It’s no secret that one of the hardest parts of going out to eat is deciding where to go. Especially if you’re going out with friends or a significant other, when the conversation about what to eat can often take longer than actually getting out there and doing the thing. And with so many great breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and brunch) options in town, narrowing it down can get even more overwhelming.
Fortunately, Austinites have an excellent tool to help with this problem: food truck parks. You want sushi but your partner wants a burger? No problem, there’s a park that can easily make that happen in one fell swoop. Craving a smorgasbord of tacos, sandwiches, barbecue brisket, and vegan snacks? No sweat, we got you. Each food truck park is bursting with a variety of options sure to satisfy every need, all with a side of sunny, outdoor dining bliss. Even a list as long and comprehensive as this one barely scratches the surface of what the city has to offer.
Riverside Buzz Mill is a community patio, coffee shop, and bar all rolled into one. One of the few venues in town that operate 24/7, they host a ton of regular programming like comedy shows and concerts alongside, of course, plenty of excellent food trucks for you to peruse. Check out Plow-Bao for vegan dim sum, Plow-Burger for plant-based burgers, 1776 Cheesesteak Co for, you guessed it, cheesesteaks, and JNL BBQ for traditional smoked meats. Stay tuned as a new trailer, Bully Bagel, will be opening up soon.
Must-try food: You can’t go wrong with the simple but effective order of a half-pound of brisket ($13) from JNL. And the vegan Pan-fried “Pork” Dumplings ($8) from Plow-Bao are always popular with newbies and regulars alike.
East Austin Dog- and BYOB-friendly Arbor Food Park is where you can find gems like Cachitos 512, known for melt-in-your-mouth Venezuelan eats, and Cuantos Tacos, which brings you a superb range of Mexico City street-style tacos. Also onsite are the ever-reliable Ali Gyro Halal and well-loved pizza joint Sammataro.
Must-try food: Sammataro’s The Classic Pie ($26) comes with homemade tomato sauce and fresh low-moisture mozzarella, topped off with aged Parm, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh basil. What’s not to love?
26th and Rio Grande Smack-dab in the heart of West Campus and available nearly any time of day, you’ll see dozens of college students flocking to this large collection of quality food trucks. Institutions like chicken and waffle maestro Longhorn Chicken, dessert shop Cold Cookie Co., and hand-made noodle palace Julie’s Noodles lead the pack, followed by at least a half-dozen more options. 26th and Rio is also the birthplace of rising local favorite JP’s Pancake Company, which has blossomed into a legend in its own right.
Must-try food: Check out the Hot Spicy Stew ($9.25) from Julie’s Noodles or hop on the sweet train with JP Pancake Company’s Keyshia Cole Pancakes ($7.50), dark chocolate pancakes topped with fresh berries and blackberry syrup.
28th StrEAT late-night food court
West Campus This five-restaurant team is another stellar late-night refuge for students and post-collegiate midnight snackers alike. Draws include Halal superstar Abu Omar, the brand new Mango Feliz outpost, and Queen & King Cafe which offer a variety of savory snacks and sweet treats. Aptly named Asian food specialist Asian Express also holds its own, as does Donuts N’ Chick, which, as it sounds, serves up fried chicken stuffed between fluffy donuts.
Must-try food: Abu Omar’s Beef Shawarma Over Rice ($11) is a well-portioned meal that will definitely hit the spot, and Queen & King Cafe saves the day with refreshing Mangonadas ($8).
Ballroom Vegan Food Trucks
North Campus While Austin institution Spider House Cafe may have closed, the Ballroom and its surrounding lot of food trucks are still going strong. And all four trucks-Arlo’s,The Corn Dog Guy, Sassy’s Vegetarian Soul FOOD, and Theano Vegan Greek-are totally plant-based. Yes, even the corndogs. As an added bonus, the folks behind the counter at each roving establishment are particularly nice and welcoming.
Must-try Food: Sassy’s Soul Bowl ($12) is a delicious heap of loaded sweet potato fries, topped with creamy black-eyed peas, greens, vegan bacon, and relish. The Corn Dog Guy’s Elote Dog ($9) is a decadent hand-dipped dog, fried in corn batter and topped with mayo, buttered chipotle corn, cilantro, grated Parmesan, and Valentina hot sauce for the ideal spicy finish.
South First & W Dittmar Thicket is a charming food truck park surrounded by nice shady trees and colorful art, complete with a free seed swap box stashed next to their community garden. There are around a dozen trucks on the property, so you’re sure to find something for everyone. Jacque Belle Cajun Eats serves all the Cajun favorites like Gumbo and Shrimp Po’boys. Saté Texas takes care of Indonesian barbecue, while Shirley’s Trini Cuisine,Brooklyn Breakfast Company, and Arti Pasta Italian Food round out the always-fantastic offerings.
