The City of Austin has cancelled SXSW 2020.  Thanks Coronavirus!  This year’s festival conference was already facing an uphill battle with the threat of the COVID-19 lurking as a potential hazard to public health, but the city made a call for the first time in 34 years to cancel this year’s festivities.  Fortunately Austin has not directly been affected (yet), so local business owners and Austinites are doing what they can to keep the business they will lose, rolling in.

 

For those that were planning on attending this year’s festival, you’ll have to save your marathon shoes and appetite for free tacos and catering to help your local service professional.  Dozens of local cafes, restaurants, bars, food trucks and coffee shops who were prepared to host buyout events will now be mostly available for full service.

 

To help you navigate your way through the long list of dining options, we offer a mix of some of the newest and best Austin has to offer, all over the city.

 

 

Events

campfire festival

Campfire Boutique & Luxury Music Festival

Campfire Gathering is an independently produced music-based event series that offers summer camp-like activities, alongside intimate performances from some of today’s top touring acts. Single Day tickets to Campfire Gathering’s inaugural boutique music and luxury camping festival are now available for purchase.  They’ve also announced the culinary programming and artisan marketplace vendors, all taking place at Camp Lucy in Dripping Springs, Texas, on March 16-17.

 

we can do magic

We Can Do Magic – SXSW Replacement Shows

The Red River Cultural District, along with Austin’s live music venues around the city, today announced “We Can Do Magic,” a coalition of music programming swiftly filling the void left by SXSW show cancellations.  Currently, venues and partners participating in “We Can Do Magic” include Antone’s, Barracuda, Beerland, C3 Presents, Cheer Up Charlie’s, Cosmic Coffee, Elysium, Empire Control Room & Garage, Exploded Drawing, Heard Presents, Hotel Vegas, Mohawk, Mala Vida,  LEVITATION, Malverde, Margin Walker Presents, Mouthfeel, Native Hostel, Pershing, Scratchhouse, Stubb’s, Swan Dive, The North Door, and The Parish.  For an up-to-date list of participating venues and links to their programming, visit https://redriverculturaldistrict.org and each venue’s individual website.

 

crawfish boil 2

Crawfish Boil at Revelry Kitchen & Bar

Saturday, March 14 / 2-6 pm – $20 for TWO lbs of crawfish, live music and drink specials.  Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/492638038069760/

 

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day Limo Bus Bar Crawl 

Tuesday, March 17 / 1-8 pm – Start at Revelry on the Boulevard with all day happy hour, then board the limo bus to Corner Bar on South Lamar at 2 pm, followed by a departure to Revelry Kitchen & Bar on East 6th at 5 pm. Jameson will be featuring specialty shots and cocktails at each location as well as samples and swag. $20 for the limo bus ticket (purchase at Eventbrite link) and food & drink available for purchase at each stop. 
Photo credit: Nathan Beels

 

 

Mr. Birthday’s Unofficial SX at Drinks Lounge 

Wednesday, March 18 / 3-11 pm – Enjoy an all day lineup of live music and DJs at the East Cesar Chavez neighborhood hang.

 

The Cathedral Presents

The Cathedral Presents: Art + Music Spring Fest ATX

Weds, March 18, Thurs, March 19 & Sat. March 21 / 6:30 pm – 11 pm – East Austin’s newest venue, The Cathedral, will transform into a unique art & music house featuring art from emerging local female artists and local musicians. Tickets include open bar.

 

Western Grace Tiki Takeover at The Cavalier 

Thursday, March 19 / 7 pm -12 am – Western Grace Brandy is taking over The Cavalier with a night of featured tiki cocktails by guest bartenders Matt Le (Roosevelt Room) and Jake Finley (Old Thousand). Mama Kong will be serving up free bites till they run out, go-go dancers will be shaking and DJs John Schooley and Mark A will spin feel-good vibes all night long. 

