Once again, it’s South by Southwest time.
You’ve come for the tech. The music. The movies. The networking. The brand activations. The weather (hopefully). But while you’re in Austin, don’t forget we’ve got an impressive (and growing) dining scene for you to tackle, as well.
You can’t spend all of your time at talks and screenings and shows. At some point you’re going to have to eat. Don’t be lured by free queso bars, passed appetizers and complimentary energy bars.
Take some time out and eat at one of the many restaurants and food trucks in Austin’s core. Exploring the restaurant scene can be a great way to get a feel for a city and its culture, even if you do only have 30 minutes before you have to go see the presentation of the next world-changing app.
The restaurants listed here are all located relatively close to the main action at SXSW — just a short walk, bike ride or (inset preferred method of automotive transport here) away.
Some of these restaurants may have special events and private parties during SXSW, so it’s wise to call ahead or check their website. And, while I always find SXSW a good time to slip into surprisingly uncrowded restaurants downtown, some of these spots will be impossible to get into. There’s always July.
(Click here for my complete SXSW Dining Guide.)
Cenote. 1010 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-524-1311, cenoteaustin.com. Stop in for coffee, breakfast sandwiches, scrambles, bagels and granola.
Counter Café. 626 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-708-8800; 1914 E. Sixth St. 512-351-9961; countercafe.com. Two locations of this diner serve breakfast favorites like quail and eggs and crab cakes and eggs with curried peanut and lemon aioli dipping sauces.
Elizabeth Street Café. 1501 S. First St. 512-291-2881, elizabethstreetcafe.com. This posh little Vietnamese spot from the team behind Perla’s is a great little under-the-radar breakfast option for its coffee, pastries and dishes like a wood ear mushroom and roasted pork omelet.
Jo’s. 242 W. Second St. 512-469-9003; 1300 S Congress Ave. 512-444-3800; joscoffee.com. Good coffee, breakfast sandwiches and pastries.
Sa-Ten. 916 Springdale Road. 512-524-1544, sa-ten.com. This window-wrapped coffee shop and café takes inspiration from Japan and serves some remarkable egg toast (among other things).