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SXSW 2019: Best Downtown Austin Restaurants To Eat At

February 20, 2019

Updated March 2019

Best Downtown Austin Restaurants To Eat At SXSW

Welcome to SXSW 2019! Jane here from A Taste of Koko, Austin’s top food and travel blog, where I share the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @atasteofkoko to keep up with me during SXSW. If you’re a brand or agency that’s interested in working together on an SXSW activation, please email me at jane@atasteofkoko.com.

SEE ALSO: 45 Top Things To Do 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. ☺

Read on below for your ultimate guide to navigating the best downtown Austin restaurants for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, happy hour, and late-night munchies.

 

Lunch at Forthright Cafe

WHERE TO EAT BREAKFAST IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN FOR SXSW 2019

Fareground

Austin’s first food hall, Fareground, has 3 breakfast options: Henbit, Dai Due Taqueria, and Contigo.

111 Congress Ave, faregroundaustin.com

 

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 need 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

RELATED: 23 Best Breakfasts In Austin Worth Waking Up For

 

Austin Java

An Austin staple for over 20 years, The coffee cafe’s City Hall location is conveniently set in the heart of downtown, right across the street from ACL Live at The W. Serving house-roasted coffee, wine & beer and a full food menu, it’s the perfect place for a pick-me-up

301 w 2nd st, austinjava.com

 

Biderman’s Deli

Jewish-inspired deli in a cozy downtown setting. Offerings include breakfast bagel sandwiches, classic deli sandwiches like pastrami, corned beef and chopped liver, schmear and lox. Biderman’s also offers catering and online ordering if you seek convenience in the SXSW crowds.

800 Brazos Street, bidermansdeli.com/downtown-atx

 

Le Politique in Austin, TX

WHERE TO EAT BRUNCH IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN FOR SXSW 2019

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

 

Le Politique

Enjoy a French brunch at Le Politique with fresh crossaints, omelettes, croque madame, and les fromages.

110 San Antonio St, lepolitiqueaustin.com

 

Caffe Medici

WHERE TO GET COFFEE IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN FOR SXSW 2019

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 or even a coffee martini. 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

 

La Condesa

WHERE TO GO FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN FOR SXSW 2019

Wu Chow

Who doesn’t love fancy Chinese food?

500 W 5th St #168, wuchowaustin.com

 

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

Order me the house margarita and guacamole sampler at La Condesa and I’ll be ready to sign any deal.

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

 

Le Politique

Fancy French spot in downtown Austin is the perfect business lunch spot at SXSW 2019.

SEE ALSO: 27 Best Options For Lunch In Downtown Austin TX

 

Italic Restaurant in Austin

WHERE TO GO FOR A NETWORKING LUNCH IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN FOR SXSW 2019

Fareground

With 6 restaurant concepts at Fareground, there’s something for everyone to eat in the same space. Farm fresh from Henbit, tacos at Dai Due Taqueria, chicken at Contigo, cheese at Antonelli’s, and ramen and sushi from Ni-Kome.

111 Congress Ave, faregroundaustin.com

 

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 2019. 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

 

La Condesa

WHERE TO EAT DINNER IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN FOR SXSW 2019

Parkside

Top dinner option in downtown Austin – head up to the rooftop for free 6th street entertainment during SXSW 2019.

301 E 6th St, parkside-austin.com

 

La Condesa

La Condesa does get pretty packed during SXSW for dinner so enjoy a tequila cocktail or two before heading to your table.

400 W 2nd St A, lacondesa.com

 

ATX Cocina

ATX Cocina also serves up modern Mexico with a focus on corn and seafood. The restaurant is actually 100% gluten-free too!

110 San Antonio St Suite 170, atxcocina.com

 

Red Ash

Northern and Southern Italy come together at Red Ash with the wood-burning grill and oven.

303 Colorado St #200, redashgrill.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

 

El Naranjo

Located in the heart of Austin’s trendy Rainey Street, El Naranjo is known for its authentic Mexican cuisine. Chef Iliana de la Vega and her team create bold, flavorful dishes that bring the traditions of Oaxacan cooking to Central Texas.

85 Rainey St, elnaranjorestaurant.com

 

Emmer & Rye

Influenced by the simplicity of Italian cuisine and the freshness of Scandinavian food, Emmer & Rye boasts a curated, weekly shifting menu with innovative craftsmanship that pays homage to local farmers. Guests are able to experience the food in two distinct ways: they can order off a menu that changes weekly or partake in the evening’s seasonal small plates passed on circulating carts. This approach allows Emmer & Rye to focus on the bounty of Texas ingredients at their peak. The menu features a wide range of flavors and ingredients through dishes such as handmade pasta, bread, and empanadas featuring heritage grains milled fresh daily

51 Rainey St #110, emmerandrye.com

 

She’s Not Here

She’s Not Here is a Pacific Asian cocktail bar and kitchen in downtown Austin. The restaurant features fun, bright, tropical-influenced libations and a playful menu composed of small bites, seasonally focused sushi, cold tastings, and main dishes. She’s Not Here offers Instagram-worthy cocktails and delicious bites before for G.N.O., date night, or work happy hours.

440 W 2nd St, snhaustin.com

 

 

Le Politique Burger

WHERE TO GO FOR HAPPY HOUR IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN FOR SXSW 2019

Le Politique

Le Politique’s happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3pm – 6pm. Highlights include drink specials, 25% off seafood, and a dozen oysters + half-bottle of select sparkling wine for $35. There’s $2 off wines by the glass, $2 off house cocktails, $1 off beer, 25% off fruits de mer, and $35 for Douzaine et Demi (12 assorted oysters + half-bottle of select sparkling wine).

110 San Antonio St, lepolitiqueaustin.com

 

ATX Cocina

Happy hour is 4:30pm to 6:30pm every day with $3 off cocktails, wine & draft beer, and $4 off select menu items.

110 San Antonio St Suite 170, atxcocina.com

 

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, easytigerusa.com

 

Tiki Drinks at The Townsend

WHERE TO GO FOR DRINKS IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN FOR SXSW 2019

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

 

Péché

Austin’s first absinthe bar with French comfort food and craft cocktails in downtown’s Warehouse district for over a decade.

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. The bar has over 80 different mixed drinks!

307 W 5th St, therooseveltroomatx.com

 

Voodoo Doughnuts

WHERE TO GO LATE NIGHT MUNCHIES IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN FOR SXSW 2019

Voodoo Doughnuts

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

212 E 6th St, voodoodoughnut.com

 

Second Bar + Kitchen

Want a sit-down spot? Second Bar + Kitchen is open Friday & Saturday until 1 a.m.

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


 

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WRITTEN BY:

Jane Ko is the blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog. She is a social media marketer, blogger, food photographer, and the host of the largest SXSW food crawl. Lives in Austin, find her on Google+

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