 

Karaoke Underground at Drinks Lounge 

Thursday, March 19 / 8 pm – 2 am – Indie and punk lovers, enjoy a night of belting out your favorite classics (and feelings) at Drinks Lounge. No cover. 

 

jw marriott hotel austin

JW Marriott Austin – Edge Rooftop Concerts

110 E 2nd St. | JW Marriott will host a series of musical performances and shows from over 30 bands, on the Second Play Stage at the Edge Rooftop.  There’s no badge required to attend.  $5 happy hour specials will be offered every day starting at 4pm.  Doors and bar open at 12pm to ticket holders.  Get free tickets and your RSVP HERE!

 

Distortion House

Distortion House 2020

Friday, March 20 / 2 pm – midnight – Western Grace Brandy & Earth Child Inc. present a lineup of SXSW’s most promising official artists of 2020. Free entry & open bar with RSVP.

 

SXStiles Switch Show

Stiles Switch BBQ Music Showcase

Join Stiles Switch BBQ for 6 Days of Music, Smoked Meats, and Ice Cold Brews for their annual FREE MUSIC Showcase kicks off on Tuesday, March 17th – Sunday March 22nd at High Noon!  Presented by Big Red Drum Entertainment & The Outlaw Roadshow

 

DOWNTOWN RESTAURANTS

 

JW Marriott - OP Italian

OP Italian

110 E 2nd St. | Fresh-made pasta, fresh seafood, slow-cooked meats and wood-fire Neapolitan pizza are the traditional comfort-food classics that Italians have been roasting, baking, curing and making in their own kitchens for generations. OP Italian Austin is a revitalized concept that is making the classics new again, all in a modern setting. With an open-kitchen concept and lively corner wine bar with communal and lounge seating, OP Italian Austin combines the past and present to provide good food to good people.

 

Parkside

Parkside

301 East 6th Street |  Enjoy dinner and a “show” at Austin’s first gastropub Parkside where tables #60, #61 or #62 provide the best views of 6th St. SXSW people-watching and festivities. The raw bar is stocked with a variety of fresh oysters, crudo and ceviche. Fried egg sandwiches, classic cheeseburgers, Parkside’s famous garlic and shallot french fries, alongside decadent marrow bones and seared scallops,  fuel hungry SXSW’ers for the week ahead. 

 

TenTen chicken karaage

TenTen

501 W 6th St. | ATX’s newest + hottest modern Japanese spot, TenTen, is the place to be seen this SXSW. Grab some friends and head downtown for an evening of fresh sushi and sashimi, tasty shareable bites and Japanese-inspired cocktails at Austin’s hippest new spot in town. Want to impress your clients?  Make sure and check out the $225 24oz. ribeye featured on their A5 Wagyu Beef Menu. With stunning dishes like their hamachi carpaccio, giant tiger prawns and a5 wagyu premium nigiri, plus cocktails like the wabi sabi and the sansho old fashioned – TenTen is all the hype, we promise.

 

La Condesa 2

La Condesa

400 West 2nd Street A. | La Condesa is a James Beard-nominated modern Mexican restaurant located in Austin’s vibrant 2nd Street District. Helmed by Executive Chef Rick Lopez, La Condesa’s menu features Mexico City-inspired dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, plus a renowned bar program with one of the largest collections of 100% blue agave tequila and mezcal in the city.

 

Hestia

Hestia

607 W 3rd St #105 | Hestia, named after the “Greek goddess of the hearth,” is a live-fire, modern-day grill house lead by Executive Chef Kevin Fink and partner Tavel Bristol-Joseph. This modern grill house integrates chef-focused service to provide a more intimate look into the food. At Hestia, all dishes start with the 20-foot hearth. The menu which includes snacks, small plates, and large format entrees, utilizes fire techniques from around the world and applies them to seasonal products.

 

Kalimotxo

607 W 3rd St | The new bar from the team behind Emmer & Rye and Hestia. Kalimotxo seeks to transport guests to a vibrant and energetic vibe with the stand-up bar and outdoor patio. Guests can expect colorful displays of pintxos and small bites adorning the bar top, creative cocktails and wine porrons. The menu includes plates of Jamon Iberico, assorted seafood conservas, and Basque burnt cheesecake.

 

Second Bar Kitchen Fries

Second Bar + Kitchen

3121 Palm Way #101 | Located in the Second Street District, Second Bar + Kitchen combines seasonal ingredients with local artisan products to create a sublime experience. Second Bar + Kitchen offers small plates for sharing, locally-recognized salads, delicious pizzas, entrees and desserts to enjoy. Second Bar + Kitchen is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

 

Juiceland ACL

JuiceLand

2307 Lake Austin Blvd | With three out of their 27 Austin locations being downtown, you can recharge with hot/iced superfood lattes before panels, fresh-pressed juices packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients for the morning after your unofficial SXSW parties, and more. Known to embrace health, wellness, and a vibrant, plant-based diet through juice, smoothies, food, and fun offerings, JuiceLand is on a mission to positively impact humankind and the sustainability of the planet.

 

Houndstooth Coffee Frozen JIC

Houndstooth Coffee

401 Congress Avenue #100c | Houndstooth Coffee is a locally owned and operated business. Since opening their first cafe in 2010, they have fueled the growth of community in Texas. While many places serve great coffee, Houndstooth baristas invite guests to help weave a vibrant social fabric—the Pattern of Coffee and People.

 

Scholz Garten

Scholz Garten

1607 San Jacinto Blvd. | Known as the longest running Biergarten in America and oldest restaurant, bar, and music venue in Texas, Scholz has been established as an Austin favorite for UT fans, music lovers, and families to enjoy traditional German food and beers from local breweries and more. Scholz Garten offers an all-day, full-service lunch and dinner menu comprised of modern-day twists on traditional German dishes in addition to salads, sandwiches, and specialties. Imported German beers, local draft beers, and specialty cocktails are offered at Scholz.

 

Cafe Josie

Cafe Josie

1200 B W 6th St. | The Clarksville-area favorite boasts an unlimited brunch menu on Sundays from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm.  The “Brunch Experience” is $30 per person and features a chef’s tasting menu from which guests can order bottomless brunch plates, plus $3 mimosas. Menu highlights include Rocky Road Pancakes, Pizza Bagels, Biscuit Beignets, and Crab Toast.  They also serve an entirely gluten-free brunch menu.

 

 

 

EAST AUSTIN

 

Drop Kick

1630 E. 6th St. Suite 100 | Opened February 2020, Drop Kick is a cocktail bar and kitchen offering elevated yet approachable new American bar cuisine and craft cocktails. The kitchen is open on Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. serving a selection of snacks, small and big bites and desserts. The bar is open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily, serving a well-rounded selection of cocktails, beer, wine, and spirits.

 

Old Thousand DIM SUM BRUNCH

Old Thousand

1000 E 11th St. | The East Austin “dope Chinese” joint serves Dim Sum Brunch from 11am-2pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The menu includes small bites like crab and leek shumai, cubano spring rolls, and pork soup dumplings, all served on roaming dim sum carts. House specialties are made to order and include Duck Fat Chicken and Waffles and Crispy Pork Steam Buns, among others.

 

Domo Alley

Photo Credit: Julia Keim

Domo Alley-Gato Tatsu-Ya

1600 E 6th St B. | A patio bar and outdoor space by the team behind acclaimed Ramen Tatsu-Ya and Kemuri Tatsu-Ya. The space, located next door to Ramen Tatsu-Ya’s East 6th St location, is inspired by tachinomiya, or standing bars, and yokocho, small alleyway bars, traditional concepts in Japan that have gained newfound popularity in the past several years. Domo Alley-Gato’s menu focuses on a variety of Japanese inspired cocktails, highballs, Chu-Hi cocktails via house tonics, frozen beer foam boilermakers, and one cup sakes. Karē Ban Ban, the on-site food truck, serves curry-inspired dishes made with a painstakingly-developed, unique 23-spice curry blend including classics like katsu curry along with creative munchies like the Coo Coo Wings and popular panko brioche curry chili filled Ban Ban Dog.

 

LoLo

1504 E 6th Street. | LoLo is a natural wine bar and bottle shop, offering hundreds of natural wines to choose from to sip onsite or for retail purchase to enjoy at home, along with small bites and snacks. Texas beers and inspired spritzes are also available at the second bar opening later this spring on the 3,000-square-foot outdoor patio. Carefully curated natural wines are at the forefront of LoLo offerings, with a rich selection purchased from independent, boutique farmers, distributors, and importers.

 

pitchfork pretty 1

Pitchfork Pretty

2708 East Cesar Chavez Street | Known for soulful tastes of the Hill Country, Pitchfork Pretty offers dishes crafted from the freshest local produce and inspired by Austin’s cosmopolitan sensibilities. With dishes like spicy fried chicken, refreshing east coast oysters, and quality, seasonal ingredients harvested directly from its private garden located only a mile from the restaurant, Pitchfork Pretty is the perfect place to escape SXSW crowds in a clean, inviting space.

 

Juniper Patio Julia Keim

Juniper Patio Julia Keim

Juniper

2400 E Cesar Chavez, St #304 | Located in East Austin, Juniper is a farm-to-fork restaurant concept offering contemporary fare inspired by the old world standards and culinary traditions of Northern Italy and the rich flavors of Texas. Helmed by owner and executive chef Nic Yanes, Juniper’s menu features comforting yet innovative classics driven by locally sourced, sustainably minded ingredients, along with a well-crafted gin-focused beverage program.

 

Kemuri

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

2713 E 2nd St. | Kemuri Tatsu-Ya offers ample comfort and adventure for guests seeking both. A reflection of owner and chef Tatsu Aikawa’s Japanese background and central Texas upbringing, Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, inspired by the word “smoke” in Japanese, is a full service, full bar restaurant serving smoked meats, yakitori, ramen and izakaya classics.

 

East Austin Hotel_Sixth and Waller Sunset City (1)

Sixth & Waller

1108 E 6th St. | Located on the first floor of East Austin Hotel, this global diner offers a mix of unique offerings for any time of day. Enjoy international flavors, vegan/vegetarian-friendly dishes, and scrumptious desserts, as well as delicious takes on breakfast classics, at East Austin Hotel’s all-day global diner Sixth and Waller helmed by Executive Chef Jason Stude. The restaurant is counter service breakfast, lunch, and brunch. Please see cashiers to order. During dinner hours, the restaurant is full service and a hostess can help with seating.

 

Revelry Kitchen + Bar

1410 East 6th Street | The East 6th spot serves a classic weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-3pm. Along with $4 mimosas, the brunch menu features elevated favorites such as Wings + Waffles with bacon-sriracha glaze, French Toast with a drunken berry compote, and a Biscuit + Sausage Skillet made with jalapeño cheddar biscuits. Sunday brunch is made extra fun with DJ Kid Gorilla spinning tunes during their Sunday Funday Brunch

 

DRINKS Lounge

Drinks Lounge

4511, 2001 East Cesar Chavez Street | The East Cesar Chavez neighborhood bar pours classic cocktails like Old Fashioneds, Moscow Mules, French 75s, and Margaritas, along with a full bar. They also serve a selection of signature cocktails such as the Rockaway Peach (Deep Eddy Peach & Lemon Vodka, pineapple juice, jalapeño, ginger brew) and the Hot Love (Sauza Cucumber Chili Tequila, honey syrup, fresh lime juice, chili salt). Along with an extensive menu of bar food including burgers, tacos, and wings, the bar also serves a Hangover Brunch from 12-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

 

RAINEY STREET

 

Tipsy Alchemist 1

The Tipsy Alchemist

70 Rainey St Suite 200 | The Tipsy Alchemist is an elevated cocktail bar and lounge featuring well-crafted cocktails with a touch of science, art, and technique. Located on the second level of 70 Rainey, the Austin location offers a cocktail program, an extended menu complete with local craft beers and a selection of shareable cocktails, and casual patio seating with an outdoor stage.

