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Donburi from Don Japanese Kitchen
Donburi from Don Japanese Kitchen
Don Japanese Kitchen/Facebook

Where to Eat Lunch Near the UT Campus

Where students and the like can find everything from tacos to Japanese to Ethiopian to Indian

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Donburi from Don Japanese Kitchen
| Don Japanese Kitchen/Facebook

Lunching around University of Texas Austin’s campus comes with exciting plentiful midday choices. It makes it easier and more enticing to duck out of the office for a daytime meal or a quick stopover between classes, with options from pizza to sandwiches to sushi to barbecue.

With that, Eater put together its top 15 picks to hit up when that peanut butter and jelly sandwich from home just isn’t going to cut it. This means loaded tacos from Taco Joint, classic sandwiches from Fricano's, Ethiopian feasts from Aster’s, group lunches at Hoover’s, and more. This updates include Cava and Sour Duck Market.

For other campus eating and drinking ideas, check out Eater’s complete dining guide for the UT campus, as well as the dedicated neighborhood map covering West and North Campus. Then, for more lunch needs, scope out guides to downtown Austin, East Side, North Austin, and lunch specials.

If a favorite campus-area lunch spot is missing, let Eater know through the tipline or within the comments.

With updates by Nadia Chaudhury.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Hopfields

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3110 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 537-0467
Visit Website

This North Campus gastropub is frequently packed to the gills in the evening, full of people enjoying the myriad fancy beers on tap. But it’s also an excellent choice for an intimate lunch with top-rate dishes like salad nicoise or steak frites.

A plate of salad with sliced baby tomatoes, chopped hard boil eggs, lettuce, bacon, beans, and more.
A salad from Hopfields
Hopfields/Facebook

2. Via 313

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3016 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705

A thick pizza pie will do the trick during the midday hours, especially when it comes from the experts over at Via 313.

Via 313’s pepperoni pizza
Via 313’s pepperoni pizza
Via 313/Facebook

3. Crown & Anchor Pub

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2911 San Jacinto Blvd
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 322-9168
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Extend that lunch hour a bit with a burger or a chili cheese dog and a couple of rounds of darts at the pub. Maybe save the beer for later.

Crown & Anchor Pub
Crown & Anchor Pub
Crown & Anchor Pub/Facebook

4. Taco Joint

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2807 San Jacinto Blvd
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 473-8223
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Renowned among the law school set for its reasonably priced and overstuffed tacos, Taco Joint offers traditional breakfast tacos in the morning, then tortas and tacos like the El 4/20 with steak and shoestring potatoes.

5. Cava

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2426 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 215-4003
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The fast-casual Mediterranean chain offers up quick, easy, and good customizable pitas or grain/green bowls, anchored with falafel, spicy lamb meatballs, braised lamp, etc. and amped up with all sorts of toppings and spreads.

A dish from Cava
A dish from Cava
Cava [Official]

6. Fricano's Deli & Catering

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2405 Nueces St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 482-3322
Visit Website

What’s not to love about the giant deli classics on offer here? Keep it simple with the turkey special, go classic with a Reuben, or get inventive with the Flyin’ Hawaiian. No matter what, don’t forget the black and white cookie.

A pile of sandwiches
A tray of sandwiches from Fricano’s
Fricano’s Deli/Facebook

7. Aster's Ethiopian Restaurant

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2804 N Interstate 35
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 469-5966
Visit Website

One of the few Ethiopian restaurants in town, Aster’s offers an affordable way to explore this underrepresented-in-Austin African cuisine, with ample meat and vegetarian offerings.

8. Hoover's Cooking

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2002 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 479-5006
Visit Website

Yes, the Southern restaurant is across the highway, but this is a great option for a group lunch; Hoover Alexander’s food practically demands social group dining. Those who want to eat light can opt for spinach salad, while those who are looking for something heavier can go for the “Hoover-sized” chicken fried steak with large sides of mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. Split a piece of banana pudding cheesecake to end things on a sweet note.

Meats and sides from Hoover’s Cooking
Meats and sides from Hoover’s Cooking
Hoover’s/Facebook

9. Teji's Indian Restaurant

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2100B Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 215-0307
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Part Indian grocery, part restaurant, Teji’s has been quietly filling the South Asian cravings of campus denizens since 2013. The biryanis are fresh and abundant, but be sure to try the lamb vindaloo with cherry naan.

10. Gabriel's Cafe

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1900 University Ave
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 404-3654
Visit Website

If you’re looking for something a little more casual that isn’t a chain on the Drag, this cafe in the AT&T Conference Center offers fancy nachos, soups and salads, and a wide-ranging sandwich menu that runs the gamut from smoked salmon/lettuce/tomatoes to mushroom banh mi.

A sandwich from Gabriel’s Cafe
A sandwich from Gabriel’s Cafe
Gabriel’s Cafe [Official

11. The Carillon

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1900 University Ave
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 404-3655
Visit Website

This is the place to go for lunch if the boss is paying. Sure, it’s a buffet in the AT&T Conference Center, but it consists of thoughtfully prepared and expertly seasoned dishes. There’s a salad bar groaning with fresh vegetables, a soup bar with accompanying thick slices of fresh bread, hot pizza, and, if you’re lucky, bread pudding with salted caramel sauce. You can probably kiss afternoon productivity goodbye, though.

Pouring the coconut lobster bisque at The Carillon
Pouring the coconut lobster bisque at The Carillon
The Carillon/Facebook

12. Sour Duck Market

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1814 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 394-5776
Visit Website

Another east-of-the-highway option, the all-day beer garden vibes of Bryce Gilmore’s Sour Duck Market make for a pleasant campus escape. There are expertly made sandwiches, salads, and snacks (don’t miss out on the burger), as well as beautifully decadent pastries.

