24 Hour Eats in Austin During SXSW
Austin takes NYC’s place as “the city that never sleeps” for about ten days every year during SXSW. The three-in-one festival begins this Friday with SXSW film and interactive, followed by music on March 17 and through the weekend.
The activity is continuous but we all need to eat, right? Listed below are places you can grab a bite 24-hours-a-day — or at least into the wee hours of the morning.
24 Diner is the newest addition to the 24-hour diner scene in Austin, joining Magnolia and Kerbey Lane in the race to see who can help the masses sop up the most free booze and with deliciously rich and wonderful food.
I visited for the first time a couple weeks ago with dear friends Steve and Josh F. Steve and Josh are the father and brother of my dear friend Rachel and when they were both in town and available to meet for breakfast one morning, I jumped at the chance to try it.
What I love about 24 Diner is that they serve local eggs from humanely-raised chickens, they buy produce and meats from local farmers and producers when they can, and they aren’t afraid to spend a little money on quality ingredients.
And, they passed the ultimate test of a great brunch place. I asked (as I always do) what kind of syrup they offer. Their answer: “100% Grade A Dark Amber Maple Syrup.”
Now you should know that IHOP, the International House of Pancakes does note even offer real maple syrup. If that doesn’t make you say WTF I don’t know what does. Other places in town default to the crappy Aunt Jemima corn syrupy kind but will bring maple for an extra $1.50. That’s fine with me and I always spring for the real deal. When places don’t have maple syrup, I’ll usually go with honey or powdered sugar instead. But I don’t like it.
So what I LOVED about 24 Diner was the fact that they offer real maple syrup and that is all. It costs them a pretty penny but to me shows that they respect and care about their customers. Rant over.
Two more 24-hour options are Magnolia Cafe, and Kerbey Lane Cafe (and Star Seeds but I don’t recommend it). Both Magnolia and Kerbey Lane have multiple locations and Austinites usually have a favorite between the two. Mine has always been Magnolia since it was located down the street from my first apartment. My “regular” order there is a baked potato with bacon, butter, cheese, and chives on the side and then steamed broccoli too. Yum.
I recently tried Kerbey Lane — with my yoga class once for a late dinner, and for breakfast at the Sunday HOPE Farmer’s Market, where they have a stand.
Both Magnolia and Kerbey Lane are known for their pancakes, and Kerbey sells pancake mix that you can pick up when you’re in town visiting and take home to make breakfast for your kiddos.
What I didn’t realize is the focus that Kerbey Lane puts on using ethically made and local ingredients. They even showcase a special seasonal menu.
Other 24 hour and/or late night eats near the bars and clubs downtown include:
- Frietkot, a new food trailer serving french fries with various seasonings and dipping sauces at 6th and Neches,
- Kebabalicious, a trailer serving middle eastern deliciousness until 3 a.m. on weekends (like frietkot).
- Chilantro, a korean-mexican hybrid trailer at 5th and Colorado till 3 a.m.
- El Sol y La Luna on 6th and Red River — serving Tex Mex until 2 a.m. on weekends.
- Hoboken pie (pizza) on 7th and Red River open til 2:30 a.m.
- The dozens of food trailers sprinkled throughout Austin that are sure to sprout up wherever the crowds are. For more on Austin’s Food Cart scene, check out my friend Mike’s web site.
The other evening, I had a late night myself with friends Rebecca G. and Jessica B. After an hour+ disco nap, we headed out on the town, stopping at Frietkot to try their delicious fries. Each fry cone comes with one dipping sauce but we wanted to try more so we invested the extra $.75 or so to give them a shot. We oohed and aahed over the bacon and the green chili aioli dipping sauces but didn’t much care for the curry ketchup. Maybe it just needed a little mayo mixed in.
From there, we headed to the Highball, a true playground for adults featuring bowling lanes, skee-ball, karaoke rooms, a full bar and dinner seating, and a back room for dance parties, live music, and public karaoke.
We were there to check out hip hop karaoke — a recommendation from my friend Jackie.
Things got kind of weird when this group got up to perform L.L. Cool J’s “Doin’ It”:
By the way, the Highball serves upscale diner/old-style vegas food every night until 2 a.m. I’ve yet to try it myself.
If you’re on S. Lamar after hours — and you might be if you are checking out a film at the Alamo Drafthouse, listening to live music at the Saxon Pub, or two-stepping at the historic Broken Spoke dance hall — stop off at Gourdough’s (pronounced gordos) for some fresh, fat, gourmet donuts.
Delicious results of a ten or so minute wait at Gourdough’s (plan to share) include The Flying Pig:
And Granny’s Pie:
Gourdoughs is open until 2 a.m. and is located almost right across Lamar from the Highball and Alamo Drafthouse.
Bon Appetit, you drunks!Tags: 24 diner, alamo drafthouse, bacon, breakfast, broken spoke, brunch, chilantro, diner, donuts, eggs, el sol y la luna, food truck, food trailer, frietkot, gourdoughs, highball, hoboken pie, HOPE, karaoke, kebabalicious, Kerbey Lane, late-night, magnolia, pancakes, saxon pub, SXSW, syrup