If you’ve done SXSW in the past, you should already know how this works. With a little planning, there’s absolutely no reason anyone should go hungry or spend a dime on food during SXSW.  Badge holder or not, there’s free food and beverages just about everywhere, whether it’s an official or unofficial party.


Finding the free food and drinks is almost like doing your homework.  If you have a little patience and are willing spend the appropriate amount of time RSVPing your ass off to the hundreds of event pages prior and during the festival, you’re bound to get your hands on a taco or two at some point and fill your belly with all kinds of junk food and alcohol you’ll regret the next morning.  Fortunately, we’ve done some of the work for you so far with our list below.


Stay tuned for more, as we’ll be updating the list with more deals on free food and drinks throughout the duration of the festival.  In the meantime, click on each link for more information and to RSVP for each event.


Open To The Public


Netflix’s ‘The Highwaymen’ House on Rainey Street

For three nights during the SXSW Festival, attendees will have the opportunity to visit The Highwaymen House, a pop-up experience transforming Austin’s Banger’s Basement at 81.5 Rainey Street into an interactive space that takes guests back in time to the 1930s when infamous bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde were at large. Hosted by Netflix, the pop-up will immerse guests in the spirit of the upcoming film The Highwaymen. Upon arrival at The Highwaymen House, guests will receive a period-appropriate name and RFID bracelet that unlocks experiences within the space.  Additionally, a popular local taco destination will offer two custom secret, off-menu items, available from March 8 to March 12 at their South Congress and Northshore locations.  Those interested in attending The Highwaymen House should register WWW.THE-HIGHWAYMEN.COM.


Rachael Ray Feedback Festival Returns to SXSW

Rachael will host Feedback at Stubb’s BBQ on Saturday, March 16th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., where 14 bands will perform on two outdoor stages and one indoor stage. This year’s lineup includes Bleachers, Big Boi, Mike D (DJ set), Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Cautious Clay, Bob Schneider, The Cringe, J.S. Ondara, Angie McMahon, Palm Palm, Ben Dickey, Yola, Billy Raffoul, and KOLARS. Feedback at Stubb’s is FREE to enter and open to the public for anyone over 21 with a valid ID.  Rachael will serve Austin-inspired recipes at the event, and all food and drink offerings are free for attendees.  Offerings will include Sloppy San Jose Sliders with Avocado Crema and Jalapeño Rings, Rajas con Queso Breakfast Tacos with Eggs and Tots, Smoked Brisket Sammies with Horseradish Ranch, and Smoky Korean Cowboy Wings. Stubbs is sponsored by Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls and Modelo Beer.


Each day, SHOWTIME will be giving out 100 gift cards to the SHOWTIME service for the first 100 guests entering the venue. In addition, starting at 2 p.m. each day, outside of The SHOWTIME House on the corner of Rainey St. and Davis St., SHOWTIME will be handing out daily giveaways of merchandise while supplies last. Events go from March 11th – Match 13th.   RSVP culturecollide.com/ShowtimeShameless.


Refresh @ SXSW

Refresh @ SXSW

The Refresh Working Group, Google, and Swell Creative Group are excited to announce a day of food activations, discussions, and cooking demonstrations. Join them at Google Fiber space for a journey through the entire food system and explore how technology is transforming the future of food.  Treat yourself to Little Herds’ edible insects, taste brand new plant-based dips from New Barn, make your own nachos and guacamole with Siete Foods, pickle food scraps and learn about reducing food waste through fermentation with Chef Ben Runkle from Salt & Time, sample drinks and tacos, locally sourced and prepared by ATX Food Co.  and wind down with a cool beverage from Cathead DistilleryDulce Vida SpiritsCelis BreweryWilliam Chris Wines, and Richard’s RainwaterRSVP HERE


Bumble hive

Bumble Hive

Bumble is taking over local favorite Jo’s Coffee to transform it into one of their gram-worthy Hives during SXSW.  Festival goers can stop by each morning for free breakfast tacos, complimentary coffee (available all day), and stay for tips from our profile experts on how to put your best face forward. After that, you’re welcome to stick around for exciting programming that’ll help you make healthy, empowered connections in all areas of your life.  Visit their EVENT PAGE to see the schedule for more details.


