The Perfect 24 Hour Day Of Eating In Austin Texas
I created the perfect 24 hour day of eating in Austin, because I get it. You’re visiting Austin and only have a very short amount of time to see all the sights, listen to the music, and, most importantly, eat all the foods. So you don’t want to waste any valuable stomach space eating something that isn’t the best.
Here’s the perfect 24-hour day of eating your way through Austin. If I was playing tourist in my own city and just had one day to eat, these are the exact places I’d visit.
Why should you trust my opinion? Because I’ve tried nearly every restaurant in this awesome city! I’ve eaten tons of breakfast tacos and queso, been to all the high-end date night restaurants, stood in line for hours at Franklin Barbecue, and spent an entire month eating nothing but tacos so I could share the best with y’all. I even wrote a book about the Austin neighborhood food scenes because I just love, love, love sharing the best Austin restaurants with you.
4 am: 24 Diner
This is a little ambitious, I know, but I did say I’d share a full 24-hour day of eating! What better way to start than at a scrumptious farm-to-table 24-hour diner? Chow down on the best chili cheese fries in the city to soak up last night’s booze, or start your day super early with a breakfast platter, biscuits and gravy, or a giant waffle. The food is fresh, often locally sourced, and better than any other “diner” food you’ve probably tried.
7 am: Patika Coffee
This is easily one of the best coffee programs in the city, and one of my top choices for a morning cup of coffee paired with a toasted Rosen’s bagel or an insanely delicious scone. (Seriously – I’m always sending folks to Patika for their scones because they’re hands down the best I’ve tried in Austin. The flavors are rotating with the seasons and so, so tasty.) They also have a great breakfast program if you’re looking for a larger brunch-type meal without a long wait for a table.
10 am: Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ
We’re gonna kill two birds with one stone here and get both breakfast tacos and barbecue. Here’s why: Valentina’s makes their own flour tortillas, which are a major component to the perfect breakfast taco. Like, don’t even bother getting other breakfast tacos, because you’re getting the best right here. And since the line can be sorta-kinda long, go ahead and get a couple pounds of brisket, ribs, and sausage for the table, along with some sides of charro beans and queso loaded with brisket. This bbq rivals the big dogs in Austin (Franklin and La Barbecue), but the line is often much shorter.
1 pm: Via 313 (Craft Pride location)
Quick note: this is only gonna work for weekend eating. If you’re visiting on a week day, Craft Pride opens at 4 pm.
Via 313 is HANDS DOWN on my perfect 24-hour day of eating through Austin. They serve thick, Detroit-style pizza made in rectangular pans made upside-down (sauce on top) with a thick, crispy-edged crust. I’m not going to recommend a particular flavor because they’re all good, so just go with your gut.
There are multiple Via 313 locations, but I recommend the food truck location that’s parked behind Craft Pride. It’s a little Rainey Street bar that only serves Texas craft beer, so it’s a fun place to drink local. Order your pizza, then while you’re waiting for it go inside and get a flight of beer to bring back outside to the patio. Supah fun. There’s a really good chance you’ll run into me here on a Friday night. 😉
3 pm: Better Half Coffee and Cocktails
A few things about Better Half: 1) they serve both coffee and cocktails so that you can decide if you’re more in the mood for a caffeine pick-me-up or some day drinking, 2) the food menu is AWESOME, just in case you’re still hungry after your Via 313 meal, 3) they have a parking lot, which is pretty rare for downtown restaurants, and 4) they have a giant outdoor space that’s lovely on pretty spring days in Texas.
5 pm: Jeffrey’s
Want to visit one of the swankiest restaurants in Austin without spending much? Stop by the bar at Jeffrey’s for happy hour where you can enjoy half-off appetizers and $2 off drinks.
8 pm: Olamaie
If you’re going to splurge on a nice dinner in Austin, Olamaie is a great choice for a memorable dinner. Why? For starters, it’s been nominated for several James Beard awards, including Best New Restaurant and Best Chef Southwest. It’s been on pretty much every “best of” list in Austin, including the Austin-American Statesman’s “Best Restaurants in Austin” and Texas Monthly’s “Where To Eat Now.” And personally, it’s just one of my favorite upscale restaurants. I love having birthday and anniversary dinners here and enjoying the creative southern fare in an elegant setting with exceptional service.
11 pm: Small Victory
This downtown speakeasy is my favorite for after-dinner drinks. It’s a bit off-the-radar in the Austin bar scene, and I love that. The martinis are awesome, and the bartenders are skilled and can make anything you’d like. It’s an intimate space and definitely better for a date than a large group, although there is one large table in the back.
1 am: Nickel City
If you need to visit one more kickass bar to finish up your night, head to Nickel City. Here’s how I describe it to my friends: Nickel City serves craft cocktails in a dive bar environment. LOVE this place! If you feel a little snacky, they have a food truck out back called Delray Cafe that serves coneys, sliders, and wings. It’s truly the perfect place to finish up the ultimate 24-hour day of eating your way through Austin.
Phew! Are you stuffed from reading that? I am! But juuuust in case you’re looking for more food ideas in Austin, here are a couple blog posts that could help you out: