Where To Eat The Best Lunch In Austin Texas: 55 Options In Every Category

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / Chi'lantro

I’m here to help you find the best lunch in Austin Texas! “Best” is different for all of us…and if you’re anything like me, it changes from day to day.

The healthy downtown Austin lunch you’re craving on Monday might not suffice on a Friday afternoon when you really need a big, delicious burger. I’m covering ALL the Austin lunch options, from healthy eats to splurge-worthy treats!

Where To Eat The Best Lunch In Austin Texas_ 55 Options In Every Category

Lunch is the, sadly, most under-represented meal in Austin. We all know that brunch is the glory meal, and gorgeous weekend dinner restaurants get lots of attention, but lunch gets overlooked. But we have tons of great downtown lunch spots in Austin, as well as terrific lunch spots around the entire city.


Also see: 24 tried-and-true brunch spots in Austin for your bucket list


The blog post is categorized into 6 groups; feel free to scroll around to find what you need:

Where To Eat The Best Lunch In Austin Texas:

HEALTHY
UPSCALE/FORMAL
QUICK BITES
BURGERS + BBQ
OUTDOOR DINING
#FOODPORN

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category


Healthy Lunch Restaurants in Austin:

Walton’s Fancy & Staple

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category

A brick-walled bakery and deli with the most delicious soups, sandwiches, salads, and (my favorite) cookies! It’s a stunning little space and perfect for a weekday girlfriend meet up.

WEBSITE | 609 W 6th St

Komé Sushi Kitchen

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category

If a healthy sushi lunch would hit the spot, consider Komé: it’s a North Austin sushi kitchen that serves homestyle Japanese bites in a trendy setting. The prices are super competitive compared to the other trendy sushi spots in Austin; I love that I can order a huge sushi lunch for under $20.

WEBSITE5301 Airport Blvd #100

Cookbook Bar & Cafe

Where to eat lunch in Austin Texas

photo via

Cookbook is inside the massive downtown Austin Public Library…super rad! Enjoy bites like cauliflower soup, chicken pot pie, and shrimp and chorizo lettuce wraps.

WEBSITE | Austin Central Library

Forthright

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // forthright cafe

Forthright could also be listed under “outdoor dining” because this lovely downtown cafe has a great big outdoor patio where they offer their made-from-scratch New American plates, like the pick 2: soup du jour, salad, or sandwich with gluten free bread.

WEBSITE | 35 Brazos St

Bouldin Creek Cafe

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // Bouldin Creek Cafe

BCC is a vegetarian favorite in Austin. The entire menu is meatless, so you know you’ll be enjoying all of the sandwiches, tacos, salads, and other delicious bites in a cruelty-free setting. (Psst: grab an oatmeal cream pie. It’s listed on my guide to the Best Cookies in Austin Texas!)

WEBSITE | 1900 S 1st St


Also see: where to eat on south first street in Austin


Henbit

Where to eat lunch in Austin: 55 options in every category!

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Henbit is a stall in Fareground, the downtown Austin food hall. There are lots of great restaurant options at Fareground, but Henbit wins for healthy, delicious, farm-to-table bites like tasty salads, bowls, and sandwiches.

WEBSITE | 111 Congress Ave P300

Buenos Aires Cafe

Buenos Aires Cafe Austin Texas

This darling Argentinian restaurant serves lots of grilled meat, flavorful Chimichurri sauce, and homemade empanadas. I’m listing this under “healthy” options because it certainly could be…. But you could also order the melty, gooey charred provolone cheese with oregano or the special homemade lemon pie if you want to splurge a little.

WEBSITE | 1201 E 6th St

Blenders & Bowls

Where to eat lunch in Austin Texas

photo via

Acai bowl, anyone? Blenders and Bowls is theee place to go for fruity, refreshing, healthy smoothies and smoothie bowls on those hot, hot days of summer.

