ACL doubles down on comfort food
This year's Austin Eats is keeping things simple, adding only a handful of new vendors. But simple can still seem overwhelming when stomachs are grumbling and you only have a few minutes before OutKast begins their set. To make things easier for you, festival warrior, we have grouped ACL grub into five handy categories (with apologies to the headliners) so you can mix and match. Remember to bring cash since vendors don't take debit cards. And throw a buck in their tip bucket, will you? The vendors work their buns off!
Visitors from other countries must think that Americans only eat hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza. The truth is we do love them, especially when they are locally made and fresh. Both Hat Creek and P. Terry's use all-natural Angus beef – and offer some of the best veggie burgers in town. To keep things spicy, Southside Flying Pizza will serve their homemade meatball subs. Just don't eat this category before Skrillex. You'll want to save some of your shake for dancing.
A WORLD ALONE
Every year, the ACL folks bring international flavor to Austin Eats. Whether it's a gyro from Tino's, fried tofu tacos from Chi'Lantro, or a channa masala wrap from Lamba's, it's always a world party. This year, Paul Qui's famous East Side King joins the team with their famous brussels sprouts. Make sure to also try the authentic Mexican tamales from Tamale Addiction, the bánh mì tacos from the Peached Tortilla, and the Argentine empanadas from mmmpanadas. For veggie heads, Oh Kimchi will feature fresh veggies and homemade dips (and kimchi, natch).
PEACHES AND CREAM
Want a sugar buzz before moping with Interpol? These guys have it all covered. Get a scoop of Amy's with toppings that range from fresh-cut strawberries to gummy bears. Or have a refreshing paleta from GoodPop followed by an all-natural (yes, all-natural) sno-cone from Snowie. New this year, Skull & Cakebones offers vegan, all-natural, non-GMO cupcakes for the health-curious. And of course, when your munchies get a little creepy, there's always Children of the Kettle Corn.
CRACK A BOTTLE
Maine Root and Shadetree Lemonade (formerly the Best Lemonade and still awfully good) are back, but there's plenty more to wet your whistle. Have a JuiceLand smoothie for breakfast, and a fresh-pressed juice from HOPE Farmers Market when your energy starts to dwindle. For caffeine-heads, new addition High Brew will provide cold-brewed coffee in four tantalizing flavors: double espresso, Mexican vanilla, salted caramel, and dark chocolate mocha. It's just enough to get you through that last Sunday afternoon stretch.
Austin Eats features two local barbecue giants in the Salt Lick and Stubb's to fulfill your meat-centric needs. But there's a lot more to Texas cuisine than just amazing 'cue. You can try Torchy's eclectic tacos or rotisserie chicken-filled burritos from Mighty Bird. For something completely different, try a chicken, shrimp, or avocado Hot & Crunchy cone from the Mighty Cone (but be prepared to wait in line). And if you're looking for Texas haute cuisine, celebrity chef Tim Love will be serving stuff like rabbit & rattlesnake sausage out of a mini Lonesome Dove Western Bistro.