Lunch is the forgotten middle child of meals: It’s not sexy like dinner or brunch, and it isn’t “the most important meal of the day.” But summertime is the right time to make the midday break feel like the important part of the day that it is.
Gusto Italian (Photo by John Anderson)
So take a break from meal prepping, skip the office cafeteria, and have some fun with good food and a cocktail in the middle of the day. With both light and heavy options, check out one of these local spots.
North Austin’s Gusto offers light shareable fare as well as classic Italian plates and paninis for lunch. Look for their apertivo cocktails to get your meal, and afternoon, started right.
Wine-based cocktails are a great option for restaurants without a full bar, and Dai Due has spritzers and punches made with wine, vermouth, and mead. Check back often for the ever-changing menu at the butcher shop.
Light cocktails like the Tequila Spritzer or Aperol Sbagliato go down all too easy at this Holly Street restaurant. Globally influenced and locally sourced, go for a classic sandwich or indulge with the mussels.
With six different restaurants that all draw from a wide variety of cuisines, Fareground is the downtown place to go when you can't agree on what to have for lunch. The bar has midday all-stars like Bloody Marys and mimosas, but also quick and easy draft cocktails like French 76s.
After moving just up the street, Komé’s new location now features a full bar and expanded dining room. Their lunch cocktails are light and refreshing, but pack just enough kick to get through the midday hump. Try the Lychee Sangria for a tropical refreshment.
The brand new establishment from the Wright Bros brings together counter service and craft cocktails. Drinks like the High Dive or the Volume Control are perfect for a quick lunch or a lazy afternoon on their shady back patio.
Bloody Mary from Sawyer and Co. (Photo by John Anderson)
The New Orleans-style diner does daily lunch plates, as well as cajun and counter classics. Fun cocktails include the Patio Gimlet and the Pimm's Cup.
For hot slices and cold drinks, look no further than the Austin original’s second location at North Loop. Offering all the favorites like subs and thin crust pizza, but with a full bar and expanded patio. Try the Strong Island if you’re working only half a day, or the It’s Aperol Good if you have afternoon meetings.
With classics from their truck, as well as lunch-only dishes, Thai-Kun’s brick-and-mortar is the place to be for a spicy lunch in the Domain. Staunch the flames with the Mekong Spritz or Thai Chi.
Standing in line under the sweltering summer sun is part of the Austin barbecue experience, but sometimes you need a midday brisket fix without sweating through your work clothes. Downtown mainstay Lamberts has you covered with full service barbecue and craft cocktails, like the Chilcano Mule made with pisco.