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Pasta from L’Oca d’Oro.
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Where to Eat in Austin to Avoid SXSW Madness

Dine well while dodging the festival

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Pasta from L’Oca d’Oro.
| L’Oca d’Oro/Facebook

In March, South by Southwest (SXSW) will consume the city, to the adoration or irritation of Austin residents. What everyone can agree on is that dining out anywhere near the downtown epicenter is basically impossible. Here is Eater’s updated guide with restaurant suggestions outside of the city’s crowded, very-branded centers (downtown, east side, Rainey, South Lamar, South Congress), offering great meals without the hassle.

If you’ve got friends in town for the conference asking you “Where should I eat now?” direct them to Eater’s SXSW guides for more dining and drinking ideas.

For other dining suggestions, look to the Eater Austin 38 essential restaurants and the heatmap.

As with all businesses right now, be sure to call ahead to make sure each restaurant is still open or if there are updates on current offerings and service models, as things are changing constantly. Be sure to wear a mask, tip well, and, if you’re ordering delivery, try to order directly from the restaurants themselves.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Carnitas El Guero

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8624 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78753
(512) 814-9055

This taco shop is known for its flavorful carnitas, which are served in fluffy tortillas.

2. Barley Swine

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6555 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78757

Try Bryce Gilmore’s true Texas dishes at the Brentwood restaurant, which has both tasting and a la carte menus, along with a full bar. Don’t skip the desserts, either.

Barley Swine
Barley Swine
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

3. The Peached Tortilla

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5520 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78727
(512) 222-8781
Visit Website

The restaurant outpost of this beloved food truck features a full bar and expanded menu of Asian-Southern fusion dishes.

Ramen from Peached Tortilla
Ramen from Peached Tortilla
Peached Tortilla/Facebook

4. Epicerie

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2307 Hancock Dr
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 371-6840

Epicerie is a grocery/cafe in Rosedale, selling artisan goods and handmade breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner from a French-inspired Cajun menu. Order the beignets.

5. Quality Seafood

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5621 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 454-5827

Quality Seafood is known city-wide for its fresh sea fare, whether you’re looking for a take-home tuna steak or a dine-in po’ boy, fish taco, or fried catfish. Stay a while and grab a cold beer, too.

Quality Seafood
Quality Seafood
Raymond Thompson/EATX

6. Foreign & Domestic

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306 E 53rd St
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 459-1010
Visit Website

This chef-owned restaurant in North Loop is home to farm-fresh local produce, a killer burger, and fun dishes like light Parisian gnocchi. It also offers a nose-to-tail prix fixe menu for adventurous diners.

7. L'Oca D'Oro

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1900 Simond Ave
Austin, TX 78723
(737) 212-1876
Visit Website

This humble Italian charmer in the Mueller development has become a stable for Italian fare for good reason. Its straightforward and thoughtful approach to rustic cuisine allow simple ingredients to shine.

L’Oca D’Oro
L’Oca D’Oro
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

8. Hoover's Cooking

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2002 Manor Rd.
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 479-5006
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Soothe your SXSW-addled psyche with some of Austin’s best Southern and soul food at Manor Road restaurant Hoover’s. Chicken fried steak solves everything, right?

9. Aviary Wine & Kitchen

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2210 South lamar
Austin, TX 78704

The South Lamar wine restaurant is an ideal spot to spend a calm afternoon with friends, a bottle of wine, and a rotating selection of cheese and charcuterie.

Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

10. Abby Jane Bakeshop

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16604 Fitzhugh Rd Unit C
Dripping Springs, TX 78620
(512) 383-5923
Visit Website

Go for full peace and quiet at this bakeshop in Dripping Springs, which offers breads, cakes, croissants, all made with Barton Springs Mill flours. Abby Jane also offers sandwiches, picnic-ready sides, and beer and wine on tap, as well as a shaded picnic tables for eating outside.

Pastries from Abby Jane Bakeshop
Pastries from Abby Jane Bakeshop
Abby Jane Bakeshop [Official]

11. Papalote Taco House

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2803 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 804-2474
Visit Website

The stellar taco spot is far enough south that few will venture down that far. It has great tacos, and a liquor license. For those staying north of the river, there is a second location, too.

12. Jack Allen's Kitchen

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7720 W Highway 71
Austin, TX 78735
(512) 852-8558

Chef Jack Gilmore’s locally sourced, Southern-inspired restaurant mini-chain Jack Allen’s Kitchen is a great destination for a lively, filling meal without the downtown mess. There are also locations out in Round Rock, 360, and West Anderson Lane.

Jack Allen’s Kitchen
Jack Allen’s Kitchen
Raymond Thompson

13. Radio Coffee & Beer

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4204 Menchaca Rd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 394-7844
Visit Website

Looking to grab a casual coffee or beer while surrounded by some of Austin’s best food trucks? Radio’s patio is a great place to enjoy the spring sunshine, whether to work, relax, or enjoy some tacos (Veracruz), Thai (Dee Dee), or brisket biscuits (Briscuits).

14. Sichuan River

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4534 West Gate Blvd
Austin, TX 78745
(512) 892-6699
Visit Website

Craving Chinese? Try Sichuan River’s take way off the normal beaten path in Westgate.

15. Pieous

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166 Hargraves Dr h
Austin, TX 78737
(512) 394-7041
Visit Website

Take a wander out in the southwesterly direction to Pieous in Belterra Village, which specializes in Neapolitan pizza, house-cured pastrami, and absurdly large cookies and other sweets. It also has beer and wine on tap.

16. Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

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11500 Manchaca Rd
Austin, TX 78745
(512) 221-4248
Visit Website

Barbecue and Tex-Mex combine at this highly acclaimed far south barbecue and taco truck, which boasts massive tacos including the popular Real Deal Holyfield with a fried egg, potatoes, refried beans, bacon, and brisket.

A tray of six tacos with a slice of brisket and fried eggs.
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ. [Photo: Nick Solares/E]
Nick Solares/E

1. Carnitas El Guero

8624 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753

This taco shop is known for its flavorful carnitas, which are served in fluffy tortillas.

8624 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78753

2. Barley Swine

6555 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757
Barley Swine
Barley Swine
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Try Bryce Gilmore’s true Texas dishes at the Brentwood restaurant, which has both tasting and a la carte menus, along with a full bar. Don’t skip the desserts, either.

6555 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78757

3. The Peached Tortilla

5520 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78727
Ramen from Peached Tortilla
Ramen from Peached Tortilla
Peached Tortilla/Facebook

The restaurant outpost of this beloved food truck features a full bar and expanded menu of Asian-Southern fusion dishes.

5520 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78727

4. Epicerie

2307 Hancock Dr, Austin, TX 78756

Epicerie is a grocery/cafe in Rosedale, selling artisan goods and handmade breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner from a French-inspired Cajun menu. Order the beignets.

2307 Hancock Dr
Austin, TX 78756

5. Quality Seafood

5621 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751
Quality Seafood
Quality Seafood
Raymond Thompson/EATX

Quality Seafood is known city-wide for its fresh sea fare, whether you’re looking for a take-home tuna steak or a dine-in po’ boy, fish taco, or fried catfish. Stay a while and grab a cold beer, too.

5621 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78751

6. Foreign & Domestic

306 E 53rd St, Austin, TX 78751

This chef-owned restaurant in North Loop is home to farm-fresh local produce, a killer burger, and fun dishes like light Parisian gnocchi. It also offers a nose-to-tail prix fixe menu for adventurous diners.

306 E 53rd St
Austin, TX 78751

7. L'Oca D'Oro

1900 Simond Ave, Austin, TX 78723
L’Oca D’Oro
L’Oca D’Oro
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

This humble Italian charmer in the Mueller development has become a stable for Italian fare for good reason. Its straightforward and thoughtful approach to rustic cuisine allow simple ingredients to shine.

1900 Simond Ave
Austin, TX 78723

8. Hoover's Cooking

2002 Manor Rd., Austin, TX 78722

Soothe your SXSW-addled psyche with some of Austin’s best Southern and soul food at Manor Road restaurant Hoover’s. Chicken fried steak solves everything, right?

2002 Manor Rd.
Austin, TX 78722

9. Aviary Wine & Kitchen

2210 South lamar, Austin, TX 78704
Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

The South Lamar wine restaurant is an ideal spot to spend a calm afternoon with friends, a bottle of wine, and a rotating selection of cheese and charcuterie.

2210 South lamar
Austin, TX 78704

10. Abby Jane Bakeshop

16604 Fitzhugh Rd Unit C, Dripping Springs, TX 78620
Pastries from Abby Jane Bakeshop
Pastries from Abby Jane Bakeshop
Abby Jane Bakeshop [Official]

Go for full peace and quiet at this bakeshop in Dripping Springs, which offers breads, cakes, croissants, all made with Barton Springs Mill flours. Abby Jane also offers sandwiches, picnic-ready sides, and beer and wine on tap, as well as a shaded picnic tables for eating outside.

16604 Fitzhugh Rd Unit C
Dripping Springs, TX 78620

11. Papalote Taco House

2803 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

The stellar taco spot is far enough south that few will venture down that far. It has great tacos, and a liquor license. For those staying north of the river, there is a second location, too.

2803 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

12. Jack Allen's Kitchen

7720 W Highway 71, Austin, TX 78735
Jack Allen’s Kitchen
Jack Allen’s Kitchen
Raymond Thompson

Chef Jack Gilmore’s locally sourced, Southern-inspired restaurant mini-chain Jack Allen’s Kitchen is a great destination for a lively, filling meal without the downtown mess. There are also locations out in Round Rock, 360, and West Anderson Lane.

7720 W Highway 71
Austin, TX 78735

13. Radio Coffee & Beer

4204 Menchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Looking to grab a casual coffee or beer while surrounded by some of Austin’s best food trucks? Radio’s patio is a great place to enjoy the spring sunshine, whether to work, relax, or enjoy some tacos (Veracruz), Thai (Dee Dee), or brisket biscuits (Briscuits).

4204 Menchaca Rd
Austin, TX 78704

14. Sichuan River

4534 West Gate Blvd, Austin, TX 78745

Craving Chinese? Try Sichuan River’s take way off the normal beaten path in Westgate.

4534 West Gate Blvd
Austin, TX 78745

15. Pieous

166 Hargraves Dr h, Austin, TX 78737

Take a wander out in the southwesterly direction to Pieous in Belterra Village, which specializes in Neapolitan pizza, house-cured pastrami, and absurdly large cookies and other sweets. It also has beer and wine on tap.

166 Hargraves Dr h
Austin, TX 78737

Related Maps

16. Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

11500 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78745
A tray of six tacos with a slice of brisket and fried eggs.
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ. [Photo: Nick Solares/E]
Nick Solares/E

Barbecue and Tex-Mex combine at this highly acclaimed far south barbecue and taco truck, which boasts massive tacos including the popular Real Deal Holyfield with a fried egg, potatoes, refried beans, bacon, and brisket.

11500 Manchaca Rd
Austin, TX 78745

Related Maps