Tens of thousands of music fans will soon descend upon Austin to attend the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Most attendees already have their schedule planned out for what acts they’re going to see during the 3 days of mayhem, but do you know what you’re going to be eating?
As a seasoned ACL Festival-goer, let me tell you that food can make or break your experience at the festival. Yes, most people will be jumping between stages all day, but you can’t let food be an afterthought. Odds are that you’ll have a drink or two (or a lot more, we’re not judging) and the fest is a marathon, not a sprint.
Below are some of my favorite Austin restaurants that you’ll be able to check out during ACL.
Burro Cheese Kitchen
Burro has been in Austin since 2013 and they know grilled cheese better than anyone. We’re not just talking cheddar between two slices of bread. They create some of the most savory sandwiches you’ll ever try. I suggest the “Waylon & Willie” which has cheddar, gouda, caramelized onions, pepperoncini and a spicy maple bacon sauce.
Chi’Lantro started out as a food truck that somehow appeared at every hot party during SXSW. The founder, Jae Kim, had a vision for bringing Korean food to the masses and boy, did he deliver. You can try their famous kimchi fries with either Korean Beef of marinated tofu. They will also be serving their Korean fried chicken or tofu sliders at the festival.
East Side King
The Austin OGs will remember how popular the East Side King location at The Liberty Bar was circa 8 years ago. Even today, after opening up a brick-and-mortar location on South Lamar, the Thai Chicken Karaage and the pork buns hit the spot every time.
When you need delicious bread to soak up all the booze, Easy Tiger is your go-to. This stall will honestly be your carb heaven. They are making special pretzel sticks with honey mustard and beer cheese, but my go-to will be their bratwursts. They will have the traditional brat, a hatch green chili and cheese one, and even a Beyond Bratwurst for the vegans out there
Here’s something for all you fried chicken lovers. Happy Chicks will make your chicken nugget dreams a reality. Go for the traditional tenders get the happy sauce and the roasted cream corn. The chicken sandwich is also a good idea, since any leftovers could be a pocket sandwich later in the day.
Black’s BBQ has been a Central Texas institution since 1932. Their original location is about 30 minutes southeast of Austin in Lockhart, TX. It’s a small town known for it’s Texas-style BBQ and they actually have a location in Central Austin by the UT campus. This is their first time at ACL Festival and will be slinging chopped brisket and pulled pork sandwiches. You can also get a sausage on a stick with a nice roll underneath to soak up all the juices.
I’m a lover of all spicy food and Shawarma Point has been my go-to for some delicious shawarma and gyros for many years. They will have their chicken shawarma and beef/lamb gyros for sale. If you want a smaller snack you can opt for their hummus and pita bread side. If you’re not a fan of spicy food don’t worry, the sauce comes on the side.
The Mighty Cone was been an ACL staple for years and there’s just something about their concept that works so well with the festival. The food is served in a cone shaped container which makes it a perfect to-go food. The chicken cone and the avocado cone have always been some of my favorites. I think it’s the ancho chili sauce that just takes the delicious fried foods to a new level.
Taco Deli is the go-to for that queso fix, after all, we are in Texas. And let me tell you, they are bringing it! They will be serving their Frontera Fundido sirloin, chicken and cauliflower tacos. If you’ve never had this taco, it comes with grilled onions and green peppers. They’re also rolling out the traditional nacho order that has their Akaushi Picadillo beef, black beans, queso, queso fresco and jalapeno for those wanting to share their food.
Don’t let their name fool you, their menu is anything but tiny. Tiny Pies will have a variety o sweet and savory pies. The ones that caught my eye on the sweet side are the fried apple and the Pecan pie. As for the savory, the Chicken Pot Pie and the Spinach Ricotta Empanada will be the perfect foods to take on the run between shows. A nice compact meal with no mess!
We want to see what our favorite foods at the festival are. Tag @austinfoodmagazine on Instagram and let us see our ACL Eats.