Best Downtown Austin Restaurants To Eat At SXSW

Your ultimate guide to navigating the best restaurants in downtown Austin for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, happy hour, SouthBites Trailer Park, and late night munchies.
24.32K 1

Updated March 2017

Best Downtown Austin Restaurants To Eat At SXSW

Welcome to SXSW! Jane here from A Taste of Koko, Austin’s top food and travel blog, where I share the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Feel free to give me a follow on Twitter and Instagram at @atasteofkoko to keep up with me during SXSW. I will be attending the conference this year as a SXSW mentor.

SEE ALSO: The 25 Instagram Worthy Restaurants in Austin

If this is your first time to Austin, we’re all about local restaurants, smokey barbecue, craft cocktails, and breakfast tacos. Please enjoy the city while you’re here, but please don’t move here. ☺

This is your ultimate guide to navigating the best restaurants in downtown Austin for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, happy hour, and late night munchies.

 

Lunch at Forthright Cafe

WHERE TO EAT BREAKFAST IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Forthright

Instagram-worthy cafe with breakfast, lunch, brunch and happy-hour with vegan and gluten-free options.

35 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701, forthright.cafe

 

Blender & Bowls

Start your day with a healthy bowl of acai with fresh fruit!

206 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78701, blendersandbowls.com

 

Stella San Jac

Hungry and needing a bite to eat near the Austin Convention Center? Stella San Jac is just a couple of blocks away.

310 E 5th St, stellasanjac.com

 

Caffé Medici

Not only does Caffé Medici serve the best coffee in Austin, but they also have the best breakfast tacos (aka Tacodeli).

200 Congress Ave, caffemedici.com

 

Jo’s Coffee

Breakfast tacos, and 6 different egg dishes – welcome to Austin.

242 W 2nd St, joscoffee.com

 

1886 Cafe & Bakery

Morning meeting? Head to 1886 Cafe & Bakery inside the historic Driskill Hotel for a quiet breakfast filled with baked goods.

604 Brazos St, 1886cafeandbakery.com

 

Annie’s Café & Bar

Farm-to-table breakfast with front row seats of Congress Avenue.

319 Congress Ave, anniescafebar.com

 

Isla's Austin

WHERE TO EAT BRUNCH IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

Sunday brunch buffet filled with plenty of moonshine – bourbon, whiskey, single malt scotch, tequila, Texas vodka, and gin.

303 Red River St, moonshinegrill.com

 

Second Bar + Kitchen

Texas benedict, black truffle pork belly confit pizza, and steak & eggs – there’s something for everyone!

200 Congress Avenue, secondbarkitchen.com

 

Swift’s Attic

Brioche french toast, peanut butter, house cured bacon, salted caramel bananas – try and say that 7 times fast. But really, Swift’s Attic is a top pick for Sunday brunch.

315 Congress Ave, swiftsattic.com

 

Lambert’s Downtown BBQ

Looking to indulge? Lambert’s all-you-can-eat brunch features brisket, pork ribs, prime rib and more.

401 W 2nd St, lambertsaustin.com

 

Caffe Medici

WHERE TO GET COFFEE IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Houndstooth Coffee

Out of town coffee snobs will love Houndstooth Coffee’s premium coffee. And I mean this in a nice way because the coffee is really good. For a cold option, try their Japanese iced cold brew.

401 Congress Ave, houndstoothcoffee.com

 

Caffé Medici

Needing a pick me up to kick start a long day of panels? Head to Caffé Medici for one of the best cups of coffee in Austin! They’re famous for their cortados.

200 Congress Ave, caffemedici.com

 

Halcyon

Want something sweeter? Halcyon has a fine selection of flavored iced frappes. Network over Halcyon’s tabletop s’mores.

218 W 4th St, halcyoncoffeebar.com

 

Alta’s Cafe

Get away from the crazy crowds at the convention center and escape to Alta’s Cafe. The balcony overlooking Lady Bird Lake has one of the best views of the lake.

74 Trinity St, altascafe.com

 

Jo’s Coffee

Necessary coffee stop when you’re in Austin that’s loved by the locals and celebs. Head to Jo’s South Congress location for the iconic “I Love You So Much” wall.

242 W 2nd St, joscoffee.com

SEE ALSO: 5 Coffee Shops EVERY Local Should Know in Austin

 

Second Bar + Kitchen

WHERE TO GO FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Swift’s Attic

One of the hottest power-lunch scenes with it’s business lunch special. Choose from a snack, soup or salad and pair it with a sandwich for $15.

315 Congress Ave, swiftsattic.com

 

La Condesa

Austin’s finest modern Mexican. Be sure to order the guacamole sampler!

400 W 2nd St, lacondesa.com

 

Second Bar + Kitchen

Solid food with shareable plates. I took the CEO of NatureBox here last year and he loved it.

200 Congress Avenue, secondbarkitchen.com

 

P. Terry’s Burger Stand

For those needing a quick lunch – grab the burger and fries at P. Terry’s.

515 Congress Avenue, pterrys.com

 

Italic Restaurant in Austin

WHERE TO GO FOR A NETWORKING LUNCH IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

No frills at Gus’s, just good ol’ Southern friiiied chicken.