harvest hq sxsw

Harvest HQ

In today’s fast-paced, digital world the desire to disconnect is higher than ever. Enter Harvest HQ.  Step into our urban oasis and experience firsthand how the power of plants can help you recharge and reconnect, naturally.  Events at Harvest HQ will feature fresh smoothies, snacks, tacos, herbal mixed drinks and puppies.  You’ll also find tips and tricks to up your gardening game indoors and out as well as live music, charging stations and more.  March 8 – March 10th  at 78 Rainey St. Austin TX 78701



bff girls night out sxsw

Bumble BFF Presents Girl’s Night Out

Join Bumble BFF for the ultimate Girls Night Out at the beautiful EBERLY Rooftop on Wednesday, March 27th.  Mix & Mingle with new and old BFFs and enjoy complimentary bites and goody bags. Show your Bumble App to win a prize!  100% of ticket proceeds will be donated to their partner, Girls Empowerment Network(GEN) Austin.  An organization that ignites the power in girls by teaching them the skills to thrive and believe in their ability to be unstoppable.



sxsw bands

Austin Monthly x Austin Music Present: Bands to Watch Party

Clear your calendar for our annual Bands to Watch Party! Join Austin Monthly and Texas Music for a full-day lineup of bands, including local bands hand-picked by our editorial staff! Admission is FREE WITH RSVP, but you may also be permitted at the door with a subscription to either magazine.  Complimentary vodka tastings will be provided by Dripping Springs Vodka and food will be available for purchase from Scholz Garten. **Stay tuned for the official lineup!** 


buzzfeed sxsw


Join BuzzFeed’s & CW’s Roswell, New Mexico as they land at SXSW for “So Extra…Terrestrial.”  They’ll be blasting off with drinks and bites to fuel you and stellar music to get us lifted throughout the night.   Saturday, March 9th 8:00pm – 12:00am.  Event takes place at Mohawk 912 Red River St.   Must be 21+ with a valid ID.
Entry is first come, first serve basis until capacity is met.


No Kid Hungry - Tito's

The Tito’s Party at Arlyn Studios

Tito’s Party sounds like what it is — a party!  Tito’s fans are invited to stop by the iconic Arlyn Studios on Saturday, March 9th from 1-6pm to sip on Tito’s Handmade Vodka signature cocktails and enjoy the live, local music that Austin is known for courtesy of The Texas Gentlemen, Magna Carda, SmiiLE, Shawn Pander and more. In addition, the event will feature a dog adoption drive from Austin Humane Society from 2-4pm. Admittance is 21+ and free — fans can RSVP at thetitosparty.app.rsvpify.com.  Capacity is first-come-first-serve.


Tito’s Fifth-annual Puppy Party

This year’s Puppy Party will take place after SXSW on Sunday, March 17 with Tito’s Vodka for Dog People, Bumble and PrideBites to benefit Austin Pets Alive. Dog lovers and their furry plus ones are encouraged to stop by from 12-4pm to enjoy doggy photo booths, St. Patrick’s Day surprises, fun raffles, and most importantly, to help find homes for the adoptable pups that Austin Pets Alive will have on-site. Attendees who are also Bumble users will receive a complimentary Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktail. Admittance is 21+ and free with advance registration available via this link.


Torchy's SXSW

SXSW DoorDash Event with Free Torchy’s Tacos + booze

DoorDash is coming back to Austin this March with a “Tiny Home away from home” pop-up experience that you and your readers won’t want to miss! From March 12th – March 14th, join DoorDash in downtown Austin for FREE food + booze, games, daily musical performances and a relaxing space to unwind and refuel from all the hustle and bustle of the SXSW festivities. DoorDash will be serving up free Torchy’s tacos, chips and queso, and plenty of booze from local Austin vendors at the Tiny House. Guests will get to experience the ease of ordering on DoorDash, before heading to the patio of the Tiny House to enjoy the perfect backyard setup – think twinkling lights, front-row stage access, cozy benches + tables to unwind, and cornhole!  March 12th – 14th, Daily from 11am – 9pm.  98 Red River Street, Austin, TX



Capital Factory’s The SXSW Startup Crawl

On Friday, March 8th, grab a group of friends and tour the latest and greatest of Austin’s startup community.  Guests will take the shuttle from stop to stop for a free beverage, to drop off a resume, see office space or explore Austin’s startup scene.  Open to the public & badge holders.  LIMITED CAPACITY.  The FIRST 5,000 SIGNUPS are guaranteed admittance.


