The Best Places to Eat Lunch in Austin

Whether you are visiting Austin, Texas for the first time or looking for a new place to grab lunch in this foodie town, these restaurants offer the best of the city’s midday food scene! Whether you are looking for somewhere quiet and cozy or a chic place to gather with friends over lunch, there is a restaurant on this list for you…

exterior of a blue restaurant for lunch in Austin

Long before local restaurant groups made the dining experience more social media friendly with their chicly upholstered banquets and cool girl color schemes, Austin was a foodie city. The convergence of different cultures and the distinct art scene lent itself toward experimenting with food and fusions of different cuisines that went beyond tacos and barbecue. Today, Austin is arguably one of the best cities for great food! While breakfast and dinner often get all the attention, there are so many great places to stop in Austin for lunch to refuel midday. Keep reading for the 18 best lunch spots in Austin, Texas…

What do you need from great Austin restaurants for lunch?

Easy parking? Outdoor dining? Gluten free menu options? Instagrammable ambiance? Wi-fi?  It depends on the day, but these Austin spots never disappoint!  Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

a bar in a restaurant in Austin

(images via Josephine House + Local Sugar)

The best Austin restaurants for lunch

Josephine House:

Central Austin: 1601 Waterston Ave, Austin, TX 78703

There’s a good chance that this is not your first time hearing about this place and for good reason. It’s the food you want to eat for every meal married with the coziest spot that you never want to leave.  The rice bowl is my favorite, ideally paired with a glass of rosé. The outdoor booths are a perfect spot for lunch in Austin with your best girlfriends. 

good for: outdoor dining, healthy menu options, coffee

Sweet Green:

Campus location: 2234 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

South Austin:1007 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

There is nowhere that I eat more often for lunch than Sweet Green. Recently it’s been all delivery while working from home, but the South Austin location has a decent amount of outdoor seating… and the Hay Outdoor Dining furniture that I’ve been ogling. I love the Harvest Bowl, sub wild rice for crispy rice. Parking can be a little hit or miss at either location so don’t count on being able to run in and grab a to go order quickly. Curbside is also not available at either location.

good for: outdoor dining (south location only), healthy menu options

tables in a restaurant for lunch in austin

(image via Texas French Bread)

Texas French Bread:

Central Austin: 2900 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78705

The menu is simple, but you can’t go wrong with this staple for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  (Side note: I ordered their Thanksgiving pies this year, too and they were so yummy!) I love their Smoked Trout Nicoise Salad and am a sucker for the Huevos Rancheros at any time of day. Grab a loaf of the Raisin Pecan for the week on your way out. There’s a beautiful outdoor patio here just on the other side of the parking lot where heritage oaks hang above casually chic tables. Parking is located behind the restaurant.

good for: wifi, easy parking, outdoor dining, healthy menu options, grocery items to go 

Food Heads: 

Central Austin: 616 W 34th St, Austin, TX 78705

A truly casual sandwich experience located in a small house in Central Austin, Foodheads offers a more thoughtfully curated deli menu that includes sustainably farmed fish tortas, a chimchurri steak sandwich served on Easy Tiger sourdough, and my favorite, the BLT with Avocado. Outdoor and indoor tables are available and street parking is typically easy to find. 

good for: outdoor dining, healthy menu options

people eating in a busy restaurant

(image via Fareground)

Fareground:

Downtown Austin: 111 Congress Ave p400, Austin, TX 78701

This sprawling food hall is home to some of Austin’s best eateries, in bite-size form, with plenty of space to spread out, close a deal or just catch up. Dine at Dai Due, Easy Tiger, Ni Kome, Contigo and more!

good for: outdoor dining, healthy menu options, coffee

Easy Tiger Linc Location: 

Central Austin: 6406 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd Suite 1100, Austin, TX 78752

I have been frequenting this spot more and more lately. The pastrami sandwich and breakfast sandwich are two favorites, but so is the giant soft pretzel and housemade beer cheese. The outdoor patio area is expansive and set up with biergarten style picnic tables. I always leave with a loaf of sourdough for the week.

good for: easy parking, outdoor dining, healthy menu options, grocery items to go, coffee

the patio of an austin restaurant for lunch

(image via The Effortless Chic)

Elizabeth Street Cafe:

South Austin: 1501 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704

Come hungry because it’s impossible to choose just one menu item and is best to come with friends so you can sample family style.  There are too many favorites to even list here, but let’s just say start with the fried chicken bahn mi and the shrimp and avocado spring rolls.

good for: outdoor dining, healthy menu options

Hank’s:

East Austin: 5811 Berkman Dr, Austin, TX 78723

This place opened on the east side to much fanfare thanks to the fancy drive through where you can get expertly made pastries and delicious lattes without having to take your kids out of the car. The crispy rice bowl and burger are both worth driving east for and the spacious location means there is rarely a wait.

good for: wifi, easy parking, outdoor dining, healthy menu options, coffee

Front of an austin restaurant for lunch

(image via Jo’s Coffee)

Jo’s Coffee on 2nd Street:

Downtown Austin: 242 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

I lived near the South Congress location circa 2005 + 2006, so it’s near and dear to my heart, but the 2nd street location is better for meetings.  There’s an indoor seating area for beating the heat and you won’t have to dodge the tourists taking photos next to the ‘I love you so much’ wall.

good for: wifi, coffee

Loro:

South Austin: 2115 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

Loro is the brain child of Tyson Cole from Uchi and Aaron Franklin from Franklin Barbecue and we regularly drive south just to eat here. It’s so good. It’s also hard to find a restaurant south of the river that has this much parking and this large of an outdoor patio. Where to begin with the menu? Start with the Sweet Corn Fritters and Chicken Karaage. Move on from there to Smoked Prime Bavette and savor every bite. 

good for: easy parking, outdoor dining, healthy menu options

Pink, white and black restaurant interior

(image via Hyhoi)

June’s All Day:

South Austin: 1722 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Side effects of dining at June’s include wanting to recreate the retro black and white checkered floors in your own place and convincing yourself that you need a jukebox. Order the Crispy Chicken Sandwich because life is short. On that note, go ahead and drink rosé at lunch, preferably the house sparkling one. 

good for: wine to go 

Sour Duck Market:

East Austin: 1814 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78702

I first started coming to Sour Duck because its large outdoor dining area was an ideal spot for kids to play while their moms could catch up with friends or talk shop. After eating the burger, though, I discovered a whole new set of reasons for stopping here for lunch. 

good for: outdoor dining, healthy menu options, grocery items to go 

the outside of epicerie restaurant in asutin

tables in the interior of a restaurant

(images via Star Chefs + Eater)

Epicerie:

Central Austin: 2307 Hancock Dr, Austin, TX 78756

Austin has a thing with yummy, laid back spots nestled into cute houses and I’m not mad about it.  It’s super cozy french fare here and it’s all delicious.  The salads are perfect if you’re craving something lighter and the french onion soup is what I desire every time the weather drops below 60 degrees. 

good for: easy parking, outdoor dining, healthy menu options, grocery items to go 

Better Half Coffee and Cocktails:

Downtown Austin: 406 Walsh St, Austin, TX 78703

Better Half might just have the easiest parking situation downtown which sometimes is reason enough to go. It also has a cool Austin vibe and laid-back outdoor space. Breakfast is served until 3pm and definitely the way to go when ordering lunch here. 

good for: wifi, easy parking, outdoor dining

Top down shot of plates of food

(image via Paper City)

Ramen Tatsu-ya:

Central Austin: 8557 Research Blvd #126, Austin, TX 78758

East Austin: 1600 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702

South Austin: 1234 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

The gold standard of ramen if you ask anyone in ATX.  If you’ve never been, it’s kind of a rite of passage that you don’t want to miss. There are several different bowls of ramen you can try, but I highly recommend the Tonkotsu Sho-Yu.

good for: healthy menu options

Clark’s Oyster Bar:

Downtown Austin: 1200 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703

The first time I dined at Clark’s it was for a celebratory lunch with a dear friend. One lobster roll and a glass of rosé later and I was convinced that this was the most fun restaurant to eat at in Austin. It’s my favorite for meeting up with friends last minute or solo dining and people watching. There is a small parking lot, but it can be hit or miss. 

good for: outdoor dining, healthy menu options

A restaurant table set for lunch Close up of a place setting

(images via The Effortless Chic)

Cafe No Sé:

South Austin: 1603 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

I have been here more times than I can count and for good reason.  Let’s start with the wifi and gorgeous work space right next door in the hotel lobby, followed by the shiplap and chic tile decor and last, but never least, the mind blowing pokè bowl.  Not sold yet? There’s easy parking in the garage below and valet at the door. This one checks all the boxes.

good for: wifi, easy parking (garage below the hotel or valet), outdoor dining, healthy menu options

Swedish Hill:

Downtown Austin: 1120 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703

I fell in love with Swedish Hill from the moment it opened. For the purposes of this best-lunch-themed post I won’t talk about the $25 chicken rotisserie dinners or the Fronk’s lattes that I dream about on a daily basis. For this post allow me to wax poetic about the Clarksville Kale Salad with a light vinaigrette that’s just the perfect amount of noticeable and the Spicy Chicken Salad. Parker loves the egg salad and there’s a to-go case where I can grab some on my way out for later. Also, don’t leave without picking up a bottle of the June’s Sparkling Rosé… something to look forward to. 

good for: wifi, easy parking, outdoor dining, healthy menu options, grocery items to go 

Try new restaurants for lunch in Austin for your next meeting!

I won’t lie, I love having a lunch meeting, it’s another opportunity to try somewhere new! And of course, depending on your meeting it could be a free lunch too! All of these places are casual, but all have something unique about them, and they are perfect for a relaxed meeting.

Austin restaurants for lunch and beyond!

A lot of these restaurants are also open in the evenings for dinner, so if you are looking for an evening meal, be sure to check these out! These restaurants are also great to pop by if you are visiting Austin for a long weekend, you don’t have to have an excuse of a meeting to visit them!

If you are looking for more things to do in Austin:

I love hearing from you! Have you visited any of these restaurants? I’d love to hear what you thought in the comments below!

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  1. All of these places look lovely! I really need to plan a trip to austin!

    Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

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