Once again, it’s South by Southwest time.
You’ve come for the tech. The music. The movies. The networking. The brand activations. The weather (hopefully). But while you’re in Austin, don’t forget we’ve got an impressive (and growing) dining scene for you to tackle, as well.
You can’t spend all of your time at talks and screenings and shows. At some point you’re going to have to eat. Don’t be lured by free queso bars, passed appetizers and complimentary energy bars.
Take some time out and eat at one of the many restaurants and food trucks in Austin’s core. Exploring the restaurant scene can be a great way to get a feel for a city and its culture, even if you do only have 30 minutes before you have to go see the presentation of the next world-changing app.
The restaurants listed here are all located relatively close to the main action at SXSW — just a short walk, bike ride or (inset preferred method of automotive transport here) away.
Some of these restaurants may have special events and private parties during SXSW, so it’s wise to call ahead or check their website. And, while I always find SXSW a good time to slip into surprisingly uncrowded restaurants downtown, some of these spots will be impossible to get into. There’s always July.
(Click here for my list of Best Pizza in Austin from 2015.)
(Click here for my complete SXSW Dining Guide.)
Backspace. 507 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-474-9899, thebackspace-austin.com. Neapolitan pies as well as charcuterie and a nice roster of antipasti at this charming little spot just off Sixth Street.
Bufalina. 1519 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-524-2523, bufalinapizza.com. The best Neapolitan pizzas in the city and a great Italian wine list at this little East Austin restaurant make the wait worth it. Also try the hand-pulled mozzarella and charcuterie plate.
Burn Pizza + Bar. 1802 E. Sixth St. 512-609-8174, burnatx.com. Fresh mozzarella and the best Roman pizzas in town are the main draws at this restaurant-bar hybrid in East Austin.
Due Forni. 106 E. Sixth St. 512-391-9300, dueforni.com. The restaurant serves Roman and Neapolitan pizzas, using two separate Napolitano ovens (hence the name). That means one group of pies with a thicker, fluffier edge and another with thin, cracker crust.
East Side Pies. 1401 Rosewood Ave. 512-524-0933, eastsidepies.com. Cracker crust farm-to-pizza from a tiny walk-up with a little patio for dining. Get the Girther (avocado, blue cheese and roasted onions) and add bacon.
Enoteca. 1610 S. Congress Ave. 512-441-7672, austinvespaio.com/enoteca. Fine-dining restaurant Vespaio’s cute little sister, Enoteca makes very good pizza and offers outdoor seating that makes for great people watching.
Home Slice Pizza. 1415 S. Congress Ave. 512-444-7437, homeslicepizza.com. The best New York City-style pizza in Austin.
Salvation Pizza. 51 Rainey St. 512-499-0105, salvationpizza.com. Thin, crunchy Connecticut-style pizzas at this restaurant in the Rainey Street District.
Spartan Pizza. 1007 E. Sixth St. 512-484-0798, spartanpizzaaustin.com. Golden-edged pies from a storefront that started down the street in an Airstream.
Via 313. 1111 E. Sixth St. 512-939-1927; 61 Rainey St. 512-609-9405; via313.com. These two trailers serve thick, fluffy, cheesy squares of Detroit-style pizza, perfect after a night of beer drinking. Try the Detroiter. Expect a wait. It’s worth it.