Austin's annual nerdfest bacchanal SXSW is here. Gimmicks, swag, and hundreds of thousands of visitors abound downtown. There's no shame in scamming free food and beer, but when you're over the Lone Star and Kind Bars, the fine folks at Eater Austin have compiled this handy guide you to the best of Austin eating and drinking.
Eater has your best bets for Tex Mex and barbecue near the festival, as well as restaurants worth ditching the festival for and bars where it's worth actually paying for your drink. Staring at this map in a haze of hunger? Here's where to eat when you should have eaten two hours ago. Still not enough SXSW guides? Behold Eater's meta-listicle guide to SXSW guides.
Locals, you have not been forgotten. Behold the updated safe refuge dining and drinking maps. Eater also spoke with SXSW warriors like Aaron Franklin and Paul Qui to discover how they survive the festival.
Then of course there's the city's 38 essential restaurants and a spankin' new heatmap of the latest and buzziest dining options. Gluten free diners, Eater has you covered. Want to explore the city's burgeoning bar scene? Check out the beer and cocktail heatmaps, as well as the definitive guide to Austin's best wine experiences. After you've been out drinking, hit these late night eats.
Brunch is serious business in Austin, both new and buzzy and the best brunches ever. Be sure to drink some mimosas and Bloody Mary's while you're at it. Want to do Austin like a local? Eat and drink on a patio, and stuff yourself with queso.
Looking to explore, or are you a local looking for refuge? Now is a great time to explore Way North Austin and Austin's best neighborhood Tex Mex restaurants. Other great options include readers' picks for Austin's 20 most underrated restaurants and this map of 16 historic restaurants around town.