Austin is a foodie city – there’s no doubt about that. So it makes sense that Austin City Limits Music Festival doesn’t play around when it comes to food options for its thousands of festivalgoers. Besides having some of the best tacos and Tex-Mex around, this city also has fabulous chefs who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty at a music festival (after they serve your food, of course). Fans will be able to indulge in some of their favorite city restaurants… if they can tear themselves away from the stages, of course. Here’s a look at the food options coming to Austin City Limits in 2019.
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ACL EATS – So Many Options!
This year, there will be more food vendors than ever before – at least 34 of ’em anyway. The ACL Eats Food Court will even have a second location to house all of its vendors, so be sure to roam around the festival grounds and check out the south end of Zilker Park too!
The diversity of the cuisine is incredible (it’s almost as good as the lineup). And yes, for all of you with dietary restrictions out there, ACL Eats will feature plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. So whether you’re a hardcore carnivore, eco-conscious herbivore, or just can’t have the wheat, they’ve got you covered…
Hungry? We’ve Got A Few Tips
If you’re not an Austin resident, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the culinary choices. Lucky for you, we’ve gotten a few tips from former festivalgoers. Here are some of the old Austin City Limits standbys and fan favorites…
Chi’lantro is beloved for their Korean twists on festival food, like their famous kimchi fries (topped with beef, chicken, pork, or tofu, if you like!) but they can also make you a noodle or rice bowl with all the Korean barbecue accoutrements. You’ll be dreaming of their “magic sauce” for days afterward…
MMMpanadas and Mighty Cone are the ideal handheld foods – perfect for walking and eating to make it to the next stage in time. Try the oversized spinach and mushroom empanada or the delicious fried chicken “Hot & Crunchy” cone, respectively.
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Tacodeli is another Austin favorite featuring some international flare. Started by a guy from Mexico City, you’ll want to try… the tacos, obviously. Get the Frontera Fundido with sirloin or portobello mushrooms if you’re looking for delicious drunk food or try the Papadulce for something vegetarian but fun.This is the capital of Tex-Mex after all, so don’t stop there. For other fab tacos, check out Torchy’s Tacos. And if you wanna try another Mexican dish, head over to Tamale Addiction for some handcrafted goodness.
Wanna change it up just a little bit but keep with the taco theme? Opt for ACL festival alum The Peached Tortilla and give your taco some Asian flare and Southern charm with their crunchy fish or banh mi tacos.
If you’re aiming for a burger instead, Shake Shack can do no wrong. There’s a reason for its raging popularity and long lines. It’s also a pretty good value, considering you’re in the middle of a music festival. If you’d rather support a local burger joint, check out Wholly Cow for simple, grass-fed tastiness.
Micklethwait Craft Meats is a great spot for quality – you guessed it – meats! Try their brisket, pulled pork mac ‘n cheese, or just go big and get the three meat plate with jalapeno grits and lemon poppy slaw (make sure you grab a seat though because you’ll need both hands). They even have a vegetarian Frito pie. This place is a must, but alternatively, you could try the ribs at Salt Lick. They’re solid too!
If you’re craving a hotdog – because when you’re drinking beer all day, it’s a pretty safe assumption that you might – go for the bratwursts or chili cheese dogs at Frank. They’ve also got waffle fries with all the toppings, Chicago style dogs, and exotic game meats in sausage form if you’re feeling adventurous!
There’s nothing easier than pizza at a festival – a slice, a whole pizza, whatever! – grab a bite at Southside Flying Pizza (they also have pizza rolls and chicken wings as well) or Austin’s Pizza.
For ultimate portability, a sandwich works too! Grab a delectable scratch-made creation from The Noble Pig, and if you need a side, order their tostones loaded with queso and spicy picadillo. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a crispy fried chicken sandwich from Flyrite Chicken or a gooey grilled cheese from Burro Grilled Cheese Kitchen.
Fancy a little dessert? There will be ice cream from Amy’s, chocolate-covered frozen bananas from Bananarchy, fresh and local popsicles from GoodPop, plant-based, artisan baked goods from Skull & Cakebones, snow cones from Sno-Beach, and fresh warm cookies or ice cream cookie sandwiches from Tiff’s Treats. Really, we’re starting to feel full just typing this.
Trying to be healthy? Ugh, you’re one of those, huh? Well, we know the toll that three back-to-back days of festival-going can take on the body, so we can’t actually blame you. If you need to rejuvenate with some healthy foods, you’re all set at Austin City Limits. Heck, they’ve even got acai bowls at Blenders & Bowls and fresh juice and superfood smoothies from JuiceLand! Perfect for bringing you back to life!
What About Drinks?
Thirsty, but not ready to booze it yet? Well, go refill your water bottle for free at one of the water stations around the park! You need to hydrate! Okay but really, you’ve got tons of choices. Grab a canned, cold High Brew Coffee for a pick-me-up or try a chilled, organic ginger brew by Maine Root Beverages. Or make your way over to Shade Tree Organic Lemonade or maybe the Topo Chico tent for a refreshing mocktail. (Seriously, who thinks of these things?!)
If you are ready for a drink, there will be breweries big and small on tap at the Barton Springs Beer Hall this year. Last year, there was lots of Anheuser-Busch and Karbach Brewing Company, but there should also be a few Austin-based selections among the 18 different taps. The beer hall even has big screen TVs where you can watch MLB, NFL, and College Football games. If you prefer to sip wine instead, seek out the ACL Wine Lounge for a nice glass (or a bottle) or maybe something fun like frosé or a cava-and-Lillet wine spritz… all set in a nice shaded grove.
There will also be ACL Bodegas spread about the grounds in case you forget things like sunscreen or need a quick snack or piece of fruit.
Well those are our tips! There’s no outside food or drink allowed at ACL, so if you’re staying the whole day, you’ll be eating at the festival! Be sure to plan accordingly and don’t forget to eat, guys! You’ve got three big days ahead of you!
FYI, the vendors will take cash, credit, and debit… or you can register for ACL Cashless ahead of time. There will also be ATMs around the park, so you’ll definitely have a way to pay for food!
View a full list of food vendors for 2019 on the official Austin City Limits site.
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