WEBSITEmultiple locations


Also see: 7 best juice bars in austin


Flower Child

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / flower child

Apart from being absolutely gorgeous (white marble tables, light flooding in from every direction, food that is begging to be instagrammed…), Flower Child has won over Austin with their healthy eats that can cater to almost any dietary restriction. This is a great place for a group!

WEBSITE | 500 W 2nd St #133

True Food Kitchen

Where to eat lunch in Austin Texas

TFK could also be listed under “upscale” eateries because it’s a great place for a formal office/meeting lunch, but they also cater to healthy lifestyle and specific diets. I love their salads, poke, and Ancient Grains  bowl.

WEBSITE222 West Ave Ste HR100

Malibu Poke

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // Malibu Poke

Malibu Poke offers the freshest sashimi-grade fish you can find in Austin! They have a create-your-own bowl where you order on a touch screen (or ahead online) with 63,000 possible combinations….

WEBSITE | 211 Walter Seaholm Dr LR 115


Outdoor Lunch Restaurants in Austin:

Irene’s

Where To Eat The Best Lunch In Austin Texas_ 55 Options In Every Category

photo via

They’ve got American comfort food served with a vintage flair. It’s a fun spot for lunch, happy hour, or late night hangs!

WEBSITE | 506 West Ave


Also see: the ultimate Austin bucket list


Easy Tiger

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // easy tiger

Easy Tiger is easily one of the coolest downtown lunch spots with its creekside beer garden, homemade sausages, and delicious sandwiches. And now they have a North Austin location with a great big outdoor patio, too!

WEBSITE | multiple locations

Fresa’s Chicken

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category

I’m going to mention Fresa’s Chicken as a quick lunch option in Austin in just a moment, but that’s the downtown location. For now, consider the much larger South First Street location, which features a huge outdoor patio under a massive live oak tree. They have tasty wood-grilled chicken, tacos, and healthy bols that you can pair with fresh guac, salsa, and queso.

WEBSITE | 1703 S First St

Perlas

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // Perlas

photo via

Perla’s is a laid-back seafood restaurant with a relaxing, luxurious outdoor patio overlooking South Congress. Dine of fresh fish, oysters, and surf ‘n turf under the big Austin sky.

WEBSITE | 1400 S Congress Ave

Better Half Coffee & Cocktails

Better Half Bar

Don’t be fooled by the name… Better Half serves much more than coffee and cocktails. Enjoy options like a chopped salad, cheeseburger, or pastrami sandwich in the big, shaded backyard. Bonus: this is one of the few downtown spots that has a free parking lot.

WEBSITE | 406 Walsh St

Sour Duck Market

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // Sour Duck Market

This darling little East Austin market is an off-shoot of the popular South Austin restaurant Odd Duck. They have lots of the same farm-to-table options for lunch, but you can enjoy them in a more casual, outdoor setting.

WEBSITE | 1814 East MLK Jr Blv

Loro Asian Smokehouse

Where to eat outdoor lunch in Austin Texas

photo via

Masterminds Tyson Cole (Uchi) and Aaron Franklin (Franklin BBQ) came together to create an Asian-BBQ fusion restaurant where folks can enjoy the best of both worlds, like smoked beef brisket with Thai herbs, char siu pork belly, and candied kettle corn with brisket burnt ends and togorashi.

WEBSITE | 2115 S Lamar Blvd


Quick Lunch Options in Austin: 

Fresa’s Chicken

Where to eat outdoor lunch in Austin Texas

Fresa’s served wood-grilled chicken at both of their locations, but the downtown drive-thru spot is your best bet for a quick, healthy lunch where you don’t even have to get out of the car.

WEBSITE | 915 N Lamar

Soup Peddler and Juice Bar

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category

Soup Peddler offers about 8 made-from-scratch soup options every day that are already hot and ready to be served to you right when you order. If you have a couple extra minutes to wait, you can order a hot and melty grilled cheese sandwich to enjoy with that hot cup of soup.

WEBSITE | multiple locations

Torchy’s

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // torchy's tacos

Torchy’s has crazy, inventive tacos and some of the best queso in Austin, and you can order ahead so all you have to do is walk in and pick it up!

WEBSITEmultiple locations


Also see: the best happy hours in South Austin


Jugo

where to eat lunch in Austin Texas

Jugo could also be listed under “healthy eats,” but it’s worth noting that it’s a great spot for quick bites from the to-go prepared foods refrigerator in the store. If you need raw or vegan eats, check out Jugo.

WEBSITE2 locations

Whole Foods Market

where to eat lunch in Austin Texas

photo via

The flagship location of “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” is smack in the middle of Downtown Austin, and it’s the perfect spot to enjoy everything from the serve-yourself salad bar and hot food bar to the elevated take on veggie burgers at the Next Level burger stand.

WEBSITE | 525 N Lamar Blvd


The Best BURGERS + BBQ + DINERS For Lunch In Austin


Also see: the best burgers in Austin


Hut’s Hamburgers

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // Hut's Hamburgers

Hut’s has been serving classic burgers, fries, and malts since 1939. It’s an Austin classic that everyone needs to visit!

WEBSITE | 807 W 6th St


Also see: 23 classic Austin restaurants for your bucket list


Holy Roller

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category

Callie Speer’s funky punk rock diner serves all-day cocktails (just in case you’re looking for a boozy lunch) and nostalgic, hearty diner food like migas kolache, brisket fries, and the Grilled Cheesus sandwich.

WEBSITE | 509 Rio Grande St

Turf n Surf Po’Boys

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category

Fried shrimp Po’boys and tacos at a relaxed, Cajun restaurant. Yes please!

WEBSITE | 407 Lavaca St

Micklethwaite Craft Meats

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // bbq

The line can get pretty long during lunch time at this craft meat smokehouse/trailer, so try to arrive around 11 to get your food a bit faster. But even if you have to wait? WORTH IT for those smoked sausages and brisket!

WEBSITE | 1309 Rosewood Ave

Terry Black’s BBQ

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category

Terry Black’s is another fantastic option for getting some of the best BBQ in Austin. They have a large indoor restaurant, but the line will still wrap around the building on the weekends!

WEBSITE | 1003 Barton Springs Rd

P. Terry’s Burger Stand

Where To Eat The Best Lunch In Austin Texas_ 55 Options In Every Category / p terry's

photo via

P Terry’s burger stand could also be listed under “quick bites” because all of their locations have drive-thru options. This is one of Austin’s biggest (and best) burger chains for burgers, fries, chicken sandwiches, and root beer milkshakes!

WEBSITE | multiple locations

Counter Cafe

Where To Eat The Best Lunch In Austin Texas_ 55 Options In Every Category / p terry's

There are now two locations, but the original downtown location is quite literally just a small counter with some walking space and a few tables! They serve delicious, locally sourced breakfast and lunch fare (and one of the best burgers in Austin.)

WEBSITEtwo locations

Otherside Deli

The best places in Austin for lunch: Otherside Deli

 

Scrumptious sandwiches (try the Rowdy Roddy, pictured above) both hot and cold. It’s a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant that started as a food truck before opening their brick-and-mortar. SO GOOD! 

WEBSITE | 1104 W 34th St

24 Diner

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // 24 Diner

24 Diner wins for offering comfort food sourced from nearby farms. It’s local, delicious, and (potentially) healthy, with lots of gluten-free options. Or you can just order the chili cheese fries and forget all attempts at health.

WEBSITE | 600 N Lamar Blvd


Also see: top ten things to do in Austin Texas


Phoebe’s Diner

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category

Phoebe’s Diner is a throw-back to the 1950s diner era with its mint green checkered floor, vinyl booths, and long counter for single diners. It’s quaint and cozy and offers all the classics like burgers, pancakes, and pie.

