An eating guide to SXSW

Courtney Runn

From breakfast tacos to barbecue, Austin is known for its variety of mouth-watering food. SXSW is the perfect time to sample Austin’s best, but it’s also one of the city’s busiest weeks. The Daily Texan made a list of tips to help you navigate the eating scene.

1. Use social media 

The past few years, The Peached Tortilla, an Austin food truck and catering service, partnered with other local food trucks to serve free food to SXSW participants. They spread the word through Twitter and Facebook, giving away more than 3,000 tacos in 2012. Paying attention to your newsfeed during the week could not only be the key to free shows, but could also be the key to free food. Chefs Feed is also a good tool for the week. The app lets you find recommended dishes by top chefs in your city. Based on price, location, diet limitations and category of food, the app will do all the work of finding the perfect meal. 

2. Bring snacks

With long lines, must-see events and large crowds, it’s inevitable that your eating schedule might be off track. Make sure you bring snacks and water to keep you going. The city is also known for its healthy eating, so when in Austin, eat granola as the Austinites do. For a quick, healthy snack that will fill you up plus satisfy your savory or sweet tooth, try a LARABAR. The granola bars come in more than 20 flavors, never contain more than a few ingredients and are compatible with all the weird food allergies. Because of their natural, unprocessed formula, they also don’t melt — which is a plus in the Texas heat. Chances are, someone will be handing them out for free. Granola, nuts and fresh fruit are also good sources of energy. And don’t forget to hydrate. 

3. Experience the food-truck scene

SouthBites, the official food center of SXSW, includes food trucks from around Austin hand-picked by “Top Chef” winner Paul Qui. From classic Southern fried chicken to Australian cuisine, this moveable food court will fulfill your every culinary dream. 

4. Stay close

If you don’t want to miss an event or spend time away from the festival, choose restaurants close to the convention center. For delicious, easy comfort food, try Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill, Le Cafe Crepe or Annies Cafe and Bar. Don’t forget about the classics, though: After a long day, unwind at Kerbey Lane Cafe, Rudys, Hut’s Hamburgers or Shady Grove. 

5. Accept the lines

Don’t complain. No matter where you go, other people will be there too. Good food is worth the wait — enjoy the atmosphere of thousands of people uniting over music, cinema and technology and savor Austin’s delicious cuisine.