 

emmer and rye

Emmer & Rye

SkyHouse, 51 Rainey St #110 | Helmed by Owner and Executive Chef Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye brings cuisine that is rustic and seasonally inspired to Rainey Street. Emmer & Rye is the first contemporary American restaurant in Austin to offer dim sum service as part of their meal, where guests are able to order items directly off of circulating carts, along with a weekly rotating menu using local farm-to-table ingredients. Emmer & Rye opened in late 2015, and Chef Fink was quickly named one of FOOD & WINE Magazine’s “Best New Chefs” and one of the “Best New Restaurants 2016” by Bon Appetit.

 

Geraldine’s

605 Davis St. | Perched on the fourth floor of Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, Geraldine’s sets the tone daily with live music showcasing word-class, homegrown talent and a bat’s-eye view of Lady Bird Lake and Austin’s cityscape.

 

AUSTIN AREA

 

Sway Hx Slad Ki

SWAY

1417 South 1st Street. | Savor spicy, modern, Thai cuisine and refreshing drinks at both the Domain NORTHSIDE and Westlake Hills locations of Sway. Inspired by an Australian style of Thai cooking, Sway is an interpretation of a traditional northern Thai-style lanna house. Sway’s West Lake Hills location features a rooftop bar with sleek outdoor patio adorned with modern wooden tables and lush greenery – giving you stunning city views without the hassle of downtown Austin traffic.

 

Patika

Patika Luncheonette

100 S. Congress Ave. | Along with brewing craft coffee (including their own line of small batch coffee, Superthing), the new 100 Congress location of this cozy coffee spot boasts extensive breakfast and lunch menus. Morning options include salmon stuffed avocado, a bacon breakfast sandwich, made-to-order breakfast tacos, as well as assorted pastries. Lunch options include hot sandwiches
and grab-and-go salads and soups.

 

Velouria cocktail bar

Velouria

3801 S Congress Ave Suite 116 | South Congress’ newest bar serves up some stellar cocktails and vibes by night. Afternoon and evening offerings showcase classic cocktails like Negronis, Manhattans, and others as well as craft beer and wine. The menu also offers frozen cocktails like frozen Espresso Martinis and Mai Tais. Evening eats include flatbread pizzas, as well as cheese and charcuterie boards. Happy hour goers can enjoy $8 classic cocktails and $1 off beer and wine, 1-7pm everyday.

 

Lick

Lick Honest Ice Creams

1100 S Lamar Blvd #1135 | Sweeten up your trip to SXSW with a scoop (or two) of Lick Honest Ice Creams. Lick works directly with local farmers and food artisans to source fine ingredients that guarantee a farm-to-table product. Keep it simple with one of their everyday flavors such as Dark Chocolate, Olive Oil & Sea Salt made with notes of dark chocolate and sea salt from SRSLY Chocolate and Texas Olive Ranch olive oil or their seasonal Grandma’s Lemon Cake Roll made with Lick’s classic buttery lemon cake, combined with tart Meyer lemon curd and cream.

 

MezzeMe - Ashlyn Allison

MezzeMe on The Drag

2530 Guadalupe St. | The fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant features a build-your-own style menu with the option to choose grain bowls, salads, or pitas. The menu boasts options for all diets, gluten-free, vegan, or paleo. Turkish protein options like lamb kebab, falafel, and kofte meatballs are paired with traditional sides or “mezzes” like red pepper hummus, tabouleh, and roasted carrot yogurt. They also offer a made to order selection of seasonal entrees. MezzeMe on The Drag features a back patio and dedicated parking lot for easy access.

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About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher
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Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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