This year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival was filled with tons of food porn. We stuffed our faces so much it was downright shameful.  From the vendors at ACL Eats, to the VIP lounges and even the grub outside of the park itself, we crushed so many bites the festival might as well have been called ACL Eats and Music Festival (note to self, get started on that now!).

ACL Eats didn’t miss a beat this year.  There were literally hundreds of thousands of hungry attendees who sweated, drank, and ate their way through this year’s chaos. While we’d like to think we did our part by putting a small dent in our share of the grub, the vendors and staff are the real heroes festival. When you can manage to shell out food to huge crowds for over 10 hours straight, all while consistently delivering on great quality and freshness, you deserve to be recognized for it.  So we selected our favorite bites and vendors from this year’s festival, with a few Instagram-able moments from our time in the field.  Enjoy!

East Side King

Thai Chicken Kara-age (GF – $9), Fried Brussels Sprout Salad (V, GF, $9), Poor Qui Buns (2 for $9)

Paul Qui’s legendary flavor continues to rein at ACL. Every single menu item is worth of your hard earned cash. Share it don’t, it’s one of the lighter menus of the festival, meaning you’ll avoid that afternoon food coma leaving you with plenty of energy in reserve to rock out and quite possibly go for a 2nd helping.



Kimchi Fries w BBQ Beef or Vegetarian ($10) , Korean tofu tacos (2 for $9), Korean Fried Chicken Tacos (2 for $9)

Chi’lantro servers Korean style BBQ inspired comfort food and is most widely known for The Original Kimchi Fries. Vegetarians may also rejoice, because you have more options that just cold french fries with ketchup or filling up on sweets


Peached Tortilla

Brisket Tacos (2 for $9), Banh Mi Tacos (2 for $9), Crunch Fish Tacos (2 for $9), Parmesan Fries ($4)

The Banh Mi Tacos are probably the best of any ACL menu in the history of the festival. Bold statement I know, but I suggest you grab a couple friends and share a few bites of each item on the entire menu, then tell me you’re not a believer.


Watermelon Aqua Fresca ($6)

Juiceland exists, I’ve seen it! This is a long weekend, you’re going to be very thirsty.  Juiceland is perfectly refreshing and only slightly sweet. The sugar will keep you going, the chill factor will cool you off and you won’t be weighed down or dying of starvation by the 8:00 p.m. dinner break.


Mighty Cone

Hot and Crunchy Chicken and Avocado Cone ($8)

Mighty Cone that put Austin Eats on the map and it’s ‘effin’ delicious. It’s also very filling and lends nice texture to offset the boozy calories you’re also consuming.


Skull & Crossbones

PB & J or Chocolate Mint cake sandwich ($6), Coffee Cake With Vanilla Ice Cream, Rolled In Almonds ($7)

When your sweet tooth hits, consider this your first stop!  Cupcakes and sugar are addictive, even in the heat.


The Woodshed & Lonesome Dove   

Rabbit & Rattlesnake Sausage with housemade pickles ($9), Smoke Goat Crepinette with braised lentils ($10), Chile Spiked Watermelon ($4), Smoked Chicken Tamales with Salsa Verde ($7)


Rattlesnake and rabbit is a is a total foodie check for those of you who are in to wild game meats. Tim Love helped found the Austin Food and Wine Festival and he’s a Texas badass.  He’s not afraid to push the envelope on your taste buds during ACL, so don’t be afraid to eat something a little wild.


Burro Cheese Kitchen

The O.G. – King’s Hawaiian Bun, Jack and Cheddar Cheese ($6), The Waylon and Willie –  Sour Dough, Cheddar Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Pepperoncinis, and Spicy Maple Bacon Sauce (GF) ($9)

Delicious house made bread, artisan cheeses, and scratch made sauces designed to pair with each sandwich combination. There’s never a bad time for grilled cheese sandwiches. NEVER.


Queso Waffle Fries ($9), Grilled Bratwurst Sammie ($8)

Frank is the home of the Bacon Infused Tito’s Bloody Mary and the Jackalope, a Rabbit & Antelope Sausage w/ Sriracha Aioli and Cheddar Cheese.  They also rock a badass veggie dog that’s certain to make the veg-heads happy campers.


Torchy’s Tacos

Torchy’s is regarded as the most successful restaurant born from the Austin food truck scene.  Live out your ultimate taco fantasy during the festival, they’ll be cranking out a few of their classics along with that oh-so-lovely Roasted Street Corn in a cup. Unless you’re allergic to corn, you have no excuse to miss out on this, it’s an ACL Bites essential. 

Torchy's ACL



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About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher

Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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