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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.

1. Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

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117 San Jacinto Blvd
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 474-4877
Visit Website
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.

2. Royal Blue Grocery

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609 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 469-5888
This bougie bodega serves up their own sandwiches as well as options from a number of local Austin purveyors like The Mediterranean Chef. They have two other locations downtown as well.

[Photo: Lauren B./Yelp]

3. Frank Restaurant

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407 Colorado St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 494-6894
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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.

4. Daily Juice

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3rd Street
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 243-6532
Austin's favorite hippie hangover cure, this mini-chain's smoothies and juices can be found tucked away downtown. Who knows if it's actually healthy, but you will feel healthier.

[Photo: Sonnia T/Yelp]

5. Hut's Hamburgers

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807 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 472-0693
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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.

6. Whole Foods Market

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525 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 542-2200
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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.

7. Easy Tiger

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709 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 614-4972
This bakery and beer garden promises to be packed, but for quick, high-quality eats it doesn't get much better.

8. Koriente Restaurant

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621 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 275-0852
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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.

9. The Hightower

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1209 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78702
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.

10. hay elotes

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2214 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 945-6275
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.

11. Taqueria Chapala

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2101 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 320-0308
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Solid Tex Mex just far enough down Cesar Chavez to fly under the radar. Any tourists who wander in that direction will be drawn toward I-saw-that-on-TV magnet Juan in a Million.

[Photo: Alexandra L/Yelp]

12. Rio's Brazilian Café

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408 N Pleasant Valley Rd
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 828-6617
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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.

13. East End Wines

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1209 Rosewood Ave
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 904-9056
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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.

14. Austin Daily Press

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1900 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 828-6463
Visit Website
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.

15. Vespaio

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1610 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 441-6100
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.

16. Rosita's Al Pastor

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1911 East Riverside Drive
Austin, TX 78741
If you're wandering the wilds of East Riverside, be sure to check out this local taco favorite.

[Photo: Juliana G./Yelp]

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1. Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

117 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701
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.
117 San Jacinto Blvd
Austin, TX 78701

2. Royal Blue Grocery

609 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
This bougie bodega serves up their own sandwiches as well as options from a number of local Austin purveyors like The Mediterranean Chef. They have two other locations downtown as well.

[Photo: Lauren B./Yelp]

609 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

3. Frank Restaurant

407 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701
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.
407 Colorado St
Austin, TX 78701

4. Daily Juice

3rd Street, Austin, TX 78701
Austin's favorite hippie hangover cure, this mini-chain's smoothies and juices can be found tucked away downtown. Who knows if it's actually healthy, but you will feel healthier.

[Photo: Sonnia T/Yelp]

3rd Street
Austin, TX 78701

5. Hut's Hamburgers

807 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703
Wandering West 6th aimlessly looking for somewhere cheap and quick to eat? Hit this classic burger beacon & get the onion rings.
807 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78703

6. Whole Foods Market

525 N Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78703
Want to experience Austin like a local? Eat at Whole Foods. No joke, this is the quick, cheap-ish go-to for starving Austinites.
525 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703

7. Easy Tiger

709 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
This bakery and beer garden promises to be packed, but for quick, high-quality eats it doesn't get much better.
709 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701

8. Koriente Restaurant

621 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701
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.
621 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78701

9. The Hightower

1209 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702
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.
1209 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78702

10. hay elotes

2214 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702
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.
2214 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78702

11. Taqueria Chapala

2101 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Solid Tex Mex just far enough down Cesar Chavez to fly under the radar. Any tourists who wander in that direction will be drawn toward I-saw-that-on-TV magnet Juan in a Million.

[Photo: Alexandra L/Yelp]

2101 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702

12. Rio's Brazilian Café

408 N Pleasant Valley Rd, Austin, TX 78702
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.
408 N Pleasant Valley Rd
Austin, TX 78702

13. East End Wines

1209 Rosewood Ave, Austin, TX 78702
Drink a bottle of wine bought at retail prices and enjoy local favorite trailer food al fresco at 3 Little Pigs.
1209 Rosewood Ave
Austin, TX 78702

14. Austin Daily Press

1900 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78702
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.
1900 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Austin, TX 78702

15. Vespaio

1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
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.
1610 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704

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16. Rosita's Al Pastor

1911 East Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741
If you're wandering the wilds of East Riverside, be sure to check out this local taco favorite.

[Photo: Juliana G./Yelp]

1911 East Riverside Drive
Austin, TX 78741

Related Maps