Heading to Austin for SXSW? Here’s Where the Locals Say to Eat


SXSW (South by Southwest), the film, interactive, and music festival, is in full swing right now in Austin, lasting through March 18. If you happen to be down at the festival at this very moment, or, perhaps, are boarding a plane on your way there, be sure to check out Our Man Sietsema’s 10 Favorite SXSW Austin-Area Restaurant Recommendations for New Yorkers Heading to the Festival. But if that’s not enough to get your stomach rumbling, we got in touch with a few of our local Austinite pals to learn where they plan on chowing down post-festival.

“There’s this new bar/big sandwiches place called Gourmands that opened on the east-east side, I’ve been once and really dug it.” –Sean Haskins

“There are so many great restaurants in Austin, it’s hard to narrow it down. Uchi and Uchiko definitely live up to the hype. I think the crudo at Uchi is one of my favorite dishes in town. Barley Swine is also fantastic. Their menu is all small plates and changes often — I don’t have any specific recommendations on the current menu, but I’ve never had anything that wasn’t great. Justine’s is a great, classic French restaurant in a really cool old house on the way east side. They do a mean cheese plate and any of their duck dishes are delicious. Franklin’s is the place to go for barbeque. It started as a food trailer and just opened a store front in the last year. Try the espresso barbeque sauce. They sell it in pints — definitely worth bringing some home with you. The problem with any of those is that the wait is super long all the time, so during SXSW it’s going to be insane.” –Elisabeth Long

“I recommend the food trailer park with Love Balls (delicious Japanese street food), Bits and Druthers (British fish & chips), and Vegan Yacht (if you’re super tired of BBQ and all that meat). It’s a good spot to hit for some diversity if you’re seeing some shows on the east side. Las Cazuelas for Mexican and breakfast tacos. It’s delicious, authentic, cheap. Head to East Side Showroom for delicious drinks; the food is OK, but some are hit or miss. And Iron Works is right next to the convention center and has totally respectable BBQ. Try that before Stubb’s. There’s usually always a line during SXSW but it’s worth it. You can tweet and FB while you wait.” –Mara Flynn

“Go to El Chilito for yummy breakfast tacos (love the fish and tinga de pollo), and frozen sangria. (El Chile, just down the street, is its fancier (by Austin terms) cousin. Guero’s Taco Bar on South Congress is good for Tex-Mex and people watching, if you can snag a sidewalk table. Bouldin Creek Cafe is good for wholesome, mostly vegetarian fare, and a funky, airy atmosphere.” –Jenny Miller

La Condesa, Olivia, Chisholm Trail, and the Chi’Lantro BBQ truck.” –Our own Robert Sietsema found a few local favorites as well following his visit to last year’s SXSW Interactive. For more info on these places, check out his The Best Things I Ate While at SXSW Interactive.