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Where to Eat When You Should Have Eaten Two Hours Ago at SXSW

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Hunger forces people to make bad decisions during SXSW. Despite the fact that great food options abound in Austin, when the starving mania takes hold, all bets are off. But don't walk into that PF Chang's. Consult this helpful map of the best bets for quick, satisfying SXSW eats.

A general note: this map is not exhaustive, nor is everything here a peak culinary experience. If you're starving and desperate, probably you are looking for food not at a traditional meal time. Usually packed locations like SouthBites might be doable. Also, don't listen to your desperate gut begging you to walk into the nearest convention restaurant. Down that free Kind Bar (everyone has a free Kind Bar), gird your loins, and cross either Congress or I-35 for less packed, and much more palatable, options.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

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This is their first SXSW rodeo, so Eater cannot vouch for their ability to handle the crowds. But for quick, cheap, delicious options close to the convention center, Gus's is hard to beat. Special SXSW hours: 10:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Royal Blue Grocery

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[Photo: Lauren B./Yelp]

Frank Restaurant

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Quirky and classic sausages, waffle fries, and surprisingly delicious cocktails will set you right. Right in the heart of the madness, so there will probably be a line, but they will feed you fast once you're in.

Daily Juice

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[Photo: Sonnia T/Yelp]

Hut's Hamburgers

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Wandering West 6th aimlessly looking for somewhere cheap and quick to eat? Hit this classic burger beacon & get the onion rings.

Whole Foods Market

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Want to experience Austin like a local? Eat at Whole Foods. No joke, this is the quick, cheap-ish go-to for starving Austinites.

Easy Tiger

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This bakery and beer garden promises to be packed, but for quick, high-quality eats it doesn't get much better.

Koriente Restaurant

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Rice bowls and vegetarian-friendly offerings abound at this little restaurant tucked away on East 7th. They will be unusually busy during SXSW, but lots of folks won't know to venture onto 7th.

The Hightower

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This super-new restaurant is doing lunch for the first time, which should mean it will be an approachable option for a midday meal. Their menu focuses on affordable new American.

hay elotes

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This tiny shop serves up Mexican-style fruit cups, ice cream, and elotes, a street snack that they make with legit Mexican corn. The proprietors are very friendly, too.

Taqueria Chapala

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[Photo: Alexandra L/Yelp]

Rio's Brazilian Café

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This lovely Brazilian restaurant features quick bites and more significant entrees, plus several sake-based tropical cocktails. Not far from the action and totally under the radar.

East End Wines

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Drink a bottle of wine bought at retail prices and enjoy local favorite trailer food al fresco at 3 Little Pigs.

Austin Daily Press

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This brick and mortar location of a popular sandwich truck is off the festival track while not being too terribly far from East Side music venues.

Vespaio

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This Italian restaurant and its more casual sister Enoteca tend to be one of the quieter places to grab a meal on South Congress. It's an Austin classic, too.

Rosita's Al Pastor

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[Photo: Juliana G./Yelp]

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Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

This is their first SXSW rodeo, so Eater cannot vouch for their ability to handle the crowds. But for quick, cheap, delicious options close to the convention center, Gus's is hard to beat. Special SXSW hours: 10:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Royal Blue Grocery

[Photo: Lauren B./Yelp]

Frank Restaurant

Quirky and classic sausages, waffle fries, and surprisingly delicious cocktails will set you right. Right in the heart of the madness, so there will probably be a line, but they will feed you fast once you're in.

Daily Juice

[Photo: Sonnia T/Yelp]

Hut's Hamburgers

Wandering West 6th aimlessly looking for somewhere cheap and quick to eat? Hit this classic burger beacon & get the onion rings.

Whole Foods Market

Want to experience Austin like a local? Eat at Whole Foods. No joke, this is the quick, cheap-ish go-to for starving Austinites.

Easy Tiger

This bakery and beer garden promises to be packed, but for quick, high-quality eats it doesn't get much better.

Koriente Restaurant

Rice bowls and vegetarian-friendly offerings abound at this little restaurant tucked away on East 7th. They will be unusually busy during SXSW, but lots of folks won't know to venture onto 7th.

The Hightower

This super-new restaurant is doing lunch for the first time, which should mean it will be an approachable option for a midday meal. Their menu focuses on affordable new American.

hay elotes

This tiny shop serves up Mexican-style fruit cups, ice cream, and elotes, a street snack that they make with legit Mexican corn. The proprietors are very friendly, too.

Taqueria Chapala

[Photo: Alexandra L/Yelp]

Rio's Brazilian Café

This lovely Brazilian restaurant features quick bites and more significant entrees, plus several sake-based tropical cocktails. Not far from the action and totally under the radar.

East End Wines

Drink a bottle of wine bought at retail prices and enjoy local favorite trailer food al fresco at 3 Little Pigs.

Austin Daily Press

This brick and mortar location of a popular sandwich truck is off the festival track while not being too terribly far from East Side music venues.