Bound Blog

Bound’s Guide to ESTO Eats

Picture of the author, Ali Nichols
By Ali Nichols
M08 17, 2019

Welcome to Austin! We’re so glad that you’re here.  In a city of amazing food options, we know you have a lot to choose from.  We wanted to share our favorite spots to help make your trip even more memorable.  Enjoy!

When you land:

Taylor recommends: Juiceland at Gate 7

As you hop off the airplane into the jetbridge, you may be surprised by the 100+ degree Texas heat. Start hydrating ASAP by hopping over to Juiceland located at Gate 7. On the other side of the airport, but would love some juice? They have Juiceland kiosks with fresh juices thoughout the airport. My favorite smoothies are the Wondershowen (add cacoa for a kick), Morning Sunshine and Peachy Green. If you’re more in the mood for juice, I recommend the watermelon, beet, and sea salt combination found in the Recovery Punch.

For breakfast:

MC recommends: 1886 Cafe and Bakery

Check out the historic (and haunted!) Driskill Hotel and then grab breakfast or lunch at the delicious 1886 Cafe and Bakery. If you don’t want the decadence of a Texas Pecan Waffle (but really, why would you not?), the omelettes and sandwiches are all fantastic. If you’d rather check out the Driskill a bit later, the Driskill Bar serves pretty delicious cocktails and will give you a taste of historic Texas.

Ali recommends: Easy Tiger Bakery

This is also a late night favorite with an amazing beer garden, but their fresh baked pastries and coffee make for a perfect breakfast.  Buy a cookie or baguette to snack on later!

For lunch:

Matt recommends: TLV (at Fareground Food Hall)

A relatively new addition to the Fareground Food Hall, TLV serves excellent Israeli street food. Fresh veggies, delicious hummus and pitas. Literally all of their lunch & dinner options are good, and they have some tasty pastries and interesting filled donuts.

Jared recommends: Burger Bar

You might be thinking, “It sure looks like they wanted to maximize restaurant space in this hotel by renting out part of this exterior utility closet and I bet these burgers and shakes are average at best.” Well, you might be right on the real estate and efficient use of space front, but the burgers and shakes are slightly above average. I would wander down to Hopdoddy’s on South Congress if you want to level up your burger game, but for convenience and quality you are set here.

For an afternoon break:

Adriana recommends: Halcyon

Halcyon is a fun little spot to grab coffee, a cocktail, or a quick snack. There’s a ton of comfy couches and they usually have a small band or guitarist playing in the corner. The best thing to order is the build your own Smores. They actually bring out a tiny miniature campfire, sticks, and all the fixings so you can make your own delicious dessert.

Ali recommends: The Central Library

This is pretty much my new favorite place in town since it opened – I would live here, if I could. Their rooftop patio is a fun way to see the city and their Cookbook café has the greatest french toast ever, along with a lot of other great snacks. It’s a half-mile from the JW Marriott and a great place to have some quiet time after a full day of conferencing!

For dinner:

Jessica recommends: Moonshine Grill

All the cocktails are delicious but it’s definitely worth trying the Apple Pie or Strawberry moonshine. The food is a Texas twist on comfort. I’d recommend the Chicken & Waffles, Green Chile Macaroni, or the Hill Country BBQ Baby Back Ribs.

Jared recommends: Coopers BBQ

It’s good Texas BBQ, and it’s right next to your hotel. You don’t want to be far from your bed in a dark room with A/C when the meat sweats hit.

Ali recommends: La Condesa

Modern Mexican that pairs bright, fresh ingredients with amazing drinks and desserts.   Treat yourself to the guacamole trio, ceviche and some mezcal.

For an after dinner drink:

Jared recommends: Elephant Room

Good things always happen at bars below ground level. Chimay is on tap. Duke Silver will probably grace you with his presence.

When you’re heading home (and already planning your next visit!):

Ali recommends: Ruta Maya at Gate 28

Ruta Maya will always hold a special place in my heart as the quirky coffee house across the street from my college where I attended my first (and only) poetry slam contest. Thankfully, they opened up a beautiful coffee shop that is my favorite spot to grab a pre-flight coffee. They also serve a variety of fancy and fun chocolate bars that I like to pick up as a treat for the person I’m visiting, if I can keep myself from enjoying it on the way there.

Taylor recommends: Tacodeli at Gate 24

Nothing says hello (or goodbye) Austin like a breakfast taco. Filled with your favorite breakfast foods, Tacodeli tacos are the best in town. Try the Otto, Vaquero, or Migas. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask for papas on your taco. Nothing says breakfast like delicious mashed potatoes with eggs and bacon.

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