12 Austin restaurants you need to try during SXSW

Franklin BBQFranklin BarbecueA dish from Franklin Barbecue.

If you’re in Austin for the big SXSW tech and music trade show, you may be wondering where you can grab some grub in between panels and parties.

From classic Texas BBQ to some out-of-this-world tacos, there’s plenty of great food in Austin.

Inspired by lists created by Zagat and Foursquare, we’ve compiled a list of the restaurants you should check out during SXSW.

The Salt Lick

18300 FM 1826, Driftwood

3350 Palm Valley Boulevard, Round Rock

3600 Presidential Boulevard, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

You can't go to Texas without getting BBQ, and the Salt Lick is arguably one of the most fun places to do it. Residents and visitors to Austin are crazy about their brisket and ribs, and it's all cooked on the most insane pit you'll ever see. The original location is about 20 miles outside of Austin, in Driftwood, in addition to locations in Round Rock and the airport.


1728 Barton Springs Road

1050 North Lamar Boulevard

4301 W William Cannon Drive

This classic Tex-Mex chain is 'always a good time,' according to Zagat reviewers. It's known for its generous portions and strong drinks.


801 South Lamar Boulevard

This may not be your typical Austin cuisine, but it's a treat nonetheless. Zagat gave this longtime sushi favourite top marks in food quality and popularity with residents. The sushi dishes are inventive and unique, like a foie gras nigiri and tuna sashimi made with goat cheese.

Kerbey Lane Cafe

3704 Kerbey Lane

2606 Guadalupe Street

Kerbey Lane Cafe is a great destination for a stack of pancakes, whether it's for breakfast or late-night eats. The Kerbey Queso, made from scratch and topped with a dollop of guacamole, is an absolute must-try.

Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

303 Red River Street

Moonshine is a local favourite with a popular brunch. Don't miss the green chilli macaroni and cheese or the corn dog shrimp.

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

79 & 81 Rainey Street

With long rows or picnic tables, 21 varieties of sausages, and more than 100 beers on tap, Banger's is a perfectly casual place to hang out during SXSW.

Torchy's Tacos

1311 South First Street

3005 South Lamar Boulevard

This taco joint has several locations in Austin and all over Texas. You've gotta try the 'Ace of Spades' breakfast taco off the secret menu -- it's made with sausage, brisket, cheese, queso, diablo sauce, sour cream, and a fried egg.

Franklin Barbecue

900 East 11th Street

This restaurant, which was formerly run out of an East Austin trailer, is known for its exceptional brisket and pulled pork. It opens at 11 a.m. and closes whenever they run out of food.

Barley Swine

2024 South Lamar Boulevard

This tiny restaurant is very popular with foodies, so it's best to arrive early for a chance to try the amazing seasonal small plates served here.


915 North Lamar Boulevard

This Mexican place is casual -- you can order at a window or drive through -- but its street corn, made with mayo, cotija, and chile, is some of the best around.

La Condesa

400 W. 2nd Street

La Condesa has a fantastic happy hour with excellent cocktails, including a margarita served with a cactus lemongrass-infused salt rim.

Eddie V's Prime Seafood

9400B Arboretum Boulevard

301 East 5th Street

This chain restaurant has some steak and seafood dishes that are not to be missed. Live jazz music adds to the classy vibe.

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