What to Eat in Austin, Texas

Over 30,000,000 people come to Austin every year.

While there are many different things you can experience in this great city, you have to make sure that you’re eating the right type of Texas food. People in the Lone Star State love their cuisine, and to do your vacation right, you have to eat like an Austinite would eat! 

Are you thinking of visiting Austin in the near future?

Keep reading to find out what to eat in Austin that will help you experience traditional food like a true Texan. 


Texas Barbecue

Texas Barbecue

If you’re in Austin, the number one food you have to try is barbecue. In the state’s capital, Texas barbecue is king, and you won’t be able to find many areas of the city that don’t have a great barbecue joint in the general proximity. 

You can try the brisket, turkey, ribs, chicken, sausage, and more for a mouthwatering, savory experience. Don’t forget to try some of the awesome sides as well, like pickles, jalapenos, cornbread, potato salad, or even plain white bread. 



Did you know that chili has been the state dish of Texas since 1977? Its roots go pretty deep in the Lone Star State.

Texas chili is a special variety of chili because it doesn’t have any tomato sauce, tomato product, or beans. It is made (mostly) from meat and dried peppers. The peppers form a thick, delicious chili paste that is mixed in with the meat to give it an intense flavor.

If you’re expecting a regular chili when you order Texas chili, you’re going to be surprised. The consistency is much closer to a beef stew!



A combination of Mexican and Texan cuisine, Tex-Mex has a wonderful flavor combination and is to blame for many of the favorite dishes of Texans around the state. In Austin, you’ll want to try this classic type of food! 

If you want real Tex-Mex (not classic Mexican food), you’ll want to look out for a few key things:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Ground beef
  • Lettuce
  • Black beans
  • Taco shells
  • Canned vegetables
  • Wheat flour

Be sure to try any combination of fajitas, tacos, nachos, and burritos that you want! 

Texan Beer

The first Lone Star Brewery was founded all the way back in 1883 and is thought to be the beginning of the booming brewery business in Texas with many more breweries popping up over time. These Texan breweries were successful until Prohibition, which obviously hit the entire industry hard; a few companies were able to make it through by selling soda or beer that contained no alcohol. 

In the 1960s, the beer industry really took off, but in the 1990s, craft or local beers started to sweep the state (and the nation). 

In general, Texas loves its beer; there are so many special breweries throughout the state that it would be hard to find just one to call your favorite. However, in Austin specifically, there are a few main breweries that Austinites adore.

Breakfast Tacos

Texas Breakfast Tacos

The breakfast taco is to Texans what the bagel is to New Yorkers. Essentially, anyone who is anyone in Texas knows that the perfect breakfast taco is the ultimate way to start the day.

However, some people claim that San Antonio is the true home of the breakfast taco, while others say it is Austin. In 2016, there was even a joke over having a “Great Breakfast Taco War” between the two major cities! 

It doesn’t take much to create a great breakfast taco, but it does take high-quality ingredients. You’ll need an 8-inch tortilla, scrambled eggs, cheese, and breakfast meat (or non-meat alternative, like cactus or potato). Some people also include a little bit of refried beans right on the tortilla.

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken fried steak is a staple in Texas. It’s chicken pounded down flat, fried to perfection, and smothered in white (or brown) gravy. These are certainly not diet-friendly, but it’s something you absolutely have to try in Austin if you really want to experience the local food.

Frozen Margaritas

Texas Frozen Margaritas

While frozen margaritas are popular all over the country, they have a unique history in Texas. Not only are these great to pair with your favorite Texan dishes, but you can find some awesome recipes to really spice things up in Austin. 

Frozen margaritas can be made with or without alcohol. They are the perfect way to cool down on a hot, sweaty Austin afternoon.



Way back in the 1800s, Czech immigrants arrived in Texas and spread the word about their wonderful pastries. Kolaches are some of the more traditional pastries you’ll find and can be either sweet or savory.

In Austin specifically, you’ll be able to find this fluffy pastry filled with fruit, cream cheese, seeds, or even meat. A popular, more modernized version of the kolache that you’ll find as a breakfast staple (along with a great breakfast taco) is filled with sausage and cheese. 

When in Town, You Know What to Eat in Austin, Texas

Austin is a great place for locals and visitors alike, so enjoy your experiences and meals while in this great city.

Are you planning over American vacations soon as well? Check out some more of our guides to eating in the United States before you figure out where you want to go next!

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