WEBSITE | 533 W Oltorf St

Hopfields

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / hop fields

Hopfields is a gastropub with craft beer and French-inspired food in an adorable, rustic setting. Their Pascal burger is, I believe, one of the very best burgers in Austin.

WEBSITE | 3110 Guadalupe St Suite #400

Fricano’s Deli

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category

Fricano’s NYC-style deli has been a longtime favorite for UT students who want delicious, hearty sandwiches that are quick and budget friendly. It’s a great place to dine for a quick bite, or grab it to go if you need to bring something back to the office.

WEBSITE | 2405 Nueces St

Uncle Nicky’s Italian Cafe

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category

Uncle Nicky’s is an all-day eatery inspired by Northern Italian cafes. Pop in for a quick sandwiches, pane tostato, and homemade gelato.

WEBSITE | 4222 Duval St


Upscale and Formal Lunch Restaurants in Austin

Wu Chow

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / wu chow

photo via

This is an absolutely stunning modern Sichuan restaurant that sources their ingredients from nearby local farms.

WEBSITE | IBC Bank Plaza, 500 W 5th St #168

Backspace

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / backspace

If you want to enjoy Neapolitan pizza in a setting that’s formal enough for office/meeting lunches, look no further than Backspace, the teeny-tiny pizza kitchen just off of 6th Street.

WEBSITE | 507 San Jacinto Blvd

Swift’s Attic

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / swift's attic

photo via

Swift’s Attic is a stylish New American restaurant in a second story downtown historic building. They offer a nice lunch menu of starters (bacon wrapped dates, squid fries) and sandwiches (pork belly Bahn mi, seared cauliflower on a sesame seed bun, and the most delicious burger.)

WEBSITE | 315 Congress Ave


Also see: 21 best date night restaurants in Austin


Le Politique

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / le politique

photo via

This is one of the hottest French restaurants in Austin! It’s smack in the middle of downtown and easy to reach from any destination. It’s bright, classy, and a great option if you’re looking for a restaurant where you can turn lunch into a formal event.

WEBSITE | 110 San Antonio St

La Condesa

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // La Condesa

photo via

I’m constantly swooning over this interior Mexican restaurant’s gorgeous design, and the food is just as exceptional as the decor. 😉 Enjoy fresh guacamole and ceviche, tortas and tacos, and some of their famous margaritas if it’s just that sort of a day…

WEBSITE | 400 W 2nd St A

Second Bar + Kitchen

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / second bar

Second Bar + Kitchen uses seasonal ingredients to create delicious salads, pizzas, entrees, and desserts. (Psst: their congress burger with black truffle pommes frites is one of my very favorite splurge lunches in Austin.)

WEBSITE | 200 Congress Ave

Italic

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options in every category

This approachable downtown Italian restaurant is sure to impress with homemade pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and salads. The stunning glass walls and tall cielings give it a celebratory air. I often recommend this place to blog readers who are asking for a place to meet the boss for lunch.

WEBSITE | 123 W 6th St

Launderette

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category

Launderette is probably one of Austin’s quirkiest farm-to-table restaurants because it’s inside a renovated laundromat/gas station! They serve gourmet New American fare like fried shrimp, deviled eggs, fried chicken sammie, and PEI mussels.

WEBSITE | 21115 Holly St

Odd Duck

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / odd duck

Odd Duck is waaayyy high up on my list of top recommendations for Austin visitors…it’s one of the original farm-to-table restaurants in our city! The rustic space is absolutely stunning and the food menu is constantly changing based on what’s available and in season.

WEBSITE | 1201 S Lamar Blvd


FOODPORN

Gordough’s Public House

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / Gourdough's donuts

Donut sandwich, anyone? Gourdough’s Public House isn’t for the faint of heart (or stomach!) Try a burger served on a donut bun, a donut Po’boy, or a salad that’s served with…yep. Fried garlic donuts.