Lafayette Live Crawfish Boil

Join the “Krewe” of Lafayette, Louisiana for authentic Cajun food, drinks, live music and networking with amazing people!  Everyone that registers online will be provided NO COST access to enjoy Hot Jambalaya and Cajun Crawfish (while it last), one free drink ticket, and LIVE music entertainment!  A SXSW badge NOT required but registration via DO512 is required to attend.




VICE Skateland

VICE is taking over the parking lot at 5th & Red River to throw a series of retro roller skating parties! The (massive) space will house it all — DJ setup, pro-roller skaters, the VICELAND Busmerch booth, and, of course, a bar for happy hour. Each day will be packed with programming, from a celebration of Biggie Smalls featuring musical tributes from DJs like Bluntler, Trauma, Scram Jones and Whoo Kid to a happy hour hosted by rapper Phonte (Little Brother & Foreign Exchange. Follow @VICELAND on TwitterInstagram and Facebook for more announcements.


michelob ultra sxsw

Pure Golden Hour by Michelob Ultra

Escape your busy festival schedule and find time to reconnect with yourself, and nature. Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold – the first major organic beer of its kind – is teaming up with The Big Quiet to bring a moment of calm with the first-ever sunset mass meditation at SXSW. Overlooking the beautiful skyline of Austin, Pure Golden Hour is a mindful experience balanced with curated performances by Miguel, Bishop Briggs, and Cautious Clay.  After the meditation and live performances, enjoy friends, food and sounds by DJ Captain Planet as you sip on beer in its organic form. This will be a very special evening you don’t want to miss.


For Badge Holders

DFW Cheeseboard

Visit Cheeselandia Wisconsin

Cheeselandia Wisconsin is the magical place where every cheese tells a story and you are invited to enjoy the best one tasty nibble at a time right here in River City (Austin).  Mingle with mongers amidst wedges, wheels, curds, crumbles and thousands of pounds of (literally) the best cheese in the world. Imagine a dress made of champagne and a Ferris Wheel of cheese. Anything is possible. Prepare for your cheese dreams to become your cheese reality.  Welcome to Cheeselandia Wisconsin. #SXSWisconsin.  The event takes place at JW Marriott Room 301 and is open to all badge holders!


Registrant Lounge

Open throughout the Conference and Festivals, the Registrant Lounge is a convenient and relaxing meeting point for SXSW attendees.  Badge holders can stop by each day for one of our several SX networking events and a complimentary drink from our sponsors.


impossible foods trailer sxsw

Interactive Opening Party

Kick off your SXSW experience at the SXSW Interactive Opening Party presented by Moon Selfie. Mix and mingle with other creatives and techies while enjoying live music, an OPEN BAR, and special surprises.




Film Opening Party

Drawing fans, filmmakers, and industry reps alike, the Film Opening Party presented by The CW Network kicks off the 2019 SXSW Film Festival with a bang. The must-attend event takes place on the Friday, March 8 and welcomes registrants to SXSW Film while serving as the after party to the opening night film.



Interactive Mix at Six

The Interactive Mix at Six Party presented by Cogeco Peer 1 offers excellent noshes and networking opportunities along with amazing experiences and unforgettable interactive giveaways.



SXSW 2017 Rap Snacks_Migos (9 of 11)

Music Opening Party

The Music Opening Party presented by Music.com is where the music industry meets to kick off the world-renowned Music Festival. Food, drinks, fresh talent, and live performances will be plentiful.


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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