If you are coming to race in Austin, lucky you. Austin is a food lovers heaven and was a long-time home to one of the TriWives a few years ago. We do have one big piece of advice – pick your restaurants carefully, as there are so many yummy places to choose from. Such a terrible problem to have. We highly recommend any of the restaurants below and have included links for you to review each one to make sure your needs will be met.

We are a real food family and found living in Austin so easy, given the easy access to organic and local produce, meats, and dairy products. There are also Farmers Markets almost everyday where you can grab fresh and pre-made foods.

If you go, make sure you have breakfast at Dai Due or a taco from Taco Deli or Torchy’s and don’t miss one of the food trucks you will find all over the city, like Valentina’s in South Austin. If you can’t find one, head over to Barton Spring’s Road by Shaky’s and you’ll find multiple choices.

Here are our “Must Haves” in Austin:


  • Hopdoddy – There are two locations in town; one on South Congress and one on West Anderson Lane. Besides great burgers, they have draft beer from local, small batch, artisanal brewers. Beer & burgers – need we say more.

    food and fun in austin places to eat

    Brat Burger special at Hopdoddy Burger Bar.

  • Huts Hamburger – Huts has been around forever and serves real Texas beef. However, vegetarians will also be delighted at their variety of choices.


  • Uchi and Uchiko – These are Japanese farmhouse dining and sushi restaurants, whose chef has won a James Beard award.
  • qui – Anyone watch Top Chef? Well, Qui was started by Paul Qui, the Season 9 winner who, with his winnings started this restaurant. Watch the video to see what this restaurant is all about.
  • Epiciere – This is a cafe & grocer; more casual salads, sandwiches, and plates.

    Photo: Our gnocchi parisienne w eggplant, charred onion, pickled green tomatoes. Gnocchi so good it should be called...yes-chi? (Excuse the bad joke. But it IS delish)

    Gnocchi parisienne at Epiciere.

  • Perlas – This is a seafood & oyster bar with outdoor dining available.
  • Clark’s – This is also a seafood & oyster bar that serves steaks, burgers, and caviar.
  • Salt and Time – This is a farm to table restaurant with the meat even sourced from an on-site butcher shop.
  • Hyde Park Bar & Grill – If you are into french fries, this restaurant is recommended for it’s fries alone. But, it is much more with tons of non-meat options.
  • Hillside Farmacy – They have a really nice selection from breakfast to dinner, mostly seasonal & local.

    places to eat in austin hillside pharmacy

    Grouper with fresh corn salad at Hillside Farmacy.

  • Jeffrey’s of Austin – For more of a fine dining experience in an Austin neighborhood, try Jeffrey’s or Josephine House next door. They serve simply prepared seasonal cooking with great wines. They also offer complimentary car service from downtown.
  • Bufalina Pizza – The chef studied pizza baking in Naples, Italy and is a perfectionist. Is that why it’s always packed?
  • Cafe No Se – This gem is located in the South Congress Hotel and serves a variety of food all day long. We recently went for Sunday brunch and I had a delicious vegetarian bowl that really wowed.

food and fun in austin


  • Shady Grove – You will find Austin-inspired home cooking served here, all under the shade of a tall pecan grove.
  • Stubbs – BarBQ, cold beer, and live music; how much more Texas can you get. Pretend you are a native and wear cowboy boots.
  • Kerbey Lane – If you’re looking for comfort food at reasonable prices 24 hours a day at five locations, Kerbey Lane has you covered.

    places to eat in austin kersey lane

    Salted, caramel, chocolate pancakes at Kerbey Lane. Seriously!!!!!

  • Magnolia Cafe – They have 2 mottos; Everybody Knows & Everybody Goes and Kind of like your favorite aunt’s giant kitchen, if she had one. Has the hippie, dippie vibe nailed.
  • Home Slice Pizza – This is an Austin favorite that comes with beautiful views of downtown & the Capital. It will not disappoint the pizza lover.
  • Fonda San Miguel – Although Austin is not known for Tex-Mex, if you need your fix, this should satisfy.


  • East Side Kings – These are pop-up trailer trucks with a few brick & mortar locations owned by Paul Qui from above; asian-inspired menus.
places to eat in austin east side king's trailer truck

East Side King’s trailer truck at pop-up location.

  • Austin Skinny Limits – Large selection of salads, wraps, raw juices, and smoothies can be found here.
  • Snap Kitchen – Here you will find an unbelievable selection of fresh, healthy meals to meet any dietary need. They have several locations around town and you can walk in or call ahead.
  • Whole Foods – Don’t forget Austin is the home town of Whole Foods and fittingly, it has one of it’s largest stores.

So, there you have it. You should not go hungry. We are sure you’ll be pleased with any of these choices. Enjoy your stay in Austin and have a great race. See you there and oh, don’t forget those cowboy boots!

Oh, if you are in the music and party mood, Austin has to be one of the great live music capitals of the world. Check out The Driskill Bar, Rainey Street, Garage Cocktail Bar, or Midnight Cowboy Modeling for some great samples of the local nightlife.