The best of Austin bites and sounds


From the sounds of the best music venues to a taste of the locals’ favorite spots for tacos, barbecue and more, there’s plenty of laid-back favorites in Austin that will appeal to your senses. Don’t make the trip without consulting our roundup!


  • Where to find local barbecue

    Plates of BBQ meat with beans and beer

    The Salt Lick – Hill Country

    “Come to The Salt Lick early, bring a cooler, put your name on the list and hang out at the edge of the Hill Country listening to live music. Pace yourself, because you’re going to want to order family style; that means all-you-can-eat beef brisket, sausage, pork ribs, potato salad, coleslaw, beans and bread. Located in Driftwood, it’s a bit of a drive – 30 minutes from town – so make sure that your ride home hasn’t had too much to drink (or eat, for that matter).” – as recommended by Austin local Kent Zambrana

  • Where to grab a late-night bite

    Bowl of potatoes with green onion

    24 Diner– Downtown

    “It's in the title, folks: This place is open 24 hours, and thank God. 24 Diner is a play on the classic '50s-style diner, with a menu that beats anything they were serving back in those days. The hash (any of them) is my favorite thing on the menu, but if you're a fan of chicken and waffles, 24 Diner has some of the best.” – as recommended by Austin local Adam Semien

  • Where to experience the food-truck scene

    Gourmet grilled cheese with chips and cookie

    Burro Cheese Kitchen – South Congress

    “These are no ordinary grilled cheeses. I’m talking about beer bread, stout-soaked Redneck Cheddar, Gruyère, caramelized onions, pepperoncini and spicy maple bacon. Get ready to have your life changed.” – as recommended by Austin local Jane Ko

  • Where to find Austin’s famous tacos

    Bowl of queso with chips on table

    Torchy’s Tacos – Multiple locations

    “What started out as a food truck became the Mecca of crazy taco combos that somehow work perfectly. You really can't go wrong ordering The Monk Special, Ranch Hand, Trailer Park, or Brushfire.” – as recommended by Austin local Jordan Vaughan

  • Where to find Austin’s famous tacos

    Street tacos in foil with red and green sauce

    Veracruz All Natural – East Side

    “The perfect morning fuel lies in a turquoise trailer just west of Chicon on Cesar Chavez Street. After 10 years of taco trials, Veracruz repeatedly stands out to me as the best. There’s often a wait, but you will not be disappointed. Ultimate nirvana is found in the migas taco and watermelon agua fresca.” – as recommended by Austin local Cristina Fisher

  • Where to catch live music

    Man with guitar playing on stage

    The Mohawk – Red River District

    “Usually the last stop for bands before they make it big, the Mohawk tends to showcase the hottest and most talked-about groups in semi-popular music. They aren’t always as good as their albums suggest, but Mohawk is a great place to find out before you start shelling out the big bucks for larger venues. There are several tiers in the establishment, but if you want to get the best listening experience, you’d do well to stay on the ground level.” – as recommended by Austin local Dorian Colbert


  • Where to catch live music

    The White Horse arrow sign

    The White Horse – East Side

    “You may as well partake in some good honky tonk, since you’re deep in the heart of it. The White Horse is nestled on the corner of East Sixth Street and Comal, which is a gritty part of town – but don’t let that scare you off, because it’s perfect that way. The house bands have a classic sound and don’t start until midnight, so you have plenty of time to throw back a few whiskey shots before you get on the dance floor. Young and old come out to the White Horse, and you’ll be surprised who will teach you a move or two.” – as recommended by Austin local Lani Thomison