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A burger, fries, and blue container drink.
Burger, fries, and a drink from P. Terry’s.
P. Terry’s

15 Quintessential Austin Drive-Thrus

Where to eat well while staying in your car

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Burger, fries, and a drink from P. Terry’s.
| P. Terry’s

Forget those national fast food chain drive-thrus. Austin is chock full of local restaurants offering grub without the unbearable act of leaving your car. Some are classic city landmarks, like Sandy’s Hamburgers and drive-in Top Notch (though, yes, a drive-in, but still), which was lovingly featured in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, while others are bucking the idea of what a typical drive-thru should offer, such as salad joint Baby Greens or the wood-grilled whole chickens offered at Fresa’s. With that, here are the best drive-thru restaurants and mini-chains found in Austin for quick-and-easy casual meals.

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.

Baby Greens

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Yes, you can really get a made-to-order salad in a drive-thru. The Gateway neighborhood restaurant aims to change the meaning of fast food with its take on vibrant wraps and salads. Takeout orders can be placed online.

ThunderCloud Subs

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Although there are locations of the Austin chain all over the city, only two drive-thrus are left, this one and the other on Burnet. Get those California Club or Meatball sandwiches from the comfort of your own car. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Torchy's Tacos

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Only one of the popular Austin-born, now-national taco chain is a drive-thru, and that’s on Spicewood Springs Road. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Sorrento's Coffee Drive-Thru

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Get buzzed in your car at this West Anderson Lane coffee drive-thru. In addition to the usual caffeine options, there are also local pastries, kolaches, and breakfast tacos. 

Top Notch Hamburgers

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Okay, technically you’re driving through after a carhop brings your meal to your car, so we’re counting this North Austin classic. Known for its charcoal flamed burgers and fried chicken and shrimp, a stop at Top Notch also isn’t complete without a fried pie. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Buddy's Burger

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Classic burgers, shakes, and fresh, hand-squeezed lemonades can be found at this North Austin drive-thru and dine-in burger joint. 

Hat Creek Burger Company

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With eight Austin-area drive-thrus, Hat Creek Burger Company has come a long way since opening as a food truck in 2008. Now all over Texas, it’s easier than ever to get that Big Hat double-patty burger fill. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Dan's Hamburgers

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Operating since 1973, there are four locations of the longtime fast-food restaurant in town, but only the Menchaca Road location has a drive-thru. 

Hank's Austin

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It’s hard to believe this very aesthetically minded hotspot has a drive-thru, but it’s true. Open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., you can swing through and pick up avocado toast, lattes, or kale salads. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Fresa's

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While the South First location of the fast-casual Mexican restaurant is dine-in, the original downtown spot offers walk-up and drive-thru options for tasty quarter, half, or whole wood-grilled chickens served with charro beans and Mexican rice. Tacos, bowls, salads, and grilled vegetable sides are also available. Takeout orders can be placed online.

P. Terry's

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One of Austin’s most prolific drive-thru chains, P. Terry’s is known for its fresh, all-natural ingredients and philanthropic mission. Now with locations in Georgetown down to San Antonio and 16 Austin drive-thrus, it’s easier than ever to get those burgers. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Flyrite Chicken Sandwiches

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For delicious fried chicken sandwiches, swing by the fried chicken sandwich spot with two drive-thru locations (the other on North Burnet (and one non-drive-thru at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport). 

Sandy's Hamburgers

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This Barton Springs staple is a classic for a reason. Besides thin patty burgers and hot dogs, the 1946 burger stand serves malts, shakes, ice cream sundaes, and dipped cones, which are perfect for a post-pool dip. 

El Tacorrido

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Austin is well attended-to with four locations of the taco drive-thru mini-chain. While some of the menu offerings vary from address to address, expect breakfast all day, tacos, and plenty of veggie-friendly options from all four. Don’t skip the El Equinox, a shot of espresso mixed with horchata.

Taco Ranch

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Owned by the folks behind P. Terry’s, this Sunset Valley drive-thru is a throwback to taco stands of the 1960s with a small menu and simple but fresh ingredients. 

Baby Greens

Yes, you can really get a made-to-order salad in a drive-thru. The Gateway neighborhood restaurant aims to change the meaning of fast food with its take on vibrant wraps and salads. Takeout orders can be placed online.

ThunderCloud Subs

Although there are locations of the Austin chain all over the city, only two drive-thrus are left, this one and the other on Burnet. Get those California Club or Meatball sandwiches from the comfort of your own car. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Torchy's Tacos

Only one of the popular Austin-born, now-national taco chain is a drive-thru, and that’s on Spicewood Springs Road. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Sorrento's Coffee Drive-Thru

Get buzzed in your car at this West Anderson Lane coffee drive-thru. In addition to the usual caffeine options, there are also local pastries, kolaches, and breakfast tacos. 

Top Notch Hamburgers

Okay, technically you’re driving through after a carhop brings your meal to your car, so we’re counting this North Austin classic. Known for its charcoal flamed burgers and fried chicken and shrimp, a stop at Top Notch also isn’t complete without a fried pie. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Buddy's Burger

Classic burgers, shakes, and fresh, hand-squeezed lemonades can be found at this North Austin drive-thru and dine-in burger joint. 

Hat Creek Burger Company

With eight Austin-area drive-thrus, Hat Creek Burger Company has come a long way since opening as a food truck in 2008. Now all over Texas, it’s easier than ever to get that Big Hat double-patty burger fill. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Dan's Hamburgers

Operating since 1973, there are four locations of the longtime fast-food restaurant in town, but only the Menchaca Road location has a drive-thru. 

Hank's Austin

It’s hard to believe this very aesthetically minded hotspot has a drive-thru, but it’s true. Open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., you can swing through and pick up avocado toast, lattes, or kale salads. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Fresa's

While the South First location of the fast-casual Mexican restaurant is dine-in, the original downtown spot offers walk-up and drive-thru options for tasty quarter, half, or whole wood-grilled chickens served with charro beans and Mexican rice. Tacos, bowls, salads, and grilled vegetable sides are also available. Takeout orders can be placed online.

P. Terry's

One of Austin’s most prolific drive-thru chains, P. Terry’s is known for its fresh, all-natural ingredients and philanthropic mission. Now with locations in Georgetown down to San Antonio and 16 Austin drive-thrus, it’s easier than ever to get those burgers. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Flyrite Chicken Sandwiches

For delicious fried chicken sandwiches, swing by the fried chicken sandwich spot with two drive-thru locations (the other on North Burnet (and one non-drive-thru at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport). 

Sandy's Hamburgers

This Barton Springs staple is a classic for a reason. Besides thin patty burgers and hot dogs, the 1946 burger stand serves malts, shakes, ice cream sundaes, and dipped cones, which are perfect for a post-pool dip. 

El Tacorrido

Austin is well attended-to with four locations of the taco drive-thru mini-chain. While some of the menu offerings vary from address to address, expect breakfast all day, tacos, and plenty of veggie-friendly options from all four. Don’t skip the El Equinox, a shot of espresso mixed with horchata.

Taco Ranch

Owned by the folks behind P. Terry’s, this Sunset Valley drive-thru is a throwback to taco stands of the 1960s with a small menu and simple but fresh ingredients. 

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