Must-try food: Crawfish Etouffee ($4 for small, $7.50 for large) from Jacque Belle is a no-brainer, as is the Monthly Fried Chicken Sandwich ($11) from Brooklyn Breakfast Company.
Burnet Road Despite its location off of a fairly busy road, 5000 Burnet has been able to carve out a serene family-friendly escape. To give you a taste of the many options,, there’s esteemed T-Loc’s Sonoran Style Hot Dogs, Budare’s Venezuelan Food, and Dawa Sushi. There’s also a small playscape and some nicely maintained indoor bathrooms-always a plus.
Must-try food: Kick things off with a bacon-wrapped Sonoran Hot Dog ($6.50) from T-Loc’s, then polish off an order of Dawa Sushi’s Jabchae Korean glass noodles ($9.99).
South First Food Court
South First & West Gibson Street As this list indicates, South First Street is home to a boatload of food truck parks. And if you’re heading up from South Austin, one of the first you’ll encounter is the South First Food Court. This quaint hideaway offers everything from fresh pasta aficionados Il Saporis to the meat-focused TX Shawarma. Other trucks include Manolis, known for badass pastries and ice cream, as well as 747 Burgers and cheekily named farm-to-table specialist The RAD-DISH. And while you’re there, you might as well take a jar of pickles home from Fickle Pickles.
Must-try food: The Tagliatelle Alla Vodka ($12) from IL Saporis is a big hit with locals. And it’s hard to go wrong with a rich scoop of Butter Pecan from Manolis ($5 to $10, depending on size).
Barton Springs The Picnic sits in close proximity to Barton Springs pool, pairing crowd-pleasing trucks like The Mighty Cone and The Burger Truck with a much-appreciated BYOB policy. Explore resident purveyors like Tex-Mex haven Have a Taco and from-scratch Italian truck Cannone Cucina Italiana. Expect ample parking, lots of shade, and actual restrooms (instead of the requisite port-a-potties).
Must-try foods: Don’t sleep on Mighty Cone’s Monster Cone ($11), which crams Hot ‘n’ Crunchy chicken, shrimp, avocado, mango-jalapeño slaw, and ancho chili sauce into a pillowy flour tortilla.
Mueller Trailer Eats
Mueller The Mueller Trailer Eats food park is easy to find-just look for the historic Browning Hangar, the structure that serves as a landmark for the former Robert Mueller Municipal Airport. There you’ll find Hey Cupcake!’s dreamy desserts, Conscious Cravings’ mouth-watering vegan wraps, and The Stonehouse Woodfire Grill, which has a surprisingly extensive menu of grilled burgers, toasted sandwiches, pitas, and kebabs, as well as special options just for kiddos.
Must-try food: Treat your sweet tooth to a Mini Assortment ($15) from Hey Cupcake and thank us later.
South First & Gibson Located across the street from El Mercado, this tasty trailer park is where you’ll find Conscious Cravings, where vegetarian cuisine never skimps on flavor (or portion size), Tacoly Moly for street tacos, VSpot Atx for filling Venezuelan eats, beloved dessert shop Bananarchy, and Chivata Atx, a gourmet spot with a menu built around goat cheese.
Must-try food: Conscious Cravings’ best-selling wrap is the Spicy Chickpea ($7.99), while the GOATfather ($6.95) from Chivata is an equally great lunch go-to, served on Ciabatta and layered with arugula, tomatoes, basil pesto, and, yes, goat cheese.
West Gibson Street Hardly a stone’s throw away from Ira and Bev’s Food Truck Park, you’ll find yet another gravel lot that’s home to reliably great Little Thai Food, Bombay Dhaba’s comforting Indian cuisine, and the excellent Juanita’s Tacos & More.
Must-try food: Little Thai Food’s tom kha ($12), a tangy, spicy coconut milk soup, is a great place to start before diving into the fiery Panang Curry ($9), served with soothing white rice.
East 11th Street
East 11th Spread across a square block or two near East 11th and Lydia street perches this vibrant food truck hub strewn with murals and a whopping 10 or so game-changing kitchens bound to delight the whole crew. The unique lineup includes the island-style Tony’s Jamaican Food, Detroit-inspired Delray Cafe inside Nickel City, Micklethwait Craft Meats’ Texas-style barbecue, Cosmic Taco for “out of this world” tacos, and the aptly titled vegan joint, Community Vegan.
Must-try foods: Delray Cafe’s double slider with cheese ($4.61), stacked with twin patties and grilled onions on a steamed bun, is a carnivore’s dream, while Micklethwait Craft Meats’ Brisket Frito Pie ($10) nips at its meaty heels. Elsewhere, Community Vegan’s handspun dairy-free shake ($9) and Beer Battered Cauli Chikn Sandwich ($14) stand in confidently for the animal-based originals.
