Home>Travel inspiration

The AFAR Guide to Eating in Austin

share this article

Article continues below advertisement

share this article

Having just returned from premiering our film, The Bounceback at SXSW, I learned that no trip to Austin is complete without experiencing the phenomenon of the food truck.

From East Sixth Street to South Congress, you can find anything from Southern to Sengalese. And it’s way more than burgers and hot dogs.

As you can see from the Highlights I’ve posted, bold flavors and innovative cooking have elevated food truck cuisine to new heights and, in a few cases, have allowed chefs to move into traditional brick and mortar restaurants as well.

An Austin food truck Wanderlist MUST start with a visit to:


Top Chef: Texas winner and former Uchiko executive chef Paul Qui runs these four incredible trucks and is currently curating a selection of 16 food trucks for SouthBites, SXSW’s first official food court.

East Side Kings

Next stop on the food truck tour is undoubtedly the…


This joint throws out all the rules, doing a version of southern-food-Asian-fusion that only Austin can pull off.

Peached Tortilla

Next up, the Senegasm, aka CAZAMANCE

This is as diverse and as tasty a food truck as you will find anywhere. Get the Lamb of Love (below) or anything “bunny chow,” a type of South African bread pocket made from a hollowed-out loaf.


Now these next two are not food trucks but they do have a connection to the food truck scene and are absolutely can’t-miss Austin food destinations…

Article continues below advertisement

HOPDODDY’S: Right across the street from the South Congress food trucks, you’ll find the original location of Austin’s best burger joint, Hopdoddy’s. Like the food trucks, you’ll have to wait in line before placing your order, but when your burger arrives, you’ll quickly understand that it is well worth the wait.


And last but certainly not least, the culinary culmination of the food truck…

BARLEY SWINE: James Beard Award nominee Bryce Gilmore elevated food truck cuisine to such great heights that he is now the proprietor of Austin’s most innovative and perhaps best overall restaurant.

barley swine

Check out all these places next time you’re in Austin—use my Wanderlist to plan your eating tour of this great city. 

more from afar