Learn Your EATs
An epicurean orientation for students new and returning, but also for ACL visitors and recently arrived residents
When the Music's OverJim Morrison said that we should turn out the lights, but there's still time after the Austin City Limits Festival for food and drink, so we thought we'd put together a listing of places still open and ready to accept a bunch of hot, sweaty, sun-baked (or muddy, depending on how it goes this year) music lovers. All of these places are accessible by foot, using the buses, or via a short cab ride, and they all have the side benefit of having been picked as recent Chronicle poll winners by either the critics or the readers.
219 W. Fourth, 474-2194
Monday-Wednesday, 5pm-12mid; Thursday-Friday, 5pm-2am; Saturday, 8pm-2amGreat appetizers, a strong wine list filled with bargains, and a good bartender. Inside, there's comfortable seating in a stylish setting, and by the time the ACL Festival lets out, the place is usually hopping to hot spins form local DJs. What else do you need?
Amy's Ice Creams
600 N. Lamar Ste. 1012-B, 480-0673 (among other locations)
Sunday-Thursday, 11:30am-12mid; Friday and Saturday, 11:30am-1amDespite the address, it's really on Sixth Street just west of Lamar. An Austin institution. If the sun and humidity wreak the same havoc on us poor souls as it did last year at ACL, then nothing will restore your mojo like an Amy's shake.
Austin Java Cafe & Bar
1608 Barton Springs Rd., 482-9450
Monday-Thursday, 7am-11pm; Friday, 7am-12mid; Saturday, 8am-12mid; Sunday, 8am-11pmA great place for a bowl of soup and a nice green salad, but they also make great shakes and have a nice wine list. And, as you might guess by the name, they brew a mean cup o' joe. People who stay out late enough on Saturday can just ease in for a great Sunday breakfast.
The Dog and Duck Pub
406 W. 17th, 479-0598
Sunday, noon-2am; Monday-Saturday, 11am-2amBeer, glorious beer, along with the pub grub most likely to remind you of an English establishment. Hungry for bangers and mash? Check. Fish and chips? Got that, too. They even serve the traditional Ploughman's lunch!
214 W. Fourth, 457-0172
Daily, 11:15am-2amIt's hot, and what sounds better than a little Guinness ice cream? Not just that, but Chronicle readers have voted Fadó's pub grub among the best in Austin. And if any of you out-of-towners want to keep up with the weekend soccer games, Fadó shows them in real time, early in the mornings. Guinness for breakfast, anyone?
Katz's Deli & Bar
618 W. Sixth, 472-2037
Never KlozesIf you have a sudden urge for a plate of chopped chicken livers and a pastrami on rye at 4am, here's your place. It positively hums with excitement on weekend nights, and the wait can sometimes be formidable, but the reward is giant plates of food that would make a New Yorker happy.
208 W. Fourth, 236-8020
Monday-Tuesday, 5pm-12mid; Wednesday-Saturday, 5pm-2amThe place in town for tapas. For five years in a row, the readers have picked Málaga as one of the leading places in town for small plates. But they also have a top-notch wine list and a manager who knows what he's pouring. Though this is a hopping joint, you can usually get seated fairly quickly.
The Magnolia Cafe
2304 Lake Austin Blvd., 478-8645
Always openThis is old Austin, hippie-style. Everything from turkey tacos on whole-wheat tortillas (side of hibiscus tea, if you please) to juicy burgers. Personally, I'm nuts over their Black Bean Entrée, a big bowl of beans topped with avocado, tomato, lemon sour cream sauce, and cheese, with a heavenly cornmeal pancake on the side.
310 Congress, 472-7555
Sunday, 10am-10pm; Monday-Thursday, 11am-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 11am-midnightIf it's Friday or Saturday night and you're looking for something beyond the standard Tex-Mex fare, Manuel's has a long history of pleasing Austin's foodies with excellent food that is inspired by the real thing. Dishes like Pork Loin With Pumpkin Seed Salsa or Chiles en Nogada are yummy ways to end the night. And they have a nice selection of tequilas!
700 W. Sixth. 477-3308; 3601 S. Congress Ste. K-100, 707-0237
Daily, 11am-2amOpal's has always had one of the Top 10 collections of single malt Scot's whisky in the U.S. About two years ago, they got excited about adding fresh-pressed ("muddled" is the technical term) drinks made with organic fruits like Texas Ruby Red grapefruits, oranges, limes, peaches, lemons, and pomegranates. They even make margaritas with pure organic agave nectar. But the reason I keep going back is for the food and friendly vibe. It's definitely a pub, but the grub is just that much better, and everyone is always so cheerful.
Saba Blue Water Cafe
208-D W. Fourth, 478-7222
Monday-Wednesday, 4pm-12mid; Thursday-Friday, 4pm-2am; Saturday, 5pm-2amHome to fancy drinks, a good wine list, and better than decent food. The place attracts beautiful people like a magnet, so if you're muddy or too aglow from the day's festival, you might feel a little underdressed. After a couple of their well-made drinks though, you won't worry about it.