Must-try foods: Big Fat Greek Gyros’ big-enough-for-two Hercules gyro ($8.21), stuffed with tender and juicy lamb, beef, or chicken, romaine hearts, tomato, onion, green peppers, oregano, and French fries is always a sure-fire bet. Tommy Want Wingy’s five-piece, Garlic Parmesan wings, or the super-spicy Ranch on Fire wings ($13.75) also aim to please, while Little Lucy’s Not So Plain Sugar Mini Donuts($7), a set of 12 warm donuts served with a range of decadent dipping sauces, ably brings up the rear.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.
In the midst of all the SXSW chaos, it helps to remember that there’s a rainbow at the festival’s end-that is, the hangover-blessing we’ve been granted of having St. Patrick’s Day 2023 fall on a Friday. Whether you attribute this small win to the Gregorian calendar or the luck of the Irish, it’s sure to amp up the already liver-damaging activities associated with this cultural celebration. However, Éire is more than just leprechauns and Colin Farrell-it’s a breathtaking land full of warm, welcoming, and good-hearted people. Fortunately, there’s a way you can get a taste of the Republic’s spirit, and a dark stout, at the same time by hitting up one of Austin’s various Irish pubs. From cozy, intimate spaces decked out like small taverns in Cobh, to modern dives with all the party energy of Temple Bar, our list has the best spots in the city to “erin go bragh” all out on March 17.
With a giant model of a beer tap literally decorating their front door, you can’t miss B.D Riley’s, nor doubt that this East Austin hang is a spot to down some serious brewskis. And its name, and perfect pours of Guinness, aren’t the only aspects they draw from the Emerald Isle-the entire pub itself was actually designed and built in Dundalk, Ireland, and shipped over for assembly in Bat City. Such authentic decor calls for equally authentic sounds, therefore, on St. Patrick’s Day, B.D. Riley’s will feature an all-day, four-artist bill of live, trad-inspired music. So, while you may not start the day knowing all the words to “The Galway Girl,” you are bound to sing along by last call.
Having only opened this past December, Kelly’s is the new kid with a brogue on the block. Occupying the space which formerly housed tapas restaurant Winebelly, this pub had big shoes to fill for South Austin barflies, but quickly won them over with an impressive whiskey selection and friendly atmosphere. A big reason behind the real deal Éire vibes can, most likely, be chalked up to the fact that one of Kelly’s owners was actually born and bred in Ireland-and the dedication to delivering a true-to-life experience is evident in everything from the shepherd’s pie to the witty bartenders. For St. Patrick’s Day, they are getting the party started early with live music and an opening time of 8 am.
While The Domain may boast more bars than you can shake a shamrock at, there’s only one spot in the North Austin entertainment behemoth that can be properly called an Irish pub: Jack & Ginger’s. Start off the night with selecting a tasting flight from their over 82 beers on tap, then, move onto shots poured straight from their Irish Whiskey Tours-after loosening up with a round or two, you might just find yourself with the gift of gab. And, before snapping a selfie over Jack & Ginger’s see-through glass floor, balance out that buzz with food offerings like a giant soft pretzel or a round of fried pickles.
Here’s a spot that visibly radiates with Irish pride-at Foxy’s, the glow of green beams out from the bar’s lighted panels, and across their chandelier made of Jameson bottles. When it comes to cups and chow, their commitment to the theme continues-the use of the word,”proper,” in the pub’s name alone indicates you’re in for a heavy pour of the standards. Consequently, the taps are abundant with essential Irish sips, including Guinness, Magners, and Smithwick’s. With Lone Star on draft, there’s also a nod to Texas tradition as well. But don’t fear if you’re bored of beer-Foxy’s variety of whiskey-based cocktails will let you switch it up (and still keep it Celtic). March 17 will find them celebrating with live music, whiskey tastings, and swag giveaways.
Compared to a flight to Dublin, the 30-minute drive to Round Rock’s Cork & Barrel is much more convenient-not to mention, won’t require waiting in a TSA line. A mix between a modern Austin beer garden and a historical Irish pub, this spot’s spacious interior and expansive outdoor patio guarantees there will be enough room for the whole crew to cheer “sláinte.” And, their microbrewery’s signature beers are the ideal drinks to do such a toast with. The menu of specially crafted drafts includes a blueberry wheat, an Irish red ale, and a vanilla stout. This St. Patrick’s Day also marks Cork & Barrel’s two-year anniversary, and they are throwing down for the double-celebration with live music, yard games, Irish food specials, and plentiful amounts of green beer and Irish Car Bombs.