It’s that time of year again.  In one of the best, if not THE best festival in Austin – the Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL).  Once again, tickets have completely sold out this year, and thousands of people will be headed to Zilker Park to see some of their favorite musicians perform!

You might be one of the few in Austin that’s trying to stay away from all of the madness.  Then again, you may not be! Whether you’re planning to stuff your face inside or outside of the festival grounds, it’s always good to have a plan of attack on conquering your dinning schedule around the city.


Barton Springs

South Austin Social Food Truck Park | 409 Jessie Stsouth austin food park

If you’re looking for a quick stop on your way in or out of the festival you’re in luck, South Austin Social Food Truck Park is a super short walk from Zilker park. The Food Truck Park will be slinging breakfast, lunch and late night eats. from Boca Spanish Fare (serving breakfast tacos starting at 8 a.m., lunch, dinner and late night bites);Beirut (named by Huffington Post as one of the 10 food trucks you must visit in Austin, they will Lebanese/Mediterranean food from 11 a.m. to midnight), Gibroni’s (serving Italian-Mexican fusion bites like pasta and sandwiches until midnight), Gemma Love (Jamaican breakfast, lunch and dinner like oktail, jerk chicken and goat curry), Unity Vegan Kitchen (opening at 11 a.m.), Over the Moon Pies (coming soon, should be open for lunch) and Texas Chili Queen. The park will also have jewelry vendors (Claire’s Colors and Cuvee Designs) and might make an appearance. The park will be open from 8 a.m. until at least midnight.


East Austin



Gardner | 1914 E 6th St

Gardner, co-owned by Ben Edgerton and Chef Andrew Wiseheart, focuses on seasonal, fresh ingredients. Gardner now serves a Sunday brunch menu offering a selection of five baked goods, three individual assorted menu items served with a bialy, and eight main entrées including a dry aged rib eye sausage dish, scrambled eggs with short ribs and hollandaise,  a fried chicken sandwich, and a ricotta pancake with peaches. Gardner is a perfect place to relax and recharge before heading to Zilker Park, and the restaurant offers plenty of parking, and takes online reservations and welcomes walk-ins. Gardner was recently named one of the ’50 Best New Restaurants in America’ by Bon Appétit Magazine.


the hightowerThe Hightower | 1209 E 7th St

If you’re looking for a brunch, happy hour, or dinner spot during the fest, The Hightower is conveniently located on East 7th Street with plenty of guest parking and a patio perfect for outdoor dining. The restaurant serves sandwiches, sharable small plates, and offers happy hour from on Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and all evening on Sunday from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. The Hightower has a vast selection of draft beer and cocktails, and is a great place to escape the crowds of ACL Fest while still being able to access the nightlife, bars, and concerts happening on East Sixth Street.

Launderette2115 HOLLY ST

Photo: Jane Ko (

Photo: Jane Ko (

Launderette is an East Austin café located in the heart of the Holly neighborhood in Austin. Open for dinner, seven days a week at 5:00pm, Launderette features an inviting menu elevated by the vibrant and global flavors from Chefs Rene Ortiz & Laura Sawicki.  Over a glass of wine or a perfect martini, diners can follow their whims and create a meal from “Snacky Bits” including crispy Fried Oysters and Balsamico Onions; Crab and French Feta “Toasts”; “Wood Grill” offerings like Charred Octopus and Hanger Steak, an array of “Vegetables,” including Grilled Brocollini and Caramelized Endive and a roster of “Specialties” including Brick Chicken, Fennel Sausage Garganelli and a Plancha Burger.

Mongers Market + Kitchen | 2401 E. Cesar Chavez St

Tuna Ceviche.

Tuna Ceviche.

The Mongers kitchen specializes in classic, simple seafood dishes prepared in an approachable yet sophisticated way. The Mongers retail market highlights the best of Texas Gulf seafood. Mongers is open for lunch and dinner service Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and for Sunday brunch, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, Mongers’ menu highlights an array of seafood delicacies. The Raw Bar, featuring a rotating selection of Fresh Oysters ($3 each), mouth-watering Clams($8, half a dozen), massive Peel ’n’ Eat Shrimp ($13, half a pound) and succulent Blue Crab(market price), also includes some of Chef Stark’s most simple yet sophisticated specialties, such as the sublime Hamachi Crudo ($15) and the delicate Tuna Ceviche ($14).

 Congress Ave.

Cafe No Sé 1Café No Sé1603 S Congress Ave

Helmed by Executive Chef Michael Paley and Executive Pastry Chef Amanda Rockman, Café No Sé is an all-day neighborhood café featuring California-inspired American dining. The café is located at South Congress Hotel, on the corner of South Congress Avenue and Milton Street and is now serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, with the kitchen staying open until midnight on the weekends. Festival goers can enjoy late night bites after the last concert or get energized for the day by having brunch before heading over to Zilker.

Homeslice pizzaHome Slice Pizza |1415 S. Congress

Just minutes from Zilker on South Congress, Home Slice Pizza is a convenient spot for festival-goers to grab a NY style slice during ACL. More Home Slice, their walk-up window at 1421 South Congress, is open until 3am on Friday and Saturday for a late night, post-show slice to-go.

Velpar - TownsendThe Townsend718 Congress Ave #100

The Townsend is a high-end cocktail lounge and live music venue located at 718 Congress Avenue in the heart of Austin’s downtown arts and entertainment district across from the Paramount Theater. Housed in the 3,400 square foot landmark Townsend-Thompson Building, The Townsend offers a delicious menu of small plates and craft cocktails. Food and beverage wrangler, Justin Elliott, along with the talented staff, has created a unique menu of classic and innovative cocktails. The Townsend is an intimate stop, perfect for meeting up with friends after a day of listening to music at Zilker Park during ACL Fest.


La Condesa400 W 2nd StLC Guacamole Tasting

La Condesa is an award-winning modern Mexican restaurant, nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award for ‘Best New Restaurant.’ Helmed by Executive Chef Rick Lopez, La Condesa is located in Austin’s vibrant 2nd Street District, across the street from the W Hotel Austin and the world-famous Austin City Limits. La Condesa is a fun, vibrant, downtown Austin restaurant, and is perfect for group dining for brunch or dinner during ACL Fest.

Italic123 W. Sixth Street

ItalicChef Andrew Curren’s vision of a rustic Italian eatery where friends and family can relax over simple, straightforward meals. The menu is updated frequently to reflect seasonal produce and can be approached in any number of ways, from a quick lunch special (a starter and pasta for $15 or two starters and a pizza designed to share for $30) to a leisurely dinner of coursed small plates more reminiscent of what you might actually experience in Italy.


Josephine House | 1601 Waterston Ave

Josephine House 2The elegance of Josephine House in Clarksville is a sharp contrast to the crowds of the festival. They open for breakfast at 8 a.m. (served until 10:30 am), offering delicious and filling dishes like huevos rancheros, an egg sandwich and lighter fare like avocado toast and lemon ricotta pancakes. Indulge in the charm, resting up for the party ahead. Lunch is served starting at 11 a.m.Brunch service (offered Saturdayand Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) includes items like short rib hash, steak & egg and the infamous breakfast burger.



liberty kitchenLiberty Kitchen | 507 Pressler St #700

Liberty Kitchen Austin brings beauty, and comforting seafood food to the neighborhood in a new space that is among one of the most visually impressive you’ll see in Clarksville.  The decorations pay homage to the Texas Gulf Coast with an open airy design that almost makes you feel like you’re dining near a salt water beach instead of the bustling traffic of 5th street. Prep your sea-legs and put on your stretchy pants, this menu is an adventure in tastes and endurance. Prep your sea-legs and put on your stretchy pants, this menu is an adventure in tastes and endurance.

 South Austin

SwaySway | 1417 S 1st St

Located along a strip of Austin’s developing South First Street boutiques, Sway (meaning elevated, delicious) is an award-winning modern Thai restaurant, named one of the ’50 Best New Restaurants in America’ by Bon Appétit Magazine. Sway is located at 1417 S 1st Street, and both offers festival goers and locals looking for a place to escape the festival madness a great dining experience for either lunch or dinner during ACL.

 40 North Pizza | 1502 S 1st St 40 North


The Neapolitan pies at this South First Street trailer are fired up in a wood-burning oven, using two-day dough topped with artisanal ingredients from San Marzano tomatoes to Calabrian chiles, housemade mozzarella and spicy honey. Owner Clint Elmore studied pizzamaking in both Naples and New York before opening the spot, which has a tented picnic seating area and a BYO policy.

Dolce Neve Gelato | 1713 S 1st St

Photo: Courtney Pierce

Photo: Courtney Pierce

Dolce Neve is situated in a charming bungalow off of south First Street. Their patio makes for an inviting place to take in a beautiful day with a cup of gelato and espresso. A visit to the shop is a one of a kind experience that is a must for all Austinites. The owners, Leo Silvestrini, Francesca Ferrarese and Marco Ferrarese moved here from Italy to pursue their dream of opening a gelato shop in the United Sates. The trio is clearly passionate and enthusiastic about providing authentic gelato to the Austin area.