The food array from Sour Duck Market
The food array from Sour Duck Market
Courtney Pierce/EATX

13. Sushi Junai

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1612 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 322-2428

There’s a sushi boomlet near campus, but this is the only spot offering an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet alongside the a la carte menu.

14. Clay Pit Contemporary Indian Cuisine

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1601 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 322-5131
Visit Website

The buffet is a popular choice for campus folks and downtown workers who want relatively fast, fresh Indian food. Ten bucks will fill you up and get you back into your office inside of an hour.

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1. Hopfields

3110 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705
A plate of salad with sliced baby tomatoes, chopped hard boil eggs, lettuce, bacon, beans, and more.
A salad from Hopfields
Hopfields/Facebook

This North Campus gastropub is frequently packed to the gills in the evening, full of people enjoying the myriad fancy beers on tap. But it’s also an excellent choice for an intimate lunch with top-rate dishes like salad nicoise or steak frites.

3110 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705

2. Via 313

3016 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705
Via 313’s pepperoni pizza
Via 313’s pepperoni pizza
Via 313/Facebook

A thick pizza pie will do the trick during the midday hours, especially when it comes from the experts over at Via 313.

3016 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705

3. Crown & Anchor Pub

2911 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78705
Crown & Anchor Pub
Crown & Anchor Pub
Crown & Anchor Pub/Facebook

Extend that lunch hour a bit with a burger or a chili cheese dog and a couple of rounds of darts at the pub. Maybe save the beer for later.

2911 San Jacinto Blvd
Austin, TX 78705

4. Taco Joint

2807 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78705

Renowned among the law school set for its reasonably priced and overstuffed tacos, Taco Joint offers traditional breakfast tacos in the morning, then tortas and tacos like the El 4/20 with steak and shoestring potatoes.

2807 San Jacinto Blvd
Austin, TX 78705

5. Cava

2426 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705
A dish from Cava
A dish from Cava
Cava [Official]

The fast-casual Mediterranean chain offers up quick, easy, and good customizable pitas or grain/green bowls, anchored with falafel, spicy lamb meatballs, braised lamp, etc. and amped up with all sorts of toppings and spreads.

2426 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705

6. Fricano's Deli & Catering

2405 Nueces St, Austin, TX 78705
A pile of sandwiches
A tray of sandwiches from Fricano’s
Fricano’s Deli/Facebook

What’s not to love about the giant deli classics on offer here? Keep it simple with the turkey special, go classic with a Reuben, or get inventive with the Flyin’ Hawaiian. No matter what, don’t forget the black and white cookie.

2405 Nueces St
Austin, TX 78705

7. Aster's Ethiopian Restaurant

2804 N Interstate 35, Austin, TX 78705

One of the few Ethiopian restaurants in town, Aster’s offers an affordable way to explore this underrepresented-in-Austin African cuisine, with ample meat and vegetarian offerings.

2804 N Interstate 35
Austin, TX 78705

8. Hoover's Cooking

2002 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722
Meats and sides from Hoover’s Cooking
Meats and sides from Hoover’s Cooking
Hoover’s/Facebook

Yes, the Southern restaurant is across the highway, but this is a great option for a group lunch; Hoover Alexander’s food practically demands social group dining. Those who want to eat light can opt for spinach salad, while those who are looking for something heavier can go for the “Hoover-sized” chicken fried steak with large sides of mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. Split a piece of banana pudding cheesecake to end things on a sweet note.

2002 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722

9. Teji's Indian Restaurant

2100B Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

Part Indian grocery, part restaurant, Teji’s has been quietly filling the South Asian cravings of campus denizens since 2013. The biryanis are fresh and abundant, but be sure to try the lamb vindaloo with cherry naan.

2100B Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705

10. Gabriel's Cafe

1900 University Ave, Austin, TX 78705
A sandwich from Gabriel’s Cafe
A sandwich from Gabriel’s Cafe
Gabriel’s Cafe [Official

If you’re looking for something a little more casual that isn’t a chain on the Drag, this cafe in the AT&T Conference Center offers fancy nachos, soups and salads, and a wide-ranging sandwich menu that runs the gamut from smoked salmon/lettuce/tomatoes to mushroom banh mi.

1900 University Ave
Austin, TX 78705

11. The Carillon

1900 University Ave, Austin, TX 78705
Pouring the coconut lobster bisque at The Carillon
Pouring the coconut lobster bisque at The Carillon
The Carillon/Facebook

This is the place to go for lunch if the boss is paying. Sure, it’s a buffet in the AT&T Conference Center, but it consists of thoughtfully prepared and expertly seasoned dishes. There’s a salad bar groaning with fresh vegetables, a soup bar with accompanying thick slices of fresh bread, hot pizza, and, if you’re lucky, bread pudding with salted caramel sauce. You can probably kiss afternoon productivity goodbye, though.

1900 University Ave
Austin, TX 78705

12. Sour Duck Market

1814 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78702
The food array from Sour Duck Market
The food array from Sour Duck Market
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Another east-of-the-highway option, the all-day beer garden vibes of Bryce Gilmore’s Sour Duck Market make for a pleasant campus escape. There are expertly made sandwiches, salads, and snacks (don’t miss out on the burger), as well as beautifully decadent pastries.

1814 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Austin, TX 78702

13. Sushi Junai

1612 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701

There’s a sushi boomlet near campus, but this is the only spot offering an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet alongside the a la carte menu.

1612 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

14. Clay Pit Contemporary Indian Cuisine

1601 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78701

The buffet is a popular choice for campus folks and downtown workers who want relatively fast, fresh Indian food. Ten bucks will fill you up and get you back into your office inside of an hour.

1601 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78701

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