styles song in Austin. After all, as he sings, “You got that something, I got me an appetite, now I can taste it.”
I don’t know if I could ever go without / Watermelon sugar / High
Tastes like strawberries / On a summer evenin’ / And it sounds just like a song / I want more berries / And that summer feelin’ / It’s so wonderful and warm
Fruits are lovely as Harry knows, and the best way to indulge in both watermelons and strawberries is through aguas frescas. For the best ones, head to any of the six restaurants/food truck locations of the perfect Veracruz All Natural. There’s a watermelon agua fresca, and a strawberry one, plus an array of smoothies using strawberries plus other fruits. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are usually indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. (multiple locations)
You’re wonder under summer skies (summer skies) / Brown skin and lemon over ice
Eater is choosing to interpret that line as shaved ices/sno-balls/etc. so head to Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs. There’s the regular pink lemonade and the chile con limon topping. (808 East 51st Street, North Loop)
I don’t want to fight you / And I don’t wanna sleep in the dirt / We’ll get the drinks in / So I’ll get to thinking of her
Harry is a tequila fan, so he and other quality drinks fans will find a wide span of excellent cocktails made with the agave spirit at the very nice bar Roosevelt Room, and yes there’s an actually great Long Island Iced Tea. (307 West Fifth Street, Downtown)
[Harry never says the word “cherry” in the song, but hey, it’s in the title!]
For sweet cherry-filled pastries, Quack’s 43rd St. Bakery has cherry danishes and cherry pies. (411 East 43rd Street, Hyde Park)
You can throw a party full of everyone you know
Another song that doesn’t actually reference food but Styles has said it was partially based on the book and movie of the same name and also there’s that party line. So in honor of that and the very epic and ultimately triumphant chocolate cake scene, Paper Route Bakery’s slice of Chocolate Fainting Couch cake fits the bill. (1010 East Cesar Chavez Street, East Austin)
And he’s thinking of you / Like all of us do / Sends his assistant for coffee in the afternoon / Around 1:32 / Like he knows what to do
Austin’s coffee scene is great, and stopping by Fleet Coffee and/or Patika will fulfill those well-crafted caffeine needs. (Fleet: 2427 Webberville Road, East Austin; Patika: 2159 South Lamar Boulevard, South Lamar)
Did you dress up for Halloween? / I spilled beer on your friend, I’m not sorry
Tracksuit and a ponytail/ You hide the body all that yoga gave you / Red wine and a ginger ale / But you would make fun of me, for sure
For a casual dive-ish bar that would serve decent red wine, good beer, and plain ol’ ginger ale, go to Nickel City. (1133 East 11th Street, Central East Austin)
You’d be the spoon / Dip you in honey so I could be sticking to you
Maple syrup, coffee / Pancakes for two / Hash brown, egg yolk / I will always love you
The great and casual Better Half’s brunch fits the bill of this song with its strawberry-laden sourdough pancakes, hashbrown-lined breakfast sandwiches, and wonderful coffee. Takeout orders can be placed online. (406 Walsh Street, West Austin)
There’s just no gettin’ through / The grape juice blues
“Music for a Sushi Restaurant”
Green eyes, fried rice / I could cook an egg on you
Excuse me, green tea / Music for a sushi restaurant / From ice on rice
So many food references! The best easy sushi restaurant in Austin is Kome, which is thankfully reopened for dine-in services and serves up eggs (tamago, dishes with quail eggs and onsen eggs), rice, green tea drinks, and obviously sushi. (5301 Airport Boulevard, North Loop)
I just think you’re cool / I dig your cinema / Do you think I’m cool, too? / Or am I too into you?
“Late Night Talking”
We’ve been doin’ all this late night talkin’ / ’Bout anythin’ you want until the mornin’ / Now you’re in my life / I can’t get you off my mind
The music video features Harry eating and being fed spaghetti and meatballs, so obviously go to the Italian truck Patrizi’s for pasta plus great meatballs, plus look out for the two wandering cats. Takeout orders can be placed online. (2307 Manor Road, Cherrywood)
Where Eater Austin Thinks Harry Styles Should Eat in Austin
Harry is performing for six nights, which means he’ll be in Austin for just over a week. This means he’ll have to eat, and Eater is hoping he’ll eat and support local restaurants (please don’t go to that one restaurant seemingly every celebrity goes to). Here are some great recommendations for you, Mr. Styles.
Since Harry is pescatarian and has good taste in most things, he should head to Mexican restaurant Nixta Taqueria. The tacos are fantastic, and James Beard Award-winning chef Edgar Rico does magical things with his vegetable-based dishes (the seasonal green beans are wonderful) and there is a lovely accompanying wine list. (2512 East 12th Street, Chestnut)
Likewise, Harry, you’re in Texas, and you need to have migas tacos, and the best iteration of this can be found at Veracruz All Natural. And luckily for you, there are six locations throughout the city! And you can place online orders! (multiple locations)
And that’s the end of Eater Austin’s guide to fans of Harry Styles, attendees of the concerts, and Harry himself. And please, this writer’s personal hope is that maybe he’ll play “From the Dining Table” and also play his cover of (also amazing band) Wet Leg’s “Wet Dream.”