So I’ve told you my story about the (alleged) best barbecue in Austin. And let me tell you, I ate a good deal of barbecue on this trip. But what are you supposed to do if you visit Austin and you don’t eat meat? Or do your intestines you at least want a break from the barbecue? I can’t blame you! So today I have suggestions for Austin food that isn't barbecue, but is still delicious.
Austin Food that Isn’t Barbecue
Paco’s Tacos| Breakfast tacos are life-changing once you have them in Texas. Something about the chorizo just changes the game entirely. Paco’s is a little bit out of the way from downtown but it was near where we were staying at our AirBnB, in Mueller Park (which is beautiful, by the way). They’ve got a few delicious salsa options, so you should be satisfied as far as that’s concerned. Just please, goodness, get some chorizo in your life.
Halcyon| Who would I be to not give you a recommendation for a coffee shop to start your day? This is my dream place to grab a coffee and do some blogging work. Paul and I actually stopped in here while it was raining and played a couple games of chess. If you’re stopping in a little later than breakfast (or if your sweet tooth turns on that early), they also have tabletop s’mores. They seemed to be quite a hit in the time that I spent there! I believe this is actually a bar too, so those s’mores are good no matter what time of day you visit!
Fun fact for those of you that need to take the GRE like fun words: halcyon “denotes a time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful.” Love it.
Ramen Tatsu-ya| I can imagine that ramen would be the last thing you want if you’re visiting Austin when it is 100 degrees outside. But alas, when we visited it was nowhere near 100. So ramen was the absolute perfect lunch. Usually I’m pretty hesitant where foods like this (ramen, pho, etc) are concerned because the sodium always gives me a stomachache. But this actually didn’t give me any tummy troubles! I thought it was so good. If you go, get a Chili Bomb to add some serious flavor. And definitely get a second egg. The way they cook those things is just awesome.
Whole Foods| Picnic lunches while I travel are my favorite. Plus this Whole Foods is the original store. It’s got a boat load of options for their hot food bar. I was so freaking overwhelmed it was not even funny. I’ve heard some people could spend quite a bit of time in here, but we picked up lunch and skedaddled. But if you want to hang out at a bar…you can actually do that here too.
Torchy’s Tacos| I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a bit of a “travel blog recommendation” snob. I want to eat what the locals eat, y’know? So when I perused some lists and Torchy’s came up, I looked at the website. They’ve got locations EVERYWHERE. So I was about to write it off. And I’m so freaking glad I didn’t. Locals do indeed love this place, even if there are a ton of locations. Three words: FRIED. AVOCADO. TACOS. Order 1000. Order the queso. You’ll be the happiest traveler there is.
Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue| I know, I KNOW. Barbecue is in the name for this place. I know. But you don’t have to get barbecue here, which makes it a good option if your party is a bit split on this subject. They serve cornbread muffins to start the meal. And let me tell you, I loved these cornbread muffins so, so much. Maybe it’s because I am from the Northeast, but they tasted like magic. So good! In fact...we went at the end of the lunch rush and I was lucky enough to get a few of these puppies to go.
Another great thing about Lambert’s is that they’ve got an upstairs spot for music at night. Austin is one of the greatest places in the US for music, so you can get your fix here!
The Driskill Bar| Want to feel a little bit fancy? The Driskill Hotel is a pretty swanky place, right down from all of the bars of the famous 6th Street. There’s a bar in there, that was actually recommended to me by my lovely Aunt! So take your pictures on the staircase and pretend that you’re on the Titanic (….just me?). Then settle down and order some of their beef jerky and a drink or two. But pinkies out!
Want to feel fancy but don’t have a fancy budget? I feel you. Their happy hour is actually pretty decent. So time it right, and you’ve got it made.
Gourdough’s Donuts| Apparently these guys also have a storefront, but their trailer location is where I visited to get these sweet donuts. Here’s the thing, though. Take your opinion of “donut” and just erase it from your mind. Because what you’re going to get is totally different and even more delicious. I’ll let the picture do the talking.
And let me just tell you Gourdough’s is way. way. way. better than VooDoo Donuts. Don’t even waste your time.
Juiceland| When all else fails and your stomach just doesn’t want anything heavy anymore, head over to Juiceland. Their smoothies and juices are definitely lighter, but just so delicious. They’ve got a drink of the month and by examining some of the past ones, it would be hard to go wrong with that choice. Their menu can be a bit overwhelming, but only because it all sounds so good. I've mentioned before, this is also a good place to stop on a biking route!
- Do you ever need a red meat break? Which from this list would you choose?
- Do you have any Austin recommendations of your own?