117 San Jacinto Blvd, gusfriedchicken.com

 

Parkside

One of Austin’s finest restaurant, Parkside will be open for lunch just for SXSW. Grab a plate of freshly shucked oysters and head upstairs to the best view of 6th Street.

301 E 6th St, parkside-austin.com

 

Backspace

Neapolitan-style pizza with thin-crisp crusts blistered in the giant woodfire Italian brick oven. Bianca pizza is my fave.

507 San Jacinto Blvd, thebackspace-austin.com

 

Italic

Prosciutto pizza, spaghetti carbonara, negronis, and floating mezzanine filled with 100% Italian wines at Italic.

123 W 6th St, italicaustin.com

 

Gourdough’s

Two words: doughnut burgers.

Suite B, 209 W 5th St, gourdoughs.com

 

Parkside

WHERE TO EAT DINNER IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Parkside

Top dinner option in downtown Austin.

301 E 6th St, parkside-austin.com

 

Backspace

Craving pizza and really good wine? Parkside’s sister restaurant, Backspace, is my favorite.

507 San Jacinto Blvd, thebackspace-austin.com

 

Driskill Grill

Austin’s oldest and finest institution serves up a killer steak.

604 Brazos St, driskillgrill.com

 

Wu Chow

Best Chinese food in Austin? Wu Chow, and they have tiki drinks.

500 W 5th St #168, wuchowaustin.com

SEE ALSO: Wu Chow Serves Up Best Dim Sum In Austin

 

Isla's

WHERE TO GO FOR HAPPY HOUR IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Swift’s Attic

Happy Hour starts at 2pm and ends at 6:30pm, Monday through Friday, with $6 specialty cocktails, $5 select wines, $2 bud lights and mickey’s (yes mickey’s) and $1 off domestic drafts.

315 Congress Ave, swiftsattic.com

 

Italic

1/2 off all pizzas, free focaccia, $1 off all draught beers, $4 glasses of wine, $8 house negroni, and $3 wells.

123 W 6th St, italicaustin.com

 

La Condesa

Happy hour is Monday to Friday from 5-7pm with 1/2 drinks and $3 to $12 select appetizers.

400 W 2nd St, lacondesa.com

 

Easy Tiger

Pretzels, beer cheese, local beer, and ping pong in the backyard beer garden.

709 E 6th St, easytigeraustin.com

 

Tiki Drinks at The Townsend

WHERE TO GO FOR DRINKS IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

The Townsend

Exceptional cocktails and small plates in a historic building.

718 Congress Ave #100, thetownsendaustin.com

 

Garage

Tucked inside a parking garage, Garage is a hidden gem in downtown Austin with solid craft cocktails!

503 Colorado St, garagetx.com

 

Firehouse Hostel and Lounge

Nestled in the heart of downtown Austin, our craft cocktail lounge is located in the city’s oldest standing fire station, built in 1885. Discover speakeasy charm in the Firehouse Lounge, accessible through a hidden bookshelf in the hostel lobby. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, further heightened by our selection of craft cocktails, prohibition-era drinks, and timeless attention to detail.

605 Brazos Street, firehousehostel.com

 

Midnight Cowboy

Reservation-only speakeasy-style luxury cocktail lounge with quality drinks.

313 E 6th St, midnightcowboymodeling.com

 

Peche

Austin’s first absinthe bar with French comfort food.

208 W 4th St, pecheaustin.com

 

Small Victory

Intimate cocktail bar with killer drinks.

108 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701, smallvictory.bar

 

The Roosevelt Room

Industrial-chic cocktail bar with over 70 different mixed drinks categorized by era

307 W 5th St, therooseveltroomatx.com

 

Voodoo Doughnuts

WHERE TO GO LATE NIGHT MUNCHIES IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Voodoo Doughnuts

Needing something sweet? Voodoo Doughnuts are available 24/7.

212 E 6th St, voodoodoughnut.com

 

Second Bar + Kitchen

Wanting a sit down? Second Bar + Kitchen offers its full menu until 2 am on weekends.

200 Congress Avenue, secondbarkitchen.com

 

Casino El Camino

This dive bar is the spot for ultimate late night food – trust me, the 3/4-pound burgers is what you need after a night of drinking.

517 E 6th St, casinoelcamino.net

 

Chi’Lantro BBQ

Two words: KIMCHI FRIES. (see below).

SEE ALSO: 9 Best French Fries In Austin

 

Chilantro Kimchi Fries

SOUTHBITES TRAILER PARK

Available only during SXSW, here’s our my top pics at the SouthBites Trailer Park.

 

Chi’Lantro

Two words: KIMCHI FRIES. (see above)

 

East Side King

Austin’s best street food by Paul Qui and Motoyasu. Love the chicken kaarage & fried Brussels sprouts salad!

 

Lick Honest Ice Creams

My favorite ice cream in Austin will be at the SouthBites Trailer Park! Try and get 5 scoops like I did.

 


2017cityguide

This guide is part of the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance 2017 City Guide. For more info about the Best Eats in Austin, check out our complete list of guides to delicious food in ATX!

 

RELATED CONTENT

19 Healthy Austin Restaurants To Start The New Year
Social Media Marketing for Austin Restaurants