WEBSITE | 2700 S Lamar Blvd

Chi’Lantro

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / Chi'lantro

Kimchi fries with soy-glazed chicken, chi’jeu queso and chips, and all sorts of yummy fusion bowls and salads. Chi’Lantro started as a food truck but now they have locations all over Austin with their crazy addicting fusion fare.

WEBSITE | multiple locations

Bird Bird Biscuit

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / Bird Bird Biscuit

Bird Bird Biscuit has the CRAZIEST/most delicious giant biscuit sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. Try the “Queen Beak” with spiced and breaded chicken thigh, cayenne black pepper honey, and bacon infused chipotle mayo. Oh my soul….

WEBSITE | 2701 Manor Rd

Franklin BBQ

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category

This is the BBQ place that needs to introduction. If you want to stand in line, your lunch will turn into an hours-long affair. Or, just order ahead with the online order form.

WEBSITE | 900 E 11th St


Also see: how long is the line at Franklin BBQ?


Homeslice Pizza

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // homeslice pizza

Homeslice Pizza has won the hearts of Austinites with its catchy name, friendly service, and authentic slices of New York pizza. They have two locations (north and South Austin) which both feature dine-in and walk-up window options.

WEBSITEtwo locations 

Soursop

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // Soursop food truck

It’s hard to pick a favorite food truck in Austin, but if I absolutely had to, it would be Soursop. They serve pan Asian specialties and fusion fare like sambal wings with Thai chili and fish sauce, roti flatbread with curry, and they delicious SopBurger, a hefty sandwich of two burger patties, adobo glaze, Swiss cheese, bacon fat roasted onion, and shoestring potatoes. Oof.

WEBSITE | 440 E St Elmo Rd g2

Ramen Tatsu-ya

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / Ramen Tatsu-ya

The line out the door at any one of their locations indicates Austin’s obsessions with this hearty Japanese comfort food. Ramen Tatsu-ya is the KING of ramen in Austin. If you’re new to ramen and don’t know where to start on the menu, the tonkotsu original (#1 on the menu) is their specialty. Start from there and then branch out to try other soups.

WEBSITEmultiple locations

Via 313

Where To Eat The Best Lunch In Austin Texas_ 55 Options In Every Category / craft pride

I called it my favorite pizza in Austin after trying nearly every pizza in the city, and that’s because Via 313’s Detroit-style deep dish rectangular pies are so unique (and addicting!) The crust is crunchy on the outside soft and fluffy on the inside, and covered with cheese, toppings, and then sauce on top.

WEBSITEmultiple locations


Also see: your guide to the best pizza in Austin


Artipasta

Artipasta Italian Food Truck in South Austin

I wrote all about this food truck here. It’s phenomenal handmade pasta that is totally worth the carb intake. Artipasta is located inside The Thicket food truck park, which has lots of shade, picnic tables, and even a playscape for the kiddos! 

WEBSITE | 7800 S 1st St

Haymaker

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category / haymaker

photo via

Haymaker has regionally inspired comfort sandwiches, beer, and poutine in a fun indoor/outdoor East Austin hangout spot. Oh, and there are lots of TVs in case there’s a lunchtime sporting event you’re trying to catch.

WEBSITE | 2310 Manor Rd

Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden

Where to eat the best lunch in Austin Texas: 55 options for every category // Bangers

The tap list at this place is pretty darn impressive, but even if you’re not drinking during lunch, Banger’s is an awesome place to stop by and grab one of their many sausage options. Choose from the basic (andouille or bratwurst) to the exotic (rabbit and mushroom or smoked wild boar.)

WEBSITE | 79 Rainey St


This guide is part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance’s 2020 City Guide. Check out more of the best eats in Austin, curated by Austin food bloggers, on the full list of guides.

Where To Eat The Best Lunch In Austin Texas_ 55 Options In Every Category

Looking for more Austin food options? Head to my Austin Index page to run your own search of the exact meal you’re looking for in Austin!

Where To Eat The Best Lunch In Austin Texas_ 55 Options In Every Category

 

 

 

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